Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
No more spending money until needed. We each get $50 to spend each month, and that usually takes the form of cash. I try to keep most of mine in my camera fund, but it's nice to replenish my cash when I run low. The cash you see above is all I've had since December, and all I still have. I usually use it to go out for coffee with friends, or grab a quick bite of takeout at a restaurant C doesn't like to patronize. Or I used it to buy books at the thrift store. That has stopped. I haven't really missed it, just the cash I send to my fund.
Eating out: We try not to eat out a lot, but there are many restaurants we like in town, and we enjoy it. It's great for dates, which I really look forward to. This is especially hard in the summer when tons of restaurants open seasonally, and we like to try them all and hit up our old favorites. So far we've done good with this one. I've also been trying to not spend as much at the grocery store and instead use some of the food we have stockpiled.
Window shopping: I am notorious for going to the thrift store and the local True Value store and coming away with something. Not always, but I would go frequently enough for entertainment purposes that it was a bad, bad thing. Amazon.com was my nemesis at times. All of that miscellaneous shopping has come to a standstill. I am set to buy a heating pad on Amazon and it has been sitting in my cart for over a month and a half because I have nothing else I need to get that meets the free shipping requirement.
Entertainment: I really, really wanted to go see a local movie at the theatre, and the new Narnia movie when it was here. We declined both :( We'll wait till it comes out on DVD and we can rent it with our punchcard at the video store. I also stopped buying cheap mp3 albums from Amazon. I miss having new music, but $5 here and there adds up.
Clothes: Neither of us needs anymore clothes. It was amazing how I would randomly come home with clothes when I would make a Walmart run, and they never were worth any quality. This one is not hard to cut out.
Gifts: This one hurts. I love giving gifts to family. We spent a ton on Christmas last year, and I spread it out through the year. I changed the budget to make sure we would save more money through the year for gifts, but we cut that out for the near future. Less expensive gifts for everyone! C's birthday was a bit depressing because of that. Last year didn't help because we had two weddings to attend, and we like to be generous to our dear friends.
Gas: Gas prices are always high here. Last I checked, we had $3.84 a gallon. I've been trying to be more conservative in my trips to town lately. That doesn't impact my running off for the sunset, but I am trying to ensure that the gas used will be worth my while.
This shopping "ban" hurts a little, but I know it will be worth it in the long run. We aren't restricting any of that absolutely, but in general, if we don't need it, it's not necessary. This will go on indefinitely, and hopefully we can continue these habits for the long run. February has ended with more money in the bank than we would have had normally, so it's been a success so far!
Have any of you cut back a lot recently? How did you handle it?
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I wear my slippers all the time around the house. As soon as I take my shoes off, these are on. I usually go through a cheap pair in 6 months or a little more, and decided that it might be better to buy an actual nice pair before I spend all our money on them :) But I haven't made up my mind yet.
Any of you have adorable slippers you want to share?
Friday, February 25, 2011
Since then, I have been incredibly impressed. They are supposed to stay warm until -25F. I have been using them as cold as 10F and they have been wonderful. I haven't had cold feet since.
My next task is to find warm enough gloves. I do the layer thing, but nothing seems to keep me warm enough for long enough, even at 30F. Any suggestions?
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I gave in yesterday and joined the Formspring fad. It's a cool resource to network with and answer people's questions, and it can be a lot of fun too, I figured, why not? Ask me anything :P
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
It was fun to get to show my friend the moose in real time :D I think it was the highlight of her day!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Last night, we were getting ready to fall asleep when we heard something bump up against the wall under our window. And then there was lots of snow crunching. We assumed it was a moose, but the frantic way it was acting from the sounds of it concerned us. Shortly after this started, a dog started barking and the creature ran off noisily. Pretty soon it came back, and so did the dog. I went to the window to find the dog about 10 feet away from the wall, barking and prancing around. But I couldn't see the animal. Finally, the dog aggravated it enough that he/she came out of hiding. It was a moose. Poor thing ran off again and then came back shortly later and I assume spent the night there. We finally fell asleep after 1AM. The sounds were just a bit strange sounding out there...snow crunching, a big moose brushing up against the house and making the walls shake, etc.
I'm glad it's daylight again! :P
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Valentine's Day. Ugh. Working in the retail industry means VDay is less than fun at times. I spent the last 4 days at work making and selling boxes of chocolate. People are insane.
Last night, we stayed open 35 extra minutes, and I missed a school meeting because of it. But it was a zoo. An absolute zoo yesterday, and Saturday was the same. I have never understood why people wait so long, or forget until 5:30 at night. We locked the doors and and people were still driving in the parking lot.
I had a woman come in looking for a box for her son's male teacher. She didn't want any with hearts on it, but she ended up buying a $40 box of chocolate. First of all, did she have her eye on this guy? Was she trying to get brownie points for her kid? I know a lot of guys that like chocolate, but that one didn't really seem to be the best gift for a man. C would take a year to finish the thing, if I got it for him.
I figured out that Valentine's is my least favorite time of the year at my job. Christmas is obnoxious, so is summer. Easter is annoying too, but Vday takes the cake. It gets old really fast trying to help men figure out what their wives like. And I have to tie bows on bags....which I still have not perfected after 5 years.
C and I are going to celebrate on Thursday, I believe. The excitement will have died down by then, and we won't need a reservation to go out for a meal!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Pasta Shoppe if you are interested!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
I was a bit bummed this past weekend to miss the northern lights here. I'd been watching the twitter comments from photographers and how it looked like it would be good. I recently discovered the aurora webcam and it's such a cool resource. Friday night, the lights were on at about 6:50 pm in Fairbanks, and I was so jealous :P I looked outside many times that evening and saw nothing, and it turns out that after I went to bed (12) then they showed up here in town. So disappointed! Saturday night we might have been able to see them, but it was cloudy :(
Hopefully I use today to do a ton of homework. I am feeling motivated to do so, so I hope it happens!