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Archive for April, 2006

End of April/Beginning of May

April 30th, 2006 at 10:10 pm

April follow up:
*finished up redecorating plans
*had the First Communion celebration
*stocked up the freezer
*did a lot of honest soul searching and communication with DH (ongoing)
*made 50/30/20 budget

May goals:
*start walking 3x's a week
*list some things on ebay or half.com
*follow 50/30/20 budget
*no new debt
*look into new employment
*add SOMETHING to my $20 goal!
*work on a garden or at least a couple of tomato plants

A couple things I did different in April were to send in some rebates and do a cash pay survey (nothing received yet).

Will be receiving $500 bonus from one of the agents at work. Have earmarked this for replacing the front posts on the porch, they are rotten! Got two gc of $50 from Home Depot from Mypoints in case we need to pick up some tools or nails or something. See how cheap this ends up being!

Budget!

April 29th, 2006 at 10:15 pm

Too tired to blog much! Girl Scouting took up most of my night last night and today.
Got first paycheck for May, started May 50/30/20 budget. Gave hubby $100 for "his" savings account, $100 monthly misc. and $50 monthly gas. We'll see how he does with it! He did decided he wanted Chinese for dinner and went and bought it with his own money and picked us up a movie "Fun with Dick and Jane", okay. Enjoyed some time just eating and watching (kids were with Papa for a few hours) and NOT arguing about money! :-) Wish me luck!

Shop-a-ranza

April 28th, 2006 at 07:59 am

Did great grocery shopping yesterday! I only spent $50 for $270 worth of groceries! Wow! Beat that one! :-)
I returned a bunch of things that have been unused or not the right size, etc. That came to around $57 cash back in my pocket, then $50 out of pocket, then a rebate of $167 in check form for Costco.
Went to Aldi's first. It is amazing how much cheaper thier items are! But there is a limited selection of items. I have my favorites! $50 there.
Then to Shop n Save for the more named brand stuff, with coupons. They had a $10 off a $50 purchase. I almost could'nt make the $50! I had to throw on some gum and candy! $40 there.
Then I stocked up at Costco on meat and chicken and other goodies for the freezer! $170 there.
So I treated myself to lunch and I still have $3 in my purse!
A little success feels sooooo good!

Sad

April 27th, 2006 at 10:12 pm

I gave hubby our "State of our State" address yesterday and as touched on in my No Refi entry, it did not go well. He really wants me to go to work full time and I am dead set againist it. I want to raise my kids myself! I know I have not been the best steward of our money, but we are not living in a cardboard box! I make our payments on-time and pay more every month. Yes, vet bills were a killer, but should I have just paid $60 to have her put down instead of $500 to keep her alive? No dental insurance last year and $3000 in dental bills, should I have put DD down? I'm not saying its all bills and no "Junk". But everytime we overspent eating out, you can bet his butt was in the chair next to mine eating his fill! I am reflecting on Priceplus and his struggles and wonder if this is how my husband sees me? As a giant spend thrift? He buys for himself when he wants, I buy for 5 people and 3 pets. Why is everything my "fault?" I am trying to bring it around, yes we have had greater CC debt before we have had to pull ourselves out of (all my fault before, I'm sure), but now things are under control. Yes, we have debt, but we are okay! Food on the table. He keeps saying now that I am going to kill him, having to work to keep up with my "extravagant" lifestyle. I do not buy clothes, get my haircut, get manicures, have huge stashes of "stuff" that I bought for no reason. When I do buy clothes, I go to the thrift store, my girls have some new things, but mostly hand me downs and garage sale stuff. Sorry, I just needed to vent! I'm having a pity party!

Calling all online booksellers

April 27th, 2006 at 10:02 pm

What do you all find that sells well on the internet? Is Half.com better than ebay? Do hardback romance books sell, or money books, or cookbooks? What would you all suggest? Thanks!

