BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
llorona
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by llorona » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:09 pm

What kind of candy do you eat?

DutchGirl
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by DutchGirl » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:41 pm

Enjoyed reading your posts. Yes, money spent on education definitely is an investment for your future (and hopefully one that will pay off), but still I would not put your tuition and educational books in the "savings" category. You are spending that money, after all.

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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by jacob » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:37 pm

In the short run, tuition cost is definitely an expense and not savings.

In the long run, it's not an expense.

Also, in the long run it's still not savings. I'm presuming that you won't deduct the amortizing of your human capital from your future income? ;-)

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:11 pm

All right, I'll keep it listed as an expense.

I see how it's not savings. The increased wages in the future are not passive income like dividends are; I'll still have to work for the money, and when I stop working it won't make me money anymore.

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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by jacob » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:16 pm

Also you can't sell your human capital without selling yourself.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:41 pm

llorona wrote:What kind of candy do you eat?
Generally, fruit-flavored non-hard candy. The specific name depends on whichever ones my store offers sales for each month.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:18 am

JULY 2013

INCOME: 1197
4 Paychecks: 1035
Employer Health Insurance: 132
Money for food: 20
Gift: 10

EXPENSES: 1104
Housing: 400
Groceries: 125
- Food: 83
- Hygiene: 16
- Supplies: 7
- Pet food: 20
Transportation: 100
Health: 164
- Insurance: 132
- Supplies: 7
- Doctor co-pay: 25
Entertainment: 144
- Eating out: 56
- Socializing: 70
- Alcohol: 8
- Candy: 11
Student Loans: 171

SAVINGS RATE: 7.7%

Eh, not much to say. We're still working on the house (although we're mostly done with the outside). I still work at the same job. School starts at the end of August.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:36 pm

So, for the past two months, I've been using baking soda as deodorant. I pour some out of the box into my hand, then turn on the faucet to the lowest possible setting and trickle water over the baking soda until it is completely wet. I then let the excess water run off and apply the remaining mixture to my armpits.

It does a decent job as a deodorant, but I find that it dries and chafes my skin. I've tried using less, but then it doesn't work as well. Using lotion helps heal the dryness. The skin also chafes less if I shave the hairs more often and use fabric softener on my shirts. The problem still persists, however.

I feel that if I'm really using baking soda because I believe it's healthier for my skin, it shouldn't be damaging it like this, which regular deodorant does not. I think I'll switch back to regular deodorant for a while before trying another alternative method.

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theanimal
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by theanimal » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:51 pm

I use baking soda myself and while it doesn't affect me, a fair amount of people battle chafing/dryness because it's too strong. I've read the solution is mixing it with cornstarch. I don't remember the ratio but it's pretty easy to find through Google

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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by jennypenny » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:49 am

Do you have to mix it with water? Can you mix it with a balm instead (like beeswax balm)?

If it worked, you could learn to make your own balm to save some money. It's easy to add scent to balm (like citrus), which might be nice if you are using it for deoderant.
----------

I just saw that you're in NYC. If the balm doesn't work or isn't practical, could you try mixing the baking soda with Eucerin or Nivea instead of water?

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:12 am

theanimal wrote:I use baking soda myself and while it doesn't affect me, a fair amount of people battle chafing/dryness because it's too strong. I've read the solution is mixing it with cornstarch. I don't remember the ratio but it's pretty easy to find through Google
I had read about mixing it with cornstarch, but I assumed that the purpose of the cornstarch was to absorb sweat and to help the baking soda stay on. I wasn't having problems with either of those two. But if cornstarch helps with my problem, I guess I could give it a try. At least I have other uses for cornstarch in case it doesn't work.
jennypenny wrote:Can you mix it with a balm instead (like beeswax balm)?
I haven't read of anybody doing this.
jennypenny wrote:could you try mixing the baking soda with Eucerin or Nivea instead of water?
I've thought about mixing it with lotion, but wouldn't that be counterproductive? I'm guessing that making the area moist would facilitate bacteria growth, which is the opposite purpose.

