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Food Holidays

November 23rd, 2018 at 07:37 pm

Well, I've successfully made it 2/3 of the way through the food holiday gamut. I did not indulge in Halloween at all and I had a very balanced plate of food on Thanksgiving (no desserts, my carbs went to stuffing and potatoes, which I'd always rather eat).

However my day to day choices have sucked this year, I'm eating poorly and I'm back on Pepsi (sugar kind, not corn syrup kind), and all my clothes are tight. The store where I usually clothes shop is going out of business soon so I wouldn't even be able to buy new clothes. And I shouldn't. I have plenty of clothes one size down, so I signed up for a $30 Dietbet.

It will hopefully give me motivation to get back on track every day of the week. It starts on the 25th. I wavered a bit on choosing the one I did and one that starts on the 26th. The one I chose has less players and a smaller pot, but that always feels more intimate than being lost in a horde.

Mine's called The End of Year Showdown with Cristinadown100 and is a 4 week Kickstarter. I need to lose 13.5 pounds in that amount of time. I should be able to do that because I'll be getting back off the soda and that is usually ten pounds of retained water right there.

Normally I don't like to do Kickstarters, I like to do the Transformers which last six months, but I don't have that amount of money in my blow money envelope. I always like to prepay the entire six months because then you get one month's discount. So the plan is to do the Kickstarters. leave the money in, and hopefully earn enough to pay for a Transformer.

Thanksgiving was okay this year. MIL bailed the night before, which was disapointing, because I'd bought a ham specifically for her. She decided to spend the evening with her daughter instead, even though they are doing a Thanksgiving for that side on Saturday and SIL will be there. I don't know. It was very hurtful. The kids and DH were not happy.

It's the same kind of favoritism she often shows towards her daughter over her son and her children over ours. I should be used to it by now, but I'm not, because it hurts my family. I am choosing to not make a fuss, though. MIL has been very generous to us financially this year. I guess it is okay if she just wants to throw money at us and not see us. I'm not sure what that means for Christmas, but I'm bracing for a repeat.

I did find MIL a lovely gift for Christmas, though. It is a beautiful blanket with a carousel horse on it. She collects carousel horses and music boxes and it has gotten harder and harder to find her one she doesn't have or that plays something other than the carousel waltz, which she has come to loathe. DS ordered the camera he wants with his Christmas money so that should be here soon. I have purchased part of my own gift which is a queen size electric blanket. The other part of my gift is season 11 of The Big Bang Theory.

DD wants to get an electric blanket like the one I got for me and a really good heating pad. DH is narrowing down what he wants and then he'll order that and Christmas shopping will be done for the year. We don't exchange gifts with my side of the family. We quit years ago. I will likely make some fudge for my mother, though. We are on budget, so I am thrilled. We might even have $50 left.

I don't think I am going to make a turkey with all the trimmings for Christmas this year. Tearing up the bread for the stuffing and doing all the stirring for the gravy did a number on my wrists and I'm not sure I want to repeat that any time soon. Even with DH and DS peeling and chopping the potatoes, it was just too much.

I think things are just going to be very low key. We'll go out and look at lights this year, though. We skipped that the last two years and I miss doing it. Although it'll probably be a few days before Christmas. So many people go away for the holidays that you can miss some really good displays if you wait until the day of or the night before. I just want to keep it all simple. I'm tired of putting out effort, to be honest.

Pre-preparing for Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2018 at 07:52 pm

I took the turkey out of the freezer on Saturday and except for a bit in the center it is thawed out. So one more day and it should be fully defrosted. The ham is also thawed. I'll be making the picnic ham in the crock pot, 4 hours on low with one cup of water. It comes out perfect that way every time.

Tomorrow I will be tearing up bread for the stuffing and making it so that all I have to do on Thursday morning is put the stuffing in the bird.

DH and DS are on potato peeling and chopping duty. That is the hardest one for me to do with my hands the way they are.

I am going to do the green beans in the instant pot from fresh. They turn out beautifully that way and I can do them ahead of time and then just keep them on warm.

We are keeping it very simple this year. Ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, gravy, and sliced oranges. Normally I do corn, but last year there was a lot of corn left over and this year my biggest corn eater can no longer eat corn, so I'll just eliminate it and save myself the extra step. I need DH to find out if his mother wants a can of cranberry jelly. None of us eat it and I can't remember if it was her or FIL who liked it.

