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Time to Declutter the Excess!

September 29th, 2015 at 04:02 pm

I'm getting ready to write quite a few blog posts for

Text is Organized Friends and Link is
Organized Friends, my other blog. I'm using it as a lesson to keep writing more and to inspire others to declutter their excess stuff. It doesn't seem related to finances, but it is. Going through the process of decluttering really helps one realize how much excess we as Americans have. If you are the one tossing all the excess you generally find that next time you are in the store looking for that next 'thing' to purchase, you might actually stop and think will this become clutter or something I won't use in 6 months or a year?

Clutter and excess cost us time in acquiring the item, cleaning and maintaining the item, moving the item out of our way to find other things. The excess purchases cost us money too. We buy the item on credit and pay interest (maybe not all of us here, but it is common for many Americans). We later can't find the item lost in our other clutter so we buy another one. Some of us forget that we even bought an item. We fail to use the item that we found valuable enough to spend our hard earned money on. If we find it again in our closets, we learn that it has been damaged because we stuffed it with other things to put it out of the way for now.

I have plans to post inspiration for decluttering primarily for all 31 days of October. I may have a few organizing ideas tossed as well. I don't really expect that anyone will follow all the suggestions everyday, but I hope that by the end of the month those reading find they were inspired to declutter the excess in their homes. Those of us here might even find we spend a little less this month as a result.

We are about 85 days away from Christmas, a holiday that can be quite draining on the pocket book and full of excess. You might find the exercise in decluttering has some side benefits to your holiday as well. I will start posting on October 1! Please join me and pardon my plug if I link to the posts on my blog here.

Closed A Checking Account

August 7th, 2015 at 01:08 pm

I closed the US Bank Checking account and associated debit this week. I hadn't been using it for quite a few months. I also only opened it to earn a cash reward. I think it was $150, maybe $200. I was able to easily cancel it using their online messaging system. Now I just have their Cash+ Visa which I use every month to charge our Verizon cellular bill on to get 5% cash back.

It feels good to get rid of one more account. I need to do some more pairing down on other accounts again soon.

I have company through Monday, so I'm not posting much this week.

Quick Update

July 15th, 2015 at 07:27 pm

All of our items arrived at our rental home on Monday. I've nearly unpacked all boxes inside the home. I will need to find a cool morning for the few in the garage. We were even able to unpack quite a few boxes while the movers were on a break waiting for a second truck to arrive. That means they already hauled away all the boxes and papers we unpacked then. Actually kind of nice! Smile

Unfortunately, not all of our items made it halfway across the country in good condition. Frown I've seen a broken plate, broken (in half) candle holder, grease and debris on several of the mattresses, a hole chewed in the corner of our big wood desk (a mouse while in storage?), a broken bike reflector, damage to the bottom of our entertainment center that seems to have been already repaired using two stains and wax (and not in a good way)...and some other minor dings that I will live with and avoid mentioning.

It's payday! We also received a payment for the items we moved in our van. That payment is taxable, so the net amount was $734.51. I haven't logged on to see the rest of the details for how much the total was and how much was withheld for taxes. I think they withhold 25%! We'll get that back early 2016 when we file our taxes. Now we are just waiting for one more payment...the one that is for the temporary lodging. Maybe two more weeks at least on that one.

That's it for now. More details later when I have more time. I want to get back to the unpacking. Although I did appreciate the few minutes it took to write this post to get off my feet. Moving is tiring!

Another Plane Ticket & Financial Clean Up

April 22nd, 2015 at 01:51 pm

My husband purchased a one way plane ticket home, the day before graduation for $320. He also bought travel insurance for $21. Not really happy about that. He also put it on our Discover card, but our I think our Citi card would have offered better rewards for an airline ticket. He gets so confused by all the rewards, so I just have to let it go. I'm looking forward to seeing him so that's the best part. He will be off work until our household goods are packed on the moving truck. We will all drive east together mid June!

I've requested that our Wells Fargo Propel Amex card be cancelled. I sent a secure email message. I need it cancelled before mid May to avoid being charged their hefty $175 annual fee. I did get that final reward of $25 and it just credited yesterday making the balance on the card $0! It was zero, but I accidentally make a charge to that card. All good now.

We have been having $500 deposited to a US Bank checking account each month from my husband's pay. I originally set this up to earn a $200 reward for opening the account. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cancel the account, but the first step was to get the deposit from happening. I made that request on the military pay site. It should be effectively stopped on May 1. So a cancel request will happen after that. The only other thought is to keep the account until after closing. Since there is a local branch our proceeds could just be deposited there, rather than a wire to our online bank (which often can cost $50!). A detail to look into and decide about.

