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Archive for February, 2018

Tempting ...

February 28th, 2018 at 05:07 pm

So today I went to the health fair put on by a combo of the city/county people. There were a few new booths that weren't there last year.

One was a booth where you could get your blood typed. I did that because I had no idea what mine was.

I'm O+! That means not many could donate their blood to me, but mine could go to anyone! This makes me feel almost obligated to donate.

Another table was a fitness center in downtown. They offer barre classes.

I've been wanting to try barre for a long time. The only place I knew of that offered it was in the far South of town.

It's $15 for one class, but you can get class passes to reduce the cost - i.e. $425 for 50 classes.

They offer them at 5:15. So I'd have plenty of time to make it there from work.

I so want to do this.

But I'm spending so much on the cruise ... I have enough for the cruise, but need to save for the flight and tips. And general spending money.

Even if I sold everything salable (i.e. fluff worth something) I might get $100 at most.

I really want to do this class. Maybe I could just do the one ... I may not even like it (doubt it)

I need to set aside money for replacing my phone and my computer too ... even though neither will be for a number of years.

I need to replace my shoes - both work dress shoes, sandals and sneakers.

Too many places for money to go and not enough coming in!

I really need to figure some way of bringing in more spending money other than Swagbucks/koinme/perk/earnhoney/inbox dollars/bank interest/cc rewards.

Maybe I could try selling my plasma ... the last time I tried, I chickened out. I don't like needles much.

Paycheck Stub $ Changes

February 27th, 2018 at 04:57 pm

Today I was able to see my paycheck for Thursday - my raise is reflected on it! It looks like about $50/paycheck (*26) Not too shabby.

That plus the extra $10 from the tax cut thing ...

So first thing I did was change my withholding on my W-4 from 1 to 2. I figure it to be safe enough since we got back over $800 this year.

Then I changed my 457 contribution up $50.

The net result will still be a little extra in the paycheck, and an extra $1300 in my 457. Smile

---
I'm about halfway finished with book 9! Back on track.

I'm mostly finished with setting up my bujo for March. I left out a few things which I ended up not using, and added a few things.

One thing I added is a 31 day drop it challenge. Basically going extra strict with my eating / exercise - hoping it will jumpstart the weight loss again. I'm up about 8 lbs from January ... Frown

Booked Cruise!!

February 26th, 2018 at 05:50 pm

Got the go ahead from my brother today - and booked our cruise! It works out to about $500 each for a 7 day Caribbean cruise!! All that's left is the flight there, and tips of course.

Mom's dh has offered to cover the hotel.

We'll be going Sept 9 - 16.

I did the first step to get a passport - stopped at Walgreen's for a photoshoot. Smile

I booked on Expedia via Swagbucks - 10SBs per dollar - sweet!

I'm going to wait til June or July to book my flight (is it 12 weeks out or 16 that's better?)

Just a wee bit excited!

I'll need to contact them to make sure I have lots of whole food options on board. Smile

Too Many CCs

February 25th, 2018 at 01:22 pm

Oy Vey. Apparently I have applied for too many credit cards the past two years. Not only did Chase deny me, but US Bank. Seriously. I'm not even a serious cc churner!

I have a score in the excellent range.

Ugh!

I really wanted to take advantage of the 5% utilities - esp since both our gas and electric budget billing have gone up, up, up!

I probably should close some of the cards and then just wait til January to try again. So annoying.

(dh's score won't qualify for either of the cards I want - though it's getting close.)

I'll just have to focus on bank bonuses for the next year or so.

----
We're having our budget meeting tonight. One thing we'll need to discuss is whether or not we'll get a Costco or Sam's membership. Sam's is half of Costco's, and we have 4 Sam's vs 1 Costco. But I like Costco so much more.

In reality it may be better to do neither.

I see myself getting cat litter, oatmeal, bulk beans and spices ...at Costco. DH gas, meat products???

I pay $10/30lbs of cat litter at Petco and we go through around 60 - 70lbs/month

I get old fashioned oatmeal $2.29 for 32 oz at Aldi's or steal cut for $2.79 16oz. I go through a canister about every 6 - 8 weeks.

spices - I just paid $3.49 for 8 oz of turmeric at Walmart. That might last six weeks?