I haven't decided about desert yet. I might ask mom to make an apple or blueberry pie (she has home-canned pie filling on hand and I think I have TJ's frozen pie crusts in the freezer) or I might make pumpkin cheesecake. I have to get out to the store and see if I can find the right kind of graham crackers for crust. Trader Joe's is the safe brand (or Annie's graham cracker bunnies) but if I go, I have to go early as their parking lot is a nightmare after eleven on a normal day. I can't even imagine how bad it will be the day before Thanksgiving. I also need to get some Yukon gold organic potatoes there.

Then I have to go find the safe type of plain cream cheese, which is at the food co-op. Having kids with allergies is so much fun. At least there are versions of things I can use, though.

I need to go through the freezer and pull out all the bread heels I've been saving for the last six months and let them thaw out tonight for making the stuffing tomorrow and then see if I need to add anymore bread in. I have an extra loaf if needed since we buy two loaves at a time. I already have sage and poultry seasoning. I don't know when they stopped putting sage in poultry seasoning, but it irritates me that they quit. It's been at least four years now since I've been able to find a brand with sage in it.

I am going to make up frozen TV dinners again with the majority of the leftovers. They are very convenient to have during the winter. I have many days during the cold season when I don't feel like cooking, so if I can just whip these out we all have a good home-cooked meal anyway. I can do both turkey and ham dinners, too. We will be making an extra five pounds of potatoes so we will have plenty for these TV dinners, too.

Aside from that I also have planned a regular night of just leftovers, then leftover turkey casserole, turkey noodle soup with warm ham sandwiches, and some turkey enchiladas to use up leftovers. I might make loaded baked potato soup with ham instead of bacon as well. We'll see what is left. I will also dice up leftover ham to use in omelettes and egg bricks. I will freeze the diced ham and take it out as needed. I will dice up some turkey for salads, as well.

If I plan like this going in, then I don't waste and that is important when you are using an expensive organic turkey. Well, that is important period. No need to throw any food dollars out the window.

Payday Report for 11/16/18 Plus Lots of Miscellany

November 16th, 2018 at 06:00 pm

Been a while since I felt well enough to do one of these, but things are improving with the rheumatoid arthritis this week after about three weeks in full inflamation mode and I am typing with relative ease again, which is why I've been posting this week at all.

We had some overtime this week, 10 hours. All of it went to DH's crown, because it turns out our dental insurance didn't cover any of it, even though it said it would when they did the preauthorization. DH is going to talk to HR at work, because the plan they say they have they don't. So that means we have to come up with another $700 or so out of pocket.

I was able to put $600 into the medical fund instead of the usual $400 this payday, but that means that all of that will have to go towards the crown. Fortunately with this deposit there is $961 in the medical fund. We won't have the breathing room I had hoped for, but we will be able to pay for the rest of the crown.

I have done the budget for December and I am including the extra paycheck for November 30th onto that budget and not the November budget, since it is paying for December things. So on 11/30 I can put $400 into the medical fund and on 12/14 I can put in $700, and on 12/28 I can put in $900.

DS has a sleep study on November 26th (at least if they don't reschedule again) and I am not sure how much that will cost us. The family deductible is $2000 and DD has met $1000 of it (her limit), and I know I have met some of it. I think maybe $500. I know DD has met her out of pocket max, but I think that has a per person as well as a per family, too.

So I don't know for sure whether or not we will have any money left for next year's deductible. That $1500 for the crown instead of $750 is blowing us out of the water. Plus DH wants to get new glasses. He's more than due. At least the vision is decent, but it'll still be around $200. He's getting cheap frames no matter what. Nothing fancy. He's already cost us too much medical money with that crown, even if half of it had been covered.

Here's what went out today:

$319.93 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_600.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_596.31 DH's Crown (plus additional from last payday)
__61.74 DH Life Insurance
__60.46 Me Life Insurance
_100.00 Blow Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances
_100.00 Clothing Envelope
_100.00 Christmas Envelope
_172.84 Computer Fund
----------------
3051.38 Total Money Out

DH purchased his new computer online today, so the computer fund is now wiped out. I'll start over in December, but I think at only at $50 a month. We were doing $100 because DH's was on it's last legs and it really felt like a race to the finish line on whether or not it would last until we had the money. His was five years old.

