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Working Day

July 15th, 2019 at 08:53 pm

I needed to get some serious work done at the university today so spent the day there. I brought lunch so my only expense was coffee. I did sneak a little time looking at Amazon Prime deals but resisted. And we had a frugal dinner of chicken pitas with some tzatziki sauce and the last CSA cucumber. That and some bean salad made for a light meal of mostly leftovers. We're still in fridge clean out mode, but am gradually clearing it. I need to find some time to make coleslaw and will throw the first of the kohlrabi into it.

It's been hot and looks hot all week. Still haven;t gotten around to listing anything except a mousetrap game--no takers so far.

Another work day ahead tomorrow. DD is enjoying her new job. I'm thinking of investigating IRAs for her. I'd happily match whatever she can deposit. Anyone have experience with IRAs for minors?

Getting it Done

July 9th, 2019 at 02:27 pm

Our lovely Juliette from Lyon has left us, and we're planning the rest of the summer. It was an expensive time, but fun.

Today our DD got her AP results back from her three AP classes and happily passed them all--one with a 5! She drives herself hard though and would've liked all 5s so was a bit disappointed. However she starts a new job on Thursday with more hours and we have 7 weeks of summer fun ahead. And tomorrow she turns 17. She's also house and cat watching for another few bucks.

After her birthday winds up, I need to buckle down to work. Lots to do and to balance with summer fun. And we need to throw in some frugal days to balance the French spending. Tomorrow I'll likely list some lamps for sale and maybe a few other things. It's a beautiful cool day here so enjoying this kind of July.

Time to Regain Some Balance

July 1st, 2019 at 08:03 am

Yikes, it's been a month. We've had the lovely Juliette from Lyon, France with us for 2 1/2 weeks, but she'll be leaving Sunday. And as fun as it's been, it's been tough on the budget. We've been to a dairy breakfast, way too many meals out, the art museum, the public museum, the Brewers' game, a day train trip to Chicago and up the Willis Tower, the boat trip on the river, the Art Museum, then to Spring Green to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin and an overnight in Madison. Good thing I'm getting paid this summer or my budget would be shot. Less expensive outings on the docket for this week.

In other news, my DH has had his contract extended until the end of the year, and it appears my DD will be switching jobs in search of more work hours. Hopefully that will allow me some time to catch up--and I have serious catching up to do.

Grabbing onto these last two months of summer and making the most of them.

Back To Work

March 24th, 2019 at 06:45 pm

My spring break is ending, and DD's is starting. I always wish they were the same week, but they never seem to overlap.

In financial news, we've been looking at the totals for DD's France trip when she graduates. She's aiming to pay 25 percent or more and have some spending money. We'll chip away at it with the installment plan.

It's been a cheap-ish break for me. I went to Minneapolis last weekend to see my BF, but got a great deal on a hotwire hotel. Parking for the weekend cost more than just about anything else. BF and I went to see a band we like, toured a model home, and planned our trip. I also got a couple hours to visit with my brother and his wife.

DD has a lot of work hours this week as they're teaching her to frost cakes. Sweet, huh?

I'm also teaching my night class which is a good source of extra cash, but I am so tired the next day. I've thought a lot about giving it up, but will teach through June.

I cashed in some Swagbucks, mostly earned from online shopping and put it toward my big goal.

Seven weeks left in the semester and seven weeks to France.

This and That

February 3rd, 2019 at 08:53 am

There was a fair amount of spending today, mostly on necessities. DD spent the morning at ACT prep, but headed to Target with me for khakis for her new job. They also wanted brown shoes, so DSW had a comfy pair. And then groceries. All in all I think we spent over $200 on the combination. Little bits of savings with red card and coupons, but not much.

I'm headed to brunch with my university friends. I'm eager to see them and catch up. I haven't been AT work since last Tuesday--and that was the only day last week with the snow and cold cancellations. I'm going to drop off the results of my decluttering either this morning or tomorrow.

I'll have lots of errands this week and need to plan easy portable meals. DD is working after school from 3-7, and DH is out two nights. Sounds like me and the dog will become besties for a while.

I thought I might run Swagbucks this month as it's a short month, but after 20 minutes on their site, I may just not. Not enough bang for the buck.

Enjoy the Super Bowl, folks.

Getting a Bit Tight

January 14th, 2019 at 05:54 pm

We've paid both visa bills completely,so our travel bills are all accounted for. It's going to be a bit tight for the next month as my contractor husband won't get paid for while we're gone.

