Money Diary: Day Six

6:45 AM – Up and at ‘em. Walk the dogs, and because I am not working on anything time sensitive, try to go back to sleep for a bit.

7:30 AM – One of my dogs is definitely not into resting this morning, so we get up and go for another walk. I make a piece of toast, and watch a little morning news.

9:30 AM – Head to Winco for a few things I need to pick up. I get cat food, avocados, yogurt, crackers, frozen mangos and hash browns. $21.30

 10:30 AM – Groceries in tow I head over to my best friend’s house. We watch silly TV and discuss our weekends. For lunch, we heat up random things found in her fridge.

12:15 PM – Bestie’s Hubby comes home and we watch the Assassination of Gianni Versace. Very good!

3:30 PM – I head to Safeway and Trader Joe’s to get a couple airplane snacks for my trip this coming Saturday. $17.60

 4:30 PM – Back home, I walk my dogs and put the food away. I eat a snack plate of hummus, olives, pita chips, carrots and cucumbers. It will keep me full until dinner.

6:00 PM – Bread and goat cheese. I’m an adult, that counts as dinner, right?

9:15 PM – Roommate and I decide to book our trip to San Diego before bed. The total comes out to $430 and she will pay me for her ticket later so my total is $215

9:45 PM – Off to bed!

Total spent: $243.90

Money Diaries: Day Five

7:20 AM – Come on guys! It’s Sunday! Do we really have to get up this early on a weekend!? I walk the dogs and feed them and head back to bed. I don’t actually get much more sleep because the dogs are so fussy this morning, so we roll out of bed around 8:30 for a second time.

8:45 AM – I make some toast and drink a glass of water. I decide to take a shower because I am not sure what my day is going to look like. I have friends coming over this afternoon and I want to get to Winco if there is time.

9:00 AM – I get a text from my bestie that she isn’t feeling well today, so I tentatively decide not to do anything important today in case she needs me to pick up her little one. We discuss me keeping her company tomorrow and picking up her little boy on Tuesday. Ok, now I can shower.

10:30 AM – Finish drying my hair and doing a few adult things (dishes, laundry etc.) Roommate and her man go out to breakfast and offer to bring coffee home for me (I’m out of creamer) Yes please!

10:45 AM – I put on the record from last night (SYML) and pick up my book. I am about 2/3 through it and I know it is going to break my heart. But I love the story so much so I settle in for the rest of the book.

11:15 AM – (Home with coffee) Still reading, heart breaking.

1:15 PM – I finish the book. I’m sobbing and covered in snot, total hot mess. I love this story so much. I wash my face and drink a glass of water. I’m exhausted (emotionally) and decide to take a nap until my friends come over.

2:00 PM – Do you have a cat? Cats are the most wonderful creatures, mine loves to snuggle and literally be on my face at all times. This however doesn’t allow for good napping conditions. I settle for bed rest and flipping through Instagram.

2:20 PM – My friends call to tell me they are on the train and should arrive in an hour. Suddenly feeling my lack of food, but they mentioned wanting to get Mexican food so I don’t want to eat anything until they get here.

3:30 PM – I walk the dogs. Because of the weekend schedule (apparently) the train my friends are on stopped a few stations too soon and is turning around. So, they get off the train and call for me to pick them up. Ok, off we go.

3:45 PM – We swing by the house to pick up Roomie and head to a new restaurant.

4:00 PM – We devour the chips and salsa and all order yummy food. We split dinner 4 ways and my portion comes to $11.50

 5:00 PM – Thoroughly stuffed, we head home to watch a movie. We pick The Big Sick (go see it!) and all hang out on the couch.

7:45 PM – It was a great movie, everyone loved it. My friends decide to call a Lyft to get home, as the train is going to take an hour.

8:15 PM – Roommate watches something on TV while I walk the dogs and read some blogs. I am exhausted from being up so late, and the emotional rollercoaster of the book I read this morning (is this just something that happens to me?  I get so caught up in a story that it literally exhausts me.)

9:00 PM – I think I’m going to head to bed early tonight. It’s going to be a very busy week and I’d like to start off on the right foot.

