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Archive for August, 2013

Windfall for the Kids

August 31st, 2013 at 10:39 pm

My husband went out to see his parents last night and he came home with two checks for the kids of $250 each. Apparently they have been spending a ton of money on his sister's kids lately and they wanted to make it even. We have told them before that they do not need to do this as SIL lives below the poverty level and we are doing very well right now. But they want to be fair, so the kids got the money.

I have told each child that they must put $30 each into their savings account. That is 12% of the total. I've also told them that they have to start saving at least 1/4 of their allowances every week. I want them to get into a savings habit.

Goodish News on the Computer Front

August 31st, 2013 at 09:21 am

The big box store guys were able to access both my hard drive and my desktop, so they are copying all of my files off it to a portable hard drive. So by Sunday I should have all of my spreadsheets, photos, music files, and documents back. Then they will shoot it off to Seattle for repairs. If they can fix it in Seattle they will ship it direct to my home. If they can't, then the big box store will give me a voucher to purchase a new one.

I really hope they can fix it. I really like the keyboard and with the amount of writing I do, a keyboard that is easy to type on is one of the most important things I look for in a laptop. Since I didn't bust the screen this time, it should be cheaper to fix it than to replace it. And I want my Windows 7, though I am grudgingly getting used to Windows 8, but I still don't like it.

Lola had her first litter of kits on Thursday, six healthy, strong ones. She is far more protective of them than Phoebe or Piper are of theirs. She takes bribing with a carrot and some subterfuge on our part to get a look at them, but we mostly will just leave her be since she is so protective until they are older. I'm not very hands on until they are ten days to two weeks old anyway, but I do have to check to make sure none have died every so often.

Our current rabbit count is at 33, with 4 litters being raised. We will be sending 5 to freezer camp this weekend and then we'll be down to 28 rabbits and 3 litters (9 weeks old, 4 weeks old, and 2 days old).

We bred Phoebe on Sunday and she will be due on the 26th of September. At the rate we are going we will likely be processing a litter every 4 weeks. I want to get to the point where we have enough in the freezer to eat it once a week and have some leftover to can.

Serenity, Sweetie Belle, and Starbuck will all be old enough to breed on the 19th, so we will breed Piper to Starbuck when she's ready in a little less than 4 weeks. And we will breed Serenity and Sweetie Belle to Leo. Andromeda won't be old enough to breed until December, but I likely won't breed her until February so she has her kits in March when it is not as cold. I really don't want kits being born in January or February as it can be bitter then.

It is nice to see all the work and money I have put into raising these rabbits starting to come to fruition. A couple more litters processed and they will be paying for themselves.

Emergency Fund Update

August 29th, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Today was the $10 auto deposit to the EF.

$6044.92 Old Balance of EF
+__10.00 Amount Added
$6054.92 New Balance of EF

September Goals

August 28th, 2013 at 09:40 pm

I've been thinking about what I want to do for September, since we'll have the extra paycheck.

I've decided to try to get the Emergency Fund to $7300, which would be $1000 from the extra paycheck, $100 for the regular monthly deposit, $40 from the four $10 Thursday deposits, and then scraping up the rest, $115.08, throughout the month. I want to get the January Money Fund to $1500. And I'd like to have at least $500 in the Moving Fund.

The mortgage is at $9965.09, so I'll likely try to get that below $9K as well. I had thought about throwing the whole extra paycheck at the mortgage, but decided I'd rather build up the other funds first. I just feel better with a more substantial EF. Once I get it to $10K I will feel a lot more secure about focusing on other things.

Not 100% sure what we'll do with the OT paycheck at this point, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. It would be nice to save the whole thing in the EF, but I don't think that is practical.

On the laptop front, I have $1800 in the laptop fund. We have actually purchased the laptops for the kids using the 18 months same as cash feature and I will be paying it as it goes along, even though I have the money in the bank. I figure I might as well collect the paltry interest. And I can always pay it off free and clear if the need arises. We won't take the full 18 months to pay it off, though.

DH is continuing to baby along his laptop. If it comes time for him to get a new one, I will pay off the kids' right away.

