December 2018 Budget Check-In!

Hey everybody!

OMAAAHGAWWWD… This should have been posted during the beginning of the month, but I was feeling pretty terrible emotionally-wise, so I just never got around to it. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ ย But I will be posting it now! ๐Ÿ˜€

Starting with this month and beyond, I will be removing the ‘Budgeted Items’ category off the budget report since I am using my debit card full blast instead of taking bills out individually and using the Envelope System. This has been a recent change for me since I have figured out how to wire money to LOCMom from my online bank account. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will also be putting my Costco food items in the “Groceries” category from now on as well because of this recent change. ^ _^

But anyway, let’s get started! Come and see what I spent last December! ^ _^

Rent/Bills: $500.00

$500 for bills and rent. I’m required to pay this much every month.

Activities: $0.00

I’m in the clear here! ๐Ÿ˜€

Groceries: $119.64

I think that this amount is really good! What really shot up my expenses was that I bought around 31 Quest Bars all at once because Sprouts was having a deal on them: 4 Quest Bars for $5.00! 8D

Normally, I have seen 4 Quest Bars in a single box go for $8.00 a pop at Target, so 4 for $5.00 is a screaming deal for them! But alas, after I took advantage of that deal, Sprouts had their Quest Barsย marked up again for 2 for $5.00. – ____- Guess they didn’t think anyone would buy that many at once after checking who spent what money on what deals in their store last month, haha. ๐Ÿ˜› But too bad for them because I can get 4 Quest Bars for $8.00 a box at Target across the street instead of spending my money on their Quest Bars for a ridiculous +$2.00 markup. > _>

But nowย thatย I know that 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar, I’m going to be looking for a cheaper option for energy bars at Costco in February. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait for that! Costco is basically my happy place you could say. ^ _^

Also had to buy my Propell proteinย powder in bulk on Amazon and my sparkling waters are always around $20 or so a month since I do drink a lot of them. I’m probably going to be trying Costco’s Kirkland sparkling water brand in February and see how I like it! I will at least be getting more for my money that way by buying it in bulk. ๐Ÿ™‚

Household Expenses: $150.46

Ever since starting this category on my Budget Sheets, I didn’t know it could get so pricey! O _O

Some of the stuff I bought can be seen/read about below! ^ _^

2 winter hats: I saw some cheap winter gear at the Frugalpants Grocery Store, or Winco,ย and I just had to buy some of it! So I settled for two winter hats! ๐Ÿ™‚ They were 5 bucks a pop, but at least the price for each hat were better than places like Target where they wants a singleย winter hat for like $15 each. ๐Ÿ˜ก

A black down jacket: Now I know what you are thinking… “Where did Ms.LOC get the money for a new down jacket?!” Well, it turns out that Ross had a down jacket at my size and was selling it for around $32.00! I tried it on and it fit me like a glove, so I took that opportunity to purchase it! ๐Ÿ˜€ But in reality, I only paid around $18 for it since I had store credit there from returning an unused backpack earlier on. ๐Ÿ™‚ And after checking how much other non-discount retail stores wanted for down jackets new, I was absolutely SHOCKED! O _O The tag on the jacket I bought said the jacket was $200 originally and I got it for around $18.00-ish…. Can you say SCORE?! 8D Talk about winning the down jacket lottery! ^ o^

But unfortunately, the down jacket I purchased did not have a hood on it, so I have to wear a hat over my head when I go out in the cold weather with it on. Although I am SO SO thankful I got this down jacket for the screamin’ deal that I did, I would be lying if I did not have hood envy when seeing other people wearing down jackets with hoods on them, haha. ^ _^;

Made in USA Door Rug: So I found this AWESOME Made in USA rug for the front door of the inside of our apartment at Costco! It was $15, but man was it ever awesome! The last one I bought did not absorb water at all, (see the ‘Dirt Rug’ part of blog post), but this new rug did and I absolutely love it! It pays to buy quality! ๐Ÿ™‚

