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Archive for November, 2009

I Cyber Shopped

November 30th, 2009 at 03:43 pm

I did some online Christmas shopping today. I shopped at LL Bean, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. I received free shipping on all items either with a code or because I met the site's minimum order.

At Barnes and Noble I used a $20 gift card and a coupon code for an additional 15% off one item. I ended up with two books for about $7 out of my pocket. Smile

I will receive a $10 gift card to LL Bean next week in the mail because I spent more than $25. Not sure what I will buy. Maybe nothing.

It feels nice to have some shopping done!

The Last Few Days

November 29th, 2009 at 05:33 pm

The last few days went quickly and were enjoyable for the most part. My only Black Friday shopping consisted of picking up some lotion and soaps while we were at Whole Foods. This was around noon! So I was not one of the crack of dawn shoppers. Smile

My husband's family has decided to draw names for gifts. We have two names, each with a $25 limit. Last year we did a white elephant exchange and the two years before the limit was $15 each. It's a bit amusing to me, as several family members are unemployed, so you'd think this would be the year for a white elephant repeat, rather than an increase in the gift limit.

Our house has been decorated for Christmas. We had a couple strands of light that are no longer working. We have decided we don't need as many lights outside anyway! Saves us cash from buying more and some energy for less lights being used!

Yesterday's mail brought us a $50 gift card from Qwest for being loyal customers. I also received the $50 certificate last week from them as well. Nice!

Today, I'm pretty run down with a cold. Darn. I guess I caught something while traveling. Yes, I'm drinking lots of fluids.

Tomorrow...I'm shopping online! The less time in the stores the better.

Six Figures: We Did It

November 26th, 2009 at 02:58 am

It's official. Today, November 25, 2009 our retirement accounts have officially exceeded six figures!!

I hope the next $100K arrives faster than the first! My husband has contributed to his retirement since age 21. Obviously, he makes considerably more now than when he was younger. I contributed to my 401k when I did work outside the home. Now, we are fortunate to be able to max out our Roth IRA's each year and a little extra to my husband's TSP, which equals about 16% of our gross income.

Yipee!! Just another thing to be grateful for.

Our Debt A Year Ago

November 25th, 2009 at 01:10 am

Our debt consists of three loans, including our primary mortgage, a home equity loan and an auto loan. A year ago we were in more debt than we are now. Yipee!! At least we are going in the right direction. Are you?

Total Debt - Nov 2008: $174,624.40
Total Debt - Nov 2009: $158,031.25

Total debt paid in one year is $16,593.15!! Not bad.

The next year to year and half are going to be amazing for us financially. In fact, in 1 1/2 years we will be free of our home equity loan AND the van loan. Oh, and right now, we owe over $19K on the van. Obviously big plans are in the works!

Make a plan. Work the plan. And celebrate when the plan works!!

Tomorrow is Baking Day

November 24th, 2009 at 09:57 pm

Tomorrow before traveling we are having a baking day. I'm only making two things. A pumpkin pie and banana bread. I'm making lots of banana bread since I seem to have an abundance of frozen bananas. I will give to any family members that want some.

I'm trying to watch my food intake and exercise more, so banana bread is not on my list of things to eat. Especially in abundance! Giving it way: good for me and for the receiver (as long as they aren't watching the calories, too!).

Returned the Wii

November 23rd, 2009 at 08:59 pm

Can you believe it? You better not, because I did return it, but I purchased it again. Why? Target was offering a $20 gift card with a purchase of a Wii. I just couldn't pass that cash up. I then turned around and used the $20 to purchase a nunchuck (basically an extra controller, for you non-wii people) for free!!

I have plans to buy the additional items we need for the Wii on Right now each item is about $5 less than if I purchased them in the stores. I'm watching to see if the prices drop in the next couple days. The odds are they won't, but it is worth waiting a little bit.

Once we make our initial investment, I expect to rent or buy games used. The total value of the items we are purchasing is around $375. This summer the console was $50 more. I would have spent $425. Once all the items are purchased I will have spent $295! That is nearly a 30% savings from this summer. I will have the console, two remotes, two nunchucks, 3 games and two steering wheels. Not bad!

Spent Some Money

November 23rd, 2009 at 12:49 am

Well, yesterday I gave you a glimpse into our checking account. Since we did some spending there in now less. Darn.

Today, we spent close to $100 on groceries. We bought gas for our van. That was nearly $40 since we the tank was near empty. My husband and both girls went to Great Clips today for haircuts for $47, which includes tips. And there was a beer purchase amounting to about $15. (There is still beer left over, too.)

New Total: $148.34

Now we really need to watch our spending for the next week! At least we have plenty of food to eat. Smile

Calling All Oglers

November 21st, 2009 at 04:08 pm

I really don't have a much financial happening right now. How about a glimpse into our checking account?

Beginning Balance Today: $349.31

We get paid again on December 1st. We will have to buy weekly groceries this Sunday or Monday. We are traveling by car for Thanksgiving, so fuel will be needed. I already have the items to make the pumpkin pie. I also need to bring banana bread for which I also have all the items. We may give cash to my BIL who is hosting Thanksgiving. He usually goes all out. We could bring something, but it ends up being too much food! My husband and kids need haircuts this weekend, too.

