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Archive for September, 2012

TGITW

September 9th, 2012 at 01:13 am

Yay, so glad itís the weekend! I was pretty successful with my September goals this week. I arrived at work at 9:15a on Wed and Thursday and at 9:01a on Friday! Woo-hoo Ė Iíll take that as success. Iím going to reword this goal for next week Ė leave for work at 8:30a. I think setting a specific leave time will help me to get out of the house Ė I tend to lollygag in the morning!

I packed a healthy lunch each day, so didnít spend any money or extra calories on eating out, except on Thursday. I apparently didnít bring enough food and was very hungry in the afternoon. I had a massage scheduled for 6p and was going to the laundromat after that, so I went downtown and bought a half-price Evol egg and sausage burrito for $1.80 (needed to be sold that day). I heated it up in the micro at work and it was delicious Ė definitely worth the expenditure and was less calories than the $2 bag of olive oil and sea salt potato chips I was also considering.

I exercised every day, except Thursday, which was a planned rest day with massage (yay). Yesterday I walked for one hour after work including 15 minutes of running and did 30 minutes of yoga when I got home. Today I drove to a friendís house to get some garden goodies (red kale, collards, a few leeks and carrots, parsley, sage, basil). She wasnít going to be there to visit, so to make it worth the drive/gas usage, I wore my exercise clothes and walked a 70-minute loop including 20 minutes of running. It was great to have a change of scenery and this particular walk starts with a very long and challenging uphill, so I feel like I got a good workout. I did 30 minutes of yoga when I got home. Iím planning on doing a short workout Sunday and Monday, and having Tuesday be a rest day with a massage after work. This could all come to a screeching halt when work kicks back in on Monday Ė September to November is one of my busiest times Ė but, I will do my best to continue doing some form of exercise a few days a week.

Iíve played the piano and flossed every day, but not at the same time. Smile

It looks like there will be room for me in the beginning French class I want to take, so Iíll be signing up for that on Tuesday. It will be free!

Tracking my spending is going well Ė I want to start determining my monthly average spending and seeing where I can cut expenses. My next step is to start doing something with the savings I already have. Iím great at saving money, but Iím procrastinating about investing it and Iíve lost precious years of potential growth. My 403B is invested fairly well, I think, but everything else (including my traditional IRA) is kinda sitting in cash, which is difficult to admit. Procrastination (due to fear and poor decision-making skills) is my absolute worst habit and Iíve missed a lot of opportunities in many areas of life.

My only spending today was $3.52 for five local, free-range drumsticks. Iíll cook three tomorrow to use for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday dinner and freeze two for later. I was supposed to spend $2.50 for garbage, but the friendly guy at my townís weekly makeshift recycling/trash site didnít charge me because my bag was so small. Smile

this was the sky at my house this evening after a big storm passed through...





So far, pretty good

September 5th, 2012 at 03:32 am

I was able to stick to most of my goals today Ė always easy on the first day! My only epic fail was that I did not get to work by 9a (I arrive after 10a Ė gulp). I went to bed late, woke up late and didnít have a lunch made. I almost gave up on my ďpack a healthy lunchĒ goal, but decided to throw together a salad from the fridge even though it would make me even later. I figured I could survive the late arrival (I can check email from home to make sure there are no emergencies) and I didnít want to already give up the two parts of my lunch goal Ė saving money and eating well Ė two things that are important to me. My busy season at work kicks in next Monday, so arrival time this week is not as important as it will be.

The ďon timeĒ goal is going to take some effort and planning Ė packing lunch the night before, going to bed much earlier than I generally do, etc. North Georgia Gal Ė you mentioned in a comment on my last post that you had the same late arrival problem, but have changed your ways. Any tips? Since itís now 11:30p, Iím not sure Iím going to do any better tomorrow morning!

I took a 32-minute walk (which including 5 minutes of jogging) right from my office after work and did 15 minutes of yoga before going home. I convinced myself that I had plenty of food at home and didnít need to stop at the store to buy the whole wheat pasta I was craving. I saved the $1.25, but more importantly avoided any impulse buys that would have likely occurred. Smile I went straight home and cooked a salmon burger from the freezer and found some brown rice in there that I had forgotten about. I sautťed onion, some mushrooms that needed to be used and kale from a friendís garden and put that over the rice. Yum!

I took the time to make three salads for lunches. For the next three days I will eat:
*Breakfast: sliced cukes and carrots with hummus, handful of walnuts, handful of blueberries
*Lunch: salad with mixed local ingredients and a slice of no-additives deli ham that I got on sale last week
*Snack: local grapes (unbelievably delicious!)
*Dinner: salmon or veggie burger, sautťed onion, kale and mushroom over rice

Iím glad I donít mind eating the same meals a few days in a row! Makes things easier.

I also played the piano for 15 minutes today and flossed. I will do whatever I can to stick to my goals (at least some of them) for the rest of this week and then Iíll reassess for next week.

holiday weekend

September 4th, 2012 at 12:54 am

I had a good holiday weekend. I took today off (itís a floating holiday where I work) and scheduled lots of free time at home to relax, think and organize and arranged a few outings with friends to enjoy the last remnants of summer. Yesterday, a scheduled three-hour trip to a local lakefront state park with a close friend whom I havenít seen for some time turned into a 10-hour hang out, catch up, laugh fest that ended at my house with dinner around 11:30p! It was great visit. Financially I was bummed - I have a state park punch card that I bought in June for $20 (10 entries for $2 rather than the usual $3), that I forgot to bring since itís in my car and my friend drove. She paid my $3 entrance fee because I only had some loose change. On the way home, we stopped for soft serve at a fabulous local stand that posts a ďpassword of the dayĒ on Facebook that wins you a free cone if you are the first to say it at their window. I checked FB on my friendís smartphone (I have a low-tech pay-as-you-go cell), found the word and got the free cone Ė yay! I paid $2 for my friendís ice cream and we were even. I wanted the outing to be totally free, but it was $2 since I forgot the punch cardÖbut I guess thatís not too bad!

Today I hiked up to another lake with a different friend and her four-year old daughter. This was a free excursion. We swam, enjoyed the sun, walked back down and stopped for ice cream on the way home. My friend treated me to a .99 ice cream sandwich. I found 10 pennies at a pay phone, but gave them to my friendís daughter, since she was so excited about them. They are a frugal family, so the pennies will be put to good use! I love that I can write about picking up pennies on this blog and other readers understand the excitement.

Iíve decided that I need to set some goals to get myself back on track financially and organizationally. Inspired by an early retirement blog I saw on Lucky Robinís page, Iíve made a list of personal goals for September:

*track spending for the month in order to create a budget

*pack a healthy lunch every day (for financial and health reasons)

*$20/week on food (this is dependent upon how many free garden goodies I get from friends and using up what I have on hand)

*arrive at work by 9a each day (Iíve been a total slacker, getting in as late as 10a some days! My boss is often a no-show and ďworks at homeĒ a lot and so the incentive to be diligent about timeliness doesnít exist. But, for my own peace of mind and professionalism, I think I should make more of an effort to arrive at a respectable time.)

*exercise 4 times/week followed by 15 mins yoga (I will create a schedule so that I am prepared each day I choose to exercise)

*sign up for beginnerís french class (I can take this for free at work if there is room in the class)

*play piano - 15 mins/day

*floss each night (Iím out of the groove and my gums are suffering because of it)

Thatís a lot, so not sure how I will do, but Iíve got to start somewhere.

Happy Labor Day everyone!