Monday, June 18, 2012

Week Five ...

I've been a horrible blogger lately. But isn't that how this goes? You start off strong, and then forget to blog for days/weeks/months on end.

Luckily, my best friend Sharon has recently jumped on the blog train. She'll be my inspiration to keep this shit up. Read her blog on eating healthy.

It's been a whole week since I wrote last, so let's catch up on what's been happening in the life of ole Rhi-Rhi Sawtelle.

I'm actually getting back on track with my budget! I checked my bank account the other day, and for the first time (maybe ever) I was surprised by how much money was in it. I am even setting money aside in my savings account. Sometimes I'm impressed by what a big girl I can be when I want to.

Monday through Thursday was just a blase, middle of the week. I went to work. It rained. I bought stuff.

Mon 6/11/12: $6.69 for pretzels and parking, while I ran downtown to get my new glasses. They're awesome. Trust me. (+$3.31)
Tues 6/12/12: $8.48 for a Red Bull and McDonalds, AKA a bagful of regrets. (+$1.52)
Wed 6/13/12: $7.46 for a Father's Day card and Q-tips. (+$2.54)
Thurs 6/14/12: $2.14 for a Red Bull and potato salad. It was super-bargain-mark-down potato salad for $0.59. I'm surprised I didn't die. ($+7.86)

Friday began an epic weekend. First of all, I was privileged to attend a hooding ceremony for two of my roommates. Those assholes got their masters. Damn, motivated friends.

Just kidding. I love them all.

On the other hand, they all make me feel short and undereducated.

But seriously, I love them.

Anyway ... back to the money situation. After the ceremony, I grabbed a beer with my friend Stephanie, snagged a bottle of wine for my roommate Dan, ate some delicious homemade dinner, and headed to the Pride block party with my dear friend David.

I wasn't thinking about how busy my night would be, so I had bought lunch at work earlier in the day, increasing my daily spending more than I should have.

However, I'd been under budget all week, so I figured I had a little leeway.

Fri 6/15/12: $28.29 for the above forays. (-$18.29)

Saturday, began my spree of nakedness. Let me tell you, it was great.

Also, being naked 70 percent of the day limits the amount of cash you can carry on you - limiting spending. I should try that more often.

Anyway, the day began with a trip to the nude beach on Sauvie Island to celebrate my friend Laura's birthday. That's what we do apparently. We get naked together to commemorate getting older.

I bought her a few tall-boys, took off my top and sunburned in places that have never seen sun.

On return from the isle of nudity, I stopped to grab some decorations for Dan and Kelly's grad party that night. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and homemade signs always do the trick. I don't care how old or educated you are.

Upon the start of their party, I ducked out to participate in the world's largest naked bike ride. NBD.

It was fabulous. Seriously a Portland tradition I will continue to participate in. And again, lack of clothing, means lack of cash-carrying spots.

Sat 6/16/12: $7.99 for beers and decorations. (+$2.01)

Sunday was spent catching up over coffee with a girlfriend I haven't seen in ages, and hanging with my daddy-o. Nothing too spectacular to report, but wicked enjoyable nonetheless.

Sun 6/17/12: $15.17 for coffee, a card, and a Dad-approved six-pack. I couldn't get away with buying him PBR, which will do for me any day. (-$5.17)

Weekly recap? I spent $76.22 for the week. Pretty impressive and back on track compared to my past two weeks. Only $6.22 over budget, compared to double my allowance that I've blown in the recent past.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Well, almost ...

Man, I really had a good thing going on this week. I was balancing pricier days with free days - keeping an even kiel, you know.

Until Saturday. Damn.

Damn, damn, damn, damn.

The day started with lunch and coffee with my friend Laura, but as the evening progressed, plans of the carnival and beer fluttered through our heads. Then they became a reality. I guess after years of avoiding carnies, I forgot how damn expensive everything is at the fair. Needless to say, I spent pretty much my entire budget that day.

But this happened, so it was almost worth it:

That aside, let's do a little recap to see how one night caused my epic demise.

Wed 6/6/12: $0 for nada. (+$10)
Thurs 6/7/12: $30.32 for lunch, parking meters, and a few games of bowling. (-$20.32)
Fri 6/8/12: $10.67 for tall-boys and a snack. (-$0.67)
Sat 6/9/12: $71.07 OMG! WTF?!? (-$61.07)
Sun: $4.59 for PBR's. (+$5.41)

So, another epic failure of a week.

