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Archive for November, 2015

College Fund Update

November 27th, 2015 at 10:29 pm

$330.78 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
--------------
$340.78 New Balance

I am going to nickel and dime my way there. $1159.22 to go.

Payday Report

November 23rd, 2015 at 12:12 am

$1000.00 Down Payment Fund
__225.00 Chiropractor Family Plan
__136.65 AMEX
___15.00 Checks
__120.00 Physical Therapy
___77.82 Internet
_2000.00 Chase VISA
---------------------
$3574.47 Total Money Out

Farm Down Payment Fund

November 23rd, 2015 at 12:06 am

$33,000.00 Starting Balance
+_1,000.00 Deposit Added
------------------
$34,000.00 New Balance

$46,000.00 to go.

College Fund and Musings

November 19th, 2015 at 07:05 am

$254.78 Starting Balance
+_66.00 Coin Jar, Egg Money, Farm Sales
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
------------------------
$330.78 New Balance

$5669.22 to go.

I went ahead and added in tomorrow's auto deposit so I didn't have to do two separate posts. The cost of the vet tech program my daughter wants to do is $1500 per semester, so a total of $6000 for 4 semesters. It is a work at your own pace online college, fully accredited. You have 18 months to complete each semester. She wants to start in the fall, so of course my first goal is to hit the $1500 mark.

We have been lax on college savings. We used to have some money saved up, but when we paid off all of our debts we used that money, since DD had no clue what she wanted to do after high school and for a time we weren't even sure she would graduate or go to school at all. DH has used some of it on his education, too.

I'm not terribly worried about it. I'm more concerned with saving up for our down payment and our retirement and staying debt free than our kids' college. College is less and less a good deal for the student, saddling them with mountains of debt and not ensuring them of a good job when they get out anymore. Especially if they get the useless degrees so many kids get. In fact the cynical part of me is viewing college and its massive loans as part of the government's way of keeping money coming into the federal coffers while keeping average citizens as a debt slave for the next 30 years of their lives. Add to that the nastiness going on at many universities these days and I'm not sure I want my kids to have any part of it.

My son will go to the local technical college for engineering, which will save us vast amounts of money and likely end him up with a job as good as the one DH has, with all the nepotism and connections DH can use where he works to land the kid a job in his field.

So for now I will be putting all coin jar money, egg sales, and other farm sales money in the College Fund as well as any extra money I end up with from the grocery budget that carries over from the previous week. That usually goes into the coin jar until I can make a deposit. I'll probably add a line item to the budget as well of $100 a month. We'll have enough when the time comes as long as I keep focus on it.

Meal Planning for the Week

November 16th, 2015 at 05:49 am

Monday:
Baked potato soup
Leftover lamb and beef pot roast
Salad

Tuesday:
Tacos (beef, onions, tomatoes, seasonings)
Apples

Wednesday:
BBQ rabbit "wings"
Fried potatoes
Green beans
Oranges

Thursday:
Rabbit stir-fry with onions, peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, and snow peas
Pineapple

Friday:
Sloppy Hoppies
Cole slaw
Apples

Saturday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Salad
Grapes

Sunday:
Rabbit stew with potatoes and carrots
Cole slaw
Canned nectarines

Flooding and Kindling

November 15th, 2015 at 07:36 am

I was unable to pick up my turkey today because the road to the farm was underwater. Fortunately they called me before I left so I didn't make a wasted trip. Assuming the flooding has gone down I will be able to pick it up next Saturday. I am actually kind of glad I did not have to drive down there as I am still not 100% out of the brain fog department from being sick. DH will be home to drive down next Saturday if I am still out of it by then. Let's hope not.

I guess there was flooding in our county as well. Now that I don't live anywhere near the river I don't pay as much attention to those sorts of things, but I guess the mountain got 19 inches of snow and then it rained and caused the river to go a foot over its banks. There hasn't been much local coverage of such things because everything is on the events in Paris.

Luna kindled today. She gave birth to 4 kits. Since she missed on the last two breedings, missing today would have been her 3rd strike. At which point she would have been taken out of the breeding program become a house bunny because she is a love and totally would adapt to being a pet. I had my suspicions it wasn't her, but the bucks she had been bred with. This was a different buck who has never failed and he did his job.

I am still waiting to see the results from Ruby (who is building a crazy big nest), Serena, and Kalia. I'm pretty sure Kalia is pregnant as she is so like the woman who is 2 weeks over due and just plops down and doesn't move and prays for it to just be done already. She is always like that the last week of her pregnancy. She did build a nest last week. Serena has also built a nest, but it's hard to tell with her. She's a slim rabbit and doesn't show when she's pregnant. She also missed last time for the first time, so hopefully she won't this time.

These will be the last births of the year as I won't breed any of them again until February.

