Sunday, March 15, 2009

One Month - Spend No Money - Day Twenty-One (POSTED LATE)

**I wrote this on Monday and forgot to post it**

This past weekend I went back to Detroit to spend some time with family. It was a great last minute decision and I came back to Chicago feeling refreshed about life. I had a lot of support for my challenge, which helped a great deal! My aunt Julie rode with me to Detroit (yes, that young chick in the pic is my aunt!). Not only did she get in the car with a 3-piece from Harold's, she also shared a bag of Garrett's caramel-cheese mix popcorn!! By the time we got to Gary, IN (for the non-Chi people that's only about 30 minutes away) the lap of my gray jogging pants was covered in bright yellow splotches from the cheese!!! YUMMY!!!

When I arrived in Detroit my dad had purchased an 8-piece from Popeye's to get me through the weekend! Go Dad! On Saturday morning my Granny fixed some grits while I hooked up toast and eggs then I was off to meet up with my maternal side of the fam. I did make a purchase - a greeting card, a gift card as my contribution to the fundraiser for my cousin Bobby's family and a cute little trench coat from Target for Reina's daughter's birthday. I resisted the urge to buy candy, gum and everything else and went on my merry way. There was plenty of food at the event, hosted by some of his fraternity brothers. This was my first time hanging out with a house full of men of Alpha Phi Alpha since I graduated from college. LOL - It was cool and we had a great time!

What was planned to be a few hour visit turned into an all day stay. When I got home I was TIRED and plans to hang out were scrapped. I got good sleep and woke up late on Sunday. I was rushing to get back to Chicago and in my haste got 20 miles away before realizing I left my laptop. Had to double back for that and thus began the 4.5 hour journey through torrential downpours along I-94. My dad had given me $30 to get some breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Since my bill was only $8.47, I added the rest to my weekly grocery allowance and picked up some more fun things I was out of like Vanilla Wafers and caramel dips.

So what you got Week Four. We're in the home stretch!!! YEAH!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One Month - Spend No Money - Day Fifteen

OK, I have learned something else - Out of sight should NOT always mean out of mind...

So I've taken the charge cards out of my wallet, I keep my debit card and my emergency food gift cards with me and a lil cash. That's it. Since I'm not spending I naturally suspended my almost daily checking account reviews. Bad idea. Imagine my surprise this weekend when I open my mail and realize I had a $35 overdraft fee on my checking account. On a Blockbuster night last week, Rob was supposed to get the movies but since I had to return one he "PayPal-ed" me some money and asked me to pick up the new ones, versus both of us making the trip. No problem, its no money off my back. So I open my wallet and see a $20 and a debit card. I figure I should save my cash and use the card, not a problem since I haven't been using it, right?

Not so. When I paid my tithes and my Homecoming Dues after the automatic payments on my bills went through, I forgot to balance my checkbook... had I done so I would have noticed that there was $8 in my account, not enough for the $10.88 movies. So my cheap date turned into a $45.88 evening. Sigh.

While I don't feel the need to check daily, I reminded myself that I need to maintain my usually routine of balancing the checkbook and reviewing against the online statements. Fortunately, a quick call to my bank got the charge removed and life goes on...

Saturday night was the house party event of 2009 (LOL) and Sunday was a snowed-in chill day of watching Pineapple Express, reruns of Platinum Weddings, Making the Band, Sportscenter and a bunch of other nonsense tv shows... now we are on Day 15. Week Three. Bring it on...

As for the item of the day... my cousin just got one of my "non American dream cars" - the Mini Cooper. Being from Detroit, we stick with our American car companies, but if I ever happen to be in a Mini Cooper dealership with my checkbook and nobody is looking, I just might have to be disowned from the family!!