It will feel good to lessen the number of credit cards and accounts we have open. Have you done a financial clean up lately?

Zero Bank Balances!

March 31st, 2015 at 02:30 pm

Pay should be pending in our bank account this morning, but the entire banking portion of our bank is down! It's really not fun to see no money when you log into your bank. Thank goodness there was notification at the top of the page or I would be in a panic!

I'm about to send off our $638 we owe to the IRS. I saved up each week since the beginning of January to accumulate the cash. I'm glad I did because it makes it so much easier to write that check. The will clear up $105 each paycheck going forward.

I ordered another part for our dishwasher since over time it doesn't seem the first part worked. It is a motor assembly this time, so more expensive, but less than having a repair man out to do it, plus the part would be inflated. I'll be doing this one all by myself, but I've already taken it apart once and put back together. I was checking to see if something was stuck in there causing the noise. If this part doesn't work, I can return it at my expense. If doesn't work, I honestly don't know what else it could be...there really isn't much to a dishwasher and I've taken the whole thing apart! I ordered the part yesterday and it should be here today...and that was with their basic shipping charge of $6.95.

I also have a handyman coming over to look at my roof. I found to shingles on the driveway yesterday and can see one still on the roof that isn't attached. It had been pretty windy the day prior. He expects it to cost right at $100. Money well spent likely. Super glad he can come today as we are expecting a lot of rain tomorrow night!

Pictures for our listing will be taken tomorrow afternoon. I really have put nearly everything away. A few landscape pictures remain, but I have take down decor to make it just seem as neutral as possible. I think it will help it show well in the pictures. I did tell the girls they could get somethings back out after pictures if needed or wanted. And after we have an offer they can get more out to keep it like our home until we move.

The Plan to Sell

March 25th, 2015 at 11:19 pm

We are getting closer to selling our home. We had a talk with a realtor nearly a month ago. We decided to wait to commit to her, but as of this week we felt confident she was the right gal for us.

The plan is that we will have pictures taken right after Easter with the hope that the grass is greener. We will sign the listing agreement later that week and by early the following week (mid April) the home will be on the market! We would list right now, but we don't want to close until mid June at the earliest, and with our neighborhood being hot we don't want to put it out there too soon and then have it look stale just because of our closing date being farther out.

The realtor is going to start talking about our home and asked if we were willing to show it before we list. Ummm...yes! I'm ready to show it and happy we have a clear plan on where we are going from here.

Is anyone else, besides LAL, selling a home this year? Anyone buying?

Decluttering Pays

March 19th, 2015 at 02:35 pm

We have spent a couple days of spring break decluttering my youngest daughter's room in preparation for our home sale and move. We moved here when she turned 12...literally moved in on her birthday. Unpacking boxes far enough to find items to bake cake! Smile She is now 14 going on 15. The things she uses has changed dramatically. She wasn't readay to part with some sentimental stuffed animals, but a few did leave. We found outgrown clothes, old dance costumes that wouldn't fit, lots of junk and trinkets that have no meaning to her any longer.

In the pile of stuff was a Build A Bear gift card with a balance of $2.74. She didn't even care about the money, but I thought snowflake! I listed it yesterday for sale on

Text is and Link is for $2.45. It already sold! I'm eligible for $2.08, which I request as a check since it was under the $5 minimum for PayPal and I didn't really want to add my checking account information. It was a great experience. I highly recommend!

In decluttering our basement earlier this year my husband let go of lot of old Army uniforms, boots and so forth. I sold a good majority of it on eBay probably netting about $270! See? Decluttering pays!!

If you want to see what I've been up to as far as decluttering and organizing don't forget to stop by my other blog
Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend.

Have you ever found anything while decluttering that 'paid' you money? Have you sold gift cards online?

Ibotta Cash Out

February 5th, 2015 at 08:45 pm

Ibotta, a rebate app, requires a $10 minimum in order to cash out. I reached $10.75 today after getting a $1 rebate for something my husband bought. I debated about just cashing out for the even $10, but decided I didn't want to leave any money on the table, so I cashed out for my entire balance.

It does seem to take awhile to accumulate likely because I'm not always buying what they have rebates for. I do find Ibotta better than Checkout 51. With Checkout 51, the minimum to cash out is $20! I only have a balance of $11.25. I have a ways to go. This week the only thing I likely could get a rebate for is $0.25 for carrots or salad mix. If I decide to buy a cereal they have offered I could add another $1. Again...slow earnings.

The money for my Ibotta cash out was instant to my PayPal account. No waiting at all! I'm leaving it there to see if my Swagbucks money is deposited today or tomorrow. If so, I can make just one transfer instead of two.

