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Archive for July, 2006

July Wrap Up

July 31st, 2006 at 08:31 pm

I received $5 from paypal this morning and added that to savings. My savings is now $538. I did not make it over there today to deposit the rolled coin.

My total earnings this month was $36 and all of that came from click-thrus, except a four dollar survey. I did no trial offers this month. My total earnings since the beginning of June is $135.82.

Today I cashed out a survey account for $11 and should receive a check shortly. I am also expecting a check the first month of August from SendEarnings. That one is just over $50. August will be a bigger earning month, maybe even than June. And I will cash out a $5 click-thru account tomorrow and another $5 one and a couple smaller ones by week's end. Still waiting on a payment of $1.71. Added up that is coming up on $80 already for August. Not bad at all.

When I started my blog in April I had $105 in my savings account. Today I have increased that by over $400. I am finding my way. Slowly but surely.

Recycled Cans and Car Talk

July 30th, 2006 at 09:30 pm

We recycled just over 5 pounds of aluminum cans today at $0.36 per pound and got $1.86. They paid all in change so I just threw it in my change jar. Rolled coins today and have one roll of quarters, one roll of dimes and a another Sacajawea dollar, a total of $16 ready to deposit into savings next time I go buy that CU, which is probably tomorrow.

DH and I talked about it last night and we are going to approach BIL about trying to sell our SUV for us and we will give him 10 percent of the sale price. He sold his own SUV, which was also a Chevy Blazer and was one year older than ours, had 50,000 more miles than ours does and was not a luxury model just before Christmas for $4000. We figure trade in value would only be around $2000. BIL has a good network of car people so chances are he could get a better price and with a ten percent commission as motivation he will get the best price he can.

Plus, BIL is around. DH is out of state 16 days out of every 28 working. Kind of hard to show a car that way and I don't want to do it, there are too many kooks out there for a woman in the boonies home alone with little kids to be dealing with.

Then that money could go in the bank and start earning interest for us while we save up the rest we need, and we could also not be paying insurance on two vehicles once it sold.

Still not 100 percent sure what we will do with the Crown Vic. I am quite partial to it and I can get 20.6 miles per gallon average with it, but we just don't need two cars. Not with DH having an out of state job that provides vehicles when he needs one. Well, we still have awhile to think on it, anyhow.

12 days and $12

July 30th, 2006 at 09:07 pm

So this is my challenge for the next 12 days, which will be our next payday. I have $12 left of non-targeted funds. I don't think it will really be an issue, since I bought plenty of fill in the cracks groceries today at Costco (spent $33) getting a giganto bag of lettuce, kosher beef hotdogs (14 per pack), pack of pepperoni for making pizzas, 2 lbs of deli ham, and 2 jars of peanut butter. Then a quick stop at the IGA to get celery (didn't have any at Costco for the first time in forever) and strawberry and blackberry perserves (spent $10).

I can make bread when we run out. We have plenty of fruit (plums, apples, cherries, raspberries from the garden, strawberries we put up in the freezer, blueberries I picked at Mom's and a canteloupe. I have cucumbers, green beans, cabbage and kohlrabi for veggies from the garden.

So probably the $12 will go for milk. Since the organic milk is the one thing we always get, that should cover 2 gallons, but since we have 2 gallons in the fridge now, I doubt we will need to buy more than one more before that payday.

I still have money set aside for Rose's birthday presents, and a much better idea of what she wants now after running her around Fred Meyer while DH and Tobias went blinkie hunting. Didn't buy anything there except the afore mentioned milk.

Anyway, I am challenging myself not to spend the $12 at all, but to try to get to the end of this period with all of it intact. Then it will go in savings.

Spend Day

July 30th, 2006 at 12:54 am

DH and I drove down to Burlington today to do some shopping. Well, we did a lot of looking, but not much buying. We spent a little over $5 at the Target there, but we might as well have just gone to the one in Bellingham. It has a better selection.

We visited one of the hardware stores they don't have in our county but it was so poorly laid out, badly lit, dirty, and smelled like kitty litter that I didn't want to buy anything there, let alone stay in the store.

