Home > Archive: February, 2011

Archive for February, 2011

Made Two Birthday Gifts

March 1st, 2011 at 12:21 am

I have two girl friends with birthdays in March. Today I used fabric I already own to make them each a zippered lined pouch. I had the zippers too. Free gifts!!

I will have to mail one. Not a necessity, but a small amount that I'm willing to pay to get it to her by her birthday next week. I plan use notecards I already own to write a birthday message to each of them. And as any other frugal person, I have plenty of gift bags and wrapping paper if needed.

It was a no spend day. A good way to start off the no spend month challenge. Yep. I've committed. It may not go perfect, but its a goal to work towards. Smile

Contemplating A No Spend Month

February 28th, 2011 at 12:33 am

I am thinking of attempting a no spend month for March. Has anyone done this before? I have read several blogs where people have.

Obviously a no spend month would still allow for paying bills, buying food and other necessities. Since I would be attempting this in March, I would also have to allow for my daughter's birthday gifts, a special dinner and treat. Luckily she is outgrowing the need for parties.

It seems like a good month to do this after coming off a very expensive month with all the eating out we did. It is my last full month without DH in the house, so I would have complete control over spending.

We will definitely have to get a little creative over spring break with free activities. We already want to visit our local art museum which has free admission. A warm week would allow for some outside walks.

I agreed that my girls are allowed to use their money to buy wants for themselves. I won't allow them to pitch in for wants for the family.

Thoughts, ideas? Anyone want to join me in the month of March?

Tax Refund = Savings

February 25th, 2011 at 08:20 pm

Our federal tax refund, $1,990, was deposited into our account today. We do owe our state $124 by April 30th (yes we get a delay here). We will save the $124 and pay the state just before the due date. The remainder of the refund, $1,866, will be saved for the truck purchase.

New Truck Savings Balance: $4,556

We are getting closer each time money comes in!

If you are getting a tax refund, what are you doing with yours?

Booking A Vacation

February 25th, 2011 at 01:10 am

I booked a four night vacation to Las Vegas for DH and I. We've never been. DH really wants to go. I'm just okay with it. I will have fun wherever if we are together though. We are looking at it as our honeymoon and 15 year anniversary trip all rolled into one. Smile

I'm hoping for a total less than $1500. So far we are under $900 with hotel and airfare. I have to pay for the airfare now and one night hotel deposit.

That's a Lot of Takeout

February 24th, 2011 at 05:14 pm

We ate out a lot in the last two weeks. A fair amount was takeout, because we were sick and didn't feel like cooking or getting to the grocery store. I also didn't have a plan for our meals while DH was home. That was not a good idea.

In two weeks we spent $282.88 on dining out, takeout, fast food, coffee, and donuts. We did not eat out everyday thankfully. I'm pretty sure I gained weight. I haven't had the guts to check the scale yet.

It was all paid with cash. It shouldn't really cause too much of a problem with any of the goals. Although, I might look back in two months and think so.

I'm so glad this is not our normal food spending plan.

I'm Back!

February 23rd, 2011 at 05:41 pm

Well, it was hard to leave completely from SA. Did you notice I still commented on some blogs? DH did spend a fair amount of time watching TV, which I rarely do. It was great to have him home, except that we were both sick a good portion of the time. I thought it was a cold, but now I think it was a mild respiratory flu! Yuck. We are very close to the deployment being over, so I'll get to announce he is back home for good soon.

I'm looking forward to doing some more financial posts soon, since our federal refund is scheduled to post this Friday. And then, payday, is just around the corner, too!

Adding to Truck Savings

February 15th, 2011 at 03:34 pm

DH is home. It is like he never left in many ways. He's taking the girls to school, helping with dishes, giving me his cold. Really. There has been too many colds here this last week at our house. Not really a fun R&R from that aspect. It is really nice to have him around.

DH was paid today, so we are adding some funds to our truck savings. We were able to put an additional $1355 away this pay period. I wish it could have been a bit more, but we are eating out more this week with DH home. It is what it is.

New Truck Balance: $2690

Coming Home Any Day

February 5th, 2011 at 03:52 am

DH is coming home on R&R any if I'm not around as much you will know why. Smile I'm sure I will still get on to make updates to our savings and my weight loss. Fingers crossed I lose more weight this week. The workouts have been minimal.

I think all of you SA Bloggers are awesome. You are doing wonderful and amazing things to make your financial picture brighter. Keep up the good work and take it one day at a time!

What extreme measures would you take?

February 4th, 2011 at 08:06 pm

We still have mortgage debt. We might have more vehicle debt in the future. I just wonder if there is more that we could do to really go extreme and save more money. Money that we could use towards debt payoff.

There are so many things we don't buy: hair coloring, cable tv, fast food, monthly haircuts (more every three months here), and more. It seems like there are more, but when you don't buy something it is hard to remember!

However, there are things we could cut back on. Netflix, newspaper, caller id, cell phone plan, wine, gym membership, pop, automatic car washes, lawn fertilizer, flowers, trips to the swimming pool, museum membership, long distance plan, internet (!), using our gas fireplace, vitamins and supplements, coffee, allowance for the kids, occassional meals out, new printer paper, craft items, gum, candy and so forth. I'm sure there are more here. Obviously, some of these would require lifestyle changes. Would they be worth it. How long would we have to do without?

I'm just thinking about it since our mortgage is over $130K, and I'm tired of paying it. I'd like to look at this question from both angles. If you are in debt, what extreme cost cutting measures are you taking to get out of debt? If you were in debt at one time, what did you do without to make the goal?

How extreme do you go?

Got Milk? : Got Snow!

February 2nd, 2011 at 02:26 pm

It's a snow day here in Iowa. I think we probably got at least five inches and it blew around and drifted.

It was nice to wake up with my neighbor already working on my driveway with his big snowblower. I have a snowblower, and have used it on some of the last storms, but it does still take awhile to move large drifts. It is nice that I don't have to go out. If I don't go out, I don't spend money!! Smile

The only bad thing about the storm. I didn't set out the trash and recycleables for pickup this morning. I thought it would be delayed. Nope. I missed them both. It is okay, we don't accumulate too much trash. The recycleables will be another two weeks before pickup and likely an overflowing bin by then. It is what it is, right?

I lost 2.6 pounds in my first week counting calories. It wasn't too bad for the first week. I'm being very gentle with myself this time around. I want to establish better eating habits, not just starve myself to a thin weight. I made a salad last night with bulgar wheat, which I have never made before. It was pretty good.

First Truck Savings Deposit

February 1st, 2011 at 03:37 pm

It's payday. What does one do when they don't have a van loan payment for the first time in awhile? Start saving for the next vehicle!!

The goal is $12,000.00

New Balance: $1,335.00

Feels pretty good to keep the money in our account rather than sending that money into the lender.