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Maybe a Fence? June Snowflakes so far

June 12th, 2017 at 07:42 pm

DH called me this afternoon to tell me had the quote from the fence guy. At first he said it was $7k! I just about croaked. I told him we'd have to wait til next summer, unless he could make some quick sales of his audio stuff.

He called me again five minutes later and told me he had been looking at it wrong - the quote was $4895. That's more like it! I told him if he saw the fence guy, to schedule a start date!!

We'll be having two small gates and one large gate, plus some trees and bushes removed / trimmed. He also is going to bury one of our gutters.

It'll be so nice have a fenced in yard.

June Snowflakes so far:

Swagbucks - $25 Walmart; $25 Paypal

Pact - $10

Earnhoney - $5

Earnably - $10

So $50 in cash so far. $25 to my ROTH.

Saving Goals and Thinking About Housework

June 3rd, 2017 at 01:11 pm

My DH and I both get $200 each month for spending money. For me it covers tithe/offering/clothes/computer/phone, etc. For him it covers phone/computer/clothes/electronics/boat/tv/items he just wants to buy to resell/his soda habit, etc.

As part of this negotiation, it was agreed that whatever "funny money" (his term for my snowflakes) I bring in are to be added to my spending money. If he ever actually sells anything he bought with his spending money, he also gets to keep it.

So .. $160 of my SM goes to tithe/offering. That leaves me with $40/month to decide what to do with it.

I have a lot of categories I put the money into - phone replacement, computer replacement, Entertainment/Eating Out (when done by ourselves, otherwise it goes under date night), Nails, Clothing, Phone farm, Home Gym, and Gifts.

I've been reading CCF and MEC posts about their big savings goals and have been doing some thinking.

I would really like to have more money being socked away for retirement. Currently I have it where we set aside the same amount for each of us - mine in a work IRA, and DH's in a yet to be opened IRA.

What we're putting in to each is not even enough to 1/2 fully fund. (esp for DH since he is 50 and is eligible for catch up.)

The only way we'd be able to fully fund two IRA's would be to get rid of the cats and two vehicles. Probably the money we currently set aside/spend for those numerous categories would do it. (Car Maintenance, Car taxes/registration, Car replacement, Vet fund, Food for cats, Food/medical for non-cats, fund for catifying living room ....)

That's not going to happen, so on to more realistic ideas. Smile

So ... since it can't really be done with our shared budget, and I'm probably more likely to need lots of money for retirement (for a number of reasons) .. I've decided to set one major saving goal to be fully funding my ROTH.

This will be done with my "funny money."

The $40 will go to phone (10)/computer(10)/clothing(10)/(5)gifts/(5)Entertainment.

The funny money will be 50 / 50. 50% goes to the ROTH goal, 50% goes to other categories.

I'm also adding a category - Housekeeper. I'd like to hire someone 3 or 4 x a year to come in and do the deep cleaning stuff like windows, oven, fridge ...

If I somehow manage to fully fund the ROTH, then the 50% will be put aside for an investing fund. When that gets to $3k I'll put it into a Vanguard index fund.

Besides my current "funny money" schemes, I am debating about doing online tutoring via VIPkid. 10 hours a week could net $800/month+ pre-tax. 30% would be set aside for taxes. 35% to the family budget, and 35% for my saving goals.

Before I could do that though, I feel like I need to get a good cleaning/maintenance system established. So when I suddenly have ten hours less a week to do whatever, the house doesn't fall apart.

I've been looking at/reading about the SHE system (Sidetracked Home Executive.) I like some of their ideas, but am going to adapt them a bit. Smile

I plan on doing a point system. Each job is worth so many points. Both DH and I need to complete a minimum amount of points each week. However, if we make more than the minimum, the person with the most points gets to decide whether we eat a homemade meal (on their night) or go out to eat at their choice of restaurant. Plus another benefit which would motivate my DH. Smile

Small jobs are ones that take 15 minutes or less - worth 1 point. Medium jobs take 30 minutes or less and are worth 2 points. Large jobs are ones that take an hour or less and are worth 3 points. X-Large jobs are ones that take two+ hours and are worth 4 points.

