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Got gas? [RANT]

February 29th, 2008 at 07:43 am

The title wasn't meant to be a double entendre, but now that I think about it, I did feel uncomfortable gurglings in my GI system yesterday after I went to the gas station. The guy asked, What d'ya want? and me in my blissful ignorance and assurance with having just visited the ATM, told him to 'Fill it up, regular.' The price of regular gas was $2.97, and I started doing the math in my head to pass the time. "13 gallon tank, so that's roughly $39 for gas...sigh..."

Well, guess what the total ended up being? $43 friggin bucks. No friggin way. But I checked the pump and turns out my lovely Camry has a bigger tank than I'd thought. I probably should beat my head hard for not "knowing" my car as well as i should, but back to money issues- $43!

For this month, gas spending was $20 for each Sunday ($80) plus this monster fillup. So $123. I did do some extra driving this month, shuttling my parents from their South Jersey house to Newark Airport, also drove to have dinner and see friends in the Edison/Raritan area. I guess I should be glad my daily commute is only 10-15 minutes (7 miles) each way.

I know I can't stop the rising price of gas but i guess i could be more careful about the amount of driving I do. This month I have been pretty bad about lunchtime jaunts- hopping in the car instead of walking/running the 1-1.5 miles from my office to the post office or Dunkin Donuts or whatnot. I can't really cortail weekend driving unless I become a total hermit (I'm already 90% of the way to achieving that dubious title) so, I don't know, maybe I'll just drive the speed limit instead of 5-10 miles above?

Every little bit of gas economy helps, especially in this day and age of outrageous gas prices!

My electricity bill came (ominous music)...

February 25th, 2008 at 03:32 pm

...ha ha, I'm just exaggerating here. Last year, I was in tears when my electricity bills for the coldest months of January and February were both approaching $200. And mind you, I am living in a

Ouch! Bills!

February 6th, 2008 at 04:47 pm

After the rent, utilities/water and cable, my other bills come out to around $400/month. I was thrilled the past two months when my cc bill was closer to $300, due in part to my "smarter" grocery shopping strategies (cook more, buy less prepackaged foods).

And then...it all goes down.

Got my biannual car insurance bill. Yes, it is a necessary evil. But it adds another $480 on top of my regular monthly expenses. Ouch.

Also, I know this month's elecricity bill is going to be astronomical. Probably close to $200, given the cold late January cold spell.

Looks like I won't be able to contribute much, if any, to savings this month. Boo.

Picking up spare change

February 2nd, 2008 at 02:37 pm

I'm a believer in, "find a penny, pick it up" regardless if it is heads up or down. However, I really don't often find change lying around! For kicks, I started a tally of the change I found on the ground. So far it's been a whopping 28 cents.

I have read stories of people who find an AMAZING amount of money in parking lots, public parks or camping grounds, store floors, etc. I guess those people are just very fortunate!

"Lab Rat" Payment

January 28th, 2008 at 03:09 pm

Last year, I answered an ad for one of the local fragrance companies to help sniff and evaluate their new fragrances. I'm now one of their Monday "regulars" and it's actually a sweet deal. Go in, sniff, answer surveys, get paid. For about 10-15 minutes work I get $15. That's $60/hour! I wish my regular job paid this well!

The money came at an opportune time. I was down to $25 in cash and spent $20 on gas this weekend. Passed up on a $5 car wash even though my poor car is covered with about three splats of bird guano. With today's payment, I don't have to visit the ATM. I spent $2 mailing a package. The rest, if I can hold on to it, will go towards Thursday or Friday lunch, which is when people in my office tend to go out.

Friday freebies

January 25th, 2008 at 03:21 pm

I apologize for ranting about something entirely off-topic as per this forum. I had already complained to a coworker who was shocked silent, because normally I am very complacent, calm and smiling. I guess I still wanted to get it off my chest so I just vented here.

Anyway. Here's my frugality bit of the day. I came home to find yet another Walmrt freebie in the mail. This time it was Dove shampoos. It's not my normal brand, but hey, free is free.

