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Archive for September, 2013

Taking Stock ... again (rambling a bit ... :) )

September 29th, 2013 at 02:14 pm

So today I finally got around to doing yet another fresh start in YNAB. Ugh. While my networth has gone up thanks to a particular electric car, everything else is not going in the right direction. In fact, between all of my credit cards, the amount is more than my next 1 1/2 paychecks. (I get paid every 2 weeks.) I have the money to pay them in full, it's just some of that money is being pulled from other places.

Included on the CC statment is the cost of the tickets for my upcoming trip to NE. I have not yet purchased my Christmas tickets - going to CA and then to NE and then back here. October is a 3 paycheck month, so that will cover that with no problem. I do think I'm going to have to resign myself to the fact that I probably am not going to be able to make the trip to TX for my friend's sons graduation. Frown Right around that time I'm going to need any extra money to pay for moving expenses .. not for a trip.

I decided to cancel hulu+ and only keep Netflix. I almost canceled Netflix too, but there are times I really want to watch a movie or watch a bunch of episodes in a row ... I'm also deleting the HayDay app from my phone/iPad so that I won't be tempted to buy more in-app stuff ... or waste numerous hours playing it. It just isn't worth it (using my fun money for this game.)

I think I've figured out what I'm going to do for Christmas gifts - make insect repellant soap! I can get the supplies to make quite a few of them for about $30. I just need to figure out a nice way to package them. (If you want a link to the recipe, let me know.) This is also something that I can kind of make my "signature gift" because everyone can use something like this, and it is always needed (during certain seasons at least.) It'll also travel well once I figure out good packaging for it.)

I'm not sure if that by itself is "enough" though... what might be something good/easy/cheap to pair with it??

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My goals for October:

1. Update YNAB every time I make a purchase.
2. Stay within grocery budget ($150)
3. No unnecessary spending outside of fun money
-- fun money will probably be spent on a mani/pedi and whatever I need while out in NE.
4. Have more non-spending days (not including bills) than spending days.
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I was debating on whether or not I should stay in a hotel the night before my trip, or just leave early enough from here to make it to the airport. My flight leaves at 7 a.m. and it takes approximately 90 minutes to get to the airport. I'd want to be there by no later than 5:45, so that would mean leaving here around 4 a.m. It would be so much more relaxing to be up there Thursday night ... but is it $60 worth of more relaxing? I can always sleep on the plane ... right?

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Oh, funny thing. As I was checking my various credit cards I found out that I had overpaid on my gas card (I had it set on auto pay, but prepaid some of it one month for some reason.) So it had a credit of $85.15. Guess what my gas budget is for October? Smile This is what happens when you're not paying attention...

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I have about $2200 left on my car loan. At $300/month, that means it will be paid off by about April (I may make a $400 payment to get it finished.)

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Question ... if your networth has gone above the $100k mark (mainly due to one stock) - should you increase your car insurance coverage to the max? Before this stock, I didn't have anything really in the way of assets ... but now?? Should I think about an umbrella policy, or am I still low enough in assets to not worry about that? If I were in an accident (at-fault) can they go after retirement accounts, or are they protected from lawsuits? (If so, then my non-retirement assets are closer to $40k - mostly in the one stock. So if that goes south ... then my networth quickly goes south as well.)

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Upcoming expenses -
$20 - Tolls from summer NE trip
$65 - medical (after insurance from two visits)
$24 - refill prescription
$30 - soap making supplies for gifts
$30 - mani/pedi (fun money)
$11 - Kari's nails trimmed (Kari's budget line)
$12 - cupcakes for Halloween Festival cake walk
$6 - candy for Halloween (all staff put together candy to hand out to neighborhood kids - usually 200+ kids)
$10 - snacks for book fair volunteers (I AM NOT buying books from the book fair this year!!!!)
$150 - Renew ALA and AASL professional membership

$20? - treat for meal in NE (grocery budget or maybe vacation budget?)

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I need to check to see if the local library has season 2 of Person of Interest. If not .. then I'm going to have to start setting aside some money to buy it. It's $27 for the whole season on Amazon Instant, or $43 for the DVDs. If I get the DVDs I can sell them to Second Spin for $14.25. Hmm.. It would almost end up costing the same, so probably the Instant is the way to go - less hassle and can watch on my iPad in bed snuggled up and warm. Smile That is .. if the library doesn't have it. Maybe I can set aside whatever I earn from Pinecone towards it, or ... one of every five AGCs I earn could be put towards it rather than books for the library... If only it was on Hulu+ or Netflix. This is the one downside to not owning a tv - certain stations that put the first six full episodes of a show up on their website for free and get you hooked, and then stop - and don't let any of the regular sites air them.
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I just got an email notification that my $15 AGC from Swagbucks had credited to my account. That was fast - I think I ordered it on Wednesday?!

