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Accomplishments -- The missing socks edition

September 29th, 2009 at 05:36 pm

So all the clothing in the house is clean -- really, there is nothing in the hamper. And still, I have unmatched socks. Where do they go! Also, with everything clean, I don't actually have enough hangers to go around. Either I need to buy more hangers, or I need to sort through my wardrobe. I think I will choose the latter. Alternatively, I guess I could just try to leave some dirty laundry in the hamper Smile

Here are my accomplishments for today:

(1) Checked online to see if the Comcast payment went through. I had tried to pay it online on Saturday, but never got to the confirmation screen. It turns out it never went through, so I paid it again today. This time it went through!

(2) Called the insurance company to cancel our renters insurance. We just moved, and for awhile we had policies on both places. (We had a month of overlap on our leases.) Today I called and cancelled the policy for the old place and switched our mailing address. We should even be getting a partial refund!

(3) Changed the registration sticker on the car. Since it expires tomorrow, I didn't want to worry about hubby getting pulled over on his way to/from work.

(4) Bought candy for work tomorrow. I needed to buy some for a particular work gathering.

(5) Completed two loads on laundry. Well, the second load is still in the dryer, but it will be completed. Thank goodness this second load is all blankets and towels, since I have no hangers left!

One great thing about this new plan to accomplish five things a day is that my husband has decided he wants to join in. I told him he can have three things to do a day. Not that I don't think he should be pulling his weight, but he has a 45-50 minute commute each way, while I only have a 20 minute one. So he has less time to spend on this stuff than I do. So far, though, I have already had him clean all of the toilets in the house. I love this plan!

What I accomplished today...

September 28th, 2009 at 04:16 pm

I have decided to turn my blog into a record of my daily accomplishments, both big and small. Each day I will give myself a list of five tasks to accomplish. Then, at the end of the day, I will hold myself accountable for those tasks. Some will be finance related; some will not. Although I find that staying on top of all things (cooking, cleaning, etc) only helps me be more financially responsible, so I still think it's appropriate for a personal finance blog.

(Also, I'm been really motivated by the Saving Advice bloggers who've recently been posting all they've accomplished!)

Today I did the following things:

(1) Mailed the rent check. It should arrive either tomorrow or Wednesday, so it will be on time!
(2) Made pasta salad. (Side dish for dinner tonight and tomorrow.)
(3) Finished folding the laundry from all the loads I tackled yesterday.
(4) Wiped down the counter in the master bedroom.
(5) Planned out my work wardrobe for the rest of the week.

This last task is something that I decided to start doing today. I have to dress to a certain level for work, but I don't really have that many articles of appropriate work clothing. Which means every morning is a bit of an adventure! Sometimes I'm running late the the morning and realize at the last minute that I really don't have anything clean that's appropriate. Stressful! This way, I can be assured that I have clothing for the whole week, and that everything I am planning on wearing is clean or back from the dry cleaners. I think that will lead to a happier and more productive me all around!

Stamps

May 27th, 2009 at 03:33 pm

I'm still working my way through my 37 cent stamps, left over from the days before the forever stamp. Today I mailed a letter with one 37 cent stamp and three 3 cent stamps. (I have a bunch of 3 cent stamps left over from prior days as well.) I need to use these up -- I am running out of room on the envelopes!

Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me?

Smile

Arrrrrgh!

May 26th, 2009 at 08:21 pm

Canceling cable is hurting right now. The Cavs-Magic game is tied at 100 with 0.5 seconds left, and I can't watch! I am frantically hitting refresh on the computer instead. Arrrrgh!

Another thing to check off the list

May 26th, 2009 at 07:23 pm

Today I called my insurance company and added my doctor as my primary care physician. I should have done this months ago! If I see my primary physician, I only have a $20 copay, but if I see anyone else, it is a $30 copay. If I would have done this last summer, I would have an extra $20 in my pocket. Just an example of how getting more organized can save me money...

For my challenge, I packed my lunch, we made dinner, and I walked both to and from work (5 miles total). I also completed 2 loads of laundry, so that is $6 for the challenge.

Previous total: $89
Current total: $95

Catching back up...