Misc. Items: $49.58

I’m happy this category is so low, haha! ๐Ÿ˜€ The “fun stuff” spending can be found in this category now that I have separated the ‘Household Expenses’ stuff/category out of it. Things bought in this category would be a few Goodwill purchases, Operation Christmas Child items (OCC Items), and a fiddle knife from a Craft Fair. ๐Ÿ˜€ The fiddle knife however was made very well, but the wood was not finished on it, so I will be making it a project one day to finish the wood on the knife when I finally buy some wood coating for it. ๐Ÿ™‚ That way, it will not warp and crack eventually after washing it so many times! ^ _^

Entertainment: $20.65

A little high in this category this month. But then again, I think anything over or around $20 is expensive… Dx; Besides my cheap-o subscription fees to the New York Times ($4.00) and Shonen Jump ($1.99), I also paid an app a one-time fee of $1.99 that was on my iPhone (it’s an “economy model” iPhone, btw ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) to get the commercials to disappear on it and I also rented a movie on iTunes for $3.99. Every Christmas, I always watch ‘Disney’s A Christmas Carol’ and it is still an awesome watch every time! ๐Ÿ˜€

Eating Out: $0.00

Well… O _O I guess I am in the clear here as well! I guess my defense for having a hard zero dollars spent on this category was that it was Christmas and I had to spend a little extra money on Xmas presents (only bought two presents) and other important things as well since I always have so much food to eat at ome anyway. It pays to buy food at Costco in bulk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

~

And that’s it! ๐Ÿ˜€

And now the grand total comes to… *drum roll*ย 

Grand Total: $849.10

 

Woot woot! Christmas months are always hard if you are really low income unfortunately. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I lived, darn it! >:O

I will have January’s Budget Check-In out soon-ish hopefully and I am afraid it was REALLY spendy! O _O But I am hoping February will be better for me and everyone else going forward into the New Year. Dx

How was your budget in December 2018? ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

What 5 Things I am Thankful for This Holiday Season/Christmas (2018 Edition)

Hi, everybody! I’m sorry agin for not posting lately! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ I’ve still been feeling bad, but I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜€

Honestly, I have not been in the Christmas mood all month and even though this Xmas has come and gone, I’m hoping the New Year will bring more joyous times in my life for me.

But let’s get to the point of this post! 2018 has pretty much come and gone, and at the end of every year in December, I list what I am thankful for on my blog, Living on Cents. ๐Ÿ˜€ (Read last year’s blog post here!) I am very thankful for many things this year and I will let all of you guys know what they are! ๐Ÿ˜€

My New Twin Bed Mattress

I didn’t mention this before on my blog, but a few months ago, I got a new mattress! It is a twin size pillow top mattress and it is super comfy! Having like four mattress pads on it as well helps too with its comfiness, haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I fall asleep immediately on it every night and I never hurt at all when laying down on it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also got a matching box spring and mattress protector sheet thrown in when the mattress was purchased, so that is always a plus! And no, my new mattress was not 39849847834893 dollars thank goodness. Dx I basically got an “economy model” mattress that was priced pretty reasonably and was so worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

So this year, I am thankful for my new mattress! If I keep taking care of it properly, it should last me for many years to come! ^ _^

ABLE Accounts

I was going to make a special blog post about this, but I have just been feeling awful still lately. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! /ProfessorFarnsworthVoice ABLE accounts are now LAUNCHED AND LIVE in California! I haven’t started one yet, but by getting an ABLE Account, I will be able to save over $2000 while on SSI now! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! ^ o^ When I open up an ABLE Account finally, I will definitely be letting you guys know about my small financial milestones that I will achieve little by little with my ABLE Account. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m basically going to be using my new ABLE Account as an account to fund my retirement and my goal is to MAX IT OUT. HIT THE CAP BABE. STASH. CASH. B)

So yeah, I am super excited and I am hoping I will be able start stashing my cash into an ABLE account as soon as next month. I can’t wait! ๐Ÿ˜€

