<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: May, 2015
 

Archive for May, 2015

Snowflakes for May

May 30th, 2015 at 01:33 am

For the month of May I accumulated $139.28 in found money/snowflakes. This money helped pay off the final balance on the Citi Card from January, the remaining cost of my daughter's glasses plus a little bit more.

If I wasn't working on selling a home and all that goes with that I expect I may have found more earnings, especially with things I could sell.



Did you find snowflakes this month?

Buyers Loan and Deep Thoughts

May 29th, 2015 at 02:15 am

It's been a month since our purchase agreement with the buyers. They had their inspection nearly two weeks ago and our fingers are crossed they will finally agree to our offer on those repairs tonight. Unfortunately, their agent had a baby a week after their purchase agreement and is really not helping them at all. I do feel bad for them and really it's affecting all of us.

I was actually given permission to contact them about an issue and they responded very favorably to my email. I think prior they weren't getting the information our agent provided to their agent. We even decided to instruct them to call our agent if they had questions since their agent is not available. I do know our agent knows our wants and desires and was definitely working for us, simply communicating on our behalf with them. I think it helped us move mountains today in terms of progress.

Just today our agent decided to check on their loan and specifically the appraisal which we have not heard about yet. The person who wrote their preapproval letter three days after the purchase agreement had not yet received their purchase agreement or started their loan process!! The buyer was notified and thought their agent (who had the baby) had taken care of it. This actually may delay our closing. I'm not sure the buyers are aware of this yet.

We are leaving the same day regardless. At least that is the plan now. My husband has a specific day he needs to return to work and we need several days to travel.

It definitely feels like our days here are numbered. There are plenty of things to accomplish including a few meet ups with friends. It is interesting the impact you have on people even if only in their lives a little bit for a short period of time. I've always known and felt that we have an impact on more people than we realize. We have gifts, talents, points of views, and maybe just genuine love that comes across and impacts people. People notice and appreciate authentic humans in their lives. Be you. Be authentic. Be true. It's good for you, but also for others. The more I move around, the more I notice this and I actually feel blessed to come into contact with more people than I might if I stayed in one place.

Citi Rewind

May 28th, 2015 at 02:46 am

We've been using our Citi card for most purchases. At one point a couple months ago I signed up for their purchase rewind program on a pair of Converse shoes I purchased for one of my daughters. The Citi Rewind program searches for a lower price up to 60 days. If they find a lower price for the item, you can apply for a refund of the difference.

The shoes I purchased were $49.99. Citi found the same pair selling for $37.99 by another retailer. They are offering me $12 back. I did put in the request which will be applied as a credit to our account. I think if the amount were over $25 I could ask for direct deposit or a check. The credit is good enough for me!

Have you used Citi's Price Rewind feature?

January Citi Balance Paid Off!

May 27th, 2015 at 12:49 am

We began the year with a balance of $686.27 on our Citi card. Luckily it has been at zero percent interest. My goal was to use extra funds/snowflakes to pay it off. After some recent Facebook sales, I had the money to make the final payment on this portion of our Citi credit card debt which was $47.20.

I used the extra money earned from these Facebook sales to pay $10.80 on my oldest daughter's glasses which were also charged on the Citi card. I know only need to pay $12.80 to have those paid in full.

And yes, there is still a balance on our Citi card from more recent purchases which I will write a post about at another time.

Relax A Cat

May 26th, 2015 at 02:03 pm

To keep things on a light note after the holiday, I'm posting the picture I took of one of my cats last night. She's hanging out in her travel kennel. I put carpet remnant in there, took the door off, and added some cat nip. I've seen both cats using them, so hopefully it is a good start to our trip!

Facebook Sales

May 26th, 2015 at 01:47 am

For the first time I have sold some of our household items on Facebook! I made $33 selling a patio umbrella with stand, a leaf blower and a push broom. It appears I have another possible sale tomorrow night that should net another $10 for a dresser.

The cash from all these sales should get the balance on the Citi card from January finally paid off. Smile

Selling on Facebook is still just as difficult as selling on Craigslist. People are still flakes about committing to an item. Don't say 'interested' if you don't at the same time tell me when you might want to pick it up!

I've given myself a limit of a week to get some of these items sold. If the items do not sell, I expect to donate or possibly trash the items. I don't want to move things I don't want anymore!!

