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Archive for July, 2006

Unnecessary Things

July 11th, 2006 at 06:58 pm

Now we've gotten rid of 2 things to cut our expenses. The first was digital cable (all cable, not just digital) and the second was the daily newspaper. I am debating on what to cut next that I consider to be a much wanted, but not needed item. I'm thinking about the 2nd phone line. That's a tough one, since I'm online a lot and we are still on dial-up. I wish our cell phones worked at our house, we have to go a mile down the road and then our reception is fine the whole way to town except a small 1/4 of a mile stretch in the valley of two foothills. That would make dropping the extra phone line so easy. Oh, well, unless they actually decide to use the technology of floating cell receiver balloons over areas of bad reception, I'm out of luck.

Oh, and even though we are not paying for cable anymore they still haven't shut it off. They were supposed to on Friday. I called to double check and we are not being charged. So, however long it takes them, I get free cable.

Savings and Click Thru Updates

July 11th, 2006 at 05:45 pm

I didn't realize I went so many days without blogging, but there wasn't much of note going on, just a lot of swimming in the pool.

The click thru that had paid out $10 to paypal was transferred into my bank account yesterday, so it is now at a total of $467.34.

I cashed out on two more click-thrus today, one is one I haven't cashed out on before and the other one was my second time cashing out at one who has paid me before. Each of those will be $3, which will add another $6 to my savings, bringing meup to $473.34. Hopefully, I'll see it by Friday. I like building this acccountup, even if it is just little bit by little bit. I will reach my $500 goal this month.

A few dollars more

July 8th, 2006 at 05:23 pm

My click thru payment of $10 was deposited into paypal this A.M. and I shifted it to my CU, so it should show by at least Wednesday. So that is 2 so far that have actually paid out. I'm about to hit a payout again on the first one that paid out.

Anyway, that will bring my long term savings up to $467.34. Then its just $33 more to hit my second goal of $500. Really excited about that.

I had to wipe out my freezer account though. Well, its not wiped out, it still has $27 in it, but sadly it was at $227, which was almost half of what I needed, so that's not great. But it was for a hospital bill that had managed to slip through the cracks, so I wanted to pay it off right away. It isn't part of the $150,000 we owe the hospital, somehow it got missed. But it was only $200, so I just wanted it gone.

At least the $150,000 isn't that much anymore, but it amazes me just how much goes to interest. I should check on that again and see exactly how much is left. At least it is at 6 percent and not at the 18 the hospital normally charges. Of course, they are using my parent's house as collateral, so they aren't really going to lose in this whole mess. And the house is mine anyway, if I want it.

Okay, I got off track. Anyhow, savings is going up slowly but surely. Oh, and I got another penny for my people just giving away money tally, the clerk at the convenience store didn't want to give me 4 pennies so she gave me a nickle. So that makes $1.81 since I started keeping track in April.

In My Mailbox

July 6th, 2006 at 05:04 pm

I really cleaned up on samples today. I recieved:

Tide with Febreeze liquid laundry detergent sample. It's huge, and since I only use one tbsp per load, I estimate it has 4 to 5 loads in it.

Jergen's Lotion (I just applied for this last week), which has 3 different types of lotion and I will be able to get at least six uses out of it.

Sunsilk--3 samples, one shampoo, one conditioner and one cream, all for frizz control (not much works on my frizzy red curls, we'll see if it can). Unlike other products, I can't see stretching this out more than one use per item. My hair is to thick and long for that. It also came with 2 $1.00 off coupons.

The first two were WalMart samples. They come fast and they are quite large, so I will continue to sign up for those. At least if it is coming from WalMart, I'll know where I might find the product if I decide I like it enough to purchase it.

Trying to Convince Myself

July 6th, 2006 at 04:17 pm

I am having a major craving for Pepsi right now. Too much soda over the holiday and now I want more. Of course, not any of the non-caffeinated stuff that I have in the house from that 7-Up promotion will do. Has to be Pepsi.

