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Archive for November, 2011

New Clothes, Moving Money, and Bonus Musings

November 29th, 2011 at 06:36 pm

I added $9.56 to the coin jar today.

I did a bit of clothing shopping. It's been a very long time since I've bought much in the way of clothing, but since losing the 45 pounds almost everything is too big. I have also been very cold lately to the point that jacking up the heat doesn't help and neither does three blankets on the bed.

So I got a couple of turtlenecks to wear under my nightgown. I also got three chenille sweaters, two zip front and one pullover, and I got two new pairs of jeans in the smaller size. That gives me four pairs of jeans (I had two in my closet from a long time ago). I think this should keep me until spring.

If the turtlenecks don't keep me warm I may end up getting an electric blanket. I don't particularly like using those because I always take water to bed with me and I have a tendency to spill and I'm always worried I am going to shock myself or something. It's getting so that the only time I feel warm is in the car with the heat jacked up or in the shower.

DH bought a new pillow and we got some medicines and a new pair of tweezers and (very bad) four bottles of soda. They were cheap, at least.

I transferred the money from ING to my checking account today for first of the month bills. Of the money I had set aside I still have $648.08 left. I will probably put $200 in the emergency fund and then if I don't need the rest between now and the 16th, I will put what is left into the January/HSA money.

We got paperwork in the mail in case we want to put DH's bonus into his 401K. We don't, it's earmarked for debt repayment, but if they sent him that, it means he is definitely getting one. And also I wouldn't think they'd send out 401K paperwork unless it was a substantial amount to put in there. Two to three more weeks to go to find out just how much it is going to be. I hate living in suspense. But it is at least good news that there will be one.

Are the Blogs Glitching?

November 28th, 2011 at 02:40 pm

Why is a post I wrote yesterday showing up as being written today about an hour and a half ago? It's jumped postion up the list and it looks like several other blogs have been reordered also.

Financial Housekeeping

November 28th, 2011 at 01:10 pm

I just spent the last hour fixing my spreadsheet for my Emergency Fund and Holding Tank money. The last set of updates either didn't save, or didn't get transferred correctly from the laptop that's now in the shop and the one I am currently using.

Thankfully I was able to figure it out by using the numbers I found on my blog. But from now on I'm going to be even more detailed than I currently am, because I didn't quite write out everything and I had to do a little guessing on what I'd set aside some of the money for. It equalled out to the correct amount in the end, though, so I think I am fine.

I have gotten the hang of Open Office and I'm not sure I'll ever buy regular Office again for a computer. Especially since they limit how many times you can install it. I'd still be using a previous version of Office that I own if they'd let me install it more times. It's not like I'm installing it everywhere, I've just had cruddy luck on a lot of my computers in the past. I paid enough for it that I should be able to install it on my laptop when the previous ones break down. But the stinginess of that limit means I will be far less likely in the future to purchase these types of programs from Microsoft. They basically shot themselves in the leg with that one.

Now if I can find a good program for photo editing that is either free or doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I'd be happy. I used to have a good one that I was given for Christmas, but it only runs on Windows ME or previous versions. There's all kinds of incompatibility with anything current.

I balanced the checkbook today, which wasn't hard since I've been doing the math all week instead of leaving it to the last minute.

I am hoping that I won't have to use all of the money that I set aside in the holding tank for first of December bills. I've got over $1000 from the last paycheck and I think I can get away with using only half the money I put in the holding tank and if so, I'll have maybe another $700 to set aside for January/HSA money, which would be really nice. I might put $100 of that $700 into the EF. We will see how it goes.

Not Financial

November 27th, 2011 at 09:48 am

Please pray for my neices' father, who had a heart attack yesterday. He is only 46 years old, and they are only 16 and 12. Ex-BIL may have been a jerk to my husband's sister, but the girls still need their father in their lives.

Payday and A Bit of Shopping

November 25th, 2011 at 09:29 pm

I don't normally go out and about on Black Friday. I'm more of a curl up in bed with a book all day sort of person after Thanksgiving, but we had an appointment for an oil change and the stuff they do at the first 5000 miles, so rotated tires, checked fluid levels, etc. One of the things that we got for buying the car in this model year was free maintenance for the first two years. This is not a maintenance package that we paid for in advance, it was simply one of the perks Toyota was offering this year. But I had totally forgotten about it, so I assumed I would be spending $60 or so today on that. It was nice to be reminded I wouldn't need it.

