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Archive for June, 2006

Payday, Spent Some

July 1st, 2006 at 06:59 am

Today was payday so we did some spending.

$400 house mortgage--$375.86 + $24.14 extra to principle
$27.92 power bill
$175 medical bills
$15 for $15 pounds of bing cherries at farmstand
Grocery Store--$71
Took out cash for fireworks--$100
Took out cash for berries--$15

It Adds Up

June 29th, 2006 at 10:23 pm

Today was my electronic transfer of $10 to my long term savings account, bringing my total up to $444.34. I am hoping to add $20 tomorrow (payday) so I can meet my June goal of $60 added above the weekly automatic $10.

I counted out the money in my change jar and then rolled coins. I have $18 in rolled coin to deposit into the freezer money account. I'd like to add an extra $5 to that, also. $209.14 + $18.00 will bring it up to $227.14 + $5.00 will bring it up to $232.14. We are buying fireworks tomorrow so that is why I can't guarantee the extra $5 or even the extra $20.

As for the fireworks, I recieved a coupon in the mail where I can get several different fireworks as BOGO free so we will use that. Last year we spent $150 on fireworks, and I'd like to get just as many but hopefully for $75 or so. Every 4th we buy fireworks and take them out to my sister's house. They get a bunch, too. Then my DH (if he's home and not in Alaska, he'll miss it this year), my BIL and the oldest of their boys lights them off.

Her oldest boy has moved to Arizona 3 weeks ago so he will miss it, too. But he's 20 (graduated with his A.A. through Running Start at 18 and is taking a correspondence course to get his B.A., currently, after living a year in Arizona he will apply for one of the universities as a local, much cheaper, and his correspondence credits will transfer as it is one based in Arizona and he checked).

So only BIL will be lighting them off this year. And this may be the last year we do this at all. BIL recently got a new job (after 20 years at the last one) down South that pays a lot more and has benefits and education reimbursement, so they are looking for a house in the Everett to Lynnwood area. They have to sell their house in this county, too. BIL is staying with relatives and comes home on weekends and he gets holidays off, also, which he did not get before.

We don't go to the fireworks shows anymore. The last one we went to had so many rude, drunk, stupid people I just hate subjecting my kids to that. Truthfully, the rude, stupid people bothered me more than the drunk ones. The one that really got me was rude, stupid, and drunk. This younger woman (maybe 21, old enough to know better, anyway) who lit up a cigarette in the bathroom line (about 50 people long and she was with friends who could have held her place while she stepped away from people), and stuck it in my then five year old son's face. It came within an inch of his eye before I knocked her hand away and it fell out of her hand. Then she got all indignant, "Hey that's my cigarette, (expletive)!" And I said "And that was my child's eye you just stuck it in and my child's ears you just swore in front of. If I hadn't knocked it away, you'd have been looking at paying some serious medical bills. My child's vision is more important than your addiction."

Well, she grumbled on for a bit, still swearing and making a jerk of herself, while her friends were trying to shut her up) until one of the plainclothes policemen who was in line a few people back and was working the event told her he could arrest her for disorderly conduct, public obscenity, and quite possibly underage drinking. And someone else in the line said, "Too bad you can't arrest her for being an idiot!"

Well, she got all huffy, stomped off into the woods while lighting another cigarette (it hadn't rained in about six weeks at that point and we had a burn ban on because everything was tinder dry, so not the smartest place to light up) and went to the bathroom in plain sight of everyone, though I think she thought the foot high shrub gave her privacy. Maybe if she's actually been all the way behind it. Well, the officer didn't and she got arrested for public indecency or something (same as the flasher law).

Anyway, that just really turned me off the whole thing, plus they were charging $20 to get in. I didn't mind when it was a $10 donation for carload or even $15, but now if I wanted to I could go to the one in Bellingham for free, its not worth it. Plus, it may have gone up again.

Okay, tangent.

So, I also want to buy another flat of berries and a couple buckets of cherries tomorrow from the farm stands, so we'll see.

Spent some today, not as much as anticipated

June 29th, 2006 at 04:38 am

Today we had a car appointment to see why the check engine light never went off after our last repair and also why the cruise control stopped working at the same time. And to get the wiper blades replaced, which technically we could have done ourselves but its a big hassle for me and DH doesn't like to do it as he always manages to crack a fingernail or pinch a finger or cut himself when he does it.

