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Archive for September, 2007

Yesterday was Busy

September 30th, 2007 at 02:53 pm

Yesterday DH and I dropped the kids off with MIL and then went to Costco to buy the kids their new mattresses. That came to $303.50. I had budgeted $302 for it, but I think I must have added up the tax wrong or its gone up another .01 percent. Still, it was a good price for two twin mattresses and the kids are very happy with them. They slept very well last night.

Since we had FIL's truck we took a big load of stuff to our storage unit, which is starting to get quite full. Next time DH comes home we'll do some sorting and rearranging in there, but since he's only home for a few days this hitch we're not going to do it now.

Afterwards we went back to MIL's house and our neices were there playing with our kids. We hung out for quite a while so DH had a chance to visit with his mom. His dad was at work.

My SIL showed up with her new boyfriend a few hours later to pick up her girls. I haven't met him before, even though its been a couple months now. He seems like a very good person, he's kind and respectful to her and her daughters and my first intinct was to trust him. He's head over heels for SIL.

Now with her almost ex-H my first instinct was to run as far and as fast away from him as I could get and never ever leave my kids alone with him. I was proved right there. So I am very happy for her. She deserves this second chance after shaking off that abusive, child molesting felon.

I see a huge difference in her daughters as well. They are blossoming into two very different children. And its a very nice thing to see.

Money Out Today

September 27th, 2007 at 06:11 pm

Finally got a new car stereo installed today, that comes with CD player, MP3 player adapter and a place where you can plug in a flash drive and bought a S-cable to hook the computer up to the TV so we can watch streaming video on TV. Cost just under $250.

We went out to breakfast at Shari's, which was $27.30 and left a $6 tip (she did a really good job).

Also bought a gallon of milk and two bottles of nasal spray. Nasal spray is getting ridiculously expensive, it was almost $8 per bottle. And the milk was $3.59. Could be worse and often is.

While we were waiting for the car we walked over to the mall and looked around FYE and Walden Books. Didn't buy anything though I would have if they had the CD I wanted. I haven't bought my September CD yet and I'll have to order it online. I think its an important, so this may count as both my September and my Ocotober music purchase if its too pricey.

Today was also the day of the auto deposit to savings of $10, so I sent that off to ING.

$1891.33 Old EF Total
+ 10.00 Deposit
---------
$1901.33 New EF Total

Just $98.77 to go to hit $2000. Slow and steady wins the race. And I want to win.

Whoops, sorry about that

September 26th, 2007 at 06:09 pm

I got shanghied by another website [url]www.whofic.com[/url] called A Teaspoon and an Open Mind and have been off playing with them all week, since I had a cold and didn't want to think about reality. But reality is back and 20,263 words of fanfic later, and an empty spot in my head where a story used to be, I'm back to reality and blogging again.

Oh, I'll still play over there, but it won't be as time consuming. Anyone into Doctor Who and Firefly there is an amazing crossover story called Out of Joint. I usually don't like fanfic crossovers but this one is just done so amazingly well. Especially River and the Doctor, though there was a good bit between mechanic Kaylee and the Doctor's TARDIS. But I digress.

So, bills so far this week:

$1000.00 to medical debt
$1000.00 to Chase (last card)
$ 129.50 to BoA (leftover interest, but now its clear)
$ 9.58 to Citi (leftover interest, now clear)
$ 100.00 to the gas card
$ 200.00 to groceries and toiletries
--------
$2439.08

Otherwise its been a pretty low spend, low key week. We haven't done much since I was getting over the cold.

DH comes home tomorrow, finally. I haven't seen him in a month. There will be some spending as we are going out to eat at a nearby restaurant while we get a new car stereo installed.

I am starting to settle in to this new payraise DH has and I feel so much better about everything. Life has gotten a whole lot easier in the financial ring, but I really want to make sure we maintain our focus on getting out of debt and building up the EF. I am so close to $2000 and then after that I want to build it up to $2600 and that will be half a month's wages saved.

I haven't done much in the survey area this week. Too much time spent writing and reading instead. But I'm pretty close to cashing out again with Global Test Market for a $50 check. I think I need just 50 points to do so. So time to refocus and get on with it.

I've missed being around here and now I need to go and get caught up with you folks!

Not Much to Blog About

September 22nd, 2007 at 10:46 am

I haven't spent money in awhile. I never went in and got the new car stereo, I was so tired from fighting of my kids' colds. Sometimes I hate the germ factory (school) and dream of homeschooling again, but I don't have the patience with the younger one and the older one doesn't want to.

