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Archive for October, 2006

Halloween Scrooge

October 31st, 2006 at 03:07 pm

This has been a crazy, exhausting day all around. My "goals" list should read "wishful thinking." And I battled the cold off, but it left me really, really tired. I spent the day running errands for other people and animals. Now Hubby calls stuck in construction traffic about to miss his haircut....and he's going out of town....

I think we'll just not do Halloween this year. The only thing we really do is give out candy to the little ones. After going through the religious debates several times, we decided on no decorations or celebrations, but we have a neighborhood that people drop their kids off into because it is safe and nice to kids. So we don't want to disappoint the little ones and have a ball seeing the cute costumes. But I think that I am just going to be a scrooge and rest this evening. I feel like road kill. Besides, we contributed a costume for our ladybug DD for her party this weekend. She was darn cute in that thing.

Paid some bills while on the road. Got some more to finish tomorrow, then I am through for this paycheck. Nice to see it all on the spreadsheet in black and white. Hubby showed me how to put "comments" on the numbers so I can pull up what on earth something is for-- like the pet meds. under pets. Will help me know exactly what each number represents. I like that idea. Not just a column of random numbers. After about 30 minutes, I wouldn't remember what that number was for without a way of notating it. There sure is a lot I don't know about computers!

Stay safe this Halloween!

On Their Own...

October 30th, 2006 at 02:31 pm

It is a bittersweet moment when one of the grown younguns leaves to go "home." DD left to go back to school today, and I do feel a tug each time. But she is really maturing fast and I am happy for her.

Going to have leftovers tonight. I need to peruse the freezer and pantry to see what's in there for the week. We used up extra grocery money last week for some reason and we still have two weeks to go in our month. So I need to get creative. Peanut butter, anyone?

Got DS's old credit card bill in the mail. The one that I was targeting now to pay off. Seems the little rascal is using it again. Not for much, though. I have decided that I will monitor it for 3 months and let him know that I am cutting this one out. So that gives him time to figure out how to pay for those little things he puts on it. I will instead target a card that Hubby hasn't used in forever. That balance has been dropping quite nicely, so I think I will pay if off instead. We'll keep this one because we've had it a long time and it's connected to the credit union. It will be so easy to pay extra on it because the new branch is just down the road aways.

I now believe that paying off these things is much more fun than using them. Did I just say that?


October 29th, 2006 at 12:55 pm

I know you can catch a computer virus on this thing, but a cold? I don't have them but once every three years or so, so after everyone on the forum started getting sick....I have to laugh cos I caught it.

Hubby is going to do Sunday grilling again this week and banana splits. So I really can just rest right now. I just hope I don't give it to my DD home for the weekend. She's off to a friend's now and that's probably good. Maybe I'll get over the sneezies by the time dinner rolls around and she returns.

Been a spendy weekend. Hubby is off for groceries and my meds. Both on a budget and on a list, so we'll be okay. Got to plan my Thanksgiving a little more carefully this year to accommodate the budget. Usually, I just go nuts and do and buy everything.

Got so many things spinning around in my head, that I haven't made much progress on anything. Maybe if I made lists like my budget, I could get focused. One of these days, I worry I will have to make lists of my lists. Are there any other list makers out there? How do you keep it all straight? Perhaps I will use categories like my budget ones and just elaborate.

Oh well, gonna go drink more lemon water and think positive thoughts.....

Jingle Bells

October 28th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

Now you guys have done it. I've begun Christmas shopping. Actually, I am really excited about it. Got a spreadsheet for Christmas budget and have already reorganized my boxes and paper and ribbon. I have bought a couple of things and have made a list of ideas. This is weird. The only time I have done it this early was the year my DS was born and I had it done by that summer. That was a looonnnggg time ago.

DD came home for a Halloween party. She went as a ladybug and her girl pal went as a martini. They were so cute.

Spent some money today. Have turned Hubby onto the used bookstore. He still doesn't use the library, but I'm working on that. He just doesn't really like hardbacks. But we bought several books at the used store. I also went and bought some things to make a couple of gifts. So most of our buying was frugal. It's funny to hear him now. He now wants to save so much to add to retirement, he is pushing for us to learn to save more. So I guess we will have a two-pronged plan. I will be paying down the debt, while he keeps me on the path of saving. Will be doing both to satisfy each other. At least it is progress in both directions!

