Monday, April 29, 2013

Doing a financial experiment...

I know a lot of people who don't save money and I used to be one of them.  About 7wks. ago I decided to attempt saving some money.  I'm sort of one of those people who didn't think they had money to save.  But, after paying off the majority of my medical bills (from my hip surgery) I saw that I do have money I could be saving each month.  It's not a lot of money, but it is something.
Here's the breakdown of my experiment:
I get paid around $250-$300 a week.
For those who need assistance, that's $1000-$1200 a month (roughly).
I decided that a decent amount would be $50 a week...I still need groceries and I have to leave room the medical bills I still need to pay and wants.
So, for you non math geniuses out there it adds up to $2400 after a year.
So far I have $350 in my savings that's 7wks. (1 month and 3 weeks.)
So far I am on track and at my goal. 

Now, as far as what I'm going to use that money for...I have no clue.  I've thought about going on a vacation, but I hate the idea of going someplace alone for safety reasons.  Plus I can't even figure out where I'd want to go.  I'm not a beach person-too much sand and salt...bad for the skin.  I'd go to Disney, but I can't decide between Land or World.  I go to Cali, but I'm afraid I'd want to stay.  I might try Quebec (Canada), but it's a foreign country and my French is rusty.  I'd go to a day spa, but I don't like strange people touching me.   
I've thought about buying a whole new wardrobe, but I don't like buying stuff that's too trendy...I'm happy with my basics and items which have stood the test of time (Most of what I own is at least 2-5yrs. old.)
I've thought about redecorating, but if I ever move out of the motel it'll just be stuff I have to pack and take with me, when I'd rather leave it all and purchase new.
I've thought about going back to school for a semester and taking an accounting course and maybe an education course.  But both courses would have to be on my days off.  
I have decided that a certain percentage will go to a charity...Hope For Hannah; a rescue organization.  They helped me by fostering Sophie.
Most likely I'll donate the percentage to Hope For Hannah and just keep it all in the bank and add to it.
I'm one of those weird people who, if they see that they have money they're either afraid to touch it or they go on a spending spree.

So far I've done really well.  Last week I took $50 out of savings to go to the mall and spent $35 of it.
I replaced that $35 and added the regular $50 that afternoon when my paycheck was deposited into my account.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

ZzzQuil...Not worth the money...

For some time now I’ve had trouble staying asleep.  I’ve had no issues with falling asleep…in the middle of the night/early morning I’ll wake up a few times and it takes me up to 3-4hrs. to get back to sleep.  So for all you math geniuses out there I’ve broken it down.
If I fall asleep at 11PM and wake up at 2AM I’ve slept for 3hrs.
Let’s say that I stay awake from that 2AM wake up until 5AM. 
I have to be at work at 9:30AM and it takes me at least an hour to get ready…most of that hour is procrastination. 
So I’ve had 3hrs of sleep and can now get another 3.5hrs…6.5hrs of sleep which is okay. 
But I wake up at 6AM and can’t get back to sleep until about 8AM…30mins before my alarm clock goes off. 
Okay so that’s 3hrs plus 1hr plus 30 minutes.  Yeah that’s less than 5hrs.  Not good.
So I decided to try that ZzzQuil stuff.  At first I thought it was some type of gag put out by a humor company or something from an SNL skit that someone put on the market as a joke to see how many people would buy it…still waiting for RedBull PM to hit the market by the way.  It took me a while to try this stuff though…I’m not really into drugging myself to sleep and I didn’t want to feel out of it or drowsy the next day. 
The normal side-affects I have to medications which induce sleeping are: drowsy, foggy, out of it feeling with a minor headache and minor dry mouth the next day.  So I normally don’t take medications such as NyQuil, Benadryl, AlkaSeltzer or anything else which may induce sleep, unless I’m sick or have an allergic reaction to something. 
I’m not a fan of liquid medications.  Yes, the liquid is cheaper…but I’m a gel cap person.  I prefer not to taste the medication and then run around looking for something to kill the after taste!  No, Marry Poppins a spoonful of sugar does NOT help the medicine go down!  I got the pack of 24 gel caps.  The main ingredient in the gel caps is Diphenhydramine, which you can find in NyQuil or Benadryl…or any other sleep inducing medication.  There’s nothing that special about ZzzQuil. 
I tried the medicine on Wednesday night, expecting the usual occurance; I’d take half the dose…one gel cap and fall asleep within 30mins and be knocked out until morning.  Nope.  I took half the dosage and it took me about 2hrs. to fall asleep.  So around 1AM I got tired of waiting for the medication to kick in and just closed my eyes.  That did the trick.  Once asleep I stayed asleep but the next day I felt drowsy and out of it.  I figured that maybe I just didn’t get enough hours of sleep and the medication hadn’t worn off.  So last night I did pretty much the same thing.  I took one gel cap, had my tea and then closed my eyes and slept.  The medication doesn’t seem to knock me out automatically the way NyQuil or Benadryl does which is good to a certain extent.  Granted I only took half the dose…so maybe if I were to take the full dose it would knock me out.  But I RARELY take the full dose of any sleep inducing medication because I will be out for a week.  But ZzzQuil keeps me asleep, which is what I wanted it to do and what it was advertised as being able to do.  So on that note I am happy with the product. 
I decided to take the other half of the dose last night and I closed my eyes within 30mins of taking the medication.  I woke up once during the night only because Sadie, my mini-doxie decided to jump down and get a drink of water and then whine to be put back on the bed.  But other than that I stayed asleep.  Then this morning my alarm went off and I reluctantly got out of bed.  My mouth and throat felt sore and dry, my head ached, my eyes felt sore, my forehead felt clammy and I had a case of the chills. 
Now my mouth usually feels dry when I first wake up, but it’s nothing a few sips of water won’t cure.  I drank an entire bottle of water and my mouth still felt dry and sore.  I decided to go about my morning in a semi-normal fashion and figured that if I got sick or still felt like crap I could either go into work and come home early or just stay home and rest.  I cranked up the heat and put my robe on, before making my coffee and breakfast.  After I had my breakfast I felt a little better…no more chills, head ache was gone and my mouth and throat weren’t dry.  I still felt out of it, in a fog and drowsy and my forehead still feels clammy.  It’s been about 3hrs since I woke up.  I don’t feel sick to my stomach and I don’t have a lack of strength.  I’m not sick.  These are just side-affects of the ZzzQuil. 
I personally do not recommend this product due to the side-affects and due to the fact that store brand Benadryl is cheaper.  If you do have difficulty staying asleep I’d say that ZzzQuil and other OTC sleep aids are worth a try.  But after taking ZzzQuil I feel as though I am sleepwalking.  For me the side-affects outweigh the positives.
Restful sleep
Staying asleep
The bottom line:
Don’t waste your money.  Though it is worth a try, other sleep aids on the market make similar claims as the makers of this product but for less money.  The active and main ingredient is the same stuff that’s in NyQuil and other antihistamines.  Alcoholic beverages will probably do the same for less…seriously a couple beers would make me drowsy and cause me to sleep all night and without a hangover the next day.  ZzzQuil claims to be non-habit forming and I can see why…I don’t want to feel this way when I wake up, so I don’t intend to continue taking it.