Layout:
Home > Category: Shopping

Viewing the 'Shopping' Category

Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁🦃🍽

November 28th, 2021 at 04:24 pm

I see the website has been upgraded in my absence. I like what I see so far!

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Ours was quiet as usual. We continued our new tradition from last year of Rock Cornish game hens instead of turkey, along with ham, cornbread dressing, carrot soufflé, and my homemade cranberry sauce. I usually do the fresh snap beans with potatoes & bacon, but my dad said to just cooked the stir-fry veggies we had in the freezer. Fine by me! Everything was delish & I'm eating my leftovers today. 🍗🍖🥕

My last two paychecks have had OT on them & that adds up quick. I'm always surprised by how much of an impact it has, but at a rate of 1.5 pay plus the shift differentials, it is significant. Much better than my pay when I had two PRN jobs. Work is about to get busier as my lab manager retires at the end of the year & I am the assistant lab manager. 

I traveled for the first time since 2019! My friends & I met up with my sister in New York. We had a great time. We saw 4 shows, ate great food, & did a ton of walking. 🍎🚖🗽

I have two more trips booked: Nashville in January & Maine next fall. 🎸🪕🦞⛵️ It is also my parents' 50th anniversary this summer so we may do a family trip.

I thought I might hit a million dollars by the end of the year in my TSP, but then the market pulled back due to Omicron. It still may hit those elusive 7 figures in 2021, we shall see. 

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby & Michael's looking for a Christmas tree. I had thrown my tree out last year as it had seen better days. I got a 7.5 ft pencil tree at Michael's and a tree skirt at Hobby Lobby. Michael's was much less crowded than Hobby Lobby. The pencil tree will take some getting used to, but it's decked out in rose gold, gold, & silver this year. It's a very pretty color combination, if I do say so myself. 🎄

My birthday is next week & I will probably have a quiet dinner with my parents. 🎂

 

Moved & Sold Condo

August 20th, 2021 at 08:57 pm

Thank you for the kind condolences on the passing of my cousin. It still feels unbelieveable. We had the funeral on a Wednesday night & the gravesite dismissal the following morning. Immediately following the dismissal I got on the road to pick up the key for my new apartment. I had packed my car with some cleaning supplies & some important papers that I didn't want transported by the movers. I made it back to my condo that night.

The following morning I was up at 5 to finish last minute things. I still wasn't finished when the movers arrived after 8, but I was done well before they had everything moved. They didn't have the additional wardrobe box on the truck like I requested, but other than that things when pretty smoothly with the exception of a little damage to my footboard. The entire move took 8 hours. My mom thought that 5 hours would be too long, but I was actually surprised that we got it done it only 8 hours.  I had a lot of boxes & moved from a 2 story condo to a second story apartment. In August. In south Lousiana. It was hard work. Many of my boxes were books. I gave away plenty of books prior, but still had a good number of them. Maybe before my next move I can let go of even more of them. 

So move day was Friday. I was hurting so much the next few days that I couldn't turn over without groaning. Then Sunday I was back at the condo to clean before pictures & pick-up more items that I had left at the condo. I still didn't clean as well as I'd like & the carpets needed a good cleaning, but we got the pictures done Monday morning. Tuesday morning I had the carpets cleaned & Thursday morning I had a lady come in to clean the condo, including the refrigerator & oven. Thursday evening my realtor had the first showings scheduled. Friday afternoon I got an offer at full asking price, waiving an inspection & not asking for any of the repairs that I was trying to get approved through my insurance. What a relief! I was so estatic, especially considering that another unit had been on the market for almost 2 months. That same weekend the other unit also went under contract. I believe it was one of the buyers that viewed my unit. I think that commission should go to my realtor as she was really hustling so to speak to get my unit exposure. Closing is scheduled for September 10th.

I've been busy getting settled into my apartment. The grounds are beautiful with a creek, fountains, and gazebos, as well as a beautiful pool. It's a nice spacious 2 bedroom/2 bath with over 1300 square feet. The carpets are new & the walls freshly painted. I finally have enough room in the kitchen for more than one person & enough storage to get all the appliances off of the counters. I made a coffee & tea bar in the kitchen, which I can't wait to invite guests to use. The living room has a large sitting area off of it where I will put a desk. It's got a lot of closet space which I have made use of: a coat closet, walk-in closets in each bedroom, very deep linen closets in each bathroom, and another closet off of the sitting area where I am storing all of my Christmas stuff. The washer & dryer are a huge upgrade from my set, which I included in the sale of the condo along with the refrigerator. I am planning to purchase another bedroom set as I sold my nearly 30 year old guest bedroom set to my friend's daughter. She's in college & just got her first apartment.

