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Archive for February, 2012

Redeemed Paypal

February 28th, 2012 at 04:07 pm

I'm having my Paypal funds transferred to my checking account in the amount of $27.80. The funds are from an Ebay sale and Pincone surveys.

I was right that it was a good month for Pinecone surveys. I completed six for a total of $18.00. The Ebay sale was a pair of jeans that netted me $9.80.

These funds are snowflakes towards the Christmas Fund. I will post a complete update of all those funds in a couple days.

How many Pinecone surveys did you complete this month?

Rewards Check Arrived!! (And other updates)

February 27th, 2012 at 07:47 pm

My $200 CitiDividend Reward check arrived today in the mail. Time to close that card! I'm going to attempt closing online. Those funds will just be saved for now. There is a move on the horizon!

I was paid another $3 for a Pinecone Survey. Those have been plentiful this month. I'm also trying to earn lots of Swagbucks is the site's 4th Birthday.

I've kept up on the green smoothies. Only two more days to go until the end of the month. I might actually need to run to the store for more greens before Wednesday.

Oh, and I have a Goodwill run to make. I found a bag of things that don't need to move with us. Lots of cleaning and organizing will be happening here.

Move Update

February 25th, 2012 at 02:59 pm

Wow! It's been a whirlwind of a week in regards to this move being determined. We started off with a list of 70 positions/locations to choose from. We made a list of 7, as requested, and ranked them. This list included our current city, as well as, one other position in our state.

The first response back from the Army eliminated ALL 7 choices. They came back with 5 choices that would be better for DH's career. The five choices were located in CA, WI, TX, and WV. We again ranked the positions, putting Texas at the top of the list. It was pretty hard emotionally to know we would leave the state we have come to love.

Before that list of 5 was final, another position opened up in NM. We had to throw it into the mix of rankings. New Mexico looks beautiful, but we eliminated it based on what DH knows about the unit and their status on the deployment cycle.

And then guess what happens after our list is submitted? The Army comes back and offers a position here in our current state that was on our original list of 7 choices. I'm in the middle of researching schools in and looking for rental homes Texas. Talk about being thrown for a loop!!

So, we have accepted their offer to reside in our current state. We will need to move, but it's just two hours east of our current location. We are moving farther away from family, but it's still a weekend drive for a visit, rather than an airline ticket.

My oldest, high school daughter, is the happiest she has been in this whole process. My younger daughter is disappointed as she was looking forward to Texas and an out of state move. I was more worried about my older daughter, so the stress has eased.

Logistically, moving 2 hours away is sooo much easier than moving 12+ hours away. We can hop on the interstate for a day trip to check things out just about anytime. Happy. Happy. Happy!!

Financially...our housing allowance will drop by $300. It is an area with slightly less expensive housing. However, it will go back up near the current amount we receive next year when DH is promoted. I can work with that. Besides, if we can get the house sold quick enough, we will be back to running just one household. It all works out.

Now to decide to rent or buy. I was originally thinking rent, but wonder if I really should consider buying (only once current house is sold) since rates are so low. It also seems our choices might be much greater too. I will start running some numbers soon.

Soooo...that's the news here. Can you believe it?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 24

February 25th, 2012 at 12:19 am

I have yet to make my smoothie yet today, but it will happen. I need to drink it just to get enough calories in for the day and to offset the chocolate eggs I ate! Smile

My smoothie will have banana, mango and romaine. I'm trying to use up what I currently have on hand before I buy more of anything else.

My youngest daughter has been drinking smoothies, but not of the green variety. She likes hers with milk (or almond milk), banana and mixed berries. It turns out very purple! I'm happy with that change for now. Greens can come later.

In financial news, I was paid for another Pinecone survey today and then took another survey for them today as another $3 will be on it's way on Monday. Just more that can be added to the snowflake total this month. Yipee!!

$8 Coupon For YOU!

February 24th, 2012 at 02:32 am

I purchase my vitamins online at The company sent me an email today stating that I could offer new customers $8 off their first order through February 29.

Use this

Text is link and Link is
link for the coupon. You can receive free shipping for orders over $20. I think this is before the coupon, but not sure.

