BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
llorona
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:44 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

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

What kind of candy do you eat?

DutchGirl
Posts: 1075
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

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.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9712
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9712
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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.

User avatar
theanimal
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: Gates of the Arctic
Contact:

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

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 5653
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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.

User avatar
Chris
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

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.

User avatar
m741
Posts: 1109
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:31 am
Location: NYC
Contact:

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.

User avatar
GandK
Posts: 1939
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

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.

BeyondtheWrap
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:11 am

GandK wrote:
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.
Now that I think about it, not that much really. I've been eating 2 organic eggs each day at breakfast. I also have been using organic carrots in my rice and beans.

For about a week there, I decided to try organic gluten-free oatmeal to see how it would affect me. My heartburn was much more mild, but still there. I also used organic milk in my oatmeal, and now I add a little milk to my scrambled eggs as well. (I love how organic milk doesn't expire as fast!)

I agree that trying to feed multiple people makes things much more difficult.

BeyondtheWrap
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:21 pm

JANUARY 2014

INCOME: 1132
5 Paychecks: 1013
Employer Health Insurance: 119

EXPENSES: 1109
Housing: 400
Groceries: 220
- Food: 133
- Supplies: 9
- Personal: 10
- Pets: 68
Transportation: 40
Health: 138
- Insurance: 119
- Supplements: 19
Entertainment: 307
- Eating out: 11
- Socializing: 290
- Candy: 6
Education: 9

SAVINGS RATE: 2.0%

I have taken some time off from my job to focus on the home repairs, deciding that I need the time more than the money right now. I decided I would live off the extra student loan money that was left after paying the tuition last semester. That money is not listed above; I view it more as negative savings than income. Fortunately, I didn't really need it this month, since I ended up receiving money from my job anyway.

I only worked for money 2 days this month. 2 of my paychecks were for whole weeks of working, due to the delay between working and being paid. I then also have 2 weeks of vacation checks. My final check was for one day which I worked at the end for technicality purposes.

I'm on the new insurance for this year. Last year, I had fully loaded both health insurance and dental insurance. This year, I opted to go with a high-deductible health insurance (in case I get cancer), accident insurance (in case I get hit by a car), and a fully loaded dental insurance (the math works out to be worth it); the total is about $20/week (compare to last year's total of $33/week). Unfortunately, I will not have insurance for the period of no paychecks next month.

It was nice having the extra free time from not having to go to work or school for a few weeks. I've been getting plenty of sleep and have had plenty of time to cook. Speaking of which, I came up with a solution to my food-induced heartburn. The solution is to eat a spoonful of yogurt before and after every meal; my stomach doesn't bother me anymore when I'm doing this. This is much more feasible when I'm at home all the time; I will probably not be able to do this when I go back to my job.

My entertainment spending was way out of control this month, specifically the socializing item. About half of that was spent on a weekend trip for a friend's birthday. My life satisfaction has certainly gone up due to the increase in hanging out with friends, but it looks like I will now have to be more strict with my money in those situations. I'm coming up with a system to keep it under control.

BeyondtheWrap
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:26 am

FEBRUARY 2014

INCOME: 105 (1 paycheck)

EXPENSES: 1021
Housing: 600
Groceries: 130
- Food: 80
- Supplies: 17
- Personal: 14
- Pets: 19
Transportation: 110
Clothing: 10
Haircut: 16
Entertainment: 90
- Eating out: 23
- Socializing: 45
- Candy: 23
Education: 40
Career fair: 25

SAVINGS RATE: -868.4%

I went back to work starting on February 21, and worked five days this month. I got paid for two of them above. It appears that I no longer have health insurance, so I guess I will have to wait until the next enrollment period.

My housing payment was higher this month almost out of necessity due to my mother's increasingly precarious financial situation. Pretty soon my brother and I will have to cover the bills ourselves without her assistance, so I will be keeping my housing payment at $600/month.

Still working on the house, but it will be at a slower rate from this point forward. Looking at what we have left on the agenda, I project it will take us about another 2 years to finish. Unless we have to stop because the FEMA money has run out. I'm personally hoping for that outcome.

BeyondtheWrap
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:57 pm

MARCH 2014

INCOME: 2994
4 Paychecks: 1045
Employer Health Insurance: 80
Federal Tax Refund: 1769
Late Christmas Gift: 100

EXPENSES: 1244
Housing: 600
Groceries: 133
- Food: 111
- Supplies: 2
- Personal: 9
- Pets: 11
Transportation: 112
Health: 121
- Insurance: 96
- Medicine: 24
Entertainment: 223
- Meals out: 43
- Socializing: 152
- Candy: 28
Tax Preparation: 55

SAVINGS RATE: 58.4%

Yeah! $3,000 in income! Feels great to finally be middle class! Haha, just kidding.

But in general, my paychecks (with the exception of the first one this month) are looking better. They are higher than before and have much less variability. I believe this is thanks to the combination of my high pay grade, having taken the cheaper health insurance (which has been reinstated), and, most importantly, actually being given full-time hours every week.

Not much to report on the story with the house. My brother hasn't finished building the furniture for his room and so hasn't moved in yet. There is a general idea that we don't have the money to finish the house, but we haven't yet decided what we will do regarding that in the near future.
Last edited by BeyondtheWrap on Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BeyondtheWrap
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Location: NYC

Re: BeyondtheWrap's Journal

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:50 pm

APRIL 2014

INCOME: 1680
4 Paychecks: 1173
Employer Health Insurance: 80
State Tax Refund: 427

EXPENSES: 1254
Housing: 600
Groceries: 114
- Food: 92
- Supplies: 22
Transportation: 112
Health: 226
- Insurance: 113
- Supplements: 40
- Optical: 73
Entertainment: 147
- Meals out: 34
- Socializing: 113
Clothing: 48
Cell Phone: 7

SAVINGS RATE: 25.4%

A few things came up that increased my spending.

I broke my glasses frame. First I tried soldering it back together, but then it was the wrong shape for the lens to fit. So I ended up getting an eye exam at my workplace and then I bought new glasses from Zenni Optical.

The clothing expense was for new shoes, but at least I planned that.

My cell phone, a Samsung SGH x105 that I received for Christmas 2005, is showing signs of obsolescence. This past Christmas the earpiece speaker stopped working, so I had to use the headphone to make calls. This month, the sound wasn't working even with the headphone (this came at an inconvenient time because a job that I applied for was trying to call me), so I bought a new headphone. I immediately regretted that decision because the new headphone hasn't worked any time I tried it. Fortunately, the sound comes back on sometimes, but it's not very predictable.

This saddens me. I really don't want to buy a new phone; I wore this one with such pride in how old it was. At least I can still use it for texting until then, and I still have a house phone as well.

It's nice that I didn't spend anything on candy this month, but that's only because I still had enough left over from last month.

Post Reply