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Archive for May, 2007

Screeching Halt.....

May 31st, 2007 at 05:35 pm

from what I hear about Hubby's truck brakes. So, today we will be taking the truck in for a brake job. Don't know for sure what all is going on with them, so we'll just have to see. But both Hubby and DD (Hubby helped her finish moving) say that the truck is screeching. Hubby is getting with the program real well because he asked to use the truck tire money for the brakes for now. I have a fund for auto repairs/maintenance, but he knows I have been wanting to get my problem window fixed before hurricane season gets really underway. You can't evacuate so slowly with the windows rolled up and no air conditioning running. The last time it was over 110 in the car with the windows rolled down. You don't generate much air at 2 mph. But without it, I would die in there. So I need that pronto. Been waiting for all the kid stuff to be settled as much as possible, then my car goes into the shop.

DD has asked when I am going to start her budget money. Starting time is June 1. I've been making a list of her bills and adding in those extras you need as a college student. Then I'll divide it up into biweekly deposits. Might even set it up as an automatic payment. Then off she goes! She is so ready for this.

I broke down and used some of the clothing budget. My belt was breaking in two and my everyday watch was falling apart. Bought each for less than 15 dollars though. I don't need anything expensive for everyday wear. I am too rough on things as it is.

Trying to get this #&%@ shredder apart again. This might be the last straw....

Coincidence?

May 25th, 2007 at 06:12 pm

Wow, this manifesting thing is weird. I had a person on my mind a couple of days ago because I knew she had been going through a really, really tough time. I hadn't seen nor talked to her in a couple of months. I was gone or catching up so much that the thoughts of her were while I was in the car. Two days later while picking up some meds we needed, I ran into a store I haven't been in for a long while to get some good grocery deals. I rounded the corner as she walked in the door! We got caught up and I left shaking my head. If I can bring someone into my life by just thinking about them, this money thing isn't so far fetched!

Spent some on groceries to stock up on good deals. We still have 60 in the grocery fund, but I don't think it will hold out til June 14. I've been trying to eat up all the stuff in the deep freeze since hurricane season is around the corner. Some of the things I got this week are to start stocking up for that. I have a little in the budget designated for that, but I might need to increase it for a short while. Been using the drugstore deals to stock up on paper products for the season. I need to take some time and really assess how much we have and what we still need to get. I do know we need to get the extra propane for the grill so we'll have something to cook on. Just in case. I bought some extra medical supplies also. Used a buy one, get one deal for those.

DD and her boyfriend are coming to get the tv stand on which resides the monster tv. The stand is pretty low profile and will fit in her house I think. It's going to take all of us to get that tv off of it. This might turn into a keystone kops event. Oh to be a fly on the wall.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Batting a Thousand.....

May 24th, 2007 at 03:25 pm

Well, I COULD have waited until the 14th to add to the 20 challenge. That is if I had any money to put in there. But I got to pondering the gas expense check. Since it is repayment of some expenses from last month, I decided to return it to last month. I was in the red 100 so I subtracted the 100 out of the check and put the leftover in the 20 challenge. Then, I was SO close, that I added in the coins I rolled. Total added in is 77 dollars. So, my 20 challenge total is now.....drum roll.....$1006! Awesome!

The Stuffed Frog.....

May 23rd, 2007 at 01:59 pm

DD had change everywhere. During the big Apartment Cleanout, I found change in purses, drawers, little containers, and on the furniture. It was obvious that outside of quarters for the laundry, she had no use for coins. I understand. I don't carry many coins either. But I do love to collect them and roll them up. Since her new place comes equipped with a washer and dryer, she has no need of quarters either. So I collected all the change in a sturdy baggie and asked her if I could have it. No problem. I brought it home and Hubby confiscated the quarters for his purposes and I loaded up the piggy...er...froggy bank with the rest. He ended up being totally stuffed with the additional coins. Last night we received Hubby's gas expense check for two of his trips. I realized that I was only short a little over 20 dollars to complete the truck tires fund if I added the expense check to it. So I hefted the frog and emptied him. I sorted, counted, and rolled. In the end, I had more than enough to finish the fund. And it was all in pennies, nickels, and dimes. Today after my appointment, I will take the check and the coins to the bank and add them to the fund. Awesome! Thanks to DD and the frog...