Payday Round Up, EF Update, Funds Update

August 28th, 2013 at 07:15 am

I've been paying things in dribs and drabs this week, but thought I should do a full accounting.

$700.00 Mortgage
__90.00 Physical Therapy
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Laptop Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_144.00 Water/sewer Old House
__49.91 Propane
__28.52 Medical
_175.00 Medical
_853.09 AMEX
__40.00 Allowances
_200.00 Cash (groceries, OTC meds)
2680.52 Total Out

I added $100 to the Emergency Fund so it is now at $6044.92, so I have met my goal of $6000 in the EF by the end of August.

New Fund Totals:

$565.61 January Money Fund
$505.21 Appliance Fund
1800.00 Laptop Fund
$600.00 College Fund
$500.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
$400.00 Property Tax Fund
$500.00 Christmas Fund
$100.00 Moving Fund
$000.00 Propane Fund

I had the money set aside for half the water/sewer bill and the propane bill, but I paid them directly out of this paycheck. Then I transferred what I had set aside to the January Money Fund. That was $121.91.

And I think that covers it.

Coin Jar Update

August 28th, 2013 at 03:02 am

Tonight I added $10.34 to the coin jar. $9 of that was in ones.

I also went to the grocery store and bought Gatorade, pudding, cold medicine, soup, ice cream and Jello gelatin for my daughter, who has managed to catch a late summer cold that makes her throat violently sore, probably at the slumber party she went to on the weekend. I spent $71.35 on that. Crazy how expensive cold medicine has gotten this year. At least the pudding and Jello were on sale.

Meal Planning for the Week

August 25th, 2013 at 08:40 am

I have spent a lot on produce this weekend. I guess I am feeling nutrient starved or something (could have something to do with all the potato chips I've been eating this month). Or maybe I'm just holding onto that last gasp of summer fruits and veggies. Anyway, I am planning very carefully to not let any of it spoil.

I've been investigating some new recipes as well and will try out two this week.

Chorizo con huevoes
Brown rice
Steamed Zucchini

Baked chicken
Corn on the cob
Steamed yellow summer squash

Pork chops
Fried potatoes
Green beans

Black pepper chicken stir-fry (has lots of fresh veggies)
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams

Fried rabbit
Baked potatoes

Homemade pizza with pepperoni, ham, yellow onions, and bell pepper strips
Cole slaw

Bacon cheeseburgers on homemade buns
Cole slaw

Well, That's Done

August 25th, 2013 at 05:25 am

I managed to recreate my budget spreadsheet and hopefully I've got everything on it. It's a good thing I almost always post everything to this blog or I'd have spent a lot more time on it than I did. I'm still recreating the Holding Tank spreadsheet, but I've got most of it done. I need to find one receipt and then I should have all the information I need.

Tomorrow I will actually pay bills and allocate money to funds. I have created a new fund, called the Moving Fund. We'll have to rent U-hauls when we move so I'd like to start preparing for that well before we need it.

I still don't know when the house will be completely done. It feels like it will never happen. We sprayed the mason bees tonight at dusk when they are supposed to be least active, but if the spray doesn't work we may have to hire an exterminator. Who knows how much that is going to cost? They are only in one small area, but just getting an exterminator to go out there is more expensive than a city call.

I just want to be done with it. It is such a money pit. I want to move on and start the future, but that house is holding us back. And may do so for some time yet. Even when it is done and can be put on the market it still has to sell. And having completely missed the summer season, we'll have it on the market at the worst possible time of year, the rainy and snowy season. Not too many want to house hunt in a foot or two of snow.

I am trying not to be discouraged about it and trying to keep a positive attitude. This month has been a hard one for me to keep a positive attitude in, though. We have accomplished so much this year and last, so why does it feel like we're completely standing still?

Under $10K

August 24th, 2013 at 07:15 am

It is official. After today's payment, the mortgage is now under $10K. Boo yah!

Today was payday, but other than making a mortgage payment and going grocery shopping, I have not done anything about it. This is because I am still procrastinating rebuilding my spreadsheet. Well, I did make some progress. I loaded Office. Now I just need to build the spreadsheet, which I will do tomorrow since I have nothing else on the agenda, except maybe making more pickles.