We all have newish computers now. Mine is the oldest at barely two years old and it is still in excellent shape, so there is no urgency to build the fund back up. Still, I want to have something going in there, and it is possible a phone could go and have to be replaced, though it is doubtful. I don't think any of them are a year old yet. Maybe mine. But it is serviceable. Who knows what the status of my computer will be in another year and having the money sitting there to replace it if it goes kaput is always the better option.

Birthdays Behind Us and Surgery Ahead

September 1st, 2018 at 09:03 pm

Well, we've made it through the glut of August birthdays and now I don't have to worry about any until mine in February. Now the money that will be funneled into the Holidays/Birthdays Envelope will go towards Christmas, at least through to December. Right now it has $100 in it. My budget for Christmas is $500, so I just need to save $100 a month to meet that.

I don't think we are going to go to the ranch for our turkey this year. I think I am going to go to the young man we buy our chickens from instead. We seldom go to the ranch anymore as the gas is a little too expensive. If I have a rabbit to sell we will go, but that is it lately. We just really need to stick to our budget and that includes gas money, so going to someone in our own county instead of the next one over saves us a half a tank of gas. Our gas budget is $100 a month and I don't really want to go over that.

It's official that there will be no more overtime on this particular project, so I don't know if we will be able to make progress on the debt payoff in September.
I mean we'll be able to do the $500, but I don't think anything beyond that. This project is wrapping up, though, and then there will be the next one which might have some OT.

This next paycheck will be the first one with everything being taken out of it, but without any OT on it, so I will be able to see what the real base paycheck looks like. I have numbers pretty close to it, but I'd like to have the exact ones. It's the accounting nerd in me.

DH and I have to go through and allocate our 401K money to one of the plans, so that is on the agenda for tomorrow. I hope there is one without bonds in it, because I don't feel like bonds are worth it at this stage of the game. If not something like only 10% in bonds would be good. I wish there were more options, like with the IRA, where we could pick each mutual fund that we want, but there should be something decent in their choices. Most plans have at least one option that is for good growth.

We also need to finish going through our IRA. We only have 2 of the four funds picked out that we want, so it is sitting in those for now. It just takes time to research the funds and we haven't had much of a chance to sit down and look while he has been working all of that OT.

Our new insurance cards have not arrived yet. I hope they do soon as DD has an appointment with the opthamologist on the 4th, DS has a physical on the 6th, and I have a dentist appointment on the 11th. I have never had an insurance card not be here the week before the insurance kicks in so I am starting to get nervous it won't be here before we need to use it.

In fact, I can guarantee it won't be here in time for the 4th since there won't be any mail on Monday. Here appointment is at 3:30, so there is a chance the mail will come before that, but it doesn't always. It depends on if it is our regular carrier or a sub. DH will have to email the details so I can at least give the doctor's office the info that will be on the cards.

September and October are going to be full of appointments. Not just for my immediate family, but my mother has her surgery on the 19th and then the following week starts PT three times a week for two weeks and then twice a week for several weeks after that and I have to drive her, at least for six weeks. She is having her other knee done. This is her left knee so she will be able to drive sooner, supposedly.

I am still annoyed with her for refusing to go to a nursing home to recover for two weeks. She knows how difficult it is on me to take care of her and my daughter is in no shape to help. My husband is taking off the second half of the day the Friday she comes home so he'll be around for the first few days when she's at her worst, but after that I'm on my own. I barely make it through the day taking care of myself and my disabled daughter, but she doesn't care how much of a load it adds and it frustrates me.

This is her third surgery in a year's time and I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't try to slip the other shoulder in before the year is up and her doctor retires. I swear I will have a nervous breakdown if she does. If one of my sisters would help it would be manageable, but nope. It would interfere with their lives too much. Even the one who actually lives here in town. I just really wish she would have had them all done at once and gone to nursing home to get better. It would have been a lot less stressful.

At least this time I will have my diet in order. I just hope taking care of her doesn't make me stress eat. But right now I am firmly in control and I am determined to stay that way. I have lost 15 pounds and she is not blowing this for me. I won't let myself get derailed again no matter how crazy she makes me.

A Nice Christmas

December 26th, 2017 at 10:25 am

We had a very pleasant Christmas this year. The reason being was that we did not spend any of it with SIL or her daughters. We hosted at our house and had my mother, mother-in-law, and my eldest sister over. For dinner I made one of our hams from the whole hog we had butchered a couple months ago. It was fantastic.

