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.
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.
Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category
I have 3 weeks left until I leave my home for Mob Station.
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
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.
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
$4.50 One 13 inch deluxe pizza corner pizza
$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!
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.
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.
I got paid $140 more than I was expecting for my 8 days paycheck. :0)
But it was infact a 8 day paycheck! :0(
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.
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.
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.