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Archive for March, 2007

Fence Fund.....

March 30th, 2007 at 01:26 pm

is one of the places my extra monies have been going. The challenge monies that I haven't been real good at keeping up with is going in there. I've been doing the stuff I laid out, but I've not been keeping up with the amounts. I've just been putting the extra savings a month into various places. I do put some extra on credit cards, but I've been also building up various funds. Since the kids took all the beds, I have a bed fund. And I have a fence fund. Especially since the air gun has been visible behind us a lot. They shoot at squirrels and birds and have on one occasion hit our house. Today, I added a refund check into the fund. Funny thing is, the check is made out to Hubby, but it is for my mammogram/ultrasound that I had last year. And I paid the bill. Seemed sorta funny since Hubby doesn't get mammograms.....

Sugar Fog....

March 26th, 2007 at 11:27 am

One of our family members has a birthday this week so we went to visit this weekend and had a pre-birthday fun time. We did pay for gas (in the budget) and the birthday dinner (money saved for it), but it was a great time and we laughed so hard at some stuff that our sides ached. It's great to be able to spend on times like these by learning to save on other things. Thanks to all here who have helped teach me that lesson.

However, today, I am sleepy and foggy and slightly cranky. I did take some extra medicine yesterday, but that was in the morning. I think it is due to a sugar "hangover." I just can't eat too much sugar. We bought a special really yummy cake from the local bakery for something a bit different. And the birthday person is like me, cuts BIG pieces. But the company, the food, the laughter, the gifts, the cake were all terrific. It was so worth it....

Car Flu...

March 22nd, 2007 at 09:12 am

Is there such a thing as car flu? We own four cars. DS and DIL have one of them until DS graduates from graduate school. Then we will give it to them (along with all its ills). DD has one and DH and I have one each. All are approaching or have reached old age and/or high mileage. So repairs are logical. And I set up a repair fund for autos just for that reason.

Last weekend, DS couldn't go on his school trip because both their cars had broken down. We went up to help with the repairs. They found another major leak in DIL's car, so they need to save for that, and we usually pay for the big stuff for our car. They take care of maintenance costs, etc. DD's car needs her third (!) windshield. I haven't been driving mine much, but yesterday after errands, I smelled something funny. Yep, my car also has a major leak of some kind. Rats. My auto repair fund doesn't have near enough for the car flu we've been having.

I took a look at the budget and decided that emphasizing the auto repair fund for the next couple of years will be a real good thing. I siphoned monies off other categories that we haven't used as much, like clothing, and am trying to build that fund up even more. I was so proud of having money in there. At least I did have SOME saved. I guess I will need to go to the emergency fund after I get the quote. And like people illnesses, the cars seem to get sick right before weekends.....

March Madness......

March 20th, 2007 at 09:57 am

College basketball on TV is in full swing--March Madness is here. I tend to watch football more, so I don't watch the basketball games until the final few. Hubby watches as many as he can, so I have migrated to the enclosed porch area to chill in the evening and watch a little TV while I do other things. The beauty of sitting out there is that eventually the Stuff that has wandered out here to take up residence begins to get on my nerves. So, I am working my way through Stuff. Some of it is stuff to evacuate with during hurricane season. But, let's face it, the rest is Stuff I've gotten lazy about. If I ever get through this Stuff, I need to go sit out in the garage and watch TV until the Stuff out there drives me crazy....

Potholders in the Freezer.....

March 17th, 2007 at 09:49 am

Not long ago, I wrote that I found a can of green beans in my bedroom. I have been distracted and have caught myself putting potato chips or things like that in the fridge. Now, I tried to store the potholders in the freezer. Hubby just laughs and when I can't find something, he says check the hamper or something like that. Can't blame him. I've been easily sidetracked. Funny thing is, I've always been able to tell anyone where something is in the house. But lately, I've had a busy brain. I do know that a lot of it is thinking about ways to conserve and use up. My brain has been happily percolating new ideas from these blogs and the forums. So I guess I shouldn't worry too much. My brain being busy on saving money is a good thing, even if I freeze the potholders.....

More Strange Fried Food....

