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Fridays Mussings

April 18th, 2011 at 06:19 pm

On Friday as I was driving home I saw something that made me think.

I have been thinking about the purchase of an SUV. Of course I will not be purchasing it until I get home from deployment BUT I have been thinking about how I would do it.

I don't want to dip into my EF, So depending on how much extra money I have after deployment would depend on how I paid for the SUV.

I am thinking of a NEW SUV and the three I am most interested in are 22K-24K in price. I was thinking about a loan, I hate loans and like to pay them off early. I figured a loan this size would be $450-$500 a month. I was thinking of doing a loan because I do not want to use my EF, I would rather get a loan then just pay it off early. Instead of paying for it out of savings then if something comes up Wish I had gone with the loan.

Right now I only have 1k in my car repair or replacement account BUT I have a feeling this money is going to be moved into the Child Support Checkbook. So I will have no money for a new car.

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So back to the drive home from work on Friday. In front of me is a SUV it is a 2003 SUV with 79,000 miles and it is for sale by owner I can't remember if it was $5,800 or $8,500. But both prices are less than the 22K-24K I was pondering. Now this SUV was not the make and model I was thinking of.

But maybe just maybe when I get home I might consider going used SUV in one of the makes and models I wanted. It would be much cheaper.

I really would like to buy a NEW SUV, because I bought my last car NEW and then drove it 12 years. The only reason I am getting a new vehicle is because I need better ground clearance because of where my house is located. So in my mind I am thinking new SUV at 22-24K driven for 12 years is 2k a year or about $165 per month. My current car was 13k lasted 12 years so an average monthly cost of $90. When I purchased my current car I was making an average of 12K a year, my current income is 56K. So in my mind the increase in average monthly payments seems in line.

Hopefully when the time comes to buy a new vehicle there will be a USED SUV in my prefered make and model so that I go that route. I hate spending money, so that will help in the battle of USED VS NEW. But I also like knowing that the vehicle has been properly cared for from day one....New wins out.

My daily declutter plan.

April 14th, 2011 at 02:01 pm

Okay first I spent ALOT of money yesterday.

I purchased:
A blower/Vac for the yard 97.00
A large bag of Fertilizer with Crabgrass preventer 53.94
Garlic Bread $1.34 (reduced to quick sale)
Giant Pet Lint Roller 4.98

Total Spent $166.62

I tried to borrow a blower BUT no one I know has one, and since I still have a 7 foot high snow bank on half my boulivard I will need it more than once. Anyway it is one of those things I need every spring so it was time to just suck it up and buy it.

The Fertilizer is a need, it has to have crab grass preventer in it because that is my BIG yard issue. I also sprang for the Scotts brand because it is not suppose to burn the grass, and it is suppose to be timed release. BUT truthfully the main reason in addition to the above reasons, I spent a little more on the scotts over the generic was because the Scotts is suppose to be pet/child safe as soon as the dust settles where as the others NOT SO MUCH.

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The declutter plan, I cleared a bunch of things out of my garage and put them on the sidewalk for spring cleanup week on friday. Wonder how much of it will be gone by the time I get home tonight? Anyway it took up alot of room in my garage. It was stuff I was going to put in my garage sale for super cheap. I just wanted a little money, but I decided not to have a yard sale.

It is amazing how mentally tough it is to see clutter and hold onto clutter in the hopes to make a few bucks. Yes I might have made a few bucks at a rummage sale, but with all the things that are out of my control in my life right now, I want the control of discarding those things and getting my garage to a point where I can start organizing it.

I want to have a yard sale but I just am not going to have the time (My days are pretty busy with extra training to prep for the deployment) Plus I want to spend time with my son, not spend time preping for a sale and hosting a sale, and I really want to start on the process of getting my garage user friendly. It was so functional until I moved that stuff into the garage so it was out of the way until the garage sale. But it seems like when I have a garage sale the garage and house gets MORE messy before it gets cleaner because I am moving stuff around to make shopping easier and in my case I am moving all flat surfaces (desks, end tables, coffee table, etc) to the garage to put stuff on because I don't have enough tables.

The stuff I put onto the curb was not good enough for the thrift store to be willing to pick up, and I am not going to store it in my garage for weeks in the hope someone sees the $5 ad and wants it. There are still three items in the garage, two items I will post online, the third I will be adding to the pile outside. I always put the stuff outside a few days before spring cleanup because once I do that it frees up space in my mind (mental to do list) and I start to remember other things that can go.

Anyway.....I have a plan. Starting Yesterday Everyday I want to declutter atleast one item. I have approx 160 days left until I deploy so that is 160 items I would declutter out of my house before I leave.

