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Archive for November, 2011

Food Challenge Continues

November 27th, 2011 at 08:28 pm

My meals for the coming week include:

1) Chicken Waldorf Salad (the recipe in the source below is for turkey waldorf salad, but I used chicken) - 3 meals

2) Chicken/Turkey Soup with rice, carrots, ginger, garlic, sea salt, pepper, and turmeric (yummy!) - I modified the soup recipe a friend gave to include ginger, garlic, and turmeric for an Indian flavor. - 5 meals - 1 Done at lunch!

3) Curry Spiced Noodles with chicken, carrots, curry, turmeric, and peppers. Since I gluten intolerant, I am going to make noodles using squash that you cut up really skinny like noodles and then boil for a few minutes. - 4 meals

4) Oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, flaxseeds, almond milk, and honey. Smoothy with almond milk, carrot, banana, stevia, and cocoa on the side. - 3 meals

5) Eggs and ham or pork cutlet. Smoothy with almond milk, carrot, banana, stevia, and cocoa on the side. - 3 meals

6) Green salad with chicken and olive oil and apple cider vinegar for dressing. - 2 meals

7) Leftover Barbecue Chicken, side of veggies and rice - 1 meal

8) Chicken, rice, and tomatoes with chili seasoning. - 1 meal

Recipe for Chicken Soup is here:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/greek-lemon-chicken-soup/detail.aspx

Recipes for Waldorf Salad and Curry Spiced Noodles are here: http://www.boarshead.com/pdf/DeliciousDishes.pdf

Taking Stock of My 2011 Goals Progress and Establishing 2012 Goals

November 27th, 2011 at 12:25 am

Hi, everyone. I suppose I have turned into an ultra-planner, but for some reason, I feel the need to take stock of my progress on my 2011 Goals.

Here are my 2011 Goals.

2011 Financial Goals
1. Pay off Hospital Debt #2 PAID OFF!
2. Pay off Hospital Debt #1 PAID OFF!!
3. CAR REPAIR DONE 3-21-11!
4. Pay off lawn mower PAID OFF
5. Accumulate $2000 in regular savings by Dec. 2011 - Currently at $1038.62
6. Accumulate $1000 in house savings account by Dec. 2011 - Currently at $253.59
7. Pay off $500 in credit card debt by Dec. 2011
8. Complete some minor maintenance on house

Here is my progress as of today.
1. Hospital Debt #2 was paid off 3/19/2011! Woo-Hoo!
2. Hospital Debt #1 was paid off 6/6/2011! Woo-Hoo! So far, 2 for 2!
3. Car repairs, which included an engine replacement, were complete on my car 3/21/2011. I would have liked to have replaced the car, but I did not want to subject our budget to a monthly outlay of a car payment if I could avoid it.
4. The loan on the lawn mower was paid off 6/25/2011.
5. I modified goal #5. After the savings broke $1000.00, I decided my goal to pay off the credit card was going nowhere without paying twice as much as I was paying. See #7 for what I did.
6. I have made miserable progress on accumulating the house savings to $1000.00. No excuses, though.
7. I have not made altogether great progress on credit card payoff, either. The balance is currently $1694.00. I modified Goal #5 to make it possible to pay it off next October. In addition to paying the normal payment I was doing of $40.00 per paycheck, I am also sending all future savings deposits to the credit card until paid off to $300.00. I am estimating the payoff date will be next October.
8. We have completed some maintenance on the house.
- replaced flapper on the toilet - helped some, but need to replace the toilet eventually
- gutters cleaned and sealed
- yard mowed regularly through season
- trees trimmed, unsightly, annoying bushes removed
- electric spider repellent installed
- mailbox properly installed

That being said, I still have a long way to go. Here are my 2012 Goals.

2012 Goals

1. Pay Down Credit Card to $300.00 by 10/31/2012

As of 11-26-2011, this debt is $1694.00. I am paying normal payments of $40.00 out of each paycheck, plus an additional $40.00 per paycheck that I used to send to savings. I get paid every 2 weeks, which is usually twice a month. Two times a year, I get 3 paychecks in a month. For those paychecks, I will allocate $100.00 to debt payoff.

2. Bring car savings account up to $2000.00 by 12/31/2012

This account is currently $601.31. I deposit all extra money, such as survey checks, rebates, money from cash4books.net, and spare change from my wallet monthly into this account. My goal is to have enough to buy a car with cash when I need to replace the current car.