March 16th, 2007 at 09:01 am

Saw more signs at the food booths at the festival. There was one for fried ribs--Hubby loves ribs. Wonder if he'll try them fried? And one for fried green beans. I saw something called oreo balls. I wonder if they are different from fried oreos. Anyone have any idea what a Scottish Ball is?

CNN

March 15th, 2007 at 10:29 am

Sadly, our area made CNN Headline News yesterday. We'd heard the story on the local news channels, but never dreamed it would go national. It happened in a neighboring town. Eighteen months after Hurricane Rita, a potential home buyer checking out a damaged house and yard found a man who had died after the storm and had been there the whole time. His neighbors thought he had evacuated and never returned. That happened a lot. His family was estranged, and even though they lived nearby, they didn't know he was there. I can't say anything about them because I don't know if he was dangerous to them. It was just too eerie. He was only in his 50s. After all the people helping each other during that thing, it's sad someone fell through the radar. On the financial front, I was curious how eighteen months of nonpaid bills or mortgages or rent or whatever went unnoticed? I guess the companies just turned everything off since the house looked damaged and unoccupied.

You Mean You Can Fry That????

March 14th, 2007 at 08:08 am

Festival food is expensive. But it is for charity. So we delved into the budget and took the basketball money we didn't use from having the flu and went to the food booths. Can't believe we actually went on a budget! We budgeted about 10 a night. Last night we took our own drinks and spent 9.75. Hubby usually gets some kind of meat on a stick. I usually eat first and go for a dessert. Or maybe I'll get some barbecue. We roamed through the booths to get an idea of what's new. Since the neighboring fair in the fall had something called fried coke, I was curious to see if they were selling it here. They had a lot of fried stuff--funnel cakes, onions, potatoes, shrimp, and fried pies. I spotted the fried oreos from before. I didn't see the fried twinkies again. But I did see something new--fried snickers and fried baby ruths. Good grief! I decided that tonight I might try the new Death by Chocolate that I saw. I don't know about you, but I don't think I like my chocolate deep fried.....

The Story.....

March 13th, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Today starts the local Festival. It's free to get in and we often go for the food. Gotta be 30 local groups from churches, sports teams, drill teams, scouts, service organizations who have booths that sell tons of homemade food. From pies and meats on a stick to Cajun favorites. And the free music is toe tapping (Cajun mostly) and local talents. We used to be designated parents who roamed the grounds for the first few hours of the night so that the group of kids belonging to us could have adults around. (Other parents of the group did the second half of the night.) We used to buy passes for the kids to ride free all night all week. But now, just us. Last year on Friday night, we roamed by the craft people setting up for the Saturday sale. There was a guy putting out beautifully handcrafted wooden crosses with three long spikes crisscrossed attached to the fronts. With the cross was a story. It went something like this.....

(In religious circles, carrying your cross often means carrying your own burdens)

A man said that his cross was too heavy to carry. He was told that he could take his cross into this room and lay it down. Then he could look at all the other crosses and choose another one. He went in and laid down his cross. After looking at all the other crosses, he quietly picked up his original cross and carried it on.

Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in my own world and problems that I fail to see the burdens carried by my fellow travellers. I hope that I don't do that here. I am trying to change that about myself. Anyway, we pooled our pocket cash and had just enough to buy a cross. I gave it to my mother as a gift. The next day we were there for lunch, browsed through the craft fair; and while most were just getting started, this guy's two long tables were bare. The crosses were all gone. We talked a bit. He was surprised that everything was sold. I wasn't....

Holes.....

March 12th, 2007 at 11:05 am

in my teeth are becoming a hole in the pocketbook. I just had a filling replaced, and today I'm having a couple of tiny holes filled. I've put these off long enough. I have saved enough in the eye/dental fund, so it's going to be okay. The ironic thing is that my kids are off doing really cool things for spring break. Hubby is taking over for his boss this week and will be busy. And me....well I get to go to the dentist. But I've been putting this off, so it is better getting it done and over with. And it's a nasty, rainy day so it will go with my mood. I'll just come home and chill. Hubby will eat leftover steaks from grilling last night and I'll treat myself to comfort food. Why not, a filling is as good an excuse as any.....

Outflow.....