We looked in one of the stores at the outlet mall, the kitchen one, but they did not have the hard anodized cookware that I want. At all. Even Target has it. Just not in anything bigger than 10 inches and I need a 12 inch pan. I do not want to buy the entire set at Costco just to get the one pan that I need.

DH and I went to Outback for dinner. I had an appetizer for my entree, kukkaburra wings with celery and bleu cheese dressing and a baked potato on the side. Oh, and the rye bread they serve. I still have five kukkaburra wings so they will be for tomorrow's lunch.

The girl gave me an extra loaf of the rye bread to take home free and also a big tub of their bleu cheese dressing. Also free. I normally hate bleu cheese, but this is the only place I really like it. They make it from scratch. I asked, as I was hoping to get the brand name so I could buy it and she said she'd just get me a big old tub of it. It's at least a 4 ounce container. Might even be 6.

So, I'll be eating a lot of celery to use it up over the next little while.

So we spent $39.35 for dinner and an $8 tip. DH had no leftovers.

Oh, and because we had too, according to DH, we bought a dozen doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. So not a needed expense at all, but I give once in awhile, otherwise it is just discouraging to always, always scrimp. And it was all planned before we went, anyway. It was not an unplanned expense.

My daughter's birthday is coming up and I did not see anything in the store for her at all. She'll be ten and that is an awkward stage to buy for. I'm thinking about a used Game Cube from Game Stop. A couple of books. And maybe some clothes that will double as school clothes. Not too crazy about the looks of the clothes right now. Kinda raggy ratty. This is a fashion?

She wants to get her ears pierced but I said she has to wait until she turns 12 for that. She only wants them now because her cousin got hers done when she turned ten. Most of her friends had them done as babies, but I have always been of the firm opinion that my daughter's body belongs to my daughter and I didn't feel I had the right to put holes in it without her consent. Just my opinion, I know other people do it all the time.

She can have the holes when she can take care of them well on her own. I'm not dealing with infected ears. Hence age 12. And hope she doesn't wear me down.

Filled up the gas tank in Sedro-Wooley on the way home. $2.95 a gallon. Saw one place that had $2.94 but DH didn't want to go across all the traffic he would have had to go across to get there. The best price in my county is $2.99, which is why I saved our fill up for today. It's always a bit cheaper just across the county line.

Payday and Savings and Musings

July 28th, 2006 at 09:11 pm

Today I deposited 2 rolls of pennies, one Sacajawea dollar, and the $9 the neighbor owed me into my savings account, that $11 brought my total in savings to $533.

I had another $3 payment show up in paypal.

I paid out today:

$400 to the house mortgage--$375.86 regular payment plus $24.14 extra to principal
$250 to Chase Visa
$30 to MBNA Master Card # 2
$124 for our 2 month water/sewer bill
$125 half year dues to our homeowner's association
$100 to Allstate for house insurance
$50 withdrawn for gas money

The homeowner's association finally has gotten the pool fixed and now are just waiting for permission from the health department to reopen it. Hope its soon, although it did finally cool off today. Only 71 degrees F, just the way I like it. I feel like I'm living in NW Washington again. I knew the weather was going to change. I started getting a weather headache yesterday morning and that always happens with barometric pressure changes this severe. Fortunately, it was not a weather migraine this time. It is starting to go away now.

Spent the rest of the day cleaning up the playroom. We are converting it into an exercise room. It will have our treadmill, gazelle, weights, bands, exercise balls and a tv/vcr/dvd for our Zoomba, tai chi and aerobics programs. Or to watch a movie on the treadmill.

We have moved the children's desks and their computers into their rooms. They aren't online, they have to come out to the living room for that. But having those out of there gives us so much space for things. Of course, this is where the wood stove is also, so come winter, I'm not sure how much exercise will get done. I guess I can put a fan in there, too.

I am determined to be as healthy as I can be. Four surgeries in three years did not do kind things to my body, even if it did remove many of the health problems I had. Hopefully, I will continue to get better as I have over this past year, as my strength rebuilds from the assaults those surgeries inflicted on me. Maybe I'll be healthy by the time I pay off the medical mortgage. Hopefully, way before then. Being sick is expensive.

