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Archive for April, 2014

April Snowflake Tally

April 30th, 2014 at 09:10 am

I tallied up our extra funds received (snowflakes) for the month of April using my Excel spread sheet. It was a great month! We found $876.07 in extra money. It ALL went to the mortgage. You will see there are plenty of credit card rewards and bonuses. But notice, too, that I saved a refund, Pinecone survey money, and so forth. There are ways to save extra money with out participating in credit cards.

(Just remembering that we did sell furniture for $300, that is a snowflake, too. We have not decided on a plan for that yet, so it is not included officially.)

Here's where all those snowflakes fell from:



I have 'After' pictures on http://yourorganizedfriend.blogspot.com/2014/04/basement-clu... today! I have my mother visiting and I found an item in our basement that we aren't using but that she can, so I have given it to her. Last week I found a cable my Dad needs that we aren't currently using, so it is his now. Less clutter and helping others feels good.

Have you recently given anything of yours to a family member or friend that you are no longer using? How many snowflakes did you accumulate this month?

Decluttering the Basement & More

April 29th, 2014 at 05:20 am

I have begun decluttering the basement this week. Of course, I will have multiple posts this week on http://yourorganizedfriend.blogspot.com/2014/04/removing-emp... to keep you updated on that. I added an option on the right sidebar of the blog to get email updates when there is a new post. I think it works. If you are interested feel free to sign up.

Payday is Thursday. I will use some of the extra funds to pay off the Discover card. I used this to buy all the paint for our living and kitchen area. Actually we have enough to paint our bedroom and bathroom yet. I used the Discover card because they were offering 5% back on Home Improvement stores. I can already see about $17+ in rewards. The plan was to pull the cash from savings, but when their is extra in a current paycheck I prefer to use that money so it doesn't feel like I am touching the savings.

I have two bids on some music I decluttered earlier in the month. I moved them to auctions after two weeks listed as Buy It Now. People do like an auction!

Will you use a credit card at a Home Improvement store this spring for any additional rewards? Do you like fixed prices or auctions?

Paid Balance in Full

April 28th, 2014 at 06:09 am

I paid off the balance in full on four different cards this morning: Target, Kohls, Discover and Capital One. I redeemed rewards on the Capital One cards in the amount of $20.75.

After those payments were made I sent in an extra mortgage payment in the amount of $45.75, which included the $25 Visa gift card I used on Thursday that had been a bonus from US Bank.

I'm feeling a bit disorganized in the last two weeks, so I hope to make a dent in getting some things done this week that will help me feel like I am back on track. For today, I will get to the gym and post office. I will also wash some bedding, as well as find a little time to declutter the basement. You can see what my basement storage area looks like before I start working on it at http://yourorganizedfriend.blogspot.com/2014/04/our-cluttere.... I hope to post some progress reports this week that show improvement. We were down there last night during a tornado warning but I didn't feel like working on anything during a storm. Turns out no tornado in our direct path or really in the vicinity. Better safe than sorry I guess.

Another thing I think I can get done today, and you might want to do as well, is check our Experian credit reports. I have my calendar set up to remind me every four months to check one of the three credit bureaus for free at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action. I was notified at the beginning of this month and I still have not completed that simple task! I think I can do that today and then I can delete the email reminder I received!

Did you pay any cards off in full recently? Do you check your credit reports regularly? Do you have tasks you want to complete today?

A Little Forgetful

April 27th, 2014 at 07:22 pm

Earlier in the week, I realized we hadn't received the refund from the Southwest credit card. I logged on to the account and quickly realized I had not even requested the check! There was still a credit balance of $69. I immediately wrote to customer service via secure message and a few hours later they confirmed that the process of cutting a check has begun. I'm sure we will have that money this week.

I haven't had as much time to keep track of some of these things as I normally do. However, I'm getting things back on track. I just paid the Verizon bill, made a donation, checked all credit cards for current balances and the due dates. I was able to delete quite a few emails from my account that were notifying me of bills and available statements. Feel a little more on top of the finances again. Smile

Do you find you get behind in keeping track of your finances? What helps you get back on track?

Catching Up

April 27th, 2014 at 07:41 am

Last week was so busy. I expect that it will take me a few days to catch up some financial tasks and get those posted to my blog. Thanks for understanding.

I used a $25 Visa gift card that I received from US Bank and I forgot to send the match into the mortgage, so I will get that done soon. We need to go shopping today for some clothes for our oldest daughter. Our first stop will be Kohl's so we can attempt to use the gift cards we have there.

I made another Ebay sale and have some auctions ending today. They are all Buy It Now offerings, so I think this week I will relist to true auctions and just get them sold for the going rate. If they don't sell, then they go to the garage sale or if not sold there donated.

I need to start back on the decluttering this week. I have a couple days I will set aside to do some major work on the basement or the garage. I will decide which to do based on the weather!

Have you been busy? Are you playing catch up on your goals? Will you be decluttering anything this week? Do you have anything you are trying to sell?

Less Debt!

April 25th, 2014 at 07:27 am

I made a extra mortgage payment this morning in the amount of $73.68. This includes the $50 Walmart gift card I spent, $3 from Pinecone, $10.17 from Ebay sales, and $7.51 left from a $100 gift.

