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Ike is headed my way

September 12th, 2008 at 02:48 pm

We live in Ike's path just east of Houston. We have decided to stay and ride the storm out. Preparations have been happening for several days now. Ike should hit our area between 10:00pm tonight and 3:00am tomorrow morning. We are expected to be without power for awhile. With Rita three years ago we didn't have power restored for over two weeks and this storm is supposed to be much worse. Flooding is expected even where we live.

Will post when the power is back on (if my house is still livable) Frown

Finding it hard to stay focused...

September 5th, 2008 at 05:59 am

My emergency fund is not growing as rapidly as I would like it, but I am trying to keep my eye on the big picture. I am steadily losing momentum.

We hope to have our EF funded ($15,000.00) and or Roths funded by April. EF only has $7750.00 and nothing in the Roths yet.

Anyway adding $69.00 to the challenge for rounding up the cks, counting change, and coupon savings bringind the total to $267.00

Finally done school shopping

August 29th, 2008 at 08:25 am

...I think. Actually I thought I was done several times this past week, but each day one of the kids would come home with and additional supplies list. So fingers crossed, I hope I'm done for now. I spent way more than I thought I would to prepare the kids for the new school year.

My DD wanted a particular pair of athletic shoes. We went to price them and they were $110.00!!!! Jeeze!!! I told her I was not paying that much for a pair of shoes. She said "What? That's not much." Hello! I don't spent that much for me! I told her she could pay for them herself, but she didn't want to do that. Reality check complete. We ended up buying a less expensive pair of the same brand, and she was satisfied.

Anyway, adding $20.00 to challenge for a rebate bringing the total to $198.00

I didn't do it...

August 28th, 2008 at 10:29 am

I was talking to a good friend of mine a few days ago and she mentioned that she just purchases a new living room set. She went on to explain that a furniture place near us is going out of buisness. Everything was 60% off and they are ready to deal. Wow, I was ready to go. But then reality set in. Where was I going to get the money? From the emergency fund? No. From the money I have set aside for the work that needs to be done to the bath room? No. Crap! I decided to be a grown up and not go. I am determined to get our emergency fund and Roths funded by April '09 if it's the last thing I do.

Come join me in my pity party. Smile

Good golly - it's been awhile!!!

August 26th, 2008 at 07:08 am

I hadn't realized it's been over a month since I last posted.

Now is the time to get back into the groove! Finances have been a little "willy nilly" lately. We haven't been in the red by any means, but a lot of unaccounted for purchases with school starting and all.

The kiddo's started school yesterday, and one came home with a list for additional supplies. Off to WM again today. Since I will already be in town, I will fill up the car and run several errands.

Hoping to strip wallpaper off one wall in DD's room today. I will then need to texture (anyone have any tips?) and paint.

Since we spent almost all of my challenge money on our vacation this last summer, I am starting anew with the $150.00 that I have left.

Adding $24.00 for rebates and $4.00 for coupons, bringing my new total to $178.00.

Money in, money out

July 16th, 2008 at 09:26 am

The fam and I decided to go to the wave pool yesterday. We had fun, but we were exhausted.

Upon leaving I noticed air was escaping from my DH's truck tire, so our trip was delayed a little while he removed the tire. It turned out to be the valve stem. We took care of that before we went because my DH works on call, and it needed to be fixed asap. Fortunately we were not charged for the repair.

We did stop for a quick lunch for only $7.50. We brought a cooler of drinks so saved a few bucks there.

The admission for the wave pool has gone up $2.00 pp though. A little much IMO.

Also had to buy new flip flops for my youngest as he lost his others. Somehow we only found one out in the yard??? Filled up the car at $68.00. YIKES!!! Quite a spendy day. Frown

I ordered flea control for the dogs today. Went through Ebates and will get $12% back. Yea! Also earned a $5.00 gift card at Petcare RX.

I have a few errands to run today. Hoping to take my 7 yo to get his school supplies, just to have it done and out of the way. Also going to the grocery store to get milk at $3.00/gal. and ground meat at $1.77/lb.

Adding $20.00 to the challenge for coupon savings, bringing the total to $2256.00

Paid the bills...