Yesterday was payday and $1000 of this check goes to the remaining credit card and $1000 goes to the medical debt. Next week's check will mostly go the remaining credit card.

Big (for me) Deposit to the EF

September 20th, 2007 at 03:14 pm

In today's mail I got a refund from the orthodontist, so I took that to the bank along with DH's boot reimbursement check from work.

$1444.53 Starting Balance
286.80 Orthodontist refund
+ 160.00 Boot reimbursement
---------
$1891.33 Ending Balance

So I've blown right past my goal of $1500 in the EF and am well on my way to the next goal of having $2000 in the EF.

AWOL

September 20th, 2007 at 09:06 am

I didn't realize I hadn't posted since the 16th. The kids have been sick and whiney, I haven't been feeling great either, I haven't spent money because we haven't gone anywhere and I've been playing in the Whoniverse. Found a fan fiction website for Doctor Who (see sites I frequent for more info on what that is) and have been having a grand old time reading and writing. And it's free entertainment, my favorite kind!

But its time for the real world to impinge once again. So, today is the day of the automatic deposit of $10 to savings. I transferred that to ING, bringing the amount in the EF to $1444.53.

DH sent me a reimbursement check for his work boots that arrived in the mail yesterday. I will try to get it in the bank today. That will be an additional $160 to the EF. But I won't add it in until I do it.

One of Those Days

September 16th, 2007 at 08:31 pm

I'm having one of those days where its hard really to know what to post. I suppose I should get around to posting what I did with Friday's paycheck, but I'm not really in the mood and I'm not quite done paying all the bills anyway. I'm doing one tomorrow in person than I'll be done.

I'm going to go in tomorrow and see about getting the car stereo replaced also. I have the money for it and for the sake of family harmony it really needs to be done. I figure I can get it installed well before school is out. And since it is in a shopping district I can wander around a bit.

Macy's home store is right next door to the place I'm going so I can go and try out furniture. I'm not ready to buy anything but we are looking at getting a recliner soon and the couch is on its last legs so maybe in a year or so for it. I would never buy anything at Macy's anyway as it is even more overpriced now than it was when it was the Bon Marche home store before the buy out. But I can see what is out there and look for similar styles later at more affordable furniture stores.

Bed, Bath and Beyond is right there as well and I want to see if they have couch covers, I forget what they call them, but its a fabric sort of blanket that is fitted and gives the couch a new look. Ours is so faded and stained and it would be nice to spruce it up a bit.

I can also wander around Office Depot, Costco or head down to Michael's craft store. Not to buy, just to waste time. Hopefully it won't take a lot of time. I'm not much of a shopper generally, I like to go in, get what I need and get out ASAP. But if I'm actually looking for something its not too bad.

I do want to check out the schedule of classes at the craft store, though. I'm thinking of taking some acryllic painting classes again. It's been years but I have all the supplies and I'd love to get back into it. Landscapes were always my favorite.

Or take an intermediate knitting class. Or maybe learn how to make beaded jewelry. I have had an interest in making jewelry for awhile now, I have a good eye for color and design, and I might even be able to generate a little side business. I'm particularly interested in necklaces and bracelets. I suppose it could become a pricey hobby, though.

Oh, I'll have to think on it once I see the class schedule and fees.

Car Repaired and EF Update

September 14th, 2007 at 08:28 pm

Today was a long day. I dropped the kids off at school a bit early today so I could take the car in to the dealership on time. They had estimated that the work would cost $679 but it cost $559, so I added that extra $120 to the EF, along with the GTM check and $2 I had in my purse. I'm coming up pretty fast on my goal of $1500 for the EF.

$1262.53 Old Balance
50.00 Survey Check
2.00 in ones
+ 120.00 car less than estimated
--------
$1434.53 New Balance

I can feel a real difference in how the car is driving now. It accelerates better and doesn't buck when it goes through the automatic gear changes. It makes it feel much smoother, like it used to be when we first got it. Definitely money well spent if we can keep it going for another year or two while we save up for a hybrid.

I'm glad to have this taken care of before winter hits. I really should have the other vehilce repaired before winter, too, but I'm not sure if we can swing that. I suppose I can take money from the EF if I have to, but I'm not sure I should for this. We just don't drive it that much with gas prices so high. And with Humberto and the Mexican gas explosions, it's only going to go up again.

