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Archive for April, 2009

A little extra cash

April 30th, 2009 at 09:41 am

My DH travels quite a bit and recieves per diem for food. Lately, he hasn't been using the full allotted per diem, as a result we've built up a little extra in funds that will be coming our way.

I expect a deposit some time next week of about $205. Okay, not so little.

We'll use it towards the expenses of our Disney World vacation in July. Right now, I'm focusing on purchasing clothing. We need light breathable fabrics, swimwear and supportive shoes. I went to Disney in my Teva's last time and it worked out perfect!

It's Official....

April 29th, 2009 at 09:46 am

Our mortgage is now with Bank of America. No, we didn't refinance. But our mortgage is held with Countrywide Financial who was bought by BoA awhile bank.

Two days ago I received our welcome letter in the mail. Wow! I'm so excited.

Not really. I could care less who holds my mortgage as long as they provide me the customer service I need in an accurate and timely manner. Our payment is automatic, so all should continue normally.

Here's fingers crossed that they don't mess anything up!!

Is a Two Year CD for Me?

April 28th, 2009 at 09:27 am

I received an email from my bank, USAA. They are an online for military members and their families. The bank is offering a 2 year CD at 3.25%. Sounds great, huh?

But, is it for me? I'm sure a could put a portion of our emergency fund in there, but not all. I don't like the idea of the money being tied up and unavailable in the event of an emergency.

We might have the opportunity to take advantage of a 10% savings rate in the next year or so. This is available to deployed military. So, do I tie up the funds leaving them unavailable for this opportunity?

Will rates go up higher in that two year time frame? Is two years too long?

We have just over $10K...how much should I tie up at that rate, if I do take the deal?

Anyone with any thoughts? Right now the money is only earning 1.9% in an online money market account.

A little slow around here

April 27th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

The blogs, I mean. It just doesn't seem that too many of us are around. It's probably the wonderful weather we are starting to have because of spring.

I've started working on a project that I started in the fall. I'm refinishing a small dresser. The fall work consisted of stripping the stain off. Recently, I added wood putty to some areas, sanded and primed.

Today, I started painting the drawers a nice black!! I hope to complete this project by the end of the week. I'll post some pictures then.

I've had to buy two cans of stripper, a stripping brush, wood putty, sandpaper and the black paint. I had the primer and brushes! It's not exactly a inexpensive project, but it feels like it when done over time.

Is a Picture is Worth a.....

April 25th, 2009 at 10:40 am

hassle with your child? Oh, boy! My youngest was a little more than irritated today getting ready for dance pictures this morning. It worked out in the end, but she sure didn't like the fuss I made with her hair or her costume.

It doesn't help that she doesn't like her costume either. She's in a hip hop class and will dance to 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun.' The Miley Cyrus version. So the costume is layers...like from the 80's!! Think Cindy Lauper and Madonna. She has two tops, two skirts, and leggings on top of tights. Ugh...it looks hot and uncomfortable!!

So, this year I opted for the least dollars out of pocket. I chose a 5x7 with 4 wallets. One pose. Eleven dollars for each daughter. Last year I spent a dollar more and received a 5x7 of the whole class and a 4x6 of my child. I decided it didn't really make a difference to have the whole class and bigger in size at that!! I'd rather have the the larger pic of my child and a few extras for grandparents. I think they will appreciate that.

Turns out both girls may be done with dance and tumbling. They don't seem interested in continuing this next year. Fine with me, more free time, less money...unless they find something else they want to do!

Wow!!

April 24th, 2009 at 01:02 pm

It's a warm one here. I guess we got the California heat wave. I had the windows open last night for the first time in a long time. It was wonderful!

Now, the house is at 78 degress. I decided to close the windows since the temperatures are going to be above 85. Open windows would mean only more hot air coming into the house. I pulled the shades and blinds closed and turned on the house fans. It's not too bad!

I'm really avoiding turning on the A/C. It is tempting to remove the humidity. However, I know that it will be much cooler tomorrow, so I will resist.

No heat, no a/c...just plain air! Works for me.

Plastic Changes

April 22nd, 2009 at 08:25 am

Did you know today is Earth Day?

Have you noticed how much plastic there is in the world? Have you seen it lying on the roadside? I have and it disturbs me!

Plastic takes years...many many years to break down. Paper, cardboard and even metal break down faster than plastic! It's the disposable platic that bothers me the most. Use it one time and toss it in the trash where it goes away. Goes away to where? Where is away?

For a couple of months, I have been attempting to eliminate the amount of plastic I buy. My family is on board, but they don't like me to talk about it too much.

Here's what has changed:

1)Elminated most plastic garbage bags that come home. We still bring home 6-7 a month.

2)Buy honey in a glass jar.

3)Stopped buying pizza dough mix in a plastic pouch. I make my own...I use the dough setting on a bread maker.

4)Stopped buying plastic straws.

5)Switched to waxed paper bags for girls sandwhiches.

6)Refused the sandwich bag at Subway.

7)Stopped using lid and straw on take away drinks.

