Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday update

Day 1 of the February-March Lunch Challenge status: Fail.

I did bring my lunch, so at least it was not epic fail. However, I forgot to bring my afternoon snack (that I purchased ESPECIALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE) and ended up feeling weak enough this afternoon that I succumbed to a vending machine run. At least I ended up choosing something five cents less expensive than normal.

Commitment to self: Bring granola bar tomorrow. In fact, bring the whole box to work so you won't have the excuse of forgetting them again!

During my lunch break, I did a little bit of research into my current tax situation and realized that I might be required to begin filing quarterly estimated taxes this year. I'll know for sure this weekend (after I file my 2007 taxes) but yikes. I'm also thinking about changing my withholding options at my day job to reduce what I end up owing every year, but I'm very loathe to do that.

I put $55 towards rebuilding the emergency fund. Slowly but surely, we will rebuild!

I also found free ways to watch television shows on my computer (NBC offers full episodes for download when I have a steady connection, Amazon Unbox does the same thing. ABC and CBS both offer streams of many shows, but I'd have to sit at the coffee shop with headphones on, so that's sort of out). I'm going to try to go at least six months--until August 17--without paying for cable or Internet in my apartment. After that, if I think I can fit it into my budget, I'm free to research one or the other or both, but I think it would be a good exercise in challenging what I've come to think of as "necessities". This is especially interesting to me since when I was growing up, we did NOT have cable in my house--and we only had dial-up internet. I have lived with both for only just over four years, yet have come to think of them as utilities like electricity!

Also, I want to start researching how much it costs to own a pet--specifically a cat (adult, likely already fixed). Anyone have good resources (or anecdotes) for this?


  1. Hey...I actually recently posted a blog entry on owning a cat: Enjoy!

  2. That blog link above is a good one about having a cat. I've had my cat for 2 years now (got him as a kitten for Christmas in '05) and I have been so happy with him! Thankfully he's never been sick, so my only significant vet costs are for his annual check-up and vaccination booster shots once a year. I also board him at the vet when I go on long trips home, but I may investigate using a cat sitter instead. I use inexpensive food and litter, so that doesn't eat up too much each month.

    Like grad school girl, my cat has broken some items, but now I just put picture frames, etc. on wall shelves that he can't get to. Any surfaces that the cat can reach don't have breakable items on them anymore. Crashing sounds at 6 a.m. aren't fun. :)

    The benefits far outweigh the costs though, in my opinion. My cat is the sweetest thing and it is so nice to come home and play with him after a rough day at work. I live in NYC, and I wouldn't want to keep a dog cooped up in my apartment all day, so a cat was the perfect option for me.


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