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Archive for May, 2009

Finally Looking Up

May 30th, 2009 at 09:07 am

Since the market has been so volitile, I've stopped recording our monthly balances. I could go back and update it, but why look at the bad, right?

Today, I decided to record our balances for the month of May. Things are looking up. Yes!!

Some of the increase is, of course, due to our new contributions. We didn't stop retirement contributions because of the economy. It is better to buy on sale, when prices are low. Besides, we have many years before we need the money.

So, the details...we are up by $7,233.74 since the last time I checked on April 3, 2009. Here's to more good financial news in coming months!

More Mickey Money

May 29th, 2009 at 10:54 am

Since DH's paycheck is pending deposit for Monday, I decided to start paying some bills and saving some money!

There is enough left over to add to the Disney World savings. I have a whopping $453 to save!! But....

I actually used some of the saved money recently to buy us some new shoes for vacation. Five pairs of shoes and three pairs of socks came to $165. So....

I now have $288 to add to the ticker as new savings. The new balance is $1280 saved so far for our Disney Vacation in early July.

I only have two more pay periods to save from, but I know we will reach our goal of $2000. Amazing considering we only decided to go in April!!

I Hope They Like It

May 29th, 2009 at 08:58 am

My neighbor gave me four large stalks of rhubarb two days ago along with a recipe for rhubarb bread. It just came out of the oven! Smells, yummy.

Now, I just hope the kids like it. It's their snack for the weekend!

Side note: The recipe called for buttermilk. I ended up using a 1/2 c. of evaporated milk, 1/2 c. water and 1 T. of vingear to make 1c. sour milk instead of the buttermilk. I've had the can of evaporated milk since Christmas and no plans for it. I'm using the rest as cream in my coffee the next few days!!

One of My Favorite Commercials

May 28th, 2009 at 02:54 pm

Oh, I'm so glad I found this on You Tube. It is one my favorite commercials. And yes, it is financial in nature!

Click

Text is here and Link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIlGriNmKd8
here!

Is this Taboo?

May 28th, 2009 at 07:48 am

Can we discuss our stats? I've noticed that the number of people reading my blog has increased quite a bit lately. I am writing nearly everyday, so that does keep people's interest.

Yesterday, nearly 155 people read my blog. That's quite a few. I can only imagine what size room I would need to fit you all in!! Thank you to those of you who do read my blog. It's nice to have you here.

So, how many people read your blog yesterday? No judgement...just curious!

Cheap Greetings

May 27th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I like sending greeting cards. I don't like paying for them!! I've been known to buy cards at garage sales or make my own. In the name of saving money, I've cut back on my card sending. We make a phone call to relatives on their birthday. It seems a little more meaningful. We have unlimited long distance...so the cost is the same either way.

But, there are still cards I send. Turns out a local Hallmark store is closing on Saturday. Everything in the store was 75% off. The gift stuff was quite picked over, but plenty of cards.

I bought 33 cards for $18.38. Tax included. That's about 56 cents per card!! I picked up cards for Father's Day, anniversaries, Christmas, and birthdays. The majority of the cards were 'miss you' and 'love' cards to send to DH when he is deployed. It's true...deployment will rear is ugly head one of these days. Now, I'll be prepared in the card department!

Invested in a Pair of Pants

May 27th, 2009 at 07:03 am

Without going into detail, my DD1 managed to get grease (and a lot of it) on her fairly new white capri pants over the weekend. Ugh!

My mom suggested bleach. I really try to avoid that stuff. It gives me a headache. Besides it's grease. Don't you have to get it out before you can whiten it? Not sure.

Normally, I use liquid soap for stains. As long as it isn't colored it works pretty well. I started with this, with a fair amount of scrubbing. I also soaked them in a non toxic cleaner. They have been washed twice now, without drying.

Yesterday, I picked up Advanced Shout for heavy duty stains. I paid $2.69. After at least three treatments and a lot of scrubbing the grease stains are a much lighter gray. I'm making progress!! I have hope I can get this grease out.

I did have an alternate plan, if the stains couldn't be removed. Make bermuda shorts!! The stains are low on the inside pant legs, so I would have just cut the stained part off and hemmed.

DD1 is thrilled that she will still have capris. I'm thrilled too. These are lightweight enough to wear in the hot humid weather of Florida!

Thanks Shout! Thanks to me, too! That is a lot of scrubbing. Smile

I Want To Use This Coupon!

May 26th, 2009 at 02:07 pm

I printed two coupons off the internet for a sporting goods store in our area. I can get $10 off $50, and $25 off $100.

Okay, I do have a legitimate reason to spend the money. Several of us need new shoes for our Disney Vacation. Shoes can be expensive, right? Right.

So, I went advance shopping today for my family members. They have sandals for the girls, as well as sneakers, running shoes and sandals for DH. I also looked at swimsuits for myself. Can I say that last part was NOT fun?