3. Complete some minor, and major, maintenance on the house. See the Home Maintenance Challenge list for details on this.

4. Increase house savings account to $500.00 by 12/31/2012.

5. Reduce unnecessary spending.
- Think about purchases carefully. Do I need this? How will I use it? What will I wear it with? Do I really need to go out to eat? Can I get it free or borrow it?
- Think twice before buying sodas/iced tea, because I take my own tea bags and stevia with me to work and have free access to hot water.
- Take lunch to work almost every day, but splurge on payday.

Got Paid Again, More Debt Paid, and Other Stuff in My World

November 13th, 2011 at 03:03 am

Well, I got paid again. The gas, electric, credit card, and car insurance have all been paid for. I have also allocated for 1/2 of the mortgage. Those are all the bills I have due until next payday. Because of the upcoming holiday, my next payday will be 11/23 instead of 11/25. I have also bought groceries, health supplements, put money aside for replacing my car, and got the gutters cleaned out. You might also notice that my regular savings balance is not going up. That is because after my balance broke $1000, I started sending that money to the credit card instead of keeping it in savings. I am planning on allocating a total of $160.00 per month between my normal payment out of checking and the reallocated savings deposit towards paying off the credit card then starting putting money into savings again. My tentative schedule shows the target payoff date as next October. While I would like to allocate all extra money to the credit card, I also absolutely have to set aside money to replace the card in the next couple of years, as it has several things wrong with it. Most are some minor and just annoying, but the big one is that the heating/ac switch does not work right. Our mechanic said he could replace the switch, but Pontiac does not make them anymore and he was not able to find one from a salvage yard. He manually switched us over from cooling to heat, so we will be good until it gets warm next summer when we could try again to replace the switch. We would like to get a new car or certified preowned car and have the money set aside be equal to at least 1/2 the cost of the car. I don't want us to be locked into huge car payments, so I am doing my best to come up with as much as possible.

I did pretty well with my paleo challenge last week. I ate oatmeal one time when I sort of woke up late and didn't have time to make any eggs. Oh, well, I will do better this next week. I feel really amazing and have a lot more energy. Since I have been eating gluten free for over a year, it was not that big of a challenge. I just eliminated oatmeal, bread, and crackers. Apparently, brown, wild rice is okay in small amounts, though.

Here are my meals for next week:

1) Meatloaf - 2 meals

2) Top Round Roast - 3 meals

3) Eggs and Ham, Smoothie with almond milk, cocoa, stevia, flaxseeds, banana - 3 meals

4) Almond Butter on an Apple, Carrots, Trail Mix - 1 meal

5) Beef Stew w/ onions, carrots, mushrooms - 3 meals

6) Chicken Soup w/ brown rice, Rice, Onions - 3 meals

7) Green Salad w/ chicken, Avocado, Tomato - 3 meals 1 Done Tonight

8) Chicken Leg Quarter, Steamed Veggies - 3 meals

Food Challenge and Other Stuff

November 6th, 2011 at 09:35 pm

Due to a minor miscalculation, I had to move a little bit of money from a savings account to checking. It is not any of the savings accounts on my sidebar, but one where the dh hoards $ for video games and other stuff he wants to buy. I hated to do it, but we might be overdrawn by Friday if I didn't. I have already set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings for the same amount to make sure the money gets back there.

Oh, well. On to other news. Here are my meals for the coming weak. You might notice I am not planning to eat oatmeal this week. I think grains are becoming a little problematic for me, so I am going to cease eating them for at least a week to see what happens. It's going to be a little weird, but I will probably be eating stuff like pot roast, beef stew, and stir fry for breakfast in order to go grain free. I will also eat eggs, but can't eat them every day.

1) Pot Roast - will make at least 2 meals

2) Beef Stew - will probably make 3 meals - 1 Done Tonight!

3) Eggs and ham - 2 meals

4) Spaghetti Sauce - 1 meal - I may subsitute some broccoli or something for the noodles.

5) Chili - 3 meals

6) Chicken salad and carrot sticks - 1 meal

7) Green salad with chicken, onions, and tomato - 3 meals

8) Chicken stir fry - 2 meals

9) Almond butter on carrot sticks and apples - 1 meal

10) Leftover 13 bean soup w/ ham - 2 meals - 1 Done!