Monday, July 25, 2011

Spending Recap - My Wallet Hates Me

Monday 7/12 - $15.50 Lunch with kiddo
$49 Home Depot - supplies to paint porch

Tuesday 7/13 - $5 State Park admission
Wednesday 7/14 - $9 Home Depot
$48 Wal-Mart

Thursday 7/15- $60 Gas
$150 ATM withdrawal

Weekend – Vacation! (Cash)

Ouch…this was another painful spending week for us.  Vacation was planned spending and we did well, but on the other hand, I had an unexpected trip out of town Thursday to help out my mom, who had an unplanned surgery.  Some expenses arose from that trip, but what can you do?  She’s my mom, after all.

I am happy to report that we had a fabulous and jam packed vacation week and I was so excited to see our daughter’s face when she tried some new things.  Probably boogie boarding was the coolest thing! What a fantastic week for us.

Back to reality….I am super low on funds until payday a week from Wednesday.  It’s going to be a low key week and I am going to need to work in several no-spends to make it work.  The husband and I are already planning some fun and free activities for the weekend. The good news is we are heading in to August and it’s a three paycheck month for me. Phew.

On the debt front, no new reductions, but I did add some money to our snowflakes and Efund.

Anyway – onward and upward.  I need to get a handle on spending STAT.  If I can do that, we are poised for an excellent end to July and start to August!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spending Recap

I almost hate to post'll see why.

Sunday 7/10:  $9 State park admission
$16.64 Snacks and drinks
Monday 7/11:  $8.45 Bargain books
$7.09 Food
Tuesday 7/12:  NO SPEND
Wednesday 7/13:  NO SPEND
Thursday 7/14:  $5 Daughter's lunch
$10 Gas
Friday 7/15:  $6.46 Lunch
$156 Groceries
Saturday 7/16: $31 Lunch for myself and a friend
$63 New sneakers
$40 Pedicure

Ouch...expensive week....and I'm not proud of my little binge on Saturday. On the other hand, I was happy to find running shoes at about half what I was planning on spending, which is what led to the other purchases.  And of course I paid cash!  I ran in my new sneaks yesterday and my knee felt MUCH better!

Onward and upward.  We're on vacation this week and I am very excited about that.  We don't have a lot going on this week - we might check out the children's museum and/or go to the beach, but those are inexpensive day trips (under $10 each.)  At the end of the week we are going to Ogunquit which has one of the most beautiful white sand beaches on Maine's coast.  We are staying overnight in a hotel with a friend and her two children. It should be fun!

I guess that's all for now.  Off to clean up the house a bit and then make plans with my little one.  We want to get a hummingbird feeder to hang up outdoors, and I also need to do the returnables.  Nothing too exciting, but it's beautiful out and I am NOT at work - I'll take it!

So long for now...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

Here’s a little personal insight into my life:  I’m a klutz.

Yes, it’s true. If there’s any possible way that I can injure myself, I do it.  It’s that simple.

What does that have to do with this blog?

Recently, I recommitted to the 2011 goals I set for myself.  I am determined to succeed at not only my debt journey, but also the personal goals I outlined in January.

One of my longstanding goals was to lose weight and take better care of myself, and I had been doing okay up until the spring of this year when work and graduate school overtook me.

I should pause here for a minute and point out that my weight loss goal is about 20 pounds, total.  Of that I have already lost several.  I’m not obese or even close to it.  However, my weight in recent years has been a constant stressor for me because I know I am not at the weight where I look and feel my best.  I do realize that there are many, many people out there who are fighting battles much larger than mine. I am not trying to make it seem that I am facing an insurmountable goal, but it has been a long standing battle for me. that I’m still fighting.

In March, I began to regain some of the weight I had lost and I was bummed about it.  I finally realized that my (almost!) 36 year old body can’t take the constant ups and downs I put it through, even if those fluctuations are only a few pounds in either direction. Also, I realized a 36 year old body doesn’t have the metabolism of a 20 year old’s, and diet was no longer enough to help me on my journey. So I decided to begin running.

Now, my job is one that requires some heavy lifting, so I have to say I’m fairly strong.  I thought running would be tough, but doable.  I had no idea what I was in for.

The first day I went out, I walked about a quarter mile to stretch and warm up and then broke into an easy trot.  Simple, right?

I made it about forty steps before I had to stop.  I was panting so hard I thought I would vomit.

WOW.  I seriously underestimated how out of shape I was.  Strong?  Yes.  Fit?  Absolutely not.

This went on for two miles – run a short distance, then walk to catch my breath, run, etc.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 

The next day I was so sore I wanted to cry, but I persisted and went again. And for the next three weeks, I went at least three times a week.  Until one day in late May when it all came crashing down- literally.  I was running on a quiet country road when I stumbled and felt a sharp pain in my knee.