I will count items I throw away, and I will count things I donate. The things I throw away I get credit right away for, the things I donate I only get credit for them when they are recorded onto my donation spread sheet and placed neatly in a box to go to the drop off point. I will donate the stuff IF I have it recorded on the excell sheet. The big push is to get it on the excell sheet. Usually once I get about 3 or 4 boxes of stuff onto the spreadsheet I get in a hurry to donate it to clear the space.

If I am taking stuff to resale I do not get credit for it until I actually take it into the store. The reason for this is because I tend to sometimes put those things in my car and then it takes me a few days to actually take the things in.

I also have another thing, I have things at my home that are going to deploy with me, such as sheets etc. If it is a deployment item I get credit for getting it out of my house IF it is an item that is going into my tough box. And then I only get credit for it once it is in neatly packed into the tough box.

Yesterday I took some items into my favorite childrens resale shop. I made $10 then realized that they are still taking out of season stuff and so I took another bag of items in and got another $17. So Yesterday was a big day of decluttering.

I "want" a Kindle and a high quality sleep mask.

April 12th, 2011 at 06:18 pm

I want a Kindle, I have been asking around on what are Must Have items to make a Deployment much more tolerable.

Most guys it seems take a video game system of some kind. I do not play video games. I read, and the girl whom I was asking about what is really nice to have said a nook or kindle.

She reads alot, LIKE ME!!! She said she ended up having people send her books, but then when it was time to come home she had to figure out how to bring them home. She said she and her mom and sister read the same types of books and they trade. Well she was not going to leave behind like $500 in books when it was her family that sent them to her to read, since they might want to read them now that she is done. She said next time she would get a nook.

I also read alot, she said they did have a library BUT the selection was limited. I can read a book a day or in two days so I could easily read through the entire library in a month or two and then what am I going to do with my boredom.

I want to purchase a Kindle, but for now I want to slowly work on downloading the free kindle books onto my laptop so that when I finally buy the kindle I have a collection to read.

I also am on the look out for a quality sleep mask, she said have two. One to wear if you send the other to the wash or if it is wet from being hand washed. She said that because of shift differences and the numbers of females we will being sharing a room with the sleep masks and earplugs are a must have.

I just don't know what to look for in a sleep mask because I have never worn one. I do know there have been times in my military career I have really wished for one, I guess no time like the present.

I would love it if my family would buy it for me, but if not maybe I will buy it with my rummage sale money. My Birthday and Christmas are three months after I deploy so that is why I say it would be really cool if I got it as a gift, if everyone who normally buys me a gift went in together. Or got me a Gift Card to Amazon so I could use the Gift Cards to pay part of it.

We will have to see.

No More

April 8th, 2011 at 02:21 pm

I decided not to post when I have a NSD. I will mention it in a later post but for now you will find out I had a NSD once I post a spend day.

Wednesday 6 April was a NSD. I went to the used book store looking for the books DS wanted. They did not have any instock, so I checked online. This is when I realized that the older books in the series are available in soft cover. So I am going to go to the local Barnes and Noble later this month with DS and look for the softcover. I figure if I can't get them used, the cheaper soft cover is the the way to go.

Thursday 7 April (Yesterday), I purchased DS a shirt. It cost $3.64 after tax. It was nice and soft and it was brown. DS had his first grade musical last night and he was an owl. He wanted to wear a brown shirt. Also he has NO shirts that do not have cartoon pictures on them besides his one dress shirt. I need to locate that dress shirt. If his dress shirt is to small this T-Shirt will be what he wears to my aunts on Easter. I also plan on having him wear this t-shirt in our family pictures when we finally get around to getting them taken. So $3.64 was a good price.

Today will not be a NSD. I was going to have my son spend the night at my grandmothers house and then after work tomorrow go pick him up and stay there for dinner and socializing. Well a little after Midnight I got a text message from my aunt and she says that will not work because my other aunt had to run my grandmother to the hospital. This really stinks because I keep meaning to get over to my grandmother but stuff always comes up. The way I scheduled that babysitting gig was with the purpose to make sure I spend Saturday evening at my grandmother.

So tonight I will drop my son off at the sitter at 5:15-5:30p and pick him up up at 10pm. He will not be spending the night. This means $12.50 out of the checkbook that I had not budgeted for the month. BF flys into town at 11pm so he can watch DS the rest of the weekend while I drill.

After work today, either before I pickup DS from school or after, I need to stop and get gas for my car. This is going to cost between $38-$40.

Post Spending:
$3.64 Clothing

Pending Spending:
Gas $38-$40
Daycare $12.50

Monthly Spending:
Diet Aids: $54
DS Allowance $5
BF Trip Cash $5
Groceries $19.60
Medicine $8.23
Deployment Expenses $11.00
Easter Baskets $64.20
Clothing $3.64

APRIL MONTH TO DATE:
170.67

What happened to my Deal Shopping Mogo.

