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My February Challenge Update 3

February 10th, 2008 at 01:15 am

My February Challenge is doing a "fiscal fast," minimizing extras and sticking to spending on monthly bills, food, fuel, and medical emergencies.

This week was so-so. I *did* have two more no-spend days (and I expect tomorrow to be another, as I'm planning not to leave the house and to spend minimal time on the internet), so that's 4 so far. If tomorrow is indeed another NSD, I'll be batting .500 as far as NSDs go, which is pretty good for me.

I *did* buy a couple of unplanned extras. Both were not really unplanned, but not planned for this month. I was called up on Monday and asked by the Dean of the Evening College to supervise an independent study class for a student (which will bring in over $600 more income this term). The class I am supervising for her is one that I am not otherwise teaching this term. I taught it last term. A new video very relevant to the class appeared in January, and I decided at that time to buy it the next time I taught the course; but until this week, I thought that wouldn't be until next January. In addition, I replaced a copy of another videotape I use which was wearing out with a DVD of the same, since both purchases were from ABC video. So that was an unplanned $65 in unreimbursed business expenses.

Then today at the grocery store, I fell prey to the sale bug and bought two pretty glass carafes and a new coffee mug, for $13. These had been on the "to buy" list so were not totally impulse expenses, just taking advantage of the sale.

I did end up spending $130 at the grocery store, so I'm going to do my best to have that last two weeks if I can and skip my regular grocery shopping trip next weekend.

Finally, this week my local public library decided to charge me full price for a book I'd borrowed, as they said it was "too damaged" to go into circulation. I got a lecture from Miss Priss the librarian on the phone and was relieved not to have another one when I went in to pay the fine. I was thinking that I must have written in the book more than I thought, but no. Yes, I KNOW one is not supposed to write in library books--I'm a librarian's daughter. My mother and I used to fight about my habit of writing in books. I do minimize this for library books. (And I frankly I cannot understand people who can read nonfiction books and get involved with them *without* writing in them. Reading a book is like having a conversation with the author, and one has to record one's own side, is my view. Just like "an empty desk is a sign of an empty mind," an unmarked page of a nonfiction book is a sign that the reader was not involved in the reading, IMHO. But really, I DO limit my extensive conversations to books I own.) The "writing all over the book" turned out to be approximately 8 pen dots, lines, and exclamation points marking key passages, and one 6-word annotation pointing to another book on the same issue which also appeared last month (the book in question was Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food," which I am just as happy to own, and the book I referred to was Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories," which Pollan eventually mentions, about 25 pages after the point at which I first found it relevant. Personally, I am happy when a link to a related reference is posted.) Anyways, that ended up costing me $30.50, for the book, the processing fee, and late fees for a couple of other books I was not allowed to renew earlier this week because of the charge.

Despite the couple of extra expenses, it's still looking as though I'll come in under $2000 in total expenses easily (current projection is for $1825 total), just so long as the pets stay well and no other crisis emerges.

I also got another $25 reward certificate from if the spending bug really hits.

As far as my other major goal for the year, I've lost 9 pounds so far. I've been keeping track of my miles walked, both for exercise and otherwise, via a pedometer. To date, I've walked 170 miles so far this year, 74 aerobic miles and 96 other. Much better than I was doing in 2007!

3 Responses to “My February Challenge Update 3”

  1. scfr Says:

    I understand the urge to write when reading non-fiction ... Perhaps you could jot things down in a notebook instead of directly in the book? $30.50 will buy a heck of a lot of notebooks! Smile

  2. HelpMeFriend Says:

    That charge included late fees. My son has his own card, which I made the mistake of letting him use. I only checked mine online. I was unaware that the fee went up from a dime to a quarter and now he owes over $35 for his shark books. I will be checking his more often now!

  3. Carolina Bound Says:

    I have to say I think you should not write in library books. You are only borrowing, remember, and others are not necessarily interested in your conversation with the author. And yes, I am a former librarian!Smile

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