A small job would be wiping the counters in the upstairs kitchen and bathroom. Or sweeping the upstairs. Or 15 minutes of general pickup and put away.

A medium job would be trimming the bushes. Or doing something like changing the car oil. Or mopping the upstairs. Or 30 minutes of decluttering an area. Or updating the budget.

A large job might be washing a car - inside/out. Cleaning 4 litterboxes (dump and rinse.) Or an hour of decluttering. Or going to a physical therapy appointment.

An extra-large job would be mowing, or shoveling snow, or cleaning the gutters, or shampooing the carpets, or two hours of decluttering.

Each type of job will go on a color coded index card. The cards will be kept in a file box. It will be divided into sections. One for DH only tasks (divided into the 4 categories). One for me only tasks divided into the 4 categories). One for Anyone tasks divided into the 4 categories). And then a completed section where the cards that were finished go (one for each of us.)

On each card will be a description of the task, its point value and a space to pencil the date completed and by whom. There also will be a note on it saying how often it should be done (like gutter cleaning, 2 x a year?)

On Sunday night we can each pick out which cards we think we will do for the coming week.

We both will also have basic routine cards - i.e.
the least to do on a daily basis. For example - In shared living spaces, pick up our own stuff - don't leave things on the counter/floor/door that don't belong there. 10 minutes of general pickup. DH - Scoop one litterbox in the basement. Me - Scoop all the litterboxes upstairs. Dishes go in the kitchen. Trash goes in a trash can. etc.

If we work together on a job ( like we both spend an hour working on the boxes in the basement) we both get the points for the job.

I still have to present this to DH ... so we'll see if this gets past the thinking/planning stage. Smile I'm hoping the allure of eating out plus the other will be enough ...

New Snowflake Makers, Updates

May 28th, 2017 at 07:18 am

I discovered a new receipt app - Fetch Rewards. It mostly earns the big points if you buy name brands, but they do give points for receipts with no name brands too. I've been using it for a week, and have enough for a $5 gift card (bought Boca veggie burgers, and DHs mountain dew...)If you decide to check it out, my referral code is G1GHV. We'd both get 1500 points.

Another earning opportunity is the website earnably. I just cashed out for a $10 paypal yesterday. It's one you don't have to babysit. If you want to help me out, use this link: https://earnably.com/i/lneerg or just search earnably.

I've cashed out for $100 on Swagbucks this month ... mostly thanks to nCraves (all you can eat!)

I'm almost to $30 on Inbox Dollars, but will wait to cash out at $40 - so a few more weeks.

I *might* be able to do a second cash out on Perk for $25 this month. I just need a bit less than 6000 points by Tuesday.

If any of you are interested in getting more into passive (mostly) earning - check out the FB group Making Money with smartphones. That's where I'm learning about some of these things. Also, the group Swagbucks Swaggernuts. Smile

So ... DH got into a scuffle Tuesday night with a co-worker 20 years younger than him .... Thankfully no work repercussions, but he really messed up his shoulder that hadn't had the replacement. He's going to try physical therapy to see if that helps.

In the meantime he can't use the new weedeater, and probably can't mow the lawn.

So guess what I'm doing this afternoon? Learning how to mow the lawn! He says we have a manual weedeater thing that he can use - so he'll be doing that and leaf blowing.

At least he didn't get fired. Sigh. (The other co-worker started it. A real turd.)

I'm watching a series on Netflix - The Paradise. A BBC program about a retail store. Enjoying it so far.

I also watched Anne with an E. Smile I was so sad when I realized I'd watched the last released episode.

I got a letter from the place I interviewed at saying no thanks. Sigh. Just have to keep looking I guess.

