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bad day financially

February 24th, 2007 at 08:39 pm

We got 13 inches of snow last night. I live on a Bluff with a driveway that goes up at a 45 degree angle makes 180 turn and then goes up at another 45 degree angle. I've lived in this house for almost ten years and through a lot of storms but this was the worst.

First a tree fell across the lower part of the driveway which I did not know until the snow plow showed up to plow the drive way. Before they even got to the tree the pickup truck with plow got stuck in the driveway. They had to call a cat to get the truck out. Then the cat moved the tree and then slid down the hill. The drive way had to be plowed and sanded a little at a time. It took forever. I don't have the bill yet but I am sure it is well over a 100.00

In addition to this I dropped by laptop and now my wireless card won't work. I took another wireless card from another computer and that one won't work either.

Tomorrow hopefully should be better except the weatherman is predicting another 7 inches of snow.

Roomate and Broken Rules

February 19th, 2007 at 10:44 am

I have a friend staying with me for a while. She is going through a rough patch and this seemed to be the best solution. It is kind of strange. I've lived alone since I've been widowed and it seems weird to have someone in the house again even for a while.

Also this morning I realized that I had left all of my reuseable portable coffee cups on my desk. All three of them. So I broke down and bought a stryfoam cup of coffee. This is against my Buy Nothing New rules. I also realized that i ppay around .75 cents just for the cup. Hopefully I will get back on the bandwagon tomorrow.

Buy Nothing New Update

February 6th, 2007 at 06:15 pm

So far so good. I haven't even been seriously tempted to buy anything new. It is however only January. Can I keep this up. I am going to try.

On another note Last month I stayed in budget for food. I took some advice from people here and removed most of the non-food expensives from the budget. My food cost 307.00 last month. This includes eating out. (I am only feeding me)

I know most of you do much better than that but for me this is an accomplishment I am aiming for 10.00 per day.


January 18th, 2007 at 08:54 am

I had a strange experience this week. I went to McDonalds for lunch and found out that it had been remodeled into a McCafe.
(Their name not mine)

It was surreal. There were flat screen TV in the booths. The decor was faux art deco. The menu inlcuded Italian Ice Cream and several different flavors and varieties of coffee as well as the standard McDonalds food.

I am not sure if I liked it. I was just so taken by surprise. Are these popping up in other parts of the country. I can't imagine a La Crosse being the first to have one. If you've tried them what did you think of them?

used paperback books

January 10th, 2007 at 06:35 pm

I just found a very nice web site for exchanging/buying paperback books. Its at paperbackswap.com.

The site is designed for swapping of books. You post 9 books for swapping and get 3 credits (books) plus everytime a member wants one of your books you send it to them and you get another credit. It is also possible to buy credits (books) for 2.75 apiece and avoid the bother of mailing books.

I've used it and am very impressed. They have a very nice selection of books and the exchange seems to work well.

Just thought that I would pass this site along. Where I live has only a very poor book exchange so I am finding it particularly useful.

Buy Nothing New Update

January 6th, 2007 at 07:44 pm

It has been a week and so far so good. I've had a couple of temptations. My sister asked me to get her a book and luckily I was able to get it used otherwise I'd probably have said no.

My biggest temptation was being asked to a jewelry party by my best friend. Her sister makes jewelry. I had told my friend about the challenge and she said she understood and I did not have to buy anything. Still the whole thing was awkward. Fortunately her sister does use recycled materials, including findings, so I found a pair of 8.00 completely recycled earrings which do stay within the requirements of the challenge. But the whole thing was awkward.

However, I am still on track This may be harder than I thought.

Buy Nothing New Challenge Begins

January 2nd, 2007 at 05:37 pm

Today is day two of the buy nothing new challenge and so far so good.

I also went back to work today after a week off. The off time was nice but going back was tiring.

On another note December's numbers were bad. I was over budget again. This time by over a hundred dollars. I am not sure why. Oh I know what I spent the money on since I track everything but I am not certain why I am consistently overbudget.

One of the things I am curious about is whether or not the buy nothing new challenge will actually save me money. Before the challenge I already bought most things used so I am uncertain of the financial impact of the challenge. We'll see.

Annoying Day

December 29th, 2006 at 06:22 pm

My back has been bothering me because I''vebeen hunghing over the laptop to use my laptop. So today I bought a wooden laptop table for 10.00. It had to be assembled of course. I should have known better. I can never ever get these things to go together right anyway. After several hours of working (fighting) with it I discovered that it is defective. Their is no way to attach the table top. It has a piec missing. So now I have to return it. Arrgh

My Buy Nothing New Rules

December 28th, 2006 at 01:48 pm

1. With a few exceptions I will buy nothing new.

2 The period of the challenge will be for an initial three months beginning January 1, 2007. I will reevaluate the challenge in March and make a decision whether or not to continue it.

3. No Sytrofoam cups. If I can't remember to bring my coffee cup I don't get coffee.

4. Only one package of paper towels per month. This will be used for cooking (micorwave) purposes not cleaning.

5. Exceptions.
1. all necessary hygenie and basic
cleaning supplies, deodorant etc.
2. all necessary repairs and
maintenance to the house and car.
3. Basic functional underwear
4. e-books The orginial compactors
group permitted downloadable music
because there was no material
product, after some thought I have
decided that this logic also
applies to downable text.
5. Any prescription or non-
prescriptions items needed for
health reasons.
6. I am also suspending the challenge
during any travel.

Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'm going to need it.


Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2006 at 04:00 pm

I hope everyone had at least as happy a Christmas as I did. Mine was wonderful

Buy Nothing New Thoughts

December 21st, 2006 at 09:46 am

Bookie replied to my post on Buy Nothing New and brought up a very good point. She said she didn't see the point of the exercise and that we need to understand the poiint of our frugality.

As I see it there are two reasons to be frugal one is practical the other is more complex. The first one is simple to save money. "To Live Better with Less"

However there is another reason why I am frugal and that is a social justice matter. In the United States we consume per person more than any country in the World. Most of us here know this. However what we may not realize is that we consume at others expense. Because we eat steak others go hungry. (Yes I am a carnivore) Yet this is a very very conplex problem. Simply stopping the consumption won't work. To make matters worse there is a great deal of waste in the economy.

The question that I would like to explore is it possible for an indivdual to withdraw from a segment of the marketplace. For an individual to live on the waste that is generated by this economy. I want to try. That in essence is my question regarding the "services" question. In order to do this a person needs to be as "wasteless" as possible and many services are exploitive.

I also realize that in many ways this argument is illogical. A person such as myseolf with a middle class income who is choosing to "Buy Nothing New" continues to benefit indirectly from the American Consumer Society. After all if the society did not produce the waste this option would not be possible.

Buy Nothing New

December 20th, 2006 at 12:12 pm

I've been reading the thread "10 friends" on the forum and have been inspired. The thread discusses a group in San Francisco that agreed to buy nothing new for a year.

I'd definitely like to try this for several months. It is a good extension of what I already do. I try very hard to always buy used.

I do not have the self-challenge structured yet. I am unsure on several fronts. For example the original group permitted members to buy services. I am not exactly certain what that means. I know that toilet paper and underwear are allowed purchases but what about buying something new at Goodwill.

I'd like very much to hear your ideas. It would also be nice to have more people doing this. Maybe we can form a group?

Unexpected Expenses

December 12th, 2006 at 06:56 pm

The humidfier attached to my furnace broke today and the furnace repair place is going to have to order a fifty to sixty dollar part. They said that it would probably be in sometime next week with installation it will be over a 100.00.

Second thing that happened is that my female cat is sick. She has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, probably the result of abuse before I got her. She was neutered and declawed and then dumped in the middle of a rural Wisconsin county in the middle of winter. She lost her ears and tail to frost bite and was starving when she was rescued by the Humane Society. Anyway she attacks herself occasionally requiring trips to the vet for steroids and tranquilizers. She has been twice this fall and needs at least one more visit. On top of the OCD the steroids have suppressed her immune system and she now has a sinus infection. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a seasonal thing. Fall/Winter bringing on deep seated anxiety. My wallet has also been depleted by about 250.00.

My wallet will survive. I'm glad I've got a small emergency fund. It is going to need to be replenished after this month.

No Spend Day

December 1st, 2006 at 07:48 pm

Today was a no spend day mainly becuse I've been home in bed sick. But it is still a no spend day and I needed one after last month

November Spending

December 1st, 2006 at 03:58 am

November was a bad month for budgeting. I set a set amount every month for discretionary spending food, clothing, household cleaning supplies, pet food, gas etc. In November I exceeded that amount by 105.45. The worst part is that I am not usre why. I know that includes Thanksgiving and a housequest but still I should have been able to do better.

Oh well December is a brand new month with no spending in it yet. We'll see how I do.

Gobble Gobble update

November 22nd, 2006 at 06:35 pm

No TV tonight or tomorrow. My satellite dish pole got backed up into and bent. The soonest I can get a repair man out here is Saturday Morning.

This is minor. At least it is the TV and not the lights, water, or heat.

Gobble Gobble

November 21st, 2006 at 08:12 pm

This year has been strange. I wasn't certain where I was goiing to have Thanksgiving. I thought for a while I was going out of town,then I thought that I was having a house full of guests.

So I hurriedly cleaned the house and bought almost a 100.00 worth of food. I live alone and rarely have food in the house. This included a 12 lb Turkey

Tonight three of my guests have called and cancelled all with very good reasons I might add. So it is goiing to be me and one other person with a 12 lb Turkey and all of the trimming.

My List

November 16th, 2006 at 07:56 pm

I guess I will join the fun with my own list. I am not sure there is anything interesting about me. I am a pretty boring person. Also it is entirely possible that if someone reads this who knows me they wil recognize me However, that doesn't bother me.

1. I am a Mohawk, member of the bear clan.

2. I am a widow having been married for 9 years until I woke up one morning and found my partner dead of a heart attack at 48. No history of heart disease.

3. I teach at s small midwestern university

4. Even though I am have an Ivy League Ph.D. I prefer teaching to research. Something that occasionally get me into at work,

5. I tend to be a loner and am sometimes very lonely. I do not make friends easily.

6. I am very interested in Social Justice and especially financial social justice. However, I also can't seem to find an outlet for this interest.

7 I live in a small midwestern town which is very uncongenial. I have considered moving, however, I am tenured and you don't walk away form a tenured position.

8. I like computers but have very little formal training in them. I would consider myself semi-computer literate. I use the net and PowerPoint almost everyday.

9. I am extremely stubborn. This has its good and bad points.

10. If there is something I truly dislike about myself. It is that I am a couch potato. However, I do not seem to do anything about it.

11. Financially I earn an income slightly above the median for my state and the nation. However, I ended up extremely in debt for my education.

12. My mother could not read or write.

PSThought of some more things to add

13. I absolutely adore cats. I have two.

14. I hate absolutely categorically hate doing laundry but I do love wearing clothes.