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Archive for September, 2019

Snowflakes and Museum Day

September 20th, 2019 at 07:45 am

I received a couple drops of money in the last couple days. I refer to these as snowflakes from our days of paying down debt, instead of a big snowball wad of cash to send in, sometimes I found small amounts of money (snowflakes) to send it and make a mini dent in the debt. Now our snowflakes are primarily saved!

The first one was a surprise. I received $2.38 from the Starfish Tuna settlement in my PayPal account.

I did a little shopping at Joann's Fabric yesterday for some floral sprigs to make a fall basket.I rarely decorate for season, nor redecorate the house much, but my arrangement turned out well. I spent $14.79 with the taxes, but claimed a 15% rebate on Ibotta. They credited me $2.22 on my account.

Not exactly a snowflake, but our daughter finally received the balance of her book stipend from the VA. It was delayed while they covered a debt from last spring when we used benefits, but then cancelled them. That mess is now cleaned up with the receipt of this money. It's odd that it came in the form of a check, usually it is a direct deposit. Now I'm concerned future payments may also be checks! I guess we will see. The whole system is so archaic.

I've already started Christmas shopping. Primarily I'm picking up stocking stuffers because I know what my girls like in their stockings. Usually stocking stuffers is last on my list, this year it seems to be the first. I also ordered a couple books in a series for my oldest daughter on eBay which should arrive next week.

Oh and tomorrow, September 21, is

Text is Museum Day and Link is https://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-2019/
Museum Day, where you can get a free ticket for you and a guest to participating museums. We are going to one in our new town that is normally $29.95 per person! Huge savings!! And I've been wanting to go.

YNAB Update

September 15th, 2019 at 05:08 pm

It's official I will have to update from the free download of YNAB4 I've been using for several years. The new Apple Mac operating system upgrade is going to prevent YNAB from being able to even support the YNAB 4 version by the end of October 2019.

I'm going to spend the upcoming week setting up the free trial for the current web version of YNAB. I will spend the following 34 days (their free trial length) seeing how it works for us. If I feel okay about the changes, I will pay the cost to use the latest version of YNAB. I will get a 10% discount being a previous user.

I've always been hesitant to pay for an annual subscription for budgeting. Ironically, I pay for an annual Amazon subscription just to get the free two day shipping. Ultimately, we have made some great progress with our ability to make a detail budget on YNAB, so it is likely worth the annual cost.

Anyone else in this same situation? A holdout with YNAB 4, that will need to upgrade to the current version.

Quite the Deal

September 7th, 2019 at 05:51 am

Sometimes it is the small deals that you aren't expecting that are fun!

I went to Joann's Fabric to buy some fabric for my niece who has a birthday next week. They had six tables piled with clearance fabric that was an additional 25% off. I bought six or seven 1/4 yards for her. Many of those coming to less than a dollar each after the discounts. Not that it matters but I also bought a medium sprig of fall flowers for my guest bathroom and some candy for a stocking stuffer. I spent $11.59 after the discounts, including military, and tax.

They were also letting customers pick one item after purchase from some clearance bins. I picked an American Flag, full size to put outdoors, which was marked at $16.99 normal price. My husband mentioned wanting one, and we do have a place on our base house to display one. And if it doesn't fit, or work out at least we didn't spend any money on it. So fun and unexpected!

I also submitted my Joann's coupon to Ibotta and got 15% rebate which they calculated as $1.74. My balance with Ibotta is only $5.54, so I have a little while until I cash out.

Did you find any surprising or just good deals this week? I think it is a very common time for major clearances in all types of stores right now! Don't spend money you don't have or need, but go out and look.

Christmas Savings Flashback

September 5th, 2019 at 02:54 pm

I'm suddenly inspired to think about Christmas! Maybe that's because I just made our airline reservations to go see our girls for Thanksgiving!

I have been having ideas come to me for gifts to give various people. I have not been writing them down! I need to find my Christmas planner, so I can keep everything in one place.