I have four gallons of gas left in the car and I don't want to waste it driving 1.2 miles to the gas station store. Even though I am finally able to fill up at $2.99 a gallon at the cheap Arco now, its still a precious commodity and I don't need to waste it on a silly errand. And yes, I do still have $40 in Shell gas cards, but the nearest Shell is 10 miles away. But that isn't the point.

I could walk the 1.2 miles, it takes me about 20-25 minutes to walk that one way. I could collect cans on the way home because after the 4th there are more than ever in the ditches, to make it a productive walk. Lots of beer cans off the highway, which really makes me wonder how many drunken drivers were out that night.

But I want a no spend day and walking down to that store and spending $1.85 on a 2 liter bottle, which is a ridiculous price considering all the sales I passed up last week, is not only dumb, it won't give me the no spend day.

Still Waiting

July 6th, 2006 at 03:59 pm

I am still waiting for the click thru payment to come through to paypal. It was supposed to take 48 hours, but its taking a lot more than that. I was hoping it would come through today so I could get the order in to transfer to my savings account. Sigh. Well, I guess that is next week for that $10. Even if it comes through tomorrow, it won't go through to my CU until next week. I guess I just have to have patience. I really don't like how holidays shut down banking systems.

Savings Up

July 6th, 2006 at 03:54 pm

Today was the day of my weekly electronic funds transfer to long term savings, adding in another $10 and bringing my total to $457.34. I'm so close to my 2nd goal of $500, I can taste it.

Keeping it Free

July 6th, 2006 at 03:24 pm

After reading about all the library dontaions others have been making lately, I hopped online to my local library branch and renewed a book on tape that I have out. It wasn't due until tomorrow, but I figured if I didn't renew it today, I might be joining you all in the land of ovedue fines. Although, technically we have a week long grace period, since this book on tape was loaned out from storage, which means it is attatched to the city library system and loaned into the county system, I might have to abide by the city grace period (1 day) and the city fines (10 cents instead of 5 per day after grace is over).

Anyway, I have it checked for another two weeks, which is good, because this is an unabrideged dual recorded set of tapes, and is about 16 hours long. While I was doing that I checked my holds list and a book I put on hold about a month ago just came in. It was the Not Buying It that was recommended by someone on this site.

So I will pick that up tomorrow when I go get my children on Friday. They are spending two nights at grandma's along with 3 of their cousins. Nice break for me and I am being utterly lazy. Okay, not really, I am doing dishes and washing and hanging laundry and cleaning the pool, and probably mowing the lawn. But I have aleady managed to watch two movies from Netflix last night (Iron Will and Just Like Heaven) while I did click thrus on the computer. I just noticed that I can't actually be lazy even when I'm being lazy, LOL.

And I finally finished the book The Mom's Guide to Earning and Saving Thousands on the Internet. Interesting read and I did sign up for a few things I hadn't heard of already on my own. We'll see how that pans out. Hopefully it will add one or two more income sources.

Oh, I was offered anther $2 survey today and I didn't qualify yet again. I have migraines, but I don't have them often enough for the dumb survey. Sigh. I can't help it if I avoid all the food triggers and only seem to get triggered these days by lack of sleep or extreme barometric pressure changes, like the onset of a huge storm. Sigh. Oh, well. Again.

Customer Complaint

July 6th, 2006 at 12:26 am

I just sent off my first customer complaint email. My brand new Scripto lighter that I had purchased for lighting fireworks failed to light after the tenth firework went off. Very frustrating. It took 30 minutes for us to find a gas station still open so we could get a new one. It just really put a crimp in the whole night. Fortunately it didn't ruin it and we were able to resume it, but much later and with the added "benefit" of tired, cranky children.

I'm not sure if they'll do anything, but I feel better just having sent it. Maybe they'll send me a new one. That would be nice.

A few months ago I wouldn't have bothered complaining, but I guess you all have rubbed off on me.

Survey Disappointments

July 6th, 2006 at 12:04 am

I'm kind of frustrated today. I got two invitations for $3 surveys from differnt companies and I did not qualify for either of them! Very annoyed. The first one I jumped on instantly but out of all the frozen food I've bought in the last 6 months, pancakes and waffles aren't some of them. Because they are so easy to make, I don't get the frozen kind. Argh!