No Refi

April 26th, 2006 at 08:37 pm

Talked to hubby tonight about the refi. He says no go (after shrieking about how much we still owe). He prefers to hide his head in the sand and when I pull it out every once in a while, he has a moo cow. I know we can raise kids cheaply, but I sure have'nt figured out how to do it for free! Just can't get that through his head! Anyway, I gave him two options, refi or buckle down. He chose buckle down, so we will do this the old fashioned way. I had already made my budget in accordance with the All Your Worth book by Elizabeth Warren, so now it is time to practice it! Hi-ya, time for some of the black belt budget tightening! I still would have loved the instant gratification of a refi! :-( Oh well!

Bad at the $20 challenge

April 26th, 2006 at 01:01 pm

Okay, my poor $20 challenge fund is stuck at $90. Now, I'm glad I got that high, and I have'nt spent any of it, but still I have'nt added to it! I think when my rebates come in, I will put them in there, but help! I am a literal saver, I have to have the actual cash to put in it. Should I start charging my kids when I clean their rooms? Any suggestions?

Don't jump over the limbo stick

April 26th, 2006 at 12:58 pm

So,1 doctor said DD3's arm was not broke, another said it was. Took her to the pediatrician, he said he thought it was, off to the specialist today, yep its broke. All casted up from her fingers to her armpit. No more soccer, no gymnastics recital, no writing all her thank you notes for her First Communion gifts (think she did this on purpose?) and we'll see if she can still play the piano this way. This little adventure cost us about $200. Thank you insurnace. So if your friends ever say "Go over the limbo bar", know that it is a BAD idea!

Meandering......

April 24th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

Lets see.... first, thought DD3 might have broken her arm/elbow. She went to a birthday party and the kids told her to limbo OVER the bar, which of course did'nt work. I told her to tell them to go first next time. Went in for xrays. Sure looked broken to me, but pediatric specialist says no. Will keep it in a splint this week still.
Sent in for 2 rebates! Yeah! I hope I filled out all the paperwork correctly. They can sure be tricky!
Husband came home to tell me his company is being bought and merging with another company. It is kind of frustrating because 1) he has only had the job since October and 2) the company is owned by my brother in law and we had no clue what was going on or in the works. Just goes to show....
I still want to refinance the house for 200,000 at 6.5%. Then we could pay off all credit cards and our HELOC (which I hate and has gone up to 10.5%) Right now we are at 165,000 at 6% for only a few years of payments. I am willing to forgo that. The equity in our house just keeps rising even though the market has gone into snooze mode. We had a subdivision of million dollar homes go in adjacent to us, so that really helped. Easily it could appraise for 240,000 and with the way the market is going, up to 265,000 and we are not moving anytime soon! What do you all think?
A no spend day today and I have been cooking dinner at home for over a week, except for Saturday night that was DH's celebration night. Trying to be really careful!

Partys over

April 22nd, 2006 at 09:31 pm

Yeah! We survived First Communion. Every thing went well, no one goofed and embarassed the family! :-) DD1 carried in a banner, DD2 sang in the choir and DD3 was our guest of honor. All the family was there and many friends too. Even DD3's 2nd grade teacher came, that was sweet of her! The party was nice. My sister left the church early and came to the house to set out the food and she said she thought she had walked into the wrong house because of all the changes I made! Food was plentiful, (leftovers for days!). They had messed up on the cake at the bakery so I ended up getting two cakes for free. Free is nice, but I could have cried. Oh well, I got over it! Very tired now! Tomorrow is church, laundry and REST! Will try to post a pic!

No Root Canal!

April 20th, 2006 at 09:28 pm

Went to the dentist and she was able to fill my tooth without a root canal. Of course she said "We'll see how it goes", but I'll pretend I did'nt hear that!
Almost a no spend day, had to pay a $50 copay at the dentist, but who cares! Better than the 300+ I would have paid before!
Still making dinner at home and following my menus! Looks like tomorrow night is taco night!
Going to go see a musical with some friends tomorrow night. Don't really want to go because of the big day on Saturday, but someone bought me the ticket and I feel obligated to go (although I should'nt!) Called "Meonpause the Musical". Should be interesting!

