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Archive for April, 2014

April Snowflake Tally

April 30th, 2014 at 09:10 am

I tallied up our extra funds received (snowflakes) for the month of April using my Excel spread sheet. It was a great month! We found $876.07 in extra money. It ALL went to the mortgage. You will see there are plenty of credit card rewards and bonuses. But notice, too, that I saved a refund, Pinecone survey money, and so forth. There are ways to save extra money with out participating in credit cards.

(Just remembering that we did sell furniture for $300, that is a snowflake, too. We have not decided on a plan for that yet, so it is not included officially.)

Here's where all those snowflakes fell from:

I have 'After' pictures on Your Organized Friend today! I have my mother visiting and I found an item in our basement that we aren't using but that she can, so I have given it to her. Last week I found a cable my Dad needs that we aren't currently using, so it is his now. Less clutter and helping others feels good.

Have you recently given anything of yours to a family member or friend that you are no longer using? How many snowflakes did you accumulate this month?

Decluttering the Basement & More

April 29th, 2014 at 05:20 am

I have begun decluttering the basement this week. Of course, I will have multiple posts this week on Your Organized Friend to keep you updated on that. I added an option on the right sidebar of the blog to get email updates when there is a new post. I think it works. If you are interested feel free to sign up.

Payday is Thursday. I will use some of the extra funds to pay off the Discover card. I used this to buy all the paint for our living and kitchen area. Actually we have enough to paint our bedroom and bathroom yet. I used the Discover card because they were offering 5% back on Home Improvement stores. I can already see about $17+ in rewards. The plan was to pull the cash from savings, but when their is extra in a current paycheck I prefer to use that money so it doesn't feel like I am touching the savings.

I have two bids on some music I decluttered earlier in the month. I moved them to auctions after two weeks listed as Buy It Now. People do like an auction!

Will you use a credit card at a Home Improvement store this spring for any additional rewards? Do you like fixed prices or auctions?

Paid Balance in Full

April 28th, 2014 at 06:09 am

I paid off the balance in full on four different cards this morning: Target, Kohls, Discover and Capital One. I redeemed rewards on the Capital One cards in the amount of $20.75.

After those payments were made I sent in an extra mortgage payment in the amount of $45.75, which included the $25 Visa gift card I used on Thursday that had been a bonus from US Bank.

I'm feeling a bit disorganized in the last two weeks, so I hope to make a dent in getting some things done this week that will help me feel like I am back on track. For today, I will get to the gym and post office. I will also wash some bedding, as well as find a little time to declutter the basement. You can see what my basement storage area looks like before I start working on it at Your Organized Friend. I hope to post some progress reports this week that show improvement. We were down there last night during a tornado warning but I didn't feel like working on anything during a storm. Turns out no tornado in our direct path or really in the vicinity. Better safe than sorry I guess.

Another thing I think I can get done today, and you might want to do as well, is check our Experian credit reports. I have my calendar set up to remind me every four months to check one of the three credit bureaus for free at annualcreditreport.com . I was notified at the beginning of this month and I still have not completed that simple task! I think I can do that today and then I can delete the email reminder I received!

Did you pay any cards off in full recently? Do you check your credit reports regularly? Do you have tasks you want to complete today?

A Little Forgetful

April 27th, 2014 at 07:22 pm

Earlier in the week, I realized we hadn't received the refund from the Southwest credit card. I logged on to the account and quickly realized I had not even requested the check! There was still a credit balance of $69. I immediately wrote to customer service via secure message and a few hours later they confirmed that the process of cutting a check has begun. I'm sure we will have that money this week.

I haven't had as much time to keep track of some of these things as I normally do. However, I'm getting things back on track. I just paid the Verizon bill, made a donation, checked all credit cards for current balances and the due dates. I was able to delete quite a few emails from my account that were notifying me of bills and available statements. Feel a little more on top of the finances again. Smile

Do you find you get behind in keeping track of your finances? What helps you get back on track?

Catching Up

April 27th, 2014 at 07:41 am

Last week was so busy. I expect that it will take me a few days to catch up some financial tasks and get those posted to my blog. Thanks for understanding.