Time Mails Already & Ebay start-up

July 27th, 2006 at 10:45 pm

I am always amazed at the turn around time of Time Mails. It's been less than 24 hours since I cashed it out and it already showed up at paypal, so I transferred that $2 to my CU and it should show up on Monday. It has got to be the fastest on its payout time. I'm glad I've figured out the trick to doing these PTR's. Now I've got more coming as me than I can handle, but that's okay as I am phasing out the .5 cent ones as I hit payout and phasing in the 1 cent ones as I do. Eventually, I plan to just do the one and two cent ones, though I may hold onto Time Mails, just because it goes so fast. We'll see.

I'm taking a break from the trial offers, sometimes they are just too hard to keep track of. At least with the PTR's they are completely free and you never get charged anything if you forget to cancel because there is nothing to cancel. Yes, PTR's are time consuming, but if all I'm doing is watching the kids swim anyway, it goes fast enough. Or if I watch a DVD, I can do them at the same time.

I'm also hoping to get set up on ebay before DH goes back to Kuparuk. I have about eight years of dance clothes and shoes to sell from my daughter's stuff and 3 years from my son's. Costumes from the recitals, too. And then soccer shoes and socks, also. I'd like to get that set up and going before the new dance and soccer seasons are in gear in September. Also, anything that is left in the lost and found from the dance stuidio from the previous season that I want, I am given. That works out well.

Shopping for Glasses, Buying Towels

July 27th, 2006 at 06:03 pm

Yesterday DH and I had some time off from the kids who went to swim at my mother's house. We went to LensCrafters to buy safety glasses. DH needs them for work when he is in the oil well houses or walking down construction wiring or for when he walks the pipeline.

Anyway, work will reimburse him 100% on safety glasses, but we still have to buy them first and then submit the receipts.

Well, we found an attratctive pair of safety glasses right off the bat. That never happens, by the way. They were $100 for the frames, good for safety glasses with permanent side shields. The lenses, because they are perscription safety glasses, came to almost $200, so $300 something with tax. Ouch.

Then the lady says, "But we have 90 days same as cash, interest free." Well, after a bit of back and forth, we decided to do that. So he will submit the reimbursement paperwork when he goes back up and starts work on Tuesday. It takes about 4 weeks max for reimbursement. They will auto deposit it. So we end up not having to come up with the money out of pocket at all. And it will have 6 weeks or so to sit in our savings account and earn interest, too.

We cut through Penney's to get there so went back out that way. As we were going through linen we found the perfect towels on sale. I have been looking for a bright, lime green for awhile. They have had this kind of almost right color in several stores, but it was more muted and towards the ugly. This green was perfect to go with the turquoise towels in our redecorated bathroom. I have been waiting a long time to find them. It makes the bathroom so much brighter and perkier. Very tropical. I was so done with burgundy and forest green.

The towels happened to be on sale, also. So we got 8 large bath towels, 4 hand towels, and 8 wash clothes for $68. So now our whole bathroom matches for the first time in our marriage. We are weeding out all the other weird towels we have acquired since our wedding eleven years ago and they will be pool towels until they finish wearing out.

The kids have purple and yellow towels in their bathroom (their two favorite colors) and it goes suprisingly well. We did those back when we got the turquoise ones for our bathroom.

It seems like such a little thing, but it makes me happy to have matching towels of some quality.

Savings Update

July 27th, 2006 at 02:49 pm

Yesterday a $3 transfer from paypal came in so added that plus 1 cent to bring my total from $508.99 to $512. The .99 was bugging me, so I got rid of it. Today was the day of the automatic transfer of $10, bringing my savings to $522.

Yesterday I cashed out a $2 click thru and early this morning I cashed out a $3 click thru. Those will probably not show up in paypal until Monday.

I still need to deposit the $9 from the neighbor paying us back some of the money he owed us, but I still have it set aside in my purse to do so. A few months ago I would have already spent it.

Did the Math

July 24th, 2006 at 06:56 pm

I decided to work out how much money I will have in long-term savings, which is our car fund by the end of April of 2007.