To go with it we had from scratch mashed potatoes, homemade ham gravy, homemade cloverleaf rolls, my home grown and canned green beans, some Thrive Life corn, and for the deserts we had sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, milk chocolate fudge, and my mother made an apple pie with the apple pie filling she canned this summer. If you have never made ham gravy before, you should. It is fantastic. Very savory. Well, that is if you have a picnic ham. NOT if you have a sweet glazed ham.

I received 2 cold frames for the garden and I am so excited about it. They look very well designed and it will be so nice to have a season extender device that I don't have to remove and replace plastic every time I want to get something out. This should allow me to grow lettuce year round or at least 10 months out of the year. With the two foot high raised beds, they don't freeze like they would being in the ground, but if it gets cold enough they will freeze eventually.

My MIL gave me a garlic chopper so I don't hurt my skin again the next time I make garlic powder from scratch. I like gadgets. She also gave me $100. She had meant to buy me an Instant Pot or an Air Fryer, but she ran out of time. Of course, now I have the money in hand, I kind of want to save it. I won't, because I really want an Instant Pot.

It didn't snow, for which I am grateful. I so dislike snow when we have to drive in it and DH had to fetch his mom and take her home so he was driving. I just don't like adding slipping on ice to the drunks that are usually driving home from Christmas activities. Not a good combination.

Friday and Saturday we spent working on clearing out our storage unit. We are about half done and it took several pick up loads to do it. We are going to rent a u-haul for Saturday and Sunday so we can be out by the end of the month. They are not making us give the required notice if we are out by then because of the leak in the roof. We moved as much as we did with DH's dad's pick-up, which will be our pick-up as soon as all the will stuff is finalized. It will be weird being a two car family again.

There are so many toys in there. I found a box of Barbies that will go to my great niece and there are several boxes of stuffed animals. We need to find a place to donate the majority of those, too. I don't know if Good Will will take stuffed animals. I am wondering if the domestic violence shelter or the Agape House will. Agape House is a women and children's homeless mission shelter. My mom says if nothing else to hang on to them until next Halloween and she will hand them out instead of candy! I like that idea, but not the idea of continuing to store them all so we'll see.

There are several boxes of linens as well from beds we don't have the size of anymore, queens and twins. I know Good Will will take those, but I think the animal shelter will, as well, although the latter might just be towels and blankets and not sheets. They use the towels in washing the animals and the blankets to give them a soft spot to lay on.

There are a few boxes of papers that need to be shredded and old magazines. I am thinking about taking my portable power station and my shredder to the unit and shredding the papers there as opposed to bringing them back home to do it. But it is so cold I'd also have to take the heater as well. So maybe not.

Either way, I need to get those taken care of while DH is at work today so we have more space to put things. These units are not as tall as the other one so we can't stack as high in them. They also have a sprinkler system and we can't stack against those either. It'll all fit once we winnow out the stuff that shouldn't be in there anymore.

I think we should be able to clear about 10 big Rubbermaid totes that way and then we can take some of the stuff that is in boxes and transfer them to the totes. I prefer the totes since they are waterproof and stand up better to stacking than cardboard.

Well, I best quit wasting time on the internet and get to work.

Goodish News and Thanksgiving Plans

November 21st, 2017 at 11:10 pm

DH got the job he interviewed for. It is only a three month job, though, hence the goodish but not full-on good part. He will start in two weeks. I figure if it gets us through February, then we'll have our tax return to live on for a while. There is a possibility they would keep him on for other jobs after that. Someone had told him before he left the slope that there would probably be a job for him in April. Probably and possibly are not something I hang my hat on, though.

He will make enough for us to do pretty well for 3 months, and I will bank as much as I can. We'll still be living with austerity measures, though I will start paying the kids an allowance again once we get a paycheck and we will have a small Christmas after all. He hasn't run the numbers yet, he's waiting on one piece of info about medical deductions so he can give me pretty precise data. Then I can make up a preliminary budget and know more firmly where we stand.

We should get his first unemployment check tomorrow and there will be at least one more. We are putting that money in the bank. If we have to, we will use it for COBRA. If not, we will use it for living expenses.

I still don't feel very secure about the future, but at least I have something of a plan for the next several months. Prayers for something longer term and more secure would still be appreciated, though. I am so glad we don't owe anything to any creditors. I can't even imagine the state I would be in if we did. Well, absolute panic, probably.

