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Archive for December, 2006

Mighty pleased with myself

December 22nd, 2006 at 01:15 pm

Looking back at this week I am very pleased with myself. I did good!!

Starting sunday:
I finally started to write my dreaded article and I have now two-thirds done. And I think it is turning out ok, for a first draft. So I will get it finished on time before my deadline.

I prepared a lecture I had to give today in my own time and gave it on my day of. Adding another day to my personal debt pay off. Bringing my new total to 11 out of 48 days (and four hours spare).

I did my end of the year finances today. I gave 10% of my inheritance I received this year to 5 different good causes. And signed up for a tax friendly investment fund that finances mikrocredit (so instead of the already wealthy the poor will benefit from my surplus).

I went to the gym 5 out of 6 days! This is truly spectacular for me! And I am not going to stop here, I will follow up with my boot camp untill my supervacation.

Less than perfect since sunday:
I only had one no spend day. Allthough I can say in my defence that there was very little frivolous spending. But still money has left my wallet fast this week.
I am eating way too much. Especially candy and other empty calories. Really have to work on this one

So I am smiling tonight and really feel good about myself for a change.

Never too late for new beginnings

December 17th, 2006 at 11:17 am

I guess I have been slacking. Not really with my frugalness, that comes pretty natural now. But with everything else. My household chores, my work responsibilities, my work-out regime. And my house, my results and my waistline are all showing my lack of discipline. So onto new beginnings. I have made a schedule for myself starting tomorrow. And with this schedule I will not only be able to catch up with work and household responsibilities but I will also be on a fitness bootcamp. So no vegging in front of the tv the next weeks, tv time is scheduled in, no more mindlessly watching I don't know what for hours. I have better things to do with my time.
In five weeks I will be on a six week vacation break, so I have a very definite and pleasant goal to reach.
I will do this!!! You are all witnesses to my goal.

Today was a total no spend day. Yesterday I did my groceries and bought a small christmas tree, and I spent 25 on a night out. We went to a concert in Tongeren (Belgium). The singer had a lovely voice but I found the concert a bit boring because she lacked emotion. Everything was crystal clear but you really couldn't tell whether she was happy or sad in a song, they all sounded the same.

Unbelievable that 2006 is almost over. The year didn't start very well, my father died january 17. But 2006 has also been a year with many things to be gratefull for. One of those things being that I am so happy and gratefull that settling my fathers estate, handling all the money issues involved, did in no way come between me and my brothers and sisters. I have seen so many families brake up over the stupidest of things when it comes to money and inheritance. We divided the money and everyone got to take the momentos that were most dear to him or her. No fights or angry faces anywhere. I know that my parents would have been proud to see their children so harmoniously taking care of that very sad business.

I get to see all of my brothers, sister and nieces and nephews over christmas. The house will be full, and that is a good feeling too. And than in january I get to visit my other sister in New Zealand. A vacation that I can completely pay for in cash, frugality rocks!

Forgot to report Big Frugal YeaH!

December 11th, 2006 at 02:14 am

How could I forget. We got our electricity and gas bill in last week. We are on a fixed plan and get the real bill once a year. We are due back 270,- in december! That will mean that decembers gas and electricity will be free and we will get an additional 120 from them. That's 270 into joint savings to help bring up our total back to where it used to be. Big yeah!
I guess all my frugal strategies (hanging all my laundry, using most of my appliances during reduced hours and keeping the thermostat really low and use many sweaters, blankets and candles to stay warm) really worked.
Strangely enough they reduced my payment for next year with only 2 each month because they predicted a higher usage next year. Well I'll surprise them, my challenge is to get back at least the seem amount next year (and since we are going on holiday during the most expensive months this year january and february, that will happen!)

Progress report

December 11th, 2006 at 01:57 am

I've made good progress these last few days. I have been to Ireland for my uni job. That resulted in four no spend days, since all my expenses will be reimbursed. And I did so much overtime that I can add 3 days to my personal debt reduction challenge, bringing my total to 10 days.
About Ireland, it was mostly windy, wet and cold and I didn't get to see any of it. But I got to stay in a very good hotel with gym and pool. I went to the gym twice and did 30 laps in the pool. So I did keep up with my planned exercise. So far I have been very good with that, but sadly enough my weightscale does not show it yet. My goal of losing 4 kilos before my january holiday seems still very far away.

I started with making my price book. As it turned out I am already doing very good and there is not much to gain by shopping at other stores. I routinely go to Lidl (a kind of Aldis) and comparing prices showed that on most products they are the cheapest and when not the difference was only cents. So if I continue to shop there I will be getting the best deal. The only savings on groceries that I can make is cutting back on the amount of groceries I buy. But even than the projected savings will be small, because I allready don't buy many luxury items and look for sales religiously. Cutting back too far will make me (and most of all DB) feel to deprived and that has a possible countereffect anyway (making up for it by going out to often for example). But I will challenge myself to cutting back my grocery budget with 10% next year (over the year average) w'll see if that is doable.