How can I save money?

Since moving into my condo I basically live paycheck to paycheck.  I have to plan out when to pay my bills based on when I have money coming in the bank.  I have never had to live that way so it is definitely a change.  I started taking the bus so I’m not paying $160 for parking and I am receiving a $100 transportation benefit which has helped me keep a couple of hundred dollars in the bank after bills are paid. But I need more ways to save some money!

I’m considering selling my car in the near future so I would save money on insurance, car registration fees and taxes.  I’ve also tried to stop using the dryer to help with the electricity costs.  My electrical bill has risen from $33 in October up to $130 in January.  I know it’s been cold, but I want it to go back down!  Any ideas?  I do have a programmable thermostat which is programmed to be at 63 degrees during the day and up to 68 degrees in the evening.  Even with it at 68 degrees I’m constantly wearing sweatshirts and have a blanket on me.

What else can I do? I try to buy food based on what is on sale so I can stock up and eat it when I need to. I’ve been trying to limit my meals out and pick/choose what I spend money on for entertainment. I spend little money on beauty (ie: rarely get my nails done, never get my eyebrows done anymore, hair cut maybe twice a year).

Look forward to hearing your suggestions!

Ray

Death in the Office Place

How do you handle when one of your co-workers has a death in the family? Death is such a touchy subject and I know it is hard to comfort others because you just aren’t sure how people want to handle it.

I consider my co-worker to be one of my closest friends at the office, but for some reason it feels odd to jump up and give her a hug to console her.  Granted, I’m not a huger and she has a weird phobia of germs so I was at a loss when she came by my office to tell me the news.  I just sat in my chair, said how sorry I was and told her to let me know if I could do anything.  Its awkward and tough, but what else is one supposed to do?

Ray

Two Weeks Gone

The Penguin has now been gone over a week for work and returns on Friday. Almost two weeks away and it feels like I haven’t seen him in months! This is the longest time we have been apart since we started dating a little over a year ago and it just doesn’t feel right.

I was definitely feeling the pressure of him leaving the day before he left.  I was in total grump mode and there wasn’t much I could do to pull myself out of it. I was snappy and uninterested in being nice. After the fact, I pinned the grumpiness on the fact that he was leaving the next day. It was my subconscious not approving of his departure. Oppps!

But there have been positives to my alone time. I’ve used this time apart to clean, re-organize, plan too many dinners out with friends/family, stock up on groceries, do laundry and watch mindless tv.  Him being gone=me spending too much money though (which isn’t good)! He will be gone another two weeks later in the month and I have vowed to control the extra spending during those weeks.  Instead, I’ll focus on reading and my fitness.

I definitely enjoy the time away since it makes the heart grow fonder, but I am ready for his return!

Ray