March 11th, 2007 at 02:49 pm

I think we have achieved a milestone. There is more Stuff going out of this house than coming in. Things are flowing out, and we aren't buying more to bring in. It wasn't very noticeable until after the holidays with all the presents and food and things you buy then. And we aren't counting DD's household, just this one. We are concentrating on using up Stuff. And limiting buying Stuff. And having Stuff leave if we buy something to bring in. And getting rid of Stuff we already have. It's pretty easy for Hubby. He doesn't need any Stuff. But I liked Stuff. Until it was too much. Until it was evident that it was using money that I could save. Until I realized that I didn't need a lot of this Stuff anymore. Actually, I'm really excited! Goodbye, Stuff. Hello, bank account!

Happy Hazardous Waste Day......

March 10th, 2007 at 08:06 am

They are having a county hazardous waste day this morning. I've been waiting for another one to come around. I'm so excited! I can get rid of some stuff that has been hanging around in the garage with nowhere to go. Now it is off to the pickup site. Financially, I'm going to bug Hubby about returning car batteries for the money instead of forgetting them in the garage next time. We both do things like this. My kids are off for spring break and they have great plans. I told them this was a great way to start off MY plans. They thought I was nuts. Perhaps they're right....

That hurts!

March 9th, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Writing big checks is not my thing. Hubby can't write one over $25, so I got the honor of writing the two paycheck refund check. Ouch! We never incorporated that money into our life, but writing checks that size is hard. Except if I was paying off a credit card. Now that would be fun. So I wrote the accompanying letter, wrote the check and all is ready for Hubby to sign. Since it was his old company and his money, I thought that it would be less confusing if his name was on the stuff. Now to await the W-2. I'm going to do a run through with the tax forms next week while I wait for it. Since Hubby got paid some vacation money when he left old company and it was unexpected income, I don't know if the taxes will be as close as the last year. I sure hope I don't have to write another big check....

Returning money.....

March 7th, 2007 at 11:32 am

has been dragging along, but now we have the way to return the two extra paychecks that Hubby's old company sent us by mistake. With new Frugal knowledge, I should have put the money into a high interest account for the two months, but I just left it in the account to write the check. Now we will be able to get our corrected tax forms to do our taxes. What a relief!

I set up a chart to pay several local accounts weekly amounts that add up to the monthly totals that I pay. I can't wait til next week to start. This will be more gratifying.

So far my grocery budget is quite a bit under the limit with a week to go. I've got to go get basics though, and I'm going to pick up a few of the sale items. So I probably won't end up with a savings for the month. But at least I'm not down to four dollars like last time!

Plugging Away.....

March 6th, 2007 at 08:50 am

I went around to the various banks yesterday and paid bills. I like doing that on warmer, sunny days because it gets me out and I get a huge satisfaction on seeing things go down immediately. I have been pondering something that someone mentioned somewhere. Forgive me that I can't seem to remember to give credit where it is due. The something is that I could break down my payments and pay bi-weekly or even once a week and reduce interest. Not only that, I get that lovely feeling of lowering balances every week. Many people put extra things each week on their balances or in their savings and I have watched their progress. However, I seem to wait til the end of the month to send extra from the budget to various accounts. I WANT THAT THRILL MORE OFTEN! So I took yesterday's bills and made a list for after the 15th. I am going to break these local ones down into four ways, pay on them each week, and watch them go down, down, down! I am excited to try something new. At the same time, I am going to add some of the savings built into the budget into the savings accounts each week. This will take so little time, but give me a big reward. I SO love the little things.....

I am so #@*%#!

March 2nd, 2007 at 10:02 am

Hubby has called and tried to back out of something I really needed him to help me with today. It was a big deal to me. I knew that he still didn't feel well, and I tried my best to get him to slow down and not save the world the first week back to work. He didn't listen. I let it ride. Now, he's bailing on me. Work came first, I guess. Now, I know it is important, but this isn't the first time and won't be the last that I've felt less important than the job. Most of the time, I understand. But sheesh! Sometimes, I get tired of doing these things alone. This time I've insisted. But I know he doesn't feel well and that makes me feel bad, too. I'm going to feel awful about this either way. And it was supposed to be a happy thing.....