I limped home, got ice and elevated my knee. The swelling came on quickly and by the next day my knee was twice its normal size.  I limped in to work and suffered silently.  I muddled through it for about three days until I finally couldn’t stand the pain any more.  What I thought was a pulled muscle or ligament was not getting better.

I made an appointment with an orthopedist who told me I tore my meniscus.  If you have never done this, pray that you never do…it’s brutal.

The ortho pointed out several treatment options, but leaned heavily on arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear.  Immediately terrified, I told her I would need some time to think about and that I would adopt a “wait and see” plan.

For three weeks, I stopped exercising, faithfully iced and heated my knee, kept it elevated at night, and took ibuprofen. Slowly but surely, my knee began to feel better.  Surgery?  Who needs surgery?  Some minor meniscus injuries heal themselves and mine seemed to be doing just that.

Once my knee was back to normal, I got back on the road again.  And of course since I hadn’t run in three weeks I had lost any progress I made.  Back to square one.  Starting over.  Down but not out.

Since then, I have been running faithfully at least four to five times a week.  And it’s become glaringly obvious to me that my knee is NOT healed.  Every time my right foots hits the ground I get a shooting pain in that knee.

Doggedly, I get out there, warm up and run.  Sometimes I can only make it half a mile before I have to stop.  Sometimes, like last night, I run okay – making it almost a mile before I had to take a rest and walk for a bit.

Two and half miles on a peaceful country road.  I’m finally getting in shape, the pounds are coming off, and I can make it a lot further without fighting for air.  It’s working!  I’m finally getting fit.

I wish I could say I enjoy it.  I will say it’s a beautiful run and I feel like my body is responding to exercise well.  Even though I sweat and gasp for air and say “Thank God it’s done!” when I’m finished.

Where does this leave me?  I need to make a decision.  I need new running shoes, which might alleviate some if not all of the intense pain I’m experiencing.  However, new running shoes just aren’t in the budget right now.

I also might need to make some changes to my schedule and alternate running days with walking days to try to heal my knee back up.  I hate to do it, because I will lose some of the ground I’ve gained.  But I really, really want to avoid knee surgery. 

I’m in a bit of a dilemma, you see.  And I don’t know what to do.

And that brings me full circle to this blog.  Why I am telling you all this?  Because I can’t afford to buy new running shoes right now.  Because I am determined to meet the goals I set forth in January.  And most importantly, because, like running, this debt reduction journey I am on doesn’t come easily to me. I’ve tried before, and failed. There are going to be some times when I fall.  It’s what happens after the fall that matters.

I’m a klutz.  I’ll stumble while running and lose the momentum I had, and I’ll stumble and lose ground on my debt journey.  But I’ll get back up.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Funday

Soooooo it's a beautiful day out and I wish I could rewind to the weekend!   We had an awesome time at a friend's house Saturday and at the beach and on the boat yesterday!

Here's a recap of last week's spending:

Sunday:  NO SPEND
Monday:  NO SPEND
Tuesday:  $6 lunch
Wednesday: $6 lunch
Thursday:  $40 gas
$89.72 groceries
Friday: $137.30 dentist (ouch! Will be reimbursed by FSA on 7/15.)
Saturday:  NO  SPEND

Hmm, funny, when I grocery shop I don't need to buy lunch out....odd how that works.

I don't have much else to report except that I'm working diligently on extra income - stay tuned! I hope to have good news to report by the end of the week.

Until then,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Payday Wednesday Update!

It’s that time of the week again….

and as usual….

….the money came in, and the money went out.

The beginning of the month is always difficult since most of our paychecks are consumed with bills.  We tend to be very bill-heavy at the start of each month.  Our next paychecks give us a little more wiggle room to pay down things.

That being said, I did manage to pay a little on the truck loan, bringing the balance down from $6610 to $6541.  We added $76 to savings ($50 for the regular deposit, $10 additional deposit and a $16 snowflake from an Ebay sale.)

Hopefully, we will gain some momentum at the end of this month since we have more cash to play with.  We do have a couple day trips planned, though, so I will need to watch spending very closely.

On another note I have decided to open an electronic savings with ING to help keep our EF intact.

I guess that’s it…no big news.  This week I’m focusing on fun stuff we are enjoying this summer.
The view from our back deck...

Our new rosebush.

Caterpillar habitats have been made!

Pedicures with my graduation treat.  :)

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Electric Orange with ING

Hi all!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Tomorrow I will do my 'Payday Update' post, but I have a quick question in the meantime - does anyone have the Electric Orange checking account with ING?  I have a savings account with them and have been toying with the idea of opening a checking.  They currently are offering a $50 account bonus for doing so.  I was thinking of using this account for my emergency fund since I am having a hard time keeping that balance steady.  Any thoughts?  Does anyone have any experience (positive or negative) that they would like to share?

Thanks friends!