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Archive for January, 2007

Kitty's big adventure

January 31st, 2007 at 08:39 pm

Miss PJ (otherwise known as Kitty Meow Meow) got to go to the vet today. Since we never let her out of the house (lost 3 cats this way) she is used to being warm and cozy! Oops, picked a 9 degree day to go to the vet. Hope she won't get sick, she was sure shivering. (Probably nervous too!)
I DID save money at the vet by getting her the 3 year rabies shot, instead of the one year! Total was only $79.00.

The grocery store is getting smart..

January 31st, 2007 at 04:44 am

Darnit!! Instead of printing a $10 off coupon for (some) Thursdays, the grocery store that has an "automatic" $10 off for $50 or more spent. This is a bummer because I used to get 2 coupons and use one at the discount, bag your own, place and then the other at the competing hoity toity store that has better meat. Without a coupon, they won't offer the extra $10 off too. Doggone it!!

Making Money

January 30th, 2007 at 01:58 am

I have'nt been posting much, because I have'nt really been saving money. I HAVE been making money by working A LOT to cover for someone on vacation. But because we have NO MONEY, it has been easy not to spend too much. I tried different grocery techniques. One was shopping every Thursday for the $10 off coupon, the other was just running by and picking things up every few days. I can't say scientifically either one was better than the other, I can only say being in a store more often was more of a chance to spend on something I might not need.

Planning for the anniversary

January 27th, 2007 at 06:15 am

I decided to be prepared for our anniversary this year. I wanted to impress DH. He is the one that likes to firmly place our money difficulties on me (and probably 85% is!)So I bought a card (.99) and some Sour Skittles (.69) for his gift! :-) Then I cashed in some Mypoints for two $10 gift cards to Red Lobster and I have a $4 off coupon on two entrees (oh, how romantic) that will NOT expire till 2/22. (I have a habit of keeping coupons well past expiration, then being bummed when I go to use them, so I checked in ADVANCE!)If I can keep alcoholic beverages from entering the bill, I can sneak a little more from the grocery budget to cover it.
I would also like to be extravagant and treat him to a movie (I know, I'm a show off), but I only have $7.25 left on my gift card. Not sure if I can squeek more out of the grocery budget, but we'll see!
Our anniversary is next Friday the 2nd (Groundhog Day!) Will let you know how my "surprise" goes!

Thinking of the $20 challenge

January 24th, 2007 at 05:27 am

I have made a few attempts at the $20 challenges, but have kept my eye on the bigger picture, which does'nt seem to work anyway. Seeing the rousing success of some of blogging buddies, I will have to rethink this. Taking $20 and making something more of it? I can do that and in fact I can think of circumstances when I HAVE done that. Will spend more time pondering this one!

Getting jobs

January 23rd, 2007 at 04:41 am

I have noticed recently, that including myself, many on the blogs have been talking about going full time, getting part time and in some cases getting a second job. I have learned so much on these blogs and have seen some great things happen (Price), but what the heck is up? Is the economy that bad or is everyone so impatient to get rid of debt, that they are accelerating it? I know in our case, a loss of income is the key, but also the price of gas and food just keep rising. Even the prices at ALDI keeps going up! What is going on????

Updated numbers

January 22nd, 2007 at 02:48 am

I updated my financial "stuff" numbers over to the right. As you can see, it is down for some and up for others. The car repairs will do it. So basically, I am spinning my wheels. The savings is dangerously low, but the bills are paid. My goal will be to get gas tomorrow, then go for as many no spend days as I can! We do have the planned spending of the car fees and a copay, so I will not count those, just unplanned spending.

Making money from wood

January 21st, 2007 at 01:53 am

If you are the type to use wood for heat or have a chain saw and can cut up some wood for sale.... these neighborhoods are goldmines! All the cities hit by these ice storms are hauling their wood to the curb for the city to come and get. It could be someones for free! (Too bad DH is not a chainsaw kind of guy!)Cha-ching!

It almost feels like stealing!

January 19th, 2007 at 05:26 am

I scored so big at the grocery store today!
1) Bought 2 $50 gift cards at $5 off = $90.00 spent/$10 saved
2) Split my $100 of groceries into two piles and cashier rang it up in two sections with a $10 off coupon on EACH total/ $20 saved
3) Used two coupons at $1 each/ $2 saved
Total saved = $32!!!! Yeah!