Payday Report

November 13th, 2015 at 07:39 pm

$2044.59 BOA Visa
___55.25 Garbage
__197.67 Christmas Fund
__300.00 Meat from the Farm
__200.00 Groceries
___50.00 Allowances
------------------------
$2847.51 Total Out

I probably won't spend all of that $200 this week since I just bought groceries yesterday. I just have one or two things to pick up that weren't at the other store.

The Visa was high this month because I had DH purchase all of his holiday travel tickets last month. Waiting too close to his travel dates at this time of year would mean his plane tickets would cost double of normal. So he bought 3 tickets on that month's Visa instead of the usual 1. Fortunately we are at a place in the budget where I was able to absorb that without too much of a blip.

I misplaced the Comcast bill for out internet. I need to find it. It's not due until the 21st. If I can't find it by the 18th, we will go in person and pay it. It is out near the airport and I'll be picking DH up that day so it won't be an extra trip. Usually I pay it at the start of the month, but as I had to pay some doctor bills then, I decided to wait until closer to the due date.

I never set it up to pay online as they charged a fee for online payments. I don't know if they still do now that online paying is becoming a norm, but the last thing I wanted to do was give them extra money. Plus I really didn't want them having the ability to just take money out of my account or off my card. I've heard too many horror stories about that company to let them have carte blanche.

I'll get it figured out, though. And look some more for the bill. It's got to be around here somewhere.

Christmas Fund is Fully Funded

November 13th, 2015 at 07:23 pm

$752.33 Starting Balance
+197.67 Deposit Added
---------------------
$950.00 New Balance

It feels good to have that out of the way. Now I can start my Christmas shopping and get it done with well in advance. I pick up our heritage turkey tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I included that in the Christmas Fund as I didn't really want to have two separate ones listed here for such a small thing. I call it the Christmas Fund, but I guess it is really the Holiday Fund.

Christmas Fund Update

November 12th, 2015 at 07:26 pm

$743.33 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
-----------------
$753.33 Ending Balance

$197.67 to go.

Grocery Shop and Gas

November 11th, 2015 at 10:45 pm

I made it to the grocery store this morning without children, which is always so much cheaper to do. I bought everything on my list except one thing they didn't have and ended up getting some organic apples instead. I also bought a magazine. I had 2 good coupons for stuff on my list and saved $10.96 off my total. Since I mostly buy whole foods it is hard for me to use coupons at all, but I needed to stock up on some soup for DH and a condiment they had on the coupons. I ended up spending $135.02 total.

I have been shopping a lot at the new Safeway these last few months and I find I am saving a lot of money (about $300 per month). They are cheaper on most items. I almost never go into Haggen anymore. Their shelves are never fully stocked and it is frustrating to waste a trip there and only be able to get half the things on my list and still have to go elsewhere.

Between Safeway and Trader Joe's I can pretty much get everything but the filler free lunch meat. I will stop at Haggen and check if I am going by anyway and if they have the lunch meat (sometimes they are out of roast beef) pick some up. But I no longer go there specifically. It's a shame. They used to be such a good store a few years ago before the original owners sold it off.

After I shopped, I stopped at the Safeway gas station and bought gas. I had 5 points on my Safeway card so got 50 cents off per gallon. I also used cash so got an additional 10 cents off per gallon over the credit card price. I got 15.695 gallons at $1.81 a gallon, spending a total of $28.55. I timed it perfectly so that the majority of my October shopping points still counted and I had almost a completely empty tank of gas. Go me.

Stuff and Other Stuff

November 11th, 2015 at 06:43 am

As exhausted as I am, and as sick as I still am, I am doing better on the antibiotics. Better enough to have cooked for the past 7 days. A week without takeout feels like a major milestone at this point. Now granted, some of the meals were pretty simple, just heating up food I'd previously frozen, like lasagna, or homemade TV dinners, but even so, no money wasted on takeout.

I have so much to do still, though. I need to clean up the garden beds I haven't gotten to yet. I've got rabbits due to kindle this coming weekend, but I've prepared their nesting boxes and given them to them, so now it's just a wait for it thing. I need to get their trays changed though. I did half of them on Sunday and need to get the other half done tomorrow. DS doesn't have school so we should be able to do it pretty quickly.

I finally made it through 3 hampers of laundry today, 4 loads of which were towels, and 2 loads of which were clothes. I think we have too many towels, but I guess it was good when I was too sick to do the laundry. I have one load of clothes and sheets left to do for me and then there is another hamper full of DH's stuff, but he won't be home until the 18th, so that can slide if needed.

