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Archive for June, 2013

Payday Post and Mother Musings

June 29th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Yesterday was payday. I had a couple of things left on the June Budget spreadsheet, and then set up and started recording things for the July Budget spreadsheet. I figured out which bills would be coming out of which paycheck. As long as nothing comes up we should be able to handle everything and have some money left over for savings. Of course that is the small check that stretches over two weeks, so I won't know how much I will have to save until the July 26th paycheck. I am hoping for at least $200.

Anyway, the bills I paid out were:

$1000.00 to Mom (July)
__300.00 to Mom for July utilities
__100.00 to EF
__140.00 Cash for week (includes allowances)
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___39.53 Life Insurance DH
___32.70 Life Insurance Me
___66.62 Car Insurance
___45.67 Old House Insurance
___41.16 Old House Security System
__168.00 Storage
__700.00 Mortgage (plus extra)
__270.49 to AMEX (in full)
__100.00 to Appliance Fun
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$3094.17 Total Paid Out

Our regular mortgage payment is less than $400, so we added a little over $300 extra to the mortgage principle for the July payment. The August payment should put us well under $11K. I am hoping to have it under $10K by September, but I'm not sure if we will. We'll have to see.

I had a bit of a kerfuffle with my mother yesterday. Not an argument per se, just her trying to force her will on stuff. She wants to be the one who sets the selling price on our house and she wants to be there to read the paperwork when it sells, etc. I told her no and she didn't react well. She thinks we should try to sell the house by owner instead of through a realtor and I said no again. FSBO's take forever to sell.

She was there for all of that stuff when we bought this house, but we were young, DH was in Alaska when the house sold so I had to have temporary power of attorney for him on that sale, it was our first house, and we needed her experience. But now we've been through it and we are older and we know what we are doing. She's very opinionated and wants her nose in every aspect of our business. I have asked her in to certain areas (like medical), but she isn't always so good about waiting to be asked. And I don't want her nose in our financials.

I think she's got it in her head that we are rich. I'm not sure where she gets that from. Yes, DH makes a very good income, but that's only in the last five years or so. And we have spent most of the last five years aggressively paying down the medical debt we incurred when I was so ill and having multiple surgeries so it's not like we felt that money. I never let her know the extent of it, just the amount she loaned us and we are paying her back.

It has only been this year that we have been able to pull ahead and start saving money or take a real vacation again. We might be rich some day, it's possible, but that's only if the economy doesn't tank over the next twenty years and we start getting serious interest on savings accounts again. But we have college to try to pay for with two kids and retirement to save for and we are behind from getting out of debt. Not to mention we'll be buying a new house when this one sells.

She has no idea of our income because we won't tell her. Mom lives on her social security, the $1000 a month we pay her, and we give her money to pay for all of the electric, gas, water/sewer bills, and pay the garbage directly. I know she's saving at least $1000 a month from it and living on the rest. Her only expenses are gas, property tax with a senior exemption to lower it, vehicle taxes, prescriptions, and food. The house has been paid for for a long time and is worth at least $300,000 and that's estimating on the low side, so she can sell it in the future and get a smaller house and live off the rest of it if needed.

She's so worried about the future that she won't spend today. We'll be paying her back until she's 80 unless we up the payments, which she doesn't want, and of course, we've told her numerous times that we will make sure she is taken care of if she lives longer than that.

I don't know, but I'm not going to let her force her insecurities on us, by trying to control what we do with selling the house. I am grateful for everything my mother has done for us, don't get me wrong. And I love her very much. After DH, she is my probably my best friend. We get along very well most of the time. Just once in a while she gets very pushy. I've learned through experience that this is the time where I have to push back.

Emergency Fund Update

June 29th, 2013 at 03:39 am

Today was payday. I had $55.77 left in checking so I transferred the to the EF. I also took out the monthly $100 that I usually take out of the first check of the new pay cycle. This just happens to be in June instead of July, so June got two $100 payments. I will still make one in July towards the end of the month though, when the next pay cycle starts.