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Chris
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by Chris » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:01 pm

Have you tried one of those Thai salt crystals? I've been testing one out for about 5 months now, and it works well (better than Tom's deodorant at least). It really hasn't worn down much at all, so I expect it will last quite a long time.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:28 pm

So I tried using a mixture of the hand lotion I already used normally (specifically Vaseline Men Body & Face Lotion) and baking soda as a deodorant solution. I had assumed that it would smell worse by creating a moist environment for bacteria, but it actually smelled quite nice due to the scent of the lotion. However, I would still get itchy after several hours.

Then I tried using generic-brand Aquaphor with the baking soda, which worked better to combat skin dryness/itchiness.

However, after several days, I disliked both of these methods because I would have to wash my hands afterward, and these products take longer to wash off.

Most recently, I've been using Purell for free at work, which works fine for the time being.
Chris wrote:Have you tried one of those Thai salt crystals?
I looked into those. I'm going to pass on them. Their ingredient list is vague; it just says "mineral salts" and I suspect that this includes potassium alum, and I'd like to avoid aluminum.

Right now I'm leaning towards Old Spice deodorant, the cheapest brand at my store that does not contain aluminum.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:09 pm

AUGUST 2013

INCOME: 1433
5 Paychecks: 1168
Employer Health Insurance: 166
Gift: 100

EXPENSES: 1306
Housing: 400
Groceries: 113
- Food: 78
- Hygiene: 20
- Supplies: 15
Transportation: 90
Health: 249
- Insurance: 166
- Copay: 65
- Supplements: 18
Haircut: 15
Entertainment: 179
- Eating out: 58
- Socializing: 17
- eMusic: 100
- Candy: 4
Education: 80 (textbook)
Student Loans: 181

SAVINGS RATE: 8.9%

I got worried during this month. My paychecks were individually smaller than usual this month. My employer hasn't been giving me quite as many hours as they used to, and they gave me 2 Sundays off; since I get time-and-a-half for working Sundays, having that day off affects my paycheck significantly. Additionally, expenses were somewhat higher this month: my student loan payment was higher than previously because I hadn't renewed my IBR yet and my annual eMusic subscription came up for renewal. Those things won't be coming up again for a while.

To combat my smaller paychecks, I should probably stay on the lookout for a full-time $10/hr job that would work with my school schedule, but I'll most likely stay at my current one.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:37 pm

SEPTEMBER 2013

INCOME: 1196
4 Paychecks: 1064
Employer Health Insurance: 132

EXPENSES: 1011
Housing: 400
Groceries: 205
- Food: 113
- Hygiene: 9
- Supplies: 61
- Pet food: 22
Transportation: 112
Health: 159
- Insurance: 132
- Supplements: 27
Entertainment: 15 (Candy)
Student Loan: 120

SAVINGS RATE: 15.5%

A relatively good month, financially. My student loans just went into deferment, so those payments will be gone from this list for a while. I'll still be paying them down, but that will be included in my savings rate. You'll notice that there is no "Eating out" category this month; I did actually eat out quite a bit, but that got included in last month's numbers.

Going to school while working full-time is proving difficult so far. Specifically, most days, I'm not able to get enough sleep anymore. It's not like during undergrad when I lived, worked, and studied in the same place. The commuting time makes my day much longer.

Additionally, I have much fewer opportunities to do my grocery shopping. I used to be able to buy a few things after work, but now I have school after work, so I am limited to weekends for my shopping. Same goes for cooking. This means that my eating out has increased.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:38 pm

OCTOBER 2013

INCOME: 1407
4 Paychecks: 1024
Employer Health Insurance: 132
Birthday Money: 250

EXPENSES: 899
Housing: 400
Groceries: 93
- Food: 81
- Pets: 12
Transportation: 112
Clothing: 4
Health: 144
- Insurance: 132
- Supplements: 12
Entertainment: 142
- Eating out: 65
- Socializing: 55
- Travel: 15
- Candy: 8
Education: 3

SAVINGS RATE: 36.1%

My student loans are in deferment because I'm in school now, so they do not contribute to my expenses. However, the money listed as savings is being used for debt repayment.

Going to school while working full-time is becoming easier, helped by having my days off from work fall on school days. Still, however, I hardly cook anymore.

