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Clearing the Stock Pile and To Do Li$t...Yep with $$$

September 1st, 2011 at 07:46 am

I have 3 weeks left until I leave my home for Mob Station.

I had a talk with a girl whom went to the same deployment location last year. I was talking about stuff I was packing and she said she had wished she had an item I was still planning on throwing in my carry on. I asked her to clearify because I was told they have a HUGE PX there. Well she said she is frugel and the stuff there was over-priced. Her Secret deoderant was $1.50 more than it was at home. She said that IF you printed off the price at Wal-Mart they would price match BUT still. It would be a pain to go write down the size of every product they carry that you use, so before you go buy your shampoo and deoderant, toothbrush etc you can go and print out an ad from a national chain so you can price match EVERY item EVERY time.

So I went through my stock pile and packed more, orginally I packed enough toothpaste, toothbrushes, and Pads to last overseas.

Well I added Mouthwash, Lotion, Shampoo, Shaving Gel, Conditioner, Johnson's Buddies Bar Soap, and Hair Ties. I packed the stuff I already had in my stockpile at home, no additional shopping. During the next 3 weeks my plan is to use up all the little samples I have in my house in an attempt to downsize the stockpile clutter some more.

Once I get home then I will work on building my stockpile back up, in an orderly way. I want to have atleast one spare but I would like to figure out a way to make it easy to find what I am looking for. Maybe plastic Shoe Pouch hanging on the back of the bathroom door. See my shelves are so deep that stuff is hard to find at times even if it is in bins.

888

To Do List:
I need to call a glass repairman and get my broken window fixed. It is starting to get cold in the evenings.

I also need to call the furnace people, I think the overflow container on my AC is full and causing the water to come out the bottom instead of through the pipes.

I also need to call my sprinkler guy and have him repair the broken sprinkler line where BF broke it with the post hole auger. I also want him to adjust a head that due to dirt moving on a slope (or possibly a gopher) it is no longer flush with the ground it is sticking up in the air.

Then I need to take my car in and have it get an oil change, have the light socket on the rear marker light replaced, Have the ABS break light checked out and get a second set of keys and a new remote car starter FOB.

I also need to follow up again with my former childcare provider for a refund. They charged me $55 in activities fees for 2011-2012 school year even though they said they were not going to let my child ride. They also pulled my September payment out $165 last MAY. They pre-pay ;I really think the Pay for September in May thing is dumb but I suppose it is their way of locking in clients. BUT if they are going to drop clients they need to be prepared to refund the money. I have a feeling I am going to have to prove the overcharge.

***
I need to transfer some money into my checkbook...I want to have my emergency fund in my checking account incase something happens and my pay is disrupted. I can transfer the money back after my deployment. BUT I doubt I will, the money has two purposes. 1 the money is there in case of paycheck being disrupted, and 2 it is there so I can live off of that and put the money deposited into my account into SDP. I wonder how much of a allowance I should give myself. I know there are things I will want to buy or need to buy because I spaced them off, but I am not sure how much to put into my account for that.

Rolling the dice with Prepaid.

April 27th, 2011 at 10:22 am

I have Alltel, I transition to AT&T on May 3rd. I have no contract with Alltel and none with AT&T. I plan on switching to Prepaid.

I have one month to make the switch without issues due to the fact they gave me a free phone.

I am considering 2 options.

I can do straight talk and pay either $30 getting 1000 min/text or $45 unlimited.
I can also do AT&T at $.10 a minute plus texting add ons.

The AT&T texting add on is 200 text/$4.99 a month or 400 text/$9.99 or Unlimited for $19.99.

I normally use just under 200 minutes per month so AT&T would be $18-$20 per month plus $4.99 for the texting. Lately I text just under 200 per month, but I have texted alot higher in the past).

I can purchase cards for the AT&T plan and a $15 card which expire in 30 days or $25 and higher options that expire in 90 days. If I spent $100 that would expire in 1 year.

So it boils down to, do I go with the chance of a average bill of $22-$25 per month with AT&T but possiblility of a HUGE bill. Or do I go with the garenteed $30 plan on straight talk because based on my usage I would have to triple my usual plan to use up my 1000 minutes. I figure I could save about $60 a year going with AT&T as long as I really really watch my usage.

Phones: I can get a free reburished phone for the straight talk plans, the minimum I pay for the AT&T plan phone is $14.99 and that is after some sort of mail in rebate.

I have a feeling I am going to go with Straight Talk. The reason that tilts me that way,... the free phone. Between the free phone and the fact that I am really close on the borderline for the texting and could see needing to pay the higher texting plan, so then Straight Talk would be cheaper

New Plan - Change 12-13 or maybe it is 14?

April 26th, 2011 at 08:47 am

I have a fully funded Mortgage Account, I also have a fully funded Escrow Account.

My goal now is to have 3 months total bills in my Emergency Fund so I can transfer that into my checking on or near the 1st of September. I need $5662.80.

I also want to have 2 months in my Child Care Checkbook, this is $1283.80.

I need to set up the autofunding of the Child Care Checkbook, I need to have $641.90 going in monthly and to end once it reachs the 7702.80 balance not including the $44.44 balance. I am not sure how to do this, I am thinking maybe I will do half payments June-July-Aug-Sept then have it switch to full payments Oct thru July. The half payments I can handle because I will just transfer my Child Support into this account (which happens to be half and right now I don't include in the Child Support in my budget). Then Starting October I will not have Auto Gas, Cell Phone, Internet, and no drill daycare bills so that is actually really close to the other half.

I am currently short $3294.18 for the Emergency Fund. So I have 4 months to come up with this if I am going to have it prior to 1 Sept. That is $823.55 a month. How do I make this happen? I don't really have a plan for this yet. Any extra at the end of the month is going to go there BUT will it be enough.

I am Done!!!!!! Cost $1.87

April 26th, 2011 at 06:59 am

Well the good news is I am done with Flood Duty. Long Story of lots of last minute changes. But after all was said and done, My cousin only watched my child for 45 minutes, the rest of the time my son was with my BF.

I have drill this weekend and so when I pay her for drill I will just round up to the nearest $5 increment as long as it is atleast an increase of $2.

I got home on Saturday afternoon, so I was able to enjoy Easter with my son, BF, and our sweet fluffy doggy. It was nice. Also because I was home my BF got to go to my uncles house for Easter. I am not sure IF he would have gone if I had not come home since the only other of my family events he has gone to so far is Christmas.

I bought a protein powder shaker for my flood duty. It came in handy! I had carnation breakfast shakes in my pantry from when they were free at CVS, they come in a handy packet, so really easy to travel with just add water and it is a meal.

Love it, so spent $9 after tax on the bottle but I got $25 per day in food costs so my meal savings paid for it and today since my normal drink holders are not dishwasher safe, I could not make my normal frozen fruit blender protein shake breakfast and lunch so I am using it. I Really Really like it.

For food I spent:
$5.00 Two 6 inch 3 topping pizza corner pizzas with 2 12oz soda.
$2.50 Mini DQ Blizzard

$.75 Soda

$4.50 One 13 inch deluxe pizza corner pizza
$.50 Soda
Total:
$13.25

$9 BlenderBottle
$22.25 if you include the blenderbottle.

What I should get back for food is $75 so I made a profit of $61.75
or $52.75 if you include the blenderbottle
or $50.88 if you include the daycare.

This will be the FIRST year I actually came out ahead after doing flood duty.

I should say I had planned on purchasing a blenderbottle for my deployment anyway, this flood duty just moved up my timeline. I was just going to buy one at Wal-Mart but when I went to buy it they no longer had them on the shelf. I checked everywhere they could have been, you know how some stores like to randomly place stuff near other stuff to try to upsell the total purchase.

I am glad now that they were out though, The one they had was about half the cost of this one, but it was not as good in quality. But at the time I just wanted the cheap one, now I am glad I got the one I did.

I was trying to spend as little out of pocket for food as possible but I did buy some food, The first time was my first day; I was so boried that the first opportunity that I got to get out of the work location and go relax with the other crew, I did.

