We went to a celebration on post last night. My husband took out $80 in cash so we could buy food and drinks from the vendors. The event was free and we saw some well know entertainers, so paying high prices for the food didn't bother us too much this time.
My husband thinks he lost $20 or maybe just a $10 bill. He came home with $8 in his wallet. However we can only remember and account for about $50 in food. It's possible we aren't remembering what we purchased correctly and actually spent $70+ on food!
If we did drop some cash, I sure hope someone who needed it came across it and it made their night. We can afford to lose $20 luckily. Not trilled about it, but it isn't' the end of the world.
Viewing the 'Uncategorized' Category
We went to a celebration on post last night. My husband took out $80 in cash so we could buy food and drinks from the vendors. The event was free and we saw some well know entertainers, so paying high prices for the food didn't bother us too much this time.
We did eat for all meals today at home. I'm not exactly sure what everyone had for breakfast and lunch, anything we could find really.
I sent my husband to the store to pick up pasta, a loaf of bread, and salad fixings. I knew we had pasta sauce to use up as well as dressing. Now we have more salad than we have dressing for!! My husband will likely finish it up since he is okay eating salad without dressing.
We do actually expect that tomorrow night will be our last night to make dinner here at home. Our kitchen dishes will be packed up by Tuesday night. And we should probably turn off our refrigerator at that point as well. By then we'll just be eating peanut butter as that is all we will have left!
I did toss about 1/2 cup of lentils and a cup of brown rice. I've had them both in my cupboard for awhile. I'd rather just replace them when needed to avoid having them stored in a box for nearly a month.
We also went to a local museum in our town. It's a national museum and was updated after this city had a flood several years ago. We always meant to check it out. The move finally motivated me to get it done. I think the free admission for military families was help too! It was enjoyable and had a great exhibit about what it means to live in a democratic country and be free. It was a beautiful building too.
Tomorrow we are dropping off a bag and a box to Goodwill. We also have an appointment to get our oil changed on our van. Perfect timing since we have a big road trip ahead, but it needs to be done anyway.
And tomorrow is the day the appraisal should be done. This time we won't be around to know whether it is done or not as we have other plans when it is planned. I will check with my agent though to make sure it is! I do find it crazy that we are just days from the original closing and the appraisal still isn't complete. It is interesting now that the sale is delayed I actually don't care to much about it. I think because I know it will close at some point. I also know I have to leave regardless of the change. I also feel pretty confident it will close before the end of the month.
Did you eat at home today? Have you done any decluttering that you can donate?
We are less than a week from moving. We are trying to eat everything up and at this point that pretty much is done with a few exceptions. So now we are buying food a day at a time...and eating the leftovers as we go. I don't have exact numbers (no time for that) but it feels pricey.
I tossed out some expired spices and some condiments that I know we won't use. If I had close friends and family I might try to give it to them, but that just isn't the case here. So down the sink it all goes. I'm recycling the containers. I am keeping quite a bit that I really hope the movers will pack. If I remember from previous moves I think they will.
Personally, I want to try to eat as much vegetables and fruit as I can in the coming days. I'll just be buying it a day or two at a time.
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?
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!
Sooo...even though the buyers walked away things are moving along quite nice. The original buyers did provide us with the radon report and their home inspection report. We all released each other from contract and they get their earnest money back.
In the meantime, my realtor worked her contacts and since I last wrote we have received two offers, had one showing last night and two showings scheduled for today.
The first offer that came in was from our second offer people the first time around. A pretty good offer however, their home is going on the market this weekend in another town so they don't have a buyer lined up for their home, and they didn't want to close until August 28...120 days out! So unfortunately, they were rejected again.
A late showing last night (which irritated my kids) resulted in an offer. These buyers live like two blocks away and have their zero lot line home/condo pending sale to close on May 15. Their offer is just as good as the last offer we took and they are willing to close on June 12 (the day after our items are moved out). Because of my husband's work schedule we were given until 6pm this evening to respond.