We only ended up having to pay for the wiper blades because the reason the cruise control wasn't working was because they had forgotten to tighten something and they couldn't see any reason for the engine light to come on. They took it for a drive and it didn't come on for them. They said it was safe to drive now.

So we spent $25.99 there. While we were waiting we ate lunch out, which is something we weren't going to do, but did anyway. We went down the highway and across at the big light to Shari's and I haven't eaten there in maybe 10 years because it always used to reek of smoke the minute you opened the door. My allergies couldn't handle that so I didn't go. Well, the anti-smoking law passed and at the first of the year you could not smoke in any restaurant or bar, so we decided to go there, and well, I didn't miss anything by not going there so long. The food was unremarkable. Spent $30.89 for food and left a seven dollar tip, because the service was very good despite the food.

Then we walked back across the highway and down to the Barnes and Noble and spent an hour there. I picked out some work books for Rose. Her teacher said she should practice her cursive and her printing over the summer because she can be very sloppy when she doesn't try. And then picked up some math practice books on her weak areas which are place values and division. Also got multiplication and division flash cards.

For Tobias we got some early reader, very simple books and some printing practice, then some number games and puzzles, too. These were planned purchases out of what was left in my homeschool money envelope that turned up last night. I had misplaced it quite awhile ago and it had $100 left in it from a year ago when we last were homeschooling. We spent $108.39. Sales tax put us just over.

We then went to Exxon to use the last of my Exxon gas cards only the machine said it was accepted but then after we put the gas in, it said it wasn't. So the clerk came out and tried to get them to work and they wouldn't. Well, we'd already put one card's worth in the tank, which was $10 so we had to pay that in cash. I was miffed because we never would have gotten gas there without the card because it was $3.09 a gallon at Exxon and the Arco across the way was $2.99 a gallon so we would have gone there without the card. In fact we did go there and put the last $13 of cash I had in the tank.

Then we went to MIL's where the kids were playing in the pool, looked at the new sauna and hot tub that they'd put in and chatted for awhile. Then home. Well, we drove by a fruit stand selling cherries for a dollar a basket and I scrambled to count my change, but only had 92 cents, so we couldn't stop. They sell the best cherries there.

We also stopped at the IGA and I bought a few things. I got 4 chicken hindquarters (which equals 8 pieces), a bunch of scallions, 2 pounds of shredded cheese and 18 hormone free, antibiotic free, free-range chicken eggs for $10.69, but minus ten cents for using my proud card, so only $10.59. Everything but the scallions was on sale, and the scallions were only 69 cents.

So we spent a good bit today, but it was $200 less than we expected, because we figured the car would be a lot more. But since the problem was their error, it wasn't. However, the check engine light did come back on again, so grr, argh.

Savings Account and Cable

June 27th, 2006 at 05:42 am

I cashed the $4 survey check I got Saturday into my long term savings account, bringing the total in there to $434.34. DH asked today how much was in there. He couldn't believe it when I told him.

The cable company will finally disconnect us on July 7, but we will drop the box off before then. They wanted to come "some time" between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and I'm sorry but I will not wait around that long and ruin a whole day. So they have a drop off point in Bellingham we will take the box, to. Then they just have to shut it off at the pole, which we don't have to be around for. And they owe us money. We will get $8 back. Not much but its another $8 for the savings account.

Found 2 pennies today so I'm adding that to my People just giving me money/finding money total, now $1.54.

Spent Money

June 26th, 2006 at 04:14 am

I gave in today and we went out to eat for dinner. It hit 92 here shortly after lunch and it was just too darn hot to cook anything. DH has come down with my cold, though he is on his way back up today. He always gets through it faster than I do. Both kids are well.

Anyway, we spent $55, including the tip. Ouch. But there was just no way anyone was going to heat up the whole house. In fact, dinner was the only meal I ate today. Heat robs me of my appetite for most of the day so I usually just drink water until late afternoon on hot days.

I'm going to put a chicken or a potroast in the crockpot tonight and then shred all the meat in the morning so we can make things easy in the microwave. Eating out gets too expensive, but it is so easy to turn to it when cooking becomes inconvenient. And that is no way to save money. On the bright side, I found a penny out by the mailbox/paper box this morning. That brings my people just giving me or leaving around money total to $1.52 since April 9th.


We did some yard work tonight from 7 until 8:30, it was still 75 but the back yard is in shade then so it wasn't bad. We want to put up our pool soon. We all could have used it today. It's not very big compared to some of the quick set pools, maybe 8 or 10 feet in diameter and relatively shallow. Enough to cool off in and the kids have room to horse around in it if it is just them.