I just sent both daughter's an email saying I will take Christmas ideas whenever they have them. My oldest responded with a pretty long list!! Some of which she had already mentioned, but I had forgotten. Good thing I asked again.

I'm not sure how quick my other daughter will respond. I think she was a bit disappointed in her gifts last year even though I bought what she asked for. I think she was expecting more. Not sure why that was, but it made me a little sad that she was sad. I'm not saying I will go overboard, but maybe I can find some clearance filler items that might help. I don't know! Parents do want to please their kids.

Remember years ago when I accumulated snowflakes (extra non income money) to specifically pay for Christmas? I saw one post in December 2012 where I accumulated $1,700!! I spent $900 on Christmas and sent the remainder to the truck loan we had at the time.

I'm close to another $25 redemption threshold on Swagbucks. I really only do a few things a day, so it's slow, which I'm fine with since I have other things to do! Usually, I send this money to our Big Goal now and simply save up for Christmas. I guess since I'm excited about it my goal should be to find great deals and simply come in under budget!

Anyone else thinking ahead for Christmas? Have you purchased any gifts? Did you know there are 110 days until Christmas? Do you have money saved up?

It's a Spendy Season

September 3rd, 2019 at 02:16 pm

Well those last weeks of August were spendy with getting our girls back to school and getting some new things. Our youngest is rooming in a single room, so things her roommate brought last year, we needed to buy this year. The wardrobe in her current dorm has no doors on it, but we found a curtain panel for just $5.99 and a inexpensive tension rod to hang it and it looks much better. Compared to some people we are pretty slim in what she has going on in her dorm room. I can't believe how many people thing you need to have room all bling'd out!

We are now planning our trip to visit the girls over Thanksgiving. I really wish we didn't have to fly during the holiday but it's when they are available and we will get to see our daughter march in her last college halftime show for senior day.

I hope to get some more items listed and relisted on eBay this week or next. Budget Girl on YouTube has a recent video about Sell Stuff September. Not a bad idea to get the clutter out and make some money before the holidays, right?

I paid off my cell phone two months early the other day. It had been $14 per month, so I made a $28 payment. Obviously, our total cell phone bill will go down by that amount next month. This means by cell phone is almost two years old. It's working okay, although I do seem to lose the ability to hear the person I'm talking to on the phone sometimes. I haven't figured out if that is our WiFi or the phone itself. Why can't these last just a little longer?!

Verizon says we have been with them for ten years! They gift us a $20 Amazon gift card. Not a big reward for ten years as a customer, but I guess it's better than nothing. I'm sure I can find something on Amazon to buy!

Are you in a spendy season or a saving season?

Paying Ourselves Back: August

September 1st, 2019 at 01:34 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:

Chase Freedom Rewards $3.37
US Bank Rewards $13.08
American Express Rewards $63.32
Pinecone Survey $3.00
eBay Sales $8.53
FB Sales $20
Fetch Reward $10
Rum Rebate $3
USAA ATM Rebate $6
Amazon Visa Promo $70
Excess Travel Payment $103.47
Storage Deposit Refund $55

$358.77 Total

$2,239.32 Previous Balance Owed
$1,880.55 New Balance Owed

All the little amounts add up, we are making progress! Goal is to pay back by the end of the year.


Big Savings Goal: August

September 1st, 2019 at 01:18 pm

Here are the August additions to our Big Savings Goal:

NFCU $124.07
FNBO $67.20
USAA $0.09
8/1 Paycheck $175
8/15 Paycheck $175

$541.36 August Big Goal Total
$6,959.89 2019 YTD Total

$69,403.99 Previous Big Goal Total
$69,945.35 New Big Goal Balance

34.97% of $200,000 Goal

We are so close to $70K! We are still working on our Paying Ourselves Back goal. We made great progress on that this month!

August 2019 Interest Earned

September 1st, 2019 at 01:12 pm

It's my monthly report of interest earned. All amounts are added to our Big Goal.

NFCU $124.07
FNBO $67.20
USAA $0.09
Total Interest $191.36