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Day 62 and 63, YOUF/No Spend

January 2nd, 2019 at 06:19 am

My husband walked down to the liquor store and bought a beer. He made dinner for his BFF who lives around the corner. He had knee surgery and his wife went out of town to watch their granddaughter the rest of the week.

We took the dog for a good walk today. We worked a bit on end of the year stuff for the business.

DH made himself a grilled sandwich for dinner and I ate another leftover serving of lemon chicken.

Edit to add 1/2/19: Well apparently I was so sleepy last night I didn't actually publish my post.

That's okay. I ran to town to take my 10 year old granddaughter, Ally, to her doctor appointment for her allergy shots. My daughter's Ford Flex is in the shop again.

My two older sisters and I are having a grocery challenge, trying to keep our groceries to $200. Then older sister took a picture of dinner, so then I did too. It will make me be more creative and use what we have.

I was frustrated with the mail today. There is a collection letter from mom's cable company requesting $325 or $355 or something like that for her components. I mailed them all back via the UPS store several months ago, like June 1st! I'm not paying it. What are they going to do? Send my mom to collections? Who cares?? She is 89 and lives in assisted living AND I did return the stuff. I will call and be nice tomorrow.

Then Costco Citi card charged me interest and I paid in full minus a credit that came through. I always pay the full amount and I did!! So I have to call them tomorrow too!

Oh well, at least dinner was good. I picked some brussel sprouts out of our garden and sautéed with leeks, cauliflower, bell pepper and spinach. I mixed it with lemon walnut chicken I made a few nights ago. I ate every bit. DH put chopped honey baked ham on his. Then I made a free form apple tart that was delicious!

Again I am very sleepy! Oh and I stopped and bought beer and put gas in my car.

Day 61 of YOUF/No Spend Year 2018 Wins and Losses

January 1st, 2019 at 06:20 am

2018 Wins:
1. Mortgage under $100,000 (by $1), paid an extra $22,000 on principal.
2. Contributed maximum IRA funds for DH for both 2017 and 2018 in April 2018.
3. Able to cover all medical bills in full.
4. Celebrated our middle daughters wedding in May, gaining not just a new son, but a new granddaughter too. (Last of 3 daughters to get married).
5. Celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with a paid for cruise to Alaska.

1. Both my husband and myself had vehicles totaled. The truck was parked in front of our home legally. A well known tweaker was driving a barely legal truck that had a knocked out back window and no muffler, making for carbon monoxide poisoning. The guy was practically asleep after he hit out truck (all witnessed by our neighborhood watch captain who saw tweaker almost hit his truck), came outside and watched him careen down the street towards Dh's truck (which was given to him by his dear friend who just passed away). Then I was in a 4 car accident in which I was behind a vehicle stopped to make a left hand turn, two cars back hit the car behind me at full speed.
2. Did not make my 2018 IRA contribution.
3. Liberty Health denied DH's prostate cancer as "pre-existing". Now stuck because it would actually be pre-existing if we change. Not happy because they say he had cancer "symptoms". Ugh. Next year and the following in 2020 they will pay $50,000 then in 2021 it will be treated as though it was not "pre-existing".
4. Visited a bunch of quilt fabric shops and bought stuff on our trip up to Seattle along the Oregon coast. Came home from cruise and told DH to quit enabling me. He's the worst or best at that! I have vowed no new fabric purchases in 2019. In fact, no buying anything we don't need. Juneau and Ketchikan both had nice quilt fabric shops. We also got to see our former neighbors, a youngish couple, at our Ketchikan stop.

I figure if we can pay an extra $22,000 on our mortgage without even trying, I am shooting for an extra $30,000 this year.

Procrastination, pain and living....

February 2nd, 2013 at 04:53 pm

I had lunch last Sunday with a friend visiting from high school and another friend who lives locally but I never see unless the out of town friend comes to visit her parents and then we all get together.

Anyway on Sunday I told local friend about YNAB. Thursday we all met for dinner and she is so excited. She said it was just what she needed as she is planning to move to New York City in October.

OMG she went home, looked it up on the net, watched a webinar, paid for it and set it up along with her budget for the whole year!!

I have yet to start using mine!

I forgot the dog at the groomer yesterday for the second time.

After my job I do not have a lot of energy left.

Joined WW with youngest daughter who is already a member, but had not gone to a meeting since December. I get the lowest number of points, 26 because I am short I guess. Today is day 3 and leader who gave us a mini session when we joined, said tracking is key, just like money!

I still have not mailed the package to Afghanistan that I posted in Jan. I am ashamed of myself and vow to get a note written and it sent off Monday.

I also vow to get YNAB all set up and start using it!

I will report back on my progress...or lack thereof.


January 5th, 2013 at 04:41 pm

YNAB 4 is downloaded and ready to go. DH left this morning to drive cross country to drop off my 1999 Camry to our daughter. We were able to get him a flight home for about $250.00, which means I have to drive to SF to pick him up in a few weeks.

My daughter and granddaughter will be flying home Wednesday, so I go down this week too (DSIL is deploying to Afghanistan soon)! Luckily the drive down 101 to San Francisco is beautiful, from the Redwoods through the wine country. Nothing like coming around the corner and seeing the city on a clear day....hopefully it will be a clear day!

DH got a small dividend check and bought lifetime warranty nonstick pots and pans from Costco. I told him that was the last thing he got to buy this year!

I have the best, most understanding boss (who is actually our business partner too in another business) so there is no problem with me working on the weekends to make up for the time I am taking off.