And I can go sit on the top platform of the play structure, which has a shaded roof, with my laptop and see the pool without having to be down there. Anything happens I'm just a step away from the slide and I can be right there. No sitting in the hot sun to watch the pool.

Real Food in Thermoses

June 24th, 2006 at 11:05 pm

Perky's musings on why people don't often pack real food made me think about a recent purchase I made at Fred Meyer. They had all sorts of little to medium size Aladdin thermoses, most came with an attatched spoon and some came with dividers. I purchased four.

My kids will be taking real food to school next year. When I was homeshooling I didn't have to worry about sandwiches and chips or junk food that much. I just cooked a hot meal or put together a cold salad, depending on the day. My kids don't really think sandwiches are all that great, unless they are hot, toasted and contain cheese and ham. So this last school year, Rose's first back to public school after 2 grades and Tobias' first year, lunches were difficult.

Both my kids enjoy hot lunch but it is $1.90 per lunch. That gets pricey fast. I did have one thermos each for the kids and on occassion I would send ravioli or soup instead of a sandwich lunch. It always went over so much better than anything else.

So, with my kids in very loud agreement, next school year they will be able to take things like chicken and potatoes in the same container because of the divided dishes. Rose won't eat chicken cold, but if it is warm she devours it. They both want my beef stew in one compartment and a homemade biscuit in the other side. Or leftover spaghetti and meatballs, or meatloaf and green beans, or enchiladas and rice. They were so enthusiastic over the idea.

I told them they can still have hot lunch once a week if they want to, but that the rest of the week they can eat real food from home. I will still let them get the 40 cent milk at school, though. I can't beat that price really, when I send it in a container from home they never drink it all or complain it wasn't enough, or don't screw the cap back on tightly enough and milk leaks all over the inside of their lunchbox and if I'm really unlucky all over the inside of their backpacks. The school sized one is perfect for them, so I will give on that. I can get juice boxes a lot cheaper, but I'd much rather send along a fruit than a juice.

Being able to balance Rose's diet more will be great. She is pre-diabetic (long family history of diabetes) and has several food allergies. When she eats hot lunch, we never really know what is in it. We've learned through trial and error which ones she can eat and which one's she can't. And she spent a lot of time in the nurse's office with stomach and intestinal pain.

Rose has even said she would give up hot lunch from school altogether if I would send hot lunch from home every day. I think we will all be much happier next school year. And it will cut back or cut out that expense altogether.

In My Mailbox--Lots of Loot

June 24th, 2006 at 09:21 pm

Today I got a survey check for $4. I took the survey about 2 weeks ago and they said it would come in 4 weeks, so I wasn't expecting it until July. So that was a nice surprise. It will go into long term savings the next time we go to town.

I also recieved my free sample of the healing garden reNourish(TM) moisture lotion and it came with a coupon for $1.00 off any the healing garden skin organics product.

My first CD from SimplyAudiobooks came. I am on a free 15 day trial. I got Dragon's Kin by Anne and Todd McCaffrey. Looking forward to listening to it.

Shopping Run Yesterday

June 24th, 2006 at 09:13 pm

Yesterday we went on our big run for the month. We plot out each store we need to visit and then the shortest drive distance to get to them and drive it in order. We started at Haggen grocery store because we had bought stamps there earlier in the week but hadn't been given them, so took the receipt in and got them. We also bought a watermelon and 10 bottles of soda for a 7-Up promotion. It had 10 2 liter bottles for $10, with a $10 rebate. Flavors allowed included A&W root beer and cream soda, orange crush, and a couple of the new flavored 7-Ups. We hardly buy pop anymore, but for this we'll end up having only paid the 8.4% sales tax. And it should last all summer.

After that we went across the street to Wells Fargo and paid the Medical Mortgage $1000 and then on to our main CU to get money for gas. We then went to Sprawl-Mart (WalMart)to get water socks for Rose (will her feet ever stop growing? She's just gone to a nine and she's only nine! Also got Sudafed at their pharmacy after signing in blood and taking a retinal scan to prove my identity. Okay, I'm only slightly exaggerating, I only had to show photo I.D. and sign electronically. While we were there we picked up nasal spray and eye drops that are safe for contacts (DH just got them.) And we bought 2 gallons bubble soap because it allows the kids endless entertainment. All purchases planned and no extra items snuck into the cart when I wasn't looking.