I haven't taken many steps toward frugality since we've been home, but we could take some steps towards eating through the freezer. Instead we've been doing some cleaning and decluttering. We thoroughly cleaned our fridge, have worked our way through the closet, and I'm cleaning the office and downstairs closet later this week.

Next weekend I'm off to Minnesota for a weekend with my best friends. One, a friend since second grade, has recently bought a house on the north shore of Lake Superior and is working half time in the Twin Cities. So we're all headed up north of Duluth where the temps should be below zero all weekend. I'm cold just thinking about it.

In the interest of frugality (ha), I've used gift cards earned from textbook reviews to buy a new jacket. I'm going to need it if we're snowshoeing this weekend!

I also need to load in 2019 goals. Many of them will be unaccomplished 2018 goals. It was that kind of year.

Lovely Lovely London

December 23rd, 2018 at 01:25 pm

Ok, it may be raining right now, but what a lovely time we're having.
We arrived Wednesday, found the airbnb with no problem, got settled in, went for a walk by the Regents Canal and got some groceries. It's quite a spacious two-bedroom in a nice area of London, but I do mss the "old neighborhood."

Thursday, I had lunch with a study abroad friend, we did a little stint at the British Museum, than a dinner at home to recoup a bit.
We tried to see the WinterWonderland in Hyde Park, but it was just too crowded. Friday we were off to see the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, catch up with some friends, and then headed to the Southbank to see their European Christmas Market--which was much less crowded, free, and fun. Friday night was
the Barbican to see Macbeth. Meh--but worth it to see Eccleston, at least for me.

Really fun day with a long walk in St James's Park with family yesterday, lunch, a chance to see the new great nephew too. DD and went to the National Theatre to see Hadestown--her Christmas present. It was wonderful--and walked and walked on Bond Street and through Piccadilly to see lights. Very fun day.

Today we mt friends for lunch in Hampstead, did a long walk, and came heme stuffed and suitably tired. The airbnb has been good with both a washer and dryer. We've spent little except on food as the theatre tickets were all bought ages ago. We;;, maybe a few books at my favorite bookshop.

I've also managed to keep up with the project grading I took n to help pay for all this. It's fun assessment, and so far, not bad at all.


Happy Christmas to all my SA Friends!

Replenishing

December 3rd, 2018 at 05:50 pm

Our bank balances are looking better. DH and I both got paid on our regular jobs and my adjunct job too. We're still going to have to juggle a little, especially with Christmas and the London trip.

I finally see some light at the end of the term. I should be finished grading everything except final projects by tomorrow. And I plan on a very early night tonight.

We had a comforting meal of leftover Swiss steak tonight. It's one of my childhood favs, and it seemed perfect on the cold wet weekend. Glad I made enough for leftovers. Soup on the stove for tomorrow.

There will be a dentist bill in the near future. I have a troublesome tooth that needs dealing with and I hope to get it taken care of this week.


Oh--almost forgot our big fun news: My DH has been working on a masters in history. There's no economic justification for it, but it's been a part-time thing for several years. The big news? His paper won the best graduate paper of 2018 complete with a $400 prize. Very proud of him.

Hello, Hello

November 26th, 2018 at 06:01 pm

Oh man, it's been 21 days since I've posted?

Here's a short (?) summary:
We bought a new-to-us car. We'r big believers in quality used cars, and this one is a fancier, newer version of my wrecked car. I love it.

Shelling out the difference between the blue book value from the wrecked car and the cost of the new car has made things a bit tight around here. We paid cash, but I've emptied many a pot to find that cash.

The semester is over in 2 1/2 weeks.

We stayed in Cheeseland for Thanksgiving and had dinner with my office best friends--and her boss,, the undergrad chair, and an assortment of others. Wow--meeting people's partners is always interesting.

Need to do some London planning--by the end of the week. I've already booked two plays and a Christmas carol sing-along at Albert Hall. And a family event. And a lunch with London colleagues. Maybe I don't need to book more? But I want to!

I've taken on an odd assessment project that I'll learn more about on Thursday. It's a limited amount of work for $1500. I'd rather not, but hey, we need to dig out of the car situation.

More soon!

The Ongoing Car Saga

November 5th, 2018 at 06:34 pm

Two weeks later, I still have the repair shop's loaner vehicle. The body shop still has my car. We still don't have the accident report from the city. We've been back and forth with the repair shop and have, I think, come to some sort of settlement. The total damage is more than the blue book value of the car, and they offered to either have the vehicle repaired or give us a check for the amount of the repairs.