I used a $25 Visa gift card that I received from US Bank and I forgot to send the match into the mortgage, so I will get that done soon. We need to go shopping today for some clothes for our oldest daughter. Our first stop will be Kohl's so we can attempt to use the gift cards we have there.

I made another Ebay sale and have some auctions ending today. They are all Buy It Now offerings, so I think this week I will relist to true auctions and just get them sold for the going rate. If they don't sell, then they go to the garage sale or if not sold there donated.

I need to start back on the decluttering this week. I have a couple days I will set aside to do some major work on the basement or the garage. I will decide which to do based on the weather!

Have you been busy? Are you playing catch up on your goals? Will you be decluttering anything this week? Do you have anything you are trying to sell?

Less Debt!

April 25th, 2014 at 07:27 am

I made a extra mortgage payment this morning in the amount of $73.68. This includes the $50 Walmart gift card I spent, $3 from Pinecone, $10.17 from Ebay sales, and $7.51 left from a $100 gift.

More later, busy here. Just had to pop in for a moment to say we have less debt!

More Snowflakes

April 24th, 2014 at 05:41 am

I'm still really busy. Today I have guest arriving. They will spend the night, so I have a bed to make, and meals to plan and buy groceries for. I need to squeeze my workout in. I'd like a little time to catch up on finances, but it may not happen.

I used another $50 Walmart gift card the other day. All on regular needs for our household. I will match this with yet another extra mortgage payment.

I sold four DVDs on Ebay. My net proceeds were $13.71. I am moving this to checking along with a $3 Pinecone survey payment. Again, this money will go to the mortgage.

I helped a friend start packing for a move yesterday. She did great in getting rid of some things at the same time as we were packing. No sense in moving something that you no longer want. One thing we noticed she had was empty boxes from product purchases. We kept a few, but most were recycled.

Quick Updates

April 23rd, 2014 at 04:52 am

This is a quick post today, since I'm short on time.

Done painting. A little more clean up to do. Relieved!

Received the $25 Visa card from my US Cash+ Visa spending. Snowflake!

I received another $20 Ooma referral, I'm up to 3 now. Money!

See...that was quick. More tomorrow!

Big Snowflake

April 22nd, 2014 at 05:29 am

We are using those gift cards we redeemed from our Southwest Rapids Rewards bonus. I have used $150 worth at Walmart. My husband bought a tablet from Amazon this weekend and used $100 Amazon.com gift cards. The tablet is a splurge, and a promotion gift. He hasn't been promoted yet, but the man rarely wants for anything, so when he seemed to be wishing for one, I suggested he just get it. The price was a lower than we were seeing in stores.

So with those gift cards used, I need to match the spending with money sent to our mortgage. In this case, $250! I will use $150 from current spending and $100 from savings to be replaced with my husband's first check at promotion (which is likely June).

I made another Ebay sale, which I need to ship today. I also made another $20 from a referral to Ooma. More cash!! Love it.

I'm still painting today. It will be a beautiful day, and I hope during coats one and two I can get out and take a walk in honor of Earth Day. Maybe I can take a bag with me and pick up some trash? Will you do anything to honor the Earth on this day?

52 Week Savings Update: April

April 21st, 2014 at 04:48 am

I have added $114 to our 52 Week Savings Challenge this month. The last deposit was $57 on Tuesday last week. I'm adding this amount twice a month on payday. Since I started this in December, I have now saved $523. This particular challenge has been pretty easy for us since it is all saved automatically. I recommend this highly!!

I wrote another blog on Your Organized Friend. It isn't about decluttering, since I didn't get to any of that this weekend with all the painting we did. Although I will clean out my painting supply bin when we are done with our current project. I wrote about laundry instead, since I did have to get that done in the midst of the painting.

Are you still working on your 52 Week Savings Challenge? Do you have any laundry tips? Did you declutter anything this weekend, or did you just relax this weekend?

Eating Out: Not Planned

April 19th, 2014 at 07:13 am

Our painting project caused us to get take out twice yesterday! The kitchen was in complete disarray for lunch. The girls said their was nothing to eat. Probably true. My husband picked up Subway for lunch. Then I picked up Pizza Hut for dinner.