I'd only get there at most 1 x per month due to distance (20+ minute drive)

As for Sam's, there's one on my way home from work (sort of) so I could get gas there too more than 1 x a month.

You can get a refund on your membership if you find it's not working for you right? (Costco)

Refunds Are Here! Fender Bender :(

February 23rd, 2018 at 05:06 pm

Both our federal and state refunds have been deposited. That'll make budgeting March a little more fun. Smile

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I found out today that my friend will Not be coming on Monday. She apparently got hired in a town in Western Nebraska. Frown Yay for the job, but boo for not coming.

At least I got some needed stuff done around here.

---
This morning on my way to work I rear ended someone in a brand new SUV. Frown

Neither of us was hurt - really mostly a slight bump. Her bumper has a few scratches, my bumper has a hole in it ...

We exchanged insurance info and took pictures.

My insurance person told me the worst that'll happen is I'll lose my accident free discount - ~$34/year.

They're going to send an appraiser next week to look at my car, but I doubt it'll be more than our $1k deductible.

We may or may not fix it - DH says its just cosmetic.

So annoying on many levels - one being that it had been 7 years since my last fender bender, 5+ years of nothing more than door dings on this car (so it looked pretty darn nice when washed), and just the hassle of dealing with whatever aftermath. Plus its going to make me even more cautious on icy days than I already am - which may really annoy some people. Oh well.

--
I found Victoria on Amazon Prime - watched the first episode with painful buffering and freezing ...

Stopped at the library to see if they could locate it better than me - or do an ILL. They found both seasons! Yay!

New Checking / CD, Beet Juice

February 21st, 2018 at 07:19 pm

So I scoured Doctor of Credits site today looking to see what I could do now that Northpointe is defunct.

I thought about doing the Chase checking/savings offer, but was sadly informed I couldn't since there are no Chase branches in my area. Frown

So, the other one which looked promising - Christian Community CU - $200 bonus w/direct deposits, signing up for estatements, etc. Must keep open 6 months. Avoid fees with balance of $1500.

Plus, a 18 month 4% CD for up to $2500.

Big caveat - must be a non-Catholic Christian.

So, I've applied. I need to scan my Driver's license and send it, and then I guess someone will contact me?

Anyway, this plus 5k on my insight card at 5% will at least keep the money working hard for me. And will be slightly less hassle.

--
I stopped at HyVee tonight to pick up a 5lb bag of potatoes for $.49. (Mostly for DH.) While there I decided to look to see if they had beet juice (supposed to be excellent for lowering blood pressure.) They did! $7 for 32 oz.!! Gulp.

DH tried it before heading to work - no danger of him guzzling it ... but he did say it was tolerable!

Now to find a reasonable juicer to make our own.

--
Both our electric and gas budgeted amounts are up for March. Which is great since DH is having a string of nights where he's not making his normal amount. Plus, a short month.

Our rainy day funds will be getting short shrift in March I'm afraid. Luckily August will be flush - 3 March paychecks plus tax refund.

Rug Doctor, etc

February 19th, 2018 at 01:29 pm

Seeing as though it's a long weekend for me, and my friend is coming a week from Monday - I had a long list of things to do.

What I have accomplished so far:

Spent a total of 3 1/2 hours vacuuming ... vacuum wasn't cooperating at first, and then I had to keep stopping and cleaning it completely out. The joy of cats.

Spot treated the carpet.

Scrubbed the tub.

Hung the mirror in the dining room (second mirror doesn't have hanging wire, so am forgoing that project for now.)

Steam cleaned the carpets.

Reminded DH to bring me the dishes from the abyss of the basement (similar to socks in a dryer ...)

And ... then woke up this morning not feeling it at all. Stuffy and sore and just ugh. Glad I got the steam cleaning done yesterday ...

There really isn't that much left to do ... so it will be what it is.

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In prep for the cruise I started looking up airfare. Southwest was by far the cheapest.

So ... I decided to apply for a SW rewards card - 50k point bonus would more than pay for my flight. Maybe for a shuttle to/from the airport too - then probably Amazon cards ..

I got the message saying I'd be contacted via snail mail ... I'm going to be really annoyed if they don't qualify me - it's a Chase card, so I think the rule is 4/24 (4 cards in 24 months.) I have 4 Chase cards - but at least one of them is over 3 years old+.