We've decided to write the car off, but are waiting for them to draw up a document exempting us from any legal liability concerning the accident. So we've begun the process of looking for a new (used) car. All of that is frustrating.

Apart from that it's been busy. I've just paid for the ACT fees for DD and another round of ACT prep subsidized by the school district. Work is very busy.

DH is adjusting well, I think, to his new job but still doesn't like being on the 23rd floor. My adjunct class has also begun. It's small but interesting. The class is "Bestsellers," and this week we're reading _Hidden Figures._ They struggled with _Lincoln in the Bardo_, but I expected that at an open enrollment institution. I'm trying to stretch the grocery budget with soups and pantry cooking to cover some of our car expenses.

Piles of grading and conferences with the athletic academic advisors tomorrow on the precarious status of their students.

Rain Rain

October 1st, 2018 at 11:49 am

It's a cold and wet day here. And busy. I'm heading to Seattle to meet my BFF on Thursday and feel like I have thousands of things to do before then. In the meantime, DD and I are off to see Hank Green speak at the university tonight. Y'all might be more familiar with his brother, the YA author, John Green. DD is a huge fan and we culdn't turn down a chance to see him at the university tonight.

We're trying to eat through the freezer contents, but this may be a week for getting through rather than making progress. Back to grading and writing quizzes.

Finally!

September 24th, 2018 at 07:56 pm

We jumped though all the hoops, got DH's degree verified, and waited, waited, waited, but he began the new contract today. He said it went very well, and he's very happy to be back at the company where he worked for 15 years. The atmosphere is so much more his style, very casual and conversational. He saw loads of people he knew--and they started off te day with balloons at his desk, a Starbucks card, and a cookie. I figure it will take us a little over a month to regain our bearings. But finally we're back on track. No spending other than coffee here.

Crossing My Fingers

August 30th, 2018 at 08:37 pm

It looks like DH may have a job offer! And he's got another interview for a different job at the same place on Tuesday. No definite thing yet, but it looks better.

Busy day with meeting after meeting at the university.
More when we know more.

More Scrounging

August 17th, 2018 at 03:40 pm

Just got an e-mail from my adjunct job, and they've canceled the class that begins on 27 August. It's way underenrolled. Bleah. It will be fine, but we could use that paycheck this fall.

I need to think about some strategies to get through DH's unemployment more comfortably. He does have an interview next week, so fingers crossed for that.

Where We're At

August 16th, 2018 at 09:26 am

Well, I took a look at August's upcoming bills, and tried to face what I think I already knew. It's going to be tight until October 1.

DH got paid yesterday, and will likely have one more reduced check. I'll get a check from my adjunct class on September 1. Although it seems like I've been working all summer on my regular university stuff, my contractual period doesn't start until Monday, and I'm not paid until October 1. But I'll have another adjunct class starting on 27 August which will mean a check from them on 1 October.

In the meantime I just paid DD's school fees. She's taking three AP classes so the fees for them were included in the $515 I paid. Our household insurance hit my credit card at $1200. And my DH's annual life insurance is another $760. I spent a fair amount on our trip to MN. Ugh. August is our most expensive month

We certainly have enough in savings to cover all this and much more, but I'll breathe a little better when the unemployment starts or even better, if he gets a new job soon.

His resume is all updated and posted, and he's been in contact with lots of his old colleagues at his job before this one. I don't doubt he'll get a new job, but I do hate the uncertainty.

I'd committed to doing health and hygiene kits for the AODA treatment house sponsored by our church. It's our favorite program, so yesterday DD and I went out to see how well we could tackle the list. I scrounged up coupons, checked thekrazycouponlady site, gathered registered rewards from Wags, and EB from CVS and we did pretty well. I think I need bankergurl to advise, but we went to Walmart (yuck, I hate Walmart), but managed free shampoo, ziploc bags for a rebate from SB, and 88cent shower caddies. We got free toothpaste at Wags too. I found a bag of toothbrush covers in the bathroom to check that item off the list as well as some bars of soap. We're about halfway through the list. It's satisfying to be able to do this and made me feel good.

Today is our CSA box. I foresee yet more summer squash, but we did enjoy the fresh bean salad yesterday. I think it'll be roasted veggie enchiladas tonight.

I've been doing all my cash anxiety items--daily SB, mypoints, scrounging for stuff to sell, watering the new crop of chard, lettuce, and beets. I also started the mandated 21-day meditation for my $150 wellness rebate that accompanied my health screening. But also streaming Aretha Franklin as a tribute and mood lifter.