DD has an opportunity to go to France next summer with a teacher and group. Wow, last year DS was supposed to go to England and Austria to play music, but he got sick right before the trip. The cool thing is that DD is starting to tighten up her spending and her budget so she can save us some money and be able to go. If we hadn't gotten on the bandwagon this early, there would have been no way. But it just might be doable if we keep trying. I sure hope so. It would be a victory for us as well as for her. We are working together and that is awesome. She just really can't take the time to work this semester and we are really happy with the time she is putting into her schoolwork. So working together, we just might pull this off. She is making her Christmas gifts this year, also. She is so creative, I will probably get ideas from her. Now, I am planning to head on over to a couple of thrift stores I have found.....

Kid on the way.....

October 27th, 2006 at 02:53 pm

DD is heading here as we speak. She is going to a Halloween party this weekend. Can't believe October is almost gone.
On the financial side, the money for that 1100 credit thingy from Hubby's company FINALLY came through today. So I will be sending that off and getting that off my mind.
Filing away receipts for the last couple of months, I looked back over July and August, too. I couldn't believe how few receipts there are for October. We sure have cut back on spending. Hard to believe, but there it was in black and white, so to speak. How cool.
Hubby's physical from the plant said that his blood sugar and cholesterol were up for the first time. So I guess I will definitely follow up on the idea of giving away all that cookie dough. Knowing him, he'll change drastically and nip it in the bud. I wish I had that self-control.
The three envelopes I am funding are going well. One is for workboots, another for a new water dispenser thingy since we have to have bottled water--you don't want to drink our tap stuff--and one for a baseball game for Hubby next year. I keep promising him I'll go with him to see a game. So far, I've been consistent with putting money in every month. I like this new way of doing things. Guess you CAN teach an old dog....


October 26th, 2006 at 01:28 pm

Okay, so I'm cleaning out the fridge and in the chocolate stash I find--part of a dark chocolate Easter bunny. I know as a kid we didn't get much candy so instead of eating it all real quick like my DB, I made it last and last and last. Easter to Halloween and vice versa. Most of the time, I had to throw stuff out. Wonder what happened to me. I need to go back to that making it last stuff. DB now is very frugal with everything. It's like we switched bodies. Oh well, I tested the bunny. He tasted good. So in the spirit of non-wasting frugality--I ate em.


October 25th, 2006 at 05:24 pm

I totally BLEW UP the daily budget for the next Uh....three days at least! All the stuff I did was in the total budget, but I don't spend so much in one day! I have been holding on to my money with both hands and it literally made me upset to have to spend so much in one day. Oh well, I haven't gone over budget yet so I should relax a bit. It is going to rain for the next two days anyway and here it downpours. At least 2 inches expected. So I probably won't go out anyway. I don't melt, but when you have to change your pants cos they are wet up to your knees when you go out, you just don't mess with it unless you have to. I gave up on umbrellas with this stuff and just wear hooded coats. I got a couple of inexpensive new bake pans cos I gave half of my stuff away to DD when she moved out. I am so forgetful, I keep looking for things I don't have. If I am going to continue baking, I will need them. I think I might try a homemade pizza this weekend. You guys say the bread machine makes good dough, so I am going to try it.
Also had to get Hubby's most expensive medication today. And a couple of things I forgot this week like cat food. And a heater for DD's room to take the chill off cos our heat doesn't work yet and she is coming home for a Halloween party. She said she is going to be a ladybug. Picture a 20 year old ladybug. This I got to see.
I can't believe that in 2 months I am going nuts when I spend money. What a good change that is....Pun intended.

Sew what....