Now I'm going to have to wait to make sure before going for a US Bank card with the $150 bonus - which would cover most of the airfare. (5% utilities bonus category too)

--
I'm on book 7 for 2018. That's been going a bit slower than I hoped. I have to remember to keep a book on my desk - because as soon as I sit down, I have at least 1 - 2 cats on my lap. Smile

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DH and I had an interesting conversation last night. I'd asked him to write down what he felt we each contributed to the household, and also what we each appreciated about the other. I did the same.

Our lists were really pretty close! I had more things listed, but it included pretty much everything he had on his lists.

Afterwards he attempted (without complaint) to help me get the cat tree put up. In the end we both declared it a piece of junk only fit for the garbage. (I'd bought it 5 or 6 years ago in New Mexico for Kari - some of the connectors had cracked - he tried drilling holes and adding screws, but then it cracked even more.)

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I almost forgot! As I was picking up my office, I came across an unopened letter from Northpointe bank. It was from January 26. It was sad news ... they are ending the 15 transactions for 5% deal - and going to $1k/mo transactions for 1%!

Um...yeah. I can get a better rate at nearly any online bank without having to go through loopholes.

So, that means at the end of February I'll start the process of migrating the money back to our joint account (that pays 3% on up to $30k.) I may also finally fund my Insight card with $5k for 5%. (Procrastinate much ...)

Maybe a Cruise?

February 16th, 2018 at 06:51 pm

A few months ago when I was talking to my mom she mentioned wanting to get together with my brother and I again. This last week I was talking to my brother, and he mentioned it too.

So I got thinking ... what about a cruise! We went on one when dad was alive - the 4 of us - a friend was getting married on Cozumel and 3 of us were in her wedding party. We had a blast!

I looked it up - and a 7 day cruise out of Galveston is still about $500! Not cheap, but not bad for 7 days lodging, food and entertainment.

The next thing would be figuring out airfare. Maybe get one of those travel rewards cards?

We're looking after Thanksgiving - time to save up and to plan.

I'd need to take 6 vacation days, but I have at least 5 right now (which I'll need for whatever vacation DH and I do.) I think I should have enough built up by then.

The next thing is figuring out how to save enough for the cruise, airfare, etc. I'm making around $75 - 100/month with swagbucks, and then more off and on from other places. But half of that goes to my giving/tithing category. The other half I divide between spending and big goal. So .. it builds slowly.

Maybe this will be the motivation I need to get stuff put up on ebay, etc. Smile

I hope this really happens!

*I was trying to find something that left from San Francisco so I could see my grandma as part of the deal - but as far as I could tell nothing starts/ends in San Francisco. (I'd go with a shorter cruise)


---
We went to a Mexican restaurant for our belated Vday dinner. It was a unique place - flour tortilla chips, veggie tacos made with green beans, broccoli and something else, etc. The food was decent, but overpriced. Our waitress was awesome though - DH said she was in the top 10%. Left her a $10 tip. (our bill was $32)

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I've got a whole list of stuff I plan on getting done this weekend as part of prepping for my friend's visit. Hope I actually get to it all ...

One thing I'm not doing is cooking this weekend - other than spaghetti on Sunday. I have enough stuff in the freezer for lunches. So hopefully that'll save time / energy for cleaning!

One of the things I want to get done this weekend is hang the mirrors! We have plaster walls so I'm really nervous about hanging heavy stuff on them. I'm going to be looking for youtube videos on it.

I'll also be renting a rug doctor ... see how much that'll help. Sigh.

If DH will do something about the basement ... litter boxes and chickens ... that might help too. Doubt he'll do anything though.

Visited R Cave!

February 12th, 2018 at 06:53 pm

Last night DH and I went on a private tour of the cave his family used to own. There is a brewing company on top of it now.

J, who has written a book about the cave was our tour guide. A few weeks ago DH had spent a few hours with J in the cave. J told me he'd added a section in the book about the visit. Smile The book should be out in March or early April.

I was really impressed by the cave. It was more than I thought it would be. A couple places J took us into areas that are off limits to the general public. Generally, where the bats are.

In one place if I had stood up, my head would have bumped into a hibernating bat! It was so tiny that I could have easily cupped it in my hand.