The other one, I didn't get to immediately. It was from a company that has never sent a paid invite before, just entries to drawings. So I saw the addy but didn't bother to look at the subject line. It was only 3 hours later that I got to it. I just hate it when I miss out. I've got to remember to check the subject line in future.

Oh, well. It's just luck of the draw mostly.

Click Thru Came Through

July 5th, 2006 at 11:57 pm

The Click Thru I cashed out on last week came through to my bank account from paypal today, bringing my long-term savings account up by $3 to $447.34. I am waiting on another one to show up at paypal. That one is $10, and I cashed out on Monday so it should show up tomorrow. Would have been today if it hadn't been for the holiday.

I have figured out a way to do click thrus without having to devote all of my online time to it. I open one and get it searching and then I read a blog, then while I am waiting for the next blog to load, I set another click thru in motion. Well, that and I also do then while watching TV. I'm kind of binging on TV right now since cable gets shut off on the 7th. I never watched this much when it was available to me. Oh, well. It's gone soon and then it won't be an issue.

Money from Click Thrus

July 4th, 2006 at 03:16 am

I hit the payout amount for one of my click thrus and requested payment. It should be deposited by next week. This is one I haven't been paid by before, so hopefully all goes well and I will have 2 that I know are legitimate. I sure hope this one is because it will be $10. I should hit totals on most of my click thrus this month. That will be nice because I don't think I will get any other payments in July unless I get a small payout survey at some point.

That will put my July earnings at $13. I lost the rebate slip for my pop rebate so I have to go pick one up next time I go to town. This is annoying because I got one and DH got one and neither of us can find it. At least we have the receipt and UPCs if those are needed. I don't know, since I never read the rebate slip. But its a ten dollar rebate so I'm not going to let it go.

Dividends

July 3rd, 2006 at 11:46 pm

My freezer money savings account had dividends deposited today. 11 cents, whopee. But still. Anyway, it brings the total in that account to $227.25.

Paypal payment has not showed up in my bank account yet and I checked and they haven't put dividends in yet on that savings account. Should be, but isn't. Oh, they might have been closed today, so maybe I'll see it on Wednesday.

DH flew out tonight so I won't see him again for 16 days. Well, at least we got the pool up and the kids won't be pestering me to do it on my own.

Tomorrow I am going to make a list of phone calls that I need to make on Wednesday. I've decided to cancel the newspaper and just buy one on Tuesday for the grocery ads. I have to check first to see if they post them online. If they do, I won't worry about it at all. Mom will save the Sunday ads and coupon inserts for me.

Choosing an Item in the Budget to Cut

July 1st, 2006 at 06:09 pm

I am trying to decide what expense to cut, now that the first one is successfully out of the way. At least mentally, in reality its done the 7th and will produce an $8 refund.

Two expenses that are convenient but not quite necessary are the daily newspaper and our second phone line.

We have the second phone line because we have dial-up cable. If we drop one phone line its a savings of $20 a month. It is nice to have two lines so if one is online, we can still get our calls. We could do call waiting and have that ability also, but last time we checked it was more expensive than the two lines. Our cell phones don't work at our house or that 2nd line would be long gone. We have to drive 1.2 miles from our house before we get a signal and then we pretty much have it all the way to town. We just happen to live between two foothills in a dead spot.

If I cancel the paper, it will save $14 a month, but since I paid for the whole year in January, this is not an expense that I am currently paying. It would reduce nothing out of the current budget. It would refund money, though, but the year is half over, so not that much, $84.

Even if I were to cancel the subscription I would still buy the paper on Tuesday and Sunday because that is when the store ads and the coupons come out. That is $3 a week. So that is $12 to $14 anyway just for that, depending on how many Sundays and how many Tuesdays fall in a month. I would not save money that way. We do recycle all the shiny paper out of the paper, but the newsprint we save for using in the fireplace. I roll the pages and then fold them into kindling sticks and they really help in starting a fire in the woodstove and getting it burning well. So the paper does have two uses, both to read and an afterlife. And I have also been known to use it as a weed barrier in the gardens. That does not seem like a good item for me to really cut out unless I cut it out altogether.