Do you have any tips for getting people to commit with Facebook sales?

3.5% Interest CD is Open and Super News

May 22nd, 2015 at 01:28 pm

I moved $7,500 from our money market account to the savings account at Navy Federal CU which finally posted today. I applied online for the CD this morning. I guess that doesn't mean it is open earning interest quite yet, but very close! We now have more than have of our EF money at NFCU earning anywhere from 3.5-5% interest. Pretty good in this environment of super low interest rates. If I could put more money in I would!

My husband arrives home today (and about 10 hours earlier because he got on an early flight this morning)! Graduation is tomorrow for our oldest daughter. He will be here the remaining time before we move (he has a lot of vacation to use up before Sept 30 or he will lose it). We will be busy, but we are excited to be back together!

Have a super Memorial Day weekend! Don't spend too much...there will always be another sale. Smile

Vet Expenses

May 21st, 2015 at 08:37 pm

I took our oldest cat to the vet today. I went primarily to get her rabies vaccination since we could need it as we move into another state. I also wanted to ask them why she wasn't sitting anymore. I was pretty sure it was because she is overweight, but wanted to make sure. Yep, our kitty (who is 10 years old) has put on at least 2 pounds! She was overweight before those pounds.

I think a somewhat recent food change is the result unfortunately. And I know that it is hard for cats to lose weight, but I think we'll try our best to assist her. My vet suggested cutting the food amount in half, supplementing with tuna and green beans(if she would eat them). He said the hardest part is going to be tolerating her when she is hungry! I know exactly what he means. Cats are relentless. It will probably be feeding her small amounts but more frequently.

He also prescribed a transdermal gel called Amitriptyline for 10 days. We are to give it the five days before the move, each day we are traveling and finish up once we arrive to our new destination. Cost was $12 per cat. The also gave me free samples of Feliway wipes to wipe on their cages each day. I guess some sort of calming pheromone.

In total I spent $72 at the vet today. I have another appointment for our other cat to get vaccinated for rabies next week. So a little more money needed for that.

What tips do you have to keep a cat calm in the car? Anyone ever heard of a cat losing weight? My vet said he hasn't.

$1200 Increase

May 19th, 2015 at 02:00 pm

I had recorded our retirement totals on Friday, but then check them again this morning since I saw the market had a good day yesterday. In total our holdings increased $1200 in just one business day. That's a nice chunk of change!!

We are currently just under $334K in retirement funds. I don't write that to brag, but to remind you that you can save money and it does add up. Our balance in May 2003 (yes 12 years ago) was just $25,700. We have been maxing our Roth IRAs for at least six years, maybe a bit longer. We also put 10% of my husband's basic pay into his work TSP account, and that is a recent increase from 8%, and I think at one point we only did 6%. And currently our entire monthly contribution to our retirement accounts is 16.64% of my husband's gross pay. Sometimes I actually wonder if this is too much!

I hope you are investing your earnings for your retirement. It does pay off. The sooner you start the less you need to contribute, too. It's okay to start small and gradually increase as you can.

Did your retirement accounts increase yesterday?

I Should, But I Didn't

May 18th, 2015 at 12:49 pm

I have just over $1000 from this past payday that I should have sent in to our Citi credit card balance. It would have brought the balance to around $500. But I didn't do it.

We have a rather large repair coming up on the home before we can close on our home. It was definitely unexpected on this new home, but it may cost us $1500 to $2000. And I'm not sure they take credit cards. So in an effort to have enough cash on hand that I don't have to move from another account I'm holding on to this cash.

I'd really, really like to pay it on the credit card, and maybe I still will.

Redeemed MyPoints

May 17th, 2015 at 04:32 pm

I redeemed 1600 MyPoints for a $10 Panera gift card. They usually arrive pretty fast in the mail. I expect we will have no problem using this up as we get closer to the move. It tends to come with a fair amount of eating out.

Off to spend more money...need shoes to wear to graduation. I hoping to find some for $30 or less. And I'd really like them to be found at the first place I look!

3.5% Interest CD and More

May 15th, 2015 at 12:57 am

I found out Navy Federal Credit Union is offering 3.5% CD for military member this month. It is for 15 months for up to $7,500. We currently have $5K there already in a 12 month CD earning 5% through September. This new offer isn't as good, but it is much much better than a savings account or money market. Time to transfer some money over there.

