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Ah, Friday!

February 24th, 2006 at 05:28 pm

I'm glad the weekend is here. It will be a busy one because it's midterm week and I have lots of exams to grade. But after next week, we have spring break. I'm really looking forward to this year's s.b. Now that I have finished the dissertation, I won't keep feeling like I should be doing something productive with all that extra time! Life is good.

Went to a discount bookstore yesterday and got a few things. Almost bought 9 more books than I did. They had those recent collector's editions of the Little House books for 50% off the cover price. (I like owning attractive copies of books I read as a kid.) BUT I found myself thinking, "I can always borrow these from the library if I want to read them again." So I stuck with the short story anthologies that I wanted and that tend to go out of print so quickly. Saved $36.00!

Saved money today by:
1) premade lunch
ummm...not much else...

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Amazon Sale

February 22nd, 2006 at 01:39 pm

Just got a message that someone bought one of my books listed on Amazon. An extra $5 coming my way. It's all starting to really add up!

Other than that, I have saved money today by bringing my lunch to work. And tea to keep in my desk.

I've been wavering lately about the gift I had planned to get myself after I had defended. I had decided on some lovely (but expensive) plates, but am now wondering if I really want to spend that much on them. I do want to treat myself in a big way. And I haven't seen anything else I've like as much. What to do? What to do?

Just took a look at my seller's history on Amazon. Since last May, I have earned $253.00 by selling my used books and CDs. I'm impressed! And selling my books has also helped me curb my buying habits because I now know how little of a return I would get for each book if I did want to sell it later.

New Week Begins

February 20th, 2006 at 01:59 pm

Thanks for the kudos, everyone!

I had a great time this weekend realizing that I did not "have" to do anything school-related. Very nice feeling. :-)

Didn't do much last week other than rearrange the furniture in my apartment. Now I need to clean the whole place. Nothing like moving stuff around to make your realize that dust collects everywhere... I like the new layout, though. The whole place feels more spacious and organized.

Money-wise, all is well. I found out how to change my direct-deposit info so that my new citibank account will be free of charges and I can gain the $200.00 in bonuses for opening it.

Marilla, Ph.D. (!)

February 17th, 2006 at 12:25 pm

I am now officially a doctor! (Of classics, not medicine.)
The exam went wonderfully well and I enjoyed a few days in sunny southern California. YAY! I even got to stay one extra day because of all the snow here on the east coast.

It feels wonderful to have completed my degree! I'm still grinning whenever I get to write "Dr." before my name. May I always feel as proud of that as I do right now.

I'm also happy that staying an extra day in LA was not a financial hardship. I've saved so much money these past few months by following people's advice here on the forums and by being inspired by your own stories. Thank you!

So far, I have paid off my credit card debt and have started to build up my emergency savings. Next on the list is to find a permanent job, pay off my student loans and save for a house.

Jan 25

January 25th, 2006 at 03:30 pm

Wow! It's been a long time, but I have been very busy.

Just put my dissertation in the mail to my committee. Very exciting and anxiety-producing. Most of my time this past month has been spent to get that ready.

Money-wise, I've had some ups and downs. Another semester worth of tuition, but a gift from my dad will cover that...and my cc debt. (WOW!) By February, the only debt I will have will be student loans.

Did get some free money for signing up for a trial period for insurance with two of my credit cards. Naturally, I cancelled as soon as the checks cleared.

Also got a refund from my Flex Spending Account. Feels like free money because I have already paid those bills. Now that I know how this works, I will definitely sign up to have more withdrawn from my check next year.

Best wishes to all!

Quick Update

December 30th, 2005 at 05:01 pm

Just made $15.00 on Amazon selling some CDs and a book! What great news. My sales have been stagnant for some time now; will have to go through my shelves and see if there are other items I can list.

Also endorsed a $20.00 check from Citibank. They've got this 30-day free trial offer for CC insurance with the incentive check. As far as I can tell, as long as I remember to cancel my subscription within 30 days, I've earned $20.00 for free. Unlikely I'll forget! :-)

Ok, back to the dissertation...

Back at Home

December 27th, 2005 at 10:23 am

Greetings, Everyone!

