Home > Archive: March, 2014

Archive for March, 2014

Paid Bills

March 31st, 2014 at 05:46 pm

It's the end of the month, and my husband's paycheck is pending deposit. I went ahead and recorded all the bills that automatically draft this next pay period. First is the mortgage payment of $1,415 which included an extra $103+ as a principal payment. Smile

I also went online and made a large payment on our Southwest card. It was $961.70 to cover our recent Honda maintenance expense, our cell phone bill and other miscellaneous spending from last pay period. There is still a balance on the card. Much of that is some travel expenses by my husband. We should get most of the reimbursement very soon. I'm hoping tomorrow. Once we do I will send all that in and get the card down to zero again.

I set aside $50 for Christmas, $114 towards our auto registration and insurance, and the $57 for the 52 Weekly Savings Challenge. I wrote one check for a school field trip and another for a flute lesson later tonight. I will be getting cash out for allowances, and another future flute lesson. Oh yes, some of the cash I need to get is for my daughter's birthday. She received a check for her birthday and she wanted me to get cash for it.

At this point, I plan to send the check for our taxes late next week, around April 11. We have the $413 in our account now, so I can mail anytime. I'm just waiting as long as I can to pay! I will go ahead and right the check, and stamp and address the envelope. I sure don't want to forget to pay the government.

I'm waiting to hear about the $100 credit I have on my US Bank card. I want them to mail me a check, but I have not heard back yet. The credit is from those Ooma referrals I received. If they won't send a check, I will use the card to pay a utility bill and just take the difference to send to the mortgage.

Are you paid on the first of the month? Do you record all your bills for that pay period right away? Or only record when it actually happens?

Taxes Filed, But Not Paid

March 31st, 2014 at 01:44 am

I finally filed our tax returns on FreeTaxUSA. I paid $9.72 to file both returns. I even went through Ebates to get another 25% back. Smile

As I have known for awhile, we owe $413 in Federal taxes. The first time we have owed in quite some time, but not a big deal. I will likely write a check, to avoid any additional fees from using a credit card. If I needed to pay right away or meet a credit card spending requirement then I would be willing to pay the fee.

I will send the payment in the next two weeks, of course, so that we aren't late. Have you filed your taxes? Are you waiting until the last minute because you owe money?

I Decided What to Do

March 30th, 2014 at 07:58 pm

I guess my procrastination did not pay. The Discover reward gift cards I was looking at are no longer available! I really wanted to use $80 in rewards to get a Lowe's $100 gift card. It is no longer an option for me. That did help me to decide.

I'm taking the cash! It will be in our bank account in 72 hours. Of course, soon after we know that I will be sending it into the mortgage.

I made an Amazon purchase today for my husband's razor blades, which will likely last him over a year, maybe two! I used $10 in AGC that I received from Swagbucks earlier this month, AND $9.79 in Discover rewards on his account. I still had to pay over $9 out of pocket, but now I can see the matching rewards to mortgage. Smile

It all feels good. I like using rewards to pay for things, even the mortgage!

My Ooma Snowflake Arrived

March 29th, 2014 at 01:45 am

I have received my referral rewards from Ooma! I had five worth $20 each, so $100 total. The money has been credited to my US Bank Visa. I had have a zero balance on the card and I have left it open because I knew these credits were coming soon. I'm also waiting for a $25 gift card reward from US Bank. I'm not closing the card until I receive ALL my rewards! Smile

I'm not sure how I will get that $100 credit. I could make a purchase and use it up, or request a check. I am undecided at the moment. So many rewards and decisions to make lately! All good, of course. Smile

I did notice there was a banner on the SA blog page for a Citi Thank You Preferred card. I clicked on it. The offer is $200 for spending $1500. Not the best reward ever, but not terrible either. I know DH has not had this card yet, so I'm thinking about it. However, he may need to wait a month or two to apply.

I Can't Decide!

March 28th, 2014 at 01:24 pm

I can't decide how to redeem our first Discover reward of $150. Cash is what I was planning and expecting when I applied for the card. However, there are options to redeem for gift cards. One example of why this is a good deal: a $100 Lowe's gift card for $80 of our rewards.

The Lowe's card is one we would definitely use with summer coming. We plan to do some painting, fertilize the lawn, and plant a few bushes.

The other gift cards aren't overly appealing. Lots of restaurants and places we don't shop. Of course, I'm sure I could find something! I also know our only choice for redeeming our $500+ in rewards on the Southwest Visa, besides an airline ticket, is gift cards. That is a lot of gift cards!

What would you do? Is the cash better, or is getting the most value better?

A Shopping Date

March 27th, 2014 at 08:16 pm

I had another entry I had started to type, but my husband came home early from work! That rarely happens. Smile

He was motivated to get some new running shoes, which he was overdue for. So we went on a shopping date to get him a pair. I browsed the clearance racks while he found a pair he liked. I didn't buy anything since I know I will be a smaller size in no time, might as well wait a bit longer. He found a pair for $99. I have no clue if they were on sale or not. I did provide my store rewards card, and he used a rewards credit card for the purchase. He will get lots of use out them since he needs to stay in shape for the Army.

Now he has left again to get his workout in. The nice thing is he will be home earlier in the evening to have a little more time with his family! Yep. That makes me happy!

Do you ever get to leave work early? How often to do you leave early?

Discover Is Lying

March 26th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Good news. Bad news.

Good news, MY Discover statement closed yesterday. This is the first one since I met the spending requirement and my $150 bonus was awarded! Woo Hoo!! Now I get to decide if I take gift cards or cash. I REALLY want cash, but I know that I get more for my reward dollars if I take the gift cards. I'll be browsing those later.