The second meal purchase was on a day when the vehicle my bags were in got driven away so I did not have any of my belongings or food. So after about 9 hours since breakfast, I had to buy something or I was not going to make it until I could get back to my hotel room and cook my dinner.

Hope Everyone Had a Great Weekend!

NEW Checking account

April 18th, 2011 at 08:59 am

I opened a checking account, it is a secondary checking account. IT will only be for writing checks to the EX-Husband, or if something comes up and my cousin is taking care of my son for that. (Long Story about a plan involving 12 months worth of post dated checks, and if my Ex decides to be a butthead or abuse my kind nature; he will regret it)

I could have gotten a 100 bonus for the account BUT since it was a secondary account I did not feel I could meet the requirements. (Direct Deposit- Would have to switch my pay to this checking and then transfer back to other checking account).

The other requirement was 3 debit transaction a month. If this was my primary account that would not be a problem. Well it would not be a problem until November.

So I decided to pass on the $100 bonus.

The reason I got a second checking account is because I am sure I will need to be paying my ex for expenses while I am gone and I do not want him to have my REAL checking account numbers.

Also, this account gives me FREE checks, well the non-duplicate checks are free. You pay for shipping if you want it to be trackable. So I got 200 checks for $5.56 shipping. If this was my main account I would want duplicates. But because it is a secondary account non-duplicates are fine. I am going to be making a copy of all checks I give my EX, so the duplicates is not that big of deal.

I should have the new two forms of the "family care plan" paperwork signed next weekend. My checks should be here the 25th. So if I have to write the checks at that time I get the paperwork so be it. I really don't want to give him the checks until August (so he does not loss them etc) but if that is what he needs as a olive branch so be it.

My plan is to have that account fully funded for all the post dated checks prior to the first check being drawn. My projected balance is 7702.80. I might have to borrow from all of my other savings accounts other than my Escrow and Mortgage that is. Talk about stealing from Peter to pay Paul.

Spent Money to save money.

April 15th, 2011 at 09:05 am

Today I spent $53 to save money.

I just got my NEW lower priced plan bill from alltel, I have the smallest plan and the $7.99 texting plan. Well after tax and FEEEEEEEEs the bill is $55.39 per month.

I went online and purchased a straight talk cell phone. I bought a refurbished one. The plan is 1000 min, text, and web for $30. At anytime I can also upgrade (it is prepaid) to UNLIMITED for $45 if I need it. I doubt I will but it is available and STILL cheaper than what I am paying now.

I got the refurbished phone and one month service for $50 with free shipping. So the plan is $30 and the phone (sort of like a blackberry) is $20. I also entered a coupon code I found online and will be getting a $20 resterant Gift Card FREE.

I want a full keyboard and that was why I finally bit the bullet. Prior to this the only refurb they had was a flip phone BUT the flip phone was free. When my son needs a phone I will be getting him the FREE refurb flip phone.

I had my eye on a full keyboard slider BUT they are $99.99 new and I don't want to pay that. I was actually going to just go and get the free flip phone the other day when I saw my bill and realized I would be saving $25 a month going prepaid. But when I got to there online store the blackberry type was there. WIN WIN.

I only paid $20 for the phone BUT with the resterant gift card technically it is free.

My only concern was I was having issues with my computer, it kept telling me it did not want to view unsecure data. So when I finally hit submit the screen did a bunch of thinking and then never gave me a confirmation or anything. I will check my email on Monday and my credit card bill. And if nothing shows up by Wednesday I will do it again, but on a different computer.

LES Statements are out!

April 8th, 2011 at 11:37 am

I got paid $140 more than I was expecting for my 8 days paycheck. :0)

But it was infact a 8 day paycheck! :0(

Living on the Emergency Fund! and Raid the Pantry/Freezer.

April 8th, 2011 at 08:43 am

Well today, I took proactive measures for the no paycheck period. I stopped most of my auto transfers.

I tried to figure out what my paycheck will be for 8 days. This is not exact as I am not sure how much they take out for taxes, but I have a ballpark. I claim Single 2 or 3, I don't remember exactly. I should probubly just claim tax exempt, but I am woried about something happenning and then owing big time.

Anyway back to the topic at hand,
I turned off the automatic payment from my checkbook (where paycheck goes) to my savings accounts that my mortgage, my Emergency Fund, and My Escrow Account are paid out of. Until I get my first paycheck following the govt restart I will not be funding these accounts they will be paying out without being replenished. Once I get paid I will figure out what should have been deposited and schedule 1 catchup payment and reset up my autopayments.

This means I need to pay my elec/gas, dental premium, cell phone, internet, and water/waste bill, PLUS gasoline for my car until I get a paycheck I figure this is $250 per month. I am also suppose to pre-pay the Sept daycare bill on May 1st.

I should have enough money to last 3 months of no pay without having to dip into Savings to start to pay the above bills as long as I do not have to buy grocieries.

I guess it is going to be a raid the pantry/freezer until the govt shutdown is over, event.

The good news is no paycheck will Force me to limit spending and so when I finally do get my paycheck and all that back pay, I should be able to hopefully knock out the savings goals with all the money I saved by cutting the spending from the beginning.

Extreme Couponing on TLC (My Thoughts and behaviors)

April 7th, 2011 at 07:37 am

I did not get to watch the show. I don't have cable tv and can't seem to find full episodes online. I really wish I could find them because TLC has some of my favorite shows. I watch Hoarders on Netflix. I also watched Drop Dead Diva before I cancelled Cable. I would love to see Season 2.

I saw some clips of Extreme Couponing on the TLC website. I really thought some of the clips did make it look like a case of hoarders.

One clip showed a lady that bought $75 worth of coupons from a coupon clipping service. She then purchased 9 carts of product worth $250 before coupons and after coupon and her store rewards card it was like $6.32. (In reality she got $250 worth of merchandise for $81.32).


I must say though my bathroom closet is packed from free CVS stuff. I think I have enough Toothpaste, Flossers, Mouthwash, and Buddies Bathbars to last me and my son a few years (but not enough to last 12 people their whole life).

I used to get FREE or Nearly Free Medicines from CVS. I would only purchase the stuff I used for my family. The sad thing is I noticed this year since it has been about 2 years since I CVS'ed that alot of my Medicines are now expired and I am having to toss out nearly New bottles. Yes it is better to have paid $.06 (tax on the ECB) and used the bottle once than to have paid $3.50 and used it once and tossed it out. BUT I look at those 500 deoderants on the show and think those have expiration date also. Yes I ignore them on mine because I don't really notice the difference BUT there probubly is a big difference if the deoderant is 50 years old.

Disclaimer:
I have not CVS shopped since they started taxing the whole order instead of just the amount above what the ExtraBucks covered, when you use ExtraBucks. The big thing that made me stop though was the ECB deals were getting few and far between; so you actually could not roll your ECBs as easily. At that point I realize that was more reduced cost than FREE and because I had a stockpile at home it was no longer a deal.

Since it has been 2 years since I stockpiled there are a few things that I am getting a bit low on. But I am thinking that I am going to wait until I get home from deployment to get back into the coupon game.

Right now I save here and there on coupons, I do belong to a coupon train but I do not hunt for certain coupons because 3 weeks from now CVS is going to have that item FREE with ECBs like I have in the past.

I do need to start the coupon GAME with Just Toliet Paper in mind though. I am paying way too much for toliet paper. I am buying the cheapest Toliet paper that I can get based on unit price (with coupon or not whatever is cheapest) as long as it is not Cottonelle or White Cloud. Those two brands cause rashes in our family.

My family goes through alot of toliet paper, Charmin is prefered but Scotts Extra Soft and Angel Soft are okay. But REAL toliet paper deals are few and far between.

I have only CVS, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart and 3 different grociery store in the area where I live. By area I mean my town and the next nearest town. None of the stores have Loyalty cards or double coupons, so I doubt Extreme Couponing will have a person from my area on.

Have you ever regreted not fully funding your Roth IRA?