I just purchased my daily vitamin, NOW Liquid Mulitvitamin, from them yesterday. I can swallow small pills, but larges ones are difficult, thus the liquid. These seem to absorb fast too.

If I were to buy my preferred vitamins at the local health food store I would pay at least $22. At the iHerb website, I pay only $14. I think I have paid even lower a few times!

The site offers more than just vitamins, but soaps, teas, shampoo, supplements for many ailments, as well as flour and nutritional bars. It's worth looking at if you buy any sort of health product. Just see if it might beat the price you are already paying!

What kinds of things do you order online just to save money?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 23

February 23rd, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I did have my green smoothie today. It was a repeat of Tuesday's with the banana, romaine and mango. I didn't get yesterday's in. Oops!

Skipping 5 days of this challenge last week seems to have messed with my motivation. I'll keep tying to get one in each day until the end of the month.

Christmas Snowflakes

February 22nd, 2012 at 02:07 pm

I earned another $6 from Pinecone surveys and received the money in my Paypal account yesterday. I will pull the cash from that account at the end of the month and officially add it to my 2012 Free Christmas Fund.

I noticed we earned some more debit rewards equal to $25. That will count as well once I cash those points in.

I'm also have enough at MyPoints to cash in for at least a $10 gift card somewhere. I'm going to keep these points going as long as I can this year. I'll redeem them much later this year for gift cards.

On Swagbucks, I maxed out the $5 Amazon gift cards this month worth $25. I have 900 points that I will try to accumulate towards something by the end of the month. If I don't make it, then I will apply the points to $5 AGC in March. Either way it's a good deal.

I've been doing MySurveys too. I have enough to cash out for $10. I will cash out at $20, but I'm still 300 points short there. Those surveys haven't been too kind to me lately. Oh well. It's all good.

I will cash out what I can at the end of the month. I will also report an official total then as well. How is your Christmas Fund coming along? Any new snowflakes?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 21

February 21st, 2012 at 06:07 pm

I did fall off the green smoothie wagon for about 5 days. My last smoothie was Wednesday. Then I was ill and not up for a smoothie. I've felt better for a few days, but a smoothie still wasn't quite right.

Today's smoothie was 24oz and about 225 calories:

1c. water
1c. romaine
1c. frozen mango
1 banana

Yummy! As usual.

Requested Citi Rewards

February 20th, 2012 at 06:17 pm

Since my first statement on the CitiDividend card cycled on Friday, my rewards were posted. On Saturday, I requested a redemption, which will equal $200! Per the website, the check should arrive in 7 days.

I did notice that Citi's reward program only allows you to redeem in $50 increments. I had about $209 worth of rewards. Once I hit redeem, it just picked $200. I didn't even have the choice to redeem for less. And I won't get those other $9 worth of rewards unless, I keep using the card and come to another $50+ rewards balance. I suppose this is common, but I found it different than Chase, which allowed me to redeem all my points with them to the penny. I would say I would definitely choose Chase over Citi, if it ever came down to it.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to my $200 check! Do you have any credit card rewards that you are cashing in soon?

Truck Loan Balance Drops

February 19th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Funny. I almost forgot to check the balance on our loan after Friday's recent payment. We paid $34.95 in interest, and $294.18 went to principal.

Our new balance is under $12K at $11,824.54. I am really looking forward to a balance under $10K. Getting closer!!

Financial Progress

February 17th, 2012 at 03:12 pm

DH arrived home and promptly signed the $160 rebate check from Goodyear. It is now in our bank account. I have made a payment of $300 to pay off the tires in full. We will then close this card. Yipee!!

I was able to make DH's final 2011 Roth contribution yesterday. If you remember, last week, I accidently authorized the buy from a closed bank account rather than our current bank. It took a week for it to correct in their system. Maybe he ended up with more shares for his money than I did. I'll have to check.

My life insurance application was approved and effective yesterday. I signed the electronic documents. I thought premium would be effective this week, but it isn't showing up yet. Maybe it is effective next month? Not sure. At least I can now, rip up the bill from previous life insurance plan. This change has saved me $330 per year. Yes!!