I got my first commission check from Thrive Life. Well, I haven't actually gotten it yet, but it is there once I send for it. It's $13. Not much yet. I make about 2.5 times that with youtube each month. But I won't turn it away. Right now they are having their Black Friday sale through the 27th, so a lot of stuff is marked down. I wasn't going to order much, but now that there is an income that will be coming in, I will make one big order and then drop down to $50 a month minimum for consultants, which we easily use. I just want to take advantage of their sale prices for meat now.

I have some interest from some cousins and other family members, so we'll see if that amounts to anything. We are going out to my MIL's house tomorrow for a Thanksgiving meal that I won't be cooking. My niece, who works for a catering company and is going to school to become a home economics teacher, will be making everything but the turkey. MIL knows how to do a turkey, but DH is going out to help her around noon to get it in since she can't lift it and then coming back home.

We will all go out after we put the ducks away for the night, which is at sundown. It works out nicely because SIL (I don't know if her boyfriend is coming or not) and other niece's fiance don't get off work until 5:00 and sundown is 4:30, so the kids will have a chance to get washed up and changed and we will probably still get there before anyone else besides niece and MIL. Assuming I feel good enough. I am on the upswing, but I am still weak and exhausted.

Then we will be making our own Thanksgiving dinner my way on Thursday with an organic free range turkey, organic mashed potatoes and gravy, and my homemade stuffing, plus my home canned green beans and corn. I think I will skip the pumpkin cheesecake this year and do a chocolate cream pie the easy way, graham cracker crust, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream, but only if I feel ambitious. Which I don't, at the moment, so maybe no desert at all. We'll see.

Thanksgiving with No Drama

November 24th, 2016 at 11:50 am



I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving this year. We are staying home as we did last year and looking forward to a day of peace. My MIL and FIL are going to her brother's house. I don't care what my SIL is doing. My one sister never spends turkey day with anyone but her husband and kids. My other sister will probably stop by in the evening, but otherwise it will be just us and my mom.

I'm so tired of the extended family drama caused by DH's sister and I'm just not willing to put up with it anymore at Thanksgiving and I'm starting to feel that way about Christmas. She's making things so hard on her parents this year and quite frankly, she's always made things hard on us. Every holiday we've spent with them turned into a screaming match between her and her now ex-husband, her and one of her daughters, or her and whatever random guy she brought to Christmas each year after the divorce even if they'd only been dating for 3 weeks, until DH and I put our feet down several years ago about not bringing random men to Christmas. That didn't stop the fighting between her and her kids, but it kept the stranger element away.

DH's sister is having a fit apparently because we said this would be a good year to stop exchanging gifts with her since DH is out of work still and we don't have an income. She now has a grandchild and a new generation to focus on and DH doesn't have a job. She can funnel her money there and not worry about us anymore. She consistently gives us stuff we don't want, have specifically asked her to stop giving us, and can't use due to allergies and she knows it and ends up with it because of it. So really she's just buying it for herself anyway. The kicker is, she often manages to find a way to have FIL pay for it than never reimburses him.

My sisters and I stopped exchanging gifts 20 years ago. My mother and I about five years ago, other than a token. It's not like we're singling her out. But she's just being so selfish about this. This is the same woman who expected her parents to pay her mortgage for her when she lost her job and couldn't work for 2 months due to losing her credentials (she got them back, it was a wrongful termination), and totally lost it and didn't talk to them for 6 weeks when they didn't.

Even though her father is going through chemotherapy, is retired, and needs every cent to pay for the frequent trips to Seattle for treatment and his own mortgage and bills and food. They don't have extra. She had access to a HELOC, but her parents have always bailed her out before. She's tried to get us to pay her mortgage before in the past, too, right after trading in her car for a newer one she didn't need, and other questionable financial choices. We refused. The woman doesn't know how to pay money back to family.

It didn't occur to her that the circumstances her parents are in have changed since the last time and that they don't have the money to do that anymore. Oh, the fit she pitched about that. DH had to really go after her on that because she couldn't believe they didn't have the money.

And she's been stealing from his parents. They made the mistake of putting her name on one of their credit cards. Fortunately it only has a $2000 limit. The point of the card was so that when FIL was first recovering from surgery and DH was still working in Alaska, SIL could use the card to go pick things up at the grocery store for them or to pick them up food at a restaurant or to pick up prescriptions, at least until he could drive again. MIL doesn't drive anymore.