That brings the new balance in the Emergency Fund to $5227.39. My goal for June was $5100, so I blew by that. I think I am going to stretch and try to come up with $5500 by the end of July. That is $272.61 to come up with. $140 will be from my regular transfers, so I will still need to eek out $132.61 to meet that goal, well, minus a few dollars of interest. It is doable, especially if I keep transferring the amounts left at the end of each pay week to savings.

I really want to stretch for that, because I want to hit $7000 by the end of the year. It may or may not be possible, but I want to shoot for it regardless.

Slow Week

June 27th, 2013 at 09:53 pm

Today is the day of the auto deposit to savings, bringing the Emergency Fund to $5071.62.

I haven't spent any money in the past two days. We haven't gone anywhere, which makes it a lot easier to accomplish that.

I've been following my meal plans, so no eating out recently.

I'm still working on cleaning. It's taking a lot longer than I planned because I am organizing as well as just cleaning.

The rabbits are doing well. They love it when it is nice out and they can come outside in the rabbit tractors. The kits are growing well and will be 7 weeks old on Sunday. A couple of them were close to weighing 3 pounds last Sunday, so will probably top it when I weigh them again this Sunday.

Swagbucks is chugging along well, though I wish they'd fix the SBTV glitches. I've hit goal every day this week except the day it was 140. I will definitely get all five GC's this month as I am only a few points away from it right now.

Otherwise it's been pretty boring here at Casa de Robin.

Stuff and Other Stuff

June 26th, 2013 at 09:19 am

I received another $5 gift card from Swagbucks. I transferred it to my Amazon account. My GC balance there is now $145. I'm saving it for Christmas. I have hit my daily goals for the last several days, except for Tuesday. 140 is too high to waste the time on it. I'll probably hit today's though as I have a lot of online reading to do this afternoon and can have SBTV running the whole time.

I added $5.95 to the coin jar. Two more nickels and I'll have enough for a roll.

I've got $20 in cash and $55.77 in the checkbook to get me through until payday Friday. I need to buy milk and I want to buy strawberries if the specific farm stand I like the berries from is open. I hope that it is.

Our big screen television quit working. I can't figure out why. It turns on, there is just no image. DH will have to look at it when he comes home next week. I'm not terribly upset by it. Well, I mean, it's only four years old, I think, it should still be running, so from a consumer stand point I'm irked, but I'm not in any hurry to go out and buy a new one. We don't have television service, the kids just played games on it or sometimes watched DVDs.

I let the kids take the television out of my bedroom. We never use it. It had a thick layer of dust on the top and the screen that had to be wiped off and the remote batteries were dead. It's about ten years old and while it has a flat screen it still has the ginormous backside the old tech had. It's just 20 inches.

It is possible the big screen can be fixed, but I don't see much point in buying a new one. DH and I watch stuff on our laptops, generally. I have to admit it is nice for the big sci-fi shows, but I can't even remember the last time I used it. Maybe after we move we might replace it. I just don't want to move a big TV ourselves. It is a pain. Better to have it delivered to our next abode if we even bother with it at all. Those TV's are such energy hogs.

I have an appointment with the sleep doctor in 9 hours. As you can tell from the time stamp he's not done me much good. Our insurance is switching to Premera next month. Hopefully they will accept that. They stopped accepting Aetna, (and rightly so, since Aetna are cheapskates, whose first response is to deny everything at least once) so the last couple visits have been out of pocket.

I'm going to try one more mask and if that doesn't work, I'm done. I just can't use the machine if I'm taking the mask off in my sleep because it doesn't fit right or is uncomfortable.

Well, I suppose I should try yet again to get some sleep. I'm quitting caffeine right now (again) so I won't have that as a crutch tomorrow.