We also have two showings scheduled today! One around lunch and the other just before we need to respond to the current offer.
How is that for a crazy day? Bad news that turns into good news. We just might be under contract again tonight!
Wow. USAA has not done a good job this time. I've never once had an issue with their service, until now.
We inquired by email how to get our daughter set up with her own checking account since she is now 18 and will need one for college. The instruction was to send a money order for at least $25, along with a letter instructing to open a checking account and reference her USAA number (which is already established). They provided the address.
We mailed this in early April. While I was on my trip east she received a couple phone calls regarding the money. She didn't return the calls, but upon my return, we figured out they were trying to open a mutual fund, which she doesn't even have, nor do the instructions indicate this. An inquiry again, indicated they made an error and they would get the account established in 7 days. Turns out within 7 days they will mail everything back!
So frustrating! It's like they can't even read the letter. We will be inquiring why the original letter wasn't clear and trying one more time. Otherwise we'll just get a local account for her when she gets to college.
Have you had bad service such as this at any bank?
Our buyers are paying to have the house professional tested for radon. The entire state is considered high for it. I'm waiting for that professional to drop off the necessary equipment.
We did our own quick test with a kit we purchased from Amazon for $10 back in February. It came back at 3.1 pCi/L. The level for corrective measures is another 4.0 pCi/L or above. Our test was below that but could be considered a health risk.
Our agreement with the buyers is if the test comes back at 4.0 pCi/L or higher we will pay to have the house mitigated. We already have a the basic passive plumbing in place that the builder added at the time the house was built. That alone keeps the levels down. A fan will simply be added if needed for $500, plus another $100 to have the radon levels tested again after installation.
Part of me is planning to have to pay the cost to mitigate since it is in our agreement, but I will be very happy if levels are low enough to avoid that cost. The test ends in 48 hours, I'm not sure when we will have the results.
Fingers crossed for low levels! Do you have high radon levels in your state? Does anyone have a mitigation system in their home?
Our home went live on the MLS today. We had one showing Sunday after the sign was seen in our yard on Saturday. Today we had two showings, with one resulting in an offer!
We are in the middle of a counter offer primarily to move the closing date, since most of the financials are really good. I will share those later when it is all hashed out.
I have lucked out not to have to deal with the showings while I'm out of town. I will owe my mother a big hug for all her help while I was away!!
We think we have found a rental home being offered by a coworker of my husband who is moving out of town later this summer. Right now they think they can be out by July 1.
I will let you know more later! Thanks for all the good vibes and prayers...must have helped.
I guess March was a good month for snowflakes! My big fat total is $422.32. The eBay sales made a big impact as did the Ooma referral money. I make more money with Ooma than I spend.
The point of all this snowflake tracking is to show that all money small and large do add up. I also make a point to use the money to pay down debt currently. This month the money helped pay off our Wells Fargo Amex and pay down a balance on our Citi card (both which have 0% interest).
The beginning balance on Citi at the beginning of the year was $686.27. Along with a couple of minimum payments and a snowflake payment today of $145.23 the balance is now $491.04. The entire balance of the card is much larger because of airline tickets, glasses and regular spending. I did make another payment of $860 towards all of those expenses today too. And I'm considering paying another $1000 from savings to get it in a more manageable place. Eventually (after our move) I can pay that money back.
Did you get debt paid off this month? Did you use snowflake/extra money aquired to help? What was your snowflake total?
I was reading an article today where there was mention of the age of the person's vehicle. A 2004. The article was trying to indicate how old that was. I thought well our are only a bit newer. We have two 2007s, which were both bought used. While my van is getting really close to 100,000 it still drives like new (at least I think so).
Our hope is to hold on to our vehicles at least until our girls get through college...which is another 7 years. So that may be pushing it, but it's a good goal I think.
How old is/are your vehicle(s)? How long do you hope to keep yours?
Today was payday. I thought all day that I would get them done! There were several other things that just took priority. I hope I get a chance to get it in tomorrow. I will also need to update some recent snowflakes!
