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Mid-Month Report

I’ve started getting up around 6-6:30 in the morning and it’s doing wonders.  I have plenty of time to wake up, pay attention to Wally, pick an outfit…and watch Good Day Philadelphia while drinking my coffee.  I don’t feel so rushed and then I seem to do better at work.  Go figure!

Yesterday, I cooked three different meals for the week so I don’t get totally fucking bored and eat out (an issue that I have noticed)

Saturday, I had to work a 12-hour day (well one hour to get home to feed/walk Wally) which sucked…but the people running the event I stayed late for gave me a whole case of Flying Fish.  And I got a Ron Swanson painting (okay yes…i spent money on this…but it was for a charity and it’s awesome.  my birthday is coming up and I can count that!)

I have still spent money on Starbies being lazy about bringing coffee to work with me for that mid-day slump.  I have a mason jar of it in my lunchbag already.  Because I have plenty of time to make breakfast and lunch now.

Doing Better in Week 2

Aside from a necessary trip to the laundromat (already loaded on the cash card for that place) I have done pretty good about not spending this week!  I made oatmeal cookies, bacon mac n cheese, and a shitload of coffee on Sunday so I have been set.  I’ve been way too busy between a massive mailing at work and sidegigs to even think of spending money.

I’m trying to give myself more time at home this week instead of working back-to-back 12 hour days and I think I really need to be better about giving myself more time.  I took most of the weekend to myself and did work from home and watch TV on the floor with my dog for a few hours and it was necessary.  I work too much.  More importantly – I work too much to be this poor.

Day 4 – Opportunities….

…to stuff your face for free.

Today I went to a fantastic networking/professional growth event today that work paid me to go to.  Life bonus?  Breakfast/Lunch were free….and taking the leftovers was encouraged!  I snagged a chocolate muffin, slice of cake, and applej juice for later.

Pet Insurance
I can’t stress how smart I think it is to get pet insurance on your pets.  I was raging over the $700 bill yesterday and today I calmed the fuck down and made sure the vet filed an insurance claim for me.  So I’ll hopefully get at least half back…which is better than just being totally fucked.

Thinking about all of this reaffirms the whole “hey seriously don’t spend money this month” thing.

Well I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m on a spend fast…as my dog required $700 in vet bills this morning.  He hasn’t been eating so much for the last week and yesterday he completely stopped eating and was lethargic.  Today, he puked up yellow stuff with blood flecks in it.

X-Rays, bloodwork, and an ER visit later….I don’t know what’s wrong with my dog and all of my financial plans were suddenly fucked.  This month is now not about saving money for anything extravagant like replenishing my sad emergency fund or pumping more into my student loans…but will now be about saving and making enough to cover this hit.

He’s pretty lucky that I love him so goddamn much.  But man…it’s too early in the month.

No Spend November – Day 2

So Day 1 was actually full of grocery shopping and driving to Maryland….yes, not very NO SPENDY but I couldn’t do everything last week because I worked over 50 hours and spent all additional time sleeping and with the dog.  The good news was I was paid completely in cash last week so I was able to buy my month’s groceries and topped off my tank with cash and I have an additional $50 in cash to replenish fruits and veggies mid-month.

I spent $52 for groceries that included ingredients and beer for a birthday dinner for my best friend last night.  I had enough ingredients that tomorrow night I can make a bigass batch of pork fried rice.  I also have to divvy up and freeze the chicken thoughts I bought for crockpotting.

I find that the best way for me to not spend money…is to make money.  This week I have set up to work Tuesday-Friday evenings for sidejobs.  On the weekend I’m volunteering at the Art Star Craft Bazaar where I’ll earn gift certificates for 3-hour shifts (currently scheduled for 2 but may work more depending on how I feel)\

I am officially in the 3 day countdown until vacation.  I’m going to Columbus, Chicago, and Harrisburg over the next 2 weekends!

I biked into work and got to the offices at 8:58am, thankful that I got there right on time and was already armed to the gills with iced coffee and WeightWatchers baked goods for breakfast.

The lady already at the office peers around her too-large screen and informed me that someone had called 5 minutes ago and was going to call my cell phone.  Sure enough, she had called while I was locking up the bike and trudging in.

This caller is an inspirational woman that is teaching me how to lead and run a large fundraiser and after we were done talking business I said “Try to have a good Monday!” and she said something along the lines of “I always have a good Monday.  I cannot choose the situations I’m put in, but I can choose how I let them affect me.”