Well Blow Me Down...

May 22nd, 2007 at 05:36 pm

as Popeye used to say. I went to my appointment with the insurance ladies yesterday. I missed a deadline to retain windstorm coverage with them by three weeks. I didn't move my auto insurance and consolidate in time. Actually, I didn't even know about the deadline until it was too late. It's like losing by one point. I would rather lose by 5 and I would have rather missed the deadline by 3 months. Oh well. I did get the state's coverage. It cost me almost 1000. So an adjustment in the ole budget is going to be made. I have to start saving for next year's payment. Thank goodness that's being taken care of with the hurricane season lurking. Going to be putting the deductibles away for safe keeping.

Went to the dentist today for cleaning, but no cost. Going to the therapy/life coach appointment this afternoon. Will be a co-pay, but that's in the budget. I did stop and do a no-no. I bought a coke and a snack. Tomorrow, I get my haircut...also in the budget. Next week is my meds appointment...in the budget. Hopefully, that's it for a bit.

I have to pay DD's tuition for summer session either today or tomorrow. Hubby wants me to put more on the debt payments, but with big whopper of payments going out to things this month, I've been holding out on him. Just don't tell, okay?

Brought some books back from DD's apartment cleanout to read so that might help keep me out of the bookstores. And I have a lot of house repairs to go. Dragged the old carpet out to the street for this week's pickup so I have room in the garage to start on the next project. Need to do some wallpaper removal and painting. Steady as she goes folks.....

Back at the Hacienda.....

May 21st, 2007 at 04:22 pm

I have returned home! I spent the week at DD's helping her move to her house. We had some laughs and some long days. We spent a lot of time going through every nook and cranny of her apartment to throw out or give away all we could so that we wouldn't have to move everything she didn't want. In the end, we didn't have that many truckloads to move. Mission accomplished!

DD is eager to start her own budgeting. I was going to set it up for the 15th of this month, but the moving got in the way. I'd like to get her started a bit before summer sessions start. I will have to get on the ball here.

I haven't tallied the food/gas expenses since I got back. Since Hubby was sick the whole week, I mowed the yard and did the laundry yesterday. This week is filled with appointments moved so that I could be out of town. We also had boarded the dogs since Hubby was sick. But the vet gave us a break on some of it. So I have a few expenses to chart.

Hubby is supposed to get his gas expense check soon. I will add it to the tire fund.

I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on! Hope everyone had a good week!

Seeing Red.....

May 15th, 2007 at 01:50 pm

in the budget. Rats. The month ended yesterday and we clobbered the budget. The big problem was entertainment expenses. We overspent quite a bit on eating out and I overspent on books. The eating out was because we spent so much of the time hanging out with the kids, so I enjoyed every minute of it and don't begrudge it. But it was an eye opener.

We had some things that we were able to do without any credit card bills. We bought DD's bridesmaid dress and got some auto maintenance done. And we had a lot of medical expenses this month. Can't seem to get rid of this infection crud. Hubby has it again and DD and I both need to go back to the doctor again concerning it. I'm going today.

I still had enough left to put into the various savings columns we have going on. That was still on track. But we did end up with a shortfall when all was said and done. About $100 worth. So no monies to add to the challenge.

Did get our escrow refund and our tax money came yesterday. I didn't count those in the income. Most people have mentioned that we shouldn't include those and save them. So for once, I tucked them away into the savings funds. Hmmm. Everyone was right. That is definitely the way to go.

New month, new sheet of numbers....

Is that a TV in there?