April 5th, 2011 at 10:18 am

Tax time is approaching, I was reviewing my retirement plans.

Two Big areas I need to work on: Mortgage Prepayment and Roth IRA.

I found a Mortgage excel document that I plugged my info into. I hope that once I have my Emergency Funds to where I want them that I will be motivated to apply ALL or Most extra funds to my mortgage loan because I have the document magically cutting interest and reducing the length on my mortgage; basically showing me progress.

Roth IRA, Last year in March I put money in my Roth IRA; I maxed it for 2009. Well last year and so far this year I have not put anything in for 2010.

I wonder has anyone ever regretted not fully funding their Roth IRA the year before? See I am looking at money I have ear marked for other things (Daycare expenses which whatever is not used are going to fund the checking account cushion AKA Deployment Emergency Fund). I wonder, if I don't put that money into the Roth IRA before the tax deadline that opportunity is gone forever, will I regret it?

If I was spending it on junk, instead of the money just sitting in savings I could say without a doubt YES I regret it.

Right now I have another two years until my 5 year window is finished, so if there was an Emergency I can't pull out the deposits with out penalty and taxes for atleast 2 years. If I was outside the 5 year window it would be a no brainer because IF I really needed it I could just pull it out.

So I wonder is it really a big deal to miss putting money in a Roth IRA?

The Bills Agreement:

April 4th, 2011 at 07:03 am

BF and I have talked about the Bill Agreement, I realize I never told you what we decided on.

As of now until July, BF will purchase ALL the groceries and he will give me money in the amount that I am in the red each month (without having to break into savings). This month it will be $106.11 that I need prior to 13 April. March Groceries he spent $250 after coupons, plus he also purchased 4 of those Pizza Corner Pizzas from a co-worker.

He also provides daycare for my drill weekends (this month I have it twice so this month this will actually save me $200).

***

Starting July (after his Lease is over) He will pay HALF of ALL the Household bills. He asked me to do a rough budget, he wanted me to base the utilites on the Gas/Elect being the average of the top 3 months and the water/waste the top 3 months. So his half would be $616 per month. Starting July we would split the groceries.

***

The challenge is going to be me NOT going to the store. I go to the store for stuff (Easter Basket stuff) okay truthfully out of boredom and buy a loaf of bread, A package of Cuties oranges and a quart of Ice Cream that I have been craving. This is my fault; I need to control myself!

When we went grociery shopping I told BF we had enough bread, so he did not purchase any. Yesterday we had enough to last until he got back from his trip if it was only used for DS lunch. But I think DS might want Egg sandwiches and other bread using meals for dinner while BF is gone. The Oranges well we bought some when we went grociery shopping last and they were SOOOOOOOOOO good. They are PERFECT for putting in DS's lunch and for healthy snacking, this is going to be a new staple to our grocery list. I just need to make sure to grab two bags when we go shopping, since we tend to go every other weekend. The final grocery item I bought was also my fault, BF asked if we needed Ice Cream, I said NAH we can go without it. So what have I been craving for a week, Ice Cream. I think it is the dairy/calcium.

I put the groceries on the credit card because I did not have $ budgeted/left for groceries so BF might still end up paying for them next month when I calculate what I am in the red to meet the minimum payments without having to take out of savings.

I NEED to be strong, I NEED to stay away from the store. I NEED to go for a walk when I get that house boredom INSTEAD of going to the store.

April 3rd Spending

April 4th, 2011 at 06:56 am

Sunday was a LOW spend day.

First I returned the sweatpants I purchased for my son. That was $8 that was gained, The sweatpants were on clearance for $2 each BUT the elastic waist bands were too loose. These bands were clearly made for a husky child not a regular and definately NOT my extra slim child.

Since I was doing the return, I also took in a Coupon for the Coffee I purchase during the Sweatpants trip so that was also a gain of $2. Total Gain $10

I gave My son his allowance of $5 and This Morning BF realized he forgot to hit the ATM and he asked if I had any cash, so he got the remaining $5. BF will be gone until Friday because he is going to an environmental Training course, he flew out this morning. So I am zero-ed out on the gain.

On Sunday I purchased groceries and Easter items.
I spent $8.85 at Wal-mart on groceries and $10.75 at the supermarket on groceries.

Easter Items:
I purchased a new easter basket for DS, I also bought him a stuffed animal for his easter basket. The easter basket was $9 the stuffed animal was $8. So $17 and I am done for Easter.

I know I did not really need to purchase a new Easter Basket BUT I did. The new one I will be using as a orginazational item once Easter is over. I don't know exactly what I will do with it but I do have LOTS of things around my house that would look so much nicer if they were contained together instead of spread all over the place. This basket looks nice and will do that. The primary reason I purchased a new basket was the old basket I was using was HUGE. I would say the bottom is 12 inches across and 18 inches deep with the top opening being 18 inches.

In years past I used to fill it up. It would cost maybe $200 to fill it up because I would put a Video game in it, Stuffed Animal, books, Candy, Oh and the Hersheys 2 foot tall Chocolate Bunny which cost $19.98 but is not available this year. This year after I put the stuff in that I had selected for the Basket it did not even covered the bottom, so I desided instead of presenting a nearly empty basket, and instead of buying more stuff to fill it up I would purchase a smaller basket. I could have purchased one for $2 but I looked at it and wondered if the basket would last even the day let alone being stored to be reused annually.


I also bought Medicine at Wal-Mart $8.23

April Status:
(Returns of $10)
Allowance $5
BF Trip Cash $5
Groceries $19.60
Easter $17
Medicine $8.23
Total:44.83

Prior:
Deployment Expenses $11.00
Easter Baskets $49.20
Clothing $8.00
$67.20

APRIL MONTH TO DATE:
112.03

When I update this tomorrow I will be removing the clothing expense and deducting $2 from the Easter Baskets since the coffee coupon was for the coffee I put in the baskets.

My April 1st Spending (during no Spend Challange)

April 1st, 2011 at 11:05 am

Okay first off, I went to the Parks and Rec Program Building this morning to register my son for their Summer Program.

I am glad I did, I was an hour early and the first person in line. By the time you were allowed to register the building had atleast 35 people there. The reason I am glad I did it in person is there was a glitch with the Online Registration and the Credit Card portion was not working right away. Then there was a problem with the payment portion of the Program I wanted to go into (both online and in person). Twenty Five Minutes after the registration officially openned I was the FIRST person to register (due to technicall difficuties).

Yes Yes YES!!!!!! I got my slot. This means I saved $725 minimum this year in summer daycare. There was also some goofy info on the webpage I looked at yesterday and so I am glad I went in because now I know my son is in this progam all day not just half. I wanted him in this program all day if I could because I think this program is going to be more Fun then the half summer school half parks program.

So Spent Money for April $300 BUT I am not counting that in the No spending Challenge because to me Daycare Falls under Necessary Bills. If I can take leave the days in August that I have planned I will save an additional $375 for the summer.

***
Before this I went to the Capital to get my Birth Certificate and Death Certifiate for my Mother. I am not sure IF I am going to need to get another or if I am going to have to send the other one I have (I DO NOT want to send the other one). See here is the deal, I want to apply for a Passport and one of the new conditions that went into effect this morning is that the FULL name of your parents needs to be on the Birth Certificates that are taken as proof of Identitiy. I have a Certified BC from 30+ years ago and it has my parents full name on it, it has my time of birth and more on it. Well the new one does not, when I brought this to the attention of the Vital Records department they said there head lady would need to call the Passport people because they are not set up to be able to put the middle names for the parents on the BC. I do not want to send my first BC with the passport application because even though they return the birth certificates with your passport things do get lost in the mail.

After the Daycare i went to Wal-Mart. I spent money, I was bad.

I bought a storage tote to put my son's clothes in. I did not want to pack up my son's clothes for his dads place while I am deployed in a garbage bag or a cardboard box. I wanted it in a nice see-through tote, first so I know what is in the box and because I am totally against the garbage bag idea, because my son is not garbage. Yes rationalizing the $11.

