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Archive for April, 2011

Found More Coins and Menu Planning (Today and Tomorrow)

April 5th, 2011 at 09:06 pm

I was cleaning out my dresser tonight as I have two drawers in it that I've been using as a temporary filing cabinet until I got around to actually filing or shredding some papers and when I got to the bottom of one, I found a stash of loose change. It was mostly pennies, but it amounted to $1.82 so I tossed that in the coin jar (after rolling up 2 rolls of pennies). I had totally forgot it was there, but once I saw it I had a perfect memory of scraping a bunch of change into a drawer before we moved here from the old house, so it's just been sitting in there since January of 2010.

Since DS wants to go to "his" CU tomorrow to deposit his allowance (he's saving up for a Nintendo 3DS), I figured I may as well make a deposit myself into the laptop fund since it's in the same CU. With the two rolls of pennies, a 50 cent piece, and all the ones I have in the coin jar, it will come to $12.50.

Not too bad. Sometimes I feel a little silly for making such little deposits, but then I remind myself that little deposits add up and if I end up paying for my laptop with pennies and ones than so be it. I've been managing to scrape up about $100 a month doing this, rebating, and adding what is leftover in my purse each week. At least it will be paid for with no interest due.

Here is today's menu planning which I tried to post last night, but the internet ate it:

pancakes (.50)
eggs (free from chickens)
homemade brown sugar syrup (.20)
Milk (1.50)
Total $2.20

Leftover spaghetti (free)
Fruit smoothies ($2)
Total $2

Homemade pizza
--dough (.50)
--leftover homemade spaghetti sauce
--pepperoni ($2)
--Canadian bacon ($2)
--mozarella cheese ($2)
Milk (1.50)
Total $8

Total for day: $12.20


Blueberry muffins (.50)
Bacon ($2)
Milk ($1.50)
Total $4

Leftover pizza (free)
oranges ($1.50)
Total $1.50

Beef pot roast ($9.89)
Broccoli ($1)
Cauliflower ($1)
Can of corn ($1)
Milk ($1.50)
Total $14.39

Total for day: $19.89

There will be leftover pot roast and possibly leftover broccoli and cauliflower as well for another meal, so even though Wednesday's food is higher in price it will reduce the price of one of Thursday's meals.

Mortgage and Car Loan Updates

April 5th, 2011 at 02:20 pm

The mortgage payment hit today leaving me with a mortgage balance of $21,224.97. Slowly but surely it's disappearing. $277.31 of the payment went to principle and $98.55 went to interest. So well over 3/4 is going to principle now. Really, really like being on this end of a mortgage.

I forgot to update the car amount when it went through a couple of weeks ago, so the amount still owed on the car loan is $15,839.43. We are definitely keeping this car for several years after it is paid off. Which on our current debt repayment schedule should put us at April of 2011. After December of this year, all debt money will be thrown at the car loan.

The $142 autopay for storage also came out today. So down to $64 in checking until Friday.

I am getting really antsy for Friday to get here. I should just be relaxing and enjoying a week of sleeping in and not having to transport the kids to and from school. Spring Break is a lovely time of year. But I want payday to get here so I can send a huge chunk of money to the Master Card. And then I'm sure I'll want the next one to get here as well so I can finish paying it off. I just want it gone so badly. I want to be down to paying off only one card and seeing that progress every single month, the only balance getting lower and lower. It's extremely psychological at this point.


April 4th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

There is nothing more annoying than being signed in when you start a blog entry, but when you go to post it ten minutes later, SA has logged you out. AGAIN. For the fifteenth time today. And of course I didn't highlight and save first. It wouldn't be quite so irritating if Facebook and Live Journal weren't also playing this game today. *growls at the internet*

Anyway, highlights were I found 38 cents in the car when I cleaned it out and I forgot that storage autopay comes out this week, so I don't have $204 left, it's more like $64 left in checking until Friday. And $49 cash so it's all good.