May 10th, 2007 at 05:14 pm

A few months ago, I was at the store looking at appliances. I need a new cooktop and can't decide if I am just going to take out the cabinet and buy the whole stove or just a cooktop. Meandering amonst the various appliances, I can't believe they have stoves with microwave drawers. I totally love the idea of the freezer on the bottom of the fridge. But the thing that was amazing to me was the refrigerators with the tvs in the doors! I know people with tvs in their cars....DD's boyfriend's mom bought one with a DVD player in the car and heated seats. She spent most of the first night sitting in the car watching the tv. We got a huge laugh out of that. But I never thought they'd put one in the appliances!

Another thing I can't get used to is the size of the tvs. Those skinny things are wonderful looking...and some are so big! Years ago, one of the company gifts we got one Christmas was a very large tv that we have out on the large enclosed porch. It is the only room that will really accommodate it. It isn't flat and really, really heavy. And so big, it couldn't come in the front door. It was delivered by several people, hauled over the fence, brought into the french doors, and Hubby and I almost hurt ourselves getting it placed on the big stand. We mostly used it to watch movies. It was an awesome movie tv. So large. And hooked up to the sound system. But now, everyone is gone, it doesn't play tv channels well, and DD wants the stand. So, we are trying to figure out how to get the thing OUT of the house. We can't lift it. We'd have to have a crew to get it over the fence. The only thing I can think of is to use a sledgehammer on it. And take it out in pieces. I don't think I'd want to give it away because I'd be afraid someone would get hurt moving it. This thing is huge, awkward, heavy, and with no place to hold on to it. I had a wild thought last night of putting a mattress on the floor and shoving it off onto it, then giving DD the stand. Then I would have to figure out how to move it from there.

We will probably someday need to replace the last tv. By then, only thin, flat tvs will be available. It will be nice to have something that low profile and easy to move. I don't see us getting a really large one again. But we'll need to pay off the debt before then. Maybe that will be something to aim for. I think, though, that I won't be getting a two for one appliance. My tv will just be a tv....well, perhaps with a dvd player inside.....

Magic Carpet Ride....

May 8th, 2007 at 07:42 pm

I'm taking a break from pulling up the living room carpet. Old carpet sure is nasty. And my blade is getting dull again. I forgot to ask where Hubby stored the extra blades, so I'll have to wait on that til he gets home. Hopefully, we can salvage the floor underneath so we won't have to spend money on that floor. We'll see. After this, I have only one more room of carpet to pull up. DEstruction is way easier for me than CONstruction! And cheaper so far....

DD got her house, but they are going to have to pay double rent for a month. Her other lease isn't up til July. Oh well, at least she got it and will be able to take the time between this semester and the summer session to move. It is a good time for her to go through her stuff. And she already has utilities and stuff there so we will just be paying for the cost of transferring them to a new address. Glad to have a minifund for that. I'm sending good thoughts her way for her finals. I know she is stressed.

Hubby is still on the road some for work, and I need to bug him about the gas reimbursements. With the cost of gas, it is going to be a bite in the ole budget if we don't get the money.

Been getting quite warm here already. Don't really want to see the utility bill this month. I have a fund started for insulating the attic better and sealing the house up more. This thing leaks like a sieve. After reading about the awesome utility bills in the blogs, I decided to attack that this year. I'm tired of wasting energy. Especially, since I'm not even comfortable half the time!

Oh well, back to the floors. Got to scrub up some nasty gunk. I've got this picture in my head of Cinderella....

Another check.....

