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Archive for January, 2008

NS day

January 31st, 2008 at 03:58 pm

I was supposed to go back to the city today, but didn't. Since we have to go to coop tomorrow, and that is almost halfway there, I decided not to, and we can combine trips tomorrow instead.

It has been cold and snowy today. Burr.

I got some more things listed on ebay. I have several items on there now, and 1 watcher, no bidders. It really seems ebay has slowed down a lot.

I went 2 days ago (DH doesn't know) & filled out applications for just about everything close to us (which means about 6 places). They just are not hiring, a couple that were hiring before are now cutting back . Plus, I can only work PT with the homeschooling, and not at all on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays, so that kind of zilches (is that a real word?) things also. I still wish I could find something to do from home, but when you are 8 miles from an itsy town, and 17 from a little town, and 22 from a town with any real size to it, work at home is very limited. Its too far for people to want to drive for childcare or tutoring, and the county zoning & health dept rule out anything involving cooking, baking or food....

Amost a no spend day

January 30th, 2008 at 08:27 pm

I filled up with gas, after my appt at the hospital. That visit should cost me nothing, as our insurance pays 100% for mammograms.

One of the ink cartridges I had refilled at walgreens already quit, so I took it back in. They are going to refill it at no charge. I think I printed 5 pages before it quit.

Tomorrow I will have to go back (22 miles one way) pick up the ink cartridge and get the zipper that I was supposed to get today and forgot.... Also plan to go to the thrift store and see if they have any jeans to fit dd3, as she is in another growing spirt. So, yet tonight I will go thru the coupons and see what I can do at walgreens with them tomorrow.

I did just discover, that in some states, you can now do your walgreens rebates on line. But, my state is not one of them.

No spend day

January 29th, 2008 at 07:19 pm

Did get some books in the mail today for schooling. Some were free ones, and one I bought on ebay for 99 cents. Some days I think the mail lady must hate us...today would have been one of those days. Normally she brings packages to the door, but today she just stuffed them all in the mailbox. Good thing we have a large box.

Snowed all day today, did get out to take the kids to 4H, but spent no money--straight there and straight back. Tomorrow will be a spend day, but not too much and it is money I will get back. DH got me some mending jobs replacing zippers on coats for a buddy, so when I go to town for a dr appt I will get some new zippers, but I will be getting paid back for that.

auctions & freecycle

January 28th, 2008 at 04:47 pm

I listed several items for free on freecycle today. So far no interest. They are larger items that would probably sell at a garage sale, but are too big to sell or ship thru ebay. Mainly an older working console TV and some furniture. We are just wanting to get it out of the house.

I have 3 autions I just started on ebay. Hopefully they will go. Lately my ebay auctions haven't moved at all. I listed some school uniforms and an ADSL modem, which I had no idea how to price.

Part of my new year res. was to do some decluttering, so thats what I'm trying to do. Wish me luck.

Check from sears

January 25th, 2008 at 03:30 pm

Well, sears was supposed to issue me a CREDIT on my CREDIT CARD for when they overcharged me on a repair visit. They even went as far as to tell me to subtract the amount off my next payment, (which I did not do).

I never got the credit.

But, in todays mail I got a check for $26.06. They actually owed me $29.60.

But, at least I got something (5 phone calls and 3 letters and an email later).

I will put it in my challange money, so $245.15 + 26.06. Also saved 6.25 in coupons (which I am counting, because I used part of the $20 to start with to buy the paper to get the coupons...) I gave them the coupons last, after I paid, so I got the cash back. I will deposit it with my check from Sears.

$277.46 new challange total.

NS Day

January 25th, 2008 at 11:53 am

Today is a ns day.
Wasn't going to spend anyway, but now I can't leave because I have the propane man coming to check a possible here one day, gone the next leak. While he is here, he will top off the tank. (They bill us for it at the end of the month).

I also have someone coming later to look at my vehicle for sale.

I called the pharmacy for DD4 prescription. First they didn't want to refill it, because it is now OTC. I had to point out to them the insurance still pays for it due to the volume of it that she has to take daily and the fact it is a life long problem. The tech argued with me about it till I asked to speak to the owner. She had me on hold for about 5 minutes then came back and said they were out, it was just ordered and will be ready for pickup on Monday. She also verified that Yes, the insurance would cover it. $280 a bottle for the generic at 1 bottle a week. We get 5 bottles at a time. But, it all comes down to one $15 copay.

It is cold and snowing out. Hard to believe it is supposed to be in the 50's early next week. I am ready!!

I ran out of foil today

January 24th, 2008 at 08:53 pm

and saran wrap.

Whats that got to do with anything you ask?

I last bought it in 1997 when the Price Chopper near me closed. It was on their last day they were open that I bought all they had. For a nickle each.

Took me 10 years to use it all up, but, hey, how often can you buy Reynolds Foil or saran wrap for a nickel?