Was told by a friend that the library was interviewing only 5 people out of the 40. Am disappointed I could'nt make their time frame. I guess if they don't like any of those 5, then they will call me to set up another day. Will keep you posted.

DH finally got the car paid straightened out. One more inspection to go then we are clear for another 2 years! :-)

Costly Car

January 18th, 2007 at 06:03 am

We've been trying to get the old Toyota to pass inspection, even going as far as taking it in to have it preinspected to see if it would cost us too much, so we could decide whether to sell it or fix it. We were told new tires and all looked good (except for the muffler we already new had to be replaced.) So we did the tires and the muffler and when I took it in to get inspected, IT FAILED!! Now they want another $200 for brakes. They also said windshield wipers (they wanted 11.99 for one, we did both for $5 at Walmart), and they said the muffler was not done correctly up to code. So DH will take it back to the muffler place to be redone and see if they will do a passing inspection on it. Cross your fingers!

Only grocery shopping planned tomorrow.

Also, tomorrow DH's company is having a big meeting about how they did in 2006 and since DH was the top producer they are supposed to give him kudos. Hopefully they will give him something else too (money, trip, watch???) We'll see, he is making THEM lots of money!

Living with Ed

January 16th, 2007 at 07:54 pm

Has anyone watched this new HGTV show on Sunday evenings? Actor Ed Begley and his wife live in California in a totally GREEN (enviromentally friendly) home. He uses solar panels, solar ovens, and electric cars! He is a vegan too! Now, I admit, I am not a half-way type of green person, but he is fun to watch and many of his ideas are very cost effective as well!

Scored last night at the grocery store! I saved $13 in coupons!! I spent $22 and paid $9! Dog food, coffee, air freshner starter kits (2 for FREE!), milk and biscuits! :-) Happy!

Working and general stuff

January 15th, 2007 at 07:26 pm

Working three days this week instead of one. It will help keep us above water since the big $3170 pay cut.
So far, so okay. All bills were paid for January and we are already into paying February bills.
We will be adding debt as we need more work than we thought to keep the old '89 Toyota going for DH, but it will keep it going till it needs to be inspected again in another 2 years. So far $250.00, then we will need a new muffler, plus fees and inspections, well....
I see some things will need to go on the CC to keep us afloat too. I am trying to keep it to the bare minimum. Cross your fingers!
No word on if they will open up a new day for the library interviews!

Good news on the tax front

January 14th, 2007 at 08:46 pm

Gee, I can't wait to do my taxes! :-) What? Am I weird. I know we are not supposed to get back money every year, as the government should'nt be controlling that money, WE should. However, with the two jobs that I was working not taking out taxes when I was paid, we thought it best to cut our claiming allowances on DH's checks to cover what we might have to pay from the two jobs. Well the good news is, at the one job I did not even make enough to have to claim it!!! Yeah! And the other job is not going to be that hefty either, so I told DH to go ahead and raise our exemptions to 3 from 1 and hopefully we will see it on this coming check! Yeah! We won't take that big of a hit! As I always say..... it's the little things!

Here is an interesting link to an inspiring article I read.

Library job update

January 14th, 2007 at 03:06 am

I got a call from the lady who is doing the interviewing for the library position I applied for. She said they had a limited time to hire someone could I come in on Friday. I told her I had to work Friday 9-4. She told me they had 40 (!!!!) applicants for the job and just no time for interviews and before I could ask any questions she just told me if they came up with another day for the interviews she would call me. The end. That was that. I guess I am a disposable applicant. If I can't make their time and place I am out of luck. Thing is, my old employer knows I am applying for this position and I'm sure she would have let me have some time off to go in for this interview, but this lady hung up before I could even sputter something out! Will keep ya posted.

Missouri is a happy state!! :-)

January 13th, 2007 at 04:47 am

Recently two abducted boys were found alive. One, Ben, had been missing since last Monday. Your heart just aches as a parent. The absolute MIRACLE of it all is that with him was found Shawn Hornbeck who had been missing for almost FIVE years! It is sooo exciting, everyone is just giddy!!! :-)

Love the Survey sites!