I would have taken a picture, but DH had my purse (he'd stayed on the flat surface) plus I don't know if it would have bothered the bat.

DH's stepdad had given J a sand art bottle filled with sand from the cave. J offered it to DH - and he happily took it.

*Please ignore the mess in the background

I can hardly wait for the book to come out!

---
I got the last tax form I needed today. Will be getting $833 Federal, and $135 State.

We'll do our usual 1/3'rds - 1/3 - Future (EF); 1/3 - Present - (budget items - probably car repair and pet fund), and 1/3 Past (DH's student loans)

--
Tomorrow my new paystub should post so I can see if my raise has gone through yet and if the tax cut has gone into effect on it yet.

---
I cashed out Inbox Dollars for $27 last night, and tonight I cashed out Koinme for a $50 Walmart card

Etc

February 9th, 2018 at 07:09 pm

A few days ago I was checking my credit cards and noticed a $41 charge for Planet Fitness. Oops! Had it really been a year since I changed my plan?

I called on Thursday to find out if I could get the fee refunded after canceling. Nope. And to cancel I'd have to go into a location.

So, I did that today. I hadn't been there since sometime in April. I told myself I'd go back when the weather got bad again, but then they were doing road construction which made it a pain to get to ... and I just got out of the habit.

Right now I'm focusing more on getting habits going on taking care of the housework, and fitness throughout the day - so taking 1 1/2 - 2 hours (between commute time and actual workout) to go there ... not worth it at this time.

---
I stopped at Dollar Tree and picked up some groceries - some for me, some DH had requested. $24

Then I stopped at HyVee and got .6 lb of Brazil nuts - $7.29 (should last for several months - we eat 2 - 4 each week for heart health.)

I made a bit of a mess getting them - the bin just opened up a bit faster than I was ready for - nuts went all over the floor. Oops. I swept it up as much as I could with my foot, then got a store worker.

Tomorrow I need to get toilet paper and some other groceries.

---
I'm still doing fairly well with bujo. It's helping me be accountable even with I'm so tired all I want to do is lounge. I haven't done any of my bi-weekly tasks yet ... but it hasn't been two weeks yet!

I need to find a source for good suggested memory texts. I have Is 40:31 memorized, but need a new one for my memory work task. I'm wanting ones which help me stay in a positive frame of mind (since sometimes that is very hard lately to do.)

Childhood Friend!, Sick Day ...

February 5th, 2018 at 05:02 pm

I was feeling a bit run down yesterday when I woke up, but powered through it because I had so much I wanted to accomplish.

This morning I was still feeling ugh, and barely made it through my daily smoothie.

Got to work and started off with the standing desk up, but after ten minutes, had to put it down because I just wasn't feeling it. By 9:30 I realized I wasn't going to make it through the day.

I got home just as the snow started up again, and slept through most of the snowstorm. We got another inch, maybe two inches. Glad I didn't have to drive home in it!

I'm still feeling blergh, but hopefully another nights sleep will help.

I get so frustrated with my body sometimes. Why doesn't the stuff that make other people feel so healthy and full of energy do the same for me??? Eating the junk doesn't make me feel healthy or full of energy either ... so guess keep on keeping on, and at some point it will get better.

So anyway ...

When I woke up from my 4 hour nap (sweet!) I was looking on FB and saw a childhood friend posting about needing an air bnb room because she was going to be in my city!! Wait what? So I messaged her to find out when it would be - she said Tuesday, Feb 27? I think - she has a job interview here and in O town the day before!

I told her I needed to check with DH, but if she hadn't already booked a room she could stay here.

I haven't seen her since I was 13 years old! She lived in my neighborhood in Albuquerque. We would play at each others houses, walk all over the neighborhood talking about many things including the latest Days of Our Lives episode Smile, ride bikes all over, etc. One time we even tried to get a job at a local fast food place together (but were told we were too young.)

When DH got up to go into work, I surprised him by being here. Smile Then I told him about my friend's post. Surprisingly, he seemed okay with it (after asking me where we'd put her Smile ) Unsurprisingly, he said he was okay with it as long as he didn't have to do anything extra for it. Urgh.