With just the $10 deposit every Thursday, the amount of our usual tax return, and the the amount of my DH's annual bonus, all of which we will receive by April's end, we will have $5312.00. We are assuming a low trade-in value of $2000 for our 96 Blazer, so that is $7,312 right there.

This doesn't count any of my click-thru earnings or trial offer earnings at all, since I won't know what those will be. So far my earnings have been anywhere from $100 to $30 a month, but it'll definitely all go into that fund. I think I'll put the freezer money account on hold for now and deposit my rolled coin and recycled cans money into the car fund, too. Our old freezer is adequate right now for our needs. It is not as energy efficient as the new ones, it is at least 32 years old, but we keep it full so it runs at peak condition.

This really gives me new heart. I'm going to try harder to see where I can save money. I'm not sure how much longer the 96 or the 92 will last. But I'm banking on the 92 lasting longer than the 96, based on past performance.

If I could save $8,000, plus the $2000 trade-in, we could be looking at actually buying in a year instead of two. We'll have to see how long the other's last and I'd prefer not to finance at all if we don't have to, again, depending on how long the other vehicles last.

I wonder if the car place would take two cars for trade-in? Do they even do that? Hmm. I'll have to find out. Anyone on here a car salesman or married to one?

Savings Again

July 24th, 2006 at 06:39 pm

My transfers from paypal of a $2 and a $3 click thru payout arrived in my CU checking account today, so I transferred that $5 to savings, bringing my total to $508.99.

Even though we went to town today we were not on the right side of town to deposit the $9 from the neighbor paying us back, so that will wait until at least Wednesday as we won't drive to town tomorrow.

I am waiting for one more paypal transfer from a click-thru that paid to come through of $3 and one of $1.71 which won't go through until month's end, I believe. That one I don't wish to continue. It takes too long unless you want to sign up for a bunch of useless clubs and I don't. That's why the odd amount, I'm just going to take the money when it comes through and close down the account afterwards. I've had one company pay me $9 and another $10 in the amount of time it has taken me to build this account to $1.71.

I am happy otherwise though, with the four that have paid out so I know they are legitimate.

Late Summer Vacation

July 23rd, 2006 at 08:36 pm

DH and I have been trying to plan a vacation for this summer to Victoria, but I don't think it is going to happen. The round trip ferry costs $150, and a four night stay in a hotel with a kitchen and 3 beds that also has a pool is $820. So that is $970 before we even do anything on the Island. We would have brought any food over the border that was allowed and purchased what else was needed at the grocery that is between the ferry port and the hotel. But just keeping it to 4 touristy things we want to do and one meal out per day, that's at least another $500. Okay, that is Canadian money but the exchange is a lot stronger than it used to be, only about 10% difference now.

In the past, we would have just put it on the credit card and worried about it later, or robbed whatever little savings we might have had and put the rest still on the credit card. But we won't do that now.

Fortunately, there is a compromise. We can still go to the Island, just not during the summer. My parents have a travel club (not a timeshare) membership and one of the places they have condos is in Victoria. Well, if we wait until November, the kids will have 3 days off from school plus the weekend, and DH's schedule works out that he will be home then. It won't matter that it is Thanksgiving up in Canada, so nothing will be closed that might be closed here in the states.

So that will be free lodging and we will still bring as much food over the border as we can. So then we will only need to come up with the ferry fee and the money to do the four things we want to do and then a few meals out. That we can handle.

And my mother will also reserve the condo again for us next summer so we can truly have a "summer" vacation during the right season.

Revived!

July 23rd, 2006 at 08:27 pm

After an hour in the swimming pool, I feel like a whole other person. Who ever came up with these quick set pools, the kind with the blow up ring and its made out of vinyl, should be given a medal. The water was the perfect luke warm and we stayed in until the air began to get a little too cool. It was fantastic, though the kids didn't want to get out when DH and I did. He stayed out a little longer while I ran in and took a quick shower to get the chlorine out of my hair. Now I feel like I have a whole new attitude.

Plus the house is starting to cool off. Always good.

The pot roast in the oven is smelling fantastic and it is a really big one so it should last for several meals. As long as DH doesn't start "snacking" on it. Nothing ruins my menu planning like that.