My new neighborhood is full of shopping & restaurants. The shopping center adjacent to the apartment complex includes Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Ashley furniture, and a Starbucks. Then across the street is a plethora of other big box stores and restaurants. The parish office building where I can register to vote & conduct other business is also across the street. Everything I need is in a very short radius from my apartment. On moving day when I was looking for a gas station to buy the movers some Gatorade I found the post office which is also very close. There is the same family of hospitals that I used to PRN at in the neighborhood as well. I don't plan to pick up another job at this time, but it would be convenient.

The commute has been great as well as they have an express way into the city which keeps me off of the interstate. I'm very happy with my relocation so far in all aspects. Getting on the interstate to head back home is convenient & I've already been back a few times since my move. I'm looking forward to my family staying with me from time to time when I get my guest bedroom furnished.

 

Still Purging & Packing

July 24th, 2021 at 05:16 pm

It's amazing what you can accumulate in a home after 15 years. I moved into this home with only the bedroom set I had in my parents' home. I have accumulated so much stuff, some that I didn't buy myself & never used. Such as a silver gravy boat. I don't even make gravy & if I did, I wouldn't serve it in silver! So that has been my life the past 3 weeks. If anything will cure me of my love of shopping it's weeks of having to give things away. 🛍 

I hope to get repairs done soon so I can list my condo soon after I move out. It's so hard to find reliable people that follow up. 

My rent will be more than double my mortgage, which I can afford & am okay with. Since I applied 3 weeks ago they have already raised the rent by a few hundred dollars. (On another note I hope I don't regret passing up on the 3rd floor unit with the vaulted ceilings & skylight.)

My 401k rollover has been deposited in my TSP. It was only a little over $1k, but I'm glad to have the money consolidated in my TSP. I was being charged a $1.25 fee for what I'm not sure. It's not much, but I try to avoid any fees.

Stocks were up & down this week, but ended up at a high. My accounts are at an all-time high. 

Investments $1.193 million

Net Worth $1.335 million

February Review

February 28th, 2021 at 05:45 pm

It looks like we all have the same idea of posting our monthly reviews on the last day of February.

February was a spendy month. I paid $875 for the painting (expensive I know, but few painters are willing to deal with wallpaper & he ended up having to deal with two layers of wallpaper). It took him 3 days of prep before he could paint. I also purchased a few home items: rugs, trash cans, to improve the look & function of my home. I have a list of future home improvements & will try to get something done every month.

I also purchased more clothes last week than I probably purchased in all of 2020. Several tops on sale or clearance in anticipation of doing some job interviews. I am being optimistic, but they will be good purchases for career or when theatres re-open. (I miss attending shows!) The most expensive top was $16 and the least expensive was $8. I bought 5 tops, not including the 3 that I've already decided to return, but haven't yet picked up. A few of the tops have tie-backs so if I lose weight they will accommodate that.

Spring has come to south Louisiana. We now have highs in the 80's. I put my plant outside yesterday. It was one from my grandfather's funeral. I hope I can keep it alive, but I don't have a great track record with plants.

Last week was a good week if you had any investment purchases, with the market down it was a bit of a deal. I didn't have any of my automated contribution scheduled for last week.

Looking forward to this coming week I have my monthly savings coming out on the first, as well as my main credit card payment. I get paid on the 1st, 5th, 15th, & 19th in March. Investment contributions on the 5th, 15th, & 19th. I am on track to max out my TSP & IRA again this year. 

Net Worth: $1,171,458

Thank You

February 3rd, 2021 at 11:26 pm

Thank you so much for your condolences. I truly am touched by your kindness & thoughtfulness.

My evening job has slowed down & I'm perfectly okay with that. I also took off February at my weekend job. I'm ready to scale back. 

Today I sent a full balance payment plus 10% to my credit card. I really want to keep both credit card balances as close to zero as possible from here on out. I'm being very mindful of spending as well. I've noticed that I've been doing a little too much shopping online. I am paying the balance in full with each bill, but after working so hard to pay off $22k in less than a year, I don't want to end up back in the same boat.

My dad officially did my taxes after I ran the numbers through the calculator & it's what I expected. I will owe about $1400 between federal & state. I've been keeping $5k in my checking account so I'll be able to pay it out without pulling from my growing savings. I bumped my savings from $100 to $500 monthly at the first of the year now that my debt has been paid off.