Total spent: $11.50

Money Diary: Day Four

8:10 AM – Holy crap! We actually slept in! The dogs woke up about 30 minutes ago but I managed to get them to settle down until now. It’s the little things.

8:30 AM – I make coffee and a piece of toast. I also have a grapefruit. We get an Imperfect Produce box every two weeks full of funny looking fruits/veggies. There is nothing wrong with the produce but it isn’t pretty enough to sell in conventional grocery stores. So, at a discounted price it’s delivered to our house! We get to customize it and it’s a great deal! The grapefruit were small, like the size of a standard orange, so I assume that’s why they were “imperfect” (tasted just perfect to me!) Roomie takes my Doberman for a run (single woman running alone is a no-no in our house. He’s the only one of our dogs who would actually defend us so he is the designated running partner.)

9:30 AM – We all hang out, roomie stretches after her run, and we decide to see a movie this afternoon. I am very interested in seeing Call Me By Your Name. I also look into kitty-knuckle keychains for the two of us, you can never be too careful! $16

10:45 AM – Laundry and other adult tasks (dishes, general cleaning) until it’s time to go for the movie.

12:30 PM – We go to New Seasons, a local market, next to the theater. I get orzo salad with grilled chicken from the salad bar to enjoy during the movie $4.50

 1:15 PM – Roomie uses her Movie Pass and I pay for my ticket to the movie $8.50 and she gets a soda for us to share.

4:10 PM – OMG the movie is amazing! Probably one of my favorite movies ever. Really, that good. I highly recommend it! Though I may have cried, a lot…

4:30 PM – Home and hungry but decide to wait a little bit. We look at Foo Fighters tickets online, I desperately want to go and have put off buying tickets! My computer locks me out for some reason so Roomie buys the tickets and will deduct the cost of my ticket from my rent for next month. Woo Hoo!!! Beyond excited to see them, they are one of my bucket list bands. Now to wait until September for the concert hah.

5:25 PM – I walk the dogs and decide to heat up some soup. We have a chest freezer in our garage and it’s basically full of soup. I make a giant pot of it weekly, and freeze at least half of it each time. That way, on nights like tonight when I don’t feel like cooking, I can heat some up easily. I listen to my SYML record and eat my soup.

6:00 PM – Feed the dogs and settle into the couch with Mulder and Scully (X-Files) and my laptop. I do some reading and some writing. I have never been one to go out much, and last month was such a busy month that I am relishing my nights in lately!

7:00 PM – Time for an adventure! Because I am so enamored by the movie we saw today, I decide I need to get the book. And read it, immediately. So roomie and I head to Powell’s Books. I could order my book on Amazon for $10 but I feel like supporting a local establishment. And this way I can read it NOW. She also picks up a book, Hidden Figures. $17 We also swing through Subway on the way home for her to pick up something to eat. I am already engaged in my book so I get nothing to eat.


9:30 PM – I have been reading and listening to SYML on vinyl since we got home. I take the dogs out for one more walk and read until my eyes won’t stay open any longer, about 11:30 PM

Total spent: $46

Money Diary: Day Three

6:50 AM – Up and at ‘em. So tired, because I didn’t sleep well. I take the dogs on a walk, feed them, and head back to bed. I am really enjoying this week of slow mornings!

9:00 AM – Up for the second time. I eat some avocado toast, and hop in the shower. I am supposed to meet my friends’ new baby this afternoon and I want to be fresh and clean! I get ready to head across town and walk the dogs one more time.

10:45 AM – Drive across town, and decide to make a brows appointment. I kill some time looking at records at Music Millennium, and end up breaking my spending freeze when I pick up a record cleaning kit and a Killers album on vinyl. $46.87

 12:00 PM – I head to the salon and get my brows done. Ow. The price we pay… $17 (including tip)

12:30 PM – Back to my parents’ house to eat lunch, whatever I can find in the fridge, some chicken and rice. I watch trashy television for a couple hours until I can go over and meet the baby! (babies are on a very specific schedule apparently!)