We're having our budget meeting tonight after we go out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant (Swagbucks local place 300 SB bonus + 7SBs per dollar. Smile )

We spent a lot of money in May - will be getting some nice cashback on the Citi card. I had to do a little WAM'ing for some of the categories, but mostly it was some things that were a bit more than planned for.

We bought a lawnmower, a ladder, a weedeater, and a leafblower amoungst other things ... (oh yeah - more string for the weedeater too) $$$

June hopefully we'll be getting a fence put up - if we ever can get an estimate!

Won Round 4 Dietbet! etc

May 20th, 2017 at 11:37 am

Well the one bright spot right now is that I have one 4 of 4 rounds of Dietbet - winnings are about $90 so far. I just need $25 more to recoup my initial bet, then the rest is gravy. Smile I have lost about 26lbs from my initial weigh in. Nobody seems to have noticed yet, but I can tell a difference in how my clothes fit.

For larger people like me, it seems like it takes a loss of more like 50 lbs or more for anyone to venture to guess ... are you losing weight?

Work ... ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. I don't know if interviewing is really a good thing or not ... it gives me hope of getting out of there for something better .. so I start getting irritated even more by stupid things.

I thought I was to hear back about the job by yesterday. The fact that I haven't makes me feel like its probably a no. Frown I hope I at least get the courtesy of an email.

DH found a leaf blower he wanted on the Sears website Thursday. So on our way to dinner we stopped by. The in store price was more. I couldn't pull up the online price on my phone. DH was really irritated and didn't want to bother talking to anyone.

Friday I found the offer he'd found and took screenshots and printed them out. Then after work and making the bank deposit I stopped at Sears. I told a sales person what I was looking for and asked him if he could honor the online price. He cheerfully said he could - then thanked me for being pleasant. He'd apparently had a lot of unhappy people to deal with that day.

I told him I could relate ...

So .. the leaf blower in store price was $59.95. Online price was $47.95. I had $7.03 in Shop Your Way points - walked out with it for just under $43.

My DH was quite happy when he came out to the kitchen on his way to work to see I'd gotten it. Smile

I did call my mom for Mother's Day. It went fairly well. I bit my tongue hard when she told me she and paramour had both sold their cars and bought one new one. I badly wanted to ask if her name was on the title ... If she does ever decide to leave this guy *for real* she's kind of painted herself into a corner. Sigh. She's an adult.

I started a new money making website - Earnably. Pretty good so far.

Almost forgot! On Wednesday DH and I bought a ladder from Menards. DH started cleaning our gutters by standing on the third rung of the ladder and moving the ladder constantly. After about twenty minutes of me watching him do this, I offered to get up on the roof and finish the job.

Ii have no fear of heights, while DH does. It was my first time on a roof - and it was a little nerve wracking. But I got used to it quickly. Smile It was actually quite fun ... until I had to get OFF the roof.

DH held the ladder tightly for me and talked me down. Whew! Now our gutters are clean!

Interview tomorrow!

May 10th, 2017 at 07:30 pm

I got a haircut and a mani/pedi yesterday. Today I wrote out my 3 paragraphs about why I want to work there (which I was asked to do) and DH proofed it for me. Smile Then DH let me use him as a practice board for questions until he had to leave for work.

I'm slightly anxious, but overall feel much more prepared and in a better frame of mind than the library job interview.

It all of a sudden got hot here! The last two nights were miserable for sleeping... Tonight it has cooled down enough to be comfortable thankfully.

The little fan I used last year is pretty much worthless, so I will be getting a box fan soon. Maybe tomorrow.

I paid my auto and the home insurance today - $1110. That'll be some nice cash back. Smile

Some recent snowflakes (this week) -
$50 AGC from Koinme
$50 Paypal from Swagbucks
$25 AGC from earnhoney

I had meant to do paypal for Earnhoney, but I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention. OOps.