Then we went to Costco, which is across the highway from Sprawl-Mart and I am very happy that we only picked up what we planned on there, also. Kleenex brand tissues, Charmin brand toilet paper, the big bag of chopped romaine lettuce, and 2 pounds of King crab legs. Then we walked to the other end of the parking lot to Bed, Bath & Beyond and used my $20 in g.c.'s from a trial offer plus spent an additional $23 to get a good digital food scale. It goes up to ten pounds, and it is what I will use to weigh my e-bay packages. Since most of what I will be sending is going to be used dance shoes and leotards from the past seven years, that should be a good limit.

Then we took the jog over to the cheap Arco and filled the tank. $45 almost but it's gone down to $3.05. I forgot to buy Costco cash at Costco or we would have got it there four cents cheaper. Then to Fred Meyer for organic milk on sale and the cheap 2% for DH on sale. They had an unadvertised sale on turkey legs at .79/lb so we got some of that and some .88/lb chicken thighs and legs. Then we walked next door to Baskin Robbins. I had coupons for buy one get one free kids cones for the kids, but payed full price for mine and DH. This is a rare thing, we do not go there often and it was also planned, not impulse.

All in all it was a very good shopping trip and the kids were good. By plotting out our course ahead of time we were able to spend the least amount of gas getting places and we didn't back track at all.

It's Getting Bigger--Savings

June 23rd, 2006 at 02:46 am

The electronic transfer came through from paypal today so I added that $50 to my long term savings account for a grand total of $430.34.

I received a packet from vocalpoint today. It had two heavier plastic bendy straws and a bunch of blender recipes.

Not much else going on. DH is home from the arctic and doesn't have to go back until the 2nd or 3rd.

Hung two loads of laundry today. I think that's really it.

Using up the Leftovers--Part 2

June 22nd, 2006 at 07:52 pm

Well, all the leftover Mexican food got eaten for lunch today. I plan to finish off the veggies and a slice of pizza for dinner. Then all the leftovers will be gone, without having been wasted.

More in Savings

June 22nd, 2006 at 07:50 pm

Today's auto transfer of $10 brings my long term savings account to $380.34. The transfer from paypal has not shown up yet. I also need to deposit $20 more into savings this month to meet my goal of $60 beyond the amount of the auto transfers. I will probably do that on Friday. The paypal money doesn't count for this goal. This is beyond that as well.

Using up the Leftovers

June 22nd, 2006 at 01:10 am

We went out to eat so much this past week that we have a whole lot of leftovers, so I decided that I am not cooking anything new until all the restaurant food is either gone or has gone off.

For breakfast I had one slice of thin crust pizza with Canadian bacon and green peppers. Had to take a rolaid, too or the green peppers kill me. Lunch was half a French dip with au jus and jojos. Dinner was one taco al carbon and half of my son's toasted cheese sandwich with a little Mexican rice. There are still a couple of enchiladas, more rice and some more jojos that will get eaten tomorrow. I also have some veggies to use up before they go off as well, so somewhere along the line there will be a zucchini, a crookneck yellow squash, a cucumber and some lettuce.

In My Mailbox

June 21st, 2006 at 05:41 am

Received a coupon for a free 2 liter bottle of 7-UP. Of course, not before I went to the store and bought some to help nurse us through my bronchitis and Rose's sinus infection. I hate weather swings. We always get sick when it goes from one extreme to the other. Oh, well, on the bright side, I didn't get a weather migraine from the change in barometric pressure.

Being Sick is Expensive

June 21st, 2006 at 05:39 am

Today's expenses:

$15 co-pay for doctor's visit--Rose
$40 co-pay for brand name medicine--Rose
$15 co-pay for doctor's visit--Me
$40 co-pay for brand name medicine--Me
$ 5 co-pay for generic medicine--Me
$12.52 for Robitussin cold gels--2 packs--Me
$25 two types of ice cream (all natural), 2 bottles of 7-up, several boxes of Mrs. Grass Noodle Soup

Total damage: $152.52

I thank God we have health insurance on days like today.

Power Bill Went Way Down

June 20th, 2006 at 06:38 am

My power bill came. It was $22.75. No that is not a typo. I had a credit of $70.25 and my new budget amount is $93. It was at $110, but the just refigured it. They do this quarterly on the budget plan. My actual usage would have cost $64.96. They may adjust it downward more, but who knows at this point. I'm just happy to free up $17 a month.

My KWH usage for the Apr-May period was 967. For the same period last year it was 2668 KWH.