The problem was I didn't plan ahead for what we would eat during our big project. And this isn't the first time that has happened. It sure could have been avoided, if I had decided and shopped ahead of time for what our meals would be on painting day.

There will be some more painting today. We are going to tackle the stairway leading to the basement. The wall extends up and is visible in our living area. We will likely be reaching up while holding on to the ladder for dear life. But right after I write this post, I'm going to make a list for the store. We will have food to eat here at home today. No more take out!!

If you want to see the color we painted our kitchen/living area, I posted a picture on Your Organized Friend. You also get to see my painting supply bin. Smile

Were you able to get a task crossed off your list yesterday? Did you get take out? Was it planned or unplanned?

Cash Flowing In!!

April 18th, 2014 at 06:24 am

Cash is flowing in!

I did sell that couch and love seat mentioned yesterday for a nice $150. The man was excited and said it was for his wife. Now I have more room in my garage. If you want a peek at my garage and how cluttered it is, minus the couches, head over to Your Organized Friend and see some of my before pictures. I will be getting the garage in shape before our garage sale next month.

I sold a CD on Ebay that I need to get in the mail. I probably only made about $2. But less clutter and more cash makes me happy!

I also referred someone to Ooma, so I have a $20 referral credit. That effectively will cover 5 months of service, which is really just the Federal taxes of about $3.75 a month. I won't get the cash for six weeks or more, but it will be mine then!

We are prepped for painting and will be getting started shortly. I'm thrilled my husband took some time off so we can work together on this beautiful spring day.

In other good news, I lost 1.8 pounds! I'm very happy about this since last week I didn't show any weight loss on the scale. I watched the food intake even closer this week and it made a difference. Gee, kind of like watching the spending. Who would have thought?! Smile

Are you sprucing up your living space (indoors or outdoors) this weekend? Do you have any extra cash or snowflakes flowing in this weekend?

More Selling

April 17th, 2014 at 05:55 am

We used our muscles last night to bring an older couch and love seat up from our basement and into our garage. I took pictures while they were still in the basement and promptly listed them for sale on Craigslist. I have quite a few emails to start responding to. I think there will be someone who will buy them. We are only asking $150, for the set. We have had them 18 years, so we think that is a fair price, for the condition. I think the pictures look better than they really are!

In other news, I have spent $140 worth of gift cards at Walmart. I will need to send the money I would have spent off to the mortgage. I might make it an even $150, since the gift cards are in $50 increments. Easier to keep track of. It's been a good snowflake month!

I took about 10 minutes to look at my linen closet yesterday. I found about three or four things to toss and another four things for the donate bin. If you want to see my linen closet, I have pictures on Your Organized Friend.

My husband is off for the next four days. We are going to do some painting, as well as, spend some time with our girls. No big holiday plans other than being together.

Do you buy used furniture? Did you get any decluttering done yesterday? What is your favorite Easter candy?

Discounts, Less Debt & More

April 16th, 2014 at 06:54 am

Feeling just slightly stressed as I write this. We have a lot going on here at our house. All good, just busy. I barely had time yesterday to pay bills and you might have noticed no blog post here or on Your Organized Friend.

First, Ooma has their $99 promotion going again. This gives you the opportunity to buy an Ooma Telo system for $50 off their retail price. It includes free shipping. We still love our Ooma! I wrote a little more about it on Our Money Blog. If you know you want the discount, click here.

I paid bills yesterday. I had six credit cards with balances! Two were less than $10, but still. Crazy. Part of the problem right now is my husband and I are using our Capital One cards, but we each have separate accounts and no extra card for the other one. I think This is the case with a few of our cards. I will need to look into which account to cancel, so we have similar amounts of open credit. After that request an authorized user card so we can use one account at a time. Oh, and if I wasn't clear I paid ALL the balances off. Smile

We purchased 9 gallons of Sherwin Williams paint during their 40% off sale last weekend. Saved over $200!! I purchased paint based on two coats, but the sales person said it is likely one coat will cover our light walls since it is thick paint. The reviews say the same thing. They do recommend two coats, and I have always had to paint that way, but I haven't painted with this paint before. Part of me hopes we can get away with one coat so we can use the extra gallons in other parts of the house and to save time! I used my Discover card to get 5% cash back since home improvement stores (and paint stores) are on the list this quarter.

