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Two projects done....4? to go

September 6th, 2011 at 08:25 pm

Today the Sprinkler guy came to fix the head that popped up from the ground. He also (main reason) fixed the cut line from the post hole auger. He also adjusted some heads so they were not hitting the fence. $60

This afternoon the AC/furnace guy came. He blew out the AC drain, put some gel tab thingys in and poured water down drain. He also let some Freeon out ( I guess we had a bit too much in). Hopefully those things fixed the leak. He could not find a reason for the leak so it could have been the tooo much freeon which was causing the coils to freeze then thaw and when thawing leaking under the unit. Waiting on the bill. I did ask him to please rush the bill since I was leaving in two weeks. Some times it takes them a while to bill.

I am still on hold for someone to come out and fix the window.

I have a dentist appointment for DS tomorrow after school.

I have my car going into the shop for a bunch of little things on Friday, so I took that day off.

I then have a Doctors appointment for DS on Monday the 12th.

I think that is all of my to do list. Sadly not wanting to see the bills from all these projects but no choice since I do not have a magic pay the bills fairy.

Tomorrow my stuff will be loaded into the conex and I will be done with my deployment stuff.

Tonight I plan to mow the grass, BF did not do it this weekend and I forgot my grass stained yardwork shoes at work so I did not do it. I wanted to do it since BF is going to have to do it every week once I am gone. Not sure why BF did not do it this weekend BUT I think he is starting to be bummed out that it is getting close to time for me to leave.

DS is getting a bit more hyper, not sure if it is because I am leaving or the fact that we have TV again. I saw a decrease in his hyperness when I disconnected the TV years ago. Then I saw another decrease in hyperness when BF moved in. I hope it is just DS's way of reacting to my soon departure. That way once I am gone he can calm down. My cousins have even MORE cable channels than we do, so I am hoping it is not the cable.

Getting it done = spending money, but getting deals

June 15th, 2011 at 02:15 pm

I am working on getting my to do list done.

The day before yesterday I ordered new glasses. I was going to just order new lenses for my glasses so I could save money on the frames since the frames I have have clip on sunglasses and they are $225.

Well as part of my Total Medical Exam this weekend we were seen by a eye doctor. The military will order us one decent pair of regualar glasses, one pair that is ugly AKA the Birth Control Glasses, and the inserts for our gas mask.

The eye doctor gave me a copy of my prescription with PD so I could get the lenses in my glasses replaced (scratched during Annual Training) by my normal doctor with out having to sit through an exam.

After much thought, I took that prescription and went to zennioptical.com and ordered three pair of glasses with the extra cost anti-glare coating and the total cost was half of what I normally pay for just one pair of glasses IF I go with their budget package.

The cost to replace the lenses in my glasses would be about $80 because I always get sucked into the these special lens material is thinner, and this coating will help with scratching and glare sales talk. I have learned the reason I do not like my decent military normal glasses is they do not polish the edges and at my doctors office that is an extra $10. So it gets spendy, at least when I am sitting in front of a computer I can think of what I really need without the polite BUT hard sell.

I figure if I do not like the glasses I bought, it is NO big deal, I will wear them on my deployment then when I get home go back to my doctor. BUT I think I will be happy, my cousin has used them and she was extremely happy with them. I bought three pairs and after shipping they cost $13.55, $16.55, and $19.55.

I even saw on their website a pair I almost bought a year ago....I might go back for them next year they would cost $35 if I only bought one pair of glasses. The shipping in a flat rate. At my doctors office I think the frame only price of those same glasses was $175.00 which is a huge markup.


I also ordered my kindle. They were having a 20% sale on the covers for fathers day along with free two day shipping. I was going to order the cover but then I thought maybe I do not really need it so that saved me $40 and the free two day shipping means I will get it tomorrow, just in time to start sorting my books and download a few free games, right before I report for another couple flood duty overnight shifts.