I do have another source of newspaper for the fire, both my parents and my in-laws get the paper, and my Mom will let me view her ads and take whatever coupons she doesn't want, but I am not always there before she recycles. They have weekly recycling pick-up in town, we only get it once every two weeks. So often it is gone by the time I am over there.

Another choice could be switching our ISP to a discount company like People PC or NetZero, but I hate the ads. There are enough ads on the internet with banners and sidereals on websites without adding another set of ads onto the page. We currently pay $220 a year for our dial-up, works out to $18.33/.34 pre month. We have been with them for 8 years, they are a good local company that never seems to go down. DH wants faster connection, but I don't see how. I don't want to change my main email addy, either.

I'll have to do some more thinking, but I know something can be cut. Somehow. I don't know how much longer our vehicles will last and we really have to save hard to buy a new one.

Dithering Over Things Decided

July 1st, 2006 at 05:51 pm

So our cable is going to be turned off in 6 days, only when DH called to ask them for directions to where we can drop off the cable box so we don't have to wait around all day for Comcast to show up and get it, they mentioned to him that we could get the local news channels for $5 a month. Okay, that's just the major networks and PBS, plus the Canadian channels that leak over the border. Now I'm wondering if we ought to get the $5 a month service.

It was my idea to get rid of cable in the first place, but I do like to watch Leno and Craig Ferguson at night, which is a bad habit I want to replace by reading more anyway, but I'm getting all antsy about going cable free completely. Which is stupid. Because to me, that just shows how bad the addiction to watching mindless pablum has become.

I don't know. It's silly. There isn't a real reason to even get those few channels. I get the news off the net, or out of the paper, and if nothing else, I can get it off the radio. So even $5 each month is too much if it isn't needed.

Okay, I think I've talked myself out of the $5 a month limited cable.

In My Mailbox

July 1st, 2006 at 05:43 pm

I got two things in the mail today. One was a $2 coupon for ThermaCare patches and the other was a sample from Herbal Essences that had shampoo, conditioner, and deep conditioning treatment in those little one use tear pouches. Well, one use for me now, but when my hair was shorter I'd be able to make it two uses on each thing.

The neighbor came over today asking to borrow detergent again. This time I gave him a Tide sample and told him that he could use 2 tbsp per load and to ignore what it said on the box. So he should get 3 washings out of it.

People keep giving me money

July 1st, 2006 at 05:24 pm

Okay, so today when I went to get the newspaper out of the box, my mailbox was open. It does this occassionally because the clicking mechanism fell off so it doesn't always latch. I went to close it and noticed that there was a quarter and a penny sitting in there. Now that is quite different from the usual thing, dog-chewed nerf football, pizza crust folded up inside a polystyrene plate, a dandelion in full seed, that kind of thing, that the neighbor kids tend to on occassion shove in there.

So I added the 26 cents to my running total of money I get from people who just don't care enough to keep it and that brings my running total to $1.80.

Ethical Dilemma

July 1st, 2006 at 03:18 pm

Okay, I have a situation I'd like some opinions on. Back in May, before I'd even set up a paypal account, I got an email saying there was money in a paypal account connected to my email. There was no paypal account connected to my email when I checked. But I wanted to set one up, so I did, and sure enough, as soon as I did, there was $70 sitting in my account. I asked paypal and it was legitimate.

So DH tracked it for me and found out it was related to a certain numbered ebay sale of an item I had certainly not sold, because I did not have an ebay account and had never used ebay (only DH has, and its a different account).

However it did have an email the money came from, so I emaled and asked what the money was for, since I didn't have an ebay account at all, and I had only just set up the paypal account and there was the money.

This person insisted that she had bought the item from me. I explained patiently, and ad naseum, with smaller and smaller words over the course of 6 emails that she had made a mistake somewhere and sent the money to the wrong person. It appeared that she simply wasn't reading what I wrote, only continuing to respond that the money was for something she'd ordered from me.