We got our dishwasher part today! I just ordered it yesterday (paying only for standard shipping). It clearly was breaking apart and we do think it is quieter, just not quite as quiet as I was remembering or expecting. No regrets on the part change out which took about 25 minutes at the most from start to finish. I'm just hoping there isn't another issue. Smile

We spent just over $20 for some home maintenance items at Menard's today. Stain and poly spray for a door we are cleaning up, iron out for a stain around our water heater. grout for a small area that needs to be filled in our master bathroom, and some magic erasers (trying to clean up my laundry tub).

I'm thankful that we don't have big repairs to take care of. We will need caulk for some areas around the house. We will wait on that until it gets warmer. We will also be doing some painting (just touch ups), but we have all the paint we need for those!

Do you use a rebate shopping app? Which one do you like? Anyone else doing any home maintenance?

Cashed Out

February 5th, 2015 at 03:29 am

I cashed out for $25 from Swagbucks into my PayPal account. It has arrived pretty quickly in the past, so I hope this time will be the same! Since that is a snowflake I will apply it to the credit card balance we are working on.

I could apply the money to the dishwasher part we ordered today. We are now pretty sure that the drain pump is causing all of our noise issues. We ordered one online for $52 (shipping included) that will arrive on Thursday. It seems we live fairly close to the company shipping it!

If it doesn't solve the problem, we will be able to return it and pay to ship it back for a refund. I'm pretty sure that is the correct fix. I suppose if it isn't than it may be time to call someone in. It runs and cleans fine. It is just loud! And it hasn't always been loud, so something isn't right. I want if functioning correctly before we list our home, so it is a non issue for the buyers.

My husband was home yesterday and we tackled quite a few maintenance and repair items. I have a blog post on

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend that will be up at 6 AM Central Time on Thursday that tells more about what we have been working on. Including some that I thought would take much longer than I expected!

Have you ever repaired your own dishwasher? Are you a Swagbucks member? If not,
Text is here's my referral link and Link is
here's my referral link. Be sure to read an older post that will give you a few
Text is tips on how to earn and Link is
tips on how to earn Swagbucks!

Saving Water and More

February 2nd, 2015 at 10:04 pm

As we get our house ready to sell, we are doing a few repairs around the house. One item we need to take care of is a loud noise our dishwasher makes several times during its cycle. The dishwasher still works and gets the dishes clean.

Since, I like to save money, my first instinct is to try to troubleshoot the problem myself. I found the manual today which didn't exactly point me to the fix, but provided me with some very enlightening information! The 'light wash' setting that I always use to save water actually uses MORE water than the 'normal wash' my husband tends to choose. I even get irritated with him when I notice he has chosen that setting. Now I will not because it will be saving us 4.3 gallons of water per cycle. If you like specifics, our dishwasher uses 7.6 gallons of water on the 'light wash' setting and 3.3 gallons on the 'normal wash' setting. I am shocked at the difference!

After some looking online for a remedy to our dishwasher noise problem, we have decided to try the cheapest route first. We will install a 5/8" O ring to the water inlet valve that attaches to the spray arm on the top basket. There currently isn't one there and seems to have been the fix for several people online. I'm not sure if we ever had one, but it there is a groove in the plastic indicated one should be there. If this ends up being the fix it will cost us a mere $2.

In addition to figuring out the dishwasher problem, we installed four puck lights under our kitchen cabinets. We have a pretty dark kitchen with dark wood and counter tops positioned in the northeast part of our home. While the overhead lighting is sufficient most of the time, we felt a little extra lighting would be helpful and a small selling point in some cases. The light set (for six lights) was about $35. We made quite a mess this morning to complete it, but it was well worth it! At least I will get to enjoy the lights for a short while before we move.

Do you know how many gallons each of your dishwasher settings use? Are you using the setting that uses the least amount of water? Do you have an under cabinet lighting in your kitchen?

Skipping the Fundraiser and A Repair

January 28th, 2015 at 06:05 pm

We got another band fundraiser! Twenty five percent of the profits go to the child's band or choir trip fund. In the three years we have been in this district and participated in the fundraisers we have earned $80 for my daughter's trip. Glad to have it, but it doesn't add up fast at all.

It seems most of the sales have been to my parents or my husband's coworkers. Since my husband's last week of work here is THIS week (and we only found out today), there is no point in selling to them. My parents don't need more stuff and would probably rather give straight to my daughter for souvenirs (not that they even need to do that). So we are skipping it completely. So much simpler really!