May 25th, 2009 at 05:37 pm

My sister was in town last week, so I didn't have much of a consistent schedule for updating my blog (or for exercising or following my meal plan...) But it was really great to see her, and we did manage to eat dinner at home three of the nights she was here. (That's much better than we usually do with guests Smile)

We also looked at a little house we were considering buying. It wasn't nearly as nice as we had hoped, and it definitely wasn't nice enough to justify the price tag! We have decided to put the home-buying plans on hold for the near future, and just concentrate on saving up for a down payment. We had been thinking we might try to buy this year to take advantage of low interest rates and the tax credit for first time home buyers, but the houses in our area still seem so overpriced. We are hoping that prices will continue to fall over the next year. Meanwhile, we will continue to rent...

Let's see if I can remember everything to update my challenge! Since the last time I updated, we have cooked dinner 3 times (including yesterday and today), I have completed 3 loads of laundry, and the Tigers have won 3 games! I guess 3 is my lucky number. Also, I went for a walk yesterday (2 miles) and a run today (3 miles), so that is a total of $11 for the challenge.

Previous total: $78
Current total: $89

Now that my sister is gone, I plan to go back to packing my lunch, cooking dinner at home, and exercising regularly.

Have a great night everyone!

A new fan

May 20th, 2009 at 07:15 pm

Tonight we bought a small fan for our bedroom. My husband always gets really hot while he sleeps, even though we try to cool the room off by opening the windows for a while before going to bed. (We can't sleep with the windows open because our street is just too loud!)

One way to fix the problem is to turn on the air conditioning overnight, but I'd rather not do that -- at least while it's still pretty cool outside at night. We are going to try the fan instead. I think it will help cool the room down while the window is open, and it should keep my husband cooler by having air flow across him. (I will snuggle into my blankets, since I am always cold!)

As an added bonus, maybe it will drown out some of the street noise as well! Smile

As for my challenge, we cooked dinner tonight (with leftover cheesecake for dessert), and I did 3 loads of laundry. Plus, the Tigers have won their last 2 games, so that is $6 for the challenge.

Previous balance: $72
Current balance: $78

I hope to make $100 by the end of the month! Now, off to bed...Smile

Homeade Cheesecake

May 19th, 2009 at 06:23 pm

We live about 5 minutes away from the Cheesecake Factory, and lately hubby and I have been succumbing to temptation and picking up cheesecake for a treat about once a week. The problem is, at $7.95 a slice, it is not a very fiscally responsible habit. (It's also not very good for my waistline, but it sure tastes good!) My absolute favorite version is the key lime cheesecake.

Anyway, over the weekend I got it in to my head that I should just make my own cheesecake. So I found

Text is this recipe and Link is http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/01/key-lime-cheesecake/
this recipe and tonight I made it. My sister is in town for the week, and we each had a piece and agreed it was really good. The best thing is, I added up the costs and the whole cheesecake cost me $8.08 + a little bit of butter, sugar, and flour from my pantry. So for about the cost of one piece of cheesecake, we got an entire cake. We still have 5 pieces left!

I'm also feeling pretty good because it is the first time I've made a cheesecake Smile

Anyway, to update my challenge, I packed a lunch yesterday, we cooked dinner both yesterday and today, and I did 6 (yes, 6!) loads of laundry yesterday. So that is $9 for the challenge. (I am tempted to add another $1 because the cheesecake was so awesome, but I'm not going to do that Smile)

Previous balance: $63
Current balance: $72

Have a nice night everyone!

This may sound silly...

May 18th, 2009 at 01:07 pm

I had a bit of an epiphany last week. I was making a list of chores to do, and I realized how many things that are seemingly unrelated to personal finance actually play a part in my finances. (Bear with me -- you probably all already know these things, but it was still an epiphany for me!)

Some things are pretty obvious -- if I take the time to make a meal plan for the week, I save money because I shop with a list and I am less likely to eat out during the week. Other things are less obvious -- if I make a point to wash my shower curtain on a regular basis, then it never gets gross enough that it cannot be saved and therefore must be replaced. Which costs money.

I guess I realized that the different aspects of my life are interconnected, and it will be a lot easier to change on aspect if I am also working on the other aspects as well. Being on top of the other aspects in my life will help me to be on top of my finances as well.