So this weekend I need to finish our budget for January, talk DH through entering his expenses into his droid phone, and clean the house!

There is a party tonight at the hairdresser from work's house, so I need to make something. I have a well stocked pantry and freezer so I can come up with a dish I am almost certain.

I have errands to do, returning a couple of Matilda Jane items (boy did my order get screwed up for granddaughter) and get a package off to Afghanistan. Monday is an appointment at the DMV (oh goody) to renew my driver's license and get my new disabled plates for my "new" 2006 Camry. Yes I am working, but have trouble walking and shopping (thus DH doing most of it). I only use the disabled parking when I am having a "bad" day. Otherwise, I figure there is someone worse off than me that needs it.

Time for breakfast and watching the rest of this episode of Princess and then time to attack the house.

Happy New Year everyone and here's to reaching at least some of our goals if not all of them!

Home again, home again, jiggity jig....

September 9th, 2012 at 06:53 pm

Okay so I am a bit impulsive. I have owned 6 cars in my life:

1. New- 1977 Datsun B210, bought at age 19, full price off the lot. I still remember I paid with tax and license $4211 and change. That little car was great, held 2 car seats and was sold to my dad when I bought car #2. He drove it until he couldn't drive anymore and the floor was rusted with a hole where you could see the road!!

2. New-1986 Toyota Tercel 4-wheel drive wagon, can't remember what I paid for it...1 year later found out I was pregnant unexpectedly. Sold to my in-laws when the 3 girls were too squished which led to my first used car purchase...

3. Used-Bonneville bought in 1992. Drove especially well highway 299 when my father was transferred to Redding for open heart surgery. Made several trips back and forth, 3 days home, 4 days in Redding as my father had a very difficult recovery and was in the hospital for over a month. We actually purchased the car in Redding and anyone who knows highway 299 in California, it is an extremely windy road over the mountains to the coast. MD threw up in the car all over the drivers seat on the drive home (true story). Haha. Purchased because I did not want to be a "soccer mom" driving around in a van. Less than 18 months later, the girls were fighting constantly in the back seat. Also the back window leaked, filling the trunk with water. Living in Humboldt and having a garage I could not park in was a very bad combination. This led to a purchase that I at first regretted and resisted, but turned out to be a great car.

4. New 1994 Plymouth Voyager, traded in Bonneville. Cannot remember the price, but payments were $300 a month for 5 years. DH really pushed me into buying the car and I was very resentful. As it turned out this car lasted us for over 180,000 miles on the original transmission. We gave the van to my husband's brother about a year ago. We kept it even though I had bought 5th car as a "dog ride". We would take the dogs and whoever to the beach and not worry about keeping it clean. This car turned out to the the one I drove all over being guess what...."a soccer mom". Daughter #3 played competitive soccer and every other sport all through school, high school and on traveling teams. Actually DH did most of the driving, missing only one tournament. DH also drove girls to other sports events since YD ended up going to private school and parents were required to bus kids.

5. Used-1999 Toyota Camry, 77,000 miles, paid $8000 to a customer of DH's at our car wash. Purchased in 2004 and kept in the garage for a while while still driving van. It was just so well taken care of and I was afraid Van would die, but it didn't, so I had two cars.

6. On Labor Day while looking for son-in-law a beater, came across a 2006 Toyota Camry with less than 27,000 miles on it at the Toyota dealership in Temecula. It was reduced for the Labor Day sale from $15,995 to $14,995. I offered $13,000. Manager comes out with invoice and pointed out the price was only $700 over invoice at that point. Okay I said, then how about $500 over invoice. He went back to his office, came out and said okay. So I wrote a check and paid for it.

I was not really looking for a car, but I felt like it was one of those deals we would be kicking ourselves about. I paid about $2000 under KBB.

So i handed 1999 Camry keys over to the kids and told them they had custody for 6 months. After that, my middle daughter gets it.

I hate to even go into the story of why I did this, because I'm sure I will get lots of negative feedback. But we all have different values and what the heck, I can take it.

You see my son-in-law originally had orders to move to Hawaii. The kids traded in both their cars and bought a new Juke because of the price of gas in Hawaii and they would only need one car living on base. So in paying for my granddaughter's preschool, they were going to have to buy a second car. Their cash budget was pretty low and so when we went out looking it was hard to find a decent car in their price range.

My plan is to keep the car for at least 10 years. It drives very comfortably, much more so than the 1999 model. I knew I was going to be zipping down to see the kids every few months and was concerned about how long the 1999 would last, so this was just too good a deal to pass up.

Hey at least I paid cash!

So much for the goal of once a month check-in

August 23rd, 2012 at 04:13 pm

Well here I am in Temecula, California where the kids have moved. YD flew back to South Carolina for 3 weddings she booked before her husband's transfer to Camp Pendleton. My granddaughter turned 4 on August 18th. I arrived August 16th.

Financial things have been happening. I have a job! Yes I still have pain from fibromyalgia, but it is much improved after upping my amitriptyline from 10 mg a night to 30 mg.....100 mg is the usual for depression so I am well under that, but it seems to be helping the pain (but then the temps starting staying above 50 degrees at night around the same time, which also helps). Hopefully it will still help during our cold rainy season......

Anyhoo, I have been transcribing a couple of medical reports a month for my old ortho surgeon boss. I volunteered to do the billing and sending of reports since I had heard his wife (who I worked with for several years at his office) needed back surgery. I called her and she said goody come in and I will show you how we do it. I walked out with a pretty much full-time job with benefits becoming her executive assistant. She runs an assisted living facility in the town I live in. DH and I are now covered again by health insurance, having been uninsured for 11 months. It is extremely flexible (I am in Southern California for 3 weeks) and it is very fulfilling at the same time. Perfect job.

