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Archive for October, 2013

October EF Goal Met

October 31st, 2013 at 05:39 am

I set a goal for myself for the month of October of getting the Emergency Fund to $7510. Today's weekly auto deposit of $10 from savings put me over that range.

$7508.61 Beginning EF Amount
+__10.00 Amount Added
------------
$7518.61 New EF Amount

My goals for November are twofold. One is to get the EF to $7565.91, which is the one month's expenses milestone, which I am pretty darn close to.

And because I need a higher goal to shoot for during the month of November than $47.30, my primary goal for the month is to get the EF to $7720. That will be a total of $203.39, $140 of which will be provided by the 4 $10 weekly deposits of the month, and my usual $100 monthly transfer to the EF, and leaving me to come up with $61.39 from other areas of the budget.

I Think I Have Bronchitis

October 30th, 2013 at 02:26 pm

I have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow to find out if that is what it is. It could just be a sinus infection gone really wrong. Hopefully it has not gone into walking pneumonia.

I wrote a really cranky post this morning, but deleted it. It was mostly about giant ads being obtrusive on websites *cough* SA *cough* lately. And also a top ten reasons why I hate top ten articles or lists in general. Yes, the irony of that is not lost on me.

There is not too much going on in the financial area for me. Spent $53 on prescriptions on Monday and $41 on takeaway.

We are force nursing one of the rabbit kits which takes up a lot of time. Basically you hold the doe rabbit confined and put the kit on her to nurse. He was not thriving and was starving. He is doing better now, but is still half the size of his siblings. I think he will do okay now that he has learned how to nurse.

I think the sucking reflex was not very strong in him, but that has improved. We are doing it twice a day and will likely do so for another week. He is starting to fill out and is gaining strength. He was kind of grey when we found him on day 3 and 1/4 the size of his siblings, but now is a healthy pink and white and his fur has started to get shiny. I've weighed him a couple times to make sure he is gaining. He is. His legs finally started filling out. Now I think he is going to make it.

We tried to bottle feed so we could monitor intake and because Piper really doesn't like being held in place, and he would have none of it, but he is happy to nurse. He's nine days old now and I think the worst of it is behind him. It has still been very stressful for me worrying though and I've had to spend too much time out in the cold, which is making the bronchitis or whatever worse. Not much I can do about that. It takes two people, one to hold Piper and one to hold the kit in place.

Hopefully the doctor will give me some medicine tomorrow that can kick this to the curb. What I really need is cough medicine, hopefully the good stuff with hydrocodone in it, so I won't be up all night coughing my lungs up.

Saturday Stuff

October 27th, 2013 at 12:31 am

We went down to the ranch today to buy our meat for the next six weeks, plus 5 beef chuck roasts and 6 pounds of hamburger extra to can this week. We paid $380. The usual amount for six weeks or so worth of meat is $300. We took $400 down to allow for the extra. $400 is half our grocery budget for the month. I will use the leftover $20 to buy some chicken legs from Trader Joe's.

We also spent $35 on Arby's because we had some coupons and we were pooped after cleaning out the rabbit shed and scrubbing cages today. No one wanted to cook. Wow, that is getting up there in price. I remember when a family of four could eat there for $20. It's not been that long ago, either.

Our house had its first showing today. I doubt anything will come of it, but you never know. It would be lovely if it did, but I know how long it can sometimes take for homes to sell and I'm not counting my chickens before they are hatched. I refuse to get my hopes up.

Tomorrow is slaughter day for six of the rabbits. I never look forward to that day, but I do look forward to having another 17 pounds or so of meat in the canning jars or the freezer this week.

Nephew-in-law also dropped off some fish that he caught today. He likes to fish, but doesn't like to eat the fish. That's a win-win situation for this household.

I am still fighting this flu bug. I have more energy than I did, but will be glad when I am all the way back to normal. If I get to be before the next cold hits.

Payday Report

October 25th, 2013 at 07:57 pm

Today is payday. I paid a few bills and set aside some extra money for the farm so we can purchase some extra beef to can this weekend.