October 24th, 2006 at 04:14 pm

I've been trying to learn how to sew--again. I come from a long line of terrific sewing ladies. I have my great grandmother's machine sitting right here, though I've never tried to use it. My mother has a couple of her quilts. She also has a fabulous quilt by another great grandmother that won top honors in her state fair several years in a row. Grandmother sewed most all the clothes she wore. Mom made hers and mine, even a beautiful winter coat for me. She professionally reupholstered her furniture and made her curtains. Her cousin, a couple of years ahead of me, made her clothes, even her prom dresses. She sews professionally out of her home. My best friend in high school made her clothes. My friend when I moved here inherited a sewing machine and I showed her how to thread it. That's all I knew. She was well on the way to making quilts when she moved. My SIL makes her own curtains, pillows, and house stuff. I tried to learn--several times. Starting in junior high Home Ec., I could bake like crazy. But I was all thumbs sewing. Mom tried, but gave up cos I'd get so frustrated. I once bought a machine, but gave it away cos I was scared of it. Bought another one a few years ago. DD sewed on it. She taught me finally to not try so hard to be perfect. She just has fun. I took a quilting class with the friend who needed a warm body to fill the class. I never finished my project. But after seeing my DD have fun with sewing, I decided to try again. I started out ripping out everything cos it wasn't perfect. Then I decided to let it go. Enjoy it. So what if it isn't perfect. I can only learn by keeping on trying. I don't know how frugal it is now, but it sets me in a long line of frugal women who made their own stuff. Sew here I go.....

Another one bites the dust....

October 23rd, 2006 at 02:30 pm

Yipee! Already paid off DS's old gas card and closed the account. Since I started here, I targeted my DD's old gas card. Had a couple hundred balance and I have been saving the odd dollar in an account to pay it off. Last month I paid a bit less than half of it. Today, I got the bill and realized I had enough to pay it of totally. Going, going, gone! Couldn't wait. Wrote a check and ran that bad guy down to the post office and shot it off. This is an account I am going to close. Now, the target is my DS's old mastercard. He had one to buy recital music and stuff online and has an old music trip he took on it. I have just been too lazy to pay it off. It has about 1350 on it. It is now in my sights and on the bull's eye....

Fried coke?

October 22nd, 2006 at 02:19 pm

Well, we didn't get to the fair this weekend. I toyed with the idea cos this one costs to get in, but it is for charity. There is a more local one that's free this spring. And it is still rainy and raw. But what we wanted to go for was the food. The local one has all kinds of crazy homemade foodstuffs, and all week this one had a spot on the news with the newest crazes. They advertised buffalo (I've eaten that), elephant ears (sorta like funnel cakes), and something called fried coke (on a stick). Okay, I've eaten the fried oreos (too sweet), and seen the fried twinkies, but fried coke? It looked like it was in some kind of batter. Definitely will look for it this spring.
On the other hand, went to the library to return books. Note to self: you only save money if you return the books ON TIME. Found that I could access my account online so I will see if I can renew them that way. This library is not exactly on the way to many places I go, so I don't always get there.
Put 10 more dollars into my fund to eradicate one of my credit cards in November. The balance is about 135 and I've saved 110 so far. Can't wait to remove this one from the list.....


October 21st, 2006 at 09:53 am

My Hubby came in the door real sheepish yesterday toting two big tubs of--cookie dough. He'd ordered these from a coworker's kid way before our new Frugal Life. Then he told me he'd also bought gourmet popcorn from one of the cleaning staff in his office. He did order one tub the kind of cookies he thought I would like and I know he hates the smell of popcorn, so he did try to help them out by buying stuff he thought I would use. But the cost! Oh well, we laughed and tried to figure out where to put it in the budget. I hated to put it in groceries cos I wanted to track our ACTUAL groceries. And it wasn't charity cos we got an actual product. And we don't have a miscellaneous cos we could just dump everything in there. I said this was an OOPS. Hubby said put a category in there for OOPS! So we now have a category for "what was I thinking," or a category for "being the generous, shirt off my back kind of guy" he always has been. I'd rather he be the way he is. It's going to rain tomorrow. Maybe I'll make the Hubby some cookies....


October 20th, 2006 at 10:00 am

Hubby's company has a dumb way of doing things. I know that it has a reason, but it is driving me nuts. In September, someone who has access to my Hubby's corporate card number charged 1100+ of some seminar thingy that someone else went to on it. Someone in his group I think went, but Hubby had no idea this is what they were going to do with the card. The procedure is that it goes on a computer program that sends it off the be approved and the money put automatically in our bank account to pay for it. Which it never seems to get there in time. But I always thought it was cos Hubby just doesn't get around to it. Well, this charge went on in Sept. It is now a week past the due date on the credit card and no money. The guy who approves of it for him has been transferred to another part of the company in another city. And he didn't approve it yet. So Hubby calls around and finds where to send it and does so. A week later, still no money. It was kicked out unapproved. They said to get this guy to approve it. But he doesn't work here anymore! So I am sitting on an 1100 bill that I am supposed to pay and wait for them to decide to pay me? I don't think so. So I just called Hubby and he said that the guy was in the plant for the day and got him to approve it. It will now take another week to get the money cos they only put it in on Thursdays. Now, I really, really hope this card is not on my credit report! The new card came in the mail and I have to call to activate it. I think I'll just let it lie there. Hubby can use his mastercard and those people who have his number can figure out something else. This is so frustratinggggggg! I have been crazy over this before but it is usually a couple of hundred and something my Hubby has used on a business trip. Not someone else's stuff and 1100! Do they really think people can do that? Even though the money is going to be paid, that is a crazy thing to expect people to do! I am getting a headache.....