July 15th, 2008 at 09:40 am

now I'm broke (again)

The bills paid today include the mortgage (w/ extra principle payment), phone, escrow, emergency fund, and 2 medical bills.

Still need to pay CC (pd. in full every mo.), and to update the vacation fund.

DH is off work today so we plan on taking the chitlins' to the wave park or the movies. Each place is only $5.00 pp so not too expensive.


July 13th, 2008 at 06:56 am

Well, I had my garage sale. I only made $30.00. I placed an ad, but there was a garage sale up the road from me that didn't. I believe when the people were coming to mine they thought that one was it, and didn't venture further down the road. Frown This one was a far cry from my last one where I made $600.00. Bummer.

With all the work involved, I don't think I will do it again. It's just a lot easier donating and getting a tax write-off.

Adding $30.00 to the challenge, bringing the total to $2236.00.

On another note, I went to CVS yesterday to get the Folgers and Tide that were on sale. If you buy $20.00 worth, you get a free case of water. They were out of coffee, so I asked the mgr. for a rain check, and asked if I get the free water now or when I purchase the coffee. She got all defensive on me saying the $20.00 purchase had to be made TODAY!!! I replied that the Folgers and Tide were all that I wanted, and that it wasn't my fault they were out of coffee. She said it doesn't make a difference! I will call corporate Monday and see what they say. This new mgr. is bad news. Even the employees have voiced to me that she is unbearable.

My DD leaves for church camp tomorrow. We still have a lot to do to prepare. She is really looking forward to going.

Making headway

July 6th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Though I didn't get everything accomplished that I setout to do I still feel pretty good about what I got done today.

Decluttered DD's rm and closet. We threw away two lg. Walmart bags of junk! I had her try on some of her clothes that were questionable. Quite a few went to the garage sale pile. Several pairs of shoes also went. She also culled some toys!

I ventured into the "closet of doom" as my husband calls it. Smile This is where I keep blankets, pillows, etc. I also keep my "overstock" in there. Things that I have gotten free or very cheap (such as toiletries and cleaning supplies.) I culled about half to the garage sale pile. At the last garage sale people bought this crap up! Hope I have the same luck this time.

Tomorrow I plan to go through the master bedroom and closet, master bath, finish my boys room, and maybe start on the sunroom (aka the junk room).

Mission accomplished

July 6th, 2008 at 07:28 am

Well yesterday I did everything I set out to do. I decluttered the kitchen, dining rm, dining rm closet, computer room, and the living room. Whew!

Today I plan to go thru my kids rooms and the hall closet. If I have enough time, the master bath.

Adding $5.00 (NSD) and $12.00 (coupons) to the challenge, bringing the total to $2206.00

Mission declutter

July 5th, 2008 at 09:10 am

I'm having a garage sale next weekend with several friends, so my focus this week is to purge as much as possible. I went to several decluttering websites, and on one it said to ask yourself if you love an item, and if you have used it within the last year. If the answer is no, get rid of it! On another website it says to ask yourself if the item brings you happiness. When you look at it or use it does it make you happy. I have a feeling I will be getting rid of a lot. Smile Hopefully.

Yesterday I cleaned out my laundry room. Cleaned the washer and dryer, scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees, and put stray items where they belong. The room looks so much lighter now, and this is what I want to achieve in the rest of the house.

Today I plan to work on my:
dining rm
dining rm closet
computer rm
living rm
hall bath

I am piling evertything for the garage sale into a corner in my living rm and plan to start pricing Tues evening.

I hope to post my progress every evening to keep myself motivated.

More to the EF

July 3rd, 2008 at 05:24 pm

We are adding $1250.00 to the EF. The total is now $5750.00. More than 30% to our goal. We were hoping to have this thing funded by the end of Oct, but I might have to give it another month (or 2). Blech!

Adding $149.00 to the challenge for rounding up the cks, coupons, rebates, rolled change. Total is now $2189.00.
This money will go to our vacation fund. We are just going to San Antonio. My oldest wants to go to Sea World, and my youngest studied the Alamo this past year and wants to go there. We may also go to Schlitterbahn.

