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Archive for August, 2010

No Spend Sort of

August 31st, 2010 at 10:52 am

376.54 Remaining Balance
- 1.43
(Difference from Gas & Electric Bill Last Month and this Month)
375.11 Remaining Spending for Aug and Sept

Yesterday I was going to go to the store and buy Jelly and Toothpaste for DS.

Well Plan B. No Jelly, I have Lunch Meat that I purchased for his lunches because I was not planning on sending him with PB&J sandwiches BUT since we are trying to get creative, he will have Ham sandwiches until I use it all up then I will buy a jar of jelly.

I am thinking IF I delay the purchase then maybe I can get some coupons in the time I delay so that It will be even cheaper, I tend to buy my groceries at WM as they are much cheaper than the grocery stores most of the time. But one thing about the WM is I have not seen generic jelly there so a coupon might help.

I found a tube of kids toothpast in a shower kit and so DS is using that until it is gone. There is about 3 fourths of an inch of tube left, that could last a few weeks.

I signed up for a coupon train a few weeks back and it should be a few weeks until it gets to me. I want the P&G coupons. See I think P&G is crest. There is a Spongebob Kids toothpaste in the travel section for 97 cents if I use a 50 cent off coupon that does not say not valid on trial or travel then the little tube is only 47 cent. when you put together like 4 tubes the cost is actually less then those Oral B candy flavored toothpastes plus you get more ounces and I actually think the toothpaste is better. It is tamer than adult Toothpaste (less minty) but not so weak like the kids toothpaste seem to me.

In My october budget I put in a note that I wanted to purchase a school shirt for DS. Well I was thinking they were $20 as it is a fund raiser but they are only $10. The thing is the order has to be in before the 20th of September so it will come out of this months funds not my planned October budget.

I will wait until after the first to write the check for the order, I was going to wait until closer to the 20th but I dont want to get crazy busy and forget. I suppose I should ask DS if he really wants one or if it is me that wants one for him. Last year he asked for one and then over the course of the school year they had different school pride events where the kids wore the school shirt or school colors. I know he had asked about the shirt at least twice but you can only order them at the start of the year.

Yesterday I tried to use my printer, it is acting up again. I cant get anything to print from my laptop and only some stuff will print from the desktop. I have known that once the printer started acting up again I would need to go out and buy a new one.

My current one in 10 plus years old and the drivers are always having to be reloaded and they are a pain since it is such an old machine. The last time I bought ink the ink was $20 LESS than a whole new machine with INK, so soon I might be making the $78 plus tax purchase to buy the printer I have had my eye one for a while. For now I am trying to figure out other options. I did not buy the new machine last time because $20 is $20.

I need to print a photo or two for a school project for DS. I could not get it to print at all no matter which computer I used. I am taking photo paper to work and will print the one photo there (emailed it to myself). I have a photo on my work computer a co-worker took it that I might print for the project also. If that will not work I will try walmart.com for 16 cents a print. That would still be cheaper than a new printer.

I need to check but I was not able to print coupons off my laptop (I dont think the laptop is printing anything). If the desktop will not work for internet printables then I will be no internet printables until i get a new printer.

Finally thinking Positively. And two situations questions for you.

August 30th, 2010 at 02:47 pm

I am finally thinking positively.

I was in a funk, I was stressing out thinking how am I going to get my CC bill paid off and make any progress on savings goals.

I put up my October Budget on my SideBar. I have a little under $600 wiggle room in my Budget each Month IF I make the months prior goals.

By Wiggle Room I mean whatever does not get spent on gas or food is free to apply to goals....So it is up to me to save gas and scout meal deals to stretch that but It is totally doable.

This is better than I thought. I was thinking I was going to NEED to bring in a roommate in order to make progress on my savings goals but truthfully IF I just keep spending down to a minimum I could actually make progress on my savings goals.

I am going to post spending here because then I am holding myself to my purchases and at the end of the month when I post where the saving went I will see the result.

I have a question for you, I currently have a VERY low balance in my Checking acount right before payday this is where I have my Automatic bills come from. I would like to beef up the balance but I do have autodraft so I should be okay. I am currently charging ALL purchases then at the bill due date paying the statement balance. I get credit card rewards for doing this (please note I am doing this because I am BROKE, not because of the rewards).

