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Amparo Bertram

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07:46 pm: September Surprises
So, just as I am anticipating my long-awaited raise (GS-12 yay!) and deciding to cut down on unnecessary spending so that I can buckle down and save as much as possible for a nice house, I get hit with a bunch of unexpected expenses. Isn't that always the way it works?

Backing up a little, mangaroo came down to visit over Labor Day weekend, and we strolled through the Millbrae Art and Wine Festival. It was quite nice, and more extensive than I had thought it would be. (I missed it last year because I had to work both days it was held.) I didn't plan on spending much money, but there were just so many cute things there. Do I really need a dress covered in a pumpkin print? Well...no...but the buttons are adorable.

Then last week I went in for a dental appointment, and the dentist found three small cavities. On the bright side, they're in the early stages, so they won't be much trouble to fill. Still, at $80 each after insurance, it's an expense I could have done without.

Yesterday I had a bit of a panic when my (fully charged) cell phone turned itself off and refused to power back on for hours. I took it in to the shop, where I was told a technician could look at it, but he would charge me just to say that the phone is old and I should get a new one. Since I know the phone is about ten years old, which is ancient for technology these days, I figured it would make sense to get a newer model. The new phone will be essentially free after the rebate, but the various accessories add up.

Also, the phone shop was in a small shopping plaza that happened to contain a Japanese supermarket, so I spent more money there. It's not a huge store, but with a bus stop right out front, it's much more accessible than Japantown to fulfill the occasional craving.

In other news, I'm enjoying the occasional strawberry from my balcony, and the fresh basil goes really well on homemade pizza. I got my first alpine strawberry yesterday from the seeds I planted this spring. I'm really excited to see that my Meiwa kumquat tree is starting to blossom, so I may actually get fruit from it this year. ...Or, rather, I would if I were going to be here during kumquat season, but I'll be away at K9 training in Georgia just when they ought to be at their ripest.


[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
You DO know that a post about budget woes is going to get you a bunch of recommendations to try YNAB, right? (Seems like Sara gets one of us a year, hmmm...) Honestly, though, smartest $60 I ever spent.

I'm jealous of your fresh basil. :( I mean, not that you have it, because we have it, too, but that you can TASTE it. I have no sense of smell right now, see, so it doesn't taste like anything to me. :/
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
LOL, I don't even have to pimp it any more. Everyone I pimp it to converts three other people. It sells itself.

(Amusingly, anki [the flashcard software] works very much the same way. All I did was pimp it to a few people, and before I knew it, half my department and most of the majors were using it.)
[User Picture]
Date:September 25th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
You DO know that a post about budget woes is going to get you a bunch of recommendations to try YNAB, right?

I appreciate the advice, though really my whining makes it sound worse than it is. I just have to do without frills like new DVDs for a while.

I have no sense of smell right now, see, so it doesn't taste like anything to me.

Awww, that's a terrible side effect.
[User Picture]
Date:September 28th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
Well, I'm not going to force it on you or anything. But helping to save money and prepare you for unexpected expenses are what it does best. Not to imply that you can't do these things on your own, just that YNAB helps you do it better.
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