Grandpa not doing well

January 26th, 2021 at 11:04 pm

My mom called me at work this morning to tell me that my grandfather wasn't doing well. I left work to take her to the hospital. Though we thought he could have more than one visitor a day since leaving ICU, it's still only one per day. They made an exception today and both my mom & my uncle were able to visit. I still haven't seen him. The would like to arrange a hospice nurse for him. It's so strange because although he is 90, until the last month or so he was so healthy. The last time I took him to a doctor the doctor mentioned to me that he was very thin, but he always been like that. He lost weight so quickly once he started to have issues, and again, he didn't have anything to lose. We just want him comfortable for as long as he has left with us. They took him in for another surgery Sunday, but we don't want them to keep performing surgeries.

In financial news, I have received all of my income documents for the year. Still need to upload a few other statements before my appt. My dad mentioned that I would be able to deduct my charitable contributions last year even if I didn't exceed my standard deduction. That's good. I continued to give to church & the local food bank. I still have a feeling that I will owe.

I think I mentioned that I bought a SodaStream during the Christmas sales. I finally just tried it today. I had bought a couple of zero calorie flavors through Kohl's. I can't wait to try it after it chills. I love my sparkling water & will enjoy being able to make my own. And yay for less waste! 

Net Worth: $1,168,011

 

Black Friday Shopping

November 29th, 2020 at 07:26 pm

I did a little Black Friday shopping. On Wednesday I took advantage of Old Navy's 50% off the entire store to buy a pair of leggings. Last week (or maybe it was the week prior?) I bought some Moose Munch popcorn through Macy's. Thursday I ordered a couple of shirts to layer underneath my scrubs from Kohl's. Friday I bought a couple of soaps from World Market. I also bought a $100 gift card to a nice local Italian restaurant. I will get a bonus $50 gift card in addition to the $100 gift card. That is my dad's Christmas & birthday gifts. His birthday is in January. Saturday I bought a few fun holiday items from Joann's, marked down 70%. I definitely didn't buy any big ticket items, though I am eyeing a Soda Stream from Kohl's that is greatly marked down. I drink a lot of sparkling water. 

Post-Election

November 8th, 2020 at 02:23 pm

Well, it's finally over. The election has been called & I couldn't be more relieved. The markets handled the uncertainty just fine.

I planned on giving all of my immediate family planners with stickers for the next year. (Added: I already purchased the Denise Albright planner stickers. She has several sets of stickers for working people, moms, dads, budgeting.) I found some planners at Dollar General yesterday, but I think I will end up buying something spiral-bound. They were surprisingly nice for $1, though.

I think I will end up paying off my credit card debt before spring. Probably not by the end of the year, but earlier than I had planned. My car loan has 4 more payments on it then she's all mine!

Net Work $1,023,683

Kicking off the 4th Quarter

October 2nd, 2020 at 04:01 pm

This month is a 3 paycheck month, which happens twice a year. Nothing really changes for me as so many of my bills are paid biweekly: mortgage, car loan, credit cards. I alternate paying my two credit cards every other paycheck. My auto loan is still on track to be paid off the last paycheck of December, which is coincidentally, on Christmas. Merry Christmas to me!

My investments were up exactly $69,500 from the end of the second quarter. The power of time in investing really becomes apparent after a couple of decades. You're making much more than you're contributing.

It was my mom's 70th birthday Wednesday. I took the day off to spend with her & my dad. We had a nice day. I worked out in the morning. I took them out for lunch (her first time in a restaurant in over 6 months). She wanted a lemon cake so I ordered a lemon cream cheese cake from a local bakery. My older sister sent a meal delivery & my younger sister sent her a gift card to their favorite restaurant. I also picked up some flowers in her favorite color, yellow. My dad bought balloons. I gave her a few gifts of things I thought she would enjoy: pumpkin spice cappuccino k-cups, floral scented soaps, pumpkin spice almonds, a journal with colored pens, and few health items that I thought she'd like to try. The weather was absolutely perfect. The only thing I forgot was a glass of wine or champagne to toast her 7 decades.

Baby Gift

August 19th, 2020 at 11:12 pm

My employee is going out on maternity leave next week. We’re having a low-key, socially distanced baby shower for her. This is her second baby so I don’t think she’ll be too disappointed with not having a huge celebration. I got her my usual shower gift which is lot of bath supplies. Johnson & Johnson has a new newborn line so I got her that as well as the bedtime & soothing products.