I made the final payment on the CitiDividend card, using our bank's bill pay system. It arrived yesterday and I now have a zero balance. Statement cycles today and I should receive $200 in rewards. I will cash those out as soon as I can and then close that card, too.

I'm feeling better than yesterday, but still a bit worn down. I'm hoping I can rally a bit to enjoy spending the weekend with my husband!!

Have a super weekend!!

No Smoothie Today & Moving

February 16th, 2012 at 03:51 pm

I'm a bit under the weather and don't think I could tolerate a smoothie today.

We submitted our original seven locations to move to, including to stay here, but found out my husband was denied all seven options. He was given five new options that would be better for his career. We are a bit shocked, but will grieve the loss and move forwards.

The five new options must be ranked and turned back into his career manager tomorrow. Luckily, DH is arriving home tonight so we can talk a bit face to face about our decisions.

The five locations we are choosing from are:
Charleston, WV
Los Alamitos, CA
Fort Hood, TX
Milwaukee, WI
Jolon, CA

I think we are leaning towards Texas as our first choice, but we could end up living in any one of these towns. Feel free to comment about what you know of these areas. All insights are appreciated and welcome.

Now, I'm going back to bed. And hope I feel better in awhile to pick up my daughters from school.

Green Smoothie: Day 15

February 15th, 2012 at 05:20 pm

Officially, half the month of February is over. I have had 15 green smoothies. I don't know that I've noticed too many changes, but none of it can be bad for me.

I've read stories where people who have had green smoothies for a month or more have had moles fall off and hair change back from gray/white to normal. And there are even bigger changes such as diabetes reversal (type 1 & 2) and elimination of allergies.

Today's smoothie was like yesterday but with banana and celery added. Total calories for 24 oz is 205 calories.

1c water
1/2 banana
2 ribs celery
1/2c crushed pineapple
1/2c frozen mango
2c spinach

Only two more weeks to go! I would like to incorporate this into my regualr diet, however, I expect I won't be announcing it everyday here. Unless my few gray hairs go away. Smile

My Comments On Valentine's Day

February 14th, 2012 at 06:04 pm

Yesterday felt a bit more like Valentine's day to me. Primarily because the valentines all arrived in the mail and by FedEx yesterday.

My DH sent cards to me and each of the girls. Cost: $3.49, $4.49 and $5.99. Plus a stamp to mail each of them. Flowers also arrived. The cost I see posted on our account was $47.96 for those. They are pretty.

Here's a picture.

I'm guessing this would be a $10 to $15 bouquet any other time of year, epecially if it wasn't shipped from California. Luckily, he didn't buy a vase to go with it. He has done this in the past. I've told him I have multiple vases.

That's a grand total spending of $64.57 including tax. An average of $21.52 each.

I'm not mad about my husband's spending. The flowers are pretty. It is really the only time of year he does make extra effort, other than my birthday. So I got to love him for that.

I personally did not send DH a card, or a gift. He's coming home this weekend. I was hoping for an inexpensive lunch or dinner out for all of us.

I also have not purchased cards or gifts for the girls. We are beyond class parties and the excitement has died down. I might make a simple valentine out of some scrapbook paper I have. Because I do love my girls and want them to know that I do love them on Valentine's Day, as well as, every day of the year.

They girls get the joy of going to the dentist after school today, thus a reason I'm skipping candy this year. We will have our traditional pasta dinner tonight by candle light. They look forward to that the most, I think! It really is the simple things.

Tell me about your Valentine's Day. Spending big or frugal? Or do you just opt out of it all?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 14

February 14th, 2012 at 05:56 pm

I apologize if you are bored with the green smoothie posts. It's part of the accountability. I must report what may be the mundane, but that which leads me to my goal. The goal: A green smoothie everyday for the month of February.

Today's smoothie was one of the best yet. I added in more mango, but left the banana out. And yes, I still have bananas. Unlike last week. This one again made 24oz. It is approximately 162 calories. Leaving the banana out helps with calories, too!

1c water
2c spinach
1/2c crushed pineapple
3/4c frozen mango

This one actually looks bright green, too!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 13

February 13th, 2012 at 02:26 pm

I had my smoothie for breakfast this morning. A few new ingredients made it very refreshing! This one was 24oz and 257 calories.