Meal Planning for the Week

June 26th, 2013 at 01:36 am

Basing a lot of my meals this week on using up meat in the freezer to make room for upcoming harvests and the possibility of getting a half a beef in December (the latest the ranch has them available until Spring). I want to make a goal of not buying any meat at the grocery store at least until August. I don't see any reason we need to do that, based on supplies on hand.

Wednesday:
Cheatloaf
Green beans
Nectarines

Thursday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Coleslaw

Friday:
Tacos
Strawberries

Saturday:
Roasted chicken
Baked potatoes
Broccoli
Nectarines

Sunday:
Crockpot roast beef
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Strawberries
Green beans

Monday:
Pork chops
Fried potatoes
Watermelon
Cole slaw

Tuesday:
Leftover mish-mash and if no leftovers (ha!), then toasted ham and cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup

I think after this week I will be ready to start incorporating rabbit into our meals. I figured it would take me a couple of weeks to get over growing and slaughtering our own mean and I'm feeling about there now. Apparently this is a very common phenomenon in people who have never really farmed or raised livestock for food before.

The Actual Future Musings

June 22nd, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Last night (or early this a.m.) when I copy/pasted my entry, apparently I missed the second half of my post, where I was trying to figure out how much I thought I could get the Emergency Fund to by the end of the year.

In August there will be an extra payday for us. I should be able to save $1000 to the Emergency Fund from that. I have also been able to save at least $200 a month, so that should be another $1200. That should put me at $7300. In November there will be another extra paycheck, and I'd like to save $1000 from it, which should put me at $8300. So I think I will make my push goal be $8500 by the end of the year, which is, coincidentally, about one month's take home pay.

Most of the remainder of the money from those two extra payday's will go into the holiday shut down fund. Every Christmas things tend to shut down on the slope for two weeks at the least and up to four weeks at the most. So I will set aside at the least $3600 for that. That should leave me with about $1400 between the two.

I think I will try to just put it all into temporary savings. I'm not sure for what. Probably some of it for rabbit expenses. Or possibly moving expenses depending on how things go with selling our house. I guess we'll see when I get closer to that time. I may just want to shovel it all into the Emergency Fund regardless. Or maybe save it for next year's medical deductible.

Payday Post and Future Musings

June 22nd, 2013 at 10:11 am

So out of this paycheck I spent:

$225.00 on monthly family chiropractor plan
$650.00 to BoA VISA
$442.00 on groceries
$144.00 on water/sewer old house
----------
1463.00 total spent

Not all of this was from this paycheck actually. I had $400 left from the last one.

I also put $70 into the Emergency Fund bringing me to officially over $5000 at $5061.62. So I've hit my June savings goal. I wonder if I can get it to $5100 by the end of the month? Quite possibly if I don't buy anymore groceries.

Found a penny and put it in the coin jar. Nothing else to report.

Getting Organized Again

June 21st, 2013 at 03:30 am

Now that it is summer vacation and I am not homeschooling anymore, I am working on getting my home organized. I did the long hallway today, which had become a catch all for way too much junk. My husband has a habit of emptying his pockets into the rail. I find all sorts of things in it. Junk mail, credit card receipts, pens and pencils, tiny toys like my son's hex bug. I found a quarter and a dime so those went into the coin jar.

I had gotten so far behind on laundry that I had six baskets of clean laundry in the hallway, so those all got sorted and put away. Then all the random shoes got sent back to their home on the shoe rack by the back door. It's never a whole set of shoes it's always a single shoe from four or five sets. I don't even know.

Also got all the cloth grocery bags picked up and stuck inside the big one, ready to go out to the van the next time we leave the house. I've mentioned it before, but we are in a city that has made it illegal for stores to use plastic bags and it costs 5 cents a bag for paper ones. We have a ton of cloth bags instead. I would use them anyway and did before the law went into effect, but I have way more than I did back then.