I don't feel like writing out the meal planning again. Will do it tomorrow morning when I'm not so growly.

Procrastination Station

April 4th, 2011 at 03:58 pm

Well, I finally got off the procrastination train and finished paying bills for Friday's paycheck and then I balanced the checkbook.

Money out:

$1000.00 to medical loan from Mom
$--19.07 Electric for old house
$--35.90 Life Insurance DH
$--32.70 Life Insurance Me
$--95.59 Car Insurance
$--41.00 House insurance for old house
$-500.00 Amex
$-300.00 Groceries
$--90.00 Medical
$-375.86 Mortgage on old house
$--96.00 Six weeks allowance for 2 kids
$---2.00 Tooth Fairy money
$--78.68 Clothing and shoes for DS
$-100.00 Cash for me
$2766.80 Total Spent

$91,000.00 Medical debt payback to Mom
$-1,000.00 Amount paid
$90,000.00 Amount still owed to Mom

So we have officially paid back $20,000 and we have 90 payments left to make. 7 years and 7 months to go.

The majority of next week's check will go to the Master Card and some of the following one, too. So it should be completely paid off by the 15th as long as nothing unforeseen arises.

I still have $204 left in the checkbook and $49 in cash. I doubt I will use what is in the checkbook and will just add that to what I pay on the MC on Friday.

No Money Out Today

April 3rd, 2011 at 02:44 pm

Today is a no spend day. I cleaned out my purse and found $2.12 to put in the coin jar. That will go into the laptop fund eventually when there are enough coins in there to roll them. I also added $11 in ones.

Tonight I will sit down and balance the checkbook and then finish doing the rest of this week's bills. I did about half of them on Friday, so need to stop procrastinating and do the rest of them. I will do that after we get back from the pool and have had supper.

I really need to start posting my meal planning again. I won't do today's since it was all leftovers except about $4 worth of milk. But I need to plan out tomorrow's food. It'll be less than usual as DD is spending the day with one of her friends. It's spring break. So she will eat lunch and dinner there.


April 2nd, 2011 at 06:19 pm

I did a major shopping run today. I was going to go to Costco, too, but after waiting in the gas line for eight songs and seeing how crazy the parking lot was, I skipped it. Maybe I'll go on Monday. I don't think shopping there the first weekend after the first is a good idea. I don't need much from there anyway, just four items, so I can hold off for a few days. Gas was $3.67 a gallon. I ended up spending $41.05 for 11.159 gallons of gas.

We went to WalMart, too, as DS had outgrown his bathing suit. He wore regular shorts yesterday when we went swimming. So he got two swimtrunks and my daughter got a pair of swimshorts (so she now has two full swim outfits). We also got him a pair of waterproof shoes that are a kind of combination hiking boot/tennis shoe. So I spent $78.68 there. Everything I bought there was half price, so that was nice. DD spent $40 of her allowance there to get five shirts.

We went to two different Haggens and I did some mega stocking up. I spent $101.84 at the one and $70.93 at the other. That is $172.77, leaving $327.23 in the grocery budget for the month. I'l probably spend about $60 when I do go to Costco (excluding the amount for toilet paper, since that comes out of a different part of the budget and is not groceries). But after that we should be pretty good with just needing to buy milk for the next two weeks. That should keep us pretty much on track for the month.

Ran the EF Numbers

April 1st, 2011 at 08:51 pm

I finally sat down and quit procrastinating and ran the numbers on my EF. After I take the money out for income tax and property tax I will have $277.36 left in my emergency fund. I will also have $204.30 in my holding tank (where I am now setting aside money for bills that are not monthly.) So it's definitely a major hit, but I think we can recover from it okay.