Otherwise the way the money went today was:

$1000.00 Loan Payback to Mom
__400.00 Utilities to Mom
___90.00 Physical Therapy
__400.00 Beef Money
__100.00 Cash for Week
___40.00 Allowances
__144.00 Water/Sewer Old House
___53.82 Medical (DD ER Trip)
___82.30 Propane Old House
__424.49 Property Tax Old House
__700.00 Mortgage
__500.00 January Money Fund
------------
$3934.61 Total Money Out

The January Money Fund is now at $1275.25. The budget is running smoothly.

Emergency Fund Update

October 24th, 2013 at 04:07 pm

Today is the weekly auto transfer of $10 to savings. I moved it to the Emergency Fund.

$7498.61 Beginning EF Amount
+__10.00 Amount Added
-----------
$7508.61 Ending EF Amount

I have $1.39 to go to meet my October goal of $7510.

Ugh and a NSD

October 22nd, 2013 at 04:21 pm

After trying to fend off a cold for weeks, I am down. I am just exhausted even after sleeping for 12 hours. Well, there was a break in there to get up and feed the rabbits and let out the chickens and call my daughter in sick to school. But then I went back to sleep. I think it might be the flu. Everything aches, I have a headache, constant post nasal drip, coughing, and bad headache. I was doing okay yesterday, did all that canning and everything, but I feel like a truck ran me over today.

Both kids are sick, too, but they have a stomach virus. One kid is puking and the other kid has the other end of the issue. I do not want either of those things. I had a stomach virus in September and really don't want to go through that again anytime soon. I do have an appetite, though it is small. So far today I have eaten a can of soup. Neither kid is eating much of anything.

Today is a no spend day because of not feeling good enough to go anywhere. I also cleaned out my purse and added $1.76 to the coin jar.

I was able to count kits last night. Sweetie Belle had nine and Piper had seven, 16 altogether. That brings the rabbit population in our rabbitry to 44. The mother's are both doing well with their kits.

So far there are no freezes in the night time forecasts. Hopefully it will stay that way for a while. I am worried about water bottles freezing over night. I may end up putting a small heater out there at night to keep that from happening. Or possibly I can insulate the water bottles. They have that thick foam that goes over pipes. I wonder if they have some big enough to go around a 3 inch diameter water bottle? Hmm...I'll have to investigate that.

Canning and Kindling

October 21st, 2013 at 02:10 pm

So last night I bought a whole salmon, 5 1/2 pounds, and today I cut it up and canned it. Surprisingly it only makes 6 pints of canned fish. I will know for next time to buy twice as much fish so I can do a full canner load. The salmon was wild caught coho on sale for $6.99 a pound, so it came out to $38 and some odd cents. It will definitely be cheaper for us to catch our own fish in the future, but for now we'll have some easy to eat salmon for one of those days I do not want to cook.

I also bought a 25 pound bag of organic carrots for $22 at the food co-op. It made 19 quart jars and there was enough peels and tips and ends cut off to feed to the rabbits for about 3 days. Of course I can't feed them carrots every day because of high sugar content, but I can give them some every other day. I am keeping the scraps in water to prevent them drying out.

My back and shoulders are killing me, though. It takes a lot of work to peel and cut up 25 pounds of carrots. It'll be worth it though when we have the makings for quick crockpot stew this winter.

Sweetie Belle had her first litter of kits yesterday late afternoon. I don't know how many yet as she was adamant about me not going into her cage even when I bribed her with a piece of purple kale. She just snatched the kale and then shoved the door shut with her nose. I will do it this afternoon and make sure they are all healthy. She actually gave birth in the nesting box which is a rarity for first time mothers, but I guess she thought it was the best place.

Piper gave birth to her fifth litter this morning. Not in the nesting box, surprisingly. I will also count and check on the health of her babies this afternoon. Judging from the size of the pile of fur this is not a small litter of six kits. Maybe she felt the nesting box was not large enough.

So we've gone from a rabbit population of 28 to who knows how many. Could be over 40. Six are due for slaughter soon, but not for another week at least. And we'll start weaning Lola's litter on Thursday and move them to the one empty grow out cage. By the time they are ready to be split up the other six will have gone to freezer camp. Or pressure canner camp. Either way we'll have a whole lot more meat put up for the winter.