I figure if I work on one room a day we can get things back on track in not too long a time frame. Tomorrow's goal is to get the kitchen straightened up. I'd like to use more than 1/2 my kitchen table and the counters need a deep clean. I also need to reorganize my canned goods, because my daughter has put things in willy-nilly just to get them put away and I like to have my cupboards a certain way so I'll go through and fix them after stuff is clean.

Saturday will be for the short hallway that leads from my son's room into the living room and ends at the computer table and the bathroom. Sunday will be for the living room. Monday I'll tackle my bedroom, while the kids start on theirs. That may take more than one day as I want to weed through all the outgrown clothing, throw out what is not donateable, and get the stuff that is ready to take to Goodwill. And honestly I'm sure nothing short of a bulldozer will get to the bottom of my daughter's bedroom floor. My son's room is not too bad. He's a much tidier person in his bedroom than my daughter.

I find being disorganized often leads to spending money, either because I can't find something or I don't realize I already have what I just bought. Tired of that so the organization is a must. Plus I have lost a library book somewhere in the house and need to find it. Well, I'm not sure I lost it. I think I turned it in, but the library can't find it so they gave me a month to look for it without a fine. I don't even have a clue where it might be. There's just not that many places I would leave a book.

I am just really ready to have a clean home again. Tired of the clutter.

Bits and Pieces

June 20th, 2013 at 09:18 pm

Today is the day of the auto transfer to savings, so the new amount in the Emergency Fund is $4991.62.

I added $2.40 to the coin jar.

I cashed out for yet another $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks. I've hit the daily goal three times this week.

I did a jobs and the economy survey for ACOP.

I haven't had any no spend days this week, but the amounts I have spent have been trivial.

I've been watching a lot of Netflix while I've been cleaning. Finished Heroes, which I've been working on for a year. Started Alias which I have never watched.

I still haven't put together my payday post from last Friday so I'm just going to do a brief run down here. I've rounded because I don't want to open my spread sheets.

$2000.00 went to BoA Visa and vacation is paid off.
$1000.00 went to the EF
__187.00 went to medical
__160.00 went to groceries
___30.00 went to allowances
___69.00 went to prescriptions
------------
$3446.00 Total out

A Joyful Afternoon

June 20th, 2013 at 03:38 am

I'm beat. Who knew raising rabbits was going to be so much work? But it is so worth it. Today that work paid off in spades. We were able to put some of the rabbits out in the new rabbit tractors we built. Every day that the weather permits and we are home, they will get to go out on the grass and play.



They had such a good time today. The kits were racing back and forth, leap frogging over each other and doing binkies, which is the ultimate sign of a happy rabbit. Even Mama Piper was doing binkies. It is quite a sight to see an eleven pound rabbit leap straight up and then change direction in mid-air. She even did some running herself.

It was so much fun to watch them. We watched them off and on for two hours while we cleaned some of the cages. We will clean more of them tomorrow. It is wonderful to see the rabbits so happy. They were thrilled with being on the shed floor to run around, but nowhere near as thrilled as they were to be on fresh grass and clover and with raspberry and lemon balm leaves to eat.

Every day we will move the tractors forward a space and they will eat the lawn (free of pesticides or chemical fertilizers) down. We shouldn't have to mow at all this summer. Not only will this cut their feed bill down, but it will naturally fertilize the grass.

The total cost for the supplies to make the two tractors came in at around $100. Considering that a pen half the size of one of these costs $75, we did good.

We rearranged the rabbit shed yet again and we now have what I think is the most efficient use of space. It was a lot of work, but is now much easier to move around in. DH still needs to build a new hutch frame and I need to buy 3 more cages. We will also need to build some more rabbit tractors, but for now they can take turns. I would like to put Serenity and Sweetie Belle in a tractor with Lola, but I'm not sure they'd get along. Phoebe and Lola did not when we had them on the shed floor at the same time. Does can be very territorial if they are not from the same litter and even sometimes when they are.

I know I still need to do an accounting of last week's bills, but I'm so tired I'm going to put it off for yet another day.