The changes I have made are to avoid the dryer as much as I can. I have a five load bearing clothesline, 2 drying racks and 2 shower rods that I can hang clothes on from hangers to dry that way.

I have unplugged everything that does not need to be plugged in unless the outlet is too awkward to get to or it is like the TV or VCR/DVD player where you have to reset it each time you unplug it.

I am vigilant about turning the fans off when we are not needing them.

I make sure my son turns his CD player off every morning and unplugs it. He sleeps with it playing music all night. I'm trying to convince him that he should just let it play through once but he still thinks it needs to be repeating the CD all night long.

I am vigilant about lights not being left on when someone is out of that room.

We are turning our computers off at night.

I am using the microwave more often. When I do use the oven I try to bake more than one thing at a time and in large quantities so they can be divided up and frozen and then later thawed and cooked in the microwave. I am unplugging the microwave when not in use. Resetting it is easy.

So one big thing and lots of little things. It really does add up.

A little flyer that came in my bill is offering a handmade copper and brass coffee scoop and two bags of organic, shade grown, fair trade coffee from Grounds for Change (local to the PNW, uses 100% of its energy from the green power program) if you sign up for Puget Sound Energy's Green Power Program. This program charges at the minimum a $4 a month surcharge on your power bill that goes to support the development of renewable energy resources in the PNW. You can also contribute more to this program in increments of $2. So $4, $6, $8 and so on.

I am going to think about it for awhile. It's good until October 15. If I am saving $17 on my power bill now by reducing use, $4 might be worthwhile to me. That would only be a savings of $13 then, but I do strongly believe in the development of non-oil based or polluting energy sources. I think it is a necessity and when we can afford it we will get a hybrid car.

The thing I must ask myself is, if I put that $4 in the bank to go towards the car (which is what my long term savings account is for, if I hadn't mentioned it) will it make a bigger difference in the long run of getting the car earlier and polluting less that way? Or will supporting the development of resources now make a bigger difference. Like I said, I will have to think on it.

Deposited that check

June 20th, 2006 at 06:00 am

I deposited that check that had gone missing but I found last night, so it is safely in savings. I also got two piddly payments from paypal to verify the account and then put through a request for the funds transfer of $50 from my Vindale payment. Now I just have to wait for it to show up in my bank account. It says 3 to 4 business days, but it said that about the two piddly deposits, too and those came through today when I made the request on Saturday, so hopefully it will go fast and be there in the next two days or possibly even tomorrow.

It just has been such a long, drawn out process to get everything in place to receive money through paypal and now that it is all in place, I want to get that money in the savings account as soon as possible. When I do, I shall have $420.34 in long term savings. Not bad for a girl who just 2 short months ago had only $125 in one savings account, and $5 in the other. Now the $5 account has over $200 in it. That's over $500 in savings, I'm over the halfway mark to $1000. How on earth did that happen? And also, wow.

I have to earn 200 more points from MyPoints before I can cash out for another gas card. Gas prices are finally going down here. Average is now at $3.23, cheap Arco is at $3.11, Costco is at $3.09. The Shell station is at $3.15. I am glad I chose to get the rest of my gas cards from Shell because the Exxon/Mobil stations are at $3.23. I only have one Exxon left to use.

Spent $60 today on food. Not good. We had out both lunch and dinner. Now we have leftovers from both that will equal one more meal for all of us. It was the last day of school and Rose had early dismissal (Tobias had his last day Friday), and I think we all got a little over excited about having freedom this summer, so we celebrated a little too much.

I think eating out is really my Achille's heel. I have to keep a sharper eye out on that. We still could have had two meals out for around $25 if we'd just done McDonalds or DQ or even Arby's twice. I think I will make it my goal for the rest of the month. No more eating at restaurants. And just so I get the intent right from the actual words, no more getting takeout from restaurants, either. Know thyself. I know DH will want to go out when he gets home. At least once. Well, he doesn't fly out again until July 3, so I'll just make him wait until the 1st so I can honor my ban.

Found It!!!

June 19th, 2006 at 07:47 am

I found the check that I misplaced, so now I can deposit it into my savings account tomorrow. Well, today actually since its after midnight. I have to go to town for a chiropractic appointment anyway, and I had to go this CU anyway also, so the finding of it was convenient. Now if I can just find out what happened to the check that disappeared in February from the orthodontist reimbursement for overpayment, I'll be really happy.