I'm about to send in $121.24 in snowflake money to the mortgage as an extra principal payment. Most of that is the last round of Ooma referral money. We also had a regularly scheduled extra principal payment of $275 post to our mortgage yesterday. Less debt!! I like that.

Did you see there is a $10 off $50 worth of food coupon at Target this week? Great deal if you need to get your regular groceries or extras for the holiday. I found mine in the regular printed ad, but I'd look at their site to see if you can find it there. And then there's always your basic Google search.

Calorie watching is going well this week. I think the scale may actual show a change on Friday when I weigh in. I just have to make myself get to the gym. I'm already behind schedule today!

Decluttering has been slow. I'm mostly keeping up with my goal to keep things tidy each day. I've noticed that I'm moving things to different areas, but not completely dealing with things. For example, I had some papers on the kitchen counter. I did recycle some, but then I moved the pile to our desk in the basement. Same pile basically, but now in a different spot, which is closer to the file cabinet they need to be in. I will have to make a point to get to my desk area soon. It shouldn't take too long.

I have items on Ebay that we decided to part with last week. Most are Buy It Now options. One has a bid and a couple are being watched. With Easter, I think sales are likely to be slow this week. I have the listings set to renew if they don't sell this week. Any funds received I will be grateful for.

Now I feel less stressed since I was able to get this entire post written. Can you see I was a little more wordy today, with quite a few topics to write about? Will you use that Target coupon? Are you keeping your recently decluttered areas tidy? Anyone else have spring painting plans?

Closed Chase Southwest

April 14th, 2014 at 08:08 am

I closed my husband's Chase Southwest Rapids Rewards Plus card. I just received confirmation by secure email. We received all the gift cards on Friday. We did have a balance of around $150 that I paid late last week. This was after the statement closed and included the annual fee of $69. After receiving the confirmation of closure, I realized I will not get points for $80 worth of purchases. Oh, well I don't think those points could be redeemed for anything anyway! Just something to be aware of. I'm also glad to have that account closed as we had a credit line of $27,900. That is not a typo!

Here's part of the response we received when closing the account.

Please be assured that we have closed the account as
requested. Since the annual fee of $69.00 was billed to
your account within 60 days of the date the account was
closed, a refund of the fee will automatically post to
your account.

The refund happens automatically! I let you know when I see it on the account. I think it could happen this week. When it does I will request a check. Smile

I'm going to tidy up my house, measure for paint and hand wash some clothes. Once I have all that done I might get some decluttering done. If I do, I will have the results over at Your Organized Friend.

I'm still on a roll with getting my workouts in at least five days a week. I just need to really watch my calories this week so I can see results on the scale!

Have you closed a credit card account recently? What is the largest line of credit you have ever had? Is your house tidy right now? Anyone else keeping up with working out?

Used Up Ooma Credit

April 13th, 2014 at 08:37 am

Remember those Ooma referral bonuses I received amounting to $100 on my US Bank Visa? Since I wasn't able to easily get US Bank to send me a check, I used the credit on my account to pay our electric bill of about $93, this month's Ooma taxes of about $4, and a trip to Subway for $9. Now I actually owe a little money to US Bank.

I will be sending that money I would have spent on those items to our mortgage since I had the referral money to cover them. Smile

I haven't done much decluttering this weekend. I have tried to just keep up with basic tasks like unloading the dishwasher and putting things away after I use them. I have two new posts up on Your Organized Friend that might inspire you to do a few things around you home, if you are interested.

I mentioned that I found several DVDs and CDs to get rid of in last weeks decluttering. I will be putting many of those on Ebay for sale tonight. I'm hoping for about $20 in sales if all works out. I will probably keep the listings going until the garage sale. If not sold by then someone else will get a pretty nice deal.

Do you get more decluttering done during the week or on the weekend?

Celebrating Early

April 11th, 2014 at 06:08 am

Our 18th wedding anniversary is tomorrow. But my husband has to work for the Army. Boo. And this sure isn't the first time the Army has been in the way of celebrating on our day. I convinced him to take the today off so we could spend time together! I think we might use a $25 Olive Garden gift card we received last summer to have lunch out together, if he is up for that.