I'm waiting for the furnace repair people to call sometime today. Our furnace has decided to shut down once or twice a day since Saturday. We can always get it back on by turning the thermostat off and then back on. A service person was here Monday afternoon but since it was working they were not 100% sure of the fix. We decided to wait and look for some codes that appear on the unit when it fails to help diagnose the issue. Well we have those codes, so hopefully once someone comes the issue can be fixed.

Has your furnace been working this season? Are you a believer in fundraisers or not?

I issued a challenge on

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend to declutter 15 items today. Join in!

Random Thoughts on our Money

January 2nd, 2015 at 03:16 pm

First, I'm a little slow on my 2015 goals, just like The Deacon's Wife. I will get there. Officially the first paycheck for 2015 isn't until mid month for us, so we have time.

Yesterday our only spending was $5 at the gas station, but we used a gift card to pay for that little soda splurge. We needed a pick me up during our filing cabinet purging. I have a post on that at

Text is Your Organized Friend. and Link is
Your Organized Friend.

Today we expect to get haircuts and shop for a calendar for my youngest daughter. I want a calendar too, but not sure if it is a need. I do use it to notice when dates are but tend to record most things on my online calendar.

We also plan to go to the music store today or this weekend. We have a credit with them after purchasing the most recent flute. It is $157. Equal to 10% of our purchase price. It must be used in January. It going to be a shopping spree at the music store! Some of it will go to purchasing music we know we need, but the rest is up for grabs. I'll let you know what we end up with. Smile

I'm close to getting enough Swagbucks to redeem for $25 in PayPal cash. I decided to go for the cash for awhile, so I can put that money directly toward two credit cards we are paying off. The each have about an $800 balance (no worries, no interest accruing). I should have them paid off in a few short months, or tomorrow if I decide to just use cash on hand!

The CD we have with NFCU is 5% interest on our $5000 balance. We earned almost as much interest on that money last month, as we did on nearly $35K in our money market. I do regret I didn't get some of that money invested into a CD two years ago. With an upcoming move, and the intention of using some of it towards the next down payment I will wait to do anything.

Do you use a wall or other paper calendar? Or just digital? Do you have paper to purge? What is the highest interest rate you are earning on your savings?

Ending the Year

December 31st, 2014 at 08:00 pm

2014 has been a great year. We were and are all well. We got to visit with family and friends numerous times. Financially, we continued to invest and pay down debt. Again, a very good year!

Today, the last day of the year, I managed to close my Discover Checking account. I got the bonus, I don't need it any more. I also emailed Chase to close my husband's Chase Freedom account. We haven't used that in months and don't expect to. Most importantly, I paid the bills!

I packed away some of the Christmas decorations. Before I put the items that were out back in the bins, I made sure to pull out the few things that did not get put out this year so that could be donated. I even went as far as pulling some glitter star ornaments that I was given several years back OFF the tree so I could donate them. Every year when they come out, I hesitate about putting them on, but then we do anyway. This time they are going BEFORE the next Christmas.

I made sure to get to Goodwill today to drop off my final bag of donations for the year. I got my receipt, although I likely won't qualify to take the deduction. That is okay. I'm more excited about less stuff!!

I also made the final grocery shopping trip for the year. I was able to go about three days longer than planned because of all the leftovers from Christmas. We had half a pumpkin pie that I finally had to toss today. It has been a week in the fridge, and I decided it was too late to freeze. And since we weren't interested in eating it it was time to go.

We will stay in to celebrate New Year's Eve and Day as a family. We will play board and card games tonight. Maybe a movie. We will eat lots of snack type foods, including fresh vegetables and fruits! Tomorrow I hope we can all do a little work to put away our Christmas trees. I also secretly hope to get my husband to go through some papers that I think can be recycled or shredded. He does know about them, so it won't be a big surprise.

After the New Year, I hope to write more about our finances in 2014 and our goals going forward. I just haven't had time to think about all of those yet!

Are there certain tasks that you do at the end or beginning of each year? How will you celebrate New Years?

Happy New Year Saving Advice!

Oops! Low On Gifts

December 19th, 2014 at 01:34 pm

My youngest daughter asked me a couple days ago if it was too late to ask for a Wii game for Christmas. I said it might be. I was pretty sure I was done with all my shopping.

Quite a few of her gifts, primarily T shirts, were still to arrive in the mail. Yesterday, the last package arrived. And then I began wondering if I had semi equivalent gifts for my girls. I made a list of what I had and what I spent. I even had to open some gifts I had already wrapped! It turns out I had spent $175 on my oldest and $110 on my youngest. I budget for about $150 each. I was within budget, but a little off on the equality.