1c water
1.5c romaine lettuce
1 leaf of kale
.5c spinach
.5c crushed pineapple
.5c frozen mango
1 banana

So yummy and creamy!! I was using up some miscellaneous greens thus the odd amounts. It all worked though.

Has anyone tried a smoothie with greens yet? Anyone? Just curious!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 12

February 12th, 2012 at 04:12 pm

Ugh...second time posting. First one was lost to oblivion. Will that ever get fixed?

I missed having the bananas in my smoothie, but they are first on my list for today's grocery store run.

Today's smoothie was 24oz (again) and 299 calories. The peanut butter was added in at the last moment to cut the citrus of the orange. It seemed to help.

1c water
1 1/2c kale
1c frozen mixed berries
1 cara cara orange
1 T peanut butter

This smoothie was actually a bit chunky with the kale. I think I needed to blend longer. I'm looking forward to getting some different ingredients for this weeks smoothies. I'm thinking mango might be good with some of the greens to add sweetness. Any other ideas?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 12

February 12th, 2012 at 04:08 pm

I'm still out of bananas. I must say I really like them as my base for smoothies. I will be at the store today and they are first on my list!

Today's smoothie made 24 oz (again) and was 299 calories. The peanut butter was a last minute addition, with the hopes it would help mute the citrus of the orange.

1c water
1 1/2c. kale
1c frozen mixed berries
1 cara cara orange
1T peanut butter

I must not have blended long enough. The kale was a bit chunky today. I did get my greens in though and for that I am happy.

Now to make my list for the store!! I'm think mango with greens might be a nice choice. Any other suggestions?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 11

February 11th, 2012 at 04:56 pm

Without Be A Wealthy Warrior, I think I might have fallen off the green smoothie wagon by now. It's nice to have someone to be accountable to with any goal. So even though this is generally a financial blog, this challenge is an example of how accountability can help one reach their goals and intentions. In this case, it happens to be a health goal for me.

Today's smoothie was interesting, but good. I'm out of bananas. I didn't even realize it until I went to go make my smoothie. I really do prefer them in my smoothies, but it worked without. The half apple was left over from my daughter's lunch. Why waste it right? I added peanut butter because I ate this as a very late breakfast and I was VERY hungry.

This smoothie was 24oz and 264 calories.

1c. water
1c frozen mixed berries
1 1/2c spinach
1/2 gala apple
1 kiwi
1T peanut butter

I'm curious. Other than blogging here about finances, do you find other ways to make yourself accountable for other goals? Which ones? Tell me about it.

Paid Part of the Bill

February 10th, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I took the advice of a commenter on my blog and made a payment using my banks online bill pay. The payment was for the CitiDividend Visa that wouldn't allow an oline payment until the statement cycled. I made a small payment to see if it would work and how fast. Basically it showed up in on my bank account and the card account the next day. So fast!

I will make the final $500 payment on Monday. The statement will cycle by this time next week. And I hope to have the rewards, $200, available to redeem soon after.

I redeemed my final $5 Amazon Gift card through Swagbucks today. I also got the final collector's bill today, along with the bonus points. Now to save for a $25 or $50 AGC by the end of the month! As of now I have earned $75 in AGC since January 1.

Lately, we have been eating quite a few Lean Cuisine meals. It seems to help me out when I need a break from cooking and with watching calories. We accumulated enough codes to redeem for a lunch bag last night. My daughter picked the color she liked. Based on past experience, it will take nearly two months to arrive. But it is free.

Move Update: We submitted our choices earlier this week, but now are waiting. We don't know how long the wait will be, but sooner is better for us. The first option is to stay here, but we think that likely won't be granted. My oldest daughter has her fingers and toes all crossed for that outcome.

Here's to hoping for a low spend weekend. I do know there may be some clothes shopping involved and groceries. How will your weekend be financially?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 10

February 10th, 2012 at 02:14 pm

I can't believe it's already been 10 days of green smoothies. It's going so fast. I've love most of the smoothies I've made. I did find out I don't like parsely and now possible celery. I may just need to cut the amount of celery down.

Today's smoothie is 24oz and 269 calories:

1c water
1c frozen berries
1c spinach
2 ribs of celery
1 banana
1T chia seeds

It's pretty good and very purple today. I guess it's a purple smoothie with greens!!