I'm not sure I will get any decluttering done, but if I do I will report it sometime tomorrow. My post about yesterday's decluttering is up on Your Organized Friend. I introduced my donate bin on the blog, too.

Our gift cards from Southwest Rapids Rewards are arriving today. I was notified to expect the package by the shipper. I made our final payment including the $69 annual fee. Once I have the cards and the payment clears I will ask for cancellation by secure message online and at the same time inquire about a refund of the annual fee. I expect they will cancel and grant the refund, which will take a few days to be applied. Once it shows the return of the refund, I can request a check to be cut. That is how it has worked in the past, so I don't expect this time to be different.

Do you celebrate events early, late, or just skip if you cannot celebrate on the actual date? Do you have a donate bin in your home?

Sold Our Table & More

April 10th, 2014 at 05:47 am

I sold our old table and chairs on craiglist for $150 yesterday! I have now seen that new $100 bill. SmileInteresting look. I have not decided if this money is going to the mortgage or to save for some other furniture upgrades. We still have a couch and loveseat to sell for a similar amount. That money could easily buy a new entertainment center for our basement. So it is tempting to hold on to.

I also sold an item on Ebay, too. It is already in the mail. My net proceeds were $10.71. That money WILL be going to the mortgage to pay down the principal. I'm expecting a Pinecone payment into my Paypal account today or tomorrow. I will withdraw both amounts after that occurs.

I was notified yesterday that our gift cards from our Southwest Rewards are being delivered tomorrow! Just in time, since I heard both my girls mention their need for clothes. This means I can use those Kohl's gift cards! Smile

Yesterday was not nearly as busy as the day before, but I did have an appointment in the morning. I also had to get my daughter to a late lesson last night. I did manage to fit in some small decluttering tasks, which I documented on Your Organized Friend. I also noticed my husband must be a little inspired by my decluttering. He pulled out 5-6 shirts and a pair of sneakers he no longer wants. I think he may have put those items in my garage sale pile, too. That makes me happy!

Did you sell anything recently? Do you plan to have a garage sale this spring or summer? What decluttering task could you get done today? Should I keep that cash for a future furtniture purchase or put it on the mortgage?

Sending Snowflakes To Mortgage

April 9th, 2014 at 05:39 am

I am making another big payment towards the mortgage today. Recent snowflakes that I don't want to melt total $174.97. This month has been much better than last for snowflakes!

I noticed the IRS has cashed our tax payment check. I guess that is good. Now I know everything is taken care of for this tax season.

Yesterday was busy, but I did get a chance to do some basic decluttering. To find out about that you need to click here, to visit Your Organized Friend.

I was able to get my Mad Men DVDs watched so that has been listed on Ebay along with a Creative Memories item that was found in my daughter's closet. Smile Fingers crossed for sales! I still may get our table sold this week, if the man that was interested on Sunday gets back to me.

Yes, Discover!

April 7th, 2014 at 09:29 am

There is lots of good news this morning. I logged on to my husband's Discover account and found his $150 bonus was applied. I have already requested direct deposit. No need for gift cards since I did just order $550 worth from our Southwest rewards on Friday.

Our city emailed me back this morning with our water bill amount. It was $79.29 and will be withdrawn from our account on Thursday. I usually allocate $95 for water (which actually includes a sewer debt payment, and trash). I think I will send the $15.71 difference to the mortgage as a snowflake. Smile

Our daughter returned home from her Washington DC trip last night. She is so tired from early mornings. She sure didn't want to get up this morning. But she did it! She left here with $60 of her own money for spending. She bought a t shirt, a post card, and some snacks/food. She came home with nearly $15. She even mentioned looking at a magnet to buy that was 2x3 inches for $6. She thought it was overpriced, so she skipped buying it! I do like the T shirt she picked out.

Here's a link to the latest decluttering at our house on Your Organized Friend. Today I need to finish that project up by tackling this bin:

I don't really want to work on it, but I'm hoping it will go fast once I get going. I may time myself and see how long it really takes. Do you ever find yourself procrastinating a job because it seems like it will take a long time, but then you do it and realize it didn't take long at all? Strange phenomena.