To Soda or Not To Soda...

October 19th, 2006 at 01:09 pm

I only drink diet soda, and only half to one a day. But I am beginning to question expenditures that are just sorta there. I cut out buying drinks out (I like fountain ones better) at almost 2.00 a drink to buying ones for home. Now, I am thinking this over. It could save me around $10 a month. And if I am going to put useless stuff in my body, I would much rather it be a cookie. I am back to making cookies from scratch. They don't cost as much and I can eat more than one and not ration them because of the cost. Hubby cut out his newspaper since we get the same news on TV and he gets the sports from the internet. That was $9 a month. It is a lot easier when someone else gives up something. I will still have my hot tea for the caffeine this winter. So my challenge for myself is not to buy any more soda when I go to the store. I am strong now, but when I start to crave something more than water, it could get ugly....

Soup's On!

October 18th, 2006 at 04:50 pm

Well, I did it. Used up some odds and ends here in the house and made a pot of soup. Been reading a lot here about soups and being frugal, and I remembered mom often had soup nite on Saturdays after we spent a long day out doing chores and stuff. But she usually didn't make her own, so I never thought much about it. So I got brave and tried it tonight. Found some whole wheat rolls in the freezer, too, and really enjoyed it all. And boy, am I full. This is going to be a regular thing for me, I think. Thanks to those who shared and those who answered all my questions about how to make soup! Also, found another way to keep from going out and spending money. For several days, my front tire has been low. Didn't want to drive on it til I filled it up. But it has been raining forever and I didn't want to go out to fill it in the pouring rain. So I just didn't go anywhere. And I've not spent any money in several days. So I guess it hasn't been such an inconvenience after all--the ole silver lining.....

What's new Pussycat?

October 17th, 2006 at 01:55 pm

I know, I know. I should have put the extra on credit debt. But I did put a little on it. The rest I put in a fund for birthday gifts. November has one and December has two. We average a birthday a month, so I wanted to be more prepared. And I like watching balances go up while credit balances go down. It is a bit like watching molasses flow, but it is a start. On the kitty side, DD sent the papers for her visiting kitty so I guess I need to add Lucy to the pet medical list in the budget. I already have her in the pet food part, but I will be taking her for her meds now. I know DD misses her and Lucy was great company last year for her, but now DD gets more studying and traveling done without the responsibility. I know kitty will go home to DD as soon as she is able to have her, meanwhile Hubby has fallen in love.....


October 16th, 2006 at 03:14 pm

Went to the bank in the monsoon today. Probably cracked up the teller. I deposited 7.50 in change in my Christmas Club account. And now.....drum roll....I met my goal on the Christmas Club two weeks early! Just meeting the goal was a touchdown. I have tried before to fund a Christmas account. Usually started after summer vacation and never was able to put away enough. After Hurricane Rita last year, the company gave Hubby a thank you gift for his part and long hours restoring the plants. So I used that money for Christmas. Decided that was definitely the way to go. So I tried really hard this year from the very beginning of the year. You can't imagine how big a deal this is for me. I met a bigger goal. Now, I've started a fund to replace the fence that got destroyed, and a fund for birthdays, and a fund for.....This is addictive. Okay, if I can just kick one of those credit cards balances through the goal posts....

Ark anyone?

October 15th, 2006 at 04:15 pm

Wow, it's been raining for hours and hours. Supposed to keep it up tomorrow, also. Good reason to stay indoors and save money. But hard to get things done cos it is a sit in the chair and read kind of day. Hubby is out of town today so I expect there will be a couple of expenses. But when I set up my new monthly budget for this month, I challenged myself and lowered the estimation just a smidge in a couple of categories. We'll see if we can stay within the guidelines. Especially with the holidays coming up. Our next month will end in the middle of November. Then, things should get real interesting! I have food included in my Christmas budget, but I found out this week that the kids are coming here for Thanksgiving this time, and I have no budget yet for that. So I will include that in next month's budget. And also water and stuff will go up cos everyone is here. I did see that I have a little bit extra left in the credit card category and I'm going to apply that to the credit card that we are targeting right now. It would be nice if one goes away faster than I thought. Just a small balance, but a big psychological boost. That's it for now. Just trying to stay above water....