I'm not going to get too down on it, though. Here's a list that makes me feel better:

1. I had a lot of fun.
2. I picked up a second job.
3. I was so careful for many weeks before this.
4. I'm still tracking my spending and am more aware/guilty when I spend.

Yes, excuses to myself, but sometimes you gotta live.

Total weekly spending for Week Four: $136.00.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Extras ...

Apparently, when I started this venture, I was fully stocked in the make-up/toiletry department. Unfortunately, those things are starting to run out now, and they ain't cheap, my friends.

In between jobs, I had to swing by ole Freddy's to pick up fancy lotion, mascara and a sandwich. (Come on ... I was starving.)

Needless to say, I went over my limit for the day, but this stuff should last me for a while.

6/5/12: $19.35 for girly stuff. (-$9.35)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Back on track ...

My guilt has got the better of me. (Or I was too busy to think about spending money today. Or the endless rain is making me too tired to open my wallet. Or I didn't actually need anything. Or ... the list goes on and on.)

Either way, I have accomplished another free day!

6/4/12: $0 for zippo. (+$10)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Eating for days ...

Although I ate out a few times this week, I also made a few inexpensive meals that lasted days on end.  Since I had no good news on the budget this week, I thought I'd at least share a less-than-ten-dollar recipe. (Which is currently filling up a large portion of my refrigerator.)

This is a family recipe, and so therefore, the only right way to make corn chowder. I'm leaving out one tiny ingredient, so you can't exactly replicate this fine staple of the Murray clan.

New England Corn Chowder: (Aprox. $7)

- Salt Pork ($2.50)
- 1 large onion (< $1)
- 4-5 potatoes (~$1)
- 1 can of corn ($.69)
- 1 can of creamed corn ($.69)
- 1 can of evaporated milk (~$1)
- 1 stick of butter (<$1)

1. Cube/dice salt pork, onions and potatoes.
2. Lightly fry pork and onions in large soup pot.
3. Add potatoes.
4. Add water until it just covers ingredients in the pot.
5. Boil until the potatoes are a little mushy.
6. Add the cans of corn and evaporated milk.
7. Add one stick of butter.
8. Cook on low for approximately an hour, or until the soup tastes creamy and thick.

Catching up, and falling behind ...

Alright, I'm going to be honest. This week was a complete washout. I didn't even try. I don't know if it's because I knew it was payday week, or after a month, I was sick of being so careful, but I spent money freely this week.

It didn't help that I needed to do a huge grocery trip, including make-up, which is not cheap.

With Monday around the corner, I'm going to try a little harder next week.

But here's a recap for the week:

Tues 5/29/12: $52.90 for groceries. (-$42.90)
Wed 5/30/12: $9 for my virgin trip to Ground Kontrol. (+$1)
Thurs 5/31/12: $9.35 for treats at Last Thursday. (+$0.65)
Fri 6/1/12: $24.50 for lunch and after-work drinks. (-$14.50)
Sat 6/2/12: $40.96 for baby shower supplies/gifts and a bottle of champagne. (-$30.96)
Sun 6/3/12: $10.59 for coffee/bagel and baseball game snacks. (-$0.59)

Epic fail, right?

Even including the $13.08 rollover money from last week, I spent a total of $149.17 this week. (More than double my weekly budget. $79.17 to be exact.)


Although, I wasn't even close to staying within my budget this week, at least I kept track of my spending. (Although sometimes it was hard to even tally a day's money, because I knew how much I was blowing.)

I'm not going to let this be a trend though. I had my fun this week. I spent some money. Back on the wagon next week.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day ...

As I imagine many of you did on this fine holiday, I spent my day barbecuing with friends. I mean we created a feast. Seriously... feast. Look at my plate:

As we all contributed, my brief stint at the grocery store was fairly inexpensive. (A little more than my daily budget would like to allow, but worth it nonetheless.)

Mon 5/28/12: $14.95 for barbecue supplies.

Since I already had some of the ingredients, I figured one of my contributions would be pasta salad. (I also knew I could eat the leftovers for a few lunches this week.)

I know it's a pretty basic side dish, but I figured I would share my less-than-ten-dollar recipe.

Pasta Salad: (Approx. $8) 

- 1 bag spiral noodles ($1.09)
- 3 tomatoes (<$1)
- 1 bell pepper (< $1)
- 1 onion (<$1)
- 1 block of pepperjack cheese ($1.99)
- 1 package pepperoni ($1.55)
- Italian dressing ($0.99)

Does this really need explanation? You boil the noodles, chop up the veggies/cheese/meat, mix together and douse it in Italian Dressing. Easy, peesey, lemon squeezy.