In the end I found two Wii games for about $15 each. One at Target. And the other on eBay that should arrive on Wednesday.

I think she will be pleased with a couple of new games. And I'm glad it came up so I could reevaluate what she was getting.

Today I will wrap and rewrap the gifts I opened! I did end up needing to buy a roll of wrapping paper. I used up all the leftover wrapping we had left.

Other money tidbits: I did get the $200 bonus from US Bank, my PayPal money from Swagbucks arrived quickly, I tried my Bing reward code again and it worked!

Have you realized at the last minute you were low on gifts for a child?

I've been writing over at

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend this past month about holiday preparations and making lists. Please come check it out, and don't forget you can sign up for updates by email. I don't get or see that information, so you are anonymous!

Paychecks Stabilized

November 23rd, 2014 at 03:50 pm

Finally. My husband's promotion was in September. The pay took a few weeks to catch up and thus had back pay. I finally know what each paycheck will look like. I can start making some plans on how to allocate the money. That makes this math geek happy!

We have $500 deposited to US Bank once a month. It was a requirement of their checking account bonus offer. We should meet the requirement soon and get $200. Once that money is firm, I will cancel the $500 deposit. I don't need money going into all sorts of accounts for no reason! (Although, I'm remembering that it might be nice to have a bank branch when we go to sell the house...I'll ponder that before I make changes.)

I've done some more Christmas tasks and decluttering this weekend. I've written about it over on

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend. Remember to scroll down and read any posts you may have missed.

Christmas Purchase

November 16th, 2014 at 12:22 am

We have stayed home today, since snow is falling and causing accidents on roads. I made sure to purchase groceries for the week yesterday with the intention of staying home this weekend.

Of course, just because I'm home doesn't mean no spending. Thanks to the internet I was able to purchase one of the bigger gifts for my daughter on eBay. It currently sells new for about $177 on Amazon. I was able to get one in nearly new for $130, which included shipping. I'm definitely pleased about that.

I put the charge on my new Southwest Rapids Rewards Plus card that arrived in the mail yesterday. All new purchases will be applied to this card to meet the $2K spending requirement. I have already put gas ($40) and one of my grocery runs ($25) on the card, too.

I'm discussing my Christmas planning and tasks completed on

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend. I think I have about seven posts you can check out (make sure to scroll down to see them all). The goal is to get some things complete early so that I'm less stressed in December. I think it is going to work!

Are you done shopping for Christmas? Have you started at all?


October 29th, 2014 at 02:37 pm

Wow! I wasn't expecting it to actually happen, but one of the commanders actually reimbursed my husband for refreshments purchased on his behalf nearly two months ago. The outgoing commander still owes us $75 and that was mentioned to him yesterday.

I have deposited the check, and will make a payment in the same amount to the Wells Fargo Amex card where we just put the tire and brake purchase. It's true I could call it a snowflake, but I think we are good on that goal and this is money we wouldn't have spent if given the choice. Fingers crossed we get the $75.

I did discuss with my husband that these commanders should pay up front for costs of their own refreshments. It isn't right for lower ranking officers or soldiers to pay and wait to be reimbursed. He agreed and may do a better job handling it in the future!

I was able to eliminate quite a few things in my To File pile yesterday. Some recycled, most shredded. The rest needs to be put away in our main filing cabinet. That should take less than 10 minutes to complete later today.

One blog I'm following indicated today was the day to purge nail polish. I only wear it on my toes in the summer, so I have two bottles I trade between. Both were good last I used them. So that task can be considered complete!

Are you purging anything this fall? Are you donating or selling? Do you often have to wait for reimbursements? Do you have a way of keeping your paper files in check?

Less Mortgage Debt

October 28th, 2014 at 01:10 pm

The $250 Citi Thank You reward check was applied to our mortgage late last week! Today, I also sent in another $18 in extra funds (snowflakes) to reduce the balance even further. That money was from one Pinecone Survey check and three $5 Target gift cards.

The mortgage balance is now $X16,512.76. This means just $1,512.76 left to pay down before the end of the year to meet our goal. We are right on track or even ahead of schedule.

Once we meet the actual goal amount, I will stop sending snowflakes to the mortgage. I will need to use these to offset some big purchases of late, primarily car maintenance. And there's that flute we still need to purchase. We have also been buying some new uniform items for my husband due to his promotion. Just last night I ordered a new service cap to go with his ASU (dress uniform) to the tune of $105! This stuff adds up, so I need to get some of this cash back into the bank.

I have a bid on one item on eBay, so another small snowflake will arrive before the end of the month, although I may count it towards November. I also redeemed MyPoints for a Panera Bread gift card. If I use that for an outing with friends, I will match it with mortgage funds.