I will have to drag myself to the store tomorrow as we are out of milk and I have a small list of other things to pick up. Then I have to pick up a prescription. I haven't gone out since Friday, so it'll be nice to get out of the house. Cabin fever, I think. I may go to water aerobics if I can drag myself out of bed in the morning. No school so I don't have to. Haven't done water aerobics since Tuesday of last week. I miss it, but it's hard when you have brain fog from an illness to move in the mornings.

We may be pulling DS from school and homeschooling again. I've found a good program that is heavily video based which he needs. He still hasn't recovered all of what he lost with the concussion several years ago, so lots of reading is just hard on him. But this combines words on the screen being read aloud and he just does so much better that way. He learns very well from hearing or hands on work and he can still memorize easily, but his reading is so slow. It's been over 3 years so I'm not sure he'll ever get that back.

He's just been so sick this school year he has missed more days than he's gone. By a lot. School is making him sick with all its sick kids and germs and then he comes home and gets me and his sister sick and I think for all our sakes it may be the right thing to do. He also complains that his math teacher can't keep control of the class so it is hard for him to concentrate. Math is usually his best subject and he enjoys it, but he just can't focus.

We'll make the decision one way or the other by the end of the week. The program is $100 a month, but I think that is worth it for our health and his ability to go at his own pace. I know he'll race through some things and go slow on others, but he'll be allowed to, unlike in public school. He'll also be able to take AP classes if he wants to, which are only offered before school currently at his high school.

Once he turns 16 in March he can join me and his sister at water aerobics, too, so he can get his PE credits that way. Or do the home school PE program at the gym. There is one.

It's a lot to take on homeschooling again, but I think this program will be far less hands on for me than the one we did before. I'll likely only have to baby-sit him through English. And we'll get a transcript from it so if he ends up going back his senior year to get a diploma things will transfer. Although I think he might be able to get a diploma through this program, too. I don't remember for sure as I have looked at a lot of curricula this week.

It would be nice not to have to be a slave to the school schedule anymore. Better all around for all of us.

Meal Planning for the Week

November 9th, 2015 at 08:41 pm

Monday:
Baked chicken
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Broccoli/cauliflower
Orange/banana/yogurt smoothie

Tuesday:
Chicken Tortellini with homemade ugly sauce
Garlic bread
Salad
Pineapple

Wednesday:
Beef pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy (leftovers)
Green Beans
Orange/banana/yogurt smoothie

Thursday:
Sloppy Hoppies on Kaiser rolls
Sweet potato fries
Coleslaw
Grapes

Friday:
Rabbit stew with carrots and potatoes
Fresh baked bread
Coleslaw
Strawberry/banana/yogurt smoothie

Saturday:
Homemade pizza with pepperoni, ham, onions, bell peppers, and fresh basil leaves
Pineapple

Sunday:
BBQ pulled pork on Kaiser rolls
Fried potatoes
Green Beans
Strawberry/banana/yogurt smoothie



Christmas Fund and Holiday Prep

November 6th, 2015 at 10:47 pm

$662.33 Starting Balance
+_81.00 (Egg Money, Farm Sales, Coin Jar)
-----------------
$743.33 Ending Balance

$206.67 to go.

This weekend I will go to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey and pay the balance, so I'll deduct that amount from my end goal once I know what it is. I should have this account fully funded by November 20th. Then I can get to work actually buying the Christmas presents and have it done hopefully by the beginning of December.

The kids already know what they want. I want to get a strum stick and perhaps a small TV and DVD player for the bedroom. We don't have a TV anymore and I do get a little tired of watching DVD's on the computer. I think DH knows what he wants. Then it'll just be shopping for MIL and FIL, SIL, and one niece, since the other is now 20 and has aged out of our buying gifts. We don't exchange with my mother.

I think I'd like to have a small tree this year, and maybe a wreath for our door, but we'll see. It is hard to have a tree when we only have 1000 square feet of space and most of it is otherwise occupied.

CF Update

November 5th, 2015 at 11:25 pm

$652.33 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
-----------
$662.33 New Balance

$287.67 to go.

Meal Planning for the Week

November 2nd, 2015 at 05:43 am

Monday:
Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce and Meatballs
Salad
Grapes

Tuesday:
Baked chicken
Baked sweet potatoes
Broccoli/cauliflower
Pineapple

Wednesday:
Stir-fried chicken, peppers, and onions
Salad
Apples

Thursday:
Southern Fried Rabbit
Baked potatoes
Broccoli/cauliflower
Oranges

Friday:
Bacon rabbit cheeseburgers
Fried potatoes
Salad
Canned nectarines

Saturday:
Homemade pizza with pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions, and fresh basil
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Rabbit stew
Green Beans
Pineapple

C1-360 Interest to the Christmas Fund

November 2nd, 2015 at 05:38 am

$620.84 Starting Balance
+_31.49 Interest Added
----------------
$652.33 New Balance

$297.67 to go. This is moving along nicely.