This went on for about 3 weeks. Well, finally I got an email from someone who had been forwarded the entire string of emails I'd sent to the idiot (sorry, I have low tolerance for people who won't listen or act stupid when they are not). This happened to be the real person she had bought the item from, whose email address was the same as mine, except it had 3 numbers following the letters.

She had also gone round and round with this woman about her not having sent it to the right email addy, and finally had gotten the sale rescinded due to lack of payment and the result was the other woman was kicked off ebay. She got my email from the list of emails that had been forwarded to her and she emailed me to explain what had happened or I'd still not know.

I asked her if she wanted me to transfer the money to her. She did not, she wasn't going to send the product now, and so the money wasn't hers. Well, I tried one more time to explain what had happened to the first woman and she responded with a profanity laced email that I had gotten her kicked off ebay and stolen her money. She still didn't get it, and I was trying to return the money!

Well, I checked with paypal and supposedly if I did nothing to withdraw the money, it would be returned to the sender on June 28th. Well, guess what? It wasn't and there it sits in my paypal account.

So my question is, what am I supposed to do with the money? I have made several good faith efforts to give it back. Part of me says that I should just keep it to pay for all the hassle I've been put through trying to do the right thing. Ethically this is wrong and I really feel at a rate of about 98% that I would feel tremendous guilt doing this and that it would bother me. 2% of me says I deserve it after all the garbage she put me through.

I guess I could try one more time to talk with paypal about it and see if they'll return it to her account. I'm really just so tired of dealing with it I want it to be done.

First Earnings of July

July 1st, 2006 at 02:48 pm

I received notification of a $3 payment from one of the better click-thrus today, went to paypal and sure enough there it was. This is the first time I've redeemed from a click-thru company, because this was the first one I've hit the minimum payment on. I'm close on a couple of other ones. This one I will keep, after I hit the limit on a couple of the other ones I won't keep doing them. I have learned to recognize the ones that aren't worth doing, but not before I'd invested too much time in them to not hit the limit.

I transferred the money in paypal to my CU that has long term savings in it. Once it hits my checking account, I will transfer it to the savings there. That will bring long term savings to $447.34. I hope it hits on Monday, before the holiday slows everything down. Since yesterday was quarter's end, I should be getting a small amount of interest deposited into all my savings accounts, which I will add to my totals, also.

Dinner and 2 Movies

July 1st, 2006 at 01:11 am

I didn't have time to post twice on Thursday but DH and I had a rare date, while the kids spent the night at my mother's house. It was a very spendy date, too. But DH got a bonus check for some extra stuff he does on a safety committee at work and that's how he wanted to spend it.

So we went to Black Angus and had the special of a small lobster tail, King crab leg, and prime rib, with 2 sides. DH got the same. I got double veggies and he got veggies and a baked potato, loaded. No dessert and I drank only water, but DH had Coke. We took the bread home.

Afterwards we went to the movies and paid (gasp!) full price. I haven't paid full price in years, we always go to matinees and even that has gotten pricey. But he really wanted to use the money this way, and I wanted to see the movies. We so rarely go to movies. The last one we saw was the Narnia one, and before that The Day After Tomorrow. And we had gift certificates both times from my mother.

Anyway, we saw X3, which we had both wanted to see on the big screen before it was gone. There were 9 other people in the theater with us and we got to sit in the seats that would be behind the wheel chair seats, which means complete legroom. I've never been so comfy at a movie theater in my life. That movie went fast and it was good, but it made me cry a couple of times. I was expecting to cry at the second movie, not the science fiction one.

The second movie we saw was The Lake House. I adored it. Made me cry more than the other movie, but it was wonderful. A true romance. I hope those two don't wait over a decade to make another moive together. They have such good chemistry I hate to see it not used.

Anyway, DH and I had a marvelous time and in the end it was worth it, the money we spent. It will be a long time before I pay full price for a movie again. DH wants to see Superman next time he comes home. I may order the entertainment book as it has movie coupons. I don't know if our regular budget can swing another movie for awhile. That's what Netflix is for, it just means waiting a bit more.

I think this goes firmly in the Not My Fault category.


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