I have enough in my phone fund to get my new main phone (iPhone SE) but I may wait a few more weeks to order it.

I've been watching Cable Girls on Netflix - just finished episode 8 last night. Definitely different (and not for youngsters)

I'm not looking forward to calling my mom on Sunday. I haven't talked to her since New Year's. At that time she decided to go back to the man who'd shown over and over and over he couldn't be counted on. I told her she was an adult and had to make her own decisions, however I wanted nothing to do with him nor his money.(She'd constantly bring up that he was going to leave my brother and I a significant amount - though BOTH of us repeatedly told her we didn't care about her leaving us money!) Somehow I think she's taken that to mean I don't want anything to do with her.

Honestly, I'm not sure what would be safe to talk about. Trump? Nope. The man? Nope. My recent trip that she knows nothing about? Nope. Hmmm.... I can't not call her. Ugh. I guess I have to play an adult.

So ... not much else really.

Long Day - Conversation at Work

May 1st, 2017 at 07:08 pm

So.... today I had a talk with my supervisor - after asking for the 11th pm off.

Long and short - I told her I am looking for another job. That it has nothing to do with her - but mostly my getting stressed out by the cash aspect. I also told her I was worried about the longevity of my position for a number of reasons.

In a nutshell, she reassured me that the cash aspect is not something to be so stressed about (be careful, but not fearful), and that my position isn't going anywhere.

I'm still going to interview for the job, but mainly for the experience (and I don't know who to contact to cancel.) If I get offered the job, I will think about it, but I'm leaning towards staying put.

I'm glad I told her, even if it was really hard.

I got a $25 AGC from Perk today. I also did a Schwan's offer for 4000 SBs which instantly credited (spent $27.40 after 30% coupon.)

I stopped at Dollar Tree and stocked up on frozen fruit, etc. Then got some bananas from HyVee. About $10 altogether.

Are there really people who don't know Hitler killed 6 million Jews in WW2??? A co-worker today made a comment expressing shock at that number (reading something in the newspaper.) I kind of thought that was basic high school history ...

New Computer and YouGov

April 2nd, 2017 at 10:34 am

My new computer arrived on Wednesday, but I didn't set it up until Saturday night. Windows 10 definitely takes some getting used to (at least its not Windows 8!)

My old computer is still working, so I'm using it to run videos on while surfing on my new computer. Smile It can connect via WiFi to my modem, but I think I'll be getting another Ethernet cord to connect directly.

I upgraded my monitor and keyboard - already can tell the new keyboard is loads better than the old one. Smile My monitor is a 23" - watched The Secret Life of Pets on it last night. Sweet!

Last night I used one of the two $25 gift certificates I got for transferring two prescriptions to a local grocery store. Spent an additional $14.

I also went to Aldi. I was a little frustrated because two of the four main things I went there for, they were out of - Almond Milk and the frozen 85% beef patties (for DH.)

We overspent on Groceries in March by $17. In January and February we came in ~$80 under both months, so maybe our overage was due to some restocking.

We are in full planning mode for our road trip! We plan on stopping in Colorado Springs for Pike's Peak, Denver for some Pizza place, Las Vegas for a buffet, and some forest in Utah. Then finally arrive to the Los Angeles area to celebrate our one year anniversary with my grandma, aunt, uncle and brother!

I am SO looking forward to the time off! If I could find another job here with comparable salary and benefits ... I'd jump so fast... something that had NO cash dealing.

I *think* I may make it for Round 3 of Dietbet. I'm about two pounds off and 13 days away.

I'm kind of enjoying my break from Stepbet, but will definitely join one again after the trip. It really is a good motivator to get the steps in!

I received my $40 check from Inbox Dollars yesterday. I'm already closing in on $7 towards my next check. Smile

This morning I did the last survey I needed to do for YouGov to cash out for a $100 Amazon card. I also have enough to cash out for a $25 Perk AGC.