IF you were me would you:

Option #1: continue to use the CC for purchases such as gas and food and get the rewards paying off the statement balance a week or so prior to it being due and gaining the cash back reward applying the extra money you had each month to the $$ Goals in your sidebar.

Option #2: Take the leftover money at the end of the month for a few months and build up the checking account balance so you were using the checkbook and or debit card to buy the gas and food and not have a credit card bill what so ever and miss out on the CC rewards and delay the $$ Side bar Goals for a few months.

The two options both have postitives
#1 CC rewards and Faster Sidebar Savings
#2 NO CC balance and More of a Checking Cushion

Negitives
#1 CC balance revolving Each month so never really PAID in Full
#2 Missing out on CC rewards 1% on all purchases and 2% on gas; Checking account needs to be balanced instead of just verifying that the charges on the CC are correct and nothing fraudulate are poping up.

My Cash Rewards are $61.99 but the Gas are Separate and do not know the current balance on that.

No Spend days

August 30th, 2010 at 01:25 pm

Well I have not posted in a while. I have not spent any money in a while.

This morning I used almost all the jelly up making DS his sandwich for lunch and for breakfast toast. No School Lunch and no School Breakfast SYTD is now $7.50 saved.

I really like that I am tracking every penny spent. It is amazing how much easier it is to just not spend. I have not been shopping because I know if I spend it then I have to post it. I tried doing the paper tracking menthod and it did not really work for me. I guess this method of figuring out how much after bills I have to spend then a running tally online helps alot. I might continue after the CC is paid off because I would like to use any left over to apply to my savings goals.

There is maybe enough jelly for half a slice of breakfast toast in the jar (going to use every last bit with a rubber scrapper). So that means I have to stop at the store to pick up jelly today.

I am also going to buy DS some childrens tooth paste. I have quite a bit of FREE crest, colgate, whatever brand CVS was giving away free or as a money maker using coupons AGES ago. I dont think I have done any CVS shopping deals during 2010. I have been trying to use up my stash. Back when I was CVSing I separated out the toothpaste into minty, gel, flavorburst and plain PASTE; the plain paste going to my son but he still spends more time rinsing the paste out of his mouth than with the tooth brush in his mouth so I am going to cave and spend the money on kids toothpaste so he will brush longer.

I also want to buy him the childrens Sonic toothbrush, I have a sonic toothbrush and love it and I like that is times the brushing length. But I will wait until After the Credit Card bill is caught up since that is an expensive purchase.

I have desided I am going to skip the box of crackers until later. I will just be extra careful to make sure he has a snack in his bag daily.

It is Monday and I spent no money Yesterday so Grocery non-necessary spending is reset for the week to $5.

I will post my month left to spend balance once I make that jelly purchase and the tooth paste. I do need to update the balance due to a change in the Elec and gas bill truthfully I cant remember what I calculated for planned usage if I went with a higher than normal usage guess so I would not go over or if I went with usage for last month. I will have to write out my Budget when I repeat this for October.

Missing My Grandmas Homemade Jelly

August 27th, 2010 at 01:23 pm

Well this is morning two of toast and jelly for breakfast and day too of PB&J for lunch for the little boy. (By not paying for school breakfast and Lunch I saved $5 this week).

I asked if he wanted PB&J or Ham sandwiches for lunch today and he elected PB&J. Could be that last year I did not pack PB&J at all because there were two extreme peanut allergy children in his class.

I now have two items on my grocery list. A box of chedder crackers (whales from WM) and Jelly. The box of crackers is for his cubby at school incase he forgets his daily baggy of school snacks. OKAY if mommy forgets to double check that it is ready for the morning. If I bought both the crackers and jelly at the same time I might have to not count the crackers against the $5 weekly groceries because I was not planning on reducing my grocery spending by the $9 per quarter snack money (they did not do that this year-yeah). So I might give myself a free pass on the amount of the crackers that goes over my allowance because I did not shell out $9 for snacks at the start of the quarter.