If my pain comes back in the winter bad, I will just cut back my hours. I don't have any set responsibilities, it is just keeping boss lady on track and helping out with administrative duties where needed.

Also our home in KF, Oregon where OD went to collge (second degree in diagnostic ultrasound) is closing today. Not sure what our loss is yet, but we are happy to be done with it. It was never supposed to be a rental (market fell right after DD graduated), we did not want to become landlords. We were very lucky in that in the past 5 years since, we have only had about 4 months that we did not have renters. We were extremely lucky to have fabulous renters, 3 different ones who took really good care of the house.

So the plan is to refinance at a 15 year rate and put that money back into our home, which is where we got the money in the first place. Looking back, it was stupid, but at the time it seemed smart. Who knew the housing marked would collapse? When we built the house, it seemed like a great idea!! Haha on us.

The rate at our credit union for a 15 year mortgage is 2.875% with no points. I told DH to get his butt in there and check it out since we should have our money anytime.

In other financial news, my small comp claim settlement will be received any day now too, so things are feeling pretty positive with us.

California has set up the exchange with Obama care, but it is still really expensive. For DH and I it would have been $900 a month, so having insurance covered for both of us is such a relief. Yes I am working for it, but in a flexible fulfilling job. I really couldn't ask for more.

In spending news, we are paying for granddaughter's first year of preschool. She is going to the St.Jeanne le something school here in Temecula 3 mornings a week. With daughter gone and SIL on duty, I will be going to mass and orientation with granddaughter on Sunday, meeting the teachers, etc. The kids already toured the school and granddaughter loved it. In fact when my daughter drove me over to look at it, granddaughter cried because she wanted to stay. Thus we tried to teach her the concept of the "school year".

I have been using the David Allen Getting Things Done method at work and have been very, very successful with it, so much so a coworker started writing things down instead of keeping everything in her head.

Now if I could only be so organized and on top of things at home!!

Now that I have a laptop I hope to keep up better here. I bought daughter's 3 month old laptop because she could not calibrate it to edit her pictures. Yea!! Now I can surf, post and pin while sitting with DH at night watching our TV shows!!

My new job/hobby!

November 28th, 2010 at 01:47 pm

My new hobby kept me hopping yesterday. After reading several couponing blogs and sort of dipping my foot in, I made an all out effort yesterday to get going on this.

I was a little more organized, but still have a ways to go.

My first stop was Bed, Bath and Beyond where I purchased "Your Baby Can Read" with a 20% off coupon for my granddaughter. It will be interesting to see if it really works. In the meantime at 2-1/2 she likes videos and books so this goes right along with her current favorite activities.

Then onto Walgreen's where a very helpful checker (who also takes advantage of Walgreen's rewards, reassured me that I was not an "irritating" customer as I warned her I would be. She also gave me the site she follows: which morphs into

My personal favorites are and probably because I live in Northern California.

Since my SIL needs shaving supplies in Afghanistan, I picked up the Nivea deal and some Gillette fusion blades (geez I am glad my husband does not shave). I had no idea how expensive razor blades are.

I did a total of 4 transactions at Walgreen's buying an assortment of stuff, piggybacking the Register Rewards each time. Total spent $44.85, savings $19.43. Plus I have another $12.25 in Wags bucks for my next visit.

Next was CVS where I had a $5.00/$25.00 to start with. I should have "mapped" it out a little better to maximize my use of Extracare bucks, but with my DH along and not adding purchases as I went along and not sure if they take off manufacturer's coupons before totalling, I did just 2 transactions. My first was for Starbucks Via. I had a $1.00 off coupon and a CVS $1.00 in Extracare bucks. Remembering you can only use 1 coupon per item and not being sure if Extracare bucks is considered a coupon, I threw a 99 cent bottle of Milk of Magnesia onto the checkout counter making my first transaction $3.05. My second transaction was for $34.67 with $17.00 in Extracare bucks back.

I got Listerine packs for free along with a tube of Colgate and bottle of Herbal Essence shampoo for free. I also found an incredible buy on one of the end clearance aisles: Secret Clinical Antiperspirant for 99 cents! This is what YD uses and I know I paid about $8.00 for it in the past. My receipt is showing I save $8.80 on each package. I also found Sure men's deodorant for 99 cents. DH consented to one. I got two other deodorants for DH for free from last week's ad. I have a couple on hand, so I think he is well fixed for about a year!

Um yeah, forgot to pull that 75 cent coupon off the Truvia. I had a $1.00 off though already.

After avoiding the checkout line at both drugstores, by the time we got to Safeway, DH was bragging to the checker about "my wife's new job". Notable purchases at Safeway were $5.00 off $15.00 worth of frozen foods (what can I say we love our ice cream) and Almond Accents which were on sale for $2/3.00. I had a Catalina for $1.50 off 3 and 3-50 cent off coupons making them 50 cents a bag. I also had a $2.00 off a meat purchase when buying Coors Light. DH found a package of stew meat marked 50% off to 2.57, making it 57 cents!

Okay it was fun, but by the time dinner was over and dishes were done, my fibromyalgia was so flared up that I had to take 1/2 pain pill and lay on a heating pad for an hour reading my latest Jodi Piccoult novel, checked out from the library, natch!