Tally Ho!

October 14th, 2006 at 04:48 pm

Tally time! This is the end of our first month's budget. We decided to keep it from the 15th to 15th for various reasons--one of which is overlapping bills at the beginning of the month. They sometimes move depending on the length of the month, so we'd have some months with a bill at the end and some with the same bill at the beginning. Now, to review the figures and see the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good--we stuck to a budget! And our figures were pretty accurate for the categories. We adjusted a bit as we went along, but for the most part, we overestimated. That's way cool.

The bad--we didn't really apply too much extra this month to credit cards. We needed to get a feel for the spending and we set up categories for impending things like glasses and contacts, dental work, and the seemingly ever present auto repair bills. So credit didn't go down much this month.

The ugly--also set up a separate sheet for the credit cards to see the big picture. It isn't pretty.

All in all, we did better at this than we thought. But we realize that it is only the first month. Onward!


October 13th, 2006 at 01:16 pm

I am plum amazed at the sheer talent in such young adults. The jazz concert was awesome. My DS has been in it a long time and I get to see new faces every year. The amount of talent in these kids--whether music, art, academics, athletics, community service, everything--has me in awe of them and the future. Jazz music is a lot of improvisation--they make it up. Also, DS has friends who are awesome in their instrument, even getting PhDs, but they can't play jazz style. So, I am blown away at every kind of concert, knowing that there is so much in it that we don't realize. Some, like DS, can play different instruments and I've learned that most instruments are much harder than we realize because they make it look so easy. But I am particularly drawn to the jazz bands. They have such a good time with the music. It has been a real honor for my DS to have been picked to be a part of this program. And I have been truly blessed with being able to attend almost all of the performances. We got together with the kids in the family (both kids attend the same college for now and DIL teaches nearby) for dinner before we all went to the concert. It is a sobering moment to realize that DS will probably be several hours more away from us next year and these moments with them all telling us about themselves will be fewer. So I relished it all. I added a budget item to our budget, eating out with the kids. We used to go to so many different concerts with DS, but now it seems that at least once a month, we will be going to something with them all and I want to enjoy it and not worry about the money. So I am saving for one big meal a month with the kids wherever they all want to go. After the concert, we headed out so Hubby could get back to work. We had a couple of hours of driving to do. DS didn't catch on to the fact that we were not going to stay this time and eat dessert afterward. He called and was sweet, but sounded a little disapppointed we couldn't visit more. There have been lotsa times I have questioned my abilities to parent a child, but when your young adult WANTS to visit with you, your heart just melts.....

Jazzin it up

October 12th, 2006 at 08:51 am

Going to see my DS in a jazz concert tonight! Hubby is taking off to go with me cos he doesn't get to see many of them and DS is finishing his grad stuff this year I think. Besides, DS sometimes has a solo, arranges music, or even directs the band and doesn't tell us so we'll be surprised. So I don't want to miss it. But I'm also a bit sad cos I know he's almost through at this school and will be moving on. It's been a great ride. Since I was sick so much of his childhood, it was a gift from God that he was only a couple of hours away and that he invited me to everything. And he got to play music in everything! I even was invited to hang out with him and his friends after the concerts to eat and got to know so many awesome kids. I'm also tickled that I have enough left in the gas fund to pay for the trip. I almost have enough in the eating out fund to pay for dinner before since we will be returning tonight this time and not eating afterward. My month runs from the 15th to 15th so this is my last week and I have just about made it with my budget. Some tweaking definitely, but I have enough for this trip and that's jazzin cool.....