Didn't do much today, er...yesterday. Spent $15 for lunch for myself and the kids at McDonalds, this included desserts, too or it would have been closer to $10. We stayed for a couple of hours so they could play and I could have a little time to myself (sort of). Then we went to MIL's house to give FIL his Father's Day card. We did my Dad's card yesterday.

DH won't get his until he's back in the state. He's at a safety conference in Anchorage right now, he has per diem for meals and usually ends up ahead on that. It's $30 a day but they provide lunch and snacks, so its not hard for him to have some leftover. It won't be any huge amount or anything, but he'll probably end up with at least $40 to put in the long term savings.

Savings Stuff

June 17th, 2006 at 04:51 am

I added $40 today to my long term savings account, bringing my total up to $370.52. I am still looking for the check I misplaced from Send Earnings, which is also earmarked for that account and is $49 and some odd cents. I also received my 4th Shell gas card from MyPoints today.

I added $27.95 to my freezer money account, bringing the total of it up to $209.14.

I received my first box of checks for the new checking account and my first debit card ever that goes with it, along with my pin. I had everything shipped to the CU because it is safer than having it shipped here. We have kids that like to fool with the mailboxes out here and I have found anything from a chewed up nerf football to a paper plate with a pizza crust folded up in it in my mailbox before. So far no mail has turned up missing, but still.

My 4th Shell gas card from MyPoints arrived today. So I now have a total of $50 in gas cards and $20 in Bed Bath and Beyond cards.

Something for Nothing

June 16th, 2006 at 05:26 am

I've been trying for awhile to find a specific item on freecycle, its been a few months now and I post for it once a week. So far no luck, so I decided to mosey on over to almostfree, didn't find it there, so decided to amble along to tradecycle. Low and behold I found the very thing I wanted and had they very thing they wanted to trade for. So tomorrow I will be receiving several bright orange dinnerplate dahlia plants and she will be digging up my fully established asparagus crowns that are currently in full fern, so really easy to locate. Yay!

Costco Run coming soon

June 16th, 2006 at 05:00 am

It used to be I could never leave Costco under $100, usually $150 but that was with a case of diapers or pull-ups and wipes. Then after we didn't buy those anymore, I still couldn't get under $100 for a long time. Last time I went I came out of there having spent $48. And this was after a month long challenge to not go there at all. I was so proud of myself.

I write a list and stick to it now. I do not go through the toys, dvds, cds and books at all. I avoid the office supply section like the plague. I wouldn't go by the bakery at all if you didn't have to to get to the walk-in refrigerator. Well, I could go the long way around, but the bakery doesn't tempt me now that I bake from scratch. Just not as good as what I can do.

I have to go tomorrow, just for a few things (cheese, milk, eggs and veggies, maybe fruit if the price is good). I found out you can buy a Costco cash card and then use it at their gas station. It won't take cash, which I hate, but of course will take credit and debit. So I don't buy it there up to now. Last time I went it was at $3.11 a gallon, which is 2 cents cheaper than the cheapest Arco, the average is still running right at $3.29. Since I will be there anyway, I will try this. I am saving my gas cards for when things are tighter. Usually that is the one week each month we don't get a paycheck at all.

Since it is coming up on summer we won't be driving as much. No dance, no sports except one or two week long sports clinics, and only swim lessons twice a week in town. I will try to bundle everything that is needed in town into those two days. Less driving equals less gas consumed equals smaller amounts of money going into the gas tank.

In My Mailbox

June 15th, 2006 at 10:59 pm

I cleaned up in the mail today! Three of the four $10 gas cards from Shell that I ordered from MyPoints arrived. Supposed to take 2 to 6 weeks and I ordered them last week. Don't know what happened to the fourth one but it may turn up tomorrow. Boonies mail delivery not always that on time. Also received a new product to test that I am really hoping works as advertised. And my Swiffer hand held duster thingy sample and another Olay sample. I know I signed up for 3 offers with Olay but I think this is my fifth or six sample from them. Kind of like that.

Long term account $10 richer

June 15th, 2006 at 10:04 pm

With today's auto deposit into savings of $10, my new long term account total is $330.52. I have not gotten around to opening an ING account. I have been waiting for the checks to come in on my new checking account first. They have finally arrived and I will pick them up tomorrow, which is payday. The CU said it didn't have the routing number until the checks came. I don't know if that is true or not, but I certainly didn't have it until they came.

