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Archive for October, 2009

Escrow Check in the Mail

October 31st, 2009 at 07:15 am

Remember how we canceled the escrow account on our mortgage? Of course you do! The remaining funds, $404.34, were returned to us. I found the check in the mail yesterday. We had received a statement the day before from the mortgage company that indicated it wouldn't be sent for another 3 weeks! I was a little surprised that it arrived earlier. No complaints here. It is our money after all!!

My Global Test Market rewards check finally arrived yesterday, too. It was for $50!! Nice.

All that money is safely sitting in our account...waiting to be designated. Right now, I'm in a hoarding money mode. I've been feeling a bit uneasy about money. I'm not expecting a job layoff, of course, but want to bump up our slush fund so we don't feel so pinched each payday. Once I feel a little more in control, I'll be hitting that home equity loan a little more.

Candy Confession

October 30th, 2009 at 07:38 am

I'm a planner. I plan ahead. Ocassionally, too far ahead. Two weeks ago I bought a large bag of candy for our trick or treaters. I told the family: have a couple pieces and save the rest.

A day later, my husband realizes he can't resist the candy, so buys another bag for us to eat. A big bag. Fine. I guess I could eat a few pieces of chocolate. Who am I to argue!

He mixes the new bag of candy with the first bag! What? Why do that? Here's the confession: over the course of a week we eat both bags of candy. Both bags. Large bags of chocolate candy. Now that can't be healthy. I'm sure that was nearly $20 worth of candy.

I bought another large bag on Sunday. Yes, I had a couple pieces again! But that bag is ready for the beggars tonight.

Yes. Tonight. October 30th. Our town among others in this state trick or treat the night before Halloween. Oh! And you have to tell a joke at the door.

Joke: What do witches put in their hair?
Scare spray!

Have a great Halloween! I hope I can stay out of my daughter's candy. Well wish me luck anyway.

Getting Collection Calls

October 29th, 2009 at 08:50 am

Yep...but not for us!

One is for a woman who lived in this house prior to us. The debt seems to be in her maiden name. The company only leaves messages. If I do answer the phone, then I hear the same recorded message.

The second collection call is for my brother in law!! He lives in another state. I denied knowing him...which my husband said was okay. I don't know his situation exactly. But collectors are relentless and I don't want to get involved. That time it was a live person and she said she would remove our phone number. Good!

My BIL actually has always worked for his older brother (another BIL). He doesn't have his GED and does handyman type work for rental properties. I just found out the older BIL had to file bankruptcy. As a result not as much income/work for the brother in law we are getting collection calls for. Ugh! I'm so sorry things are not going well for either of them. It is just very sad.

As a precaution, I'm going to pull our credit reports today. I don't expect to find anything. If I find something...I'm sure you'll be one of the first to know. Smile

No Extra

October 28th, 2009 at 11:54 am

Payday is Friday. Unfortunately, I don't think I have extra for our home equity loan!

Turns out our gym membership is about to expire on November 14th. We paid in full for a 3 year membership...well, three years ago! We need at least two more years. So, the extra cash needs to be held until I figure out the gym membership costs.

Darn.

Ebay Challenge Update

October 26th, 2009 at 09:13 am

I sold 7 of the 8 items I listed last Sunday on ebay for $35.96. The total isn't great, but it is better than a garage sale! I also sold two more Halloween costumes Sunday morning that were listed on craigslist for $10.

Here are my new Ebay Challenge totals:

Oct Total = $87.96 (so far!)
Sept Total = $110.00
June Total = $55.25
May Total = $197.75
April Total = $22.22
March Total = $83.13
February Total = $66.50
January Total = $4.95

Yipee!!

Pictures: Living Room

October 25th, 2009 at 07:33 am

Without further delay, here are the pictures of our new couch and ottoman in our front living room. I'm standing by our front door. I wish I had a wide angle lens to show the room off better!







Guess who likes the ottoman. The kids and the cats!!

I'm going to need some artwork for above the couch. That wall is too big to be bare.

And if you were interested in this couch I found out it is made by United Furniture Industries. The tag said Simmons, but upon further inspection UFI is the true manufacturer. You can look at their website [url=http://www.unitedfurnitureindustries.com/]here[/url] to find a retailer near you.

The couch arrived!!

October 24th, 2009 at 10:26 am

A month ago we bought a couch and an ottoman. They were special order. Today they arrived!!

It's been a long month without a couch in our living room. I found myself just laying on the floor in there!!

It looks so much better and fills in the space nicely. Now...I just need some pictures for above the couch. It's always something. Smile

Yes...I will post a picture soon.

Ebay Update

October 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 am

I did sell one item as a Buy It Now, earlier this week. Right now I have 4 items with bids out of 7 listings! The listings end on Sunday, so I will give you a final update early next week.

I have already thought of a few more items I could list! Not sure when I'll get them up though. Do you have unused items around your house you could sell? Go check a drawer or a closet and see what you find!

Escrow Deleted

October 22nd, 2009 at 02:43 pm

I took care of it yesterday. I emailed Bank of America and confirmed that we did indeed like to delete our escrow account. They emailed back within a couple of hours that it was complete and a check with our escrow balance is on its way!!

As of November 1st, we will only send Bank of America our mortgage payment consisting of interest and principal. That will be strange!!

The escrow check will be for $404.34 which is just under the amount they would needed as a buffer or low balance amount. I may find something to do with that money. Maybe the home equity loan?

I will begin setting aside $281 per month to account for taxes and insurance right away. The first payment I need to make is not until March 2010!

I feel very confident this will work well for us. I plan to set up email reminders for the taxes since I will only be billed once a year for those.