3:00 PM – OMG this tiny human is so freaking adorable!!!! Something about little tiny babies, I just love them. Don’t want one myself, but I’m a great Auntie. We catch up over some mint tea and it’s such a lovely afternoon of baby snuggles.


4:30 PM – I grab a cookie and head out the door for a schlep across town to home.

5:00 PM – That was a fairly painless drive after all! Get home just as roomie does and we take the dogs out. I attempt to fix a record that has been skipping and unfortunately, I think it is scuffed and will need to be replaced. So sad.

5:30 PM – We decide to get Frank’s Noodle House for dinner, each getting an order of chicken with hand-pulled noodles. Roomie gets spicy and I get mild. I pick up the check as we tend to go back and forth on who pays for dinners when we eat out or get take out. $25 (with tip)

6:00 PM – We watch an episode of the Blacklist and eat our noodles, YUM!

7:00 PM – Stuffed and content, I enjoy one of my ciders that I picked up a few weeks back. Super good! Roomie goes downstairs to paint and I enjoy more X-Files and catch up on some writing.

9:00 PM – It’s early, and a Friday night, but we decide to head off to bed early, because we are old people……

Total spent: $88.87

Money Diary: Day Two

6:45 AM – And we’re up! I feed and walk the dogs and again take a morning nap as I haven’t had an actual day off in years. It’s glorious!

9:15 AM – Up for the second time. I am feeling a little groggy so I make some coffee and some hash with whatever I can find in the fridge. In goes an egg, some cheese, some potatoes and leftover chicken. I try very hard not to be wasteful so I make an effort to use up whatever odds and ends are left during the week. I’m far from perfect but I always try.

10:30 AM – Head over to my bestie’s house. She’s fighting cancer for the second time so I spend time with her every day that I’m home. Today we watch trashy shows on TLC and Animal Planet, eat some snacks, and I drink the coffee that I brought in my thermos.  Her husband joins us for lunch and I head back home around 3pm.


3:15 PM – Arrive home and it’s time to walk the dogs. Each dog gets a 20-minute walk even though it’s raining.

4:15 PM – I get a notice in my email reminding me that I have a payment for my animal credit card due. I have a specific credit card that I put only my animal related purchases on. If I pay each purchase off in 6 months there is no interest, so I make sure to keep track and pay off each payment as soon as possible. $236.23

 5:15 PM – Roommate gets home and we catch up since our schedules haven’t overlapped much lately. We talk about upcoming weekend plans and look at planning a trip to San Diego. I just got home from spending a few days there with my Godmother because she had surgery. It made me miss home, and family, so we decide another trip is in order.

6:20 PM – I’m not super hungry so I snack on baguette with goat cheese that I picked up earlier in the week.

7:00 PM – I spend the rest of the evening watching old X-Files episodes while my roommate paints. We all head to bed around 9pm.

Total spent: $236.23

My money diary, day one

Do you guys read the Money Diaries on Refinery29? I do and am kind of obsessed. I will spend literally hours reading through what people do and spend their money on. Is that weird? I don’t think so.

I mentioned a few months ago that I did a food diary for the and LOVED doing it. So I think I will do my own Money Diary, maybe I will even submit it and see if they publish it too! The difference is I will post one day at a time. I won’t publish it all at once because I imagine that would be a very long post! So let’s start with today.

Day one (Wednesday)

6:50 AM – Ugh, dogs. I love them dearly but why must we always be up so early!? My roommate and her man are off to work and I’m off to walk my dogs. I make coffee and a piece of toast. I’m exhausted from a poor night’s sleep so I decide to take a morning nap.

9:30 AM – And we’re up. The dogs are playing and I drink more coffee. I watch a little bit of the Today show and get ready to go see my mom.

10:15 AM – Jethro (one of my dogs) and I head out to see my mom. We are going to get lunch and I am going to borrow her apple peeler. I walk Jethro around my parents’ neighborhood because we are a bit early for lunch.