Since we only have Rite-Aid in my little town and shopping all at once is difficult physically, I need to plan my outings a little better. I do not know if DH was a help or a hinderance. I warned him to not talk to me or tell me to hurry up as this takes time. He was pretty good about it and he did carry the bags out to the car and into the house. I don't know how women drag kids along while coupon shopping. My hats off to them!

Frugal Friday....

September 3rd, 2010 at 02:56 pm

Am I being frugal? Is cash only really helping? All I know is that since I quit my job and am now a stay-at-home wife/grandma and took over the responsibility of shopping, I feel like all I do is spend money. But maybe that is because I did not do the grocery shopping before quitting my job. The only spending I did was "personal"?? DH has done the shopping/cooking for over 30 years! Now I do it .... with his input.

When you guys would talk about no spend days, I would think what the heck.... most of my days are no spend days!!

Now I understand!!

Part of the problem is getting into the routine of shopping and cooking. Like we run out of milk for my granddaughter or fruit or veges.

I think I need to plan better. No make that I need to plan better, I don't think, I know! I need to look in the frig and cupboards before I make a grocery run, shake the milk carton. I was just at the store on Wednesday and then had to go last night when I realized there would be no milk for her for breakfast, and she loves her sippy cup first thing in the morning. What is a grandma to do? Run down to Safeway and buy Lucerne brand 100% lactose free milk since I used my only Lactaid coupon. It was $3.79 a gallon. It was $3.00 at Winco (Darigold brand) and I need to make sure I buy enough to last between trips.

So that is the plan.....planning better!

What happened?????

August 29th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Did I read the P&G site incorrectly. I could have sworn the San Francisco Chronicle was going to have the Proctor and Gamble Super Saver in it this weekend. So I spent $3.00 to buy a Chronicle and no P&G saver.

It seems like printing coupons is expensive the way my printer goes through ink cartridges.

Part of me thinks I should just stay away from coupon sites because I just find myself getting frustrated reading about everyone else's great deals.

2010, Time to Begin

January 1st, 2010 at 07:03 pm

Well 2010 is starting out with possible bad news. It is very hush, hush, but I was told I may be losing my job to outsourcing. I have been at the hospital for 13 months. It is possible I could get a different job in the hospital or I could do transcription again from home for an outsourcing company. The problem is the great health benefits I have.

DH and I sat this morning before he left for work (just to close out the 2009 books) and worked out our plan. Groceries and household paid for with cash that will be kept in envelopes in our safe. Gas may be charged on AMEX (Costco), but DH will give me receipts to pay immediately. Travel will also be charged on Amex, but that will most likely be sparse this year. We have a large AMEX bill as usual and we have enough to pay off all credit card debt (put YD and SIL's flight home on another) AND we have enough to cover January's expenses.

So I am following the YNAB plan of living on last month's income. If I had know I was possibly losing my job I would have made some different choices in the last few months. DH bought me an IPOD for my birthday and I suggested we take it back. He was very hurt by it and said we can just deal with the loss of the job if and when it comes.

We can survive on DH's salary alone, even budgeting $600.00 a month for health insurance, but we will be pinching every penny until it screams! DH has never participated in the finances except to be the main spender since he grocery shops and works 2 blocks from Costco. I told him no more bringing home filet mignon on the spur of the moment from Costco.

I told him I need help in being frugal like starting geranium clippings for hanging baskets this year instead of buying plants (other types of flowers). In other words we need to look at every aspect of our life, not just food.

My mammo and annual exam are scheduled for January and I am hoping to get my colonoscopy scheduled this month (first screening). I know I have health insurance at least through January since I have not been laid off yet. Who knows, it could be six months, but apparently it is in the process. I am going to live like it is my last day of work every day.

We have plenty of food in the freezer. We were able to pick up a case of Foster Farms chicken breasts at Costco for $1.39 a pound. So we have 108 frozen chicken breasts along with the rest of the side of beef and some venison from this year. Living in zone 9 for gardening, I think we can plant lettuce, spinach etc next month (we eat a lot of salad since I am low carb). We still have kale and swiss chard producing. We also have about $1800 in gift certificates for Winco (western cheap grocery store) that was DH's bonus from work.

So my goal is $300 for food and household (cash, not including Winco). Gas is hard to budget since we have to get to work, but last year it ran around $300 a month. I have plenty of yarn and fabric to keep me busy and I have been utilizing the library for reading. DH also got me a bunch of I-tune gift certificates along with the IPOD, so I don't plan to spend anything for that. Apparently the library where my daughter lives lets you download books, so she is getting a library card and will let me use it too because I would love to listen to some books on tape while gardening and cleaning, etc.

So I am trying to not be worried, but it is kind of hard at this point in our lives (I just turned 52, DH turned 51 in September).

So 2010, time to begin!

Nice surprise

September 16th, 2009 at 09:33 pm

We order DH's work boots every couple of years and when ordering today, the online store gave me 10% off for no apparent reason. Of course the fact that they cost $227.00 a pair might have had something to do with it and my wait on hold....

Anyway what a nice surprise. So I thought I would give a shout-out to:

Tomorrow is probably going to be my last 4 hour day since my shoulder is definitely getting better. I see the doctor tomorrow and I imagine they will increase my hours.

So I guess I'd better get back to getting things done around the house.

