Friday, February 29, 2008

I need to go shopping for lunch again

I thought I had it together. I went and got what I thought was enough food to last me until my next check. I got something for breakfast, lunch and snacks. So what's the problem? It's not filling enough. Both yesterday and today I had to go and buy something to fill the gap between breakfast and lunch. Then I was starving by the time I got home last night. I had something small for dinner which is what I had planned. I didn't plan on feeling like I hadn't eaten all day though.

I have granola bars, fruit roll-ups and some Golden Cheese for snacks. One of my coworkers buys the granola bars and she eats 2 per day. I'll probably buy more of those, and add something else for breakfast. I hate buying fresh fruit because it goes bad so fast. Maybe I'll get fruit or either yogurt for breakfast. That should be enough to tide me over until lunch. I'll start getting those cheap lunches next week. I like those anyway because they're pretty filling.

I'd better do something because right now I'm not really saving any money.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rejecting advertising

I have a small blog with not a lot of readers, yet. I'm slowly trying to find ways to grow my readership base. In the meantime, I'm still soliciting advertisers. I'm using Project Wonderful for example. You can have the ads auto-approved or approve them manually. I had several on this blog for $0.00. That's right their ads were free. I don't mind because eventually it will start to go up.

Then I noticed that not only were they not paying, they had the space tied up for 4 days. Ummm no, I don't think so. Getting a free ad is one thing, but I'm not going to let 1 person take up 4 days worth of ads. I would rather let 2 people each get 2 free days. At first I felt bad about rejecting bids until I thought about it. The people with the free advertising could care less what I was feeling. They just saw free space. So I cancelled the bids and decided not to worry about it.

I don't expect to get rich off of these ads. But I'm not going to let people getting them for free hog them up either.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Maybe I should use flashcards for school

I just found a new website that helps people improve their grades. It's called and it's not just for kids. The site is for everyone from small children to med-school students. People learn better when they use flashcards to use. In early testing, the average increase in test scores was 12.3%.

Cards can be created and shared online. You can even add pictures and sound to help aid in the learning process. Once you're done, the system will create a test for you and correct your answer. I'm taking a history class this summer which is probably the worse subject next to math for me. It's a class that spans over 100 years so all you do is study events and dates. The flash cards concept would really work for me.

Why don't you visit the site and see if the flash cards will work for you.

I just increased my 401K percentage

Ok so I only increased it 1% but it's something. I'm getting a small raise that won't take effect until mid-March. After I factor in my new expenses for 2008 I won't see much money at all. My rent went up more than usual and my phone bill went up as well. That will probably be the bulk of my raise. Yeah I know it's pitiful. I said the raise was small.

But I did decide that I would increase my 401k percentage this year. I plan on increasing it at least 1% with every raise or promotion. I also scheduled it now so I won't see that money in my check. Once you have the money in your hands, you're much less likely to actually save it. If I don't see it - I can't miss it.

If I get my check and there's any extra money (yeah right), then I'll add another percent or two. I would eventually like to get to the 10% savings threshold. But that's a mid-range goal. I think I can accomplish that in the next 3-4 years. Until then, I'll keep plugging away 1% at a time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wanna hear a bad oyster joke?

I only know bad jokes. Not bad as in lewd but bad as in what a corny joke kinda joke. Anyway here's the joke: What did the girl oyster say to the boy oyster? You never open up to me. See I told you it was bad. I told the joke to find out if you like Gulf oysters. Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, vitamin B-12, and omega-3 fatty acids as well as being a low calorie protein source. However you should avoid oysters if you have liver disease, diabetes or a weak immune system.

You can eat oysters fried, broiled, grilled, steamed and of course, raw. But whatever way you choose to indulge, make sure you're Oyster Aware.

Advertise on my blog!

You can get advertising right here on my blog. I have an Entrecard widget where you can have your blog featured. I also have boxes that fluctuate between free and $.02 right now for advertising. I also have a Top Spots widget that's $1.00 for seven days.