The family and I are going to watch fireworks tonight. We live in a very small town and it is cheaper for the city to pay to have it done not on the actual holiday. We are popping popcorn and packing a cooler, and hopefully will have a relaxing evening.

Everyone have a great 4th! Big Grin

Today's savings

June 25th, 2008 at 02:34 pm

Went to CVS and saved $36.00 with coupons. This will be added to the challenge along with a $10.00 rebate ck. Also adding my Pinecone ck. for $5.00. New total is $2091.00.

My oldest child left for church camp Monday. He wouln't give me a hug before he left and totally broke my heart. I know he's at that age, but still... Frown

My other kids and I went to the library and got several movies and books. I have heard a lot about the book Maxed Out, so I checked that out. Looks to be pretty interesting.

One step forward, two steps back

June 18th, 2008 at 07:24 am

Just when I think we may be getting ahead, something unforseen happens. Things are needing to be replaced around here. Coffee maker quit, central A.C. went out, etc...

Bought a new John Deere riding mower a few days ago. Love it! I researched Consumer Reports (as I do for all large purchases), and this one was a "best buy". Though it killed me we financed it. No interest for 12 mos. We will pay it off a lot quicker than that though. I figured that our priority is to get the em. fund fully funded first ($10,500.00 more to go.) We sold our old mower for $250.00, so that offsets the price a little.

I'm getting things around for a garage sale and am decluttering. It's a bit discouraging. I just keep telling myself one thing at a time. Smile

Adding $18.00 to the challenge for coupons, bringing the total to $2040.00

Broke 2000

June 9th, 2008 at 09:24 am

I'm adding $143.00 to the challenge for counting change, coupons, and a cake order. Total is now $2022.00.

Challenge money

June 2nd, 2008 at 07:45 am

I rounded up all my cks for the mo of May and am adding $22.00 to the challenge. Also adding $46.00 for coupon savings, bringing the total to $1879.00.

Paid the balance on my kids church summer camp fee. That was $200.00 well spent. They will have a ball.

Also today I will be depositing $1500.00 into the emergency fund. YEA!

Went blueberry picking yesterday with the kids. YUM!!! We picked a little over 17 lbs!!! At $1.75/lb, it cost around $31.00. Great savings over the grocery store. 4.4 oz. for $3.97.

Update on doctors appt.

May 28th, 2008 at 03:13 am

Went to the bone specialist today to see about my finger (see prior post.) He said "Put two band-aids on it. It will be okay." :0!!! Whaa? He said nothing can really be done for the fracture, and that my finger looks good. (It still looks nasty to me.) Instructions were to keep it dry, antibiotic cream, and come back in about a week to get the stitches out. I asked if I can take them out myself, and save a copay. He looked suprised, but said yes. So not as serious as I had thought, I guess.

Boy do I feel stupid!!!

May 27th, 2008 at 05:59 am

I spent all day Sunday in the E.R. Why? Because I am stupid.

I somehow got my finger caught in a hydrolic wood splitter! My finger was mincemeat. I had an open fracture on my left ring finger. Lost my fingernail, and have six stiches. Not pretty!!! I am hoping to get an appt. with a bone specialist today. Surgery might be in my near future....

Slooowwwly growing...

May 22nd, 2008 at 08:13 am

After paying bills , we are only able to put $1000.00 in the emergency fund this month. Total now is $3000.00.

I hate to have a negative attitude, but it doesn't seem like we will make our goal by October. Maybe I'll back up the goal date to the end of the year.

On another note, I went to get my car inspected yesterday, and it did not pass. The tint is too dark! It's weird. It passed last year. So now I have to get my front windows retinted. Bummer, I really liked the darker tint. Very nice to have with this Texas sun. Just another expense to add to the pot.

Bring it on!!!!

May 21st, 2008 at 07:10 am

The cake orders that is.

I have been getting cake and cookie orders hand over fist. Yea! I'm waiting on a check to be cut for an order I did on Monday ($32.00), I have an order today (around $75.00), and several for this weekend ($42.00 & $48.00). This will be added to the challenge. The challenge $ will be funding our vacation. Any $ that is left over will go to the emergency fund.

