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Archive for May, 2007

$20 Challenge Update... So Close!

May 31st, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Old Total: $1349.44
+ $40.00 babysitting
New Total: $1389.44

I keep meaning to write a real entry, but I've been so busy all I can do is keep up with the Challenge for now!

When I set out to reach my goal of $1500 by June 30, I had no idea I'd end up being this close! Yes, I realize I still have a month to go, but the family I babysit for is leaving the country in a few weeks for the entire summer- hence the main source of my $20 Challenge income goes on vaction, too!

To make up for the loss of income,
I have contacted another family who posted an ad for summer babysitter. I also have a small pile of clothes to try to re-sell at Plato's Closet. I'm going to need to get creative to come up with another $100 in the next month (I anticipate making another $30-40 babysitting before they go on vacation).

Challenge Addition

May 28th, 2007 at 08:12 pm

Eveery little bit helps, right?

I sold a book on

Old Total: $1346.88
+ $2.56 sale
New Total: $1349.44

Reaching my goal of $1500 by the end of June is going to be close!

Challenge Addition

May 24th, 2007 at 01:00 pm

Old Total: $1304.88
+ $42.00 babysitting
New Total: $1346.88

April Spending Analysis

May 21st, 2007 at 12:03 am

One of my goals for 2007 is to live off my monthly graduate student stipend while paying $150 / month into an IRA. All other money I receive (odds jobs and gifts) is funneled into my high yield savings account.

My April expenses looked like this:

Auto: $47.00
Clothing $109.97
Dining $18.82
Entertainment $7.00
Gifts Given: $88.13
Groceries $29.65
Joint Expenses $900.00 (includes rent, utilities, food, gas, etc)
IRA Contribution $150
Total March Stipend $1296.00

Uh oh! I overspent my stipend by $7.79.

A few explanations, I went to three baby showers in Aprilóhence the high gifts given category. One of the showers was out of state. I rode with a friend, and gave her $47 to cover gas and tolls (typically I donít have an ďautoĒ category since the car expenses shard my Mr. Bean and I go into our joint expenses). Clothing was high this month because I bought a new business suit.

Once again, I failed to live directly off my stipend, but this month was at least closer to target than

Text is last month and Link is
last month. In reality, I wasnít really in the red because I had other sources of income during April (primarily babysitting, ~$175.00). I also traveled for a work conference in April and didnít spend my entire per diem, so I should profit ~$50 off that once the re-imbursement is made.

Still, the point is really being driven home how careful I need to be if I want to stay within the means of my current income!

Goodwill Finds!

May 20th, 2007 at 11:39 pm

I ventured back to the Goodwill today. The trip was more of a form of entertainment than to fulfill a specific purchase. I admit itís not the most frugal form of entertainment, but it sure is cheaper than a trip to the Mall. I ended up with great some great clothes that I canít wait to wear.

For the current summer season, I found a great pair of cropped khaki J.Jill pants (I paid $5.59, new I imagine they cost at least $49). For Fall I found a pair of Ann Taylor cords for $0.25, and a Mossimo sweater for $4.99. The picture doesnít do the sweater justice, but I just LOVE it.

I also picked up this cute little fleece for my niece ($1.20)

I also couldnít resist this beautiful orchid plate for $0.69.

It will add a nice touch to the whimsical feel Iím trying to create on our porch. Meredith at

Text is Like Merchant Ships and Link is
Like Merchant Ships has been a great inspiration to me to try to find thrift store bargains to beautify the home.

Babysitting $$

May 17th, 2007 at 01:39 pm

I have so much to write about, but I've been so busy! At the very least, I can keep up with updates of my Challenge:

Old Total: $1264.88
+ $40.00 babysitting
New Total: $1304.88

More to come, soon! I still need to review and psot my April spending analysis, too!

$3.50 for the Challenge

May 10th, 2007 at 01:10 am

Mr. Bean recently cleaned out his closet in preparation for the upcoming move. I washed and ironed a bunch of his rejects to try to sell at

Text is Plato's Closet and Link is
Plato's Closet. After all the ironing, they denied all the clothes, but they did take a pair of shoes for $3.50. Since I took the intiative to try to sell the stuff, he said I could reap the rewards. Big whoop :-)

The rest of the stuff is going to Freecycle.

Old Total: $1261.38
+ $3.50 shoes
New Total: $1264.88

Challenge Addition

May 6th, 2007 at 01:07 pm

Things have been crazily chaotic in Beanland.

Mr. Bean has accepted a job in a city ~ 250 miles away, but I need to stay here to finish up my PhD. He's movng, I'm staying and getting a roommate so I can stay in our current house without breaking the bank. Roommmate interviews currently underway. Oi Vay! This promises to be an interesting year! On the positive side, his new job sounds very exciting and the compensation sure beats a graduate school stipend. I've also agreed to teach teach 2 summer sessions of Nutrition 100 at the University where I'm a graduate student. I'll get paid ~$5000 (before taxes) over the summer for this. I'm not sure if I'll add this to my Challenge tally. Maybe I'll keep it on a separate line or something.

I do have a few more Challenge additions:

$60 for babysitting and $7.69 for selling a little tester of a Lancome perfume on eBay. I was going to throw the perfume tester out and then thought, "Huh. maybe someone would buy this on eBay?!?" Glad I did!

Old Total: $1153.69
+ $60.00 babysitting
$7.69 eBay sales
New Total: $1261.38