I Got my Passport.....Okay I got my photo for my passport taken yesterday and turned in my application and paid my fee. So my March Goal is MET!!!!!

I was really thinking of not getting one but at drill we were given the high pressure sales pitch. Seems the passport makes it easier to travel even if your are traveling as a group of military Soldiers.

BUT the point of the sales pitch when I said OKAY was when they said there was a chance we would get a 4 day pass on the way to our final destination and we possibly have a chance of having a Greece mini-vacation. So I got my passport!

I saved $10 on my passport because I went to our work photograph studio and had them take my photo. My son was not impressed with my photo because the lens of one of my glasses produced a glare. LOL, he is so funny.


I then went shopping, I returned two items and then I bought medicine. Dayquil, NiteQuil, Pain Releaver, Alergy Meds etc. I either had a coupon for my name brand product, or I bought generic. I do not want to go to sick call for every little ache and pain so I am making myself a portable medicine bag. I am slowly adding to my kit as I think of products I want.

I need to find a bag that will hold full size shampoo and conditioner bottles, etc. I want one bag for shower items and then I will have my med bag for hanging in my locker.

Today is payday, so I need to balance my checkbook and see where to move money around to.

Decluttering Weekend

May 31st, 2011 at 02:24 pm

This weekend was productive, besides catching up on some much need sleep, I got some cleaning done.

I cleaned the basement family room. It still needs a bit of work (It should only take 15 minutes but realistically it WILL TAKE ME 1 hour because paper sorting takes me longer than it should) but it is a vast improvement. I got 5 boxes and two bags of things ready to go to the thrift store. Half is in my garage, stacked by my car. I had it in the trunk but then we had to go get groceries. I took it out and I don't plan to put it back in until I am ready to drop it off. I don't want to waste the gas.

I just need to record two boxes of stuff into the excell document, I wrote it down on a piece of paper for the time being. But the table that the stuff was piled up on is now 90% cleared so it is so nice. The remaining stuff is papers I need to go through.

I also super spring cleaned my sons bathroom. So I am proud that I got that off my to do list.

I bought two blankets at Kohl's to take with on my deployment; they were on clearance for $3.99 and I had a 15% coupon plus I got $10 Kohl's cash to use later because I spent just over $50. I purchased shoes for my son in addition to the blankets.

Part of the cleanup at the house was rolling the comforter and sheets that I took with to Annual Training so I could repack them into the tuff box I have at my office. I also took some other stuff from the house to pack into my tuff box. So slowly I am getting the things I will take on my deployment out of my house and packed up. :0)

I also washed the Master Bedroom Bedding, I then packed it and put it into a vaccum seal space bag (So it would take up less room) but mostly so it would not get all full of doggy hair before I need it next. It is a cold spring or summer here, Kinda wish I had only packed away one blanket BUT I have other blankets that we can use on the bed until it gets tooo hot for blankets.

My goal for this week is to continue boxing up stuff for the thrift store and clearing out the storage room. The storage room needs to be cleared out and then organized. I need to go through the stuff with an open mind and donate stuff I will not use, Toss stuff that is not donate-able and organize all things I want to keep.

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.

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.

Expensive Monday.

September 29th, 2010 at 02:04 pm

Monday Sept 27, 2010 was a no school day, so I took off work so I would not have to figure out daycare for my son. I did a few errands.

I needed an over due oil change on my car, also I knew a few other things were going to need to be done because they were mentioned at my last oil change. I dont know what happened this time, normally I get an oil change every 5,000 miles but I could not seem to make time and well I was actually closer to 10,000 miles this time, oops.

My car is now at a little over 120,000 miles.

So basically my car NEEDED everything flushed, it also had 6 burnt out light bulbs including one in the window break-light. I also needed new tires as the old ones were over 60,000 miles and one was showing the wear bar, the other three might have had another 5,000 miles on them BUT With Winter coming up it was easier just to do EVERYTHING at one time and be done and only have to leave my car at the service place for one day (four hours) instead of for hours each time I desided to do a service.