February 16th, 2011 at 05:07 pm

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.

No Spend Day!

February 9th, 2011 at 03:20 pm

On Monday I took a return to Wal-Mart.

I had purchased a birthday gift for my Cousin's son. I then forgot to take my son to the Birthday Party because I had to work that weekend and we ended up being released from work early because the weather was BAD.

I totally forgot about the party until it was over for like 3 hours and my son looked at the calendar and said "____'s Birthday Party is tomorrow right?" I was planning on still giving the present to him BUT then I got to thinking. You know the saying the gift for someone who has everything. Well this child has EVERYTHING so not getting this one little gift from us is not going to matter to him. But it will buy my family groceries.

On Monday I was planning on going to the Grocery store and using a store coupon to get two jars of pasta sauce for 99 cents each. I ran out of time before I had to pick my son up for daycare and figured I would plan for it the next day. (It is between work and the daycare location). IF I dont take my son along the trip is much faster and I have to tell him No we can't have that so many less times.

We are doing okay but lately I had been going crazy with the grocery shopping spending more in one week than I used to spend in a month. So I have been sticking to my budget closely since I made that Retirement Allotment mistake and I feel bad saying no when my son asks for food at the grocery store. It is just so much easier not to take him.

So Tuesday I decided that I was just going to wait until my BF gets home and then I would go to the store. But if I make a trip to the store just to buy 2 jars of sauce on sale am I really saving money? The gas I use would possibly bring it to the same price as it normally is. So I am going to skip it unless a situation happens that I am in the area.

I should go online and check if my paycheck stub for the 15th is posted yet. Then I can figure out how much money I have to apply to my savings goals.

BF out of town so the diet starts.

February 7th, 2011 at 02:57 pm

BF went out of town on Sunday, it is for work. He has a new employee type orientation thing until Friday.

So Sunday I cleaned out the fridge, BF and I had done a little of it on Saturday. Sunday I put all the leftovers into the Freezer. BF will eat them for lunch at work once he gets back. They will last longer in the freezer. My son and I then ate the rest of the tiny containers of stuff that was left that was not big enough to call a meal. I tossed out some of the yucky containers (yogurt, cheese dip, etc) and some cheese and summer sausage that was not tossed on Saturday. So now my fridge is very empty except for sauces in the door and EGGS.

This week I would like to take the shelves and drawers out of the fridge and wash them.

Yesterday I bought two green peppers, one red pepper, mushrooms, and some loss leaders for the pantry. The peppers and a onion I already had I cut up for dinners this week. My son and I are going to be eatting Denver Omlets this week. I love Denver Omlets, they are cheap but packed with veggies and so they are a complete meal. Plus it will use up some of the two 18 count cartons of eggs we have in the fridge.

I boiled a dozen eggs that I had in my fridge and took them to work for a snack incase I need protein. Yes this was in addition to the above mentioned Eggs.

I have a return to do today on the way home from work, I also want to pick up two more pasta sauces. I have a store coupon so I am getting big jars of Ragu Sauce for 99 cent each (Limit Two). This should be the only shopping I do this week.

I love Denver Omlets and I will be eatting them all week, My son will probubly eat them twice and I will make him other food and save any leftovers for BF for lunches. BF does not like to eat the same food routinely so that is why I don't do Denver Omlet binges while he is here.

When BF was growing up, he and his mother lived with his grandparents and I think his mothers sister and brother. Because of this he does not like to eat anything more than once a month for dinner. Let me explain growing up Every Friday was MeatLoaf, Every Monday was Spagetti, Every Tuesday was Tuna Cassorole, ETC so 7 different meals for dinner for Years.

Leftovers for lunch is different and turning let say a Turkey into different things like Roasted Turkey Day one, Turkey Soup Day Two, Turkey Sandwiches Day Three, Turkey Hot dish Day Four, and Turkey Chili Day Five is Okay also. It just can't be Omlets EVERY Thursday or Omlets Every Night for a week.

So the time is now to get my Omlet Fix taken care of, Why do I crave Denver Omlets? Tonight I will be having diced Ham, Green and Red Bell Peppers, Fresh Mushroom, Black Olives, and Chedder Cheese folded into Eggs with Milk and Salt, Pepper, and Garlic.

My Son is having Ham, Bacon, Black Olives, Cheese folded into Eggs with Milk and Salt and Pepper.

Yummmmmmmy!

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.

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.

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

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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

Temporary Buyers remorse, and Change of Retirement Savings

July 14th, 2010 at 01:51 pm

Well I went back to the store and bought the furniture for upstairs. In 1 to 2 weeks I should have furniture for my house. Later that evening as I was thinking of the total bill I started to regret it.