So Discover seems to be lying! My husband met the spending requirement as of his last statement in early March. No bonus reward applied. I inquired. They stated it would take 8 plus weeks to be applied. I responded that I'm aware others have received it much sooner. The next response was similar but indicated it would be applied the next time the statement closes. This is now early April. The fifth of the month I think. So they are lying...or their customer service is incompetent. At this point, I'm just going to wait. It is not worth the stress and effort to get the reward 10 earlier than I'm currently expecting it. Now if it is NOT applied on the 5th...I will not be happy.

Okay...the good news is there is a reward!! I will focus on the good news. Smile

Little Snowflakes & More

March 25th, 2014 at 06:53 pm

I received a $3 Pinecone survey payment last week. Just today I requested that money be moved from my Paypal account to our checking account.

I also ordered two $5 gift cards from Swagbucks last week. I got them the next day! I have never received any redemption from them so fast. For now, those are loaded on our Amazon account, until our next purchase. I will officially account for them as snowflakes when used. I also plan to use the $9+ in Discover rewards when I make that next purchase. It is the only way I can get those last rewards off that card! Smile

Not sure if I wrote about this yet. We HAVE met the $2000 spending requirement on DHs Southwest Visa and then some. I noticed my husband put some more work trip transactions on there today. I don't see another worthwhile Southwest offer for me to apply for. I think we are at a little standstill for now with credit card offers. There are not any compelling offers that we haven't already done in the last year. But the cash and gift cards have not yet arrived for the recent cards, so there will be some big snowflakes soon.

I still need to finish our taxes. I'm pretty sure I've entered everything in. We owe $413. I was going to put this on that Southwest card, but we spent up to the minimum before I could get the taxes filed. I expect I will just pay by check and avoid the fee. Is it right that I can file and wait to mail the check by April 15? I think it is and I'm sure I can look that up to be sure.

I did write a post on my other blog today about a discussion we had with our girls the other day. Oh, and in fitness news, I have done 30 minutes of cardio the last two mornings and lifted weights. I feel so much better! I'm on track to meet my fitness goals this month. Yippee!!

Birthday Spending

March 24th, 2014 at 12:26 am

My daughter turns 17 tomorrow. Amazing how fast the time goes! Adults would tell me this all the time. I just never believed them. I do now. Smile

We gave her $60 cash, a $15 iTunes gift card, a necklace from Etsy and a large candy bar that she likes. We also took her to lunch at Panera today, where we spent about $35. We also picked up ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery. Those cost $13, but it is a tradition she likes. In the end we spent about $150 on her. She was happy and we were glad to shower her with treats and gifts.

We will eat those cupcakes after we have homemade pizza for dinner tomorrow night. We have stretched out the celebrating since her birthday is on a weekday...and the first day back from Spring Break!

We are stocked up on groceries for what I hope is the rest of the month. There could be a couple of fresh veggies we will need next weekend. I have gas in my vehicle. I have cash for the flute lesson. I can think of a few other minor expenses, but it should be low key in spending for the week. I like that!!

Do you expect a frugal week ahead? Is the end of the month tight on cash for you? Did we overspend on our daughter?

52 Week Savings Update

March 21st, 2014 at 01:29 pm

My 52 Week Savings Challenge is on auto pilot. I really only think about the challenge when I need to record another deposit, which is twice per month. I deposit $57 each time. My current balance is now $409!

I still don't have any particular plans for this cash. It doesn't hurt to save more money, right?!

What is the balance of your 52 Week Savings?

Quick Fitness Note

March 20th, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I didn't get to the gym until late today because I didn't have a car! After we picked it up, I stopped by the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I burned 335 calories in 33 minutes. Now I can eat dinner! Smile

I checked my stats for the month. I have exercised 14 times this month...the goal is 20. I have also lifted weights 5 times, with a goal of 10. I really should have lifted weights today, but I can say that I did 20 squats and 20 push ups with my daughter earlier and that is definitely a little strength training!!

The maintenance on the truck for 60,000 miles came to $483+, which we did put on the Southwest card. We have now met that spending requirement. I think I will be applying for my own Southwest card next, if the 50,000 rewards points is still around. If not, I will be looking for something better.

How are you exercise goals coming along this month? It isn't too late to make a goal for the next 11 days. You can do something for your health right? Let's do it!!

Maintenance Spending & More

March 20th, 2014 at 02:30 pm

We have the truck at the Honda Dealer today. It was due for an oil change, tire rotation and one of the fluids replaced. As it turns out the mileage is nearly 60,000 which means it is time for some other fluid maintenance as well. We do follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and have found that it really pays off. It's another reason Honda vehicles last so long. Of course it does cost some cash! The estimate is about $400 for all the things that we are having done today.

This wasn't planned exactly, but we set cash aside knowing these things come up, so no worries. We will put it on the Southwest card and likely meet the $2000 minimum spending after that charge. I actually still have items I planned to charge on the card to meet the it seems it could be time for a new card already!

In other financial news, I was able to cash out Bing Rewards for a 500 Swagbucks code. I have not redeemed it yet. I should just do it whenever, as I'm not keeping up with Swagbucks this month. I needed a break. I also claimed a $15 Amazon gift card from Lean Cuisine Delicious Rewards. It already arrived by email and I applied it to our Amazon account. That's another snowflake!

I'm still on track with my workouts, although a little behind on my weight lifting goal. I think I may see a change on the scale this week! Smile

I think today will consist of some spring cleaning. We need to get that cat hair out from under the beds. And while we have the beds moved, we might as well strip off the quilts and wash those as well.

Happy Spring SA friends!