Updates and the Yada Yada

April 19th, 2006 at 09:45 pm

Well, went to bible study, and out for fellowship, then an hour at 2nd job.
Took DD's to Walgreens to pick up some meds. Spent 20.00 on 1/2 off Easter stuff. Bad job on my part!
Had to run to JCPenney and pick up extra set of curtains to finish the kitchen. DD1 wanted chips. I told her to grab her money and we went to the dollar store after Penneys. Also found another rug for the front hall on sale, will see how it looks. So more decorating money spent.
Got my first free sample today! Degree DO from Walmart. Cool!
Still haven't received the $30 from cashing out from a survey I took.
Burned out on the ebay thing. Every transaction was great - but one. I got a lady who did'nt pay and was an absolute lying nightmare. Will stay on the purchasing end of this for a while! Maybe I'll try some books on Half.com.
Glad to hear everyone has laundry out on the line! Glad our 90's are gone for at least another week.
Have to go back to the dentist tomorrow. Went for check up on Monday. May need a root canal!:-( Will find out tomorrow. So glad we are finally blessed with dental insurance! Had I waited any longer.. who knows!
Gearing up for the big party on Saturday. Trying to make sure everything is clean so I can just concentrate on getting shopping and food done on Friday.
Thats all for now!

Keeping successful

April 18th, 2006 at 07:26 pm

So far so good. I have not gone into credit card shock from cutting mine up. In fact I was inspired from Rays making her menu up for the week I did too and tonights dinner was on the table even though it was a rush night. And I have planned up to next Tuesday!
I got the new curtains hung in the kitchen and I think this and the bathroom are ready for company viewing! :-) I cleaned the carpets (the dog continually pees) and put away all the laundry. I don't want to clean anything else too soon before this weekend (why even try?).
I did treat myself to lunch today and I had to get gas, so not a no spend day. Hopefully tomorrow!

Cut em up!

April 17th, 2006 at 07:48 pm

Yep, we're talking credit cards. I just got done reading All Your Worth by Elizabeth Warren (suggested by someone on this site, thank you whoever!). It made so much sense! I have worked out a great budget using their 30/20/50 plan. I hope this is a great beginning. After I figured up my plan I cut up two cards, a big player and a little fish. How scary it is. What if....., but then what if not? I am going to try more cash only. I will use any money from extra side jobs to pay ahead on the cc bills. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Happy Easter Everyone!

April 16th, 2006 at 04:29 pm

Hope everyone had a blessed Easter and enjoyed a nice day!

Lets talk about Oprah

April 14th, 2006 at 10:18 pm

Okay, obviously even with my sprucing up around here,(by the way, I finished the bathroom today! Everyone but me hates the color, oh well!) I have been watching too much TV. After my HGTV rant, I move onto Oprah.
As my favorite tightwad guru Amy Dacyczyn once said "I wanted to raise my fist and say It's not true, it can be done!" And unlike Contrary1 who felt warm fuzzies from the show, I felt angry. They had the guy that did the "Supersize Me" movie and his girlfriend go live on (or close to) minimum wage for ONE MONTH. They could not use their money or credit cards and even moved to Ohio for their experiment. ONE MONTH. Yes, they were broke, but I think rather whiney and it was only for ONE MONTH, so where do they get off saying "Oh we understand what you are going through", or "Oh it was so hard". Puhleeeze! Shes a chef, he's a filmmaker and they live in New York, cut me a break. Not only this though, they had a husband and wife and their 4 children that live off his $9.00 per hour job. She quit her job when their one child was diagnosed with autism. They barely make it paycheck to paycheck and are always afraid the end is near. Yes this is very scary, but what are they doing about it? THAT is my question! She said their groceries are $250 per week. What are they eating????? Way better than me even though I feed only a family of 5 and not a family of 6. Holy cow, I wish I could spend $250 a week! Why does'nt she take in some day care, or typing or something? Work in the evenings after hubby comes home?
I'm sorry, we raised 3 kids on 30,000 per year (actually under) for quite a few years before my husband got another job. I stayed at home and took care of the kids and worked lots of odd jobs to help out. It can be done!
They did have one woman on who broke her wrist so she could'nt work (don't know what her previous job was) and lost her job, therefore her home and had to live in a shelter. I felt bad for her, she did dig her way back out, but again she is living paycheck to paycheck. Could'nt she get a second job to put into savings or buy a car? Even for a little while for security? Instead she lives everyday terrified something will happen again.
I DO agree Health Insurance is killing many families!!! We have lived through that too! We just started regular insurance through my husbands company in February. For years we had to have individual health insurance and my husband had had a heart attack before. Guess what? Cha-ching!
Yes, they need to raise minimum wage, and find an affordable way for people to have health insurance, but the doom and gloom of Oprah??? Once again, pure sensationalism, not journalism.