Too bad I didn't wait a few weeks for these to put towards my computer. Smile I'm sure the $ will come in handy for something else. Wish I could order thru Amazon from Apple - then could use it for my phone.

I forgot to mention this - but I paid off the last of DH's medical debt in February!

Snowflakes and Shocking Death

March 24th, 2017 at 07:10 pm

I thought I'd mention a few of the things I'm doing for my spending money. Some are things most of you do already, but some may be new.

Swagbucks - cashed out for a $25 AGC today, have 1800 left

Inbox Dollars - cashed out for $40.xx today (mostly running video app)

Mypoints - I have enough for a $25 paypal, plus close to a second one

Perktv - 13k points (need 24,400 to get $25 AC)

Survey Sites that don't disqualify you:
Pinecone - cashed out $23 a week ago

YouGov - within two surveys of cashing out for my 2nd $100 AGC (referral link in sidebar)

Passive computer video sites:
Earnhoney - earned $23 in last 3 weeks
---kind of a frustrating site -might be better with a newer computer

Koinme - for next 6 days as $5 signup bonus - earned $16 in less than two weeks (if interested, I can give some pointers, my referral code is: http://koinme.com/af-MUiZwD6Ssh We both get $5.)

Passive mobile only video apps:
Youlotto - earned $5.38 in two weeks

Checkpoints - almost enough for a $10 AGC

Just remembered two more!

IQ - an app that sends you questions to answer and pays immo. Mad 2.25 so far.

Oops, forgot the other one. Smile
Hmmm.. I think thats it other than health apps/bets

DH found out on Tuesday that a coworker - 40 yo father of two - had died that morning. I'd met this person once - he was one of the few DH got along with/liked to talk to. There'll be a service tomorrow afternoon.

He either died of a stroke, heart attack or diabetic coma. He didn't take very good care of himself.

He was so young - such a preventable death. Frown

We got our renewal papers for home insurance -$718.I think that' close to what we paid before. It's not due til May - so maybe I could chance signing up for another rewards card ... put this and property tax on it .... Hmmm...

I should be getting my car insurance renewal soon too I think.

I read a really good Nicholas Sparks book this week - Two by Two. Highly recommend it.

My diet isn't going so well.. At least I have a few weeks before the next weigh in. (I won $24 in round 2.)

I'm thinking of joining something Stepbet has started called Membership. It's $25 for one year, but it makes the game a bit easier and varied. Plus it eliminates their take of the winnings.

Hmm not much else I can think of right now. I have decided to NOT build a computer, but am still debating what I'm going to get. I also am planning on getting the 64 GB iPhone SE. That'll save me from having to buy a new protective case. Not sure when I'll get it - but it'll be after the computer for sure!

Taxes, Citi card, etc

February 14th, 2017 at 08:36 pm

On Sunday I did our taxes again - now that I have all the needed documents. I started with Credit Karma, but the 1095 health insurance form was unusable. So I moved over to Turbo Tax. According to it, we have a $72 refund from the Feds and owe $524 to the state.

This is due to DH getting a subsidy through April, and our inflated income from the stock sales (to buy the house.)

We couldn't itemize because our interest, etc. was way less than standard deductions.

Next year we should get back around $1000.

I'm waiting to see if Credit Karma fixes their form so I can file for free rather than pay TT $40+

I converted my Citi Thank You card to the Double Cash (just before being charged the annual fee.) After cashing out $675 in points, we had 1900 left. Today I talked to a points concierge and he made them into a $14 Amazon gift card.

Yesterday I called animal control because I'd gotten a late notice on Kari's license. I explained that I'd moved, and filed a change of address, but this was the first notice I'd gotten. I also told her DH hadn't received any notices for his cats.

She told me to send it in for just the normal amount with a note saying she said it was okay. Smile

Now to wait for DHs notices. (they had his old address)

Mom sent us $100 in a Valentines card. I'm not sure what I want to do with it.