January 12th, 2007 at 08:06 pm

I kinda scored today from the survey sites! I got a free box of 6 granola bars to try and report back on. (And they are yummy!)
Received a $5 check for some survey I did. Don't remember what for, but they just send me $5 as a thank you - I'll take it!
And I am still building up my Mypoints account. I am torn between a Home Depot GC or maybe a Red Lobster one, our anniversary is next month and I have a coupon! :-)
DID end up spending yestereday. DD1 needed some "necessities" so I spent $17 at Walgreens on that and some stock up items (and a little junk!)
DH spent $20 on a "team building" bowling trip he had to go on for work. Team building, whatever, and this was a mandatory after work thing. They only bought them chicken strips and some light stuff. Oh well, he bowled well!
Todays spending is in check. Spent $2.10 to eat lunch at DD3's school with her. Bunko tonight, but friend owes me money so she is paying for my bunko for the next two months! Dinner will be at home!

Lovely Lettuce

January 11th, 2007 at 11:43 pm

Okay, I'm on the BA bandwagon!
My lovely lettuce can be used in such a variety of tummy filling ways, it boggles my mind!
You have to remember, I just went and had surgery so I could eat lettuce again! That is loyalty to my lettuce.
Nothing gets me like a big vegetable salad (lett., broc, caul, carrots, tomatoes, etc.) or a chefs salad!
The first salad I ate after the surgery was a yummy all hail tooooo.... Caesar! Yummmmmmmmm!

Oh, and another no spend day for me! :-)

When I go quiet - I must be shopping

January 11th, 2007 at 02:53 am

I have noticed that I tend to avoid blogging on days when I spend money I should'nt. :-) Yesterday, I splurged on McDonalds for me and the girls (and one of their friends). I had spent the day cleaning and was having Scouts and DH was working late and DD3 had to be picked up anyway..... (good excuses, eh?) I had also overbudgeted slightly for music lessons, so this came from the surplus.

Other stuff I've done (good):
*applied for the library job
*cooked dinner at home tonight
*worked at the 2nd job
*went to Walmart, ALDI and Shop n Save to stretch the grocery dollars
*Put items back to not go over my $50 budget at SnS.
*Put in only a budgeted $10 in gas and paid in cash

Tomorrow should be another no spend day! I have had quite a few of these for the new year so far!! Yeah!

I'm thinking about doing it

January 9th, 2007 at 04:22 pm

I'm not sure what to do. My goal for myself at this point in my life is to be a stay at home mom and raise my children. End of story. Then I took on a part time job and we moved to a larger house (not huge or fancy, just a little more room to breath!). I have not been a good money manager, just an okay money manager.
Anyway, I have an opportunity to get a new job. Okay hours, okay pay, and I have friends who work there too (its at the library), so chances are I have an "in" and could have the job. With the hours offered, I could also work at my other job I have had for the last almost 4 years, which has been shaky but holding. So basically, I would be working full time. Yuk.
My thing is the stay at home mom job has a severe time limit to it. I can't go back and take this mom job in 10 years, the kids will be gone. But it would make my husband happy and we could get out of debt and I could drop either/or job at any time if needed.
So what is the verdict from the blogs???

The Victorian Virgin

January 9th, 2007 at 04:39 am

I had to laugh. I figured DH might want to know what is up with our finances, as I post them at home and here. So I discussed with him the amount we still owe in CC debt. I kid you not, the look on his face is like a Victorian Virgin getting hit on. The shock, the horror. Then he sputters and then blows up. It is of course, yep, "MY FAULT". We have debt, we don't go out enough. Yikes! At least the look on his face gave me a laugh. Now for a few days of tension and silence. Ugh.

Are the lessons worth it?

January 8th, 2007 at 07:43 pm

For the last year my youngest has been taking piano and my middle taking voice lessons. We are actually picking up a new piano teacher, (not cheaper, but not more expensive and she will come to the house)and DD3 will take from both teachers for a couple of weeks until she decides which one works best for her. But since finances are so tight,I have to consider letting this go. DD2 is only taking for pleasure and not for advancement or career. DD3 is very talented and I think it could be really useful to her later to persue this, but how do you pick one over the other?
For now, I will suck it up and pay for DOUBLE lessons, because it is already budgeted, but it sure would make a NICE bag of groceries!!

Accomplished another no spender!

January 8th, 2007 at 04:42 am

To make up for my transgressions of Saturday, Sunday was a lovely no spend day. Besides the roast in the crock pot for dinner (which was deee lisshhh us!) I made cookies for the girls school lunches this week and even added in some flax seed to them! (Tee hee, don't tell them its healthy!) Then I made up the girls lunch bags for the rest of the week with a bag, drinks, chips, napkins a fruit snack and all I have to do is add sandwiches or crackers! What a time saver!