Man, I wish I had really listened to that this morning instead of letting the remains of my work day spiral into an angry, frustrated vortex of suck.  An angry frustrated vortex of suck that even volunteered to stay late a half hour because I hate myself.  This, coupled with the stress of having too much to do and not enough time both in work and life before I take off Thursday morning.

Inspirational Caller’s words didn’t really sink in until I was walking my dog at 6:30pm….I need to stop letting external forces affect me so greatly.  I need to get better about choosing to just push forward and stop stewing in my own pot of frustration and anxiety.  I’m going to do a good job and everything will get done so stop stressing, Self.

So unless you’re living under a rock in the middle of the woods with no cell phone reception or wifi….you have probably heard of the #icebucketchallenge for the ALS Association.  And while nobody can argue that it’s amazing that this marketing plan boomed larger than could have ever been anticipated….it raises many interesting questions.  How will the ALS Association handle such an increase?  How is the affecting the rest of the nonprofit sector?  How many of these people are personally touched by ALS in some way and how many just wanted to be cool (or cheap) on Facebook?

Mike Rowe (the dirty jobs guy) had a lot to say that just spoke to me.

I’d like to take a moment to list a few organizations that I personally believe in and have donated…and often more than just cash.  I’m not trying to gloat about that by any means….but more to let you know that you can support organizations that matter to you and if you are concerned of doing that financially…there are other ways to support.

American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org/
This one is easy.  I have been really bad about keeping up since I moved to Philly, but when I lived in Maryland I was at the donation place everytime that I could.  I donated at ever drive at my college and I’m waiting patiently for a drive to come close enough to work.  Apparently my blood is special in some way which is why they hound me like they do….but I’m not so sure if that’s true or if that’s what they tell all the donors.

American Cancer Society – http://www.cancer.org/
My mother had Hodghkin’s lymphoma before I was born and passed away from lung cancer in 2011.  My dad suffered from bladder cancer when I was a kid.  ACS does not cater to a specific cancer and contributes to the well-being of patients and their families.  Not gonna lie – their Relay for Life fundraisers are a TOTAL BLAST.

Operation Ava No-Kill Shelter – http://operationava.org/
This one is fairly new to my repertoire but I kind of owe them right now.  This is where I adopted Wally, my new best friend last month.  Sadly, Wally was very sick with pneumonia when I got him and it has been a long month of recovery.  Unfortunately, I learned that people often get sick dogs from shelters because they just don’t have the means to take care of all of them.  I helped by making room for one more animal to wait for their forever home….and when I bounce back from these astronomical vet bills I hope to make monetary donations.

Spend Fast Day 9

The beginning of this week was pretty rough….I did end up ordering pizza when I didn’t get around to preparing my next round of meals. The next day, I went to the Save-A-Lot and got groceries and cooked a bunch of shit and made new iced coffee! BACK ON TRACK. I need to keep on top of my planning so I can feed myself.

My grocery shopping put me a bit over-budget when you factor in my CVS stuff and the pizzaganza. But that’s okay! I still haven’t spent any money this month on Starbucks or stupid lunches. And I’ve made an extra $280.

Sooo I was a little rough on the 4th of July. I went and bought a few grocery-type things to make pulled pork and chicken salad, which I still had money for….but I feel a bit bad about buying a $3 ice cream when out with friends. However, I did make $18 for a sidegig I picked up.

But that’s okay! Onward and upward.

Today I did not have time to spend money…because I was making it! I’ve made $120 helping a family pack and move so far and plan to make another $18-$36 tonight on aforementioned sidegig.

Tomorrow, I’m going to be packing and moving some more. I’ve got plenty of iced coffee on-hand. I’ve got chicken salad. I’mma be okay.

Day 4!

Well Day 3 was pretty rough…I had to spend $16 at CVS for some health-related things that just couldn’t wait. However, I did give myself $30 for groceries so I will just take it out of that.

Today, I am crockpotting some BBQ pulled pork and going to a cookout at a friend’s house. All of my friends are also supporting my spend freeze and taking strides to be cheap with me. I also have a few beers in my fridge from get-togethers past so it’s going to be a good 4th!

Saturday and Sunday, I will be working from 10 till whenever packing up a family’s loft and helping them move to the suburbs. It’s going to be a long weekend but I will be making a decent amount of money. Today i am also meeting with another person I do odd jobs for and will be getting an assignment to make some huge spreadsheet. That will keep me busy all next week! Excited about the cash flow coming in for July. Also, pay day is next week.

Hooray.

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