My grandmother makes or I should say used to make the BEST jelly. The main ingrediant was always rubbarb. Strawberry Rubbarb was her staple but she has made all kinds including blueberry and mixed berry with rubbard which is my FAV. But a year or so ago she found out she has this condition with a v name vasvassomething or other. So She has to avoid steam or she passes out. This means cooking is no longer the thing she does alot of. She has resorted to light cooking ie nothing that boils. Well as I get ready to spend $3 or so on a jar of jelly I think of how with $3 of fruit my grandmother could make half a dozen jars easily once you added in the FREE rubbard from her garden. Plus hers was SOOOOO Much better. A year ago I tried to learn with her sort of over seeing. It was a huge flop, I ended up with two dozen jars of sugared fruit juice (basically fruit drizzle for ice cream.)

See the part I need the most help with she could not help with and that was when it starts to bubble and thickening and STEAMing. So one batch got BURNT and over thickened and the remainder was toooooo thin. So sadly no more of grandmothers great jelly.

Today spending and Savings $376.54

August 26th, 2010 at 03:00 pm

Starting Balance $418.16 Left for Gas/Food/Daycare/Misc for Sept

Today I got the preview of my direct deposit that will be deposited on the 1st of Sept.

I forgot about the food charge that was going to come out of my check one of these days. 41.62 so I need to reduce my spending money by that amount since I will not have that amount to spend.

I was panicing a little this morning as I was looking at my checkbook balance after I set up the transfer of the last payment to pay my credit card statement that is due Sept 1. I was thinking my balance should be around a $150.00 but after recording a deduction I was like $101.00 and I still had a $58.00 deduction coming on or around the 30th. I knew I wrote a check for $15 but I was thinking how could I cut the balance that close.

The good news is in the far column where you write you ending balance I had subtracted a deposit. I actually have 240.09 instead of the $101.39 I thought I had.....Big relief.

I have a "Date" coming up next week, it will either be tues, weds, or thurs. The plan is the date will wither cook or pick up dinner and meet us at my house, we will eat dinner then DS will do his homework if he has any. Once the homework is done then all of us will sit down and watch a DVD of the dates choosing. ** The nice thing is if dinner is ready when DS and I get home the night is less stressful and then there is more time for fun (DVD) before DS has to go to bed. The other good part is the date is not trying to see me at 10pm or later when it is not a good time for me, and because he is going to cook or pick up dinner it is also going to be nice to for my food budget.

$418.16
- 41.62
= 376.54
Left for Gas/Food/Daycare/Misc for Sept

Todays purchases and Money Making

August 25th, 2010 at 08:21 pm

451.66 Sept prior balance for spending

I went to the bank and did the deposit (was recorded here yesterday)

I then went to the store and returned some items this generated a 41.59 refund.

I purchased:
paper towels 1.94
2 2pack light bulbs 17.78
total = 20.88

I made bacon this morning and had to use napkins to let the grease drip off. Which got me thinking I am almost out of napkins (mostly use papertowels) and I would like to switch to cloth napkins it would be cheaper in the long run just a higher start up cost. I put it off though.

When I went to the store I needed 3 bulbs and was looking forward to having one extra, but of course once I got home a fourth light burnt out. The bulbs are for recessed light and I bought the long life clf bulbs so these are a bit more spendy BUT the are for 8000 hours or up to 7 years.

I had regular recessed bulbs in the basement because I could not find the clf bulbs, but now that I do I will be slowly switching them out to the clf. It just is tough to pay $4.44 a light bulb and not cringe but slowly I will switch them out as the regular ones die so the bite is not so much. My light bill will even go down a bit.

Like I said life is full of unexpected.

We then went to my sons school open house, even though we are not planning on taking part in the hot lunch program I deposited $15.00 into his account because there will be days when I forget to pack him a lunch or in the hurry out the door it gets forgotten in the fridge so there is 10 lunchs in his account to start the year.

I then went over to the eye doctor, the GREAT news is that I went in expecting to pay $87.00 but the doctor wrote off what the insurance did not cover and I only had to pay. $39.31

On the way home my son treated us to McDonalds (dollar meal items with me drinking water) his total was $5.34. I felt bad that he paid BUT he wanted to go and he was willing to pay to get to go.