If you have the Discover card, remember that online purchases for the quarter earn 5% cash back. I luckily remembered this when I ordered the service cap and some vitamins online yesterday?

What is your most recent snowflake? Are you using a cash back card for your online purchases? Are you nearing a goal you made at the beginning of the year

I've got a new post at

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend, with a little more decluttering I got done yesterday.

The Refund

October 24th, 2014 at 12:03 am

The flute we bought on eBay has been returned, received and payment refunded. However, it doesn't yet show on my credit card. On PayPal, it says it could take up to 30 day! Wow, that is a really long time. Luckily, there is no interest accruing on the card I used. It may show up in another day or two, at least that is what I hope!

I claimed my third $5 gift card at Target this week for purchasing $15 worth of personal care products. In all I bought six packages of feminine products (two types), two tubes of toothpaste, two deodorant sticks, and two cans of shaving cream. I think we are stocked up through the end of the year! Two gift cards have been used, the third will be used tomorrow when I get a few more items for our guests. All gift cards will be matched with a principal payment to the mortgage. Smile

I've been doing some

Text is fall tasks and Link is
fall tasks and
Text is purging a few areas and Link is
purging a few areas of the house. I wrote all about it over at Your Organized Friend, my other blog.

Sad and Good News

October 8th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

My very good friend from high school learned yesterday that her mother died suddenly. It was likely a heart attack. She was 63. My heart just breaks for my friend and her whole family. I know they will miss her so much.

The good news is financial. My husband's pay increase and back pay since September 1 for his promotion seem to have been processed. The check next week is much much bigger than usual. Unfortunately, I won't be able to see the specifics on the pay stub for two weeks, since their is only one pay stub per month.

I also have one bid on an item I relisted. And someone is watching another item. Would love them both to sell!

I did get magazines decluttered yesterday, but no new posts have been written on Your Organized Friend. I pull three recipes from the magazines and recycled them. I still have three I'm holding on to, since they have a lot of recipes I'm interested in. The blogs I'm following for the challenge indicate the the junk drawer and car should be decluttered for today. I might just be able to get those done. Smile

Any tips on how to support a very good friend while she processes the death of her mother? I'm hours away. I expect likely lots of talking over the next days, weeks and months to come.

eBay Sale & Decluttering

October 6th, 2014 at 01:45 pm

I sold an item on eBay over the weekend. The net profit was $23.79. Two of the items listed didn't sell, so they have been relisted and I added another one.

I really want to be decluttering this month, but I did only get to the entry way last week. I wrote a little more about the topic and some areas I may consider on

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend.

We are busy this month with band events and guests. It is quite enough to keep up with that, but I will do my best to dig in and find some things we no longer need. Maybe there will be more items to list on eBay!

The biggest thing I need to remind myself is that looking for things to purge only takes a few minutes each day. I'm sure I can find 10 minutes even if I have all these guests and things to get done.

In other financial news, our mortgage payment for October had $474.64 in principal reduction. Plus, we automatically send in $103.72 towards principal each month as well.

Have you sold anything recently? Do you consider October a good month to purge and declutter? I'd love to hear about any decluttering or purging you do, and even how long it took you!

Band Day

October 4th, 2014 at 03:26 pm

We have another band competition to attend today. It is so cold and windy here, I'm not really looking forward to it. My phone's weather app thinks it is snowing, but it is dry and sunny. Strange.

We will spend $19 to get in. The admission is a fundraiser for our band program so taht makes me feel better about it. I have the cash already to go and accounted for.

I did hit Target yesterday for groceries and a few needed items like coffee, toilet paper and dishwasher detergent. My bill was around $60, which seemed like way to much, but I really didn't buy anything more than needs. I might have spent a little less if our guests in town for tonight weren't coming, but I did refrain from lots of extras.

I did get one post up on

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend about decluttering the Entry Way. The blog I'm following indicates Mail and the Living Room are the next two areas to cover. With our plans today, I will not get to those until at least tomorrow.

What is the weather in your area of the country? Are you running your heat like I am?

Tracking Spending

October 3rd, 2014 at 02:59 pm

I'm attempting to track our spending for this pay period. I try to keep our basic spending to $1000 for groceries, gas, entertainment, flute lessons, and miscellaneous for each half of the month. I'm trying to determine if this is realistic. It seems it should be, but I'm using October to see how we do.

If I include two flute lessons that haven't yet happened and admission to quite a few band events for the next 10 days, we have spent $445 out of the $1000. This doesn't make me feel too great to already be at that point, but I will do the best we can to stay around that mark.

