Friday, March 14, 2014

This and that on a Friday

It was an expensive week. The tree trimmer finally showed up with his crew yesterday and got our 4 evergreens and one ash tree trimmed. Those evergreens were over 120 feet tall! Yikes - that tree climber is crazy. They are all thinned out now and the ash tree overhanging onto bad neighbor's property looks much better and now we won't have to worry about any branches breaking off and falling onto his structure.  It was $1000, but they did a good job, did it quickly, and cleaned up all the mess.

I got 2 free lunches at work this week. One day was taco bar and  yesterday was Panera again. Panera has now become my favorite. I'm not much of a taco eater, but it's free, so I'll eat it :-) 

I've been writing down my food (eating at home and take out or restaurants) and misc (pets, cleaning, personal care) purchases to see how close I am coming to my $550 per paycheck budgeted amount. I was coming very close the first couple of pay periods that I was tracking it. This last payroll period I only spent $360! Woo hoo! I'm going to keep tracking it for at least a few more times. Not sure if that was a fluke or maybe tracking it has made me more aware. I know we didn't eat out or do take out much this past 2 weeks, so that helps.

I increased my 401k contribution per paycheck just a bit. $50 a month more going in. Every little bit helps and 50% of that gets matched. I think the change will take place on the paycheck at the end of the month.  If it looks like we might get a bonus in June, I'll up it again. So far, not looking like a bonus is in our near future though. At our company meeting in December the management said they were working on the bonus program details for 2014 and would get back to us all in January. That has never happened and so far our sales this year have sucked..which is probably why they haven't bothered to tell us....but maybe a carrot dangling in exact details would be what the sales force needs to get even more motivated??

DH drinks a Visalus banana shake for lunch most days, but he's been only having it about 4 times a week lately and I realized we have a whole unopened bag in the cupboard and a new one due to ship next Wednesday. I just went online and changed the next ship date to a month from now and saved $55 from coming out of my bank account this month. It hasn't helped him lose any weight (just some at the very beginning) but he really likes the taste of it and it's an easy lunch, so he likes to have it quite often.

Picked up a movie to watch this weekend from the library. The Great Gatsby. DD had mentioned some time back she would like to see it, so I put it on reserve and my turn finally came up. I so badly want to see the new Catching Fire movie that is out, but I'm not buying it and it's going to be a long wait at the library.  I may break down and treat myself to renting it on demand for $4.

I had a reminder on my calendar that I needed to order a refill for my cell phone. The $50 refill I purchased was good for a year and it's time is up next week. I still have about 80 minutes left (I am such a low user of a cell phone!) and from when I initially purchased the phone and plan a few years ago, as long as I buy a refill before the year is up, it will roll over any unused minutes. I wanted to buy it online via Target, to save the extra 5% with my red card, but just before ordering realized it's the actual card they mail you, not an email with the activation code, and I'm afraid I might not get it by next Thursday, before my year is up on the current minutes. So, I ordered it via Walmart for $49.54 and put it on my 1% cash back debit card. At $55 per year (with sales tax) my cell phone is only costing me $4.50 a month the past couple of years. The first year I had to buy a $100 card in order to get the "gold status" and have my future refills (even if I only spend $10 on a re-fill card) last for 1 year. $50 a year refill card seems to work out fine for my usage.


  1. We took Sassy to see Catching Fire in the theater. It is pretty good. Not sure if you read the book or not (we did). It was obvious in the theater by the reactions just who had read the book and who didn't! Enjoy.

    1. yes, I read all the books and really enjoyed them and thought the first movie was really good. Even DH enjoyed the first movie (we watched at home on demand) and he didn't know anything about the books.

    2. Oh, you can totally watch the movies without the knowledge of the books. Just that the end of the movie...people who haven't read the books all went WHAT???!!!!! Like, there were people YELLING in the theater.

      Sassy wants to see Divergent. We have read books 1 and 2 in that trilogy. Need to get book 3.

    3. I can't remember how book 2 ended, it's been awhile since I read it. Guess I'll be in for a surprise too :). I'll have to check on that Divergent series. I haven't heard of that one (though I have seen the movie advertisements)