Standing up for myself

October 11th, 2006 at 02:45 pm

Okay, I consider myself a nice person. Actually, I'm a pushover. I used to buy from all those cute kids from my neighborhood (and probably beyond)who came to my door to sell things for band/baseball/softball/ballet. And I somehow got on the list for a food service company that comes every two weeks. Neighbor used to buy quite a bit, so they would even come real late if I wasn't home on their earlier trip. I never bought much, probably drove them nuts. But the stuff was overpriced compared to the store. And now that I cook from scratch and have no kids to pop things into the microwave, I really didn't need them anymore. But I couldn't tell them that. They are trying to make a living, too. But my grocery budget went over a little bit because I did buy twice this month. So I bit the bullet. I wrote a very nice letter saying I no longer needed the service. I am proud of myself. I cut an unneeded expense out of my budget. I don't buy candy much anymore from the little kiddoes. I never ate it anyway. Often, I will buy wrapping paper because it is so sturdy and holds up well. But I limit how many kids I will buy from each year now. It is hard. The kids are really sweet. And the little ballerinas in their tutus are so cute.....


October 10th, 2006 at 02:28 pm

I love rainy days. This is a drizzly rain that we don't usually get here. I loved this kind of rain growing up, but here it rains like sommeone threw a giant's bucket of water out--all at once. People can't drive in it and there are always a lot of accidents. But today is a good rain. I have turned off the air and opened the windows. I can smell neighbor grilling out in the rain so my leftovers for dinner will seem like grilled food! I was tempted on the way home from errands to stop for lunch but I resisted. Every dollar counts this week. I have been surprised that it has only taken a month for this forum to completely change my thinking! So keep up the information, the person hanging over your shoulder reading is me....

Yep, she said it

October 9th, 2006 at 07:25 pm

My DD called tonite from college. She was chatting about stuff coming up when I asked her about her past weekend. She told me she has decided to open up another savings account to save up for big purchases in the future. Now, I've not been talking to her much about what is going on in my little world so this was one of those "what's going on here" type of spooky things. I was thrilled that she is going to start out doing things that way. I told her about my new budget and worksheets. Hopefully, we can set a good example. I sure hope so. It would be nice for her not to experience the stress of living with debt. I think I may have started it when I was talking about saving up for replacing her deteriorating phone, saving up for fixing her car window, and saving up for her portion of Christmas gifts to friends and loved ones. Maybe the words "saving up" caught her attention. Whatever, she said it, I heard it, and I'm sticking with that...

Last Week

October 8th, 2006 at 06:52 pm

My month ends this week. Since I started things on the 15th, I decided to end on the same. I have several bills that cross the end of the month depending on the length of the month. Some months they are at the end, and some they are at the beginning. So I straddle the first. So this is the end of the first month at this. I am excited and challenged. I only have about $12 in my grocery money left, but I think we are going to be able to manage it. We have more in our gas money that I thought, but I am going to visit my DS in his jazz concert this week so I will probably use the rest of it. We didn't do much out this weekend, not spending on a weekend was a new thing. So I am hoping to have a little extra to put on CCs. I've learned so much in this first month alone. Our Excel envelope system is working for us. I can finally keep track. Since we have been keeping up with two, sometimes three, households in the last few years because of kids in college, I was overwhelmed. I can finally track what is going on. It is such a relief! I didn't realize how much stress I was carrying. I can't wait until I can pay off a big CC! There will be cartwheels of joy.....

Treasure hunt

October 7th, 2006 at 05:16 pm

You know, I've never thought of my house as a treasure hunt. But after reading a lot of back forum stuff, I have had a lot of fun just cruising the house and finding "treasures." Found a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer today so I made Hubby blueberry muffins--that muffin talk on the forum got to me, too--as a surprise when he gets home from having to work today. Found a bag of pinto beans in the pantry--never have made pinto beans so don't know why there are there--and put those in the crock pot. Boy, they smell good. Found an empty plastic bin. I've been planning on buying another one for some storage stuff I needed and there it is! Found that I have a ton of Christmas stuff to wrap things in already--just had to pull it all off the shelf in the garage to see just what I did have. I love the idea of tags made from Christmas cards that someone wrote about cos I have those, too. And that is just this week. No telling what all I can come up with as I go along. This is getting to be fun.....