More later, busy here. Just had to pop in for a moment to say we have less debt!

More Snowflakes

April 24th, 2014 at 05:41 am

I'm still really busy. Today I have guest arriving. They will spend the night, so I have a bed to make, and meals to plan and buy groceries for. I need to squeeze my workout in. I'd like a little time to catch up on finances, but it may not happen.

I used another $50 Walmart gift card the other day. All on regular needs for our household. I will match this with yet another extra mortgage payment.

I sold four DVDs on Ebay. My net proceeds were $13.71. I am moving this to checking along with a $3 Pinecone survey payment. Again, this money will go to the mortgage.

I helped a friend start packing for a move yesterday. She did great in getting rid of some things at the same time as we were packing. No sense in moving something that you no longer want. One thing we noticed she had was empty boxes from product purchases. We kept a few, but most were recycled.

Quick Updates

April 23rd, 2014 at 04:52 am

This is a quick post today, since I'm short on time.

Done painting. A little more clean up to do. Relieved!

Received the $25 Visa card from my US Cash+ Visa spending. Snowflake!

I received another $20 Ooma referral, I'm up to 3 now. Money!

See...that was quick. More tomorrow!

Big Snowflake

April 22nd, 2014 at 05:29 am

We are using those gift cards we redeemed from our Southwest Rapids Rewards bonus. I have used $150 worth at Walmart. My husband bought a tablet from Amazon this weekend and used $100 Amazon.com gift cards. The tablet is a splurge, and a promotion gift. He hasn't been promoted yet, but the man rarely wants for anything, so when he seemed to be wishing for one, I suggested he just get it. The price was a lower than we were seeing in stores.

So with those gift cards used, I need to match the spending with money sent to our mortgage. In this case, $250! I will use $150 from current spending and $100 from savings to be replaced with my husband's first check at promotion (which is likely June).

I made another Ebay sale, which I need to ship today. I also made another $20 from a referral to Ooma. More cash!! Love it.

I'm still painting today. It will be a beautiful day, and I hope during coats one and two I can get out and take a walk in honor of Earth Day. Maybe I can take a bag with me and pick up some trash? Will you do anything to honor the Earth on this day?

52 Week Savings Update: April

April 21st, 2014 at 04:48 am

I have added $114 to our 52 Week Savings Challenge this month. The last deposit was $57 on Tuesday last week. I'm adding this amount twice a month on payday. Since I started this in December, I have now saved $523. This particular challenge has been pretty easy for us since it is all saved automatically. I recommend this highly!!

I wrote another blog on http://yourorganizedfriend.blogspot.com/2014/04/laundry-orga.... It isn't about decluttering, since I didn't get to any of that this weekend with all the painting we did. Although I will clean out my painting supply bin when we are done with our current project. I wrote about laundry instead, since I did have to get that done in the midst of the painting.

Are you still working on your 52 Week Savings Challenge? Do you have any laundry tips? Did you declutter anything this weekend, or did you just relax this weekend?

Eating Out: Not Planned

April 19th, 2014 at 07:13 am

Our painting project caused us to get take out twice yesterday! The kitchen was in complete disarray for lunch. The girls said their was nothing to eat. Probably true. My husband picked up Subway for lunch. Then I picked up Pizza Hut for dinner.

The problem was I didn't plan ahead for what we would eat during our big project. And this isn't the first time that has happened. It sure could have been avoided, if I had decided and shopped ahead of time for what our meals would be on painting day.

There will be some more painting today. We are going to tackle the stairway leading to the basement. The wall extends up and is visible in our living area. We will likely be reaching up while holding on to the ladder for dear life. But right after I write this post, I'm going to make a list for the store. We will have food to eat here at home today. No more take out!!

If you want to see the color we painted our kitchen/living area, I posted a picture on http://yourorganizedfriend.blogspot.com/2014/04/organized-af.... You also get to see my painting supply bin. Smile

Were you able to get a task crossed off your list yesterday? Did you get take out? Was it planned or unplanned?

Cash Flowing In!!

April 18th, 2014 at 06:24 am

Cash is flowing in!

I did sell that couch and love seat mentioned yesterday for a nice $150. The man was excited and said it was for his wife. Now I have more room in my garage. If you want a peek at my garage and how cluttered it is, minus the couches, head over to http://yourorganizedfriend.blogspot.com/2014/04/one-of-our-c... and see some of my before pictures. I will be getting the garage in shape before our garage sale next month.

I sold a CD on Ebay that I need to get in the mail. I probably only made about $2. But less clutter and more cash makes me happy!

I also referred someone to http://www3.ooma.com/refer-a-friend/?referral_code=FUD3038, so I have a $20 referral credit. That effectively will cover 5 months of service, which is really just the Federal taxes of about $3.75 a month. I won't get the cash for six weeks or more, but it will be mine then!

We are prepped for painting and will be getting started shortly. I'm thrilled my husband took some time off so we can work together on this beautiful spring day.

In other good news, I lost 1.8 pounds! I'm very happy about this since last week I didn't show any weight loss on the scale. I watched the food intake even closer this week and it made a difference. Gee, kind of like watching the spending. Who would have thought?! Smile

Are you sprucing up your living space (indoors or outdoors) this weekend? Do you have any extra cash or snowflakes flowing in this weekend?