I told him that beyond not leaving his clothes all over the kitchen when he got home from work, and making sure the cat litter boxes in the basement were clean smelling I would take care of anything else.

So many times I have to remind myself that he is not my dad. He wasn't raised in a home where the dad did much at all, and his mom pretty much expected NOTHING out of him. So yeah, moms of little boys - please expect them to do stuff so they turn into men who do stuff as a matter of course!

I'll probably take that Monday off from work so I can do whatever last minute cleaning that needs to be done. On the 19th I'll probably rent a rug doctor to try to get the carpets clean..er.

My friend has multiple pets, so hopefully she won't be too put off by the house.

It would just be beyond cool if she got the job, and moved here with her family! I might have someone to go do things with once in awhile! Maybe invite her family here for dinner sometimes or something.

Even if she gets the job in O instead, I'll still have someone within reasonable distance to get together with once in awhile.

I really, really hope she gets one of the jobs she's interviewing for!

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I heard the stock market tanked today. Haven't checked since this morning. Sounds like a good time to make my ROTH purchases for the month. Smile

Feeling Productive, $pending

February 4th, 2018 at 03:12 pm

I don't know if it's feeling accountable to my bujo, maybe having a little more energy, or what .. but I've been getting things done the past few days!

Yesterday I did laundry (AND got it put away correctly ..) washed some more dishes (ran out of hot water again so didn't finish), 2 hours of grocery shopping and putting things away, and got caught up on receipt pal/hog for receipts.

Today I cleared off all the doors (I have a bad habit of hanging stuff on door knobs or over the top of doors ...), finished the dishes, made veggie chili, made black bean burgers, prepped potatoes for my lunches, swept the upstairs, kon married my dresser, and some other things I'm forgetting.

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Grocery shopping

Walmart -
32 oz Walnuts - 12.96
32 oz ground flaxseed - 6.76
Smucker's All Natural PB (no oil, no salt) 16oz 3.32
6 oz Pepitas (smoothie) - 2.98
bananas - .44/lb
Date almond rolls - $4.98 (addictive!)
1 can of pears lite syrup - $1.08

I was really annoyed with the CS at Walmart and the Walmart Pay app. With Apple Pay you still get a paper receipt. Until last night, I was able to request a paper receipt from a cashier and get it. Last night though I used scan and go so had to go to CS desk. Ugh! What a waste of ten minutes.

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Dollar Tree
3 burritos (husband) $3
Jamacian Style veggie patty - $1
TJ Farms frozen veggies - $3
3 pk Mandarain oranges - $4
frozen berries blend - $2
various household stuff - $6

Aldi's --
*out of a lot of stuff! 3 weeks in a row

2 cans garbanzos - $1.30
veg broth - 1.79
frz broc florets - .89
red onions - .79
cucumber - .49
3lb sweet potatoes - 1.49
3lbs navel oranges - 3.69
bag baby carrots - .99

Russ's
*used a raincheck for canned diced tomatoes

8 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes 3.12
Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar -- 16 oz 3.45
16 oz flat leaf spinach - 3.99
2 sparkling waters - 1.38



No Drama Here :)

February 2nd, 2018 at 06:38 pm

Just want to say thanks for all your support, advice, etc the last few posts.

Surprising what a calm, sit down, adult discussion can do to defuse difficult situations.

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Can I just say how much I'm loving my stand up desk? It makes the day go by faster, and I don't know if I'm imagining it or not, but I feel more energetic.

My fitbit is telling me I'm definitely more consistently active -today I scored an 8 out of 10 on moving at least 250 steps in an hour! My goal this month is at least a 5. So yeah ... Smile

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I really hope it's not just the newness of it, but so far the bujo seems to be helping me actually get things done!

Tonight I cleaned the litter boxes, added litter, washed half the dishes in the sink (before the water started getting warm), cleaned the bathroom counters/sink/mirror and prepped my breakfast for tomorrow.

All on a work night. At the end of a long stressful week.

I also finally got a couple donation things I'd done for SBs canceled before another donation could be pulled out. One was a simple phone call, the other I had to go through multiple phone trees. Ugh.

Forgot - I also stopped at the library and did a couple returns/pick ups.

I might start on book 4 for 2018 tonight, but I am wanting to get to bed at a decent hour - so that may be dangerous ...