We haven't actually hit 5000 miles yet, but I figured I would soon (it was 4,640, so close enough) and I didn't want to bother with it myself while DH was gone so best to do it a little early while hes home and be done with it, especially before I have to drive down to Seattle on the 9th.

After the van was done we filled up at Costco at $3.47 a gallon. We paid $45.35. I about fell over. We haven't filled a tank for less than $50 in forever. And then of course when we got back home we saw a station at $3.39. Oh, well. Anywho, after Costco we headed up to Fashion Bug in Marysville. We figured it was enough off the beaten path that it wouldn't be swamped with shoppers, and it was around 3:15 when we got there so it wasn't bad at all and plenty of parking right in front.

I found a parka for the winter like I've been wanting. There were two I liked, identical but for color. One was purple and one was a jewel tone blue. The purple one clashed with my gorgeous blue purse so I went for the blue, which I liked better with my skin tone anyway. It was $99.99, but marked down 40%, so we paid $59.99. It's really warm and should be much more useful in warding off the cold winter mornings than my ski jacket has been. That's all we bought there.

On the way back we stopped at the Outback in Burlington and had dinner. I had an appetizer plus a baked potato for my dinner and DH had a burger and baked potato, plus baked potato soup. There was also the rye bread and we each got a strawberry lemonade. It came to $31.88 and we left $40. The server did a really good job so we tipped a little bit extra. It was nice to have a little date with DH without the kids along.

When we got back home my nephew (who was born when I was 9), his wife, and my great nephew were here visiting my mom. My eldest sister was also here. We all visited for a while. My great nephew is just 18 months old and he is such an adorable baby. He's very verbal and you can understand quite a bit of it, too, and also very active. This is the first time they've been up here since he was born that I've not been too ill (bronchitis, stomach flu, and recovering from surgery the three previous visits) to be around him. Usually I have to stand in the doorway for a minute and that's about it, but this time I actually got to interact with him and talk to everyone else. And my nephew's wife announced that she's pregnant again and the baby will be here in June.

Today was also payday and DH's reimbursement check for changing his flight so he could work those extra weeks came in the mail today as well. That is $145. Which is perfect, since we've already absorbed that cost. It should about cover what we need to give his sister between cash and gas to help her out right now.

So...

November 24th, 2011 at 11:27 pm

...what are you going to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? I've got plans in place for pot pies, soup, noodles, enchiladas and quesadillas, as well as a few TV dinners with leftovers as is.

Found out today that DH's sister is in a precarious financial position. Worse than we'd ever thought. And this week is a breaking point. Her work isn't depositing her paycheck until Monday because the bank is closed on Friday. Her mortgage company took the payment out early because the bank is closed on Friday. Unfortunately she wasn't prepared for that and her account is $90 short, and now she has an overdraft fee as well. And she simply can't afford it.

This is yet another thing in our lives that points to the importance of having an emergency fund. We are going to give her some money so she can get through this and then we are going to try to give her $100 a month in grocery store gift cards. DH is also going to take her to fill up her gas tank. It'll make some things tighter for us, but she'll at least be able to feed her kids.

It's Official

November 23rd, 2011 at 12:28 pm

We have definitely hit the cap on out of pocket insurance for this year. We have never done that before. I know it was a crazy year for medical, but not even the year I gave birth to my daughter and we had to stay in the hospital for five days with her in NICU, we never hit any caps. So hopefully I really can schedule the knee surgery before January.

If not, well, considering how much it costs, we'll likely hit the cap again next year, too, but a lot sooner in the year. At least I have enough saved so far to cover next year's deductible. That will be a help.

My deposit finally hit ING yesterday and my interest for yesterday and today jumped quite a bit. I mean, it's still small, but before this last deposit it was piddly. I should earn around $4 in interest this month from ING. Some people might laugh at that, but I never laugh at free money. I only wish they'd go back to paying out 4%. This .9% business is ridiculous.

Another Free Prescription and TJ's Run

November 22nd, 2011 at 05:23 pm

Well, DH went back to the pharmacy to pick up the other prescription the pharmacist didn't see on the shelf last night and it was free, too. This one is normally $40, so we have definitely hit some sort of cap. Of course, I can't find our medical benefits file. DH had it when we opened the HSA and didn't put it back and doesn't know where he put it. Of course I can find the one from 2010, but that changed so radically this year that I'm not sure it's comparable. Still it did have an out of pocket limit so I'm assuming this one does, too.