EF Update

September 13th, 2007 at 03:32 pm

Today was the automatic deposit of $10.00 to savings. I sent that, plus an additional $12.50 off to ING today.

$1240.03 Old Balance
+ 22.50 Deposit
---------
$1262.53 New Balance

I haven't deposited the $50 check from Global Test Market yet. I will do that tomorrow when I do my banking and send it off to ING.

Cut my Bangs

September 13th, 2007 at 03:18 pm

I trimmed my own bangs this morning, cutting off about two inches. I am getting better and better at this as the years go by. It only took me three minutes and there are no scraggly pieces or uneven lines. They look great!

The local cheap salon charges $8 for a bang trim. Used to be $6. Before that $4. No way am I paying $8 for 3 minutes (if that!) of work.

I only get my hair cut 2 to 3 times a year and not at the cheap salon, either. I go to mid-priced Regis. Since I was not ready for a full cut, but I was sick of bangs down past my eyes, I just had the urge.

Saving $8 when I can do a good job is great. Now, if I couldn't do a good job, that is a whole other story.

Disneyland

September 12th, 2007 at 05:59 pm

DH is talking about Disneyland. I said no way for next year unless his extra weeks continue for past what is currently expected, but its doable for 2009. I have started saving $100 a month. And if I can add the 2008 tax return into the vacation fund, then there will be no problem going in 2009. We only have to pay for food, park fees, and lodging. Airfare is always free from the miles DH racks up flying up to work and back.

We might not even have to pay for lodging if we can get Mom's condo. That can be hard, but planning it over a year in advance makes it possible. It's not within walking distance but they do provide a shuttle, so it would be worthwhile to do.

We tend to go for 10 days, though, which also might be hard to reserve at the condo. Even if we could do one week at the condo and 3 days elsewhere it would save a bundle.

Now that Disney and some of the less expensive surrounding restaurants offer healthier food choices, like salads,kale, asparagus, celery and broccoli as sides or for sale at food carts, we won't have to get a hotel with a fridge and microwave, either. That has always added to the expense.

I have to be very careful how I eat because of my past health issues and so does Rose who also has postprandial hyperinsulinemia. Which involves eating a lot healthier than the normal Joe and balancing protein (devoid of any fillers, growth hormones, additives or preservatives) with low glycemic vegetables and being extremely careful with the complex carbohydrates we do choose (no corn since I was recently diagnosed with a corn allergy, no white flour, no barley, no white sugar, no white rice, no processed cereals, and very minimal amounts of fruit which is the hardest). In the past we've had to really work hard at it on vacation if we didn't have a full kitchen and access to a grocer. My last trip there alone proved it can be done easily now.

I'd really rather wait until 2010 but DH says that is easy for me to say because I just went this year without them. LOL He does have a point. I just think it will be easier when Tobias is almost 10 than almost 9. But if the money is there, I will probably get overruled.

Breakdown for Extra Pay

September 12th, 2007 at 05:12 pm

So it is official, DH is working 28 days straight, then will come home for a week and then he may have to work an extra week again after that. But the two extra weeks are guaranteed now. So I won't see him until the 27th, when normally he would have been home today.

That will give us an extra $5250 net this month. I am planning on spending in this order:

$5250
- 700 car repair
-----
$4550
- 302 2 new twin mattresses for the kids
-----
$4248
- 400 new car music system
-----
$3848 to remaining credit card debt

I don't think it is going to cost $400 for the music system, though. The simple CD player/radio I want is around $100. I am allowing $300 for installation fee, but I don't think its anywhere near that. But whatever is left will go to the EF.

DH may very well get 2 or 3 more extra weeks between now and Christmas. There is a huge backlog of work due to the first guy quitting. So he is doing his own regular two weeks in the field engineer position and then in his extra weeks he is either training or helping with the backlog in his old position, but at his new rate of pay. Works for me. Especially if it means this card might be paid off by year's end and not with next years tax return. Sure would love that.

Check in the Mail

September 12th, 2007 at 04:09 pm

I received my 2nd $50 check from Global Test Market today. 4 days past the 6 weeks it was supposed to come in, but better late than never.

That will go to the EF fund. I am going to town tomorrow so I will make the deposit then and shoot it off to ING. I'll use the main account so I don't have to wait the week for the check to clear at podunk CU before I transfer it.

I need to earn between 100 and 150 points to cash out again for another $50. Some surveys don't credit immediately, though most do, so I think I have 50 points floating around out there in limbo still.