So what does this mean? Well, I'm not going to change what I'm doing specifically with respect to personal finance -- I'm still going to try to spend less and save more, but I also think that I can improve my financial situation by improving my life in general.

If I make it a priority to get enough sleep, then I won't feel rushed in the morning, and therefore it will be easier to pack a lunch. If I make it a priority to exercise on a regular basis, I will feel healthier and more energetic, and I'll *want* to eat health home-cooked food rather than eating out. If I stay on top of my paperwork, I can submit flex receipts right away and earn interest on the reimbursement in my account. If I don't procrastinate, I can find gifts and plane tickets for lower prices. I can think of lots of ways that being more together will help me be better financially as well.

So from here on out I am going to (try to) practice a holistic approach to personal finance. (Hence the new title for the blog...)

Just checking in

May 17th, 2009 at 07:19 pm

I just wanted to update my challenge quickly. I have a longer post to make, but it will have to wait until tomorrow!

Since my last challenge update, the Tigers have won three games, I brought my lunch to work for three days, and we cooked dinner at home twice. I also went for one run (3 miles) on Saturday. Finally, I completed 6 loads of laundry today, so that gives me a total of $15 for the challenge!

Previous balance: $48
Current balance: $63

Hope y'all had a nice weekend!

Quiz Night

May 12th, 2009 at 07:14 pm

We went with some friends to quiz night at the local pub tonight, and had our best score ever! We spent a little bit more than we usually do (we ordered appetizers in addition to beer and our entry fee), but it was nice to catch up with some friends we hadn't seen in awhile.

Today I packed my lunch, went for a run (2.5 miles), and we made dinner (lemon pasta -- yum!), so that is $3 for the challenge.

Previous balance: $45
Current balance: $48

I should make it over $50 tomorrow Smile

Nothing much to say...

May 11th, 2009 at 05:21 pm

...so I'll just update my challenge. Today I brought my lunch, we made dinner at home, and I walked both to and from work (a total of 5 miles round trip.) So that's $4 for the challenge.

Previous balance: $41
Current balance: $45

Now off to do some work. Have a good night, everyone!

Getting stuff done!

May 10th, 2009 at 04:51 pm

Today I cleaned out my pantry and organized my spice cabinet. I also made a list of all the spices in my cabinet and taped it to the inside of the door. Now I don't have to search to see if I have something or not, and then miss it and buy a duplicate!

It felt so good to get these tasks done that I've decided to give myself a list of tasks to accomplish this week -- one per day. The goal will be to choose tasks that don't take a lot of time but that I tend to put off.

Here's my list for this week:

Sun: Clean pantry and organize spices -- DONE!
Mon: Clean microwave (It's gross Frown)
Tues: Return dress and capris to the store
Wed: Wash shower curtains
Thurs: Wash out fridge
Fri: Organize desk cabinet
Sat: Chore free!

As for my challenge, today we followed the meal plan and did not eat out, I went for a run (3 miles), and the Tigers won! So $3 more for the challenge.

Previous balance: $38
Current balance: $41

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

A lazy but productive day

May 10th, 2009 at 06:46 am

Today the plan is to have a lazy but productive day. You might think those two things don't go together, but I find organizing and planning to be relaxing when there is no pressure to do so!

So today I am going to plan and shop for our meals for the week. I'm also going to organize the pantry and make a list of all the spices/herbs available in my spice cupboard.

I have some reading to do for work tomorrow, and I'll probably also go for either a run or a walk with my husband to enjoy the non-rainy weather. And of course I'll call my mom to say "Happy Mother's Day!"

Yesterday I went for a run (3 miles) and the Tigers won, so $2 for the challenge.

Previous balance: $36
Current balance: $38

Challenge update

May 9th, 2009 at 05:50 am

The Tigers won last night, and I brought my lunch to work, so $2 more for the challenge.

Previous balance: $34
Current balance: $36

This means I made it through the whole work week without buying lunch! We also almost made it through the whole work week without eating out for dinner, but last night we ate at a local Greek diner to celebrate the end of a project at work. It felt special, because we haven't been eating out all the time Smile