Sounds like folks have been busy, but having a good time. Me too! Just got back from Florida and visiting my grandparents and parents. Very lovely down there: walked on the beach on Xmas eve, visited a bird sanctuary, and ate tons of holiday food...

Overspent this month, but with Xmas gift money, I'll feel no effect. Did have several charges from Amazon that I am contesting -- for some reason, they didn't use my gift certificate balance to pay for things. Needless to say, I would not have bought what I did if I thought I was going to pay $40.00 for them! Hopefully, they'll fix the issue.

My printer has run out of toner. Decided instead of buying a new cartridge to try those refill packets instead. I thought $15.00 as opposed to $75.00 was worth a try.

I've been idly thinking about my finances for next year, but won't sit down to really settle it until I have finished my dissertation. This week or bust!

Finals Week!

December 15th, 2005 at 10:10 am

Feeling a little stressed, but also energized. When there is so much to do, the frenzy can almost be fun...
But I'll be ready for a break next week!

Things here have been pretty expensive. I went $100.00 over budget for presents. I think this year will be the last for the large tab. I've been talking to the two different branches of my family, and some folks in each of them seem eager to do a "name from the hat, one gift for adults" thing. Something I both wanted and didn't want to do. I enjoy picking presents out or making them for people! It wasn't until I was in a great store earlier this week and saw a vase that my mom would have loved that I finally realized that the idea was all good: with far fewer people to gift, I could get or do things that felt really special. Lately, I haven't had the time or money to make or get the kind of gifts that I long to give.

I'm glad the semester is ending, but am sorry not to be teaching these same students next semester. One of my classes was a group of people I've worked with since last fall. Great kids and we have had a lot fun in addition to our hard work. Another class was a blast to teach: I've never had such a lively, thought-provoking discussion-oriented class before. And next semester I won't be teaching Greek at all, just Latin. (Latin's great, but Greek is FANTASTIC).

Haven't had much time for other things lately, but just started on the last book of the Children of Green Knowe series. Love her stuff. They're kids books, and so lovingly written.

The semester is ending!

December 2nd, 2005 at 12:19 pm

I can't believe how close we are to being finished. Four more days of teaching left and then a week of grading and finals. It's going to be exhausting, but then it will be over.

Got most of my Christmas shopping done. Still need to find something for two of my nephews, but that is all. I hope! The next big step will be to ship things. Perhaps I'll wrap things tonight when I get home and then put them in the mail tomorrow.

Bought myself a Christmas gift as well: a small chiminea. I read a posting on this website about how helpful they can be at radiating heat if you put one of those large multi-wick candles in them. Since reading that message I have been lighting a candle by the couch most nights, which certainly has helped with warming up the room. I don't like the noise space heaters make, so the chiminea should work out well. I ordered it off the internet this afternoon. Can't wait til it comes.

We had our first bits of snow in the air today. Winter is finally here.... My apartment is old and drafty (but absolutely lovely!), so I look for all sorts of things to help. This year I've made 'curtains' by putting up throw rugs and put duct tape around the edges of the draftiest windows. When it gets really cold, I heat up a pillow filled with rice in the microwave for a few minutes before going to bed. Keeps my feet warm and toasty! And much less troublesome than a waterbottle. (In the summer I put the pillow in the freezer during the day and use it as a cooling pad.)

Things I have done today to save money:
brought my lunch to work
have been drinking tea from home and water from the water fountain

Things I will do today to save money:
finish writing my thesis Introduction

Back from vacation

November 28th, 2005 at 03:34 pm


Had a good visit with sis and other family folk. Good to see everybody. The kids had tons of energy and we all had a blast at Harry Potter. And -- wonder of wonders! -- all legs of the plane trips went smoothly.

For me, the only spending was food at the airport and a new paperback. Less than 13.00 altogether. Oh, crud -- and the parking fee at the airport (39.00). Hmm...still, all things considered it was a very good week.

Bought my plane tickets for Christmas and for the January meetings, where I hope to have lots of job interviews. Must send out many more apps tomorrow.

Will be feeling the squeeze for the next two weeks. But, I've got almost all of the Xmas shopping done. Just three items left to get.