I'd told her at Christmas I wanted nothing to do with M's money EVER. She's an adult, and so if she chooses to stay with him, that's on her. I'm however done with the him for a lot of reasons.

Jan Budget, Other $ News, etc

February 2nd, 2017 at 07:28 pm

I decided to try using Snip to copy my budget this month. It'll be much easier o read I think. Smile

Of note:

Groceries - we spent $85 less than budgeted! We're keeping our budget at $300, but only topping it off to $300 and not building from month to month.

Extra income -
$207 from CC rewards
$100 from ReceiptPal (instant!)
$10 from Bing
$50 Swagbucks
$10 from Pact
$25 from Perk
$45 interest
$21 profit StepBet
$.25 IQ
$.60 Mobi

Tithe/Giving - I forgot to do this in December. So two months worth. DH doesn't believe in it, but agreed he'd be ok with me continuing. Recently he's been making some noise about him getting an equal amount in spending money. I've told him sure - but he's going to have to figure out how to make that work in our budget! Probably nothing will come of it.

I am so close to having enough for a new computer and new phone! If I can just by them along for a few more months ....

Vacation - We are planning an April roadtrip to CA. Somewhere in the realm of 8 - 10 days. Some of our expenses will likely be reimbursed - we'll be visiting my Aunt/grandma/brother. Still, we're trying to save a good amount towards it. DH doesn't have paid vacation, so we have to save a weeks pay plus expenses.

Car Insurance - In January I had both of ours together, but have separated them starting in Feb. It'll mae it easier to know how much we hvae.

In other news - You may remember the dog we took care of this past summer? How we bought $150 worth of medicine for its skin allergy? The owner told DH he would reimburse us. That was in June??

Since then we'd not heard one word from them. Wed written the money off as a loss.

DH got a text from the wife yesterday asking about it. DH replied and confirmed that they still owed us tat money.

Today,DH got a voicemail from the owner. It sounds like they plan on paying us the money! I wonder what prompted this? Maybe they realized that we're unlikely to be willing to house sit/ take care of their animals. Only time will tell I guess.


DH right now is driving back from Kansas where he picked up a box of 176 magazines for $50. He's going to sort them into sets ad photograph them, and then I'll list them on eBay.

National Lampoon, Metal (music) and Cream (music) are some of the titles.

He says he's found some single titles go for $20 on eBay. Which is great and all ... but if they don't get listed, then that's $50 +gas wasted. Sigh. We'll see I guess.

Frustrating Day - Avoided Temptation

January 30th, 2017 at 06:58 pm

I won't go into it - but take TWO phone calls in a row of 15+ minutes at the end of a day where I had lots of sales which needed to be reconciled ... and with the 13 minutes I had left I could reconcile the total from just the amounts to the cash/checks/credit cards but NOT to the actual passes. If I'd had another five or six minutes I might have done it - but Union regs say I have to be done at 4:30, and I'd already pushed it 3 minutes.

That plus multiple annoying other phone calls, and I was not in a good place.

Driving home I really wanted to stop and get junk food. But I didn't.

I got an email from Citi saying they had No Record of my redeeming points for a check. Ummm...

So I called and redeemed AGAIN - this time for $650. I also converted my card to the double cash back card. Hopefully in time to avoid the annual fee of the Thank You card.

I had ordered some things from Amazon on Sunday due to arrive Wednesday. When looking at the email today, I realized I'd somehow put my old name and address!!

So I contacted Amazon, and they're sending a replacement order! Sweet! (I then went into my address book and deleted the outdated info.)

A budget meeting funny .... Last night DH and I had filled all the categories except the fun group. I saw there was still $552! Both DH and I were in disbelief because we'd put some large amounts in several categories. So we went through all of them again to be sure we hadn't skipped any.

We got to house maintenance and found out that I'd entered 30 instead of 300! That one little zero makes a big difference!