Counting Down...

September 22nd, 2013 at 11:17 am

Only 3 more weeks til I make my trip to NE. I can hardly wait (even though it will be only for 2 1/2 days - better than nothing!)

As soon as I get back from my trip, it will be time to start preparing for the book fair. This year since we have an in-service on the Monday of book fair week, we will be having our pre-view day on the Friday before (Oct 18 I think.) I feel bad for the kids in my Friday classes - 3 Fridays in a row with no real class. But what can I do?

This Monday we have an in-service day. The local Diocesan changed the policy that everyone has to do the 3 hour training on s*x predators *every* year, instead of just once every five years. Ugh. So looking forward to it. (would be okay if they have different videos, but I highly, highly, doubt that.)

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I'm feeling pretty dissapointed about something right now. I knew the likeliness of it was extremely minimal, but certain things led me to hope that just *maybe.* Sigh. Maybe another time. Probably never. If it had happened, it sure would have turned my world upside down financially/emotionally - but it would've been worth it. Completely worth it.

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My mom turned 62 this last week, and my grandma 92. I think it's kind of funny that they're almost exactly 30 years apart - but really do not like each other. (well, the not liking part is sad, not funny) My grandma is going to be going on a Panama Canal cruise with my aunt in a bit more than a week from now. She is getting pretty excited about it. Smile I hope when I'm 92 I'm as active and with-it as she is.

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I need to get Kari in to get her nails trimmed this week. I would have done it this past Thursday but I ended up going into ABQ to meet up with a high-school friend and her family. I hadn't seen her in 20 years!! (Which is impossible right, since we both are 29 .. again and again and again. Big Grin ) She has two boys - a 3rd and 6th grader. Polite and well-behaved. Smile Her husband seemed like a nice guy. It was good to catch up. I really paid for the trip though - doing a 3 hour round trip after work, and then having a full, busy day at work the next day... Can you say exhausted?

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I heard from one of my walking buddies yesterday. She asked me if I was still doing GymPact ... Um.... I was embarrassed to have to tell her that I really haven't walked much since school started. Between the rainy afternoons and not having anyone to walk with... it's hard to get out there. It seems like the rain has become less frequent the past few days, so I really just need to get myself out there and do it. No excuses! My clothes sure tell the difference between walking and not walking ...

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I can't think of anything too much on the financial front right now. Bought some groceries and prizes for a trivia contest on Friday (prize drawing will be on the 30th - but Wal-mart had a ton of stuff on clearance.) ~$100

Payday was on Thursday.

Besides my trips with/to/for NE this year, I have at least two other trips I'd like to take. One is to TX for my best friends son's 8th grade graduation. I held him when he was a week old, saw him graduate from pre-school and kindergarten, and saw him baptized. If at all possible, I don't want to miss his 8th grade graduation. It will depend on several factors - one being when our 8th grade graduation is here and if I can do both. The other is to NC to visit my former walking buddy.

So ... seeing how I have a lot in the way of trips that I want to do, I really need to pull the reigns in on my spending. I'm still paying my cards off every month in full, contributing to my ROTH, and doing double car payments ... but otherwise my savings is at a standstill.

Groceries/Walmart seems to be my biggest money drain. So .. I am seriously (again) considering going to a cash basis for groceries. Still considering how to best do that here.
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I have around $18 in checks from Pinecone that I need to deposit. Just need to do it - easy peasy taking a picture of it. That money will go to my travel budget. Smile

Rainy Rainy

September 16th, 2013 at 01:54 pm

We've had quite a bit of rain here in the desert the past few weeks, but especially the past few days. On Saturday we even had pebble-sized hail - two bouts of about ten minutes of it. The recent deluge caused concern about a dam above a town about 30 miles from here (and a valley away) where about 20% of our student population is bused in from. So, the decision was made to close school today.

Friday we had our yearly Diocesan in-service. The best part of it was meeting the librarian from one of the other schools. She's been here for 2 years (on her 3rd) - wish we could have met the first year. Oh well, better late than never, right? Smile

I've bought tickets for my next plane trip .. heading out on Oct. 11 and getting back on the 13th. Short trip, lotta money, but well worth it. NE Big Grin

NE and I were talking about possibly spending part of Thanksgiving in CO .. unfortunately I think that area isn't going to be in any shape for tourists by then. (We weren't looking at CO Springs, but more the area that's closer to Littleton I think. NE bought some car stereo mags from a guy in that area and fell absolutely in love with the scenery - wanted to fish in some of the streams.)

