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Archive for July, 2009

How I saved my sanity and $6.99

July 23rd, 2009 at 07:27 pm

So yesterday I swung by the drugstore so that I could pick up some mani/pedi stuff that I needed. I haven't gotten a professional mani/pedi in months and decided to give them to myself. Hence I needed to stock up on a few items that were running low. Well wouldn't you know it before long, the 5 minute stop turned out to be a one hour ordeal! I bought all the items needed, the cashier guy put them in my shop bag and I left. I used the store points card to save some money as well, and was very pleased with myself. While I waited for the train, I wanted to calculate how much money I saved, so I was looking at my receipt and that is when I realized I was missing an item!

So back to the store I went, and headed up to the same cashier guy. He looked all over the counter. I rechecked my bags. And it's nowhere to be found. He called upstairs for the camera guy to ask and watch the video of him putting my shop items in the bag and the camera guy is like yeah you put everything in bag. Now I am just thinking, I must be going crazy. There is no way for me to loose an item of shopping during the time it takes me to walk out of the store and getting on a train.. They said since the camera guy saw the cashier guy put the item in my bag, there is nothing they can do, sorry.

Humph! So, then I asked him is it possible for me to watch the video myself then? I had to at least make myself sure that I was not loosing my marbles. They said sure. So after waiting a few minutes I go up to the camera room (seriously someone gets paid to monitor the camera?). The guy rewinds the video to the time when I was at the check out counter. Lo and behold there is the cashier guy putting my lost item in a hanging plastic shipping bag on his left side. The rest of the stuff he puts in the canvas bag I ask him to put them in. And I leave the store taking just the canvas bag. The next customer after me obviously got the hanging plastic bag with his/her items and a surprise gift of "Orly Top2Bottom"!

They were very nice about it and replaced my "lost item". However it made me think:

#1: How could the camera guy have missed something that I catched within seconds? I mean, isn't it his job to pay attention to the tiniest details?
#2: Wow, I am good at this stuff of noticing very tiny details happening at a very small time frame.
#3: Perhaps a career change is in order??
#4: How glad I was that I asserted myself when I knew something like this must have happened and asked to watch the video myself and not just take their words for it.
#5: Situations like this can be handled amicably without using harsh words and anger. Like the way I did. Yey me!
#6:My nails will look so much better once I make some time to sit down and give myself the manicure that I more than deserve at this point.

Do you want to see what warranted all this part-time detective work? Why, it's only this tiny little bottle of this:



Isn't she pretty?

So tired

July 22nd, 2009 at 03:09 am

I am so tired. I have been running around since I came back home from work. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, running. Accck. Sometimes I just want to relax. I never seem to have time to do that. I don't know why. There is always something to be done. Right now it's 1 hr past the time I am supposed to *try* to be in bed by, and I am still waiting on my laundry, still fixing up some issues on my computer. Still wanting to mop down my kitchen. I just want to scream.
Sorry it's not PF related.

I think I am being too passive

July 17th, 2009 at 02:01 pm

I would like to have a savings at least 2 x the size of one I have now (not including the 401K) and have enough for more than 20% of a down payment on a house. But I think I have been too passive about it. I think it's going to take me a long time to achieve these goals by making what I am making now (which is not too bad, but I could do better), living in one of the most expensive cities, and having only control over what I spend on my grocery and "want" items. I need to think big, and while in the process of "thinking big", I need to bring in extra income. Seriously I have to do something. I will start by updating my resume this weekend, and looking at what kind of side gigs I can do. Now that I am done with grad school, I do have the time!
In other notes, I have been keeping up my running, eating healthy most of the times. Yesterday was the only day in the week that I did not bring my own lunch. So ended up buying pasta made for you for lunch. I also ate veggie pizza after my run and a small bag of chips. No wonder I gained 3 pounds between the morning and the evening! Does anybody know when is the best time to weigh yourself? I guess I could google it, but if anyone knows, please let me know.
I brought in my lunch again today. And I am going to plan out our (BF is visiting this weekend) meals for the weekend and my meals for the next week.
I plan to keep it a cheap weekend. I am going to rent some dvds from the library, although we might watch the new Harry Potter movie. Not sure though.
Well, have a good weekend everybody!