I'm going to wait til Wednesday to do a monthly recap - but lets just say I'm happy with groceries. Smile

Dietbet Week 2

January 28th, 2017 at 06:39 pm

So I'm still doing well with my eating plan. DH made pancakes on Thursday, plus I had A cookie I had been given Wednesday.

Friday I struggled a little with the temptation of free donuts my boss brought in. I even googled what was the best way to freeze them. In the end I just chose to forget they were there.

I'm still not sure if loosening my plans on Thursdays is for the best. Also, after watching this video, I'm considering just saying no to sugar completely. But .. baby steps.

https://youtu.be/dBnniua6-oM (Sugar: The Bitter Truth)

I'm not quite sure I believe my scale or not ... but I stepped on it this afternoon, and it showed 9lbs gone ... which is more than I need for the first round.

Cutting out soda wasn't enough - it was cutting out all my junkfood eating (and dairy and eggs.)

I haven't done so well with the 15 minutes ... although I did actually open th steamer mop and USE it this week! My dining room floor at least looked better.
I found a new app - it's called IQ. It sends you one question at a time to answer for researchers, and then pays you immediately through paypal. I've gotten one question so far, and was paid $.25 instantly. Not a huge moneymaker obviously, but so easy.

I finished a Stepbet today. I'm going to wait for payout before joining the next one. After this next one though, I may have to take a break, depending on when we do our CA roadtrip. We're talking April, but time will tell.

I got in touch with Amazon today and got things fixed. (I had siged up for prime, but didn't realize I'd been charged for Amazon cloud drive on a rarely used card. They're refunding that charge. -I'd had it free for a year after a purchase.)

I also contacted Citi about the rewards check I'd ordered for the student loan. They're forwarding my question to the right place.

I also cashed in for $207 in rewards from the Barclay card. This will be put towards the student loan.
Before I go, I thought I'd share one of my common heat sources. DH took the picture a few days ago. Please excuse the messy desk.

"Barbeque" etc

January 23rd, 2017 at 05:37 pm

These ads are really annoying.

Last night I made "Barbeque" for dinner using soy curls. My DH, mostly a carnivore, gave it a thumbs up. We also had beans and Brussels sprouts - all made in the InstantPot.

DH's car is having break issues, so I came home from work and walked outside instead of going to the gym so he could use my car. My phone didn't die until I got home and took it out of my pocket to end my walk. It was cold, but I got home before it was dark.

He has an appointment on Wednesday. That cheap car isn't so cheap - plus its annoying having to change my plans so often. Ugh!

I made whole wheat spaghetti tonight for dinner so I could use up the sauce. There's enough for dinner tomorrow, unless DH eats it not realizing its whole wheat. Smile

It was so nice today not having to take pictures of my food for Pact. I may continue the workout and myfitnesspal pacts, but I think I'm done with the veggie pact. (Although that's the one that makes the most money ....)

Week 1 Dietbet, etc

January 22nd, 2017 at 02:14 pm

Tonight mark one week since my official first weigh in. I don't want to jinx myself, but it feels different this time. I was able to go into grocery stores this week and most totally ignore the chocolate aisles.

I returned the non-working food processor to Aldi, and then stopped at Walgreen's and bought a Mini-bullet using my $5 rewards towards it and did not buy candy. (I would before use the $5 as an excuse to buy candy for "free")

It looks like I am down about 4lbs so far - though some of that is probably water weight.

I did have pizza Thursday night, but wrapped up one of the slices to freeze for Thursday lunch, and told DH he could have the other one.

Maybe I've finally flipped the switch like with soda.

Our grocery spending definitely shows the difference. We are at $182 for the month, and other than produce, I don't see any more til Friday.

Using the mini-Magi Bullet today, I made hummus. DH was awake and taste tested it - thumbs up. I did use canned chick peas, but will get some dry ones to use once I'm out of canned.