I got an email from Ting today telling me someone used my referral link .. Thanks to whoever that was. Smile Someday when I go back to Ting, I'll start out with a credit! Smile (I loved the service, just couldn't stand the Android phone I had to use. They get the iPhone .. I'm in!)

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I've decided to not stress about paying my car loan off by December. I had planned on making one lump sum payment to finish it off (probably around $900) but I've realized it's either travel expenses or paying the car off by December. It can't really be both. It'll still be paid off early - probably by March, or April at the latest.

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This past week I received about $70 in SB AGCs - and spent it all. Books for the library of course. Big Grin They should be here by Wednesday (all but 1.)

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I'm seriously addicted to this farm game on the iOS system. HD. I need to find iTunes cards at a discount to feed my addiction a little more cheaply. (Or figure out how to shut off the ability to buy virtual currency ... and have it locked to where I can't unlock it intentionally or not ..) For now, I've set a limit to what I can spend. One purchase a month only. (The small "little" purchases were adding up ...)

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I'm starting to think about what I'm going to do for Christmas gifts. NE and I have already agreed that our travel expenses we're incurring this year seeing each other is more than enough and no need for anything else. The rest of my family (other than my brother, who I've already exchanged gifts with this summer) I'll need to do something for.

I will be going to San Jose again this year for Christmas (NE can't come, so I'll stay in SJ for a while and then go to NE.)

Any ideas? My aunt is very health conscious and very classy/high end. My uncle has everything under the sun and is becoming more health conscious. My grandma is 92 (as of yesterday!) and really doesn't need anything. I was thinking maybe treating the three of us to a mani/pedi - but then not sure of my uncle. Or maybe treat everyone to a meal out ... though that could get pretty expensive with some of the places they eat at there ... Hmmm... If my other aunt/uncle are there too, then I'll need to figure out something for them as well.

My aunt's friend who's always there always gives homemade fudge (Yum!!) If I could figure out something like that, which would travel well and not be too difficult to make/do ... (One year I gave them all reusable tote bags that I'd personalized with their names using fabric paint and a silicone microwave liner. Not sure how well that went over ...)

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Well, am going to catch up on the blogs a bit if I can pull myself away from HD long enough ... Smile

Lovely Week :)

September 6th, 2013 at 09:14 pm

Ahh... what can I say. The kids were pretty well behaved on the three days I was at school, and NE ... sweet, sweet, sweet.

NE got in *early* Tuesday morning (about 2 a.m.) I stayed up long enough to show him around and then headed to bed. Tuesday evening we went into big G and ate at a place called Grandpa's. NE was quite impressed by their cheese steak. Wednesday I took off of work. We went to a local park/lake that I hadn't realized how just how nice it was .. and went lizard hunting. We probably hiked around for a good two miles in this one really rocky/hilly area. In all, we found four lizards - NE got some really good pictures of them. Then we were off to ABQ where I showed him the elementary school I attended from 3rd - 8th grade, and we found two of the three places I'd lived. Thursday after I got off work we ate at a fairly famous sports bar - I love their sweet potato fries, and I thought he might like the sports memorabilia. He wasn't too impressed with their food. He headed back to NE early this morning - probably will be getting there in a few hours from now.

All in all, it was a truly great week.

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One downer though...my friend/co-worker who's had lung cancer twice in the past year .. She told me on Thursday that she'd been coughing up blood. Frown She went into ABQ this morning for some more testing. I just have a bad feeling. The school nurse thinks that her knee issues (my friends) may be cancer related - as in metastasized.

I hope my friend doesn't get mad at me ... she hadn't told anyone other than me about the coughing up blood. This morning when I got into the cafeteria though, the nurse asked me point blank if I knew anything about AL's health. I tried to avoid really answering, but she figured it out mostly. She then told our principal (AL had called our principal at 6 this morning to let her know she'd be out today.) All of us are just worried about her - I just hope she understands that I didn't just go blabbing what she told me, but it got pulled out of me under duress.

Sigh.

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In other news . .. I got my 1,000 Swagbuck bonus yesterday, as well as another 328 SBs for spending. Today I cashed out for a $25 AGC. Within the next week or so, I should have around $65 in AGC from SBs coming.

I also got another Pinecone check in the mail, as well as completing another survey.

OH! I also got a $5 AGC from a mobile survey thing I put on my iPad. (similar to Nielson, which I have on my iPhone - they collect data, anonymously.)

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I'm going to go catch up on the blogs now. Smile Haven't had much Internet time this week. Big Grin