I stopped in a few stores because I’m still on the hunt for bedding. I still didn’t find anything, but I remain surprised by how early the shops are closing & the low inventory/turnover of inventory I see. One store even had the lights half off, I guess to save money. And the clothing stores seem to still have a lot of summer clothing in stock, with little clothing for colder temperatures. September is less than 2 weeks away. I guess we’re all being more frugal now, but it’s honestly a little unsettling to see the mall so empty when it was once bustling. And yet my investments continue to climb. Honestly, I just keep expecting the bottom to fall out, but I’m just curious to see if I can hit double commas before that happens.

Net Worth: $971,396

Costco Membership

August 17th, 2020 at 02:52 pm

I purchased a Costco membership through Groupon. The $60 membership includes a $40 gift card & $40 off online. I went to the store to take my picture for my card & ended up deciding to upgrade to the “black card”. I picked up 4 items: orange roughy fish, riced cauliflower, Laughing Cow cheese (really good deal at $4.99 for 4 wheels), and roasted peanuts. I would have bought more frozen veggies, but have no more space in my freezer. We used to eat orange roughy all the time when we lived in the upper Midwest, but here on the Gulf Coast you can pretty much only get catfish, tilapia, or salmon. On the rare occasion you may find trout or mahi mahi. 🐡🐠🐟

I also bought my parents & I thermometers. They had the forehead thermometers for $23. All of these things that were so hard to find or were so expensive are finally becoming reasonable again. 🤒

Home again today & I plan on doing some book keeping, laundry, & house cleaning, as well as hit the gym.

Net Worth: $967,382

Facebook Sales

August 15th, 2020 at 01:36 am

So after having my tea towels listed for quite some time I had a big sale of 6 tea towels at a very good offer. The tea towels are fall themed with rich, vibrant maple leaves. 🍁

I think the seller will be pleased with her purchase. I was a little sad to let them go, but I already had one for myself, gifted my older sister one a couple of years ago, and kept the remaining tea towel as a housewarming gift for when my younger sister purchases her home. 🏡

Net Worth: $969,143

Back to School

August 7th, 2020 at 01:56 pm

I can't believe it's back to school time again! Even though kids got out early this year, it seems like it was only yesterday. My friends have been posting their kids’ first day pictures on Facebook. I pray that everyone from the children to the school administrators stay safe & healthy this year.

Last week I spent a good bit of time reviewing my budget journal. I also bought new binders to replace my financial statements binder that is falling apart. I will have separate binders for my TSP, SS, Vanguard, etc. I suppose I could pull some things & file them away, but I like having all statements at hand for my open accounts. I usually only file away accounts that have been closed.

My credit cards are now down to $10k from a high of $22k. When they are paid off I know that I will need to dedicate some money to taking care of things around my home. Until then, every dollar goes to debt paydown.

I did a little too much shopping last month so I ended up returning several items. Other items were household items that I know I'll use, especially the cleaning supplies. I also bought a bunch of those $2 masks from Target, because if we're going to be wearing these masks for the foreseeable future it makes sense to have more than a few. Plus I like coordinating with my outfits/scrubs. Smile

I continue to work the 3 jobs & I'm glad that I didn't give any up since the work hasn't been consistent for the third job, even though it pays more. I'm back on the schedule at the hospital for August. Though I was supposed to be off all of July, I still got called in twice for coverage. I wasn't complaining. It gave me some hours when I wasn't getting much elsewhere.

I'm still trying out new lean & green recipes every week. I invested in a Dash mini waffle maker & a Dash mini griddle. They were on sale for $12 at Belk & I got an additional 10% off for picking up my order. The first time I attempted to pick up my order I didn't realize that the stores were closing so early & I just missed the closing time.

I'm now down 15.5 pounds in 5 weeks. I hope to be close to goal by Christmas. I originally set a goal of losing 40 pounds, but I'm starting to believe I can get back down to where I got to when I did Weight Watchers. Not by Christmas necessarily, but sometime in spring. I also have my 25th high school reunion in the spring so that's a great motivator.

Net Worth $955,181

August Already

August 2nd, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Time flies when you’re having fun. July was a good month for me. Although I didn’t get as many hours as I did in June, I still consistently paid down debt. I’ll be getting more hours this month. I also did a bit too much spending on July so I’m taking/sending some things back.

My debt continues to go down & my investments continue to grow. Next year when all my debts are paid off & I get another raise maybe I can start looking at doing stock trades. I have a couple of friends as well as my mom that seem to really enjoy it. I won’t start with much at first.

I got my hair done for the first time since everything got shut down. It was $90 including tip. She had to trim a good bit. I’ll have to be more consistent about going now. Hopefully we don’t get shut down all over again.