I also bought Easter Stuff to fill baskets for 3 humans and 1 dog, I purchased:
3 chocolate easter bunnies $3 each
2 Books $6 &$11
2 packages of rawhide bones $3.62 & $4.50
box of milkbone training snacks $2.50
A basket that after easter is over is going on my dresser to help control the clutter $7
1 Special Flavored Coffee $5.58
Total Easter Basket Spent this trip $49.20

I say spent this trip because I really want to purchase him a stuffed animal to put in the basket. He loves stuffed animals and right now the basket looks kinda empty.

Long Story but I also bought Clothing for my son. I bought him 4 pairs of sweatpants. They were $2 each on sale from $5. I noticed the last time I did laundry that he is down to 6 pair of pants in his current size. The others either got a bit too short or they are REALLY badly beat up. So I purchased him the sweatpants; two different sizes so that he can wear the sweats on the weekend and so I do not have to wash jeans mid week thus making it an extremely small load. So Clothing $8

So April No Spending Month:
Deployment Expenses $11.00
Easter Baskets $49.20
Clothing $8.00
$67.20

Now I also purchased some items that are not counting towards my expenses.

I purchased a book "Hop the movie - The Chapter Book" for $4.24 this is the Easter Present for 2012. I have a limit of $10 for the holiday presents in a trunk so I came in under budget on that one. I also purchased a book for $10.97 it is a hard cover book it is called "leprechaun in late Winter" It is a Magic Tree House Book this is for St. Patricks day 2012. Now technically I did go over budget and said I would account for that in my spending BUT I figure since Easter was $5.00 under budget I am going to call it even. Also when I said I wanted a treasure chest type box, I had something in mind.

Well I already had a very similar box, it just is oval and not very large. I have desided I will use that box and save myself the expense. Also because it is on the smaller size this will mean I really have to watch the size of the items I purchase for this project. Hopefully that will help keep the budget in line.

So Tempted to Move the Emergency Fund to the House Fund

March 31st, 2011 at 07:04 am

I will explain, incase a new reader is reading or if maybe you look at my sidebar and think to yourself "What is that girl doing?"

I have an Emergency Fund BUT I break it down into three catergories. If an Emergency happened I feel it super important to have money put away to pay my mortgage, pay my property taxes and house insurance (not included in mortgage) and of course thirdly misc expenses such as food and utilities; that third category I generically call my Emergency Fund, but I should really rename it the Utilities Emergency Fund since that is what it mainly is.

I am saving for 12 months of Housing Payments, I am also saving for 12 months of Escrow (property taxes and house insurance). The third category I would also like 12 months BUT with the first 2 covered I figure in an emergency the Utilities Emergency Fund would go much farther because I might not have to actually dip into it.

Anyway, I was online and trying to figure when I would meet my goals. If I make NO changes the Escrow fund will be finished Sept 18th which means prior to my deployment AND it would free up $250 per month from the second paycheck of the month. Of course I would LOVE to have this finished earlier, who wouldn't But before my deployment is my goal so I am going to try to just mentally call it good and sometime I need to go into my autodraft and set it to stop automatically pulling extra on the Oct pull.

The problem is my Mortgage Fund, I am currently applying about $93 extra each month when you figure the extra I am applying plus the interest it earns. At this rate it will take 48 Months if I make NO changes. This stresses me out because I want it funded at the 12 month level prior to the End of Sept. I need 4375.17 more after my interest is added tomorrow and the extra from the 4th of April is applied.

Finally I have the Utilities Fund which I already said I think will be dipped into less if the other two are fully funded. It has NO extra going into it currently. This fund has $4501.66 in it.

I am really tempted to transfer the $4375.17 I need to fully fund the House Fund out of the Utilites fund. This would free up $90 from the paycheck on the first. Then I could just apply the $90 to the Utilities Fund.

The low low balance in the Utilities fund would bother me a bit, BUT I think in a good way. Having one goal to focus on instead of three would make me get creative to fund it.

What to do?

No Spend April - I am in!!!

March 30th, 2011 at 09:20 am

I am planning on participating in the Month of No Spending. Meaning no spending besides NEEDS (Bills, Food and Gasoline).

I did make a page on the side of my blog though to list my exclusions along with budgets for each. With My deployment coming up there are some things I really want to get done and as soon as possible such as family photos, Christmas Shopping, and of course my "Treasure holiday Box" idea.

So I will be spending money on these items BUT if I do go over budget that counts against the No Spend April. I am hoping though that as the month progresses I will have posts of how I got creative to come under budget on the allowed items.

Funny though on April 1st the registration for Summer Activity Centers open and that is $300 I am really really hoping I get to spend since that will save me so much money. I hope April is a Great Month for Everyone Finacially.

Sadness over Halloween.

March 29th, 2011 at 08:30 am

Today I am sad, I can't seem to stop crying.

I want to buy DS a Nentendo Wii Game to stick in his Easter Basket. Amazon had a special that if you ordered the game you got $1o amazon credit. But I waited too long and they switched it to $30 credit if you traded in the game.

Anyway I think I will just downsize and purchase the sticker book DS also wants for his Easter basket and call it good. I need to watch my pennies and spending $50 on a Video Game for Easter is not going to happen this year.

I was on my way to work this morning and drove by the other work location. Every year they have a Halloween Event for the Children of the fulltimers (AGR, Tech, and ADSW/ADOS/whatever term they are using currently AND Deployed). Well In 2005 I was ADSW, 2006 to present I am AGR, so DS has gone every year since he was 2. As part of the event one or two of the Photographers take pictures of the children in their costumes. I have ALL these photos of DS.

I really hope someone takes him this year as this year I fall under the Deployed category. One of my favorite things about Halloween is this photo. I am sad because I will not be here to take him. Yes, October is a long way away and I am not really sure why I am thinking of it.

My Sons Teacher wants to put together a calender and asked for photos. I guess that is the reason, besides his school photos, this it the ONE photo that gets taken every year.

***

Halloween of course has me thinking of Christmas, I can dig out the Santa Claus Christmas paper and dig out his stocking and stuff it and then put the two in a box for my Cousin so she can say "Look what we found at our house this year", if Michael is not staying there this year. The only issue is figuring out what to buy to stuff the stocking since I will have to this finished 3 months in advance.

I also should buy his Christmas Presents before I leave and give then to my cousin, so she can give them to him. Based on the time line I do not think I will have time to buy and ship gifts once I leave for Mob station. Also I am told the internet is not really secure where we are going so if we need to check our checking accounts and that kind of thing the best thing to do is go to the office after hours and use the network computers. So online shopping is really out of the question.

I am not really suppose to do any shopping until I reach my Pre-Deployment Goals But is so hard not to want to get it done now, while it is still fresh in my mind.

My Emergency Fund is 6 Months Funded!!!

March 28th, 2011 at 08:43 am

Today I fixed my Author Info.

I updated my Emergency Fund numbers because a while ago I recalculated what would be drawn out of the Emergency Fund incase I had a major financial issue. I took someones advice and cut it to the bone. I also bought a MagicJack, so I was able to remove the cost of my cell phone. I left internet BUT because of the cost for the internet being the same as a pre-paid unlimited cell phone with internet, if the worst happened I might just drop the internet and get the cell phone and drop the annual $19 for MagicJack or I might reduce my internet to slower. Lots of barebones options that I could consider.

Anyway.....Now I have 6 months Emergency Fund and 6 Months Escrow and I am $482.55 short of 6 Months of my Mortgage. My Goal is 12 Months Mortgage, 12 Months Escrow before the Deployment and as close to 12 Months Emergency Fund as I can get. The Important thing is if the PooP hits the fan I want to be able to pay my Mortgage, Property Tax and House Insurance for the deployment even if My Ex-Husband milks me for the majority of my paycheck.

***

I took April 1st off from work, I am planning on spending that day applying for summer daycare. Once that is done I am going to try to get in for a physical so I can start donating plasma.