I'd like to say it will be a low spend weekend, but we have plans to see a movie ($32!), visit the art museum ($10) and buy girl scout cookies ($24). I would also like to update our bath towels. Most of them are easily 10 years old. Several have bleach marks of some kind and at least one is beginning to fray on the sides. It's time for towels. Hope to keep to just four bath towels, 2-3 hand towels. The girls also need a new bath mat (again fraying!). Our future home sell has me motivated to get this task taken care of.
My husband bought me flowers ($15), we bought candy for the girls and will use two cards from a package we purchased to write some nice words to our girls. We will eat dinner at home and avoid any chaos happening at the restaurants this weekend.
Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your weekend will be more frugal than mine.
There were a whopping five comments on the contest blog. The random number generator picked number 3, which was CB's comment. I'm sure some of us numbers people are thinking it is also an average of the five!
Thanks for your comment CB about your thrifty ways. I throw out quite a bit of coffee here unfortunately, so I will have to try your method soon!
If the rest of you didn't see the other contestants comments I would encourage you to take a look. They are all really good!
CB, I sent you an email. Please send me your address when you have time!
Today, is the day! I'm giving away the book titled, The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn (a.k.a The Frugal Zealot). If you aren't familiar with the book, check out the description at Amazon.
To enter please leave a comment telling me something frugal you do in your home on this post before midnight Central time. One entry per person. US addresses only.
Please make sure when you comment that your email address is included in the field requesting it. This way I will receive your email when you comment. If it doesn't show up and you are the winner, I may need to ask you to private message me on the forum site portion of Saving Advice.
I will announce the winner tomorrow and get the book sent by media mail within one day of getting your address.
I own a copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. I read it and referenced it for years. Now not so much. I've noticed in my home it has become clutter. However, I do think it has value to those looking gleam some more frugal tips and ways of thinking. Specifically, the cover states it is for 'Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle'.
I'm thinking of offering this book up free to one random contest entrant. I could sell it, but I would only make a couple dollars after shipping. If I mail it to one of you, it will only cost me a few dollars, which I'm fine with.
I've seen contests done on sites where they simply ask for comments as the eligibility to win, which is likely what I would do. I would set a deadline, likely only 24 hours or so. After the end of the contest, I would count the number of comments and use a random number generator to determine the winner.
The winner would be required to email me their address in order receive the prize. Specifically, I would post my email address temporarily for the winner to respond to. Eventually, I would take that information down. The contest would only be available to US residents, since shipping would be so much more overseas.
So should I offer a contest here? Any questions or concerns about how I would go about the contest? Any reason anyone can think of to not do this?
We bought our most recent refrigerator from Lowe's. It was $808, and we got a 10% military discount. I was in there today and went by the fridge to see if there was a price change. Yep, today it was selling for $719 (less than two weeks later)!
I had my receipt and simply asked at customer service. Sure enough the price adjustment was honored. I got an $85.70 merchandise credit since I originally paid with discount gift cards purchased from Raise. In fact I used the gift cards I had left from the original purchase to buy a new humidifier filter pad and some spray stain remover. I expect there will be more items needed from the home improvement store as we get ready to sell the house!
I also noticed that our credit card was not charged the full amount on the last invoice for our furnace repair. I did question the service person about not being told the price on one part. The other one I was aware of. The charge is still more than I was told but by $20. It is still pending on my credit card, so it could be a different amount when it actually posts.
All of that was still money out of pocket but it's nice to have it all be less. I'm also glad I have just over $120 to cover upcoming expenses. I know I will need mulch for the flower beds, flowers for pots, a shower curtain, caulk, and maybe a new entry rug or two.
I know I've mentioned that we have our landline with Ooma. It is a phone line that operates through our internet connection. We purchased ours over a year ago for about $100. We continue each month to pay only for the required taxes, which for us is currently $3.81. Our landline doesn't get used to often, but it is nice to have considering we pay so little for it.