Work on the house is continuing at a turtle's pace. I must say, doing this work does not make me feel like an independent, competent Renaissance man; it makes me feel like a slave. I really don't want to do this shit. Something to think about when making future life choices.

I got a raise at the end of this month, so my hourly rate is now increased from $9.20 to $9.55. Whether it will be noticeable remains to be seen. Also, I chose my health insurance plan for next year. I chose the cheaper plan with a high deductible, figuring that if I need to go to the doctor I can just go to my school health center for free. So my paychecks should be a little bigger next year.

I am also strongly considering taking a leave of absence from work for a couple of months at the beginning of next year to give me more time to work on the house and get it done with. I'll live on excess student loan money during that time.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:02 pm

NOVEMBER 2013

INCOME: 1326
5 Paychecks: 1160
Employer Health Insurance: 166

EXPENSES: 1097
Housing: 400
Groceries: 200
- Food: 183
- Supplies: 17
Transportation: 112
Health: 192
- Insurance: 166
- Supplements: 27
Entertainment: 192
- Eating out: 95
- Socializing: 86
- Candy: 11

SAVINGS RATE: 17.3%

I'm getting way more used to the work-then-school schedule. Now I can be at work for most of the day not feeling tired. I don't even need caffeine most days. Then I get on the train to school and I'm out like a light, waking up in time for my stop.

What I'm not so confident with is the food. I still haven't figured out what to eat that fits into both my budget and my schedule. If I have leftover rice and beans, I eat them for lunch at work. If not I either eat this processed crap (of which I keep a stash at work) or buy something at the food court. I also snack on peanuts throughout the day. Unfortunately, this leaves me with no dinner for after-work-before-school; I often eat more peanuts during this time but sometimes resort to fast food, reflected in my relatively high Eating Out category above.

I've also realized that I need to drop certain foods from my diet. I've found that oatmeal, bread, and many other grain products give me heartburn. Sugar and candy often do as well. I recently started taking generic-brand Tums after my meals, but I know that's not a long-term solution. I've already eliminated oatmeal from my breakfast and replaced it with eggs. The other meals are a bit trickier though. I'm hoping that rice doesn't produce the same reaction, but it's hard to tell at this point because I add so many ingredients to my rice and beans.

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:46 pm

DECEMBER 2013

INCOME: 1339
4 Paychecks: 981
Employer Health Insurance: 132
Gifts: 225

EXPENSES: 1109
Housing: 400
Groceries: 137
- Food: 85
- Household Supplies: 41
- Personal Care: 11
Transportation: 112
Health: 167
- Insurance: 132
- Supplements: 35
Education: 18
Entertainment: 275
- Eating out: 75
- Travel: 31
- Socializing: 117
- Gifts: 28
- Candy: 24

SAVINGS RATE: 17.1%

My job gave me fewer hours than normal this month, which seems to be customary during the busy seasons. I didn't seem to mind, though. I find myself valuing my free time more than extra money these days, and have even taken additional days off when the opportunity arose.

I have been incorporating more organic ingredients into my cooking, and I'm glad to see that my grocery spending on food has not noticeably increased. Due to my reduced time working, I have also had time to cook more, so I brought lunch to work most days. However, I still resorted to eating fast food for dinners after work but before school. I also ate out at work for lunch the last few days of the month because I was sick.

Entertainment went over budget this month, as I prefer to keep it under $200. A substantial amount was socializing, which was mostly going out with friends but also included food I brought to a Christmas party. That stuff I don't regret. The candy spending was higher than it needed to be, as I found myself without any candy at home while facing an all-nighter for my school project. I was forced to pay retail price that night.

My education spending was for materials/supplies for that project. One of them was a three-hole punch, which I know I already had, but I had no idea where among my clutter. Again, time was a factor.

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m741
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by m741 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:18 am

Good work, I also tend to prefer fewer hours to more money. I think that's a pretty good sign for making progress.

$24 for candy seems like an awful lot! But, delicious.

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GandK
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Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by GandK » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:40 am

BeyondtheWrap wrote:I have been incorporating more organic ingredients into my cooking, and I'm glad to see that my grocery spending on food has not noticeably increased.
Which ingredients have you increased?

I'm still struggling to keep our grocery budget down AND eat healthy AND satisfy all the picky palates in my house.

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