I caved

April 13th, 2006 at 10:15 pm

Oh, forgot to confess, temp got up to almost 90 today and I caved in and turned on the AC. I hated to do it and I called DH first to approve. He backed me up. Only did it because it looks like were heading straight into summer. Tomorrow is supposed to be a record hi. Missouri is funny like this. Spring lasted a whole week! Gee!
I've still been working like a busy bee to get the house ready for the First Communion. Got the cutie knick knacks up in the kitchen and bought 6 new chairs (25.00 each at Garden Ridge on sale.) for the old table (I just painted it, I'll paint just about anything!) Just waiting on the curtains. Hoping to paint the bathroom tomorrow. Will definately need the AC for that!

Followed advice

April 13th, 2006 at 10:09 pm

Followed the advice of some of our friends here on the blog and joined the mypoints insiders club. Some of the local dining places look promising. Up to 7500 points, but I like to lo hold them and savor what I could spend them on. Still have a $165 Costco rebate to use too. Hate to use it on consumables, I'd like to get something we would use like a power washer or pneumatic (sp) nail gun. Who knows!

I want that! (NOT!)

April 12th, 2006 at 09:43 pm

Just had to rant a little bit. I have always loved the neat and frugal decorating shows on HGTV, but I am becoming digusted enough to quit watching. The new shows, "I Want That", "I Want That BATHROOMS" AND "I Want That KITCHENS". Get REAL people! Talk about blatant consumerism! Okay, maybe someone might like to watch a show about new gizmos and doo dads, but it does nothing to those trying to save money and live life a little more frugally. The should rename it "Hey, Look What you Can't Afford" or "For the Insanely Spendcrazy Cagillionaire".
Anyway, thank you for letting my get that off my chest!

Stayed strong

April 12th, 2006 at 09:07 pm

Well went to bible study, then $6 for fellowship at the McD place, yuck.
Went to work in my 2nd job for an hour.
Hit Aldis and Shop n Save to pick up a few things DH wanted.
DD2 asked if we could order Papa Johns for dinner as proceeds go to her school, but I stayed strong and served up the chicken casserole! :-)
Almost 90 today, have the attic fan running. Some rooms are better than others.

Flu Too!

April 11th, 2006 at 09:03 pm

I've been knocked out too with a nasty head cold/flu. The great kind where you have to keep the Kleenex stuck in your nose. I think my husband found that very attractive (not). Good thing we've been married a long time!
Despite being sick, I have foraged ahead on getting things done around the house before the big First Communion. The mailbox was done and now I have emptied the kitchen of its old decor and painted it. Ordered the curtains as opposed to making them (of course on sale!)Plus I have been trying to clean little odd stuff here and there. Still have to decorate the kitchen (everything is in the basement in boxes) and paint the bathroom and put in the new decor. Between this and scouts and jobs and etc, I hope I can get it all done.
Today was a no spend day! Hope for many more! The freezer is loaded!

Didn't blow it

April 8th, 2006 at 07:51 pm

Had a few opportunities to spend today, but did'nt. Unfortunatly, celebrated this fact by eating dinner out, but we did have two free kids meals coupons, so they were free. Better than we have been doing. Tiny steps.