So, my plan is to split these purchases into 3 transactions. I will need to find one more coupon for $25 off $100. I will end up purchasing 5 pairs of shoes and a swimsuit for just over $200! Not bad, huh?

Now...I just hope they still have everyone's size!!

Gift Turned to Cash

May 25th, 2009 at 02:50 pm

On Thursday, I sewed my sister a tote bag. She loves the black/white combo, so I made her this:


I included a few Horrible Harry books that didn't sell at our garage sale. She's an elementary school teacher, so I knew they would come in handy!

It was a surprise. But after I gave it to her, I couldn't help telling her about making it and buying the fabric, since I had so much fun doing it.

The fabric cost $4.65 and took a few hours of my time. Guess what? She paid me $5 to cover the cost of the fabric. She said she almost bought a similar bag at Target for $10!

So, I broke even on that one. It really was a gift. Thanks, sis!

2009 Tax Refunds

May 23rd, 2009 at 05:58 am

I'm such a nerd. Last night I estimated our income tax refunds for 2009.

It appears I'm finally getting us closer to zero, since the military started withholding the correct state amount from DH's paycheck. They were withholding almost more than $70/mo than the state tax tables allowed.

This is what I expect for the spring:

Federal: $300
State: $400

Not bad. But, of course, no windfall either. That's okay. I don't need a government agency borrowing too much of our money!

7% More - I Had No Idea

May 22nd, 2009 at 01:44 pm

We recently changed DH's contribution to the TSP to 7%. That is up from 4%. We also max out our roth ira's every year. I wanted to figure what percentage of our gross pay we are saving for retirement.

In order to do the calculation I needed to know the gross pay. Turns out we are saving 16.7% of our gross income towards retirement. Yea!!

Funny thing is: His gross pay is about 7% more than I thought it was. I had no idea!!

Funnier: He knew but I didn't! Crazy considering I handle most of the finances. But I guess he likes to know what he's working for!

More to Disney Fund

May 21st, 2009 at 06:06 pm

We earn points on our debit card purchases. I was able to redeem enough points to get $25 cash back.

That should show up in my account tomorrow. I will add this to the Disney World savings.

New Total = $992

We are almost halfway there!! Most of the savings for this trip won't be added until mid June and early July...just before we leave! But it will happen. Smile

Free Breakfast

May 21st, 2009 at 07:18 am

My daughter is in sixth grade and has achieved all A's!! There was an honor awards breakfast at school this morning. Yummy rolls and juice provided free.

Of course, I'm much more excited about her achievement. The certificate was signed by the president, too! Pretty cool. I think DD was very pleased as well.

Our Memorial Day Weekend Plans

May 20th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

spending!!

I've made my DH wait to buy fertilizer and weed killer. I put off buying flower for my pots and vegetables for my garden. We need a new cover...maybe an unbrella, for our deck. It's on the south side. Trees aren't big yet. And we still have yet to buy the new kitchen sink.

The hardware stores offer 10% off for military personnel this weekend, so we can get all of our project stuff at once and on a discount. Since, I knew when and what we were going to buy I was able to budget this. Any extra cash, gets allotted to the vacation fund.

Oh, we're not just spending. We will be visiting family this weekend, too! Can't wait.

Foggy College Costs

May 19th, 2009 at 06:34 am

We have saved for college. Just not a lot at this point. Maybe $4K each. I'm sure it's a bit less now!

I even have college funding on hold for this year because of the home equity loan payoff. Of course, we probably shouldn't be doing a Disney vacation instead of funding college. But we are. Dave Ramsey would be soooo mad at me!

College saving is just a bit foggy to me. The costs are increasing so fast. How do I keep up? How do I know they will go to college or even where? We'll be moving a couple times before college starts for our oldest. Should I save a set percentage? Do I come up with a dollar figure to shoot for and hopefully exceed?

Retirement saving seems easier. Save as much as you can or pick a percentage. When you get to retirement...spend less than you have. Isn't the recommended amount to spend about 4% of your accumulated balance?

Of couse, my kids do well in school, so I think some scholarships will be available. I'm not opposed to them having jobs. I'm also willing to use cash available at the time to pay to assist them.

And now, with the market the way it is...do I even save in the stock market? My oldest only has 6 more years of schooling before college.

Hmm...as I write this I realize that because college is closer than retirement, I'm feeling the inadequacy of my planning and saving. I hope I don't get this feeling in retirment.

Next years plan WILL include college. I just need to decide if the amount we were saving last year is enough and where it should go. Wish me luck!

Not Bad....Until I Realized

May 18th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I did end up going to the grocery store today. I just needed to get it off my list. I spent $61.01 on our groceries through next Monday. It helps that I am using quite a few things from the pantry.

Of course, I'm looking back at my grocery list and realize...I forgot to buy the fish and the marinade!! Ugh. I was trying to shop too fast.

I'm sure those remaining items won't cost more than $10, but now I need to make another trip. Don't ya just hate when that happens?