They came in those packets instead of the little travel sized bottles. I'm curious to know, do people find those packet sizes sufficient for a good washing? My hair is ahoulder length but there's no way those packets contain enough conditioner for my entire head o' hair. Or maybe I'm just a conditioner hog?

Oh well. I'm pooped. Today I can truly say, TGIF!

Morning spoiled by road rage

January 25th, 2008 at 06:08 am

Ahh, nothing like waking up on a freezing cold morning with a sore throat, and then to top that off to be a victim of road rage. How is it that in all my years of commuting, it is during my current shortest commute (10 minutes) that I have witnessed the most incidents of road rage and careless driving?

I take mostly back roads to work. Many of them go through housing developments so the speed limit on the same road may change from 45 to 25 then back up to 45. Call me pokey but I tend to drive right at teh speed limits. Especially considering these roads go through residential, it is no surprise to see people biking or crossing the road. Better safe than sorry, right.

Well, apparantly to some people in my town, GETTING THERE is more important than being a safe driver.

I was just slowing down while entering a 25mph zone when I noticed the driver behind me (minivan mom w/ cell phone glued to ear) was zooming up at a scary speed. She came right up to my bumper and then began tailgating me. Argh. At the very end of the slower speed zone, she backed off (wow, I could see her front bumper finally) but when the speed went back up to 45, she was right on my ass.

Rather than put the pedal to the metal, I gradually sped up to 45, with minivan mom right on my tail. Well, that lasted about 5 seconds because she got fed up and decided to pass me. In no-pass zone (double yellow lines). When there were cars coming! Those guys honked and bless them, there was no collision. Minivan mom passed me... then hit her brakes because she found herself behind the line of cars that was in front of me. SO, that meant she'd managed to hop ahead of one car (me) in the line of cars on the road. Good for you, woman!

I watched her tailgate the poor car that was now in front of her. Then that car made a right turn. And guess what, minivan mom swerved into the left lane to get around the car as it slowed down to turn. And yes, there were some cars in the left lane. No collisions, though. Thank goodness for wide roads.

Despite her "get ahead" tactics, minivan mom ended up a big loser anyway. She'd passed me, but we ended up reaching the same destination at roughly the same time. She managed to pass ONE car but did that gain her any precious time? Nope. But she did manage to piss me off and put me in a bad mood! Thanks, lady!

No spend November?

November 1st, 2007 at 11:30 am

Can I make it through this month without spending on non-essential items? By that I mean no clothes, no purses, no mid-afternoon vending machine sugar boosts. It would definitely be neat to see how much $$$ I end up saving. Estimating from previous months' expenditures, I might save anywhere from $300-500!

Winterizing the Apartment

October 31st, 2007 at 12:34 pm

It has finally started to get cold here. I actually had to scrape frost off my car windshield yesterday morning! I have the heater set for 60 (yes, that low) and I heard it kick on overnight. Sigh. Hence comes winter, my least favorite season because I abhor the cold. And lucky me, my overpriced miserable little apartment has practically zero insulation. I have bad memories of me huddling beneath two comforters, wearing full set of thermal undies, sweatshirt, sweatpants...and still feeling frozen.

This year, I'm going to try and be a little more prepared. I went to the Home Depot and bought some weatherstrips, then spent about half hour applying them to the one window in my apartment (I bought the DIY self-stick foam strips...probably not the best but I'm only renting until next Spring so I'm not interested in a longterm solution). While tackling the sliding door, though, I was appalled to see the door would not shut entirely but left about a quarter-inch crack. I'll see if my horrible lazy landlord will fix it; if not, then I can search for a wooden dowel or slab to put in the sliding track that will force the door shut.

Next up is to look for those door draft "snakes." I'm wondering if I could make them myself out of old sweaters or shirts, hmmm, or would that be too hard without a sewing machine?

Hopefully with this planning I'll be more comfortable this winter!