January 2009 totals

February 2nd, 2009 at 01:48 am

Budgeted amount Spent amount
Income total: $7,793.73
Charity : K-Love Radio Station $40.00
Charity : Miscellaneous $5.00

Utilities : Gas and Electric $32.74
(overpaid last month)
Utilities : Water $0.00
(Paid in December)
Utilities : Phone & Internet $87.55
Utilities : Garbage $46.90
(Billed bi-monthly)
Utilities : TV $114.64
(Yes I know, what can I say)
Utilities : Cell phone $30.00
Food : Groceries $319.69
Food : Restaurants $27.25
(Okay so things went downhill after my Costco hot dog/drink fiasco!)
Transportation : Gas & Oil $216.13

Medical/Health : Miscellaneous $12.66
Medical/Health : Reimbursable $124.57

Personal : Allowance-Cheryl $100.00
Personal : Allowance-Ron $100.00
Retirement: Roth IRA-Cheryl $50.00

Insurance : Auto insurance $306.68
Household : Cleaning supplies $20.29
Household : Miscellaneous $1,937.95
(December AMEX charges)
Household : Pets $54.82
(toys and grooming, almost out of food!)
Household : Holidays $5.35
(Christmas cards for next year)
Debt : State Farm Bank $200.00
Debt : RSB Bank $141.00
Investments : Car wash $486.70
Gifts : Ally $51.15
Gifts : Miscellaneous $125.97

Gifts : Katie and Jimmy $21.47
Total Spent: $4,651.35
Balance in checking 2/1/2009 $5,720.74

I paid off my Amex this month weekly, reflected in the various categories. I am especially proud of our groceries for the month. Hoping to do the same in February along with really a no eating out month! It's a short month, I should be able to do it! I was surprised by our gasoline costs, but some gas was reflected in investments and DH filling up going back and forth to the new business.

I went over in the car insurance category. Our monthly rate for 3 vehicles is $107.00, but somehow pay my Toyota Camry every 6 months and that hit this month.

Our income was higher than usual due to a $3000.00 dividend check. I already put that into savings along with paying my mortgage 2/1/2009 to ING Direct.

I had a rough week, ended up in the ER twice, once for a UTI and 45 minutes thereafter for a reaction to the medication they gave me. Luckily I work in the hospital, so it was close! DH went out of town and brought me a lovely lunch the day he left (Wednesday) so that was the eating out along with breakfast purchased in the hospital cafeteria since I was feeling sorry for myself after being diagnosed Friday. Ended up being told to go home by ER doc, which I did, a coworker drove me home and I dozed watching Lifetime movies the rest of day/evening with my doggies close by.

DH came home last night and today we went to pick up my car at work, then went to Safeway for their sale. Ended up getting 8 packs of Diet Pepsi for $1.00 a piece (in store unadvertised special) and then 4 packs of Diet Coke for 7.99. We cherry picked other on sale stuff, some veges, canned goods and Cranberry juice and managed to spend the required amounts to get both $10.00 off and a free $5.00 pepperoni pizza!

DH made a leftover turkey goulash type dish with side of fingerling/sweet potatoe roasted. Yum!

Time to go see what's happening with the Super Bowl.

No eating out for a month, Again!

January 28th, 2009 at 01:20 am

Okay if there was a question about Costco, it definitely ended today. I need to take time off work to not incur overtime. I can't seem to get out of work early, so today I decided to take off and extra 2 hours in the middle of day around lunchtime.

DH and I used to eat out for lunch approximately once a week when I worked at home and had a flexible schedule. We have not gone out to eat for lunch during the week since I started my new job 10/15/08. So I grabbed the chance, called him and even though I packed up both a lunch this morning, we went out to one of our favorite places, Rita's. We ordered the cheapest things on the menu and drank water. We are good tippers, which meant we spent $15.00 for lunch.

I told DH I was starting over tomorrow and shooting for another month of no eating out. So the date would be February 27 or approximately the entire month of February.

Anyone want to try to join me?? Chickens!!

DH again thinks I am being too rigid, but I told him we cannot continue the same behavior (not sticking to a budget) and expect a different outcome (more money in the bank!).

He leaves again tomorrow for another business trip, and we talked about ways for him to cut costs on the trip. I am grateful for his participation (finally)!

We have to spend $500.00 to pay our deductible tomorrow when I pick up his truck at the body shop after his little accident when he hit some ice.

Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2009 at 03:07 am

Just wanted to post briefly to say Happy New Year to everyone too!

Goals for 2009:
1. Savings back up to $10,000.
2. Attack last CC debt.
3. Replace sink and faucet in kitchen.
4. Stick to $100.00 per month each allowance (includes new clothing).
5. Get on treadmill every day I am not sick or have a migraine even if it is only for 5 minutes, but shoot for 30 each morning before work.
6. Cash for purchases, no more putting everything on AMEX "for the rebate". (We are up to a $462.00 rebate with 1 more month to go, plus we get another directly from Costco). I am sick of huge AMEX bill, plus theoretically we spent more right when using the AMEX right? I do pay it in full every month though. This month it is over $1700.00! What did we buy this month?? It runs a full month from the 1st to the end. Well okay, $300.00 on DH's truck and $258.00 to the DMV for registration of same truck... along with the usual Costco and gas and some eating out and Christmas.... it adds up fast.
7. Assign each room in the house a day for deep cleaning (or superficial depending on how tired I am).
8. Keep up better on laundry.
9. Try 1 new recipe each month or more.
10. Track spending (and keep tracking all year) with YNAB.

DH has been really good about receipts and is much more amenable to paying with cash than I thought he would be.

I already have spent my entire allowance except for $5.00 today. VS is having their semi-annual sale and I really did need new foundation garments. I also ran into Borders with my sister and mom and found some Christmas books half off so I bought a few for baby Ally along with an Easter book of baby animals. My mom bought me a jacket since she owed me for dinner out the other night for sister's birthday.