I also have a larger (125x125) box that's fluctuating between free and $.02 and a $1.00 for seven days Tops Spots widget on my Insane Random Ramblings blog. So get yourself some cheap advertising before the prices go up!

Monday, February 25, 2008

I don't know how to shop for lunch

I went shopping this weekend to buy stuff to bring to work. I want to get used to bringing stuff to work before I start my new job. At my new location food is very expensive. I didn't think they could get much higher than where I am now but they are.

I get to the store and I buy soda (Pepsi and Diet Pepsi) granola bars and fruit roll-ups. I also got some of those Campbell soup bowls for lunch. So what did I forget? Oh how about something for breakfast. I totally forgot about breakfast food! So now I have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest to get breakfast food.

I knew I would mess up something. At least I'm getting practice shopping now.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good news on the tax front

I get a federal refund which is a relief. I wouldn't even care if I broke even, just as long as I don't owe. I do owe the state and the city $60 a piece. But I'll just wait until the federal money comes in and write the check and pay them both off. I'll wait until exactly April 15th to drop them in the mail though. I don't plan on paying them any earlier than I have to.

I think the only reason I got a refund was because I had student loan interest to deduct and I got the Lifetime Learning Credit. Without those 2 things I would have been pretty close to owing. I'll be done with school in December (hopefully!) so this will be the last year that I'll get the learning credit. Then I'll take the money that I was using for tuition and accelerate my student loan payments to get them paid off sooner.

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Protect your electronics with InvisibleShield

Who doesn't have a cell phone or a video Ipod nowadays? I think most people do. One of the worse things that can happen to them is for them to get scratched up. I know I put my cell phone in my pocket to keep it close. It has a screen on the front and I don't use a case for it. You can buy a invisible shield to put over it to protect it.

It won't make your phone or music player bulky, so you can carry it or dock it freely. It gives the item a "grippy" feel to give you better handling over your once slippery item. Check out this invisibleSHIELD video to see how it works for yourself.

We pay a lot for our electronic equipment so we might as well protect it.

My paperwork is missing

I got a new job offer and I'm waiting for the paperwork to show up. It should have been here Wednesday or Thursday. I just called the HR recruiter to ask about it. I think there's been a mix-up because I got a form letter saying I was no longer being considered for the job even though I already verbally accepted it. There were two positions open so I just figured the letter was for the other position.

I hope I get this resolved soon because I'm on pins and needles.

Do you need help with a non-profit job search?

Have you tried It's a service established in 1999 connecting job seekers with employers. They are a non-profit jobs board for mid-level, fundraising, and executives in nonprofit organizations. It's free for job seekers. For recruiters there's a $99 fee to post their first job. Their e-newsletter is published weekly and is packed with articles and new non-profit jobs. Best of all, it's free. If you're looking for a job in the world of non-profits, check out

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There is a positive to having cable

I never really thought about it until today. I didn't think there was a positive in paying the cable bill but there is. It's Comcast's On Demand service. You can watch anything On Demand at any time. I don't have any premium channels because I found that I was really watching them.

The best thing I found On Demand is the Exercise Channel. I use Walk Away The Pounds series by Leslie Sansone. I'm using the Booster Mile program. It only lasts 16-18 minutes. Leslie has about 4 or 5 programs to choose from On Demand and they're all free!

That's how I lost 20 pounds last year. I used the programs from cable and walked in the comfort of my own home. I know some people need to be outside but I found it was easier for me to do on my own schedule. I didn't have to worry about a gym opening or being crowded or anything like that. I could also dress anyway I wanted to and not worry about red shorts and a orange shirt. Who cares...nobody saw me anyway.

If you have cable check it out and see if the free programs are available to you. You might as well get your moneys worth from them.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cutting back on lunch expenses

I have a set budget for lunch. I've been going over that amount every pay day. Starting next week, I'm going to take lunch twice a week. I'm also going to take breakfast twice a week. I'll buy snacks to take with me. By doing those small things, I should get my budget back on track.

I should probably take all of my food to work, but I figure I should start slowly and work my way up to taking lunch everyday. Baby steps is the only way to go.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Would you look for a Russian Bride?