My car (anti-lock breaks) light keeps glowing as I drive me car, so soon I will need to take that in to get looked at. I as need to do something about that left blinker light. In a different car I had the problem with the blinker was actually in the lever that activates the blinker. I think that might be the problem this time around also. I only have one ignition key and so I need to get around to ordering a second key. All that adds up, I hate to use my car fund, it is almost to $1,000 BUT that is what the car fund is for. I had just hoped once I got to 1,000 in the car fund to stop funding the account temporarily until the Mortgage fund was done then go back to funding the car fund.

All in all, a good day. I know once I have 12 Months of Mortgage, Property Taxes and House Insurance in the bank I will have such a feeling of pressure lifted off my shoulders.

Groceries and Weekend Recap.

March 28th, 2011 at 06:53 am

BF and I had another talk about the finances. This time I made the point that he keeps saying he is going to do something (Buy groceries, give me money for utilities, or take care of the carpet situation) then when he does not follow through I am getting to the point where I don't know IF I can trust his word.

We went grocery shopping on Saturday, BF paid.

We came home with a cart full. I did not think he was going to buy that much. The shopping list that I had posted on the fridge was a baseline list basically anything we were completely out of or things we were getting low on that we can't run out of (such as soymilk and bread).

Anyway, we started at one end of the store and basically went through every aisle EXCEPT for the Candy/Seasonal aisle. The total was $250.

I am really actually pretty happy with what we came home with. I would say only 10% was processed food. It mainly was meats, Fruits, and vegetables. There was no junk food, there was some processed foods but they were things like crackers, canned beans, and cresent rolls.

Today I am going to create a new excell spreadsheet based on the spreadsheets I use to track my monthly cash flow. BF wants the list of household bills so he can figure out what is a resonable amount to pay me for household bills.

I told him I just wanted to know what he was willing to pay, I don't want him being resentful by the amount but I want to have an advanced idea of what I can expect. I said even if that amount varies. Like less now because he is still paying rent on his apartement he can't get out of, then once the lease is over more, and then while I am gone atleast 100% of the utilites.

I told him I did not want to create the list of household bills because I did not want it to influence his answer. I wanted him to set it based on what he felt was fair not being swayed by my overall household expenses.

He asked me to tell him how much I am short and he would just pull it out of savings and give it to me. The problem is I am not in the red now, I am close but I also need to start saving for the added expenses I will have while I am not home. I guess the fact I am planning on donating plasma to do that is making him realize that I am serious.

Snow Storm, Chili Cookoff, and pickup purchase, BF $ Musing.

March 24th, 2011 at 08:01 am

Yesterday was a snow day. The night before we got lots of snow. I got a call on my cell phone at 5:45 am and again at 6:15am (the school must have my number listed twice). The call on my cell phone was by the school districts emergency notification program. It said school was cancelled. It was really nice to have the call to confirm the NO School instead of wondering about no school. Of course I was not mentally awake enough at 5:45 am to even be worried about school or no school at that point.

The snow was DEEP, I started snowblowing the driveway at 6:45 am and finished at 8 am. At 6:30 I took a walk down the cul-de-sac to check out the depth of the snow on the cul-de-sac and the road it connects to. It was too deep that I would have gotten stuck, so I stayed home.

If I had purchased a truck like I keep telling myself every winter I am going to do it would not have been a problem but when the clearance under your car is a foot or foot and a half and the average snow depth of the snow on the street is 2 feet to 2 and a half feet that just does not work.

Today I almost got stuck in the road right beyond my driveway, then I almost hit a van stuck in the middle of the road our cul-de-sac connects to. I also almost got stuck 3 times trying to drive around drivers who were driving in the somewhat of a path in the middle of the road.

***
Last week one my co-workers came up with a chili cookoff idea. So today to office smells of yummy chili. There are 6 crockpots going in the conference room next to my office and there are chili pots going in offices all around the building.

My BF made some chili a month or so ago. It ended up being ALOT more than he planned. It was also a bit hotter than he planned for the mild batch. See he made it up then realized how much he made and divided it into two crockpots then added extra spices to one pot. Well the chili is not my favorite. It is all heat and not much flavor. I like mine to get the flavor from green peppers, Onion, Tomato and Ground Beef. His is bean, red chilis and Hot Links.

Anyway, Since he made the chili serving containers of it have been sitting frozen in the freezer. He might take one serving every week or every other week to work. So Yesterday I took 1 green pepper, 1 onion, and a pound of Ground beef, tomato sauce and diced tomatos and added it to the chili. I like it much better now BUT it still has a high HEAT to it. Too much heat for my liking.

Anyway I compiled ALL the chili that was in the freezer and added my stuff to it and now it is at work. It was super easy and hopefully it all gets eatten so I dont have any to take home. BF ate it for dinner, not sure if he liked my version better, but he also took some with for lunch today. There were other leftovers in the fridge he could have taken so I think he liked my chili.

***

Pickup purchase, like I said above there are some days I really wish I had a truck. Our cul-de-sac is connected to a road that has alot of undeveloped lots on it, so it is one of the last that gets plowed when there is a storm. Since I have lived here I have wanted a reliable truck. I had one when I was married BUT it was a work truck so it did not get good gas mileage and I think the starter was going out because it had issues starting, so when we needed it, it would be tempramental. I want a smaller truck that can get through deep snow but is reliable and gets good gas mileage. I want one every time I pass a rummage sale and see something I could use that is excellent priced, I want one when I have things that need hauling, I want one when it snows and I can't drive down my road BUT the rest of the roads in town are okay.

But then those moments pass, and I forget and or I think of the added title, registration and insurance costs and talk myself out of it for the little use it would get. If I forget about my pickup want shortly after the need passes, is this really a need? Truthfully my work is VERY forgiving. I know of others who HAD to go to work, If I HAD to go to work this would be a must. Not sure how much longer I can miss work once or twice a winter because I can't get out off my street without getting stuck. I think yesterday they might have thought it was more school being cancelled and not roads, but my son could have went to my cousins house OR come to work with me and sat in the conference room watching cartoons.

MY BF has a truck so IF I had to have come to work we could have got a ride with him, of course he works 10 hour days so being stuck at work for 11 hours without transportation would have sucked, especially since my son and I might have been the only one here that early and that late since others would have came and left at their normal time.

***
BF and Househould Contributions:

Last Night, BF made another comment about waiting until Payday to purchase something.

I point blank asked him. "BF where do you spend your money?" His answer was he is cheap. I said "No, Something is NOT adding up. You said you had a car loan for $225. Your last Student Loan Payment of $450 was this month? (Pause for his response)."

This is when he said he should have told me but his landlords lawyer called him and he is not being let out of his lease and he called the housing authority in Town and they told him they do not have to let him out of his lease. So until June he is still paying $525 plus lights per month on the vacent apartment.

Well this still leaves him $500 or so left once you factor in gas and insurance for his vehicle so come Friday I am still going to ask him for atleast the Gas/Electric Bill Money. The Water/Waste and Internet would be the same if he was here or not. I feel he should pay the full amount of the Electric/Gas for the house as his share plus as a repayment for cost I have incurred for his dog (carpet) and food I have purchased for him thinking he would be purchasing some himself once payday came.

He told me he has $1000 in savings (Emergency Fund) so in my opinion since he only has the car payment and the Apartment hanging over his head that is a large enough Emergency fund. He can pay his way while building up his Emergency Fund. He wants a $3,000 Emergency Fund. Plus he needs to save for a fence for his dog. I do not need a fence so I will not be paying for it, BUT I will not allow a chain linc be put up. I wanted maintenance free but because I am not paying for the materials just helping install it, I have desided that I will allow regular wood as long as it is painted/stained so that it does not gray.

The Countdown to daycare and need $300.

March 21st, 2011 at 01:19 pm

Today I found out that I can register for the Activity Center this summer at my son's school on the 1st of April at 10am.

I am planning on taking that day off of work so I can either camp out in their parking lot the night before OR arrive to put in my application as soon as I drop my child off at school. It will depend on if I have someone to drop him off or if I will need to do it.