451.66
+ 41.69
- 20.88
- 15.00
- 39.31
= 418.16

$418.16 Left for Gas/Food/Daycare/Misc

OHHHHH one more good news note. Last year the teacher collected money quarterly for snacks and the parents of the two girls with extreme peanut allergies would take the money collected and purchase snacks and bring them in. Well this year we will be providing our own snacks one a day. This will be MUCH cheaper than the $9.00 per quarter that was the snack charge last year. Super good news for me.

No spending but no money made.

August 24th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I planned to make a return and a deposit today and pay a bill but I stayed home.

Tomorrow I will do all my errands together and save a little gas.

Today cooked homemade pizza, rice crispy treats and made ahgratten potatoes and fish. (spelling bad)

All these items were from my stash.

I finally got to doing the cement repair/fix by the garage doors. It helped alot with drafts. I do know I will need to replace the rubber thing on the bottom of the garage door as it is not sealing well as it is like smushing out instead of down.

Not sure how much that will cost, if it is some thing I can do myself or something I will have to hire out.

August 23 $$ recap Now $451.66

August 23rd, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Today I posted of my challenge for Grocerys.

Today I got to the bank to deposit the money from the rummage sale.

I dropped off a few items that were left over from the rummage sale to ONCE UPON A CHILD for resale. I then headed to Wal-mart.

At Walmart I returned two items that I do not need and have not used. The return credit was $89.93.

I then bought grocerys:
2 loaves Bread
18 Large Eggs
2 5 pound Flours
and
2 jars of pizza sauce
total spent $10.84
total spent $2.64 against my $5 weekly misc grocery budget

I then went back to the resale shop and they gave me $17 for the things that they wished to purchase.

I came home and there was a check in the mail from my insurance provider. Seems they thought I already paid my eye exam visit or plan for me to pay it and issued me a check for what they covered. The check was for $39.31 and the exam was $87.00 I have not paid the exam and will do it tomorrow or wednesday and will deduct it once I pay it.

I have a little cash in my purse and will deposit the $10 and $3.04 in coins when I deposit the check tomorrow.

SO recap.
303.22
+ 89.93 Return
+ 17.00 Consignment
+ 39.31 Ins Check
+ 13.04 Cash and Coin
- 10.84 Groceries
= 451.66 To spend on GAS/FOOD/DAYCARE/MISC Sept
(But will need to pay $87 for eye exam)

September Budget and Goals $303.22

August 23rd, 2010 at 04:32 pm

I have been thinking of that $260.82 that I have budgeted for food/gas/daycare/misc for the rest of August and all of September.

Yesterday I returned the Humidifier that I had purchased for my sons room in a hope that it would help with his nearly daily bloody noses. Well it was a replacement for one I had tossed out because the machine was just getting gross and the filters were expensive. Well this new one was basically the same thing but without a filter. The old one would turn off once the sensor noted it was at the moistness level selected. This one only had three settings instead of a continous slider. Well the first morning of use I came into the room and there was a good 2 inches of water on the floor by the machine. I put down a towel from that point on but I was a little freaked out since that could have ruined the floor.

The machine was pushing out water instead of misting, yesterday I pulled the machine apart to drain it to return since I was not pleased with it. It was had mold growing. I was not able to remove the mold from the inside of the main compartment: no wonder my and my sons alergies were acting up big time.

Well I have desided to just try to limit use of the regular Air Conditioning so the air doesn't get to dry instead of buying a new one right away. The return was $42.40 which means my Sept Budget is now $303.22.

--
Today I have a few more returns to do which will increase my September Budget.

--
Finally I need to buy a few grocerys: flour, eggs, Bread. I am planning on doing a raid the pantry/freezer/fridge challenge. I am going to see how long I can go without buying any groceries. I am allowing myself to buy flour, eggs, soymilk and bread BUT anything else such as tomato paste or whatever to round out a receipe is going to be limited to $5 a week.

August 8-23-2010 $ until 1 October 2010.
303.22

Rummage Sale Recap.

August 22nd, 2010 at 01:32 am

Well today was Summer Rummage Sale #2.

I was hoping for a repeat of #1 with enough Profit to pay off the Credit Card Balance for this Month. Basically $205 or $265.