H1N1 Experience

October 21st, 2009 at 05:07 pm

My daughter has been home since Friday with what started out as a sore throat and no fever. I kept her out of school as a precaution.

Over the weekend her temperature was never over 100. She began coughing and was low on energy. She had a stuffy nose. She was still able to play games and make believe on the floor with her sister. She did not sleep extra.

Sunday night we thought she would be ready for school on Monday. Monday she looked run down and felt that way. So she stayed home and has been home everyday since because in the afternoon she will spike a fever over 100 degrees. As a result have to keep her home for another 24 hours.

Yesterday, we visited the doctor who said this is most likely the H1N1 influenza. I was shocked. I just thought she had a cold!!

Luckily tonight she is not running a fever at all. She will go back to school tomorrow. In fact, she has been catching up on homework all day. Unfortunately, the cough still remains for now.

We hardly ever get the flu and rarely have vaccinated for it. I'm glad that my daughter's experience has been mild. I have heard it has been the same with other children in our area. She now will have immunity for the H1N1 this season.

I have read some [url=http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/21/Special-Swine-Flu-Update.aspx]articles[/url] online that are cautioning us about getting two influenza vaccines in one season. It has never been done before. The older people in our society have some immunity to this H1N1 strain because they were exposed to it in the past, not because they received a vaccine. It is just something to think about, especially if you are healthy and have not generally come down with the flu in the past.

I wish everyone good health!!

Quite the Savings!

October 21st, 2009 at 07:55 am

My family started taking probiotics this summer. I first bought them at the local health food store. A package of 30 capsules was about $18. That is $0.60 per capsule. We all shared a couple packs with in a matter of weeks.

I decided if we wanted to continue to take them they needed to be less expensive. I found the brand we liked at Amazon.com! The packages were 90 capsules for $18.60! That is $0.21 per capsule. A savings of $0.39 per capsule.

I signed up for Amazon's Subscribe and Save plan which locks in the price for all future orders AND provides free shipping. I now get three packages of 90 capsules every 90 days. Originally, I signed up for four, but my husband keeps forgetting to take his...so I adjusted the order amount. I can change it later if needed.

To reduce the amount I pay every 90 days I use my swagbuck earnings towards Amazon gift cards. I earn them in $5 increments. Since the last order I earned $20 in gift cards!! I also had $2.60 left from another order.

Here's the breakdown of our current probiotic shipment:

3 90 capsule probiotic packages = $51.36
(price dropped to $17.12 per pkg)
Amazon gift certificates applied = $22.60
Total out of pocket = $28.76
Price per capsule = $0.11

The savings over local store for the three of us is $0.49 per capsule. Or $132.30 every 3 months. Or $529.20 per year!! Geez.

I'm going to keep earning swagbucks just to help keep the cost savings down. Works for me!

Would you do it?

October 20th, 2009 at 10:01 am

I recently inquired with our mortgage lender about handling our own escrow. Their answer: Yes!

The primary loan is for less than 80% of the homes value, so I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before!

So...should I do it?

I do our own escrow for things like auto insurance, registrations and life insurance, so I know how to save ahead. It works really well.

I would not need to escrow the same amount as the mortgage company because I have our own emergency fund to dip into should something increase drastically. Right now they need a cushion of 16.6% of my total escrow to cover increases. I would also be able to earn interest on this money!!

Any disadvantages that anyone can think of? Let me hear what you think.

Cough, cough

October 19th, 2009 at 02:51 pm

My youngest daughter has been home since Friday with a cold virus. The fever is mild, but just won't go away. There is coughing, too. No aching, so I don't think its the flu. She's been up and around everyday, but feels low on energy. So...tomorrow we are going to the doctor.

I'm hoping for an antibiotic. I don't usually like them, but this thing is holding on too long. I guess I'm impatient! What me?

The good news: I have one bid on an ebay items and some watchers on a couple others. I priced low and with exact shipping, so my items are attactive for bids!!

I'm also glad the stock market had an UP day. Here's to more of those to come.

8 Sales? Fingers Crossed

October 18th, 2009 at 06:53 pm

I finally listed some items on ebay. Eight items to be exact. Now I have my fingers crossed for 8 sales!

I've been away from ebay for awhile. I think my craigslist success brought back my motivation. That and the upcoming holidays!

While I'm here I will update my Ebay Challenge Sales:

Oct Total = $42 (so far!)
Sept Total = $110.00
June Total = $55.25
May Total = $197.75
April Total = $22.22
March Total = $83.13
February Total = $66.50
January Total = $4.95

Made a Sale

October 17th, 2009 at 07:46 am

A woman picked up a couple Barbie cars this morning for $5. That was a craigslist posting from last week. Nice to start the weekend with a sale.

My youngest daughter has decided to use a costume we already have or her dance costume from last year for Halloween. That means I don't need to buy anything!! Love it. (The older daughter is done with the trick or treating.)

I think I'm going to get some items up on ebay this weekend. Craigslist works, but it is slower.

Proud of My Sister

October 16th, 2009 at 08:09 am

My sister and her husband have debt. There is a loan for windows, a couple credit cards and student loans. My sister is a teacher and will get her Master's Degree this semester. Yipee!

There was a time where they felt out of control. They made less money. They didn't have an emergency fund. That time is no more!

They now have $2K in their emergency fund and have a plan to pay off all the debt. In about 2 years. I'm so proud of them.

My sister mentioned that she liked an online snowball calculator I sent her awhile back. I don't exactly use it myself, but it looked like a good one. It's called PowerPay. Here is the [url=https://powerpay.org/index.php]link[/url] if you are interested. You do have to sign up, but it is free!

Keep up the good work, sis!