Brain Fart

April 7th, 2006 at 08:38 pm

Can you believe?? I am religious bill payer, but the HELOC messed with me. I once made my December payment early, in the end of November, and they charged it to November and refused to count it for December. So I have gone out of my way to pay the stupid thing in the middle of the month, instead of the beginning with the rest of the bills. Weeellllll... this month, because of the funeral and everything, yep I FORGOT to pay a bill! What a brain fart!

Productive morning

April 7th, 2006 at 08:34 am

I have purposefully set aside today to try to catch up (and get ahead)! So far I have straightened, done dishes, a load of laundry and painted the mailbox post, put on stencils and new brass numbers. Just those little things made it look great! (Okay, not sure about the stencils, we'll see what DH says) but what a difference!

Good deals at Joannes!

April 6th, 2006 at 03:24 pm

Our local Joannes fabric store has lost its lease. Boy did I score. I got fabric to make our new kitchen curtains, easter basket goodies, thread, mailbox decoration kit, etc. etc. all at 30-60%! I have been looking for curtains forever, so I am excited to have finally decided on something.
Waiting to hear from ThriftyRay! Hope all went well with her mom!

Working from home

April 5th, 2006 at 09:35 pm

Joined a lovely bible study this morning. We'll see how it goes. Did donate $1, so I can't say its free. Went for "fellowship" afterwards. $3.00. Took DD1 to the doctor. $20 copay and who knows what the xray will cost?? Bought dinner for family $38.00. Easy to spend too much! I have been keeping track of how much I spend in each catagory for the "budget". I put little post its in my checkbook and formed my own "budget map" system. Catagories for groceries, eating out, gas, misc. and etc. Should be an eye opener at the end of the month and makes me think twice about what I am spending! Stay tuned for the results! Worked from home for one of the agents for an hour, so she owes me 2 hours worth (one from the other day). Wee ha! $20 coming my way!

So far, so good

April 4th, 2006 at 09:16 pm

So far, so good for the month of April! Bills are paid and spending under control. Make no mistake, no huge leaps and bounds made, but sometimes its the little steps of nothing that lead to the most satisfaction!
Received a $200 gift card to Home Depot from one of the agents for a referral fee. Going to use this to fix up the house a bit before we have company for DD3's first communion. Going to paint the bathroom and the kitchen. I already have all the knick knacks for both. The ones in the bathroom I got by returning the clothes the kids grandma bought them. Sometimes I wonder..... Anyway, fixing up the house on the least amount of output is my goal for April. Wish me luck!

April Musings

April 1st, 2006 at 08:51 pm

I've been looking at everyones recaps of March. Looks like it has been a hard month for everybody!
I am ready to start my budget for April. (Yep, that B word!) Hopefully we are prepared. I am trying to get all our money into the bank so I have one big lump sum to work with. Took out $100 cash for groceries. Still have $17 left. Not bad, I actually paid attention to what went in the cart and paid cash. This is such a new concept.
The ebaying went okay in March. Still cheat myself when it comes to shipping sometimes. Trying to keep the customers happy. Still, I made more than I would have in a garage sale. Just not a giant profit. Thinking about concentrating on books, like KarenSue. They should be easier to ship. And shipping to Canada! Holy cow! Thats nuts. Won't be doing that again! And expensive!
I think I'm ready for April. The girls dresses are bought, shoes shined and goodies are ready to go into the Easter baskets. The only wildcard is DD3's First Communion. I tend to go a little nuts for company!
Will keep you posted on the "B" word situation!
I have $90 in my $20 challenge fund, and I had even had to borrow from it, but paid it back! Yeah!

We won the lottery!!!!

April 1st, 2006 at 08:41 pm

Okay, I guess with springing ahead an hour, it's almost too late for April Fools. I guess it is true, we have our health, our home and our family! Thats a win in my book!
(Hope Jeff and Nate sold for millions!! Tee hee!)