I was short $265 for my Credit Card Payment that is due on the first. I remembered my savings account that I am "Paying the banking Game" with (cant close until November but has no minimum balance IF I have a automatic savings transfer) and transfered out the money that the day before got automatically transfered over so really I only need $205 to pay the Bill.

In my mind a desent sale for 9 hours is $100 everything above that is extra awesome; well I brought in $86.50 so I was a little disappointed but on the other hand my other goal was to clear out clutter.

My Boyfriend brought some things over of his parents, their profit was $57 so technically I made the $100 minimum I like. It just was not my $100.

__
Lesson Learned,

The free website I used just created a NEW layout and I dont think it is as user friendly as the old layout, so that Might have affected sales.

Number two was I waited until Friday to post my ad and others that might have been planning their shopping might have missed it if they did not check friday afternoon for the Saturday Sale.

Number three: The first customer asked if i had had a sale a few weeks prior, it was a month prior then I did have alot of drivebys (cul-de-sac so easy to tell) so I might have missed a few people who did not want to stop so soon again. A May/June and a September sale like the neighbors might be better IF I am going to do two.

Number four: the neighbor puts up a sign on the other side street, i might want to invest in some signs with metal legs and post on the other street also.
__

I have decided even though I still have a lot of stuff left I am not going to do another one this year. I am going to neatly pack it up and a few items I will individually post on the free website everything else will either be packed for next year or if the neighbor still will let me add it to her sale; it will have one last harrah.

This means I can cash in my Rummage Sale Starter Bank. I usually start with $67.50 Basically One roll each of Quarter, Dime, Nickels and Pennies 4 $5 bills and 30 $1 Bills. I keep Extra $1 bills and Coin Rolls in the house and so when it was all said and done Monday when I take the Starter Bank and Profit to the bank I will be depositing $231.00

Yeah that means I have enough to pay My CC statement Balance in full and I have $26 to apply to my Bill next month or to my Food/Gas/Daycare/Unexpected Money for September.

Tomorrow I start to pack away the stuff and clean up my house. That is another reason I do not want to do another sale, I had to raid the house of every flat surface to put stuff on and so I made the house messy and I want to get it clean and keep it clean. Basically the point of the rummage sale to declutter, but it got worse before it got better.

Long time so here is the catchup.

August 20th, 2010 at 02:24 pm

I have been spending alot of time with DS. I elected to use some of my stockpiled vacation time instead of paying for a babysitter this month.

I have saved alot in daycare costs and it has been nice. Three more vacation days until school starts.

___

This year instead of paying for school lunches $1.50 and breakfast $1.00 each day I am going to pack cold lunchs and make sure he eats breakfast at home. This will mean less veggies as the lunch is going to be a sandwich and a snack such as cereal and water but it will save money until I make some progress on my Emergency Fund goals. It will also mean making sure he gets up earlier and goes to bed earlier since he doesn't like to eat in the morning.

___

This Saturday I am having another rummage sale. I hope to sell alot. I hope to do as well as last time BUT even if I only get $100 it would be worth it to reduce the amount of stuff I have in my house. Right now everything is packed neatly in my garage, okay that is a fib as I still have some stuff I would like to go through and label.

Whatever I do not sell I can put in my neighbors sale on the weekend of 10-12 Sept, I just have to make sure I get my initials on it. That will definately happen.

Rummage sales have been worth it so once the rummage sale is over in september I plan to pack everything back into totes and store them under the stairs so that next year all I have to do is pull the totes out and instant rummage sale. Also I hope to have a empty tote or two available so as I find stuff in the house I want to rid myself of I can toss them in.
___

Today I paid the Credit Card Bill, I made 3 payments over the next three days using up the money in both savings accounts (that were at the online bank that was paying out less than my ING accounts) and my checking account. I need to come up with $265 before the 1st of September, so I am hoping to do well on the rummage sale this saturday. Worest case once the sale is over and I know I will not be having another I can cash in my Rummage Sale (starter change) which could help. Depending on the turnout/weather/amount of stuff left I might consider another one on the 28th and or the 4th.

___
Next week I will call and cancel both the savings accounts that I emptied out that were paying less than my ING accounts.