Sunday "stuff"

January 7th, 2007 at 08:49 pm

I did'nt end up blogging yesterday. One reason was I could'nt get to the computer! Kids and DH hogging it. Another reason was, I spent money. Too much money and money I did'nt have. The girls were invited thru scouts to take a free self defense seminar (it was excellent by the way). Afterwards everyone went for a bite to eat. I had already known this, but we chose a place that had kids eat free. Well unfortunatley, they did'nt have that program anymore, DH came up for lunch too and the restuarant had now been sold and when we got the bill, everything was more expensive than on the menu. Long story long, they added another persons food to our bill (she paid me cash) and I just put the whole thing on my CC. So as you can see a couple of the CC's have gone up (looks like DH has been spending too!) So, I have adjusted the gruesome numbers at the right for all to see.
Today will be a no spend day. Roast is in the crockpot at home for me to serve up when I get home from work!

A "Not too much planned" day

January 5th, 2007 at 05:01 pm

Going to work up at school for DD3. I have to go to the bank to put in the money for dogsitting so I can boost the savings back to $100. I am soooo tempted to treat myself to lunch out. I have eaten my lunch here so that I don't have to pay for it at school when I eat lunch with DD3(I will just munch on some fruit snacks while I chat with her and her friends), but afterwards, after the bank, I would really like to eat fast food! Ahhh! I will resist, I will resist.....

Dinner is planned and ready. Steak tonight - yum!

DH got paid. It was a little more than usual, not sure why until he gets home with the paycheck stub, but don't want to really tell DH, so I can pay some more bills with it!

So far a no spender

January 4th, 2007 at 09:19 pm

I must confess, I did give myself a little nap with the puppies on this rainy morning. That will keep ya out of the stores!
Had pudding for the girls after school snacks and planning spaghetti with meatballs and salad for supper. Early supper as DD3 has lots going on tonight!

*Cut dryer sheets in half.

*Ate leftovers for lunch. DH came home and ate lunch too.

*Will eat dinner at home.

Some excitement as DH is going to get a 3% raise on his commissions. Will see how this year pans out.

Little things

January 4th, 2007 at 05:02 am

*Made the snacks for the kids lunches. Baked brownies, put them in baggies and bye bye Little Debbie.
*Made dinner in the crockpot, served with healthy salads - no eating out!
*Sent out for 3 seprate rebates from Christmas totalling $80. DH and I agreed this will be for groceries when it comes in. Every little bit helps.

Screwed up - ouch

January 4th, 2007 at 12:33 am

Forgot to transfer over a $50 payment I had made, so guess what? I have $50 less than I thought. I spent $69.93 at the grocery store and have over a weeks worth of dinners ready, so that is a plus, but now savings is down to $23.00. :-( (Had to cover my butt!)
On a brighter note, I dog sat for a friend for a week and she gave me $100! So I will be able to replace what I took out of savings! Yeah!

Ah- the quiet

January 3rd, 2007 at 04:41 pm

The DH and the DD's are all safely back to their respective work/school. DD1 and 2 only have a half day. So the dogs and I took a short breath of relief and I cleaned the carpets and took a shower. Got all of Christmas tucked away and all our tax stuff out and ready for the W-2's. Now to run to the grocery store and try not to spend much. Hopefully can get enough to last till next week.

Baring it all

January 3rd, 2007 at 12:37 am

Woo woo. No, I am showing you all my financial "stuff" (or baggage I guess). Off to the right you will see I have finally listed my 'state of our state' for all to view. Some may see it and think, "Holy Cow, and here I thought I was doing bad!" and some may see it and think "Gee, she doesn't owe much". Any way, I would like to dump the baggage, some of which is leftover Christmas garbage (ie, CC4 is JCPenney). Anyway, I will target any extra money (haha, remember the $3170 pay cut??)toward ditching CC4 first and some to the savings account, then work my way up to CC3. You can follow my jolly progress up and down, I am sure, hopefully more down than up! :-)

Cheaper gas

January 2nd, 2007 at 01:28 am

When I drove into the gas station today, I thought I would purchase the cheapest wash (so I could see out of my windows again!)When I put in "purchase wash" it said "Wait while lowering fuel price" and it took .10 cents off the cost per gallon! I was really happy with the savings (I spent $25.00 total for gas and wash). I do wish they would just give us the cheaper gas price anyway though!! :-)


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