My Food/Drink Stockpile and Costco

So as a person who lives on SSI, always having enough food around the house for me is always a concern of mine. It always stings a little parting with my money every time I go to the Frugalpants Grocery Store even though it is a frugalpants store. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But this year, I am thankful for stores like Costco where I can buy food and drinks I enjoy consuming in bulk and most of the time, saving money that way by buying things in bulk instead of paying the “poor tax” on just one food/drink item bought individually every time. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ By buying food/drink products and household goods in bulk, it may be that I have to part with a lot of money at one time for a bulk purchase, but in the end, I know what I am buying is a screamin’ deal that will benefit me and last me for the longest amount of time possible. I must admit this privilege of me being able to afford bulk items every month is because I live with LOCMom. If I was living by myself on SSI, things would be very different and more difficult for me, I’m afraid. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

But every night when I am in my bed, my bulk items are in my room staring back at me and I know in my heart that I am blessed. ^ _^ When I look at them, I feel I have so much and I am so very thankful for that. โค

My Clothing

I remember when I was in my earlier 20’s before the frugal lifestyle became a huge part of my life (I was frugal then as well, but was not as passionate about frugality as much as I am now… ๐Ÿ™‚ ), I sometimes bought pretty delicate shirts that you would always have to handwash because if you put them in a washing machine, the washing machine would just wreck them and ruin them without mercy. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Well, after a while, I guess I did get tired of having clothing that I always had to handwash all of the time and when I moved to y new town, when I bought “brand new” new clothing after my weight loss, I bought t-shirts that fit me well and could be washed in a washing machine because I didn’t want to hand wash anything with such a small kitchen in my new apartment that I live in and I just… didn’t want to handwash anything. Dx

These days, I have a frugal/poverty mentality when it comes to my clothing. I always say to myself, “As long as my clothing clothes me and keeps me warm/cool against nature’s elements, I will wear this simple clothing and I am and will be very thankful for it.” But also, my clothing (basically my shirts) has to not ever turn into pill city in the near future and has to be or be near 100% cotton or another 100% of some other fabric. Polyester clothing, unless it is a sweater or exercise leggings, always gets the gullotine treatment from my closet if I happen to buy a shirt that is made out of polyester and I didn’t check the tag for what the shirt was made out of first at the store. >:/ You just gotta’ checkย whatย your clothing is made out everybody, those clothing manufacturers are tricky!ย 

I have recently shrank into a Size 12 pant size, but it has been hard for me to find Size 12 pants that work on my body since when you hit a Size 12 or lower (basically shrink out of the plus size range of clothing Size 14 and up… .), I have discovered pant sizing becomes batsh*t crazytown. It’s absolutely insane what each clothing manufacturer thinks is a “Size 12”. Some 12’s are really 10’s and some 12’s are even 8’s and 6’s! Sometimes some 12’s a rare size 4… I wish I were joking, but I am not. >: / Also since pants in stores this winter are all trending being a high rise cut right now, they don’t even work for my body type since I am so short in the waist area. : ( Even petite pants are sometimes even too long on me because my waist basically disappears when I sit down and the petite pants still act like long waisted pants on me. >: / It’s been like this ever since my childhood. Still drives me crazy to this day.

So for now, even though my Size 14 pants are baggy on me, I will be keeping them around and just wear a belt with them like I always do. ๐Ÿ™‚ Like I said, I am very grateful and feel blessed that I have warm clothing to clothe me to protect me from the weather, so I am happy with my clothing at the moment and in the long run. ^ _^

Dumpsters at my Apartment Complex

Sometimes God blesses people through other people or through events in their lives. What the average person might not think though is how stuff thrown away in a dumpster can bless people’s’ lives as well.