I bought a case and a half of each.

I'm not so mean after all...

January 24th, 2008 at 03:27 pm

That is what I was just told.

3 years ago, I went thru bills and finances with a spendaholic co-worker of mine. She had gotten herself into about $60,000 debt. We stayed up many a night reviewing her receipts, learning how to shop and cook, and going over ways to save money. She thought the terms I set up for her were too hard core, and I was being mean. (I cut up over 40 credit cards and "made" her call and cancel them all)

At the time, she was loosing her home. Her loan was at the local bank so we went in. They reworked (basically a refi) the terms of her loan back to 30 years so she could get a lower payment. We had the payment come directly out of her paycheck (saving $89 late fee each month) and put her house for sale by owner. Her house sold and she rented a $300 a month cheap cheap apartment. She was allowed $50 a pay period for fuel, and $50 a week for food. Her electric & water came autoatically out of her bank, as did all her credit cards. Anything above what she would need went into her 401K or credit union savings. I had her use cash only, and for awhile I had her checkbook, then when I moved I gave it to her mom.

She agreed to it, basically because she was desperate, and her family had all turned her away, as they had been burned by her many times.

Well, today she called and told me she had been laid off. She also told me, all her credit cards & debt have been paid off. She sold her car for what she owed on it, and bought a $3000 car intead and has already made the last payment on it.

She is still in the $300 a month apartment. She has no cable or dish, only a cell phone, no internet..... Only her rent, electric, water and food & fuel. Her auto insurance comes out of her bank account also.

Her 1 and only credit card is paid in full and at her moms house hidden where only her mom can get to it.

She walks to work (and has lost a lot of weight as a result).

She now has a college girl living with her who pays $300 a month rent!! (so she covers all the rent!!).

She paid off all that debt and has her 401K built back up, and around $20,000 in savings.

She had been earning $62,000 a year and had not been able to pay her bills with it, until she took the plunge.

Said she is looking for another good job, but meanwhile can live off her EF for over a year if need be. She did take a job this morning at McDonalds, and that will cover her basic monthly bills till she gets a "real" job again.

She takes a night class at the university, so that will allow her to get a basic medical insurance package for the semester. She is thinking of applying at the college for a job to get 50% off tution and better insurance that has vision and dental also.

She just made my day. She was one of the ones I was worrying about with the layoff. But she turned it around.

Been getting news all day long

January 24th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Parents really need to teach their children about finances. I knew a 19 year old boy in town and passed away. I assumed it was from an illness as I had not heard anything about an accident. It seems though, that he committed suicide. Why?? Because he lost his job and had $5000 yet to pay on his truck. Now $5000 is nothing compared to a life, but to him that amount was more than he could face. Evidently he didn't think of giving the truck back to the bank or really look at the situation the way most adults were. He had only lost his job a few hours before, so really had not had time to even look for another. But, in his note he said he could not face the debt of the truck.......So young, such a waste.

On another point, I knew that people at my old job were offered a "buy out" last fall to leave their job. The "buy out" amounted to a formula based on their years of service and age. (For me, it would have been $120,000) Several took it. (Had I been there another year this would have been me). Those who didn't were told yesterday that it was their final day. And, they get nothing. Basically they cut the office size down to about 1/2 of what it had been, so they will now be doing double the work they had bee.

Then I also found out that our neighbors have sold their home and are moving to the city. They are having an auction on Sunday. They were nice people, I will miss them. He was retired, and she sold real estate. I know she had been having trouble lately because the market here is DEAD. So, she has decided to retire also. They are moving to be closer to the grandkids.

$54 spent due to more snow

January 23rd, 2008 at 05:14 pm

Today and tomorrow were supposed to be NS days. But, they are calling for more snow, and then it started snowing 4 hours before they said it would. So, the feed I was going to get on Friday or Saturday, I went and got today, just incase we were to get snowed in. So, I guess Thurs and Fri will be my no spend days instead of Wed and Thurs.

I normally would spend around $40 to $50 this time of year to put flowers on my twin babies grave back in Indiana. They had been cremated, and when my Grandma died shortly after, I put their container in with her. I figured their great grandma could help look after them. However, I decided this year I was going to take that money and do something special with my living daughters instead. So, we will probably do something on Saturday. We will have an all girls day. There is a $2 movie theatre about 35 minutes from here, so maybe we will go there and then eat out. That will be a treat for them as we rarely eat out.

The best way to avoid the flu and common cold

January 23rd, 2008 at 01:26 pm

Thus, saving money on medications, Dr visits and not missing work.

We have all heard the basic common sense ways to avoid a cold, "wash your hands", "cover your mouth when you sneeze", and if your mom was like my mom, "don't go outside with wet hair" (although some medical experts argue against that one).

However, there are steps we can take to avoid getting the common cold and flu.