Turns out that she'd go to the grocery store and she'd buy their groceries and her groceries at the same time, on FIL's card. She'd go pick them up fast food, but she'd get food for herself and her daughter and eat it first before bringing them their now cold food from the restaurant. She'd go pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, but she'd slip some other items onto the bill. FIL sent her in to pick up some undershirts for him and she ended up buying herself several tops and her daughter a couple of pairs of jeans.

So the credit card is now maxed out and FIL is keeping it that way for now. DH and I agree they have to get the card back and take SIL off it, so hopefully DH can convince them. FIL is capable of driving now, DH is home when he's not, and heck, I'll take him, if it comes to that. I think FIL will be easy to convince. It's MIL who always gives in to SIL.

Though I think after the most recent stuff she might be finally seeing clearly. The latest was she finally called them the other night saying she was going to pick up something to eat and asking her if they wanted her to pick them up anything. But it was clear from her message that what she really wanted to know was if there was room on that credit card so she could use it to pay for her own meal and incidentally bring them by some food. FIL and MIL were asleep and didn't answer the phone.

I'm really at the point where I just don't want to have Christmas with her at all this year. Neither do the kids and I flat out asked DH and he said no, not really, but he was worried about how his folks would take it. I said we can still see his folks, just on our own. Two of the grandchildren are adults now, one with a child of her own. His parents will have to get used to the changes now anyway. And if we end up moving to Kentucky or Kansas we won't be coming back for holidays at all.

Payday Report

November 13th, 2015 at 11:39 am

$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 11:23 am

$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 11:26 am

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

$197.67 to go.

Christmas Fund and Holiday Prep

November 6th, 2015 at 02:47 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 03:25 pm

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

$287.67 to go.

C1-360 Interest to the Christmas Fund

November 1st, 2015 at 09:38 pm

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

$297.67 to go. This is moving along nicely.

And Another CF Update

October 29th, 2015 at 06:56 pm

$610.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
----------------
$620.84 New Balance

$329.16 to go. I think I will have this fully funded by the end of November.

Christmas Fund Update

October 28th, 2015 at 04:19 pm

$555.84 Starting Balance
+_55.00 Deposit (Egg Money, Coin Jar)
---------------
$610.84 New Balance

$339.16 left to go.

Christmas Fund Update

October 24th, 2015 at 01:19 pm

$455.84 Starting Balance
+100.00 Deposit Added
-----------------
$555.84 New Balance

$394.16 to go.

Christmas Fund Update

October 22nd, 2015 at 11:32 am

$445.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
--------------------
$455.84 New Balance

$494.16 to go. I'm almost to the halfway point.

Now I need to go and recreate my budget spreadsheets. *sighs* I've been putting it off, but can't do that any longer.

Christmas Fund Update

October 15th, 2015 at 11:40 pm

$435.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
-------------------
$445.84 New Balance

It looks like DH may be getting some overtime, so I may have this fully funded by the end of the month. That would be nice.

Christmas Fund Update

October 8th, 2015 at 01:55 pm

$345.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
+_67.00 Rabbit Money
+_13.00 Coin Jar Money
---------------------
$435.84 New Balance

$514.16 left to hit my goal of $950 (revised down from $1000 since I put a $50 deposit down for my turkey).

Farm Sales

October 3rd, 2015 at 11:50 pm

I earned $67 today selling a rabbit to the lady at the farm we buy meat from sometimes. I also spent $204 buying bacon and pork chops. We got quite a bit of it. Part of the $204 was that we put down a $50 deposit on our turkey to be picked up 11/14.

The rabbit money will go into the Christmas Fund, but I'll also be able to lower the fund goal to $950 since I already spent $50 on the turkey. I also need to track down another heritage turkey for the holidays, since I couldn't raise any this year. I think we definitely will next year, though.

Christmas Fund Update

October 1st, 2015 at 02:25 pm

$254.81 Starting Balance
+_29.50 C1-360 Interest
+__0.20 WE CU Interest
+_51.33 WECU Interest
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
----------------------------
$345.84 New Balance

$654.16 to go to hit my goal of $1000.

More to the Christmas Fund

September 25th, 2015 at 03:57 pm

$186.81 Starting Balance
+_68.00 Deposit (Egg Money, Coin Jar, Surveys)
---------------------
$254.81 New Balance

$745.19 to go.