The only draw back is my employeers are expecting the flooding to start the 28 of this month, so I might be out of town. I already printed out the registration form and all I need to write the check. The 1st of April is a Friday SOOOOO if I am out of town fighting floods then my BF can swing by and turn in the forms for me.

I need to have $300 to pay for it. Good thing the day before is payday. This should come out of daycare savings but part of me does not want to touch the daycare savings and I am hoping to just use paycheck money.

The program is 9 weeks long, it is $300 for the summer. The program starts a week and a half after school ends for the summer and it ends 2 and a half weeks before school starts. I was reviewing my schedule and if my BF can watch my son on Fridays then I will take the other days off and I will get 11 days of summer vacation with my son this summer.

I will only have to figure a plan for 22-23-24 August all day and drop off on the 25th of August. The 25th of August is the first day of school. I don't want to drop him off as early as I normally do and then leave because the first day of school is SOOOO special. I need to figure out something, but I have time to figure it out. I am really sad that I will not be able to hang out at the school that first morning until he enters the school at 8:30am like I normally am. I am praying that maybe our training plan for that morning will be light and not have any classes or if the officers and higher NCOs would have a staff meeting, then I might be able to get granted a late arrival time. That would be awesome.

If I can get into this program it will be such a blessing because I budgeted $125 per week for summer daycare which means 9 weeks would be $1125 so $300 would save me $825 dollars plus the $375 I would have paid for the 3 weeks after the program ends that I am planning to just take off work.

I plan to use the $1,200 saved to pay for Fall daycare $180 Aug/Sept afterschool care and then the rest to fund my Emergency Fund incase my Ex-Husband is able to stop paying me child support and I end up paying him.

I talked to my Ex-Husband and no matter what he cant start an externship until the 16th of August because of his Annual Training. His externship is 3 months long. So at this point even though he is planning on spending his spring break here trying to lock in an externship, I think there is a very good chance that he is going to end up staying where he is until the Nov 16th so he can do the 3 month externship and get his degree.

I am getting MagicJack and cell phone changes

March 18th, 2011 at 10:20 am

We had a communications briefing at our last drill. It was VERY informative.

I am planning on getting MagicJack for my deployment. I plan to get it now, so I have a house phone. I am extremely happy about having a house phone again.

The MagicJack cost $39.99 which includes a one year service and then each addition year is $19.99. The purchase price is LESS than what I was paying monthly for land line service BEFORE I cut the cord.

The good news is I plan to purchase and install it this weekend. I will get the telephone number and update ALL my contacts with that additional number. The good news is that it is portable.

Right before I deploy I will switch the magicjack to my laptop (get to keep my phone number). I will then be able to get and recieve calls from the US just like if I was not deployed. This way IF the bank calls me or My Sons school calls me they can actually reach me.

I was thinking of skyp but since this conference I think MagicJack will be a much much better fit.

****
I got a text on my phone last night from ALLTEL telling me AT&T shipped my phone and will be going Live in March. I was then actually able to go to AT&T's website and review the phone plans. They are very much the same as ALLTEL's current plans but slightly different.

Anyway I found out today that Verizon gives a 15% military discount. Well that is nice...They dont advertise that. For like 3 years I had Verizon and that 15% discount would have been nice. Anyway I was doing the math and if I had their cheapest plan with texting I would be saving $5.50 a month over what I am paying now because of the discount. Oh well I am not going to get locked into a two year contract right now to just save $5.50 a month.

My plan is to keep Alltel/AT&T until I deploy then Freeze my account and my number. I will unfreeze my account once I get back. That way I can keep my cell phone number. I will then be switching to pre-paid which is cheaper. After review of the many ways to combine plans for two phones I will be saving $15 per month by going prepaid. I save $15 on the first line nothing on the second because of the family plan discounts the second line actually comes out to the same on both (prepaid vs contract).

My plan is to get my son a cell phone since he will be old enough to stay home alone for the 45 minutes between the time school lets out and I get off work. I plan on going with straight talk. They currently have free basic phones on their website. I will purchase two, one for my son and one for me. I will port my number to my phone. Then I will save up and watch ebay/online for deals on one with a full keyboard.

I figure I will have a little leave at the end of my deployment so I might be able to delay the purchase of the cell phone for my son for a month or so.

I will have the magicjack at home once I get home for contacting him, BUT I want him to have a cell phone to use to contact me IF he has any problems (misses the bus and has to walk home, or whatever else comes up). The cell phone cost of $30 per month plus tax is much cheaper than the $165 per month I would pay for afterschool daycare for those 45 minutes.

March 31st Paycheck Bills / Monthly Housing Costs

March 16th, 2011 at 07:03 am

Last night BF reminded me that he will be out of town in April. He will not get home until like Midnight on Friday. That Friday is my drill weekend and I have drill so I need to add daycare into my paycheck plans.

He got his drill letter and well the letter shows that they moved the dates of his April drill. This really stinks. First of all it is on my drill weekend so if that is the case I actually have to come up with $100 (weekend) in daycare instead of $10 (friday night only).

The other bad side is the plan for that month is weapons qual, I guess they go to Fort McCoy to shot and will be headed there in a bus. Well if they leave on Friday I am not sure how BF is going to get there since he does not get back from his training until Friday night.

***
Last night I talked to BF about bills and so I need to clear the clutter off the table so I can find the Electric/Gas bill, the water/sewer and the Internet bills so I can show him this months bills. I feel better about saying please give me this amount this month when I have the bills infront of me. His plan is to just pay ALL the utilities instead of part of the mortgage and taxes/insurance which I believe is fair. After all I would have to pay the Mortgage and taxes/insurance even if he was not living here the others are the ones that actually are affected by his living with us.

This month the bills were:
Electric/Gas 136.43
Internet 40.23
Water/Waste 36.03
Total 212.69

He also watched my son all day Friday (No School) and this weekend for drill saving me $125. He also pays the Netflixs bill (I cancelled my plan $10.25 after he moved in).

So this month my BF will pay and saved me a total of $347.94

Standard room rental rates for this area are $300-$325 per month

1/3 of this months total housing costs were $389.45 (Mortgage, property taxes, and house insurance included).

Payday and Savings Progress

March 15th, 2011 at 10:20 am

Today I got paid. I went in and subracted all the bills out that I know of. I don't know the exact amount my water/sewer bill will be so I just figured out about $40, I left $80 for gas and $100 for the rest of the month for food. I just went shopping and spent $209 so I think we should be set until the end of the month.

As of this paycheck I have:
Car $903.22 (Almost 1K, Yeahhhhh baby)
Emergency Fund $4501.66 (3Mths+)
Mortgage $3503.45 (5.27 Months)
Escrow $2022.48 (6 Months)
House Repair $2001.47 (Deductable for Hail/Peril)
Summer Daycare $4453.85 DONE!!!

My goals for any extra money are:
Finish 12 mth Escrow
Apply Snowball to Mortgage
Finish 12 mth Mortgage
Split three ways Emergency Fund, Car, and House Upgrades

Today is the 15th.....This is the day that BF said he was going to have money available to pay rent since his lease is officially done. I will ask him tonight. I am going to ask, wish he would have handed me the check without me needing to ask BUT oh well.

I am thinking I might apply the first rent check from BF to the mortgage savings since I really really really want to see that at the 6 month level like the escrow account.

I also need to redo my emergency fund numbers. I cancelled my landline. I also reduced my cell phone plan again. Now the bill is only $17 more than if I went pre-paid. I have not gone pre-paid because I think once I am done with deployment I think it will be cheaper than two pre-paid phones. I also basically paying an extra $17 per month because I want to be able to freeze my number while I am deployed and so if I find out that two cell phones on the regaular plan is cheaper than two pre-paid I only have to have one contract for the second line. Another reason I have not gone pre-paid yet is because of the buying of the phone....If I buy a phone it is no cheaper because of the cost of the phone plus the fact with my pre-paid I will have to wastes a half of a month or a full month depending on the date of my deployment and then when I come home for R&R I would have to buy a full month, wasting half a months phone time plus it would be a new number.

Pondering Government Shutdown....