I'm so far behind in so many things right now, due to my back being wonky. But it is finally feeling better so I am getting caught up. Or starting to. Yesterday I was able to tackle about a third of the weeds in the garden. Six kitchen garbage bags full, which my neighbor hauled to the green drop off in town. It takes garden waste and composts it ($2 a truckload, neighbor was going anyway) at very high temperatures and then uses the compost in the parks and gardens and roadside plantings throughout the city.

Last year was the first year they had to charge for it, but its still a great way to get rid of stuff for cheap and know that it is going to be used to good purpose. Normally I will compost it myself but this stuff had seed heads and tap roots and an annoying pernicious local fern that can propagate itself from the smallest piece of root left over, and my compost pile does not get hot enough to kill off the seed heads, I am a slow composter (or a lazy one) and only turn my pile a couple times a year. It still turns out okay, just takes longer.

I am also getting caught up on dishes again. I could not stand for long at the sink without putting strain on the tweaked muscles and as it was the kids had to put stuff in the bottom for me and hand stuff up to me when it was time to empty the dishwasher. Now I can do it myself. We've been eating a lot of the stockpile of TV dinners so that I didn't get overwhelmed with new dirty dishes while tackling the old.

Yesterday I made the decision that I could not wait any longer for it to stop raining so I used my dryer for what couldn't fit on the two shower curtain rods in the bathrooms. Still have so much to do. 3 weeks with a bad back and DH in Alaska for all but 5 days of it, does not a tidy household make. And he will not be back for another 6 to 8 days. Sigh. Its a good job and it pays well, but sometimes I hate it.

Not much else going on. Tomorrow is payday, so I will deposit at least $10 into the freezer account and mabye $20 or $30 into long term savings, we'll see after I pay that set of bills.

I'm going to wait until the absolute last minute before I pay the homeowner's association dues, which is due the last day of July. It looks like the association is going to fall apart, the golf course was sold awhile ago and they've closed the pool due to the roof falling in and mold, so there seems no further purpose to paying dues. They don't maintain the greenways or the roads like they are supposed to and I don't want them to go belly-up with my half year dues in their account. So I will play it by ear.

We still want to refinance the house so we will probably pay the dues anyway if they haven't fallen apart, because if we don't they can put on lien on our property. Can't refinance with a lien. Plus we have always kept current with our dues, though it seems no one else has. Probably why the pool problem hasn't been fixed. Whatever happens, happens. I'll have the money set aside whatever the course.

It's silly, but I'm excited

June 15th, 2006 at 06:58 am

I did a survey near the beginning of last month for $4. It was evaluating a commercial for a cell phone company that hadn't come out yet. Well, I just saw it on TV, slightly changed, and one of the changes I had suggested was actually made. Now, I don't expect it was just a suggestion I made. I'm sure others made it as well. But still, I was never expecting to see this commercial so soon! And it really makes me feel like my opinion is actually counting in these surveys.

My Mortgage

June 13th, 2006 at 12:25 am

I decided to figure out exactly where I am on my house mortgage and I have exactly 11 years (minus 1/2 a month's payment). Each payment I try to make a little extra. Usually it is $24.14 but if I have it, I will try to make it $124.14 extra. We have had it for what will be 3 years in October, so we've managed to knock off over a year already. It doesn't seem like it makes that much difference as we go along, but obviously it does. Total balance left on the mortgage is $36,890.07.

Goals for the Next 30

June 10th, 2006 at 05:18 am

Okay, so I've made it through 2 months of blogging and 2 months of saving money. So what is my plan for month 3? Well, I want to save $100. Because of the way the weeks fall, I will only have $40 automatically transferred into savings, so I will need to come up with an additional $60 from somewhere. I think I can handle that.

There are things I have been wavering on that I need to make sure I hold firm on. Like not giving into the kids and keeping cable when DH and I have decided it is an expense that needs to go.

Like not driving to town just because I am bored at home. When a round trip to town takes nearly 3 gallons of gas, this is extremely wasteful.

Like getting my library books, the kids's library books and DH's library books back on time so we don't pay fines. Our library actually has a one week grace period and this is on top of a 3 week check-out, and you can do one recheck for an additional 3 weeks online and have an additional grace period of one more week. I mean, please, if I can't get my stuff read in 8 weeks and go into fines, then the book is obviously too boring so why am I hanging onto it? Ditto the kids.

That's about all I can think of, but I think that will do for month 3.

