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Archive for April, 2008

Another one!

April 30th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

This has been a fabulous month for me with Pinecone surveys. I have completed 5 surveys for them. I received a check yesterday for $5.00 that I will add to the challenge.

New Balance = $168.42

Our regular home equity payment of $118 was posted yesterday. Only $23.22 went to principal. Frown There will definitely be more money hitting that account in May. We are just waiting to pay for a few large dollar items before we start kicking in down.

I just realized that I did not add in the April ebay funds to the challenge. So that creates a new total of....

$520.86

The cost of allergies

April 29th, 2008 at 09:15 am

My youngest daughter has allergies. She was diagnosed at about 9 months...her first spring! Looking back, she had allergies immediately. We have a picture where she is two weeks old and my husband has put a warm washcloth over her eyes and top of her nose to help her stuffy nose.

She was given a prescription and eventually switched to Zyrtec several years ago. We've paid various copays over the years. The highest I remember was $18/mo. The lowest on our current plan was $9. Actually, the lowest has been $0, when Pfizer used to give rebates up to $10 back! Boy, I miss those days.

Now, Zyrtec is over the counter and not available for prescription. My DD was taking the chewable version. Do you know how much it costs to buy chewable Zyrtec for a child who takes one pill everyday 10 months out of the year? You do the math...$12.99 for a package of 12 tablets.

Because of the cost, I made her switch to pills she will swallow. Target sells 30 of these tablets for $19.99. My price just more than doubled...much better than the chewables. DD has done great in getting them down. They are small, but she bites it in half and swallows each half. Seems to work!

Now, here's the exciting part! Walgreen's sells a generic version of Zyrtec. A couple of weeks ago, I was able to get 30 tablets for $7.99 with their in store coupon!! Yeah, now the price is lower than what I used to pay.

I may just grab some more to stock up. This week they have 90 tablets for $22.99!

Bad news, turned into good news! Funny thing is my daughter is brand loyal. She gets mad at the Claritin commercials that put down the drug she takes. I did tell her about the generic, but she's still a fan of the Zyrtec.

Final numbers are in...

April 28th, 2008 at 09:33 am

Remember my ebay goal of netting $100 in the month of April. Well, I far exceeded it!! With four more sales last week, we netted out for the month at $352.44 after all the shipping, ebay and paypal fees.

I have never done so well on ebay. I think I only had one thing that didn't sell. I have to give credit to the type of items. Surplus army gear from my husband's stash of stuff. Do you have any idea how much gear we store at home? He has been in the Army for almost 17 years...so it adds up over time, especially when the Army changes uniforms!

For now, I'm taking an ebay break. It's time to gear up for the garage sale. My pile has been building. I'm so good at getting rid of things that I don't usually net much more than $100 at a garage sale, but I'm hoping to get close to double this year.

Oh, I finally branched out and sold internationally this time, too! I sent items to Argentina and France. Now I'm an international seller!! I think it helped sales, too.

ChaChing

April 27th, 2008 at 06:42 am

I cashed in my points for surveys a few weeks back. The check arrived yesterday for $30! Mysurveys are a little slow getting their checks out, but they always arrive.

This will count towards the $20 Challenge.

New Balance = $163.42

Change of Plans

April 26th, 2008 at 08:29 am

Our focus has been to save money for a down payment on a new to us Toyota or Honda van. Now, we are changing plans.

The new plan is to pay off our home equity loan as soon as possible. I estimate it will take us at least the rest of the year to do this.

We really need to hold on to some equity as we move around the country with the Army. It looks like we will have at least two more years here. When the time comes, I would like to have that loan paid off so the money can be used as a down payment on the next home.

After the loan is paid off, we'll save some more for the van down payment and then finance the rest. The van we are replacing is a 1997 Dodge Caravan with over 120k miles. Right now it needs new tires and power steering pump replaced. We will take care of those things in the next two months with cash.

We were really looking forward to getting a newer van. In some ways, we are disappointed, but we know it is the right thing to do. Finally, we have our heads on straight!!

If anyone, has any thoughts or inputs I'd be happy to hear them.

Stimulus Payment will be Early!!!!!

April 25th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Wow, I don't know if I'm the first to have caught on to this!

Text is Here and Link is http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/24/pf/taxes/Stimulus_checks/index.htm?section=money_topstories/
Hereis the article.

I guess for those first on the list by ss number will get their payments 4 days earlier. So instead of Friday, May 2, you will receive your rebate direct deposited this Monday, April 28th. The schedule is bumped up for everyone including those set to receive checks!

Here's to a happy robust economy to come! Cheers!!

No Ethanol

April 25th, 2008 at 10:18 am

I'm beginning to question whether I should continue to buy fuel for my vehicle that contains ethanol. In the past, I have always purchased the cheapest fuel. And it has been for a long time, made with ethanol.

From my understanding, farmers receive cash or subsidies to encourage and help support them in growing corn. These subsidies are our tax dollars. Without these subsidies we the cost to produce the corn that is turned into fuel would be higher...those costs would be passed on to the consumer at the gas pump. More than likely, this would make the ethanol fuel more expensive than regular unleaded fuel.

So, I just wonder if it would be worth my money to demand a different, more expensive grade of fuel at the pump. And if everyone did this, would the decrease in demand, cause the government to stop spending money to subsidize corn production for fuel? How else would it effect the economy...for better or worse?

Hmmm...I wonder.

You might find this interesting...

April 24th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

My oldest daughter just turned 11 a month ago. When she was born in 1997, my grandfather, her great grandfather was still living. As a gift he purchased her a $50 Series EE Savings Bond.