This weekend, I really want to make my girls a smoothie with even just one leaf or two of spinach. Just to see if they can tasted. Should I do this on the sly or let them in on it?

Smoothie (Day 9) & Roth Investments....Kind of

February 9th, 2012 at 05:49 pm

I did make my smoothie today for part of my lunch. I actually skipped the berries today. This one ended up being the most caloric so far at 300 calories.

1c water
2c spinach
1 banana
1 pear
1T chia seeds

It was very good. Fresh and green!

I made my final 2011 Roth contribution today in the amount of $2,000. I made one for DH too. However, it is going to get rejected. I accidently used an old bank account that is closed as the funding account. Oops. I called Vanguard. They said they can't cancel and it will get rejected. I need this contribution identified for 2011, otherwise, I'd just run it through again, but right now with the transaction I just did he's maxed out for 2011.

And this was a reminder, that DH and I really need to authorize each other as an agent on our accounts. Which ironically, I could do online!

The customer service rep wasn't going to talk to me. I completely understand for privacy and security. I've even worked in the same role. Luckily, I just needed to know how the reject would happen and if there was anything they could do. And they can' I will just wait for the reject. I likely won't be able to make his contribution until next week now.

So I kind of made our final 2011 Roth contributions!! Has something like that happened to you before?

Today's Green Smoothie: Day 8

February 8th, 2012 at 08:40 pm

I made my green smoothie for lunch and it was not the best one I made. I don't think I'm a fan of the parsley or I just needed more fruit to balance the greens in this one.

Today's smoothie once again made 24oz. It is equal to about 240 calories.

1c. water
2 large ribs of celery
1 kiwi
6 smaller leaves of kale (maybe 1c)
1/4c. parsley
1c. frozen mized berries

I was able to drink it and it has kept me full this afternoon.

I Wanted to Pay the Bill

February 8th, 2012 at 01:11 pm

I wanted to pay my new CitiDividend card bill online yesterday. I have only had the card about 10 days. As soon as I activated the card, I input my bank information. No problem.

When I went to pay the bill in full yesterda, I was not allowed to because the amount was more than my previous statements balance. In this case that is zero, because I have not yet had a statement.

I contact customer service and they confirmed that is the case because the bank information is new and still being confirmed. However, I could call the automated system and input my bank information. For free. What?

I still haven't paid the bill. I'm annoyed. What is the difference between an online payment with the same bank information and one I do online? I don't get it and find it very bad customer service. But, what's new? It is a credit card company.

I will wait until the statement cycles, pay it online, claim my rewards, cancel the card and be done with Citi.

In good news, I found out I was approved for my life insurance policy. It is more than my initial quote by about a $100 per year, because of a health issue. However, it is $335 less than what I would have paid with my current policy. Very pleased.

Our auto insuance is going down by $40 for our six month premium, too. It seems we are getting the discount for being awesome drivers for over 5 years. Actually, we've been great drivers for longer than that, but now we are getting compensated for it.

Have you had that issue with a credit card company before?

It Is Pending!! (Green Smoothie Update, too)

February 7th, 2012 at 02:18 pm

Our federal tax refunds is pending in our checking account this morning. This means our Roth contributions for 2011 will be fufilled! Do you think I should send in the whole amount ($2,000 each) or split it up over the next two months?

I made another green smoothie today. Very similar to yesterday, added parsley and left out the chia seeds. Total calories for 24 oz is 210. Most of those calories come from the fruit in this one.

1c. water
1c. frozen mixed berries
2c. spinach
1/2c parsley
1 banana

I found a

Text is blog and Link is
blog by the auther of the book I mentioned yesteday (Green for Life). It has lots of information about green smoothies. I haven't read the website, but the book is packed with excellent information, so I would guess great information on the website, too.

I have to buy jeans for my youngest daughter. She's 11 but still gets holes in her jeans! Ugh. I'm picking up two of her favorite pair at Old Navy today. I'm fine with the purchase, but frustrated that she crawls around on the floor so much!! Smile

Swaggers: I'm just 43 points away from another $5 Amazon gift card. Those points add up fast. Do you all know about the computer on the slider bar (home page)? It's worth one point to click and you can click it at least 10 times!! I click the computer and then click on the banner on the website that pops up, right now it's a Micheal's ad.