Dead as a doornail

October 6th, 2006 at 06:13 pm

I have a few dead appliances now. The dishwasher died. Haven't really missed it. I don't have kids at home, so keeping up with the dishes hasn't been that hard. I am anxious to see what the water bill looks like now that I don't run the dishwasher. The heating system is dead, also. Will see how it affects my electric bill. Next week, we have our first real cool snap. The heating company can't find the problem, so I have to call an electrician now. Guess I will need the heat to keep the pipes from freezing if it gets that cold this year. So I guess I better get that one fixed. Half my stovetop is dead. Well, it has simplified my cooking and I don't make as much food. That's probably saved me something, also. The garbage disposal is on the fritz, but I try not to waste food anymore so I don't really use it anyway. The oven is fixed so I'm going to try Jodi's granola and stuff. Not that I didn't get along with a crockpot and microwave and stuff. But homemade desserts and snacks will save money. The very ancient dryer is shaky, but I don't dry as much stuff so that will help it out. But I figure instead of getting frustrated, I should look on the bright side. I am probably saving more money.....

Water issues

October 5th, 2006 at 01:35 pm

Okay, so my daughter hates when I do this. I take my own water with me when I go to a restaurant around here. It's like this...the water in this area is horrible. Tastes like you just scrubbed something with it. So they put lemons in it and it tastes like dishwater with lemons. In order not to pay l.50 to 2.00 for bottled water or a soft drink or tea, I take my own. We don't eat out as much, but I still hate to pay that much for a drink. I guess I'm spoiled. I grew up in an area where they made Jack Daniels and George Dickel whiskeys just a hop, skip and jump from us. We were on a well that came from the same water system. Tasted awesome and was so cold it hurt your teeth. Ours here is brown half the time, something to do with tannins. Don't get me wrong, I am glad to have my city send me water. Couldn't live without it, I just can't drink it. It does a number on my stomach. I have had water delivery for years. Is it wrong to take my own to a restaurant? I just don't want to pay so much for a drink that should cost so little. I don't take my own soft drink or something, just water. Maybe when my DD inherits all my wealth, she'll be happy I saved the money on my drinks.....

Good feelings.....

October 4th, 2006 at 08:24 pm

Well today wasn't such a good feeling day. The bipolar thing got me. I have a mild form so I can't complain at all. But sometimes, it does hit me harder than others. It only lasts a few days though so I'll be okay. The bright spot was realizing that of the few things I got done today was some bills. I actually enjoyed paying them this time--wellll not really enjoying releasing the money---but that I knew from setting up the budget how I stood on things. I'd always written down what each bill was and all, but I didn't have a plan that included all my other expenses so I could feel the relief that went with knowing. Some months will probably work out better than others, but having a plan really does help. I guess I was just afraid before of being frustrated. Not realizing that a plan is a POSITIVE thing. The support of the forum is awesome. Nobody judges you for not knowing. And that's a good feeling on a bad feeling day.....

Weirdest freezer items

October 3rd, 2006 at 04:44 pm

Okay, I bet I win this one hands down. In my chest freezer is a very large framed college diploma, some books belonging to my grandmother, some things made for me by my mother, Hubby's childhood teddy bear, dolls made by dear Aunt Nell, and other items. What pray tell is going on? Well, after swabbing out the freezer a few times, most recently being Hurricane Rita, we decided first that only items in plastic containers would reside there. Then, I realized that I didn't fill it back up very much last year and was wasting electricity. So I used up what was in there and unplugged it. Left it a bit propped open to air out completely. Then when Ernesto was threatening the Gulf, they told us originally that it would hit Texas/Louisiana. I went through and checked my boxes of records, mentally ran through my checklists and realized that we just couldn't take all that we did last year. So where to put the extra stuff? I was walking through the laundry room when I realized the freezer was standing right there. Large enough not to blow away and tall enough not to flood. So I packed my belongings into the freezer. Hubby thought it was a bit strange, but after almost 30 years, he should be used to that. Anyway, I realize now that with the holidays and people talking about stocking up, I might have to just go empty the freezer and plug her in. She'll help alot when those turkeys go on sale and all. I can make stuff up early and freeze em. So my big storage locker will now return into a thrifty freezer. Until next hurricane season....

Another step on the yellow brick road

October 2nd, 2006 at 02:07 pm

I used coupons. Yep, cut them out and matched them to the sale and bought what I needed. It wasn't much--just saved 3.00 in coupons savings and 8.00 total if you count the sale and stuff. I really need to get on that price book to make sure the sale is any good. But one step at a time. I think I will reward myself by keeping track of the coupon savings per month. Then I will put how much (or little at this point) into an envelope each month. Every three months, I am going to put it on my credit card debt. Tanglible proof that I am learning. Have scissors and on the prowl....

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