May 7th, 2007 at 03:22 pm

came in the mail this weekend. Thanks, Homebody, for sending good vibes this way for unexpected checks! This one was a refund from our escrow. We'd been paying in too much since I changed the homeowner's insurance. They review once a year, so I didn't know if they could change it and just left it as it was. Now, not only did we get a refund, but the payment will go down this year. At first, we thought we'd apply the extras to the mortgage, but our mortgage is one of the least of our debts. And with a low interest rate. So a review of circumstances was in order. I finally decided to apply part of the funds to the fence--especially since Hubby had to warn the kiddoes behind us to stop climbing again. We just don't want someone getting hurt. So I suppose we'll try to get our yard closed off by the summer and they are all out of school. Just safer for them and the dogs can roam freely again. Then the rest will be applied to a new category. Hubby's truck needs tires. He's going to be doing a bit of traveling back and forth between cities here to various plants and needs to be safe. Those truck tires cost a pretty penny, so we'll go toward that. Now that check is settled, someone send me another check.....

Neat Stuff.....

May 4th, 2007 at 04:02 pm

is what filled yesterday. I got a call from DS that their ultrasound showed the grandbaby healthy and sweet. Later last night, DD sent me some pictures of the ultrasound pictures. (She went, too!) It's amazing what they look like now compared to a little more than twenty years ago when I had one! You can really see the baby! How cool!

DD called and she has gotten the little house that she was hoping to rent. I was SO happy for her. Brand new so that her allergies won't be acting up with old wood and old carpets. She will also have a roomie so that expenses actually will be going down. So not only will she be budgeting on her own, the bills will be going down in a month or so. I was very glad to have the mini fund set up so I could go ahead and give her the deposit money without any squeeze on the budgets. I SO appreciate what I've learned here!

We've decided to set apart a fund for house repairs. Going to take some of our bigger fund and set it aside to draw from. That way, we won't be getting regularly into the emergency funds for household stuff. I have a household fund, but I've only used it for plumbing, etc., and would really need to space out repairs to let it build up between each one. This way, I'll take the money we set aside each month for household maintenance and return it to the big fund to replace the money we are setting aside. Same thing, but having that bigger amount lets us go ahead with more projects, but sets a limit on the repairs so we don't go crazy and do too much this year. Can't afford to rebuild the house all at once. I have a feeling this is a multiyear project!

We went to see DS's last performance at school this week. And learned he had received an award! A long enjoyable experience for me is closing. And DD is moving on in life, too. But it looks like after yesterday that new adventures await....!

Spooky......

May 2nd, 2007 at 07:55 pm

the feeling I got when I opened the mail. People have mentioned in their blogs about getting unexpected checks in their mail. I read those thinking it would be cool for that to start happening to me. Today, I got a check in the mail as a refund from a medical place from two years ago! Not a big amount, but it's a start. Going to watch for more! It's going into the fence fund. Closer and closer we get....



Stepping Along....

May 1st, 2007 at 05:28 pm

The next step to getting my DD on the budget bandwagon was this weekend. She had to come home for a bridesmaid dress ordering session, so we sat down and went through what her bills are and what she needs for the rest of her spending. She has already on her own dropped her old phone plan and gotten a new one that is half what the other one was. She is definitely on the right track. We worked out what she would need and set it up for May 15th. I will be giving her half of the monthly money then and half on the end of the month. We are both excited that she is on the next step! I can't wait to start it for her.

Hubby is definitely more on board with things. He is wanting to delve into the savings and pay off more of the debts. Unfortunately, we have several large things coming up and also many house repairs this year. So I'm going to give him the low down on it all this week and let him help me decided how to organize it all. So glad we are both moving in the same direction!

DS is finishing school except for his thesis. I'm going to attend his last jazz concert and cry through the whole thing. He is directing part of the program and I'm so proud of all he's accomplished. And it's been a lot of fun hanging out with him afterward and catching up. I won't be able to do that this time, but that's okay. Because I will be in tears anyway.

This month has been filled with extra expenses. I finally just filled an extra column with them and will sort it out when the 15th arrives. Gasoline has been a big drain this month. But, you know, since most of it has to do with the kids, I don't begrudge it a bit. I am just glad we have it so we can enjoy the moments we have now. Because the kids do grow up on you......