Then I stopped at K-Mart on the way home and bought a jug of ammonia and vinegar for the home cleaning I am doing over the weekend. DH also needed some Zicam and Vitamin C because he feels like he is getting another cold. I used my debit card for that, but that is still "cash" to me.

Luckily DH finally made a sweet potato pie today. It is cooling right now. I have been craving it all holiday season but we were so busy we kept buying pies and were never satisfied, even threw a couple away after having a piece or two, but then would buy another in the hopes of satisfying that craving....

Here's to a Happy 2009 for everyone! Eat more pie!

Whole Foods Ouch!

December 28th, 2008 at 04:20 am

We traveled to OD's for Christmas since MD and YD are together with granddaughter and SIL back in NC.

DH loves to cook and loves to visit grocery stores when we are traveling. (He found the Southern grocery stores really fascinating)... anyway he visited Whole Foods here in Reno, NV yesterday. Now DH is a foodie and will pay what I consider too much for food sometimes, but he was shocked at the prices at Whole Foods. He had a small list since we are only here another day and a half, but the bread prices are what did him in completely. Anyway, we will be sticking to Trader Joe's in the future for grocery store fun when traveling (we have no TJ's in our area).

OD and I did brave the after-Christmas sales and boy did we have fun. Having my new job, I am still building my work wardrobe and I made some nice additions at very reduced prices. We did not get beyond Macy's. (We have no Macy's where I live, heck we have only Gottschalks). My favorite purchase of the day was a pair of petite Jones of New York wool black pants regularly $129.00, I got for just over $25.00. I bought 8 tops, a long cardigan and the pants. I think my winter work wardrobe is complete.

My only silly purchase was a Ralph Lauren coat for my granddaughter that should fit next 2 winters since it is a size 3. It was marked down from $95.00 to $38.00. But aren't grandmothers supposed to buy silly/lavish gifts for their grandchildren? Heck I don't know, maybe $38.00 is a good price for a child's coat?

I think part of my clothes buying craziness has been because I am losing weight and clothes are starting to look better on me, but I do need to curb it like now! I'm thinking with what I have and a couple of things I bought yesterday that will work in the spring, I hope to not buy any spring/summer things until Memorial Day weekend sales. Don't tell me to check second hand stores. I have. We live in an area well let's just say secondhand clothes have not much worth buying.

So the next issue is that my salary is above and beyond what we need for our basic living expenses. So with so many posting their 2009 goals, I am thinking through mine and have been discussing with DH. We have things we need to do to our house that have been put off and we need to do landscaping on our rental property this spring/summer. We need to hammer out our priorities and then go from there.

One goal is to track our expenses even when I travel to visit back east. I completely blew it this year when I was in NC for six weeks when my granddaughter was born. But since I have a job now, my trips will probably only be 1 week. DH is getting geared up, bringing me every receipt since I told him we are starting over so that is my only for sure goal.

We are traveling home tomorrow to the coast of California from Reno, NV. Let's hope the weather cooperates. Luckily we have a 4 wheel drive truck. It took an extra 2 hours to get here Christmas Eve due to the snow.

Rite Aid ad

December 21st, 2008 at 09:43 pm

I noted in the ad this morning that they are selling prepaid Visas with $5.00 off any 3. So essentially you buy 3-$25.00 cards for $70.00.

If you know you are going to be doing some after Christmas spending, why not buy some for yourself and get your after Christmas purchases even cheaper?

Gottschalks also had an extra amount off any regular or sale priced items and if you combined the two, using Gottschalks coupons AND Visas you paid for with a discount, you could really save some money.

My head still hurts and my husband did all the laundry and is now vacuuming the livingrooom. We are having crab cakes tomorrow for my birthday dinner and leftover crab stuffed potatoes tonight. Cheap eats this weekend!

I received my first paycheck today!

December 13th, 2008 at 02:41 am

The direct deposit doesn't kick in until the next paycheck. It was interesting to note that was almost exactly correct with their calculation. It was only a 32 hour paycheck and already have 6 hours acrued for vacation! A paid vacation? What a concept. Having been self-employed for 10 years, I welcome that!

So I signed up for a webinar with YNAB for Sunday evening. I was doing great until going to North Carolina for 6 weeks this summer/fall. I have not used YNAB since and there is a new upgrade coming out very soon, so I want to be well prepared for starting 2009.

DH is out of town working on our new car wash and I am spending the evening with the doggies on my lap or half on my lap, and planning our 2009 budget with the help of computations of my new payroll amounts with my health insurance and FSA deductions starting with January 9th paycheck AND my 15% 401K contribution starting with March 20th paycheck.

Can we be out of debt (except for the house) by the end of 2009?? That is our challenge and it should be doable.

We need a new Freezer

March 26th, 2008 at 01:36 am

Our hand me down freezer is having trouble staying shut so DH hooked up a bungee cord to the door. So today we went hunting for a new freezer. It is just the two of us so we are thinking a smaller freezer, but ours is stuffed full!

Fortunately or unfortunately while walking through Sears I noticed a 70% off sign above a rack of baby girl clothes.
I bought four items:
A cute red corduroy long sleeved dress with little scottie dogs on it for $4.97.
A long sleeved snap crotch red turtleneck with embroidered hearts on the turtleneck for $1.97.
A cute little pink playsuit with pink ballerina shoes appliqued with "baby ballerina" embroided on it for $3.97.
Total with tax $10.35.

Then I went to Borders to buy a book for my great-nephew who is turning 1. I knew what I wanted, a book named "I Am A Bunny".