Hum di dum - I can't come up with a title

July 15th, 2009 at 03:00 pm

Well I seem to be running out of everything and thus not helping my tight budget. I have to live in a very tight budget all of remaining July. BF birthday is in August and I will be traveling, and I have a little surprise planned for him.
Yesterday I had to buy some necessary toileteries as I am out of toothpaste, hand soap, TP, face wash, face lotion etc. My drugstore had a buy one get the other 50% off for Oil of Olay products, so that's what I got for face wash and face cream with SPF 20. Not their fancy spancy new stuff called regenerist and difinity and what not - just the regular stuff. The face wash is pretty nice. It's a cream wash with micro beads. Can't beat that for 50% off. I also ran yesterday. It was pretty hard, but I did it for 3 miles continuosly. The first mile is a killer, but after that it starts to get easier for me. My next goal is to be able to run 4.5 miles continuously. I won't push myself too hard though. I have been bringing in my own lunch for a few continuous days! Yey me. I have been exercising and eating pretty healthy, but still do not seem to loose any weight! I had planned to loose 5 pounds in July. It's already the 15th! I also need to get new running shoes soon. Maybe next month. On other news, this particular pair of sandals I was craving for for a few months was on sale online. I was debating on whether to get it or not, and today it's sold out. All the better for me I suppose. See, waiting a day or two and not buying on impulse does really save you money one way or the other. Either you decide to not get it, or it gets sold out!

Really the end of grocery budget this time around

July 12th, 2009 at 06:07 pm

Guess what? I found $7 in one of my pant pockets! I have used it up in buying eggs, fruits, veg and now I am really out. But I will be fine though. Last night I made rice and beans. It was simple and delicious. I had some tinned organic kidney beans. I looked up a recipe online and it was great. It made leftover and I will have it for dinner tonight with some kind of shrimp. (I will have to look up a recipe - I have some precooked frozen Shrimp) I also ran 3.5 miles yesterday and did more that 90% of my laundry. I just need to hand wash some stuff today. This morning, I spent 2 hrs at the park with my dog. It was so beautiful out. I am so glad I went. I haven't been to this particular park in a while. There were flowers everywhere. So so nice in the middle of the city.

I see that a lot of you are having weird dreams. I had one also about a day or two ago. I dreampt that Jon Bon Jovi gave me a bad haircut, charged me $130. I paid him $100 and didn't tip him. What is that all about????

TO DO:

July 11th, 2009 at 04:48 pm


[X] Eat ramen with stuff in it for lunch
[X] Learn how to use my stopwatch
[ ] Transfer windows itunes to mac
[ ] Get comfortable with using mac
[ ] Inquire about replacement battery for my old Dell
[ ] Learn a particular programming language
[/] Laundry
[ ] Clean
[X] Run
[X] Wash dog

Used up my grocery budget until the 15th

July 10th, 2009 at 02:10 pm

An Indian take out last night did me in. After my run, I really did not feel like cooking, or eating the same things I had. I had about $16 left until the 15th in my grocery budget. But my take out was $13. It made leftovers though and I will be having the remaining for dinner tonight. Still, I have no more money to spend on grocery until the 15th. Technically I do, but I want to see how will I manage without any grocery shopping until the 15th. I still have tofu, courgette, slices of red capsicum, milk, one egg, mushroom and plenty of dry supplies like rice and lentils. I still also have some Amy's frozen Indian dinners. So I should be okay. Even if I broke down and had to buy something, it will be things like ingredient items such as onions and tomatoes that I can buy one of each at the veggie stand. **Note to self: I should definitely buy some fruits. I will just have to float over $5 from some other category and buy these items.

In other notes, I ran yesterday at a pretty good pace and I am proud of it. But I do wish that I could keep that competitive side of me in check. I ran in a group and I was the 1st one to finish with the 2nd person tagging 2 seconds behind me, but I didn't really have to push myself to be the first one. As I was running, I was even telling myself "self, slow down, you do not need to win", but hearing the thumping of the feet strikes close behind me made me go faster. Hmmm.. does that say something about my personality??? I wish I could apply that in some other areas of my life instead where I could use a little bit of competitiveness.. Time for a self evaluation!

Adding up pennies and dollars

July 9th, 2009 at 03:14 am

I have been getting a little frustrated as of late. I participate in a 401K plan, I do automatic savings, I try not to go overboard in my spending. The only areas where I seem to have any control over are flexible spending like grocery, miscellaneous purchases, lunch money etc.

And guess what? I feel like it's not making much of a difference. I know every little bit adds up, but perhaps I need to think big? Think about additional income? Do freelancing? If so, how? when? what?