Christmas Fund

September 24th, 2015 at 07:07 pm

$176.81 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Update
--------------------
$186.81 New Balance

$813.19 to go.

I haven't been posting much. I've been sick. I'm still sick. My biggest symptom is exhaustion. Low grade fever, mildly stuffy, a little bit of a scratchy throat. As colds go it isn't miserable, I just can't get to the point where I am not tired. The first few days I slept constantly. Now I just wish I could. Hopefully it will pass soon. It feels a lot like mono, but I had that as a kid and it is my understanding you cannot get it twice.

Finances are on autopilot. We do have to do some shopping, though. DH has lost about 50 pounds and his pants are falling down. He needs a new belt, some new jeans, and some undergarments. And DS needs the same as we never did get him any at back to school time and he's grown several inches since last year. We will try to keep the spending down, though.

I need to get some new long-sleeved shirts. My old ones are too big. I want turtlenecks to protect my throat. I will probably order them from a catalog though in a variety of colors. I hate shopping for clothes.

Sometime in the next month or so we need to get a new microwave. Ugh. I also hate shopping for appliances. Actually, I just hate shopping.

Christmas Fund Update

September 17th, 2015 at 10:28 am

$136.54 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
+_10.00 Egg Sales
+__1.00 Coin Jar
+_19.27 Safe Driver Refund Check
----------------------
$176.81 New Balance

$823.19 to go to hit my goal of $1000.

I should be able to add to this a little more substantially either tomorrow or next Friday. Depends on whether or not they take the medical out of tomorrow's paycheck or the next one.

Christmas Fund Update

September 10th, 2015 at 08:56 am

$126.54 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
---------------------
$136.54 New Balance

$863.46 to go to hit my goal of $1000.

Starting next payday (9/18) I will be able to start contributing more substantially to this fund.

Another Christmas Fund Update

September 4th, 2015 at 09:41 pm

I deposited a check today from Pinecone and some money from the coin jar.

$89.85 Starting Balance
+30.00 Pinecone
+_6.50 Coin Jar
+__.19 Interest
----------------------
$126.54 New Balance

$873.46 to go.

Christmas Fund Update

September 4th, 2015 at 06:43 am

$79.85 Starting Balance
+10.00 Weekly Deposit
--------------------
$89.85 New Balance

$910.15 to go.

Very Peeved at Amazon

December 17th, 2014 at 08:19 pm

I tried to use my checking account to pay for an order on Amazon because I didn't want to use a credit card. I've done this before with no problems and there is plenty of money in the account. But they won't accept it. I wonder if it is some kind of fraud protection since it is Christmas time? I don't know, because there was no information as to why.

So I ended up using the card and will just send that amount to AMEX, but I don't like having to take that extra step, when I should have been done with it in one step. I am starting to think that these companies are going to force us to use credit cards no matter what.

EF Back to $10K!

December 12th, 2014 at 01:16 pm

Today is payday and I was able to achieve my goal of getting the EF to $10K by the end of the year. Exactly $10K.

$9676.22 Beginning Balance
+_323.78 Amount Added
---------------
10,000.00 Ending Balance

My goal for 2015 is $15K, with a mini-goal of $12K.

Between what I saved for December/January bills and today's paycheck we have $6067.22. $2100 to $2500 will go for the car. $1000 to Mom's loan. $225 to the chiropractor. The early January bills it will need to cover will be $500 or so. That leaves us with $1842.22 to cover Christmas and anything else between now and the next paycheck on January 9th. And we have $200 in grocery store gift cards. We should get by on that just fine.

The Christmas Bonus comes on the 19th or thereabouts. We have no idea of how much it is going to be and it will be mostly relegated to the EF and DH's bachelor's program.

The important thing is that despite the curve ball of the car repair, we won't have to touch the Emergency Fund to cover anything. I am so happy about that.

December Money Fund and Propane Fund

December 1st, 2014 at 12:57 pm

We had an additional $360.13 to transfer to the December Money Fund. $59.09 was what was left in the checkbook after the last pay cycle. The rest was extra money in the paycheck since DH has finally hit that point where they stop taking that one tax out for a while.

$2447.00 Beginning December Money Fund
+_360.13 Amount Added
--------------
2807.13 Ending December Money Fund

I also added $100 to the Propane Fund for the old house.

$500.00 Beginning Propane Fund
+100.00 Amount Added
---------------
$600.00 Total Propane Fund


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