There's a large segment of the population that have a big preference for Russian women. Now there's a place where they can go to find women that meet their criteria. Loversplanet is a new website that features Russian women. You can use their search parameters to look for women from a certain country, by age or even their views about children.

The site charges a flat fee, no letters or credits to buy! You then have access to thousands of womens profiles across the site. But you can view the site and search to see what they offer before you pay. If you're looking for Russian women to possibly start a connection with, why not try to site out for free. Who knows, you might find that one perfect woman for you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

What time of day do you update?

I don't have a set time that I update my blog everyday. Sometimes it's in the mornings and sometimes it's in the afternoon. Occassionally I will update at night but that's not too often anymore.

I like to update my blog in the morning because that's when I have the most time to surf the web. I like to get to surf early and get it over with. I like having blogs updated in the morning because that gives me something fresh to read.

What time do you update your blog? Do you have a preference for when other people update theirs?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Draining my savings

But it will be for a good reason. The money will go to school. I don't have enough in my school account to pay for all of my classes and I won't get tuition reimbursement because they're not business related. That means I have 4 classes to pay for out of pocket and I don't know how I'm going to do it. That's over $7k with fees and expenses.

I have about half of it right now. I'll probably get done with school and graduate owing the school money. I'll have to pay it back on some type of payment plan. I'm just trying to get done with school any way I can.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I thought I was ready to do my taxes

I do my taxes myself online. I don't have a complicated return so I file them myself. It usually takes me just under an hour to finish everything. I have several W-2's plus interest and dividend statements to add up. I also have deductions for student loan interest as well as the Lifetime Learning Credit. My taxes shouldn't be too hard but they will be a little time consuming.

So I'm all ready to do my taxes today right? Nope. I use the same company every year. To file online, you need your AGI and pin number from last year. I forgot to write them down. Now I have to go home and go in my storage to dig the paperwork out. I do keep them for the 7 years you're supposed to, but that doesn't mean I keep them in a convenient place.

Oh well, maybe I'll get them done this weekend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My rent went up a lot

My rent usually goes up a little every year. This year it went up a lot. At first I was wondering why so I asked my resident manager. It's because our building finally got out replacement windows. Part of the reason is for energy efficiency. They say these windows "leak" air less so we use less heat in the winter. They come with a lifetime warranty so we should be good with windows until I move. The new windows will also increase the value of the building that I live in. I don't like that so much.

I'm all for them increasing their property value but I need watch in case they may try to sell the building. That would seriously suck.

Expired checks

I get a lot of expired checks at work that have to be reissued. I've lost a check before that was for a small amount of money. But sometimes I get checks worth over $500. How do you lose that? Is it just carelessness or what? I guess I'm just so picky about my money that I always know where every little penny is.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine's Day e-cards

Are you looking for e-cards to send to your sweetie for Valentine's Day? Then click below for free Kiwee cards. You're sweetheart will thank you. I know I'd be happy to get an e-card at work. Hint, hint certain someone.

Celebrities are out of control

I didn't watch the Grammy's last night. From everything I've heard, it was a good show. I don't like award shows anymore because it seems to be a license for celebrities to act a fool.

As expected, Amy Winehouse won the Grammy for Best New Artist. She didn't get her Grammy in person though. Her original visa application was denied by the U.S. Embassy in London because of her drug addiction. They later overturned their decision but by then it was too late. Amy could have gotten a flight to the U.S. but would have been jet-lagged during her performance. She performed on the show via satellite.

Everyone from Britney Spears to Lindsey Lohan has entered into a long term drug rehab because of their drug use. Even Eva Mendes has gone into rehab for alcohol abuse. Apparently she started drinking to calm her nerves before she shot a love scene. She's out now and doing better but addiction can hit anyone.

People look at celebrities and think that they're life is perfect when in reality it's not. They are under so much pressure to be "perfect" and the least little slip up can cost them their careers. That's why it's important for parents to talk to their children about drugs. Too may kids use celebrities as their role models. They grow up thinking if so-and-so does it that's it's cool.