DH is trying to find something on the insurance website, but good luck with that. Basically every time he signs into the insurance website, the website waggles its fingers in its ears, sticks out its tongue, and blows us a raspberry. Quite possibly it flips us off and flips us the bird simultaneously as well. Okay, okay, its just very user unfriendly and likes to crash like a toddler learning to ice skate (frequently and without any grace). If it weren't such a good insurance I would be far more cranky about that than I am.

If I could end up having that knee surgery this year, though, that would mean nothing out of pocket and that would be incredibly amazing. I am going to ask them to please find me any time or date before year's end. I will go in on Christmas if I have to, to not have to pay anything for it.

I went to Trader Joe's today and spent $95.44 on groceries and my cart was packed. I haven't done that at any other store in a while. Usually it's half a cart for twice as much money. That left me with $4.56 to put into the coin jar. My end of the year EF goal is definitely in sight.

Tired Today

November 21st, 2011 at 06:51 pm

I am exhausted, but I have been running all day. I had two medical appointments today, one at 11:00 and one at 2:15. And DS had early release at 12:15. DH had an appointment at 1:00 so he dropped me off at my first appointment, picked DS up after school, then we switched and I took DS and the car, ran home for a quick lunch and DS stayed with my mother while I ran to my doctor's appointment at 2:15. DD got out of school at 2:15 so DH walked from his appointment to the high school (six blocks), then he and DD walked from the high school to my second doctor's appointment (eight blocks), and then we all went home together.

Life with one car can be a little tricky sometimes. Well, technically we have two cars, but the battery is dead in the Crown Victoria and it needs new brakes, so...eh. One car. We'll charge the battery when we are ready to get the brakes fixed. But that's $700 I just don't see spending right now. We may end up trading it in at some point on a small, more gas efficient used car before getting it fixed, but not until our credit card debt is paid off and we can pay for it in cash.

Most of the time we really can get by with one, but DD will be 16 in August and it'll be a little more complicated with 3 drivers in the family. DD has more and more activities and I really am getting tired of playing chauffeur all the time and it's only going to get worse. I think we'll go as long as we can stand it though and then shell out for something in the $5000 range.

DH's family has put his grandparents' place on the market for $189,000. It's a fairly big house on a half acre with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an old fashioned parlor, living room, decent sized kitchen with pretty modern appliances (less than five years old), a garage, and a double carport. I think it's a steal at that price, but they are pricing it to sell. Apparently the state won't get any of it, since the rental on it paid for the nursing home care. So whatever it sells for, DH will inherit 5%. If it sells for the $189,000 it'll be around $9000 after the realtor's fee is taken out. Not a bad little windfall. It's in a prime neighborhood, but the market is bad all over the county, so who knows when it'll sell?

I added $3.67 to the coin jar today. 11 cents was found money. The rest was change from buying bread and milk at the grocery store. I've really got to download the manual to my mom's bread machine so I can go back to not buying bread.

DH picked up two prescriptions today. It was supposed to be 3 but DH didn't know that and it had been called in on Friday so it was in a separate bag on the shelf and the pharmacist didn't see it. So we'll have to go back. I guess maybe we'll to WalMart tomorrow since we have to go back that way and I need to buy at least 2 pairs of smaller jeans.

Anyway, the one prescription was $10 and for some reason the other one was free when it's usually $2.99. I am wondering if we've hit some kind of cap for the year? We've certainly spent enough on medical (probably just around $10,000 for our portion) and I know there's a cap somewhere, but I was thinking it was $12,000. Although it's entirely possible we've hit that amount out of pocket, too. I did accidentally shred some statements before we set up the HSA and I know at least one of them was for around $1000 and the other close to $600. I'll have DH look it up.

Pizza Cravings

November 20th, 2011 at 04:08 pm

So I ended up with some serious, serious pizza cravings tonight. I didn't want to order out and I didn't have the time to make dough from scratch, but I did have one of those ready made pizza crusts from

Text is http://www.rusticcrust.com/ and Link is
http://www.rusticcrust.com/ in the house, plenty of tomato sauce and herbs, shredded cheese and sausage, onions, and peppers, so I made it and it was delicious (though I still prefer my own dough) and perfect for a fast pizza without buying a frozen pizza, store made one, or ordering out.

I love Rustic Crusts. We've tried a couple different ones and find them very flavorful. (Crazyliblady, they have a gluten free one). I find they taste way better than Boboli which I have never liked either the thickness or the flavor of or all the additives and preservatives. (DH thinks Boboli are great, but then he likes those cheap cardboard pizzas, too). And, at least in the store where I buy them, they are less expensive than Boboli as well, despite being organic.

So far every time I have bought one there has been a coupon inside for 50 cents off your next purchase.