March 10th, 2011 at 08:59 am

How will this affect me if the Government does not extend the Continuing Resolution that expires 18 March 2011.

I am told I will continue to work as an "Excempt" Employee but I will not get paid until the termination of the furlough. I will still have medical benefits (some others are not so lucky) but any Routine physicals or preventative dental appointments will NOT be paid, those things need to wait until the termination of the furlough.

I do not know how long it will take for a new Federal Budget to be passed, but I am guessing a government shutdown for a long period would not happen as the people of the country including the people who write and pass the laws would not like it.

The biggest impact on me is the no pay until the furlough ends. I am glad that I have a emergency fund for this. I would like to be able to continue to work on my savings goals but this paycheck anything I have extra is going into the routine bills part of the Emergency Fund.

This will be my first "government shutdown" as a government employee. Around work there are a few people who have been through at least one before. Depending on there status as exempt or non-exempt and benefits being cancelled vs suspended seem to weigh in on how stressed the employees are.

As A Dave Ramsey and Susie Orman follower I have a hard time seeing why the government is having such a hard time with the spending budget. If it was me instead of trying to deside which things get cut and which get more I would just use 2010's budget then figure out how much more we are spending than we have and then use that percentage for a across the board budget cut. We would then be in a Zero Based Budget. Then Next Year use the 2011 zero based budget as a template and start reviewing the things that are in the budget and start cutting back spending in some areas to start reducing the deficet.

Of course some would say some programs can't afford a cut...well if the program is so important the people will fund it or the companies and program will get creative in there money saving efforts. Even across the board cuts people would complain, but atleast they would get some funding even if it is less then they are used too.

Switched Insurance and Cell Phone question

March 4th, 2011 at 09:45 am

I switched my Car Insurance, I saved $20 per 6 month period. It will go up by $50 for the next 6 month period, but not really.

See it would go up, but I also get a annual discount on my house insurance of $68. In addition I also will get a auto policy refund at the end of the first year of auto coverage and each year after that for 10% I think.

My old provider never gave me a discount when I dropped my BAD DRIVER ex-husband off my policy and dropped off two vehicles. I believe somewhere in there database they were punishing me for my Husbands past driving history.

My old provider also does not do a deployment discount policy where as this new provider does, see my car will be parked in my garage during my deployment at most my BF MIGHT drive my car around the cul-de-sac once a month or so but for the most part it is going to sit. They have a cheaper policy for that and so I will get the cheaper policy while I am gone.

Once I get back from my deployment I think I will contact my old company for a NEW quote and see where I sit because I am 99.9% certain that my Ex-Husbands DUI's are in there system somewhere and even though he is off the policy it is still bringing my premium up.

***
Okay Cell Phone question.
I text, I might text like 100 texts a month. I like a full keyboard for this, not a smart phone mind you but a full keyboard.
I talk on the phone, I might talk about 200 minutes a month.
I would LOVE internet but I dont have it or a smart phone.

I am thinking about getting a pre-paid phone, The phone would cost $99 and then each month the minutes would cost $30. It would include 1000 minutes, 1000 text or 1000 converted internet time OR for $45 I could get unlimited (The unlimited is still cheaper than my current plan).
I am currently paying $69 a month for a $49.99 plan plus $7.99 for a text package the rest is ALL fees.

I guess the reason I have not made the jump YET is because if I keep the provider I have now (not pre-paid) I can FREEZE my number while I am deployed and then when I get back I still have my number. Also I do not have a contract, so when I get home from my deployment I could add a line and only actually have one contract for a two line plan. I will need two phones when I get home so my son can have a phone or I will NEED to purchase a landline for when he is home alone. The cell phone would be cheaper. The cell phone add on plans are normally $9.99 or $19.99 so I am thinking it would be cheaper to add a second phone line to the post-paid phone then to pay for two pre-paid phones BUT I do not know for sure because I currently have Alltel and am waiting for AT&T to come to the area (was suppose to happen Dec 2010), so as of now I dont know what kind of plans they will offer in this area.

What would you do? How big of a deal is it to switch phone numbers with all your business contacts? I am getting tired of waiting on the AT&T merger. If I buy the new Pre-Paid phone today I would after applying the monthly savings to the cost of the phone save $90 between now and the deployment. If I had done it in December when I first thought of it I would have saved $180. $30 a month in extra cell phone cost just is hard to swallow.

Bought Shoes and Talked with BF

February 24th, 2011 at 06:58 am

So last night I realized I needed to start the look out for new running shoes as they no longer make the style number I have. Mine are old and when I run in them my arches start to ache within like 3 minutes.

I have been putting this off for a while. I went online and checked about five different sites. They all had the shoes listed for $84.99. But then I checked kohl's. The good news was I got Free shipping and there was a coupon code online for 30% off. Plus Kohl's sale price was $5 cheaper. So I saved $30 a pair. Yes, I bought two pairs because after taxes and everything they were $55 each. Which was too much of a deal to pass up.

Yes, you are might be thinking what is she thinking, buying two pairs of shoes instead of just one. Well the reason for it is....I need one pair now. And if I doing my math right this pair will wear out about half way through my deployment. I am worried that I will either break, lose, or have this one pair stolen and so I want a spare pair at home. I also have never shopped online and dealt with APO shipping so I figured it would be easier to buy them now and then if I need them before I come home for R&R then I can have BF ship them, instead of possibly having to pay jacked up prices because of the possibility of the cheapest provider not being APO friendly.

****
I talked to BF again about the fact I am broke. He let me cry and told me he understands and has been in my shoes and it is just going to take time to get back on our feet. He gave no ideas, no oh honey but I am going to pay the water bill, nope just yak yak yak about how it will all work out it time, it is just not been very long since my divorce and I just need to relax and let things settle into a pattern.

I knew I needed gas in my car, I need to pay my son's $24 dental bill and my water/waste bill is coming due soon. So this morning I took the gas that I purchased for the snowblower that does not use a oil mix and put it in my car. When I started the car it was nearly on E, oops thought I had a bit more. I now have almost a half tank of gas. I don't know if we will need to use the snowblower again or if it is just going to be shovel weather, and the tank is also the mower one (the grass is still covered in snow so don't need the gas for that yet, so I figured I would use it up).

I know when BF and I sorta talked about him moving in (did not talk about exact finances) anyway he said he would not stand for 2 Rosters in the hen house. Meaning EX could not stay there if he was. Well I am planning to tell him that I NEED to let the parasite live there while I am deployed because I can't afford the financial ramifications if he does not. I hope BF can deal with that. I know it will not be ideal BUT what does he expect for $225 a month rent (which he has not started paying). Yes, it will be ackward for everyone at first, but either everyone will get used to it or I guess BF will move out once he has saved enough money from leaving in my home to either rent an house that will allow a dog or have saved up for a down payment.

I think BF is a good guy, and I would hope he would be able to deal with the situation but in the end.

Not having my Ex live in the house while I am deployed will cost me.
$319.90 Child Support I am paid
$717 Child Support I would have to pay
Child Deduction 2012 taxes
Head of Household 2012 taxes
20% co pay of medical insurance instead of Full coverage
$250 Seperation Pay per month
Yep sure adds up fast.

I feel bad that BF is going to have to put up with my EX living in the basement in one of the spare bedrooms but I can't justify the financial losses.

Financial talk with BF, Housing plan talk with EX, and Doggy update.

February 23rd, 2011 at 08:28 am

So Monday I had the talk with BF about finances, not really totally happy with the outcome. I feel sort of taken advantage of when it was done because I was not comfortable telling him what I wanted, just asked him what he thought was fair.

He said his take home is $1600, and he is not going to completely hand his check over to another person ever again. I care about BF, and he is a good housemate, but I want a chance at a long term relationship and BF doesn't plan to get married again. Which is fine with me, because it would just complicate things, but I would like a more intertwined relationship. Okay, I would like to be one of those engaged for 10-12 year people.