I will do the same thing again later in October as well. There are at least two birthdays I need to buy for late in the month, two road trips, two oil changes, and who knows what else!

I will be going to the store to get food for the weekend. We're having guests, but I think I have a good simple food plan for the two meals they will eat with us. I need to get toilet paper, dish detergent, and coffee also.

We were given two family movies on DVDs that we can watch for entertainment this weekend, so hopefully no Amazon rentals needed. I think we can avoid food at the band event based on the time of day. If my youngest thinks she will want something, I will have her bring her own money or at least a snack from the cupboard. I think we will stay in on Saturday night and watch our home football team play. We still have beer left from last weekend.

I think I'm going to start blogging over at

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend this month, as there is a series called 31 Days to a Clutter Free home on the LivingWellSpendingLess website. I will just follow along with it. I'm two days behind, but I think I can commit to checking most days off the list. It seems like a good time of year to declutter BEFORE the holidays. It still often needs to be done after too, but if I do some before it will help lesson the need in January.

Do you check in on your true spending habits occasionally? Are you keeping your spending down right now for a particular goal? Are you interested in decluttering this month, before the holidays?

Two Soups

September 25th, 2014 at 03:24 pm

I'm making two soups/stews for our party. I made traditional chili using the famous Better Homes & Garden cookbook. I'm also making a Moroccan Lentil Soup in case anyone doesn't want to do the chili. I love both personally.

I prechopped green pepper, onion and carrots yesterday, which made getting started on the soups today VERY easy. In fact, as of 10 am this morning they are done!

We purchased alcohol and beverages last night. I did find a rebate on the rum, but that was it. We very likely bought more than needed, but decided it would get used eventually, and it could make an excuse for another gathering!

I will buy salad ingredients today. I also think I will make the corn bread later today as well. I feel pretty good about getting ready for the party. I also think one of the wives wants to come over early in case I need help. I will let her. I can have her help me get food into containers and put plates and cups out. And it will be fun! If she doesn't end up coming, it will be no big deal. Smile

I will do my kitchen floor cleaning first thing in the morning. It will needed it after all my baking and food prep.

I did complete a Pinecone survey a day or two ago. The credit to my account has been redeemed for cash.

What is your favorite soup to eat or make?

The Tissue Tracking Begins

September 10th, 2014 at 09:50 pm

Since I recently made a large purchase of tissues, I thought I'd at least make a note of the purchase and the total number of tissue boxes in our home as of this date.

On September 5, 2014 I purchased 24 boxes of Puffs Ultra Soft tissues for $21.68. This was purchased with an Amazon gift card obtain from Southwest Rapids Rewards Visa. Shipping was included or free with our Amazon Prime membership.

Prior to this purchase I already had 7 unopened boxes of tissues being stored in our home, along with several opened boxes of tissues. One of those recently was used up and discarded.

The current tissue status is as follows:
5 opened boxes of tissues
30 boxes of unopened tissues

I have stored 6 boxes in my new laundry cabinets, 10 boxes in the linen closet near my daughter's bathroom, 6 boxes in the garage entry closet, 7 boxes in my bathroom under the counter, and one box in the basement bathroom.

The tracking begins! What I really want to know is when we finish the last box of tissues, or at least no longer have 30 boxes stored. This will give me an idea of the average amount of tissues we use in a given period of time. Smile

Amazon Spending

September 8th, 2014 at 08:29 pm

I bought 24 boxes of Puffs tissues last week on Amazon. I believe they arrive tomorrow. I'm interested to see how big of a box that is!!

Last night, I finally remembered to reorder my daughter's allergy medicine. Generic Zyrtec, 365 pills for $17.25 shipped in two days with our Prime Membership. I hate to admit but her bottle we bought quite awhile back expired in May! It seemed to still be working, but I'd like her to get the full effect of unexpired medicine.

Those purchases were made with Amazon gift cards that were redeemed with points on our Southwest Rapids Rewards Visa. So since it was free to us on purchases anyway, I made an equal payment to our mortgage. The amount was $38.93. Less debt!!

Have you ever purchased 24 boxes of tissues at one time?!

Check out the junk I got rid of at

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend.

No Procrastinating Today!

September 4th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Today I am going to get those new accounts open and funded. I procrastinated yesterday and hoped to talk a little more about it with DH. In the end, he really doesn't care what I do. Smile

Once I get the accounts up and running, they have a combined potential to earn us $500! Can't complain about that kind of money.

I was procrastinating on filling my laundry cabinets yesterday too. However, I finally got myself moving and did make some progress. I have a post on

Text is Your Organized Friend and Link is
Your Organized Friend. Again, progress. Not completion yet.