Saturday catch-up

November 19th, 2005 at 12:55 pm

'allo, all:

A busy week, though not expensive one. Paid several bills. Transferred my 0% cc balance to another card with 0% as the first one's intro period ends soon. Stocked up on the usual TJs pantry goods, so should be good with those for a month or two. Brought lunches and breakfast to work. And occasionally dinner. (Did I mention it's been a BUSY week...?)

Looking forward to going to see my sister and other family next week. It'll be good to see everyone and have a little break from work.

First frost last night! Hopefully I'll be able to keep my heating bills lower this year with the new 'curtains' and putting duct tape around the window edges.

Recorded financial things in the "All Your Worth" excel file someone kind person posted here. (Many thanks!) It was great fun to see the graph at the end. This month I'm at 50 (must haves) 20 (wants) 32 (savings).

Next month, once student loans are no longer in deferment, it's a different story: 64 (mh), 5 (w) and 31 (s). YIKES.

Almost made it

November 15th, 2005 at 09:40 am

Hello, again!

Thanks, baselle, for the encouragement. Your words helped me not break out the card all weekend.

Yesterday was my birthday and I did buy myself a nice dinner. So, today when I got paid, I paid that credit card off in full. Feel a little disappointed that I didn't hold out until today, but not too bad. I knew I was dealing with a 12 hour distinction. The charge I made yesterday hasn't even registered on the credit card yet!

Here's the breakdown since last month:

Short term goals: pay off credit card debt (only one card left!), build up emergency savings, obtain a permanent job.

Long term goals: pay off student loans, fully fund retirement, purchase a house.

Debts: 7.9% cc -- 0.00 (paid in full)
0.0% cc -- 5750.85 (-50.06) TOTAL DEBT: 27,303.39
3.75% stl -- 21,552.54 (in deferment)

Savings: Emigrant -- 315.02 (+310.02) TOTAL SHORT-TERM SAVINGS: 330.95
ING -- 15.93 (-59.78)

TIAACREF: hmmm...not sure. Will have to check my statments next time.

It's Friday!

November 11th, 2005 at 12:55 pm

I am glad it's the last official workday of the week. Not that I don't have plenty to do over the weekend....
But I did six loads of laundry yesterday, so that's something I won't need to do.

I have been very frugal this week. I had 9 dollars to get me through until next Tuesday. Spent 4 and change on gas and 1.36 on groceries. Made a huge batch of vegetable curry and rice to get me through most of the weekend. And now have tomatoes to make tofu and mushroom sandwiches for weekend lunches. It has been hard, hard, hard not to break out the credit card and buy stuff! I know I have plenty in my pantry, but the thought that I am this close to the end of my money this month makes me want to stockpile. Plus I have a craving for pizza. :-) But I can wait until next week. Really. (I hope!)

Sending out several job applications this weekend. A bit nervewracking.

Sunday Evening

November 6th, 2005 at 03:37 pm

Greetings, Everyone:

Sounds like folks have been busy! Same on my end. I'm giving exams in two classes next week and finished grading the papers from last week on Friday. Teaching is FABULOUS. Grading sucks.

I get paid again on the 15th but only have 9.00 to get me through until then. Should be fine. Basically means that I have balanced my budget to a "T". But it is a little nerve-wracking being so close in this category! Glad all the bills are paid.

Things I have done to save money:
Got quilt hangers so that I can put one of my quilts over my draftiest window this winter.
Started my job application packet which is to be sent out on Saturday.
Made breakfast to reheat for the rest of the week.
Put lunches for the week in the office fridge.

First Posting

October 27th, 2005 at 08:34 am

Good morning, everyone!

I've been watching for a while and am really pleased to see how supportive of each other you are -- and how creative are everyone's suggestions.

I am in my early thirties, finishing up my dissertation and working full time. I have quite a bit of debt, which I am plugging away at eliminating.

Short term goals: pay off credit card debt, build up emergency savings, obtain a permanent job.

Long term goals: pay off student loans, fully fund retirement, purchase a house.

Debts: 7.9% cc -- 162.19
0.0% cc -- 5800.91
3.75% stl -- 21,552.54
Savings: Emigrant -- 5.00
ING -- 75.71

Today I have started this posting to help with my financial goals.