Back in Sept 2010 I told my EX-Husband he could move into my house (so our son would not have to move while I was deployed). Well I was not planning on charging him rent since he would still be paying child support but then I got to thinking and feared my EX would damage things such as the stove etc. Or to be spitful run up my utilities bill. So I desided that he would have to pay the utilites so that he would not be tempted to set the heat at 80 in the winter or air conditioner at 65 in the summer. So utilities $250 average per month plus 319.90 child support equals $560 per month $$$ I would have gotten from EX.

Well then I met my BF, and he moved in. I trust my BF to take care of the place better so last night after my EX said he wanted to know exactly where we were sitting, I told EX "he should just rent an apartment". I think it would be best for our sons mental adjustment anyway and mine since I don't trust my EX not to purposely damage the house while I am gone if he gets upset with the responsiblities that come with being a father.

Well BF knows that I was going to let EX move in and just pay utilites so that was what he suggested. That he pay the utilites. I guess part of me feels that is taking advantage of me because of the fact that since my EX is not staying in the house I will need to pay him $319.90 in child support so having BF stay there instead of the EX is costing me $319.90 for my deployment time frame. Also $250 in utilites is less that the $410 (1/3 total household costs) I was hoping he would offer. He was paying $525 a month plus lights in rent so I feel like $410 would have still been a better deal than what he was paying.

That aside, I am trying to look at it like a house sitting option, BF is house sitting my house for me and I am getting the utilites paid out of the deal. Then once I get home I think I will have to re-address the issue. Right now in addition to the utilities (which he has not started paying yet, he does provide me with daycare for my drill weekends whenever he is not working also so that saves me $100 each month).

###

I was trying to look up IF I could get composite fencing done here, and the main professional fencing webite had the type of fence I wanted and a section on Dog Kennels. We will need one once my BF's dog comes to live here because I want a composite fence if one is going to be put up and they are expensive PLUS a fence is not one of MY priorities. BF said he would pay for the fence and install it since it was for his dog BUT in his mind he had a chain linc fence in mind. Sorry but if I am going to put up a fence it is going to add curb appeal. I do not want to put up a chain linc fence then try to sell the house later and the buyer turned off because there is a chain linc fence. So for the time being a dog kennel will have to do. I guess I don't really want to pay for the fence, I plan to get a estimate on what having a pro install what I had in mind done. Then maybe BF can apply what he is saving in rent by living with me to the cost of having the fence either installed by the pros or towards the materials that I approve. I saw some at the hardware store but I was not at all impressed. I would prefer the pro install.


After seeing the dog kennel on the one website, I desided to check if there where any new listing for kennels on our local free online website. The last time no luck but last night there was one that was listed on the 16th.

Menards had a deluxe model (5 x 10) for $350 and a basic chain linc the same size for $290. The ad did not have a picture BUT I think it is the deluxe model anyway they want $250 or best offer, because they said they paid $350 plus at Menards for it which leads me to believe it is the deluxe one. BF called them last night and left a message. He will call again today. Hopefully they still have it. It would be nice for him to get a deal on it, also the hardware store said it would take one week for it to get to the store.

Well Last night after I showed BF the web ad, he got a text from his mother to call his tonight. Seems BF's parents are coming to visit, they will be bringing the rest of BF's things and his dog. We found out last night that they will be here either this weekend or next weekend. So need to either get the online one or order the one from the hardware store asap. The good news is because they are doing the trip it is only going to cost BF gas money so instead of having to pay for a uhaul and time off work ($2000 approx) he is figuring about $600 in gas.

Now I just have to not let the housing agreement with BF bug me, I don't want it to ruin our relationship so not sure what to do.

I want new food storage containers

February 18th, 2011 at 07:37 am

I currently have no food storage containers left in my container drawer. Kmart was a 40 piece set which is really 20 containers on sale for $15.98. My local Wal-mart has a 6 piece (3 containers) of my most used sizes for $9.98 yep for $6 more I can get an additional 17 containers, but only one of the additional sizes are my Favorite sizes.

I have been wanting to buy new containers for a while since my lower quality (the take and toss kind) are starting to be at the end of their life cycle. I believe I have had them for about 5 years. The bowls are cracking/splitting from the applied pressure to put the lid on, and the lids are starting to crack at the seams so they are no longer air tight.

I don't know why it is so hard to just go out and buy new containers. My old containers I loved them because I had three sizes. The three sizes had three different shaped lids, round, square, and oval. This made figuring out the size and lid super easy. I would like to do that again but I am running into the problem that buying just the size I want is more expensive than buying the bigger set and having extra in different sizes.

I think I am going to start with 1 or 2 of the sale Kmart 40 packs. Then as more or my old ones wear out I will buy just the size I like. The reason for wanting the multipack is that my primary goal is storage containers to take lunch to work BUT there are times when the leftovers are not enough to be a meal or they are small things like diced onion or diced green pepper that I like to cut once and use out of the container over a few days.

So I think it is time to bite the bullet and buy the storage containers. By the way, I don't have any storage containers in my drawer right now because the ones I have (that are not broken yet) are all in use. I like to make double batches of meals or make meals large enough for at least 1 lunch of leftovers so BF or I can take them for lunch and not have to go out to eat or buy frozen entrees. Yes I used to buy a months worth of frozen entrees and put them in the extra freezer at work (no one uses it but me).

Buying one set of containers is what is would cost for 4 and a half days of frozen entrees so this actually pays for itself the first week. Looking at it like that has helped. Tonight after work I think I will swing by Kmart and buy 2 sets of the dishes.

Need to cut out the Extras.

February 17th, 2011 at 01:11 pm

I need to get my Emergency Fund Finished. If the Continuing Resolution is not fixed prior to 4 March 2011, then I am going to have pay issues.

I made a list of my expenses and posted it as a page on here. Hopefully later after I am thinking clearly I can ask for advice on whys to cut out costs that I am over looking.

My Mortgage was refinanced in July 2010 so there is not much I can do about that. It is what it is but I noticed that interest rates are higher than my 4.25% currently so that is that.

I also can't do anything about my house taxes, they were just assessed this Summer also so they are actually correct.

I am thinking maybe it is time to call my house insurance company though and see what I can do to reduce that cost or if that does not help get other quotes. BUT I think I will put that on the back burner for now because I don't want to increase my deductable until I have the increase in my in my Savings.

Today I will try to reduce my Gas/Electric Bill by reducing the heat temp and changing the time settings to match up more with what time we are getting out of bed and going to bed.

I have a list of 5 things that I think will be easy and then hopefully I will start tackling the harder stuff.

What happened to my Deal Shopping Mogo.

February 16th, 2011 at 09:07 am

I have noticed that since BF moved in I have went from grocery shopping every few days (Boredom/Freebies and Cheapies) to doing the bulk of the shopping the Saturday after the first of the Month Payday. The reason for that paycheck being the one that restocks our pantry, I am not sure.

I have been adding stuff to the grocery list on the counter as I use it so that when that Saturday rolls around I restock what we have used. I guess my only issue is when I do that I am buying the cheapest at the time (brand name with coupon or generic) and I wonder if there is a better way to reduce our grocery expenses.

I am in a rut. I am not sure how to get back into the money saving mindset. See I am not sure if my grocery shopping has gone up since BF moved in but I feel like it has. Before he moved in my son and I were eatting the stockpile and we were not spending much on groceries. Also we were eatting cheap foods and not well balanced meals, and not much in the vegetable relm. So now that I needed to restock the pantry and freezer in order to create meals it seems like to my mind I have spent more than normal. We also always have onions and green peppers in the fridge. A vegetable staple is unheard of pre-BF.

BF's last Student loan payment comes out of this paycheck. I am not sure IF he was paying rent with the 15th paycheck or the end of the month one. So depending on when he used to pay rent will depend on how much money BF will soon start to have available to buy groceries and a portion of the utilities.

Last night I made a potato based soup and I realized the potatos we had were sprouting along with the last sweet potato, so I asked BF to pick up 2 potatos on his way home from work. He did and he picked up a few of the things he needs for the chili he plans to make this weekend. I am wondering if the best way to handle the groceries is to just ask BF to pick up the needed parishables as we need them and have me purchase the staples.


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