If this is something you might be interested in you might like to know that the Ooma Telo is currently on sale for $89.99 and is shipped for free. The offer expires on January 30. So you will need to act fast.
The link above is my referral link. I do receive a $20 credit if you use my link. The referral program is offered to all members, and would also be available to you several times a year. This makes the cost even less!
I guess Citi now gives out FICO credit scores for free with many of their cards. I have the Citi Thank You Preferred card, so I looked mine up.
I always like to see anything above 800! The report does indicated I have recent inquiries. Yep, that's true I'm racking in the rewards from credit card companies!
Do you have a Citi card that will provide you your FICO score? Another card perhaps? If you don't have a card there are sites such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame that will give you a similar score for free.
I've been out of town, but returned home to remember the Capital One 360 Black Friday sale. The particulars are on their website, but if you open your first checking or savings with them you can earn a $100 bonus for EACH account.
Find out more here, which is my referral link. I do get $40 if you use it, which I appreciate if I tipped you off to the offer.
Let me know if you use the offer, so I can thank you.
If you don't already have the Chase Freedom card, this offer is the best you will find for this spending limit. You apply for the card, spend $500 and get $200 cash back. No annual fee. Interest rate is 0% for the first 15 months. And the card has rotating cash back categories.
It's all listed here, if you want to apply.
Please don't apply for credit if you are unable to meet your payment obligations or would need to accrue interest. It's just not worth it! Be smart with credit.
Apply by December 18, 2014. I will receive $50, if you use my link, but will not get any details of your financial or even if you were approved or not. Chase keeps your information confidential.
We have been using a lot of different credit cards lately. I'm going to be cutting this back soon!!
No interest, but different ones for different reasons, and not all of them logical. Tomorrow is payday, so I made sure to pay off the Target Red card, two different cards for gas purchases, Kohl's for recent clothing purchase, the Chase Freedom card that the utilities were automatically paid on, and the most recent card for nearly all other charges the Citi Thank You card. Oh, and the Discover card for recent online Christmas purchases.
Seriously, we have too many open cards. We are not having any problem paying them, but it gets really hard to remember them all! I almost forgot about the Chase Freedom card today, until I was trying to figure out where the utilities were charged. All the cards do send me emails, so I likely would never really forget.
We have open Amex cards that haven't been used in over six months. Maybe more. I keep them open for those offers they put out from time to time to get cash credit for certain purchases at certain stores. I just looked back at my savings with them and I saved $70 in the last five weeks of 2013, and just $5 in 2014. So unless, they offer up some really great deals this year, I may let go of the Amex cards.
In other news, I've already used some of the Christmas funds saved this year to pay off purchases I have already made. That feels good.
I have set aside the $275 that I normally send to the mortgage pay down this time of the month. I'm going to hold it and try to get the remaining $256 needed outside of December's planned principal payments from snowflakes/extra money. I guess that means I really only need to hold on to $256 of that money to ensure meeting my goal. I'll put the $19 towards paying ourselves back for some recent large purchases.
Are you getting paid this week? Do you pay your bills just at the time of pay day or multiply times during the course of a pay period?
You can see your credit score for free with Credit Sesame. It's always free. No credit card or billing required, ever. I have used the site myself to track our scores. Very easy.
It is always good to know where you stand, right? I do get a bonus if six or more people sign up for the free service. Please use my link if you are at all interested. I will not receive any of your personal information. Thanks!
I know there are many, many examples of credit card problems. This one is minor really. I'm just annoyed with myself for forgetting the rules!
I had a Southwest Rapids Rewards credit card that I opened for 55,000 bonus points. I did receive them after spending $2000. I redeemed the first $350 worth of gift cards right away. I was undecided about the rest, so I left the points. However, I proceeded to cancel the card to get the annual fee of $99 refunded. That did happened with no issues.
The problem is I can't get to my rewards, although I can log on, and redeem them without being a card member! Ack. Why did I forget that piece of information?
I have plans to apply for their lower grade card which has a $69 fee when the next promotion comes out, so this is not a total loss. I will make sure to redeem in full before I cancel again.