As eager as I am to pay off our debt, after we pay off the Master Card this month, I am going to take enough from what we would be paying to the VISA in the future to build the account back up to $1000 and then I'll add whatever I can to it. I would just feel better with at least $1000 in the bank quickly and then work on building it back up to $8000. Eventually higher, but I will feel a lot more secure with at least the $8000. We will still be able to pay the VISA off by the end of the year, it would just be December and not November.

Prices Going Up

April 1st, 2011 at 06:30 pm

Well, the cost of my favorite pizza, the Montague's All Meat Marvel from Round Table has gone up from $27.11 to $27.16 for an extra large. 5 cents isn't too bad. Some of the prices have gone up higher because there is a produce shortage on some of their toppings. We get one about once a month and it's been a long time since the cost has gone up. The XL is big enough to provide 3 meals for the 3 of us (DH is away), so it breaks down to $9.04 per meal. Not too bad. Not as good as my homemade one which costs around $10 and also lasts for three meals. Obviously we did pizza tonight.

Today was the first day since October that all three of us were well enough to go the gym. Basically DH was the only one making use of our gym membership. But we went back today and used the pool. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to swim 13 laps, which is 1/4 mile. I had gotten up to 40 laps (a touch above 3/4 mile) before we started getting hit with all these cold and flu germs. I felt pretty decent at the 13 lap mark, like I could go for longer, but I didn't want to overdo it my first day back. Right now there is a pleasant achiness in my arm muscles, but if I'd pushed it I doubt it would be a pleasant one. I didn't time myself on the laps. I used to, but since I'm so out of shape from not exercising, I figured it was more important to swim than to see how fast I could do it.

Going to the gym a few times a week should cut down on the gas usage (gas dryer and hot water tank), since we will be showering there and using their towels so won't need to wash as many loads here. It pretty much cut it in half before.

I need to get gas. The little light came on telling me there are only two gallons left. It's in the $3.60's. That's likely going to be over $45. Good thing I only fill up about once every three weeks. I'll do it tomorrow when I make my Costco run. I'm out of oranges so want to buy a case and also get some toilet paper and olive oil. Maybe a couple of other things. I have to go through the cupboards tonight and check my inventory. I'm pretty sure I'm out of tomato paste. And I need more flour.

Interest and Taxes and Seattle, Oh, My!

April 1st, 2011 at 03:15 pm

I got a whopping $5.42 in interest from ING for the month of March. It is going to the emergency fund. I need to sit down and do the numbers and find out just how much is going to be left in the EF after we pay our tax bill and our property tax. It won't be much, I know, and there's not terribly much I will be able to do about that at the moment. Just build it back up bit by bit.

I have now started saving a monthly portion for property tax so when the next bill hits us in October we will have it and not have to dip into any other form of savings. I really wish our income tax bill was not so high, but we knew that would happen with the lump sum contract buyout. At least the money is there. That is the important thing. We'll only get about ten days worth of interest on the total amount this month before I have to transfer most of it out to pay income tax. After this year we hopefully won't have this problem again.

DH wants to take a mini-vacation this year. I told him it would have to wait until summer's end, we just can't afford it until then. Well, I say can't. I mean, we can't without holding money back from debt repayment. We agreed that this year would be all about debt repayment and that we'd hit it hard. But he's getting a little antsy about that.

We still have no confirmation on whether or not he will be getting the raise he was told he would get in April. The man who told him he would be getting it has been fired for failing a drug test so he doesn't have anyone to ask about it, either. If it does happen though, I could save that new money half for vacation and half for the EF. But I'm not counting on it.

We will be going to Seattle this month again though to the Pacific Science Center. They are having a Star Wars exhibit there and the Millenium Falcon will be on display. We will likely do an overnight there as last time driving down and back seriously borked my knee. Having a night to elevate it between drives will be better. So we'll stay in a relatively inexpensive hotel. A small cost, but maybe that'll help him get the mini-vacation feeling without a true three or four day trip.

Most of my flu symptoms are gone now, just congested and really, really tired all the time. No fever today. Progress.

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