Everyone… Ever since moving to an apartment complex and living in an apartment, even today, I still can’t believe what people throw out. I mean… It’s incredible. It’s absolutely unbelievable. Basically, if anything is by a dumpster or in a dumpster at my apartment complex, it’s fair game in my opinion.ย 

Basically so far this year I have found a large full size Made in USA ironing board, a rotating air purifying fan, a blood pressure pump reader that works perfectly, a Made in USA tool box, perfectly good tall lamps, a coffee maker and a Keurig machine, and much much more that I am still in disbelief that people just chuck into a dumpster or beside a dumpster to be taken to the dump to be buried in a giant hole in the ground to never be seen or be used again. These items usually still work if you plug them in even. It’s just awful everyone. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I unfortunately can’t take everything I find (had to let that Keurig go… ๐Ÿ˜ฅ ), but I do take what I can use in my life, in a dumpster or not. I even donate the stuff I find by or in the dumpsters to thrift stores because there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and other people can use the stuff I find. ๐Ÿ™‚

Like just today, I found some perfectly good work tools and a lot of them were Made in USA tools. Also found a blue plastic medium/large-ish garbage bin for our apartment’s garage. And the diamond in the rough I scored out of a dumpster by our apartment today was a plastic chair mat for my computer area. ^ o^ Check out how much one retails for at Costco and on Amazon and I didn’t pay a cent for mine I found in a dumpster. B) Sure, the one I found isn’t as bright and shiny like a new one, but it is one that was definitely well loved in its past and will be well loved again in its future in my life. โค

God providith things to others even through dumpsters sometimes and do I ever feel so blessed and grateful for the many useful things I sometimes find in them at my apartment complex. Even though I am agnostic, I like to think some sort of higher power is looking out for me sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Conclusion

So there ya’ have it, everyone! The 5 things I am thankful for this holiday/Christmas season! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m hoping next year will be better than the last and will bring me much more joyous experiences in my life, so here’s hoping for a better year in 2019! *fingers crossed*

What are you thankful this holiday/Christmas season? ๐Ÿ˜€

What I’ve been up to! (as of November 25, 2018)

Hey everybody! I am SO SORRY that I have been absent lately. I haven’t forgotten about the blog, I swear! I have just been feeling awful lately and I have scheduled a therapy appointment to have someone to talk to about the troubles in my life I am currently facing.

But today, I am going to tell all of you what I have been up to!

Started My Art Blog

Yup! Just started my art blog! It is calledย Wandering Mind!

I have two posts on it currently and would have a few more, but like I said, I have been feeling awful lately and haven’t updated it lately… But I am hoping to keep it going! I will be posting art sketch dumps next, so please stayed tune if you would like to see them! : )

Until then, here is my first piece of artwork up on my blog! It is of Deku from the series, My Hero Academia. Hoping you guys will enjoy it. โค

Shopped Goodwill Black Friday Sale

So I did manage to go to the Goodwil 50% Off Everything Black Friday Sale and this is my haul!

goodwill haul
The stuff that looks like a giant blob is my haul, haha… xD

I mainly bought exercise clothing for the winter since I did not have any for this time of year for about $2.50-$3.00 a pop! I’m always on the lookout for long exercise leggings as well, so I bought two pairs of them! And the rest of the stuff were wants basically, haha. : )

But I did have a lot of fun being my “natural environment” you could say. ;D

Made Green Bean Casserole

I don’t have the picture or recipe on hand, but I did make a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving! And oh my god… It was SOOOOOO tasty! ^ o^

I also went to LOCAunt’s and LOCUncle’s house for Thnaksgiving dinner and that was a lot of fun! It was fun spending time with them on Turkey Day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Signed Up to Volunteer

So I have basically put in an application to volunteer at a local Retirement Home! Crossing my fingers that I will get accepted! It has been awhile since I have heard from them, but I am hoping everything is going okay with my application! ๐Ÿ˜€

And that’s about it…

So yeah, I have not been doing a lot lately. Just like luandry and stuff. *shrug* \ (‘ u’) / I wish my life were a bit more exciting, but it is what it is.

I am very sorry about the short blog post today! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Just wanted to let everyone know that I stil care about updating the blog and haven’t forgotten about it. I’ve just been feeling too crummy to write is all and now matter how many “sunshine pills” AKA Extra Strength Vitamin D pills I take (one serving of them a day), I still feel awful. Hoping the therapy appointment will help a lot for me. โค

What have you been up to lately?