The emergency fund is kind of depressing. Only $2000.00 right now. I will more that likely put $1000.00 in it after the bills are paid this month. My DH and I want this thig done yesterday so we can fund our Roths and the kids college fund. It just isn't moving along fast enough.

Challenge bal...............$1799.00
cake order (already pd).....$ 32.00
New bal.....................$1831.00

Full day today

May 19th, 2008 at 06:03 am

I have a lot to do today, but wanted to update my challenge. Adding $42.00 fo a cake order that I did last Friday.

I have several orders today, but I have to run to the store first because I didn't realize that I am out of several ingredients. Here's another time that disorganization has cost me money! (I really need to get it together!)

Had a gentleman stop by asking for the wood from the trees if we were going to just haul it away. He was very nice. We told him we were planning on selling it. I think I'm going to do as Amber suggested and put a "firewood for sale" sign out.

Oldest son (13) wanted a backpack to carry his gym clothes back and forth to school. I told him I would pay half. Luck had it, a week later we got a coupon in the mail for 1/2 off a $20.00 purchase. We found one for $19.99 and he used his coupon! Big Grin So he got a $20.00 backpack for $5.00 after I paid half the balance. I guess technically I should pay $10.00. That's half of the retail. His half being the coupon.

Challenge bal.....$1752.00
cake order........$ 42.00
NSD yesterday.....$ 5.00
New bal...........$1799.00

Free wood?

May 15th, 2008 at 06:27 am

I wrote in an earlier post that we had some trees cut down to the tune of $750.00. They were all Oak trees. We thought we would sell the wood this winter for fire wood to recoupe (sp) some of the cost. We still have to rent a splitter at $40.00/day. The problem is that so many people are asking for the wood (for free) knowing very well our plans for selling it come this fall. I don't want to seem selfish, but I have an emergency fund that I need to build up. Smile
Vent over - sorry.

DH got paid today. After all bills are paid, we should be able to put at least $1500.00 to the emergency fund. I have really tried to watch the spending this month, but I am going to splurge and get my hair done today with some birthday money I got last week from my parents. Hope hope I feel sassy like Thrifty Ray. Big Grin

I have several cake orders to do between now and the end of the month. That shound bring in about $250.00 total. As I recieve payment, it will be added to the challenge.

Where does it all go?

May 5th, 2008 at 06:56 am

That's what I say every month, so I decided to document all money spent in May. This is what it looks like so far...

4/30...gas for mower...$33.00
...cash for DH...$37.00
...cash for me...$30.00
...gas for truck...$51.00
...youth camp dep...$85.00
5/01...trees cut...$750.00
5/02...books from garage sale...$1.00
...diesel to burn branches...$19.00
...gas for SUV...$61.00
...water for kids while out...$2.00
5/03...WalMart (tire, gas cards, etc)...$161
5/04...Sunday papers for coupons...$6.00

We are not even thru the first week and have spent $1236.00, and today I will be running errands and spending more. Everything I have purchased (and plan to purchase) is nessities. Yes, I should have packed a cooler instead of buying water for the kids, but it was an impromptu trip.

Still waiting for my stimulus. Ours is going to the vacation fund and emergency fund.

Hope to have enough time today to bake homemade cinnamon rolls and banana bread. Will take samples to a friend of mines office with some buisness cards.

Adding to the challenge
ck rdup.$ 21.00
no A/C..$ 3.00
new bal.$1752.00

Radiant barrier

April 30th, 2008 at 07:23 am

My DH and myself are considering installing radiant barrier in our attic. From what I have researched, it will help considerably with the cooling cost. I found a distributor online and can get it shipped straight to the house. Cost for supplies....only $400.00. I think it will be well worth it. We will install it ourselves...free.

Does anyone else have this? If so, how do you like it? Does it make a significant difference in cooling costs? Any tips from the DIY'ers?

Challenge update
Coupons....$ 10.00
New bal....$1748.00

Just catching up

April 29th, 2008 at 06:39 am

Where do I start? It's been awhile since I've been here.