I was going to redeem 20,000 points for $200 worth of Lowe's gift cards...so we can start looking a refrigerators. This may just be the sign that we need to wait on that purchase.
Don't play with credit cards if you want simple and easy. They aren't simple and easy! It does take tracking and understanding of the rules!
Anyone know when the next Southwest Rapids Rewards offer might come out? I do have quite a few things I could charge.
We took in a stray kitten tonight. I don't think we plan to make it permanent, so for now it is staying in the basement separate from our cats.
It was running behind three kids on bikes. The kids were sailing by and the cat spotted me, came over and started purring right away. The kids came back. I asked if it was their cat or if it started running with them from the farm across which is very close (nearly across the street). The said it started following them from the bank which is about 5 or 6 blocks away. The bank is by a highway. I just wonder if someone dropped off a cat they didn't want.
The cat seems well groomed except for an area on its ear that seems to have been bitten or caught on something and has dried blood. It has all it's claws, no collar. I think it is domestic, rather than farm cat based on how it is interacting with us.
It is very cute and it is tempting to take it in, but I think we should find a home for it. The shelters around here are kill shelters, so I'm thinking I should post it on craigslist, but wonder if I should post a found listing before I go off offering it to someone else. How would I know it was the owner? I didn't see any lost kitten posts that describe this kitten.
Any ideas would be helpful...as I just want to do the right thing!
I think there are a couple people who are having trouble posting photos. I tested it and was able to post photos, as you should be able to see in this post.
The basic idea is to write your post and select Save and Add Images. I do suggest copying the text your wrote before hitting publish in case you have timed out first.
After you select Save and Add Images, you will see a Choose File button appear. Once you select this button, you will be taken to the files on your computer to select the image you have already saved there to be opened into the entry.
After you select Open for the file you chose, you will see the name of the file you chose, next to the Choose File button. At this point you can Save and Publish or Save Draft. If usually hit draft if I'm going to have more than one image to insert. Either one works.
With either one you choose you will now see a preview of the image you want to select. Next to the image is a box with a number in it surrounded by
Once you have added all the images within your text, you can publish the entry.
You are actually publishing each time you add an image. I think this is a change from the past. I did notice today when adding all these images, that I needed to delete the preview after I had two images listed, otherwise it wouldn't let me add another image. NOT user friendly. When you look at the entry from the reader's point of view you will now see the images appear.
I hope this is helpful to some of you out there. If you are seeing different things than I'm showing you will want to contact Jeffrey or Nate for assistance!
Ugh. My friend again. I'm not really frustrated. I have learned that this friend just doesn't get it. So I listen and try to offer some advice. Which she never takes!
Since I have a blog, I like to pass on the line of thinking others have. Maybe someone will learn something.
Friend and her husband own a Honda Accord (car) and a Honda Ridgeline truck. The latter purchased in the last year or year and a half. Just yesterday they traveled 14 hours to their new home in the Ridgeline. She texted me how uncomfortable it was.
She wants to get rid of the Ridgeline because it cost gas more gas to drive than her Accord, her husband will be commuting 40 minutes to and from work, it is going to need new timing belt, serpentine belt, and brakes. She thinks it makes better sense to get a lease with an option to buy, so they don't need to worry about mileage.
I mentioned the Honda van, Odyssey, might be more comfortable for long trips and get a little better gas mileage. Since that would be the car her husband would drive, she said no because 'he needs something more manly'!
Do you see all the problems with her reasoning? She is getting rid of a vehicle because it is uncomfortable for long road trips, but yet owns a car that is likely more comfortable. The truck is due for routine maintenance based on mileage. ALL cars need maintenance. She suddenly needs a better gas mileage car because of the commute. The gas mileage was known when they purchased the vehicle. And they have a car, they could use for the commute instead.
Oh, and they are currently upside down on the truck loan. Once she told me that, I said if it were me I would keep the truck and drive the car for a trip back to their home state or rent a vehicle.