When all was done, including taking my car through the car wash. I had spent $830.00. But the good news is that everything should be good for another 60,000 miles. I figured out yesterday that my car is just over 11 years old and so I am averaging about 10,000 miles per year. So I should have another 6 years until I have another big service bill like this.

It is getting close to Christmas, My son asked if we were going to leave Santa Milk and Cookies this year in the car on the way to school. I told him we would leave Santa a glass and he could fill it with whatever beverage he wanted since leaving milk out until he gets there is not good since it should be left in the fridge. Santa knows he can help himself. I also said yep we should probubly pick up cookies as last year leaving him Brownies was kind of a flop.

I wonder what brought it on, but I did ask some leading questions. I did not want him thinking that just because his father was not here this year that we would not be celebrating Christmas or that Santa would not be coming. Last year his father was not home for Christmas and so we had a very small low key Christmas. This Christmas being it is just us we are going to have to figure out some new traditions. I want non-present traditions (My son is too young to shop alone and We have no one that can help him shop for me even if I gave him money to spend).

Buy Low Sell High.

September 10th, 2010 at 03:18 pm

That is the principle involved with the stock market, so why do I have such a hard time doing this. Right now we are low, so I should be buying buying buying. But no I look at my statement and see the price went down again and instead of being happy about the reduced price so I can buy more shares I feel like I am throwing good money after bad.

I am looking at the returns on the investments and wonder how long it will be until the stock market starts showing good returns again. Dave Ramsey uses a 12% average return for a lot of his compound interest calculations and instead I see the market with 5% currently.

I have not been following Dave Ramsey s advice to the letter and so yesterday I made a commitment. I am going to start following his advice. You see I was saving saving saving for retirement but a call weeks ago from a financial evaluator got me thinking. I should really get to a point where I am investing my money and not all of it into retirement based accounts (401K and Roth IRA s). Her point was I should be fully funding the Roth IRA before my 401K since I donít get a match and other reasons (which yes that is true). But it is a head game. Just like Dave Ramsey says pay the smallest balance because you need to see progress, instead of going in order of interest rate. I like being backwards and funding my 401K first before my Roth because I fear if I was not getting it pulled first I would not be dedicated and put it towards my Roth I would pay bills (Mortgage or something) instead .

Right now my and I am sure others also retirement accounts are making around 4-5% per 12 month period. My Mortgage is 4.35% so I have reduced my retirement account savings and am going to start paying down my mortgage. If I reduce my retirement saving to 15% of my income that leaves me money to apply to My NEW PLAN.

A review of Dave Ramsey s Baby steps I am sitting as follows:
#1 Baby step 1K Emergency Fund: DONE
#2 Baby Step Pay off all Debt with the debt snowball: I have a revolving CC bill but I am going to Pay it in Full with my next paycheck and just call it done. I will still use my CC for things such as my online purchases but I think I am going to pay my CC bill in Full once a week. That way I stay ahead of the CC bill but at the same time I am using it for the CC rewards.
#3 Baby step 3 to 6 months Emergency Fund: I have 3 months DONE and will have an extra 1 month bills in my checkbook thanks to the NEW plan step 1. I have a secure job and if things change I will address the issue but for now the 3 month EF is fine.
#4 Baby Step invest 15% of income into Roth IRAs and Pre-retirement accounts: DONE I was currently doing above and beyond this. I have reduced this to apply to new plan.
#5 Baby Step College Fund: I saved a little for my son BUT I am calling this DONE. I have an option that I just have to wait out. I will be able to provide my son with a pretty nice option BUT it either requires some contract rewriting or an out of country work location. I have 11 years for one of these to happen so I am not stressing.
#6 Baby Step Pay off Home Early: Main New Plan issue
#7 Baby Step Build Wealth and give (I was already doing this by the extra retirement savings but the bad side was that it was restricted to retirement so adjusting this in new plan.