Of course when I walked in there were a bunch of children's books cheap. I ended up getting two for great-nephew and 4 for Ally Ayn, all for just over $23.00.

Okay the key to not spending money is Don't Go Shopping!

Today in the mail I received .....

June 3rd, 2007 at 02:59 am

A fourth and most likely final State Farm check for $74.20. This check had a notation of 2005 Chevrolet, which is our most expensive to insure vehicle, thus the largest check so far.

We spent the day in the back yard, went to the dump 3 times. The total cost of getting rid of a lot of tree branches was $45.00. It would have cost $110.00 for a chipper and we didnít really know what we would do with the chipsÖ.The green stuff is kept separate so I can pretend they donít just add it to a landfill somewhere, but then I guess that would be okay anywayÖ YD took this photo today in North Carolina. It is not from my garden, though I wish it was.

We went to a local garden store and bought 2 zucchini plants, 2 yellow crookneck and two butternut to plant. We have two raised bed boxes so they will go in one. The other has a huge flowering plant in it that flew in a few years ago and volunteered to cheer up our yard.

Then I realized that I really do like a couple of the roses that I was planning to dig up and give to my mom, so I ended up weeding them, watering them and tomorrow I am going to go ahead and feed them all and plan to transplant them in the fall since they are in a bad place.

All the talk about handing plants down through generations must have hit me. These roses have been here since we moved into the house (20 years this August) and I was thinking it would be nice to give my girls starts of them.

After our third trip to the dump I told my husband I would buy him a piece of pizza from this place in town we never think to go to because it is away from town, very close to the local high school. We got two pieces of loaded vege pizza with yummy artichoke hearts for $3.25. We decided it was well worth it.

One week from today we will be in San Francisco at the Giants Game. I will get to see my youngest daughter who is flying in and driving home with us. I have not seen her since February and I am missing her a lot. She has already told her father several meals she wants him to cook while she is home. She is actually flying into Reno to MDís and they are going to the Bay Area on Thursday for a game that day too. Itís hard for me not to dash over to Reno (well not exactly dash since it is a 6.5 hour drive) and see her, but sisters need their time together too without mom. OD has decided not to come because the flight was going to be about $500.00 and she has her last final on June 11th, so she will come home after that. Hopefully SIL will be coming too the 13th if he gets leave approved.

DH called from work, (he left here at 5:00 a.m.) and wanted to go out to breakfast. I agreed, but figured I would get a biscuit or something and let him eat a full breakfast. His conscious got the better of him. He stopped at the store and got a bagel, an avocado, an artichoke and some sausage and made us omelets instead. We had plenty of eggs.

It was a good thing his conscious got the better of him because we bought a new 50Ē Plasma TV! There was a rebate at Costco and we agreed we would put it on the Costco AMEX and pay in full when the bill came. We had just paid the current bill, so I know it will be due July 7th or so. We have continued to put $300.00 every other week into the grocery account and right now there is about $1000.00 in that account. We had almost enough saved a year ago when YD and SIL decided to get married and we sort of insisted on a real wedding. There went the TV money!

Anyway we are putting it to good use and I am again back on the treadmill (quit using it when the TV died in the TV/treadmill room). We are rolling our change and need to try to keep our food to about $250.00 for the month in order to pay for the TV. Yes we probably should have waited until we had the cash in hand, but (isn't there always a but?) the rebate ended soon and we had also been told we are getting a dividend check that could pay for 3 TV's next week so we went for it.

Anyone see Big Spender on A&E today? I watched it while walking on the treadmill this morning. The people on the show give me panic attacks!

By the way, I am adding the $74.20 to the TV fund.

Okay off to enjoy the new TV now, plus the doggies think itís lap time!

March Budget Totals

April 4th, 2007 at 08:11 pm

PG&E: $171.16
Gasoline: $409.24
Groceries: $375.94
Eating out: $162.88 (ouch)
Pets: $57.62 (another ouch)
Medical: 87.78 (one prescription, teeth cleaned)
Husband: $234.31 (new work boots and pants)
Me: $49.87 (two sweatsuits on E-Bay)
Tax Return: $540.00 (ouch)
Household: $152.68
Toiletries: $11.78

All our other costs are pretty fixed.

In January and February we spent under $300.00 for groceries and under $100.00 for eating out so I am slightly disappointed. DH pointed out we stocked up on Tri-Tip, but 10 of them at $2.99 a pound.

I am really going to try taking over some of the cooking. It's silly to wait for DH to get home tired to cook for me. Last night I made deep dish pizza which turned out deeper than I expected since I used a 9 by 13 pan instead of a cookie sheet! It was good though.

DH and I also discussed trying the rest of the year to not buy anything we didn't really need and stop running to Safeway for one or two items. That was on Monday. By 7:30 that evening he wanted ice cream and ran to Safeway, picking up a 6-pack of "Skinny Cows" for $4.89 with 50 cents off with club card. Part of our problem is not planning for those nights when we really want something sweet and no we don't necessarily eat it if it is in the house...

Anyway I decided to run into town yesterday before the carpet cleaner arrived at our home and checked the price of Skinny Cows at Winco....$3.45 for the same 6 pack as at Safeway. I ended up getting two pints of Haagen-Daas (did I spell that right?) ice cream, chocolate for DH and coffee for me for $2.48.

So let's see how long I can manage to shop and cook. I spent $31.87 for the rest of the week, veges, milk, frozen french fries(Ore-Ida, green tag special), hamburger buns for burgers tomorrow, tonight is turkey stir-fry. I also picked up sour cream and ricotta cheese.