For those of you who don't know. These bonds are purchased at half the face value. In this case he paid $25.00. The bond accumulates interest every 6 months for 30 years, when it will mature to a total value of $50.00.

The bond is payable to her in her correct name. It was intended to list me as the recipient in case of my daughters death. It has the correct last name, but the nickname of my sister when she was growing up!

I tried once soon after the gift was received to cash it in for the current face value...which would have been $25.00. I was going to then put the cash in her UTMA account. The person who handled these was out to lunch...and I never made it back.

So, today I find the bond when looking for other papers. I decide to check out the treasury departments website to determine how much it is worth. Can anyone guess? It's not $50, but $38.08.

Seems pretty good for only accumulating interest for 11 years! I know, I know, it would have earned so much more in that mutual fund.

So, do I help my daughter get it cashed? She has no id. My name technically isn't on the bond. I also don't have a local bank. All our banking is done online, so I don't have a bank that "knows" me.

It's probably worth emailing my bank. Any banking people that might have some insight?

Timber!

April 23rd, 2008 at 11:57 am

In our town this week, it is spring clean up time. This is when people can put out trash that isn't picked up normally. Ususally, this means larger items you can't fit in your trash.

The fun part about this is that people also come looking for things they can take from your pile. I saw two different neighbors put out old lawn furniture. Someone with a van, came and hauled them way for their own use.I like it that some of the items are saved from the landfill and that someone gets something for free.

I actually found something to take from a neighbor's pile two doors down. They were getting rid of 8 foot landscape timbers. I took 3 from the pile. I'm going to use them with 3 that I already have to box in my new garden.

Happy spring cleaning!

Guess What?

April 22nd, 2008 at 06:00 pm

I broke a spring on my Ford Taurus today! It tore a giant ring/hole in my tire. Completely blown out. Yikes!! You know what that means...a car repair bill.

Before I tell you how much, I want to say that it happened in my neighborhood only three houses from mine. Luckily, my husband was still home from work to help me figure out what happened. I also have the cash to pay the bill in full. For these, I am so very grateul.

Including a regular oil change and air filter, my total bill for struts, tire, and springs with labor and taxes is....

$1,404.93!!

Auto Investment Day

April 22nd, 2008 at 06:20 am

Every month at this time, we have our Roth IRA investment money deducted automatically from our checking account. Right now we are each investing $432 per month.

Yes, I'm aware that that would put us over the $5,000 minimum investment for the year. For three months we were investing the amount to get us to $4K. We added a little extra to get us to $5K by the end of the year.

It feels good to have it happen automatically. It's just done and I don't have to think about it other than to record it in the checkbook. And because it is on auto, I don't think to spend that money elsewhere.

Another Check

April 21st, 2008 at 04:32 pm

I received a $5.00 check from Pinecone today. They really make for the best kind of mail!!

I will add it to my challenge money. If anyone is wondering, I will be adding my ebay money to the challenge at the end of the month.

New Balance = $133.42

Hot! Hot! Hot!

April 20th, 2008 at 06:23 pm

Army items are hot on ebay!!

As you know I've been selling items on ebay this month with the goal to net over $100. My husband has old uniforms and other miscellaneous items that are outdated now that they changed the uniform. So, this week 5 items went up for sale. They just end a little while ago.

I netted $127.60 on those five items!!

Check out my page to the left to see where I am in my goal...obviously I exceeded it! But by how much?

Can you tell I'm just a bit excited. It is so nice to clear things out. I'm always doing it but never profited so nicely!

I have put 5 more items this week to round out the month of April. Then it is on to the garage sale.

Gripe...Visa Gift Cards

April 20th, 2008 at 06:27 am

My daughter received a $25 Visa Gift card in the mail from her aunt as a birthday gift. My daughter would rather have cash, so I'm giving her $25 and will use the gift card when I buy groceries.

While we appreciate the gift, I can't believe anyone would pay the $3.95 activation fee...especially for only $25.00. The fee is over 15% of the value of the card. That's quite a bit. In other words, her aunt could have saved 15%!!! This is one aunt who should be watching every penny she has...but, of course, doesn't.

I'm sure most of us, that are a bit frugal, would realize it would be better to write a check, send cash, get a gift card to a store without a fee. I might even just make a homemade card to send with the cash, especially for a child, to save myself a few extra dollars.

Thanks for reading my gripe!!

Score!!

April 19th, 2008 at 06:57 am

I've met my April ebay goal of netting $100 from my sales. The official total is:

$169.00!!

I'm still working on my sales. I have 5 army related items up for sale this week that all are scheduled to sell on Sunday. The question now is for how much?

Do you think I can break $200?

I'm gearing up for a garage sale in early May, so I think for now this will be my final sales week.

I'd love to hear how everyone else is doing on ebay these days. Did anyone make themselves a goal? It has really helped me to get things moving.

Flooding...

April 18th, 2008 at 05:13 am

Yesterday, was a flood of sorts in two ways.

We've received over an inch of rain and expected to get more. As we put our children to bed last night we realized that we were getting water inside...somewhere near the windows. We tried a temporary fix, but it looks that the carpet is pretty wet in one area...about 2 square feet. So I get to move furniture today and pull the carpet back. Yuck!!

We had a good flood yesterday, too. A flood of money!! I received a $58 check for reimbursement on an eye exam I had in January. I paid at the time of visit, but they also sent in insurance. When I got the insurance statement it said I wasn't responsible for the $58. I wrote a letter to the eye doctor at the end of January and forgot about it!! Now a check.

I also had a hit on a craigslist listing. A hamster cage was sold for $15. They came and picked it up right away!

I love floods of money, but could really do without the water floods.

Old Balance: $55.42
Add: $73.00
New Balance: $128.42