I made and canned 6 pints of pickles yesterday:

I put my coin jar money into the Emergency Fund today.

$5912.45 Beginning EF Balance
+__32.50 Amount Added
$5944.95 New EF Balance

I went to the food co-op after the credit union because of locations, so the dividend check from the food co-op of $7.43 was not cashed until I'd already deposited the coin jar money. So that $7.43 is now in the coin jar for my next deposit. I also added $4.40 in change and ones to the coin jar left from my purchases today. I did have a bit left in checking so that will be transferred to the EF when I make the monthly $100 deposit as well. I will hit my $6000 goal without problems.

DH will be bringing work home with him next week. He'll have a week's worth of work to do during his two weeks off, so we'll get an extra paycheck (or two halves of one) next month, on top of the extra one we're getting because of the number of Fridays this month. Some of it will go to the January Money Fund, some to the Laptop Fund, and some to the Emergency Fund.

EF Upddate

August 22nd, 2013 at 08:59 pm

The $10 auto deposit went into savings today.

$5902.45 Starting EF Amount
+__10.00 Amount of Deposit
$5912.45 New Amount of EF

I have $87.55 to go to hit my August goal for the EF of $6000.

It turns out what I thought was a check from the food co-op for $7.43 can't be cashed anywhere but at the food co-op, so I haven't redeemed that yet. I don't want to make a special trip and will be shopping there this weekend so that money hasn't gone in yet.

I have been procrastinating like mad on recreating my budget and holding tank spreadsheets. I should be able to do it easily enough between my blog entries and my 2012 spreadsheet and my checking account. I need to do that tonight since it is payday tomorrow.

I need to pop over to the dentist and bring them the check from the insurance company. I've tried a couple of times and they were closed even though it was normal hours. They might have been on vacation. I don't know. I will try again today and if no one is there I will just mail it to them.

Just One of Those Months

August 20th, 2013 at 07:13 am

Do you ever have one of those months that it just feels like things are cosmically aligned to be out to get you? *sighs* August is one of those months for me.

The latest bit of news is that my pharmacy is closing. This is one of the last locally owned places in town, but the entire store and its sister store are going out of business. Mostly, though, I am upset because I am losing my pharmacist, who was awesome and went above and beyond the call of duty on numerous occasions.

Also they transferred all of my medication
information to Walgreens. I don't really think that's legal to do without patient permission because of medical privacy laws. I know doctor's can't release records without the patient signing something, so I can't see why they would do that.

I don't even know if Walgreens will accept my insurance, so now I have to have DH get on that. And have him check out the grocery store near our home, too. If Walgreens will take it I'd have to have them transfer it to the closer one to us, not the closest one to the old pharmacy, which is what they did.

I don't think the generic blood pressure medication is working. I have felt like crap since going off it. Headache with lots of pressure, average reading has been 130/90 and tonight's was one 140/95, and I feel swollen. And I'm getting dizzy the last few days as the readings have trended up. I'll call my doctor tomorrow and see about trying something else or upping the dose. They gave me a 90 day supply (do not know why because I was only supposed to be trying it for a month to see if it worked). Also my hands and feet have been very, very cold today. I'm not sure if that is a sign of hypertension or not, but it's not normal for me.

And to top it all off, Sweetie Belle bit me. We were doing so well with the behavior modification, too. She didn't break the skin, but it did hurt for a few minutes. I gave her a sharp no, because in my surprise I totally forgot I am supposed to let out a high pitched squeal like a rabbit does when it is hurt to let her know she hurt me. Don't know what I am going to do about her. If she continues to bite, she's out the door after she gives me one good litter. Maybe one of her babies will be nice like our bucks and not crazy like their mother.

She's purebred and pedigreed so I should be able to get a reasonable amount for her. I'd like to at least recoup the feed I've put into her. Despite her being insane, I can't see sending her to freezer camp. She has good bloodlines and will breed well and maybe someone with more patience and no kids would be a better owner for her.