The carpet cleaning was way more than I expected, but stains came out so I am happy. This is the first time I have had my carpets cleaned since we had new put in almost 5 years ago in the livingroom, 3 years in the back room, almost 3 years in YD's room and 1 year in our bedroom. The bedrooms were all remnants that cleaned up better than the expensive plush in the livingroom. The bedrooms are that sort of stamped look carpet, not berber... anyway the house is looking pretty clean and we are making sure we take off our shoes before walking in the livingroom.


An Official Budget Fanatic

February 28th, 2007 at 03:38 pm

DH stopped at Costco yesterday to buy Aleve for my back and picked up a few more items. I realized this morning he didn't give me the receipt.

I called him as he was driving to work and asked how much he spent? $84.15.
How much was the Aleve? $14.25.

Okay the rest was groceries right? No.... he also bought Advil PM and Excedrin.

Well how much were they? He dug the receipt out, put his cell phone on speaker and proceeded to tell me...$11.99 for the Excedrin and $16.99 for the Advil PM.

How much was tax? $3.13.

Sorry I said... can't help myself...

Unfortunately he thought the Excedrin was Advil Migraine (I guess his ability to read is leaving him in his old age of 48!) The box color was the same he explained....we will be returning the Excedrin. He even admitted he was excited when he thought that Costco was carrying Advil Migraine (since only certain drug stores carry it and it really is the best thing for common headaches).

Now it's time to enter in YNAB!

Monday I awoke from an earthquake and yesterday with snow on the ground for the first time in about 17 years... so this morning seems like just another normal morning.

DH went to Costco on Saturday and found the spiral hams for 97 cents a pound. He bought one for each of his employees.

We have had two meals out of ours (along with some chopped in my salad yesterday, froze two packages with our Food Sealer and today I am soaking and cooking beans with the bone. Not bad for $10.00.

Gosh another month has gone by....

February 27th, 2007 at 11:31 pm

Back pain does that to you. We were able to stay under budget for our trip to NC and I felt it was a privilege to be there. Unfortunately the last day my back was so bad we switched to an expensive room with a bed that was actually comfortable with a jacuzzi in the room. The hotel (Marriott) allowed us an early check-in and I used that jacuzzi 3 times in 24 hours for about an hour each time before leaving for the airport. It was well worth the money!

I met with our accountant this week and the news was bad... first estimate $8700.00 additional payments besides the quarterly deposits I made. Hopefully the home office deduction will make some difference!

DH found spiral hams at Costco for 97 cents a pound. We cooked that on Sunday and are now being creative with leftovers.

We also received in the mail two $10.00 off coupons at our local Safeway. We don't shop that much there but DH and I wandered around (well I did until my back got to me and then I went and sat in the car) trying to come up with $50.00 worth of good buys to get our $10.00 off. At the checkout DH was at $45 and the checker still took the coupon. One good thing we got was Fresh Gourmet salad croutons for $10/10. We had just bought a package at Winco and they were $1.59. So knowing they were good, we bought 5 more packages (I eat salad every day and I love croutons.)

I have only earned enough this month to cover our health insurance (we purchase our own being self-employed), but YNAB program is helping me to stay on track. That may be all I am able to work for a few months.

Beautiful Fall Weather

October 26th, 2006 at 02:16 am

The sun has been shining and our Indian summer is going on and on...

I am still eating from our freezer and pantry. Right now we have two months worth of grocery budget in that checking account (separate account, DH keeps checkbook). So we will have plenty of money to restock once we have used up our food stash.

I received a refund check from my Gottschalk's account of about $37.00. Somehow I overpaid on our new mattress.

I have $800.00 set aside for our trip to North Carolina December 1st when we go to help YD set up her apartment.

The new year will bring a new budget with no dependents (except my fox terrier Landon)!

September goals

September 2nd, 2006 at 01:01 am

My enabling friends think that $600+ for food for three (groceries and eating out) "is not that bad". I think it is very bad....

So my goal for September is $500 for the month (combined groceries and eating out).

Also I was a bit shocked at the almost $70.00 in pet costs for one little dog. I usually buy his toys at the Dollar Store, but do feed him expensive Innova dog food. I also bathe him myself except about once every six weeks take him to the groomer for a good bath, toenail trimming etc. Lola my grandpuppy is coming for a visit so I did buy her a new toy today at the Dollar store. But for September, my goal is $50.00 for Landon.

I am copying Flash here, but these are my daughters and their pets. All three puppies were rescued from shelters. My doggy is in the middle with my YD who is recovering from a bad case of mono (not in this picture of course, this picture was taken in early June).

First Month's Totals

September 1st, 2006 at 03:49 am

I feel very confident I wrote down everything spent this month.

Groceries: $451.41
Eating out: 166.80
Household: $402.64
Auto exp: $1,875.73
Personal Care: $88.52
Pet: $64.97
Gifts: 472.88
Family Fun $141.44

The family fun was high due to high school reunion costs. The Household was high due to a new vacuum and new crockpot and the auto was high due to new tired, alignment and radiator on the old truck and air condtioning work on Volvo.

I did an enventory of my pantry and have so much food I could probably feed us dinners for 3 months from our pantry/freezer... well maybe not three months, but 2! So I will be doing a personal pantry challenge.

I was a bit surprised at our eating out. We had two dinners out and the rest was crap lunches and coffee. Definetely need to work on this. Our anniversary and Dh's birthday is next week, so this will be a challenge.

Need to consider goals for September.