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Productive Saturday

September 19th, 2015 at 02:42 pm

After a busy few weeks, I am so happy to have no plans for this weekend. Today is flying by, but I'm getting a lot done. I washed all of the dishes, straightened up the house, picked up and put away clothes from the past week, sorted laundry which I will do later this week, cleaned old food out of fridge, picked up mail from my PO Box which I haven't visited in a few weeks, and lots more!

Then I sat down at my computer to play with YNAB and ended up taking all afternoon to reconcile it. Ugh. I started YNAB a month ago in a very sloppy manner just to try it out. Now that I'm going to buy and use the program, I wanted to have the balances actually my match my checking account and credit card. This took forever! But now it's done and balanced and I can move forward from here with accurate data.

My property taxes of $1895.25 are due on October 1. I thought I owed about $2100, but just looked at the bill and the lower figure was a nice surprise! According to YNAB, I have $614.02 unspent funds from August, so I'm rolling that amount over to use toward the taxes. I have a sort of snowflake of $1072.95 (is a refund of money already spent a true snowflake?) that I will also use. I bought a bunch of stuff from Z@ppos in May 2014 and ended up not wanting to keep most of it. But I forgot about it and then finally returned it all just before the year deadline passed. Actually, I called just before the deadline and they authorized the return, but I didn't package and mail the items until mid-June. Thankfully, they still provided a refund check, which has been floating around on my desk since late July. I also have a tiny snowflake check of .92, a credit from when I closed my Discover account in June, so I'll add that in. That means I'll need $207.36 from September's budget in order to cash flow the taxes, which should be no problem.

I may pay the tax bill this week. I usually wait until October 1, but I'm not going to generate more than a few cents, if any, interest on the portion that's currently in my checking account, so I might as well bite the bullet and get it over with. I tend to hang on to money that's technically spent as a kind of mind game - imagining that I don't really have to fork it over. It doesn't work, I still have to fork it over! I often end up paying bills late and incurring interest charges and then have to spend either time talking my way out of the charges or money to cover them. It's just so much easier to accept the inevitable and pay up on time or even early!

I went a little crazy and have racked up over 400 SBs so far today. I now have more than 2200 and could get a $25 Amzon gift card rather than my usual 2500 SBs for $25 cash through Payp@l. I have a $60 Amzon gift card balance, so that would bring me up to $85. I'd like to purchase a backpack for lugging my computer, notes and other stuff to and from work. I'll have to look to see what's available on Amzon.

I'm still debating whether or not to prebuy my fuel oil for the winter. I struggle with this decision every winter! I've prebought for the last few years, but I haven't gone back to see if it was worth it in terms of actual price fluctuations. This is reminding me that I need to schedule a heater cleaning. That will be another $400 at least!

I've mostly continued my light eating this week except for splurging at a work reception (worth it and I made it into dinner) on Thursday and enjoying a giant soft serve cone yesterday afternoon. I treated a young colleague who lent me a sleeping pad and a blow up mattress for a camping overnight last weekend. My friend and I ended up using the mattress and it was wonderful not to sleep on the ground. The two cones cost $6.50 total and were worth it!

I avoided the food market last week and have been consuming what I already have on hand. Today's menu so far: scrambled eggs with scallions and lettuce wrapped in a whole wheat flour tortilla (with a little ketchup!), a small bowl of my neighbor's fresh picked raspberries (yum!) and an apple from my tree. I'm going to have another tortilla or two with refried beans, scallions, lettuce and cherry tomatoes for dinner and probably more fruit for a snack.

I will shop mid-week and that should take care of the rest of September. I hope to stay within an $80 grocery budget for this month, but I'm hosting my knitting group on September 28 and need to make a main dish, so that goal may not be possible, which is fine. The budget is so low because I have gotten lots of free food from various sources over the past month. That will soon change as friends' gardens stop producing.

3 Responses to “Productive Saturday”

  1. PatientSaver Says:

    I would say this year would not be a good year to pre purchase heating oil. Prices are very, very low, and by all accounts will remain low for some time. If you do some research about what's behind the low oil prices you may have more confidence in skipping the pre-purchase.

  2. starfishy Says:

    PS - thanks for your comment. i noticed that fuel oil prices are super low right now, lower than the prebuy price, which is why i'm questioning the decision for this year. where would i find info about what's behind the low prices?

  3. starfishy Says:

    i found a september 1st NYT article about dropping oil prices...very interesting and helpful. thanks! i will most likely chance it and not prebuy this year.

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