My computer monitor went out several days ago. Looked to see what the warranty was. Two year warranty states that we are responsible for shipping and labor. They are only responsible for the part. Ended up ordering a new one (different brand), because it probably would have cost more to get the old one fixed.

On Thursday we are having four trees cut down in our yard. They are eaten up with carpenter ants and are a hazard. $750.00. OUCH!

I have been getting a few orders for cakes and cookies lately. I'm kicking around the idea of taking some sample plates around to different buisness and leaving my card.

I have been avoiding eating out, as I am waaaaaaayyy over budget this month. About $700.00 I'm embarassed to say. I really need to get control of this!

Hoping to have another garage sale soon. I really like the minimalist look, and will really have to purge a lot to achieve it. We just have too many things.

Challenge update:
cookie sales...$ 63.00
no A.C.........$ 3.00
new bal........$1738.00


April 22nd, 2008 at 09:27 am

My youngest is in first grade, in GT classes, and is doing very well. My problem is the second grade teacher is just awful! My oldest had her six years ago and her and I didn't see eye to eye to say the least. It's just not me because I have discussed her attitude with many people and they agree. She does not treat the children like they should be treated.

I don't want his school expierence to be bad. At this age it should still be fun.
His current teacher is strict but not mean, and he really likes her.

Everyone has told me to do what I have to do to get him out of there next year. (even school staff)

If I get him out, I think he will be bored with school. "Been there, done that" sort of thing. I could always suppliment his learning at home.

Well, what do yall think?


Sent in a rebate today. Should be getting $10.00 in 8-10 wks. Sigh...

Adding to the challenge
No air......$ 1.00
Coupons.....$ 18.00
NSD.........$ 5.00
New balance.$1672.00

How high will you go?

April 21st, 2008 at 01:05 pm

It is 81 degrees in my house right now. I am okay with it, though I'm almost at my breaking point. How hot will you let it get inside before you crank on the air? And what do you set it at? I personally like it around 79 degrees Smile, but the other members would like it lower.

Adding to the challenge

April 19th, 2008 at 07:38 am

I was pleasently suprised when I got my electric bill yesterday. Only $166.00. Has'nt been that low in a while.

$1638.00...challenge bal.
$4.00...no heat/air for 4 days
$5.00...Pinecone ck.
$1.00...found in dryer
$1648.00...new bal.

Emergency fund and eating healthy

April 15th, 2008 at 10:51 am

We started our emergency fund today with $2000.00. It is going to be tight for the rest of the month, but I believe we can do it. My progress will be noted in my sidebar for my own motivation.

A family member has decided to eat healthier, and has already lost 5 lbs in 11 days. Just making wise food choices and exercising 3-4X a week. I'm charting the weight loss on the sidebar.

NSD are too few and far between, so I decided to stay home today. Smile I have errands to run, but nothing that can't wait.

Eating leftover lasagne tonight as I am trying to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the food budget.

And thanks Lux, my house is so dark! When I got thru reading your blog, I turned off five lights and a ceiling fan in rooms nobody was using. Soon I will go unplug a few things. Smile I will keep count as I go. Should be iteresting...

Adding $5.00 to the challenge for a NSD, and $5.00 for no heat/air the past 5 days. New total, $1638.00

Increasing electric bill and adding to the challenge

April 14th, 2008 at 06:44 am

DH uncovered the pool yesterday. The kids were so excided, though they couldn't swim. Still need to super shock and vacuum. I, on the other hand, am not looking forward to the increased electric bill due to running the pump 24/7. It usually goes up about $100.00/mo.
Oh well, the kids really enjoy it. Smile

Only one more day to payday, and we can start our 6 mo. emergency fund. I get excited just thinking about it, though my mind wanders to all the fix-ups that need to be done around the house.

I need to call and get some bids on my kids bathroom. We had a guy out who did a half-ass job, and now has to be redone. This project has been in limbo way too long. My DH would do it but works long hours, and it really wouldn't be cost effective for him to take time off work to do it.

Rolled my change yesterday and have $39.00 to add to the challenge, bringing the total to $1628.00.

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