If you are possibly eligible, make sure to read fine print, as I believe there is a Direct Pay or allotment requirement which I read there was no minimum for...$1 a month might just be enough.

I redeemed 600 Swagbucks for two $3 Amazon gift cards yesterday. The codes for them arrived today. I proceeded to use them to buy a DVD my daughter wants for her birthday. I only had to pay another $0.58. I will count the $6 as a snowflake and send that money to the credit card balance.

Husband Sees Credit Card Statement and Says...

May 13th, 2015 at 01:25 pm

My husband mentioned the other day he wants to see the account balances when he returns home (just days away now). Our Citi credit card statement just closed and was about $500 more than the last balance I was aware of. Some of it is my spending, but most was my husband. And yes a little bit is even from last month.

So this morning I sent him a PDF of the statement. I just said he could add up his own spending portion and left it at that. I didn't even add it up myself because what is spent is spent.

His response was 'Ugh. It's like an intervention. I'm trying to reduce my spending.' And I literally laughed out loud. I had no idea that just sending him one credit card statement would be considered an intervention! Smile

He did just buy new running shoes for over $130. He runs nearly 5 miles a day, so they wear out pretty fast. I did encourage him to buy them when he said his feet hurt. We don't need foot or knee problems to deal with. Of course, he didn't have the coupons I have here at home, and he did throw on three more t shirts for $9 each. I think if he can get his eating out under control it would be good.

So now he knows. The more one knows the better one can do...at least let's hope!

Newspaper Cancelled

May 11th, 2015 at 08:29 pm

I requested our newspaper be stopped a couple days before our move. Since I had paid for a full year in advance, I will get a refund. It's just $14.36. A little snowflake to help work on our goals. Smile

I'm assuming they will send the check soon, but it could be they will wait until the subscription expires.

I don't know if we will get a newspaper subscription again in our new place or not. I do feel that support of news organizations is important, so I expect we will.

Admission for Events

May 8th, 2015 at 03:18 pm

We have some activities this weekend that will charge us admission. I have the cash on hand already.

$14 admission for two tonights musical at the high school. My daughter is playing her flute and piccolo in the pit.

$11 admission for three to listen and view large group band performances tomorrow. Each daughter is participating, but I think I will need to pay for them to view each other.

I have food for us to eat here at the house before and between the events. I'm hoping that is all I need to spend money on this weekend...well maybe more fuel to get us around town.

Other than a parking fee for graduation I think we are done paying admission for the school year. At least I hope so! It does add up.

Mother's Day & More

May 7th, 2015 at 01:01 pm

I purchased four Mother's day cards the other day. I paid about eight dollars at Hallmark. I wish I had looked for a coupon before, but I didn't know I would be even buying cards. Most of the cards were $.99, but the one for my sister was more...it's her first Mother's Day with her foster daughter (who they are planning to adopt). I wanted to acknowledge it with a card.

I think last year I actually skipped Mother's Day gifts. This year my mother will be at our home. I purchased her a scarf and a bottle of Mrs. Meyer's hand soap (which darn I had a coupon for!) The scarf was $9.99 at JC Penney's. I had a $10 off a $10 purchase, so I found a pair of $2 baby socks and my purchase was $2.13 after the coupon. I will donate the socks. Smile

I instructed my husband to buy his mother a card. If he's deployed it is find if I send the card, but he does need to sign if he is in the states. I texted him her address, too. He told me last night he may just call her that day instead. And I'm sure she would like that just as much. It feels good to delegate some tasks.

I received two deposits into my PayPal account yesterday: $15 from Pinecone and $5.10 from Ebates. That means $20.10 I can send off to the Citi card to pay down some more beginning of the year debt.

Not sure I mentioned this, but I found a dress to wear to graduation and possibly a wedding. It was marked $38 at Kohl's. I had another item for $13, but also a $10 off a $50 purchase. So two items for about $43 with tax. I do now need shoes. I think I can get quite a bit of use out of the dress.

Do you a mother to buy for? Are you giving her a gift of any kind?

TD Bank Credit Card Offers

May 5th, 2015 at 03:56 pm

I'm on the lookout for a new credit card bonus offer. We are approved for our new home rental, thus no credit checking on us for awhile. And I need some cash!! Who doesn't right?