Payday Report

October 18th, 2013 at 05:57 pm

Today is payday and here is an accounting of what was paid or put into savings.

$1500.00 Bank of America VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 HoA Dues (Old House)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
___40.00 Allowances
__100.00 Canning Jars* and Rabbit Supplies**
__100.00 Cash for the Week
___25.00 Garbage
-----------
$2284.00 Total Money Out

*2 cases of quart jars and 1 case of pint jars
**Water bottles, a hay tunnel, and a bottle of Vetrimycin eye wash ($27, ouch)

I also spent $50 on gas yesterday. I will be buying a 25 pounds of organic carrots to can and a whole salmon to can.

Left to pay for the month of October is the water/sewer bill, half of which has been set aside already, and the property tax for the half year, all of which has been set aside except $25 and the propane bill, which is $80. Those will be paid next Friday. I will also pay the mortgage then instead of waiting until the first and will also put $500 into the January Money Fund. All the rest of next payday's money is allocated for November bills.

Another Emergency Fund Update and January Money Planning

October 18th, 2013 at 08:33 am

Today is the first payday of the cycle, so I sent $100 to Emergency Fund at C1-360.

$7398.61 Beginning EF Amount
+_100.00 Monthly EF Deposit
----------
$7498.61 New EF Amount

I am $11.39 away from making my October goal of $7510.

I had $5.61 left in cash from the last paycheck. I added it to the coin jar.

I have also made the decision to continue to fund my funds for now instead of diverting them to January money. Instead of making extra large principal payments on the mortgage, I will save $500 of that for January money and then go back to making the extra large payments in February. I will still be making a payment big enough to pay off $500 in principal each month, just not $1000.

And come January I can always dip into other funds if necessary, particularly the vacation fund or the appliance fund. But I don't think it will be necessary, since we are getting more money each month through year's end due to having hit the amount for the year of that one tax they can take out. With this plan, I should be able to put $500 a month into the January Money Fund, which will bring the total there to $2203.25. I should also be able to scrape up another $1300 between now and year's end. That should be plenty to take care of the unpaid time off.

Emergency Fund Update

October 17th, 2013 at 08:01 am

Today is the day of the auto deposit of $10 to savings. I transferred it to the Emergency Fund.

$7388.61 Beginning EF Balance
+__10.00 Amount Added
-----------
$7388.61 Ending EF Balance

$111.39 to go to hit my October goal of $7510. Since there are two more Thursdays this month and I will be making my $100 monthly deposit tomorrow, I don't foresee anything getting in the way of reaching my goal.

Stuff and Other Stuff

October 16th, 2013 at 10:30 am

I haven't written much the past couple of days, because every time I've started a post it has been so whiney and complainy that I thought better of it. I've got a cold which is halfway between exhaustion and misery. If it were complete misery I'd just stay in bed and not do anything other than rabbit care, but it's not. It's just enough to make me grumpy and tired and wish I could breathe better, but not enough to keep me from doing things like laundry or dishes or canning the last of the apples into applesauce.

I am trying to take it somewhat easy, but I do have to breed two pairs of rabbits today. I have two litters due on Monday. If each doe has at least six kits we will have a population of 40 rabbits. Six are due to be processed in about a week and a half, though.

There hasn't been anything to do financially and won't be until payday on Friday. I will then have bills to pay and I need to buy canning jars as well so we can put up the next batch of rabbits and make some more rabbit broth to can as well. It is so good. It tastes way better than chicken soup. I can't even believe how much better.

Paydays will be different now that DH is going up on Tuesdays and coming home on Wednesdays. We'll be moving to a 5 day check, a 7 day check, a 3 day check, and no check cycle, instead of a 6 day, 7 day, 3 day check, and no check cycle. It will still be the same amount of money, just assigned to different weeks. I'll need to adjust my budget accordingly, but the stuff that will be adjusted is all short term savings stuff that can come out of any paycheck and not bills.

DH says he will be bringing home a couple days worth of work. That should at least pay for one of the extra tickets he bought. He bought 3 so he could get the Thanksgiving and Christmas time trips taken care of before they doubled or tripled in price.