I got a great deal on the furniture, I really do need furniture as it makes it hard to sit down and relax when you only have wood kitchen chairs to sit down in. But being the tight wad that I am I have a hard time spending money on myself.

Truthfully this is the first Me Purchase I have made in well 11 years. The last Me Purchase was my Car in 1999. I guess I am stressing because I charged it to my credit card and unless I want to pull the $ out of savings about half the charge might sit one cycle on the CC. Of course my rate is 8% so that is not bad considering. But as a pay in full credit card person this extra month freaks me out.

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I would like to have a fully funded 12 Month EF, truthfully I do not need that much as my job is really secure but it makes me feel better.

Today I reduced my retirement savings from 36% of my pay to 15%. This will bring me about an extra $700 per month into my take home. I plan to use the extra money to fund the Emergency Fund, The House Payment Fund and The Escrow Fund. (Basically I have the Emergency Fund broken down three ways) I figure if something were to happen then why breakup the fund to those three things when I can just break them up now.

Once the Emergency Funds are funded I need to save for the Deck and for a larger house repair fund. The Deck is a Need as it is a safety thing. I have a walk out lower level so without the deck if there was a fire at the front of the house the only way out the top floor would be the two story windows. The house repair fund is currently being fed $100 per month. I would like at least $2000 in the account. The deductible on the homeowners insurance is 1000 and I want to have atleast 1000 for repairs.

Once that all happens then I will raise back my retirement savings. It really hurts to reduce my retirement saving BUT truthfully if I continue how I am saving for retirement I will have $50K per year income and I am currently living off of $29K per year with the mortgage payment so I should not be stressing.

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I hope to have a rummage sale this weekend to help pay for the furniture and to also reduce the clutter in my life.

I was trying to think of ways to increase my income. I could get a parttime job (but this would require permission from my employer). I could sell stuff, which is why I am having a rummage sale/sales. Or I could think about having a roommate or two. I am not ready to go the roommate route because I like being able to live my life without having to worry about noise from other. Also if I get a parttime job I would have to line up daycare. So I am not sure what I will do for extra money once I sell everything that I can sell.

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Hopefully I will get clearity as time goes on, I just feel so pulled in so many ways.

Waiting for the Refinance Payment to hit, Bought Furniture

July 13th, 2010 at 01:45 pm

I am waiting on my Refinance Payment to hit my old mortgage company. There was a 3 day "Change your Mind" window with the loan which means I signed paperwork after hours on Monday so I had until Friday the 9th at Midnight to notify the lender if I desided I no longer wanted the loan.

Well Midnight on Friday translates to nothing happening until first thing on Monday. So I am checking my online mortgage account waiting for the payment to post or for me to try to log in and for it to tell me I no longer have an account.

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I need furniture, it is very difficult to entertain anyone when the only furniture you have is the kitchen table chairs and or the bedroom beds. So I finally broke down and went to the furniture store to purchase the livingroom set that I had desided I was going to purchase.

When I go there I realize to my dismay that the set I picked out that I thought had attached cushions infact did not have attached cushions. Sorry but I hate when a couch does not have attached cushions and you have a wiggly child on the couch and before you know it you are leaning against the back of the couch between the cushions.

So after a trip around the show room I had 3 options, the set that I am planning to purchase for the upstairs livingroom, a set very similar to the set I had selected originally but more $$ and with hard arms, and a third set that was not in their catalog.

I actually went with the third option, the couch was smaller than I was planning (only 2 inches larger than the one I plan to buy for the upstairs). But I LOVE the microsued fabric. It was also the BEST price. This store that I went to is always the best priced, so there stuff is hardly ever on sale more than their regular price.

Well they were comping this set because a local store had a similar set on sale so I got a couch, loveseat, chair and ottoman for $1100 plus a discounted delivery fee. That is $600 less than what I would have paid for the original set and the ottoman was basically a freebee. Actually they threw in a fabric protector package also for the sale price listed but since I would not have paid extra for it I did not include that in the price calculation.

Last night as I was sleeping or trying to sleep I got to thinking, I need furniture for the upstairs livingroom also. I was going to wait as this is a want not a NEED. But I can get a couch, chair, and ottoman for the price I would pay for just the sofa I was going to buy for the upstairs because of the comp PLUS since I already paid the reduced delivery fee why not buy the upstairs stuff now and save the second delivery fee.

Buying now would save me $300 PLUS the delivery fee. And the furniture upstairs would match the furniture downstairs so I think the house would flow very nicely. So later today I am going to go back to the store and add the upstairs pieces to me order.

That is so awesome that for the price I planned to pay for just my basement furniture I will have gotten all the furniture I need.

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This weekend I plan to have a rummage sale. I hope it goes well because I really want to get rid of some of the clutter in my house.