My thinking, the only blip on the horizon for my pay is in Dec. So this is my new plan:
#1. Save one month expenses in checkbook (so that the auto-funded payments and savings can continue even if for some reason my paycheck(s) are late in December).
#2. Take the extra money that I have each month and thanks to the reduction in retirement savings and apply it to my Mortgage (BS#6) this will mean paying off my house mortgage No Later than Sept 2019. I would really like to make this happen in 6 years BUT nine years is not bad, I think I will do better once some of my bills are able to be reduced. I currently am waiting out a cell phone contract which will free up some money for the next two years. 2 years from now I will need to add another line. But in two years my daycare expenses will drop and I will only need the weekend work sitter not the afterschool care. Then in 5 years my weekend daycare will end and I will only have out of town daycare needs. Also I for some reason always have a tax refund; I have not been able to modify my withholding to minimize this but each year I get better, so extra Tax Return will be applied. Finally my income usually increases by about 2% or more each Jan 1st. So I am aiming for 9 years but think I can do it in much less.
#3. Once the house is paid in full I will apply the extra money to: (for 6 Years)
Maxing the 401K (16,500x6=99,000)
Maxing the Roth IRA (5,000x6=30,000)
Purchasing non-retirement investments (stock portfolio) ????
Building a Deck for my PIF house. ???

I love the idea of a paid in full house because then 14 years from now when I start to pull my pension I very well could live just off my pension until I can start pulling out of my Roth Ira and then my 401K. The money I pull out of my retirement accounts I want to use for elaborate vacation plans. Yep that is how I want to spend my retirement years. I might get a part-time job after age 48 just to have something to do and so that I could continue to save for the future and fund elaborate vacation plans from the age of 48 until I can draw my retirement fund but ideally no job after 48 would ROCK.

Thank you!!!

September 3rd, 2010 at 01:45 pm

Thank you all for you advice on the mental issue I was having regarding the lack of deck or fire excape as I was looking at it.

""I honestly don't think Dave Ramsey would say it is okay to borrow money for a deck. However, he might think it a safety issue and a priority. He would tell you to take a second job, sell everything you can and use the cash on hand you have. In other words, everything you can think of doing before you would go into debt further."" (Need to go back later and give credit to the poster)

I wanted to post about what I am thinking of doing to get my EF funded.

First: I have responded to an ad online looking for a roommate. I am thinking that for a while I will rent out a room in my house. This is not nearly as much money as a parttime job but after you deduct all the costs with parttime work it would be about half of what my take home would be, equal to it IF I could rent out two rooms.

I am going to look into seeing if there are any jobs in town that I could work from home. I would like to pick up a second job but because I would have to line up daycare and it would have to be when I am not working my primary job it would make it not super easy to do. I also have to get approval from my employer to work outside my home so I am thinking internet in the evenings. If I can find something internet than even if my job took me out of town as long as I have internet acess I could still pull in work. Or the job would have to be one where I could bring my son along (part-time evening nanny).

I have a few items I could sell, I just had a rummage sale and plan to have another next summer for the small things. I need to put ads out for the few large items I do have to sell to make a little money.

Okay now thirdly the "Use the money you have" The point of an emergency fund is to plan for unexpected events. Truthfully My job is secure I have a contract (just not the orders yet) for a 6 year position. So the Emergency Fund is fine at 3 mths. The Escrow and Mortgage do need to be at 12 Months because the posibility of needing to have then autopaid for extended periods without me being able to oversee it are more likely.

So I am going to buy the 3 rolling ladders
then I am going to continue to work on increasing income
then I am going to save for the Mortgage and Escrow.
then once those are at the 12 months I will save for the Emergency Fund and deck.

The only blip that is going to be on the horizon is in Dec. I NEED to have a months cushion in my checking account at that time as that is when my contract moves from old to new and pay is ALWAYS messed up for atleast one pay period where you end up waiting on the first check to cut.

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.


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.


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.


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