This is a trend of theirs...buying cars that don't have good track records, getting slammed by maintenance, deciding leases are better, getting Honda lease and then decided to buy the Ridgeline. Now basic maintenance and gas costs are moving them to buy another vehicle even though they are upside down.
Ack. Frustrated again, writing it out! I wish she would learn to set some money aside for maintenance and repairs at least.
I spent 35 minutes of my morning watching the video I linked below about the four individuals in middle class incomes struggling within the current banking system.
Spent: Looking for Change
What did you think?
I'm going to talk about my friend. I know some of us write these type of posts from time to time. I do feel a little guilty writing about this. I also don't want it to come across that I'm all high and mighty and know everything. I don't. I do know a lot and I have different habits than my friend.
My friend is moving from one state to another. Texas specifically. This move is happening pretty fast for them. It is with the friend's husband's same company. It is a pretty big promotion for him. They listed their home and sold it in 7 days. They are still going through the process of inspections and so forth.
I think they are happy with the sale, and the price but I don't think they will get much proceeds from the sale. They bought it over 12 years ago for $109K with zero down. It was a VA loan. The sold it for $127K. You would think there were be lots of equity there, but she has told me they refinanced at least two times to refinance debt. And I know the first time she told me about refinancing I was vocal about being against that. She had many justifications.
They have been to their new city recently looking at houses. The market there is hopping and homes don't stay listed for long and sell for at or slightly above list price. Their realtor says sellers are not accepting contingent offers (offers based on complete sale of their own home), this upsets my friend. But she is really upset that she has to put 1% down in earnest money when making an offer. For the homes they are looking at this may amount to $1700. I don't know for sure if she has it or not, but she seems to be acting like she doesn't.
Ugh. I feel bad, but I'm more frustrated at her behavior over the years and how it has lead only to buying more stuff and she never seems to get ahead. One time she said if she saved money, she would just be tempted spend it all. Umm...so you don't save, but then you still spend it all.
She told me that her brother was a little concerned about this move, telling her that more money isn't everything. He even said, 'You know, the more you make the more you spend." I'm sure he meant that in the literal sense. She really does that. However she has the illusion they will be able to pay off lots of bills and get ahead. That is the main reason they are moving it is a promotion and a significant increase in salary. It is enough that she may not work. Although I think she will find a way to get a job somewhere, since she has never not worked. The truth is more money doesn't solve excess spending behaviors.
I'm starting to relate to her brother's opinion, that this may not be a great move financially. She doesn't have $1700 or any down payment, how can you expect to get a home in that case. They are still eligible for another VA loan so that helps with the down payment part. I did hear her mention apartment, so we will see if that ends up being the better choice.
Alright it is the end of my rant. I'm just frustrated after years of talking with her that she isn't in a better place.
Today is my last day at home by myself. My oldest doesn't need to go tomorrow unless she has to make up a final. She does not. The youngest will go but gets out four hours early.
Our summers are pretty casual overall. We might get out to visit a museum, travel back to see family, and swim once or twice. I know there will be visits to the library. We also like to get some hikes in local parks in as well. The girls will have flute lessons and a informal recital. The oldest has several marching band events that we will need to work around.
We also need to visit two colleges in our state. I realize summer isn't the best time to visit, but we figure we can go back in the fall if the school seems more of a possibility.
Summer is also the time we get some annual appointments in. One daughter needs an eye appointment. One needs to have an initial visit with a oral surgeon, and they both need to see the orthodontist.
I personally like summer because it is a time to get a little creative with projects. My daughter has a latch hook rug she completed in the fall that she wants turned into a pillow. She also has a two latch hook rugs she is working on. My older daughter spends even more time drawing during the summer. It is always fun to see what they create.
I wrote an post on Your Organized Friend about managing the end of school chaos that comes home. It can be pretty stressful when all their school supplies come home if you don't have a plan.
Are your kids out of school? Do you have a busy summer planned or is it more relaxed?
|<< Newer Entries||Older Entries >>|