8) I only buy bar soap, particulary the bars not wrapped in any plastic.

I know there are a few more, but I can't think of them right now. I do have more work to do. I'd love to eliminate the bread bags, but I'm still working on my bread making techniques.

If you want to feel inspired to eliminate plastic or excess waste check out The Fake Plastic Fish blog

Text is here. and Link is http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/
here.

Do something nice for the earth today! If you want to share about it here, feel free.

Rental Car For Less

April 21st, 2009 at 06:42 am

Yep, I'm still working the details for Disney World. It isn't necessary to rent a vehicle when one goes to Disney, but it is our preferrence since we like to do a few things outside of the World.

Last week I booked our 8 day rental car with Alamo at a rate, including taxes of $258.88. It was the best I could find at the time. I used a Walmart discount code that gave 20% off.

Today, I went looking again. I decided to peruse military discounts. I ended up at the Armed Forces Vacation site, which linked me up with a code at Budget. My rate now is $196.20!! So, much better!

Just the few minutes that it took to look saved me $62.68!! ~~Happy Dancing~~

I will still keep my eyes peeled for discounts. Sometimes there are last minute deals.

We Gave Away $0.23

April 20th, 2009 at 06:42 am

Just for fun Sunday while we were out running errands, the girls and I dropped three pennies and two dimes on the ground! Different places.

We know one penny was picked up because it was dropped near our van and was gone when we came back. We also saw a woman pick up a dime we dropped near the entrance to another store. She picked it up as we were coming out.

It was fun to think we made someone's day!
And, of course, a small lesson in giving. Oldest daughter was a bit inclined to keep her dime. I let her decide. In the end she dropped it!

Why $0.23? It's what I had in my purse.

Groceries for $1

April 18th, 2009 at 05:22 pm

My youngest has been sick with a nasty upper respiratory virus. She's coughing non stop. I had her into the doctor on Thursday and then after a sleepless night I called to get the prescription cough medicine.

Our grocery store had a coupon for a $20 gift card with a new or transferred prescription, so I had it filled there. I paid $3 copay for the generic drug. I bought the following with the gift card and $1.05 out of my own pocket.

1 pint blackberries
2 pkgs of mushrooms
3 pkgs of shredded cheese
1 pkg of pepperoni
1 box of pasta
1 lb ground beef
2.5 lbs of chicken breast
3 pkgs of frozen vegetables

Except for the blackberries, these items were all on my grocery list! Of course, if DD had not been sick to warrant the prescription I would not have happened on this deal. At least something good came of it, but I wish she wasn't sick at all.

Ebay Challenge Totals

April 17th, 2009 at 07:31 am

My net for the ebay sales this last week was $22.22! Fun number.

Here are the ebay challenge numbers for the all of 2009 thus far:

April Total = $22.22
March Total = $83.13
February Total = $66.50
January Total = $4.95

My goal had been to average $100 a month. Obviously, that is so NOT happenning. If you could see my home, you would know that there is not a lot of excess here.

Really.

We are having a garage sale in May, so maybe that will increase my average.

Every little bit helps and I am grateful for it all.

Big Announcement!

April 16th, 2009 at 06:22 am

As I have stated previously, the goal for this month was to get the home equity loan under $7,000.

We did it!!

I made our regular payment of $118.01, with $75.27 going to the principal balance.

Our new balance is $6,999.00!!

Did you notice how I got the balance to a nice round number? I really had to work on my algebra skills to figure out what principal balance I needed to be at before making this month's regular payment, so that it would turn into this nice round number. It looks like my math was correct.

Again...call me a nerd!!

Often I make the extra principal payments prior to the regular payment, but I realized I was then paying interest on the larger balance, rather than the lower balance that results from making extra payments! Silly me. Smile

Side note: Balance updates on our home equity loan will be minimal while we use our extra cash to pay for our Disney World vacation this July.

More Disney Funds

April 15th, 2009 at 02:12 pm

I received a $20 check in the mail today from My Survey. It arrived pretty quickly too. I requested it on April 1st!!

I will add this to the Disney Vacation fund. Well, technically I'm paying myself back for the deposit I made on the room. I had to pay one night's deposit upfront. The rest will be due upon check out.



Made a Little on Ebay

April 15th, 2009 at 07:49 am

I sold some of the girls outgrown clothes on ebay. Gross sales totaled $26.14. Not bad, and still better than a garage sale.

I will put this towards our Disney World vacation!!

I Couldn't Wait to Tell...

April 14th, 2009 at 01:49 pm

I scheduled another extra principal payment to our home equity loan. It's a funny amount, but after our regular payment, it should be a nice round number.

Additional payment is $668.43

Loan Balance is $7,074.27.

We're getting closer!

Remember my original goal for 2009? I wanted to get this loan under $7,000 by the end of the year. Did you know it is only April? Wow! Even I'm amazed.

Only another $74.28 to go. This will be the principal portion of our regular payment that I will make in a couple of days. Of course, I'll tell you all about it when it happens!