Missing Water Bill

April 6th, 2014 at 11:32 am

We haven't received our water bill for the month. It generally arrives within 1 or 2 days of the first of the month. It is now the sixth of the month, and it has not arrived. I'm not very worried, but I need to know the amount so I can record the amount they will withdraw from our checking account on the 10th of the month. I sent an email this morning requesting the amount. I hope to hear something tomorrow when they are open.

I tackled some drawers in our bathroom today. It has been very tempting to do more, but I do have other things to do. A little everyday does make a difference. I wrote and posted pictures about today's decluttering on Your Organized Friend.

Do you get your water bill by mail or email? Do you even pay for water?

Chaos Under the Sink

April 5th, 2014 at 10:13 am

I actually did get some decluttering done. I even have a lead on the table I listed. Not sure if legit yet or not.

I wrote about the chaos under the sink at Your Organized Friend. Let me know what you think!

Listed Our Table

April 5th, 2014 at 07:54 am

We bought a new kitchen table and chairs in November and I'm finally getting the old one listed on Craigslist today. I'm asking $150, which might be slightly high, but I can go down later if needed. Fingers crossed it sells soon.

I'm calling this listing my decluttering for the day. I may get to more, but for now I'm counting this. Do you have plans to declutter today? Did you already get something done?

A Funny Thing Happened

April 4th, 2014 at 09:00 am

The Southwest card statement closed earlier this week. I could see the bonus miles were rewarded. So, I went looking at my husband's Rapids Reward account. No deposit. Yet. I looked again today. No deposit. What? How long does it take? It seemed fast last time!

On a whim, I checked my Rapid Rewards account. The deposit was made there! I haven't even had a Southwest Visa yet, but I did open the rewards account awhile back when there was an offer for 2,000 miles for opening the account. I must have put the wrong rewards number on the application. Or maybe I did it on purpose and didn't remember. This will allow to actually redeem those 2000 miles along with the 53,000+ miles my husband earned on this latest Southwest Visa offer.

We will getting $550 worth of gift cards in all. I will be ordering those later today, likely a combination of Kohl's, Lowe's, Walmart and Amazon. If I remember right the Walmart cards were the easiest to spend since I could buy groceries and household items we buy everyday.

Not sure what I will get done on the organizing front today. I have a volunteer obligation later, but I still might have a few minutes to dive into a pile of things somewhere. Smile

In fitness news, I lost 1 pound this week. I did five days of cardio and four days of lifting weights. I've been getting a few squats in here at home too. I feel so much better and I'm noticing clothes fitting much looser. This morning my husband said my face looks a little thinner. A wife does like to hear that!

Any odd things happen to you that surprised you a bit? Will you be organizing anything today? What is the one place that you find the hardest to organize or keep clutter free? Did you lose any weight this week on your fitness plan?

Tackled a Pile & More

April 3rd, 2014 at 07:13 pm

Today, I only tackled a pile of brochures and handouts from that college visit we had last month. There were some duplicates to recycle, as well as some maps we just don't need. I was able to reduce the pile by half. It only took five minutes. No picture, as the change is not very noticeable. I was hoping to tackle more today, but a phone call from my mom, and my husband home for lunch changed my schedule. I did get the sheets on the girls beds washed! Oh, I did find that grocery bag trick I mentioned yesterday on Your Organized Friend. I posted the video on my blog over there today.

Our electric bill was under $100, which never happens. Turns out they only billed us for 18 days. Last month was 32 days. Not sure why this is, but it works for me. I think I will end up paying it with the Ooma credit that is on my US Bank Visa card. That will leave us with less than $7 in credit on the card, which I'm sure I can 'spend' somewhere! Once I use up the credit I will send my $100 Ooma referral money to the mortgage.

Spring Cleaning: Under the Sink (with pictures)

April 2nd, 2014 at 11:33 am

Inspired by ceejay and spring, I have begun digging deep into closets and diving under sinks. I will honestly say I was not motivated when I started, but I did get more done than I expected.