12:00 PM – Arrive at Mom’s office. All her coworkers love to give my dog belly rubs and head scratches. He doesn’t mind. Mom and I (and Jethro) walk over to Cheese and Crack, and get some mac ‘n cheese to split for lunch, Mom pays because she’s awesome. Jethro enjoys meeting everyone on our walk over. Mom and I eat in her office and split a Coke from her fridge. I head back to her house to get the apple peeler and Jethro and I head back home.

2:30 PM – Walk the dogs, Red and Holden stayed home so they get a longer walk, but it starts to rain so we cut it short. I spend most of the afternoon hanging out with my dogs, putzing around the house, watching the X-Files, and munching.

5:30 PM – I finally make a smoothie to stand in for dinner. My roommate is at an event tonight so she won’t be home until later. The dogs and I enjoy a nice evening at home relaxing.

7:30 PM – Browsing guys on Bumble, dating is awful. I know some people love it but I really don’t enjoy it, and I certainly don’t think I’m good at it. I give up and work on some blog writing and other miscellaneous tasks.

9:00 PM – Roommate is home and we catch up on the day.  Final walk for the dogs and into bed (I feel like a grandma but I hate being up late!)

Total spent: $0

Finally home!

Yesterday was the travel day from Hell, literally.

It started with a 4am wake up call (East Coast Time) for a 7am flight. The roads were SUPER icy so my shuttle driver went slower than usual. I finally got to the airport, and got situated. They let su know the airport was closed, no inbound or outbound flights. So the plan coming in from LAX was not able to land. They were rerouted to Indianapolis. Ok fine, do I want to go to Detroit and then on to San Diego? No, that’s the wrong direction! So I wanted for our delayed flight (which ended up taking off about 10:30 which meant I missed my connection flight). Landed in LA at 12:45 (Pacific Coast Time) and go to collect my luggage (which was I was told would be available to pick up in LAX).

Ok, 30 minutes no luggage. So I go to the lady to ask, “it’ll be out in 30 minutes”…….ok fine I’ll wait. Mind you, I’m tired, hungry, and my dear friend Jessica has been hanging out at LAX for an hour now, after driving 2 hours to get me.

…..2 hours, no baggage. I fill out the form and tearfully go find Jessica. We have a nice drive (3 hours in the pouring rain, which never happens in SoCal!) and grab in-n-out on the way home. Finally, around 7pm we get home. I have now been awake for 18 hours. I am tired. I am crabby and emotional. I hug my Godmother and pass out.

I am telling you this, because normally this would have been an excuse to spend money on comfort items. Throughout the day I could have caved and bought coffee, a muffin, snacks, lunch on the plane, and many other things.

What did I spend money on? In-n-Out on the drive home. It’s my favorite comfort food, that I rarely get. We don’t have In-n-Out in Portland, so I only get it when I visit family in San Diego. It cost me $6.20 for a burger, fries, and soda. And it was worth every penny! I also intend to pay back my friend for the gas, but I feel good about that, as she rescued me!

Travel is definitely a difficult thing for anyone’s budget. If you don’t plan accordingly, it can really mess up a budget! This is just for day-of things, I am not even talking about the travel itself. I try my best to pack my favorite snacks so that I am not tempted to buy food, and drink the free crappy coffee on the airplane (enough cream and sugar mask anything!) I don’t spring for the upgrade, I don’t do any of the bells and whistles, and yet I always make it to my destination just fine! I did check a bag, which they lost, so I got miles for that. Still not what I paid for the bag, but it helps!

My point is, it’s possible to travel without blowing your budget. I’ll do a post on the traveling itself sometime, but today was all about the bells and whistles! I am still pretty tired from the circus yesterday so that’s why I just can’t tackle that yet!

What are your travel tips and tricks for saving money?

Self Care

I know we have talked about this before, and I know I’m not the only one talking about it. But guys, self care is SO important. We live in a culture of giving so much of ourselves. We give to our work, to our friends and family, to our coworkers, the community, our children, and yet so rarely to ourselves.