1. Wash your hands. (Mom was right). Wash before you eat, after the restroom, after you enter "hot spots" such as hospitals, daycare centers, doctor offices, pharmacies, using a public phone, public bathroom, touching money, using a grocery cart...I am sure you can think of several more that you come into contact with.

If you can't wash your hands, carry a small bottle of sanitizer with you to rub on your hands.

2. Wipe down common use contact areas such as door knobs, telephone receivers, faucets, shared keyboards, remote controls, steering wheels (if you have a co-driver), mailbox handle.... You don't need to carry around a bucket of bleach water, you can simply use a sanitizing wipe.

3. Get plenty of sleep. Your body requires proper rest for all your systems to operate at their best,

4. Eat well. What you eat is fuel for your body. Failure to eat properly will cause your immune system to suffer, You need a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, protein (meats), grains... Notice this diet does not include chips, soda, or other junk foods. Feed your body junk food, and it will start to act like junk. Some studies indicate vitament C supplements may also help,

5. Avoid stress when you can. Stress can upset the balance of ones body. This in turn can cause foods to not digest properly and for the sleep cycle to be interupted.

6. Get exercise. I am not talking about the total body makeover. I am talking about walking to the mailbox or around the block. If you are new to exercise, see your physician before starting if it is going to consist of much more than walking.

7. Get plenty of fresh air. Go outside several times a day. Walk on your breaks from work, go out to get the mail or to just stand on the porch for a few minutes several times a day. During the winter if you can not get out, open a window for a few minutes and let the air circulate.

8. Change and clean areas where germs collect.

One of the dirtiest places for germs to collect and breed is in your kitchen (you thought I was going to say bathroom didnt you?). Wash your dishrags and sponges daily. Regular laundry detergent does not kill cold germs. The best way to clean your kitchen sponges is to zap them in the microwave for a minute after laundering. The heat will kill the germs.

Change your toothbrush often, and after using pour a small amount of mouthwash or vinegar over it to kill germs.

Baby toys may need be be wiped down, as well as the teething bar on their crib.

While washing your dishes, add a small amount of bleach or vinegar to the water to disinfect.

Change your furnace filters. Germs like to collect in them also.

Many sources and TV ads tell you to use antibacterial soaps. However, I have heard several studies on TV and radio that are now saying some germs are becoming resistant to such soaps.

9. Avoid your exposure to others when you are sick. Not only for the sake of others, but for yourself. Your immune system is already weak, so you are at an increase to pick up something else.

10. Avoid being around those persons you know are sick if at all possible. If you must be around them, use good handwashing and keep your contact to the bare minimum that you can.

$25 more to challange from writing contest win

January 23rd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

I won $25 in a writing contest and that gives me $25 more to put into the $20 challange. Thus my total to date for the new year is $245.15. I have this money actually sitting in a savings account. It is not earning much interest, but once it gets up there a little more, I will transfer all but $200 of it to my money market that is earning 5.7%.

I want to leave a $200 balance in this savings so that the account will have no fees (saving $1 a month if under $200). I could put it all into my money market, but this little savings account does 2 things for me.

#1, it acts as an overdraft for my checking account. I have it set up so that if it is used for overdraft, the money is put back into the savings at the next deposit. This is free my my type of account, and I would rather have this set up than bounced check fees. Last I remember reading the bank was charging $30 per bounce check, in addition to a $27 fee for each day your checking account is in the negative. I don't write big checks (those come from DH account) so $200 if more than enough.

#2. This account I can access by my ATM card, or at the bank which is just down the road 8 miles. It is easy access should we have an emerg or need to leave town when the banks are closed. My money market account is more complicated to get money from. I can write a check from it, but checks can only be drawn on that account if they are written over $250.

So, bottom line, I have easy access to a small amount of money, but have to think twice before getting to the larger amount that earns more interest. DH uses his credit union which is actually located at his worksite, and only open 9-4 M-F. So, this system works well for us.

I do wish I could find more places online to submit writing for pay to. Any good ones that you all want to share??

2008 Challange money total 245.15

NS day

January 22nd, 2008 at 02:36 pm

Today is my first NS day this week. Actually the rest of the week probably will be, unless I get gas one day. I know I have to go out later this evening for 4H, but I can't remember how my gas tank is looking on my car....

I did win a book yesterday on ebay. 99 cents and free shipping. It is an American History book. I couldn't pass that one up.

We had company last night, and everyone made their own pizza for supper. I think the company was amazed that we made our own pizza crust. She was also amazed that we used the cheaper speg. sauce instead of pizza sauce on it (it is basically the same thing for less than half the price), and even more amazed that we saved the juice from a fruit salad I made and added it in with the koolaid mix I made for the children, and that we used cloth napkins when it wasn't a holiday. She called me the thrifty little Martha Stewart woman. She normally eats all her meals at bars or fast food, so she got a little eye opener on how the other half lives.