I started with the closet by our garage entrance. We store paper towels, cat food and other misc cat items, coats, brooms, the paper and plastic recycle bags, light bulbs, hats and gloves and boots. I also have a place to put odd items, such as batteries to recycle.

Here is the before picture:

I found one pair of gloves to donate. I moved the boots to the front closet for easier storage during the summer. I put the hats and gloves that were on the shelf into the shoe holder on the left (again for summer storage), I tried to dump the remaining cat food in the bag into the container, but not all of it will fit quite yet. I dumped some expired cat treats and pills (mixed in with used cat litter). I recycled the container the pills were in. Everything is just a little tidier. Oh, I also pulled a spring jacket to wash.

Here is the after:

Would you believe that I was motivated to do more after that little organizing job? I was surprised since I feel a little tired today. I became motivated after I remembered that I have several episodes of Mad Men Season 6 to watch on DVD. I received these for my birthday in November. I intended to watch them quickly and get the DVDs listed for sale by Christmas. That did not happen. My reward is to watch an episode after I complete some cleaning. In this whole process, I will get some cleaning done, enjoy some entertainment, and get an item out of the house and sold for cash!

So my reward was a great intention for sure. Instead of watching the DVDs I began a new blog. About organizing. It is kind of a passion of mine in addition to this personal financial stuff. So I'm now Your Organized Friend over on Blogger. I have more pictures of today's organizing over there. Please come over and have a look!

Are you surprised I started another blog? What did you organize today? Are you now inspired?

Mortgage Principal Paid

April 2nd, 2014 at 06:08 am

In the month of March we paid down $1,081.29 in mortgage principal. That includes our regular payment, two planned extra payments and all those snowflakes we accumulated last month. The goal is to pay down nearly $14,000 in principal this calendar year. We are definitely making progress!

Our April payment and a snowflake payment have already been applied to the mortgage, so we are really down another $762.57. Smile This brings our mortgage balance to $X24,404. Under that $X25K amount!!

I'm just feeling blessed that we have been able to stay on track with our goal. Did you pay any extra on your mortgage in March? Will you pay extra in April, too?

March Snowflakes

April 2nd, 2014 at 05:38 am

March has been our slowest month so far this year in regards to snowflakes, but I did have plenty of sources of these funds. The little amounts do add up! Anyone can save small amounts and make them count towards a goal. This month those small amounts came to $247.39! And if your read my blog often, you know that this money is applied to our mortgage to pay down the balance. So far this year we have paid off $1,610.88 in mortgage debt with just snowflake money. We are not quite to our goal of $4,000, but we are getting closer to the halfway point. I expect we will get to the 50% point in the month of April.

Have you recently started saving small amounts of money towards a goal? I'd love to hear what you are working towards. Anyone have a new source for snowflakes?

All Good News!

April 1st, 2014 at 10:55 am

I just sent off two snowflakes to the mortgage in the amount of $201.20! That money combined with our regular mortgage payment and the extra $103+ I tack on each month, will bring our mortgage down below the $X25,000 threshold! Yippee!! That means less than $9K to go to meet our mortgage goal for the year.

That $200+ is my $150 Discover bonus that I had deposited into our checking account and a check for $51.20 which was our Washington DC fundraising proceeds. I prepaid the trip in full, so the fundraising dollars came back once I had a credit balance. That is about the amount my daughter will take for spending money, but she is to take that from her own savings, since we paid for the trip.

I made another BIG payment to our Chase Southwest card today. It was just over $809. That covered a work trip my husband was reimbursed for and some other miscellaneous spending. The first statement has not closed yet, but when it does I will make our final payment. That payment will include the $69 annual fee, which I will pay. I will then close the account and ask for a refund of the fee. Smile

I'm going to participate, as best I can, in the declutter/organizing challenge for the month of April. I did complete my goal of 20 workouts last month. I also lifted weights 10 times. I started counting calories in mid to late February. I have lost 11 pounds since then. I feel great!!

I will detail March snowflakes and mortgage principal paid in tomorrow's post. It will not include the two items mentioned above since those were not allocated until April.

Did your April begin with a snowflake? Are you joining in on the declutter and organizing challenge? How did you do with your exercise goals in March?