I truly believe that in order to be the best version of ourselves, we need to take better care of ourselves. This can mean different things to different people. My friend Heather does yoga each morning with her cats before her morning cup of tea. She posts beautiful pictures on her Instagram that definitely make me consider taking up yoga…..but then I remember that I hate yoga. Some people run, write, sing, swim, to each their own. Don’t do something just because it’s trendy, do whatever truly refreshes you!

So this brings me to yesterday. I was encouraged to work from my hotel room instead of going into the shelter. When I go out on deployment for work, often this means 16 days away from home, without a break. And I don’t know about you, but my body tends to revolt after about 10 days straight of working 12 hours a day. So my awesome boss encourages me to take a day in the middle of my deployments to wok from the hotel. I get to sleep in, take my time, and work from bed if I so choose. And let me tell you, it does wonders! Sometimes I think “oh I don’t need it this trip I’m feeling good”. …….Nope. I always feel better if I take that day to regroup.


So this was my view yesterday. I worked from bed whilst enjoying smashed avocado with chicken. Think chicken salad but no mayo, just rotisserie chicken and avocado, maybe a little salt. It’s one of my very favorite things to eat, it’s easy on my tummy, and very nutritious! It’s fully of healthy fats and protein, so it fills me up and I don’t feel guilty about it! This is what self care looks like to me. (sorry if I sound like a broken record people, but I really believe this is important!)

What’s her point? You may be asking. I see articles on a daily basis about all the things I can buy to aid in my self care routine. Fancy pillows, Fancy tea bags and oil diffusers, sound machines and exotic bath robes. I don’t think you need any of it. You certainly can if you like, but self care doesn’t need to cost you anything!  The most expensive thing about yesterday was the avocado because they aren’t in season. Sure, I could have gone and gotten a facial, a massage, had my nails done and sipped a fancy latte. But I chose to stay in the cozy hotel (mind you it was 11 degrees, a high for the week!) enjoy my avocado smash, take a nap, enjoyed a hot shower and lazily drank my coffee. It was glorious. I still got my work done, but I was rested. I wasn’t rushed, I wasn’t in a hurry, it was so nice!

I realize that my work situation is a little different than the average individual. But do something special during your nightly routine, or your morning routine! Take a Saturday afternoon to slow down and pamper yourself! We can take care of ourselves without spending a fortune I swear!

On this New Year’s Eve

It’s the last day of 2017. How crazy is that? Where did this year go? I feel like I say that every year though. Even though SO MUCH happened this year, it still feels likes like it flew by.

I thought I would share with you some of my favorite moments of this year, and look forward to some of the things I am seeing for the new year.

February – I moved in with my good friend Rachel. It was a good move for both of us, and our dogs love each other! It is so nice to have a roommate that I adore, because we spend so much time together. We binge watch Buffy, talk about what’s bothering us, compare notes on our dates.  It really is so nice to have amazing women in my life that I get to spend time with.

May – I took an epic road trip across the country with my friend Sue to bring my sweet foster boy Jethro home. He was from a case we handled at work and I was in love. Still am. I knew the day I met him that I wanted to bring him home. He deserves the best life, far from where he came. Sue and I packed up and drove from Ohio all the way to Oregon. It should have taken 4 days, but it took 6 because we got stuck in a snow storm in Wyoming! Jethro got a new home with us and we are so happy to have him! It may have taken one of our dogs a little while to adjust, but he is well settled now.

October – I left one of my jobs. I know that may not be a positive for everyone, but for me this was a good move. I was in need of something more in my life, and I needed my schedule to be more accommodating to my needs. My other job involves a lot of travel but I can pretty much pick when I want to be gone and when I want to be home. I also work from home but that is so much more conducive to my lifestyle. It allows me to be home with my animals more, as well as spend time with loved ones . My job now is rewarding, engaging, fulfilling, supportive. My coworkers are my family, my chosen family. We choose to be away from home for holidays, birthdays, milestones. We wake up at the crack of dawn to do really difficult work, heartbreaking work. But it’s worth it. It fills me with such joy to know I am making a difference in this world, and I am so lucky to have found these people and this job.

