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Archive for August, 2019

Travel Perks

August 17th, 2019 at 07:07 am

My husband uses those off site parking lots and shuttles to the airport when he flies for work. We do the same when we fly, at least at this airport, since it is far cheaper. My husband earned enough rewards with this particular lot to get parking for our next trip free! Our cost would have been $54.

I'm thankful I found a cat sitter. She is charging me $30 for this next trip. If I had to put our cat in a kennel, she would be there six nights (we are only gone four, but the hours would require her to be there ahead of us a day and stay an extra day) which would have cost us $90.

We were able to get a discount on our hotel by using military family pricing. Sometimes we use the military rate, but this hotel chain is a bit more strict with requiring that it be official duty. I completely understand that, which I guess is why they have this specific rate. I saved $25 that way, and compared to some other hotels I looked at I could have spent another $50 more. Of course, we could have gone to even lower end chains, but my husband is never pleased with those. So we did get a rate we are happy with.

We will be borrowing either my mother's car or our daughter's car to take our youngest daughter to her school. So this time we have saved the cost of a rental car. That doesn't always work, but it will this time.

Oh, I guess the last thing I will mention is that my husband's latest trip will net us about $100 in excess per diem. He just didn't spend as much on food as they allow and pay for. That's definitely a perk, and I should toss that onto our Big Goal.

Some Cash Updates & More

August 12th, 2019 at 02:53 pm

I sold two more small items on eBay recently. I've lowered the price on one, but soon I need to end them all while we go out of town. I will likely restart them and add a few more things when we return.

I earned $3 from Pinecone Research for a survey.

We were refunded $6 in ATM fees by USAA.

I paid back the housing allowance my daughter received last semester in the amount of $758.10. It's been a chore to get the VA to correct our withdrawal of benefits and then bill us for the correct amount. I believe my plan has been to use part of our tax refund to pay this back. That money did go towards the Big Goal, so I may have to backtrack my totals at the end of the month. However, because I really, really don't like doing that, I may see if I can find another way.

We expect another bill to return the book stipend for $208.33. But unfortunately, they still are trying to bill our daughter $69.03 for tuition. All tution money was sent to the university and they should be billing them. We paid all tution in full out of pocket instead of accepting VA education benefits last semester. At least this new amount they are trying to bill for tuition is down from over $700. Can you believe we have zero access to any sort of online account for beneficiaries? We can only deal in phone calls, letters, and faxes! The government is definitely not up with the times on this kind of thing.

I did a withdrawal of cash from our younger daughter's educational savings account today. The money will cover the cost of one semester's worth of room and board. I have the remaining amount due (tuition) set aside in cash. Her tuition is due August 20, six days BEFORE school starts.

I'm waiting for my husband to be reimbursed from his last trip with the Army. He has some issues with his government card during the last trip, and he ended up putting charges on our regular card. I'm happy for the rewards, but annoyed to have that extra balance there unpaid. It will come any day though.

We were within range this month of our electricity usage. So no credit or refund, but of course, we don't owe any extra either.

Oh, and I also recently applied for the Amazon Prime Visa and earned $70 in Amazon gift cards. I already used it, since I was making a larger purchase of an air purifier. It helped cut the cost significantly. I guess I should set aside $70 towards goals since I was willing to spend the original amount.

I only threw out two frozen hamburger buns. I'm not eating processed carbs, and my daughter said she will not eat that brand, too soft and soggy. Not a bad week in terms of food waste. We keep eating what we purchase.

I Got Some Free Items!

August 3rd, 2019 at 05:57 am

I'm on several Facebook pages where people list things for sale, and where I have also listed things for sale. Yesterday, I saw a post where someone was giving away four plastic adirondack chairs. They had posted just 8 minutes prior and I could get to their place in about 1 minute so I hopped in my van and drove over. I snatched them up!! They also were giving away six cans of peach flavored Bubly (a sparkling water), so I grabbed those too, since I had not tried that flavor yet. That flavor is pretty good, but I think I like cherry the best.



I did have to clean the chairs. One has a chipped section off the top of the chair and all of them have one or section of the back where the plastic has broken, so they aren't perfect, or as stable as I would prefer. I need chairs for my front porch and these will look very cute outside. I may not keep all of them, but for free I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try them.

I do know looking at the posts after I returned that I wasn't the only one interested. Some were asking if they were still there, or if they could hold. The post said no holds, which is why I knew I had to act fast!! My speed paid off.

In other good news I sold an item on eBay that had been listed since May. I gained about $6 and a little bit of space in my home with this sale!


Paying Ourselves Back: July

August 1st, 2019 at 01:26 pm

We are paying ourselves back for the $3,000 down payment we made on our daughter's car in May. Here's the money we applied this month:

$53.18 Utility Rebate
$3.09 USAA ATM rebate/interest
$20.95 US Bank Rewards
$210.25 Military per diem excess
$25 Amazon gc (Swagbucks)
$27.61 Paypal (ebay, pinecone)
$48.49 Amex Rewards
$75.00 Extra from paycheck

$463.57 Total

$2,702.89 Previous Balance Owed
$2,239.32 Current Balance Owed

We made great progress this month! If we can keep up this rate of payback we will be finished in December!! Worth striving for.

Big Savings Goal: July

August 1st, 2019 at 01:14 pm

Here are the July additions to our Big Goal.

NFCU Interest $123.74
FNBO Interest $67.87
USAA Interest $0.10
7/1 Paycheck $175.00
7/15 Paycheck $175.00

$541.81 July Big Goal Total
$6418.53 2019 YTD

$68,862.18 Previous Big Goal Balance
$69,403.99 New Big Goal Balance

34.70% of $200,000 Target Goal

All movement in the right direction counts! We are a little slow going since we are paying back the car down payment to ourselves.

July 2019 Interest Earned

August 1st, 2019 at 01:08 pm

This is my month interest report for July. We earned interest on a large CD and a large balance in our money market account, as well as a little in our checking accounts.

NFCU $123.74
FNBO $67.87
USAA $0.10
Total Interest $191.81

All interest is added to our current Big Goal savings.