Oh, and I've lost nearly 20 pounds since late October!! I've been diet (and regular) soda free since January 1st. It feels so good.

Let's hear about your goals/resolutions. How are you doing on them so far?

Monetary Updates

February 6th, 2012 at 09:43 pm

All good news in the money update department!

We received our $160 rebate check in the mail for the tires we purchased on the van. It's in DH name, so I will have him sign it when he is home in a couple weeks. Technically, I could sign, since I have power of attorney, but the less I use that the better. I'm just glad it finally arrived.

I have redeemed Swagbucks for three $5 gift cards in the last two days. I've been racking up the points pretty fast. And just now, I received notification that the $25 Amazon gift card has posted to my account. Right now, I have $50 I could use right away! But I wont...since I'm saving them for Christmas.

I did sell the item I listed on ebay last week, with the Buy It Now option. This was the item that had a non paying bidder a couple weeks ago. I net $9.80 on the sale, which will go the Christmas Fund Challenge.

I think I also received another Pinecone survey payment that I didn't mention here previously. I have $6 from them since the beginning of the month. That I know for sure!

I checked our credit reports with TransUnion this weekend. All was good there. I check one of the agencies every four months. Since there are three credit reporting agencies, it results in a free report every time. DH thought it might be a good idea to check our girls credit reports too. Technically, they shouldn't have a report, unless there is fraud. It's on my list of things to do.

I'm hoping our tax refund actually arrives tomorrow. It is already late by 5 days, since the IRS wanted to run fraud check on the early returns. Tomorrow is the now expected date.

Are things good in your financial world?

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 6 with Picture

February 6th, 2012 at 02:10 pm

I made my smoothie already today! Yummy.

This one is 259 calories and makes about 24oz:

1c water
2c spinach
1c frozen berries
1 banana
1 TBP chia seeds

It does look more brown compared to yesterday's smoothie because of the berries. It is much sweeter and more appealing to drink, too!

If you are interested in the health benefits of a smoothie, you should look for the book Green for Life, by Victoria Boutenko. It is on for about $3.

Let me know if you try one, I want to know what you think!

Green Smoothie With Picture: Day 5

February 5th, 2012 at 02:27 pm

In case you were wondering what a green smoothie might look like, I've added a picture. This is from today, which is very green because the orange didn't change it colors. The ones with raspberries tend to have a more brown color. I'll try to take a picture of that one tomorrow!

These generally taste very good if you have a sweet fruit in them that dominates. Raspberries and other berries do a great job. Today, mine is still sweet, but a bit more bitter, which I believe is actually the parsley I'm tasting.

Today's recipe was:

1c water
1c spinach
1/4 c parsley
1 orange (without peel)
1 banana (without peel)
1 TBS chia seeds

Total calories for about 24oz is 246.

Anyone ready to try a green smoothie yet?

Met The Minimum & Today's Green Smoothie

February 4th, 2012 at 05:59 pm

I met the $500 purchase minimum on the Citi Dividend card yesterday when I got the girls hair cut. I even went about $20 over. Now to pay it off, and wait for the statement to cycle be awarded my $200!

I did make my smoothie for lunch today. This recipe made about 16oz and equalled 254 calories. I might need a little more for lunch, but right now I'm full!

1c vanilla almond milk
1c kale
1T peanut butter
1/2c frozen raspberries
1T chia seeds

Have you tried chia seeds? Very bland, but high in Omega 3's and has more antioxidants than blueberries. Sixty calories per tablespoon. Oh, and they are suppose to be good for staying hydrated!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day3

February 3rd, 2012 at 07:58 pm

I was able to fit my green smoothie in as part of my lunch. It was 313 calories and very filling!

1c water
2c kale
1 banana
1/2c frozen raspberries
1 kiwi
1 TBP chia seeds

Most of my recipes make about 24 oz and I drink the whole thing. Yummy.

I received another $3 payment from Pinecone and a sample in the mail to try. More Christmas Fund money!!

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