December – Two of my good friends welcomed little babies into their lives. I am so excited to get to be Auntie to these two adorable little ones. I take my job as Aunt very seriously and I intend to love, snuggle, kiss, coo, and generally fawn over them for as long as they’ll let me.

What I am looking forward to in 2018:

May – My family and I will be taking a trip to London and Amsterdam. I haven’t travelled abroad in a while so I am really looking forward to this trip!

In general, I am looking forward to spending time with my family and friends, working with my dogs, snuggling my kitty, and trying to move forward with my life. We can so easily get stuck in one place and I think it’s important to keep trying. Keep trying new things, keep seeing new places, keep opening your eyes to new experiences.

I look forward to having my boots on the ground more, and working my ass off as much as I can. I look forward to long days and long nights. I look forward to all the experiences that may present themselves. I look forward to falling in love. Happy New Year everyone.

January spending freeze

If you are anything like me, you PROBABLY over spent during December. Now, I am sure some of you were totally on point with your budgets and didn’t go a cent over (Go You!!) I am not one of those people. So for the new month and the new year, I need a fresh start. This is what brings me to the January spending freeze!

Now, I’m not going to cut out all spending entirely. So here is my list of do’s and don’t’s for my upcoming challenge month!

What I CAN spend money on:

Food – Nothing fancy, just good ole groceries. I am planning to budget about $70 a week for food but that is pretty reasonable for me. I know many folks can do it way cheaper than I can, but my health being what it is, I need to be very careful with what I eat. So I am willing to pay a little more to put good food in my body.

Gas – You know, to keep my car running safely.

Pet food/supplies/medication – I have three pets. Two medium sized dogs and one tiny geriatric cat (my #soulmate). I buy the dog food from Costco and it costs me I think $37 a bag which lasts about 3-4 weeks (when I’m out of town I board one of my dogs, and they provide food). Which reminds me to include boarding fees in this. My sweet oafish pit bull is a total love, but he still is 65 solid pounds of strength which is a lot for most people to handle. So I board him at the vet when I travel for work. The cat gets wet and dry food, three medications, fluids, and frequent vet visits. He isn’t cheap but I would do ANYTHING for my sweet old man.

Rent/Utilities – ’nuff said

Medical – Doctor visits, medicine, appointments etc. As someone with Crohn’s Disease, it is very important for em to see my doctor regularly and do as I’m instructed. This also includes any costs associated with prep for appointments (Yuck!!)

What I CAN’T spend money on:

EXTRA food – ie fun groceries/eating out/coffee out/you get the picture. Do I really NEED the fancy cheese? No. Do I really NEED another kind of smoked salmon? No. I will work on getting back to basics and cooking what I know, and doing so cheaply.

Booze – I am not a big drinker, but I definitely enjoy a drink in the evening a couple of nights a week (I prefer cider over beer or wine) and I certainly don’t need to be spending that money.  It won’t be a huge amount of money, but every bit adds up.

Concerts – Holy moly I way over did this part of my budget this holiday season. No concerts for me! (with the small exception of the Foo Fighters tickets whenever they go on sale!)

Clothing/shoes/accessories – Fun fact, I love clothes. I love clothe shopping and window browsing, all of it. And I certainly don’t need anymore clothes. So it seems like a great way to save more would be to spend less in this BIG category. I will not browse the Madewell sale page. I will not wander into Nordstrom just for fun. Nope, none of it. (This will likely be the hardest one of all but I am determined!)

Extras – you know that extra piece of chocolate at the grocery store, that pair of socks, a new toy for the pup, all those things that in the moment seem like such a good idea, but really they aren’t. I will do my very best to stay away from traps (I’m looking at you Target and Costco!) but even these can sometimes not be avoided. I go to Costco for dog food and I go to Target when I need things like laundry soap and Kleenex (or some other equally odd combination of items).

Some people do a fabulous job of accomplishing their goals long term, but for me I need short, attainable goals. I need one week, one month. Those are goals  I can get behind. It is easier for me that way to build up to the bigger goals. So I’m starting with no extemporaneous spending for January, I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes. Do you have any new years resolutions !?