Have you been procrastinating anything lately?

The Other Blog and Weekend Spending

September 2nd, 2014 at 02:23 pm

I'm back blogging over at Your Organized Friend again. I basically took the summer off. It is a bit difficult to be engaged with your kids, diving in to big projects and photographing and writing about them when they are at home a majority of the time.

Text is Today's post and Link is
Today's post is about our new laundry cabinets. We installed them on Friday and it really went well getting them mounted up on the wall.

The cabinets cost us just under $400. I think the knobs were another $16. We ended up renting a compound miter saw for $17 (for four hours...only needed it for one) to cut the crown moulding. We did attempt to use our plastic miter box, but it was too flexible to make the cuts precise. We also attempted to tack the moulding with nails and hammer, but the wood is so hard that it took a lot of pounding and too many bent nails. We bought a brad nailer and nails for $32, after our military discount at Lowe's.

Considering that the only storage in this laundry room was a cabinet under the sink, we think the expense of less than $500 makes a big difference in the functionality of the laundry room. It is true we could have put up shelving for far less, but for this type of home, the cabinets made the most sense. They match the kitchen cabinets that are in the next room. I may even use a little bit of the space to store some kitchen items that currently don't have a place in my kitchen.

Our weekend was a little spendy even in addition to the tools we purchased/rented. My husband and I rewarded ourselves with lunch out on Friday when we successfully hung the cabinets. We traveled 5+ hours back to our home state to meet our foster niece. We went our for ice cream during our visit, and purchased pizza and bread sticks for nine people. Obviously, we needed fuel for the van, which did result in a couple snack purchases. There was also one lunch on the road, too.

We proceeded to buy more pizza on our return home, since we didn't have much food in the house or the energy to grocery shop until yesterday. The groceries, including toilet paper, contact solution, batteries, and deodorant, were $155. I also made a shopping trip to get workout capri's since I was done to one pair. I spent $32 on those.

So...not our best weekend from a money standpoint, but it was good to visit family, meet the cutest 8 year old girl, and get some projects and tasks completed.

Did you save or spend this holiday weekend? What was the best part of your weekend?


August 13th, 2014 at 08:24 pm

I balanced our checkbook today after our statement closed for the month. I did actually miss recording a small payment (less than $10) this past month. At least the bill was still paid! My check book is an online Excel register program that I found free online. I don't have the link for it, but I did a quick search and see there are still options out there. Be careful to pick one that has good ratings and reviews, so you don't download a virus.

For the past two months, I have charged our Verizon bill to my US Bank Cash+ card. One of the categories I chose for this quarter was 5% back for cell phone providers. Considering our bill is fairly high, this is a nice little discount off the bill. This month the rewards were $12.31. I redeem the rewards in full for a credit and paid the remaining amount. I consider the rewards a snowflake and will match the amount with a payment to the mortgage.

My Citi Thank You rewards card has already closed on the first statement. I have not had the card long at all. Although long enough to rack up $260 in charges, the bulk of that was for electricity and a flute maintenence repair bill.

I helped at school yesterday afternoon and this morning. Band camp has begun and uniforms are being fitted. I'm helping to hem pants. It feels like a quilting bee type of event with several ladies hand sewing in one place! I did mention my wedding gown donation to a few women. One told me today she keeps thinking about it and will likely donate her dress as well. So cool!

Do you balance your checkbook anymore? Anyone still using pen and paper? Anyone else getting rewards on cell phone charges? Do you know how to sew?

Citi Thank You Card Arrived

August 9th, 2014 at 06:21 pm

The Citi Thank You Preferred credit card arrived in the mail yesterday. I activated them today. We need to spend $1500 in 3 months to receive 20,000 points which is equal to $200 in gift cards and cash equivalents.

Each time we get a new card, I have to swap out the one we have been using. This time we pulled our Wells Fargo American Express cards out. I instructed my husband to use it for everything except gas since we are using the Chase Freedom card for 5% back on gas stations through the end of September. He will also use the Target Red Card if he buys anything at Target. He is such a good sport to play along with the credit card game. He does sometimes forget which card to use and ends up using the wrong one, but overall it isn't a big deal. As long as I keep the debt we carry to zero from month to month, he's happy!

In other news, I washed my silk wedding dress in cold water and woolite this morning. I cleaned out our basement bathtub first and did three rinses with cold water. Now the dress is drying over the tub. I don't expect it to shrink since it won't be in the dryer. As I wrote earlier in the week, it will get mailed to Helping Hands to be made into angel gowns.

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