DH says there is a possibility of raises next year when the new contract is negotiated. I hope so. Insurance and taxes both went up this year, to the tune of about $800 less in the month than last year. And insurance will likely go up again right before the Affordable Care Act comes into play. We've been managing well, but only because we paid off all that credit card debt. Plane tickets were also about $100 more each month, so that's about $1200 more we weren't spending in 2012, also.

We are still managing to save for both the long-term (Emergency Fund, Hawaii 2018 Fund) and the short-term (Christmas Fund, College Fund, Computer Fund, etc.), but it would be easier if college weren't looming in the fall. The community college is still $7000 a year between tuition and books, and this is with DD living at home. WWU would be $10,000 a year, but I'm not sure she has the GPA to get in there.

Her grades are screwed because of how sick she has been and she had too many absences, so unless she aces the ACT or the SAT it's likely community college for her to get her grades up. She is smart enough to do well, and she is a good test taker. At least in college she won't have classes every day and can have some down time to recover if she gets sick.

Hopefully she can get a job this coming summer. The fast food places and some of the diners are hiring again and DH and I still have an in with the owner of the restaurant we worked at when we were in college, so we can probably pull a few strings if needed. We would have done it last summer, but no one was hiring then and DD was focused on volunteering. She has no work experience at all, so strings will likely need to be pulled.

DH told me he will have four unpaid weeks off at Christmas, so I really need to start shoveling money over to the January Fund. Which means most of the short-term savings will stop for now, except the property tax fund, the moving fund, and the dues fund. Those must go on. But I can put a hold on the computer fund, the Christmas fund, the appliance fund, and the college fund for Oct/Nov/Dec, which will be $1500 to add to the January Fund. Plus the $100 a month I was already saving.

I know that he will get a bonus at Christmas, but I don't know how much it will be. It's never been less than 5% of yearly income, but we want to save that money for college, not use it to live on.

Meal Planning for the Week

October 14th, 2013 at 08:04 am

Monday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Cole slaw
Bananas

Tuesday:
Meatball sandwiches on homemade bread
Cole slaw
Apples

Wednesday:
Chili
Baked potatoes
Green beans
Bananas

Thursday:
Baked potato soup
Toasted ham and cheese sandwiches on homemade bread
Bananas
Green beans

Friday:
Homemade pizza with ham, sausage, onions, and bell pepper strips
Cole slaw
Apples

Saturday:
Roast chicken
Fried Potatoes
Broccoli/cauliflower
Applesauce

Sunday:
Beef chuck pot roast
Green beans
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams
Mashed potatoes and gravy


Emergency Fund Update and Account Housekeeping

October 11th, 2013 at 04:40 pm

I didn't make it to the CU where I keep the safety net portion of my Emergency Fund to deposit money yesterday, but made it today. I also got the statement for the quarter yesterday and earned a whopping 54 cents in that account.

$7335.51 Beginning EF Amount
___52.56 Coin Jar Savings Added
_____.54 Interest Added
-----------
$7388.61 New EF Amount

$121.39 to go to hit my October goal of $7510.

I also finally got that account set up so I can access it online. And I added that account to my online C1-360 account so I can now transfer money from the safety net to the main EF. Since the original plan was to only have $1000 in the safety net account I've got quite a bit I can transfer. They will make test deposits in a couple of business days, which with the holiday Monday likely means on Wednesday.

I can also now wet up this CU account to receive paypal deposits. DH already has our main account hooked up to the allotted number of email accounts. Now I can have my own paypal hooked up to an account. This last month I did the 5 $5 gift cards from Amazon and then the $25 gift card instead of getting a $25 cash check just because I couldn't hook up my email to our main account and I didn't have the routing information on the other bank.

This month after I get the 5 Amazon cards, I will go for the $25 cash. Then I can get it dumped into the CU account and from there grab it from the C1-360 account. It's a few extra steps, but I don't have a checking account with C1-360, just savings, and at least when I first set it up when it was ING, you couldn't paypal to a savings account. Now I just need to go set up the paypal account with my email and then set it up with the safety net CU checking account. As long as I can get the money to where I want it to go eventually, then I'm happy.