I noticed TD Bank has two cards with no annual fees. Each card offers $200 in cash or gift cards after spending $1500. 0% interest for 12 billing cycles, as well as 5% or 5X rewards on travel (gas), dining, groceries, cable, phone and utility company payments for the first 6 months. That extra 5% would add up fast I think. We have lots of expenses that in the next few months...so meeting the requirements is no problem. There was another one that was tempting with Citi I think...need to try to find that again to see if it would be better OR if we should do all of them.

I will need to check with my husband but I think it might be worth each of us applying for a card, so we can get $400, plus the 5% for nearly the rest of the year!

Does anyone else know of any new or good cash back card offers right now?

I used credit cards to cash flow our expenses, as well as earn bonus and reward money. I am responsible to pay our cards off monthly or at least use one that isn't charging interest. I do not recommend opening cards for bonuses if you cannot handle paying your charges back without interest.

Less Citi Debt

May 5th, 2015 at 12:29 pm

The original balance on our Citi card is now lower. I sent in $20.52, which was the difference between our actual water/sewer/trash bill and what I usually budget. It sure helps to have one less person taking showers!

The new balance from the original debt is $90.35! I actually think I can get this paid off this month with snowflakes. Smile

Money Updates and Cat Question

May 5th, 2015 at 01:40 am

I just completed a Pinecone survey. This should bring me to 1500 points to redeem for $15 tomorrow. A May snowflake!

Our water bill arrived and it was under budget by $20.52. I do count that as a snowflake, too. I will apply this to my Citi credit card balace.

Wrote a $348 check for a plumbing and drywall repair on our home. It's a long story, but that was money well spent! I get to paint the drywall tomorrow. Luckily I believe I have enough paint, so no additional costs.

My daughter sold a piece of art that she did in less than an hour. Her profit is $20. She sold it to a friend of mine. She has a real hard time placing value on her art and charging people for it. However, I'm happy she sold something. She puts things up on her art Facebook page just to share. My friend asked if she could purchase, so it was a bit unexpected.

And for those with cats: I'm looking for a collapsible carrier to take with us on our trip east. We have hard carriers but those are really going to take up a lot of space in our already cramped van. Does anyone think these would actually work? My cats do really dislike their carriers. It is so tempting.

Credit Card Debt Balance

May 3rd, 2015 at 03:16 pm

I've mentioned we have credit card debt that is rolling over month to month, with no interest accruing thankfully. I have always been able to pay it off, but since I'm not a fan of using savings, I'd rather just cash flow it when the interest is 0%.

Our debt has been as high as $3,000 at different points in time this year. Yesterday I made a payment of $910.75 and our new balance is now $1136.45. Of that amount $110.87 is from our original balance. $120 is the remaining balance of my daughter's new glasses. The rest is just overspending as far as I can tell.

Yesterday's payment did include snowflakes, 52 Week Savings money I'm applying to the glasses balance, and extra money because there will fewer flute lessons in the next two weeks.

I'll be sure to tell you when we are back to a point of just paying off our current spending. That is where I would much rather be. It feels like that could be months away! Frown

April Snowflakes

May 2nd, 2015 at 08:49 pm

At the beginning of the month I really didn't think I would accumulate too many snowflakes. I'm not trying to hard to earn Swagbucks or Bing rewards. I didn't sell anything either.

It turns out we had a nice anniversary gift from my parents and earned quite a few different credit card rewards. And it all adds up! All of my snowflakes went to pay down the beginning balance we had on our Citi card in January. We have just $110.87 left on that now.

The grand total for April was $360.23. Lower than my total from March which was over $400, but still very good.



How did you do in accumulating extra money this month?

Paid July Rent and Deposit

May 2nd, 2015 at 07:51 pm

We signed the lease agreement for the home we will be living in. We move in July 13. We also paid the deposit and first month's rent which is prorated for July. We did have to pull this money from our savings since that is a lot of cash! When we get paid in July we will pay it back, of course.

I don't actually think they are going to cash the check until they give us the keys, but just in case that money is in our account.

I'm working on getting bills paid with our May 1 paycheck. I hope to report more debt paid off and all the snowflakes earned in April soon!