I think today may be a no spend day. I'd like to get the Christmas lights up on the house since the weather will be cooperating. Please let all the lights work!! Dinner is planned and we have Netflix movies to watch. One daughter wants to go to the library. We also should get some cleaning done.

Oh, that balance above is just for regular expenses. Right now, I have another $400 set aside for Christmas and other gifts in a seperate account.

I Bought Myself a Gift

November 20th, 2009 at 08:37 pm

Today, I did a little pre-Christmas shopping browsing. I didn't buy any Christmas gifts, but wanted to look around to get ideas for certain family members. In the end, I bought myself a gift! Bon Jovi's new CD for about $12.

So much for shopping for others. SmileI think I can consider this a birthday gift. I did return a pair of pajamas my husband bought, since I will wear the yoga pants my sister gave me. In other words, the money ends up being a mute point.

Geez! Why am I even talking about it. Smile

Wii for Christmas - Input?

November 19th, 2009 at 06:29 pm

My family is getting a Wii for Christmas. I purchased the console when the price dropped to $199. But...I hear you need additional remotes. And, of course, games!

It comes with Wii Sports (I think). But, any thoughts/advice on which other game or games I should get?

I'm thinking maybe two, maybe just one, additional games initially. Those will give us plenty to play with over the holidays.

I've also heard you can buy games used, as well as rent them from the video store.

I'd love to hear what you think my initial investment should be. We will get the girls a few stocking stuffers, but the Wii is our gift this year.

Another $86.24 Paid!!

November 18th, 2009 at 01:05 pm

I made our regular home equity loan payment yesterday. It isn't really due until December 1st. I've been paying the payment a couple weeks ahead for cash flow purposes. Our next regular payment is in 2010!

Of our $118.01 payment, $86.24 went to principal. Our new balance is $5,171.95.

Year end goal is still to get this loan under $4,000. I think we'll make it.

So Close To Retirement Milestone

November 18th, 2009 at 01:58 am

The stock market rise this year has me tracking and checking our retirement account balances pretty frequently. Turns out we are VERY close to hitting a milestone. Our combined retirement accounts are about to hit 6 figures for the first time. We are less $1K away.

It feels great to have almost obtained this milestone. Unless the market drops quite a bit, we should actually hit the milestone by the end of the month.


More Debt Paid!!

November 17th, 2009 at 02:18 am

I made a principal payment towards our home equity loan this evening in the amount of $665.00. This brings our loan balance down to $5,258.19!!

I'm excited to be getting closer to another milestone. Under $5K will be very nice.

So far this year we have paid an additional $8,058.17 towards this loan.

Blessed with Gifts

November 16th, 2009 at 02:39 pm

My parents gave us each $100 for our birthdays. Yipee! I love cash gifts.

My sister gave us beer glasses and beer (for DH), a stainless steel water bottle and yoga pants(for me).

I feel very blessed! Basically, the cash will help offset our own birthday costs. I still don't know what DH has spent on my birthday, but I'm sure it's over $50, but less than $100.

I'm still waiting to look at our bank accounts. It's pure torture!

Joined the Gym

November 13th, 2009 at 07:45 pm

Oh my gosh what a crazy day! I went to a gym with two neighbors that aren't currently gym goers. We ALL signed up for memberships. I even signed my husband up, even though he has not visited!! What am I doing?

Actually, we are all really excited. In fact, we are going back up to actually work out!! Can you tell we like to be together and are excited?!

I paid an upfront membership fee of $79 for my husband and I to have a metro membership. This means we can visit other locations, including one with a running track, sauna and pool! I don't pay anything again until January 1st! I think our rate is $69/month. This seems a little high, but we are getting some extras with the ability to go to mulitple locations. I also can adjust my membership anytime to when you know who gets deployed. Nice of them to work with us. Smile

So excited!!

Payday Decisions

November 13th, 2009 at 02:45 pm

It's payday! I do always love me a payday. I know. Incorrect grammer. Anyway, there are decisions to be made and they are not directly related to payday.

I bought a pair of pants and a top from JC Penney a few days ago. We thought we were attending a baptism this weekend. Turns out the date has changed and we can't attend on the rescheduled date. I rarely dress up, so I need to decide whether to return the items or not. I paid $34.22 with tax for the two items. It is possible that something will come up in the next several weeks where dressy could be nice, but not necessary. So, I need to decide. Thoughts?

I'm going with two neighbor ladies to check out a gym this morning. Our membership expired this week, so I'm in the market for a new one. I will need to decide on that soon.

I have been told not to look at our bank accounts until my birthday. My husband has been shopping and doesn't want me know the amount spent or where he shopped. Ugh! Do you know how hard it is NOT to look at your bank account? It is hard!! It's even harder when it is payday and I should be paying bills. Help. I think I'm going to go crazy. Smile

We are traveling this weekend and expect to spend a few dollars. Oh...but we are celebrating our birthday's with extended family, so cash and gifts will be exchanged. Yipee!!

I hope your payday is more fun than mine. I'm sure it will be since you can actually look at your bank account!! Enjoy.