I just hope some of these people get their lives together. They have their whole lives in front of them and they're just throwing it away.

Edit: Link removed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Free pancakes at IHOP on February 12th

If you visit IHOP on Tuesday February 12th between 10am and 7pm, you can get a free short stack of pancakes. They do ask that you make a donation to the Children's Miracle Network in return. There's no set amount that you have to donate, you just drop the money in a box.

If you're close to an IHOP, be sure to stop in and support a good cause. And get free pancakes.

Friday, February 08, 2008

How would you like to win $500 Cash?

I know I wouldn't mind winning $500 smackers right now. So how do you win you ask?

Here are the rules:

1. Link to Business Blogger's contest page so others will know how to enter.
2. Link to Business Directory telling everyone about their February promotion. During the month of February you can get a free review from Business Directory as part of their site launch.
3. Write your own 250 word original blog post about the site/contest.

That's it! Easy as pie right? What would you do with an extra $500? I know exactly what I would do, I would pay for 1 credit of school. That's right one stinking credit. As a matter of fact, I would be $4.00 short because my credits are $504 each. I would love to finally graduate school in December of this year. I don't get financial aid at all and my tuition reimbursement is done. My major is not bank related so they're not covering any more of my classes.

I have no idea how I'm going to pay that much money out of pocket but I'm determined to do it. I regret not finishing school when I was younger but I'm going to finish this time. Especially since I only have 4 classes to go. It seems like the closer I get to being done, the more obstacles pop up in my path. First it was no classes being offered that I needed, now it's money. But I'll figure it out.

I do know that $500 bucks would be a tremendous help towards me meeting my goal. Even if I don't win, I hope somebody that reads my post and enters wins. That would be cool.

And you thought the Mafia was dead

Well according to this story by USA Today, not only is the Mafia not dead - they're actually thriving in New York.

This story is crazy on so many levels. 54 people were arrested. I especially like the part of the article where they call one person John Doe #4. He owns a cement business. Yeah I'm sure it will be really hard for them to figure out who that is! That man is probably headed for witness protection.

These stories amaze me. There are gangs shooting up innocent bystanders and the government is still messing with 70 yeah old "alleged" mobsters.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I don't know what to do about school

I wanted to be done with school in December. I don't think that's possible now. There are two classes that I can take in the summer. That means I would need 2 in the fall. The problem? I can't afford to pay for 4 classes on my own. My job won't reimburse the classes because they're not job related or business related.

I may get reimbursement for 1 class but I would still need to pay for 3 on my own. I don't know how I'm going to swing this at all. That's even assuming that the 2 classes that I need in the fall will be available. I'm not even sure about that yet. Sigh, I just hope I get done soon.

This is a terrible job market

I just told John in an email that the job market in Pittsburgh stinks and it really does. You can't any decent jobs here at all. Everything is minimum wage. If you have anything more than a high school education, you need to move to find something decent. I've been looking all over for a new job. I've even looked on the internet but most of the large job sites only hire for agencies. I want a permanent job not something temporary.

In anticipation of our move to Florida, I'm looking at companies there as well. There are companies like that have jobs here and abroad especially in the Cayman Islands.

Check out their press release and decide if this is something you might be interested in. is rapidly expanding its customer base and it has noted that the Cayman Islands is increasingly becoming the number one choice of destination for many of its candidates.

Adam Bendall, a co-Director, commented “Cayman has always had to battle with other locations such as Bermuda in order to fill the vast number of finance jobs which exist. Although there is still a high level of competition for the best candidates, Cayman seems to be gaining the upper hand. We are seeing increasing numbers of candidates selecting Cayman as their first choice destination”.

There are a number of possible reasons for this trend such as the probable impact of tougher work permit restrictions which are being proposed in Bermuda. Cayman is also helping to market itself by developing its businesses in key areas, as Mr. Bendall continues “Cayman has a thriving business sector which continues to gain in strength, particularly in the Managed Fund and Hedge Fund industry”.