These are the things that are bothering me. I guess what is also bothering me is that I need to pay 2K in credit card this month. I have not been carrying this balance so I will not be paying any interest if I pay it off this month, which I plan to. I had to buy a few plane tics and I also went a little crazy with buying after-graduation-treats for myself. But I plan to replenish this amount somehow. Selling my cds and books won't make much of a dent, so I will have to think of something else. Any ideas?

In other notes, I ran 3 miles yesterday and made myself a delicious veggie and tofu sautee (3 servings).
Running makes me want to eat healthy so as not to undo all that exercise, which also helps my pocket. So maybe I will meet the goal of loosing 5 pounds in July after all. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I think the most amount of weight I could loose is about 8 pounds. I plan to achieve that and maintain it.

Okay that's about it for today. I am off to bed. Good night!

Grocery and a little bit of un-motivation

July 7th, 2009 at 08:49 pm

Uh I feel exactly that somehow - unmotivated. The whole tracking your money business sounds like and is kind of tedious. Why, I spent $26.85 on groceries yesterday and I spent about 10 minutes trying to remember one of the items I bought. (The receipt doesn't indicate the items, just the prices)
I went to a health store to buy my grocery and bought mostly organic stuff so it might seem a little steep.


For $26.85 dollars I got

1) 1 big courgette (zucchini)
2) Two handfuls of baby bella mushrooms
3) Organic frozen corn (Now that I think of it, I think corn is one of the things that you really do not need to buy organic)
4) Avocado (ditto as above)
5) Apples (better to buy organic coz of all the pesticides)
6) Tofu (It was cheaper at the healthfood store)
7) A red capsicum (better to buy organic)
8) A sesame noodle lunch pack (yum)
9) A box of chocolate chip cookies (They are little ones and I eat 3-4 a day with my afternoon tea)
10) Sleepy time tea (same price or lower than regular grocery)


I am planning on making this last a whole week. I have some stuff on the freezer already. I have milk and eggs. For some reason I can get the same brand of orgainc milk and eggs for almost 50% off at my health food store than at the regular grocery store, which turns out to be even cheaper than the regular milk and eggs! I wonder why? (touch wood so as not to jinx myself :P I plan on buying organic milk and eggs there)

If I buy anything, I will be buying some more fruits. Lets see if I can manage.

Weekend Updates

July 6th, 2009 at 02:49 pm

The weekend did not start out nice. First of all, it rained all day long in my city. I was supposed to leave that night to go see BF, but my flight was delayed by 6 hours which would have meant that I fly out after mid night. So we decided that I would go home instead and take the morning flight out. So I went home, and had to buy myself dinner and breakfast the next morning since I had nothing at home.

I had a good night's sleep and left the next morning, and had myself a very good weekend. But now that I am back, I need to focus on keeping within budget and enhancing my personal finance. We have certain plans for the future and it's very crucial to stay the course for us to achieve them.

Speaking of personal finance, I picked up money magazine at the airport. I read a few articles that suggests that I need to revisit my 401K allocations. There are certain things that I am not clear about, perhaps I will write about it here and someone can clear it up for me.

PS: I still managed to run 30 mins on the weekend each day while travelling!


Went Running & Budgetted

July 2nd, 2009 at 02:09 pm

So yesterday I went running and I felt much better over all. Then I made myself some ricotta pasta,showered and packed since I am leaving to see BF tonight. I have a very tight budget this month. I am planning to not go over $100 in grocery and $20 in lunch take outs. I only have around $7 left over for my lunches. If I go over, then I will have to use my grocery money for my lunches as well. I am allotting $120 in general foods item.
So, here is my budget for flexible expenses:


Grocery: $100
Lunch: $20 ($6.48 remaining)
Household: $20 ($9.15 remaining)
Personal Care: $25 (I plucked my own eyebrows instead of getting it done at a salon to save money)
Misc: $50


Already it looks like I am going to have to spool over some money from my grocery budget to lunch money budget as I didn't bring my lunch today. Frown

I also have $16 credit on one of my credit cards that I will perhaps use for something for my BF. Maybe a book that he's been wanting.

I feel so blah today I don't know exactly why

July 1st, 2009 at 01:50 pm

Uh. Exactly that.

Probably because I missed out on my run yesterday and instead had 2 leftover beers from the fridge. TWO, not one.

Probably because my place has a mind of it's own and starts to clutter itself no matter how much decluttering I try* to do.

Probably because it's been a little over a month since I got my master's degree and I haven't done anything productive since then.

Probably because work is boring.

Probably because I have been giving myself little treats* and telling myself I deserve it after almost 3 years of hard work at the university (while working full time).

Probably because now I am seeing how much I have spent on these treats.

help!