A couple of things that I won’t be sending back is my new Dash minis: griddle & waffle maker. I got such a great deal at Belk’s thanks to a tip. $12 on sale and another 10% off with pick-up. I already made roasted garlic mashed potato waffles & they were so good.🥔🧄🧇

My friend invited me to an online Croatian cooking class at the end of the month. The theme is Jewish foods & I think it will be fun. I can’t eat the food on my current plan, but I can bring it to my parents. I will have a little to taste test if I decide to participate.

Stimulus Received

May 1st, 2020 at 12:25 am

My stimulus was deposited in my checking account today. I spent $239 on my Roomba (ordered from Kohl’s Monday & received on Tuesday!). I also sent $1k to my TSP loan. I’m so close to paying it off. Then I can pay off my car. She’ll be all mine free & clear! Then I can throw everything towards my credit cards. I can see why people like Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball. Those $0 balances are so motivating!

Still Working

April 29th, 2020 at 06:21 am

I’m still working, 6 days a week in fact. I know I could work 7 days a week if I wanted to, but I’m just not physically/mentally able.

I’m eating at home a lot more. I am also getting a lot of sun & exercise with our daily walks. They are not leisurely walks. We cover 4 miles in an hour. Today we tried, but ended up turning around before getting caught in a downpour just before we made it to our cars. My friend joked that it was my initiation.

Our shelter in place order was extended until May 15th & I wouldn’t be surprised if it keeps getting extended as people aren’t taking proper precautions.

I think my stimulus payment might hit my bank account this Friday. I did my part to stimulate the economy by buying a Roomba that was on sale.

Sam’s Club

February 29th, 2020 at 11:21 pm

I bough a very inexpensive Sam’s Club membership through my work, though I only seem to make it there once or twice a year. Last night I picked up toilet tissue (will last me about a year) and some non-perishable food items. I also need a new comforter as mine is torn. I bought it about 14 years ago at TJ Maxx & loved it. I found a comforter for $29.98, but it was all white which is a definite no for me. They look beautiful, but any little thing getting on it would require a cleaning. I then I found a 3 piece sage set for $49.98, but decided to hold off. I was thinking of maybe trying Dillard’s as I have $70 in gift cards, but Macy’s is where I usually shop so I browsed their app today & found a 3 piece set that I really like for only $19.99. I have gold status at Macy’s so all my orders ship to my home for free. I love a great deal!

EBay

February 29th, 2020 at 09:19 pm

Spent the morning listing my tea towels on EBay. Hopefully will make a few sales. Have not yet listed and candles of FB Marketplace, but one step at a time. I am serious about decluttering in 2020!

Christmas Vacation

December 20th, 2019 at 03:32 pm

My Christmas vacation has started a day early. Since Trump declared Christmas Eve a holiday I had an additional day of use or lose leave to use before the end of the year. So I’m off today & procrastinating on getting to the gym. Yesterday after work I did a little shopping for myself & returned a purchase. Then I came home & did some laundry and started prepping my guest room for my sister. My family arrives Monday. Gifts are all wrapped. I only have a gift card to buy for my brother-in-law. I will get that on Christmas Eve on our usual trip to the mall.

It looks like federal employees will get a 3.1% raise next year. Not bad at all. Four years of pay freezes hurt, but I know that the entire country was hurting at the time.

2019 has been a good year & I’m looking forward to 2020. A year from now I’ll be even further along my plan for financial independence.

A pic of my shopping finds attached so you understand how much I love sparkle. ❇️ 💖🤩


Christmas Shopping

December 17th, 2019 at 03:55 pm

How is your Christmas shopping coming? I think I’ve mentioned before that I shop throughout the year. Kids I shop for at Christmas time. They grow so fast & change so much that I can’t buy for the littles in advance. I am done with the adult shopping & actually have a surplus for next year as is my usual. I need to not buy throughout this year...if I can help it.

Rumors are that bonuses won’t arrive until the new year. Not the best time of year, but it’s happened before. I’m thankful for anything.

I joined some FIRE groups on FB this week, with an emphasis on the FI. I’m interested in maximizing my income & am looking into some WFH opportunities.

Christmas Shopping

December 15th, 2019 at 05:29 pm

How is your Christmas shopping coming? I think I’ve mentioned before that I shop throughout the year. Kids I shop for at Christmas time. They grow so fast & change so much that I can’t buy for the littles in advance. I am done with the adult shopping & actually have a surplus for next year as is my usual. I need to not buy throughout this year...if I can help it.

Rumors are that bonuses won’t arrive until the new year. Not the best time of year, but it’s happened before. I’m thankful for anything.

I joined some FIRE groups on FB this week, with an emphasis on the FI. I’m interested in maximizing my income & am looking into some WFH opportunities.