In terms of what this means for, the business is extremely positive. Mr. Bendall continues “Our web-based strategy enables us to adapt quickly to changes in the offshore job market. We are excited about the opportunities these situations present to our candidates and we look forward to matching their skill-sets to many of the fantastic jobs that are available in this exciting destination”.

Where did my money go?

I just got paid today. I only balance my checkbook on payday, making a 2 week gap between updates. My slush fund in my checking account is gone! I have no idea where it went. It was $100 in December and now in February it's $0. The really sad part is that I can't even begin to tell you where the money went.

I'll have to start watching my spending. And I need to rebuild my slush fund ASAP.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I think John wants to buy a car

Sigh. We really don't need this expense right now. I already have a car and neither of us drives to work. So he really doesn't need a car right now. But what was he doing last night when I got home? Looking at Car Prices on the internet. He's leaning towards a Malibu or a Impala. I keep trying to tell him to wait until we move to get a car because we'll be living together and we'll be able to cut our housing expense. My car would also be closer to being paid off than it is right now.

The only thing he really wants in a car? Radio controls on the steering wheel. He doesn't really care about anything else. At least he is trying to compare prices and researching cars and features. That way he knows exactly what he's getting into and what the car should cost. I just hope he takes my advice and waits to buy the car. We really need to save our money right now.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I got a call-back

One of the jobs that I applied for called me back for an interview. It's tomorrow afternoon. I wish the recruiter had morning appointments because I would rather go in the morning and get it over with rather than languishing all day thinking about it.

I really didn't expect to hear from this job because it had been so long since I applied for it. I sent in my resume back in early December so I figured they would have hired somebody by now. I like when hiring managers make decisions right away. When they take months to hire somebody, it makes me wonder exactly what they're looking for. I mean where none of the other candidates qualified or do they have unrealistic expectations of the candidates for the job.

Oh well, I'll just go tomorrow and give it my best shot. The worse thing that can happen is that I don't get the job. I mean they won't shoot me or anything. And on the bright side, I may even get the job. How sweet would that be?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Was it worth $2.7M-$3M for Super Bowl commercials?

I think not. Those commercials seriously sucked. I know I don't work for an ad agency and I don't do that kind of thing for a living but c'mon! I think there were only 2 or 3 good commercials.

I usually love the Pepsi commercials but the Pepsi Max/Night at the Roxbury spoof (or whatever the hell that was supposed to be) was just lame! I remember watching it thinking "Are you serious?!?!"

Year after year, the best commercials are for beer. The Bud Light "Cheese Run" commercial was pretty good. The Budweiser commercial with the horses training was good too. There were a few others, but not many.

Seriously, I think a lot of advertisers overpaid for their spots. A lame commercial is still worth it as long as people remember it right. But I don't remember half of those commercials.

I sure hope that's not as good as it gets!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Nordstrom's is coming to Pittsburgh

I just wrote a post about all of the stores that are coming to the Pittsburgh area by the end of the year. We actually went to Ross Park Mall yesterday and saw that they are building a Nordstrom's. The store is slated to open by the fall of this year.

They really are trying to bring the upscale stores in. I just hope the stores do well so they keep bringing them in. I know I won't be shopping at most of those stores though. I do shop at Coach and Nine West. However Nordy's, Louis Vuitton and Burberry are waaaaay outta my price range. It will still be nice to have them. And who knows what the future may bring, I may get a new job or a promotion. Then I'll be shopping there too.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Ross Park Mall goes upscale

There are going to be some new additions to the Ross Park Mall in the coming months. Tiffany's is opening this March. They've also just announced that Burberry is opening by summer. There's also a rumor that Louis Vuitton is coming later this year. The mall spokesman has no comment on that right now. They also have a Nine West and a Coach Store already open in the mall.

I guess Ross Park is losing customers to the Waterfront. Most of the people that I know go out there because you can shop, eat and go to the movies all in one location. This is the Ross Park's way of bringing people back to the mall. I'll probably still go to the Waterfront though. I don't know about you, but I can't afford to shop in any of those stores anyway. I will go peak around to see what they have.