Payday, But Not a Terribly Spendy Day

June 10th, 2006 at 03:31 am

Just a little spending this payday, its just the little one with 2 days on it. So $48 in groceries, mostly produce but $18 on turkey for lunches and turkey ham for breakfast, $15 for allergy meds, $9.21 for lunch at my favorite Mexican place with a $3 tip and enough leftovers for one more meal for me, and enough rice for both kids to have a serving, also. $44.01 for gas and the tank actually had an F on it, that's been awhile. Was over on the right side of town so went to the cheapest Arco at $3.13 a gallon.

On the way home I stopped by the berry farm which started selling strawberries yesterday and got a full flat for $15. The same amount in town at the store from the same farm would cost $32. I'll keep a couple boxes in the fridge for eating fresh and then cut up the rest and sugar them. I'll freeze a couple of Ziploc quart bags full for later use.

I had the massage therapy appointment this morning so that was $50 and I have one more appointment for Wednesday and that will be another $50 and then I should be okay and not need anymore physical therapy, here's hoping.

I still have to pay the cable bill, most likely the last one, depending on when I can get the tech out to pull the box. Other than that no other bills until next payday.

Okay, maybe it was a spendy day after all, LOL. But it was small amounts spendy, not big amounts spendy.

Saving Just Feels Good

June 10th, 2006 at 03:03 am

Yesterday was the day for the electronic funds transfer to my savings account. It now has a balance of $320.52 after today's $10 went in. I seem to have misplaced the check I got from Send Earnings. I remember putting it in my purse and then it wasn't there when I went to deposit it. I'll give it a few more days to turn up and if it doesn't, I'll see if they'll cut a new one or not and cancel the old one.

The only places I haven't looked are the car, which needs a desperate cleaning, and the computer table area, which seems to have bloblike tendancies and has swallowed the homeschool book area and has begun expanding ever so slowly day by day towards the front door. I'll tear it apart tomorrow before it develops legs and walks out the front door on its own. Was planning on it anyway, as I am working towards organization.

Once I do deposit that check, I'll be $30 shy of $400. Wow, not bad for a girl who had barely any money in savings two months ago (today) when I started blogging and seriously trying to get my act together.

We got $37 of extra overtime pay for DH's working on Memorial day, so if I can make it through the week without spending that it will go in savings. I'll decide on Tuesday when the grocery ads come out, because if there is a good sale I'll use it for that instead. I'm low on a few things, not in danger of running out just yet, but one never knows.

Planning for the End

June 9th, 2006 at 06:40 am

I have been bugging my parents to make out their will and write down their wishes for end of life care and treatment for about five years now. I am so glad they are now in the process of doing it. I have known what they want to do these years, but I wanted it written down because I have a feeling one of my sisters would fight me to go against what my parents want.

They both want DNR's, organ donation, and burial by cremation. My father is in the early stages of dementia and has MS. If mom goes first, and he no longer can function on his own, he wants to be placed in a nursing home in eastern WA so he can be near his younger brothers and sisters. Of course, he wouldn't be near his kids or grandkids that way, but if its what he wants, than that is what I'll do. I don't really think he'll outlast my mother though. He's five years older than her and she's healthy as a horse.

Mom's mom had alzheimer's disease so she has been very specific in what she wants for herself, too. She's made me her medical and her financial power of attorney, and I would be Dad's but only if she dies before he does or becomes incompetent. Which is fine.

I am a little leary of the fact that she is also making me executor of the will, though. I'm not sure I should be doing both. But I'm also the only one of her daughters with any sense (her words), so she wouldn't trust the other two to do it. Which she's right on the one sister, but not the other one.

It seems like an awful lot of responsibility for me to take on, I am only 36, but my parents are older. Mom was 30 and dad was 35 when I was born. And someone has to do it, and I'd be the only one willing, I think.

I guess I should be grateful they are finally doing this and realize that I will find the reserves in myself to do this. My parents have always had more faith in me than my sisters because I never ran off and did anything stupid (Mom's words again). Ha! I just never got caught running off and doing something stupid. Okay, and that was only mildly stupid comparatively.

Okay, I'm rambling now, so I'll just end this here. I guess I'll put this under goals, since getting my parents to get their will and other stuff in order has been my goal for the last five years.

More in my Mailbox

June 9th, 2006 at 06:22 am

I got a sample of Biz detergent in the mail today. It was a lot bigger than I was expecting. I think I can get four or five loads of laundry with it. I was hoping for enough to do 2 loads. I love getting samples!

More free money

June 9th, 2006 at 06:00 am

I picked up a pizza for my Mom today and she paid me for it and told me to keep the change, which was 57 cents. That brings my people just giving me money total to $1.51.


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