Right now I have a $543.53 on my credit card that will be due on Oct 1st. After paying all the bills for September I will have $804.35 to spend so basically if I make no progress on goals this coming month I need to spend no more than $260.82 on food, daycare and gas or anything else for the rest of August and Sept, So that I can be back at a zero debt level. Man it is going to be tough. Hopefully I do well at the neighbors rummage sale so I can bring in some extra money.

I bought grocerys a few days ago, I am hoping that besides maybe bread that I can clean out the pantry/fridge/freezer and do a very low grocery bill. Daycare is going to cost $100. And gasoline is going to be around $60 so that would give me $100 for food and unexpected or Checking book cushion that I have wiped out to stretch until the end of Sept.
___

Being VAIN saved me $5.30

August 6th, 2010 at 04:26 pm

Yes, having vanity saved me $5.30.

I really want a footlong subway sub. I have to work until 10pm tonight so I would like to buy a footlong and eat half now for lunch and then half at 4pm for dinner BUT I am vane.

See I am at work, and I am having a great hair day. The First in like Months. So I dont feel like putting a hat on and ruining my cute hair. See I am in my work uniform and IF I leave the building I have to put on the matching hat which sucks and will mess up my hair.

I eventually will have to put the hat on thus messing up my hair and leaving a hat ring around my forehead BUT I would like to have pretty hair and unmarked forehead for as long tonight as possible because I have really missed feeling pretty when I look in the mirror.

So I am going to eat the leftovers that I have stashed in the freezer and tonight I will have some steamfresh steamers lightly sauced sauce.

Want to rent out a room in my basement

August 4th, 2010 at 06:08 pm

I have a finished basement, it is a walkout/daylight basement so very nice.

I would like to rent out a room and have been looking on my towns free website and after doing some math I am thinking $350 or $400 per month IF they want in garage parking for one car. I am thinking $600 IF they want two bedrooms and one car parking.

I am scared, How does one start to find decent renters, this is really important as they will be sharing a home with me.

I am trying to sell stuff from around the house to get extra income but at this point I am thinking I need to do something bigger. If I get a second job then I have to get daycare plus the way my contract reads I would have to get the MOONLIGHTING approved through my employer so that is does not reflect poorly on my current employer.

I am thinking the renting of the room would be better/easier. I figure if I rent out both basement bedrooms then I can move my sons playroom/toys into the storage room. I have been slowly emptying out the storage room by getting the stuff tagged for my next rummage sale.

Any advice?

Rain, turned down the sprinkler and Misc

August 3rd, 2010 at 02:34 pm

Well we had major storming last night, had a little hail but no damage. I do not think I am going to get hail damage for a LONG time. Why because I have desided once I do I am going to pay the extra/difference and go with seamless steel siding instead of the vinyl siding that I have now.

The water easement that is at the rear of the lot behind our house had major water collect in it. I took a picture of it with my four foot tall son standing by it. He looked like a toddler.

I resently rechecked the sprinkler system because I thought that I was watering only once a week but it seems that I was watering twice a week because one day while I was at home the system started. Well I fixed that so my water bill should go down.

My grass has been growing super tall super fast SO starting lastnight I actually am now only watering three zones, the boulivard (which has misters) and the zones that are on the side of the yard that meet the unseeded lot that a house is in the process of being built on. Because there is no grass next to mine in that area my grass needs more water because there is less vegitation to hold the water into the ground.

I tried to fertilize that area but rain came and it kept coming and coming so the fertilizer actually got washed away a bit early so I will need to redo it. Just going to put it on lightly since it did get a little bit that did not completely wash away.

****
On a different note, We went to the Zoo on Sunday. It was my son and I and well my boyfriend. The boyfriend paid, then we caught a bite to eat. I paid for DS and I and the boyfriend paid for his. So the Zoo trip and Meal only cost me $13.11. Not bad, not bad at all.

I have desided that YES my boyfriend has issues because he tends to spend time with me in small doses which I guess I just need to get used to since I am used to a relationship where the person is always around.

But since it costs me nothing to go out and spend time with him I am just going to enjoy it and hope that eventually he gets over his issue with wanting to save his days off for cleaning and couch patato vegitation.