In the Instapot I made a pot of Great Northern Beans, and then my sweet potatoes and farro for lunches.

In a bit, I'll be using it to make "pulled pork" with soy curls, and then brussel sprouts - for dinner.

I got YNAB up to date today, and got all my receipts into Receipt Hog and ReceiptPal. I'm 8 receipts away from a $100 gift card in ReceiptPal.

I cashed out for $25 PayPal from Swagbucks, and also for $10 from Achievemint.

I also got notice that $200 cash back reward has been credited on the recent credit card deal.

I ordered a meal delivery from HomeChef through Swagbucks. It cost $20, but I should receive $20 worth of Swagbucks in return. Making it free (obv.) That may be my lunches for a week in February (or Sunday dinner with DH, plus a few lunches.)

I need to get something to lay my sweaters out to dry - something away from the cats (and cat hair.) Wen I bought all those sweaters, I didn't realize most of them were hand wash. Oops.

DH and I Sick ... Financial doings

December 22nd, 2016 at 04:58 pm

DH has been pretty sick the past few days - bad coughing, etc. Tuesday night we went to the CVS minute clinic near us to see if he had strep throat. Thankfully he didn't! (I catch strep EASILY.)

I haven't been feeling too great myself. Took today off, since the next six work days pretty much everyone will be gone, and I CAN'T take off no matter how sick ..

Spent some on cough syrup, oj, etc.

I came across this link on Facebook yesterday - most of the things were ones I'd heard of before, but there were a few new ones.


One I signed up for is PointsClub. So far, so good. The surveys pay even if you don't qualify. The main thing is to visit the site every day without fail, so that when you DO get a qualifying survey, it pays out more.

I got an advert for Barclay Mastercard - spend $500 in 90 days, get $200. I had to wait for them to go through my credit monitoring service (provided through Blue Cross Blue Shield for free), but got my approval email on Tuesday. Once I get the card, I'll pay $500 towards DH medical debt. Boom! There's our $200. Smile (Which will be put towards student loans.)

Now I just need to wait a little while and find another deal like this for a spend $500 get $100 (or hopefully $200!) to finish off the medical debt.

I called to find out what percentage deal the hospital offered for paying if off all at once - a measly 10%. Yeah. No. 20%, and we'd be talking. Just with this one credit card deal I shaved off more than 10%! (There's a balance as of now of $1632)

I bought 3 pairs of leggings from Amazon, and also a Bissell hardfloor steam mop. They should be here by Saturday or Monday. (Used gift card money/rewards points.)

I got quite a few compliments on my dress/sweaters from my shopping spree at work. Big Grin In fact, the lady who is on light duty had been looking for clothes for her youngest daughter who is a BBW like me Smile and hadn't thought of Lane Bryant or JC Penny's. She went there and found several items her daughter LOVES. Her daughter said (through her mom) "tell the lady you work with that I LOVE her!" LOL

I'm so glad this is an off week for my stepbet. I would have forced myself to get my steps in, but definitely wouldn't have enjoyed it.

From my last stepbet I earned $11.90. My current stepbet (which starts for real on Monday) I only paid $35 to join (emailed a coupon!) So, I'm essentially starting off with a $5 bonus. Smile Hopefully I'll be feeling better by Monday.

Bing had some issues this past weekend with points crediting. I guess enough people complained (me included!) so today they put out a 1,000 point clicker as an apology. When you click on it, you're taken to a page full of images with a variety of Sorry's on it. I thought that was pretty cute. Smile

Birthday, Day Off

December 16th, 2016 at 07:23 pm

Thursday after work I stopped at CVS to pick up the photos I'd ordered. (Although I figured out tonight that I'd ordered them from Walgreen's instead. Oops.)

When I got there, the cashier told me they hadn't had any orders come in. I was flabbergasted - the app had told me they'd be ready by 10:18 p.m. the night before.

She called a couple other stores to see if they'd been sent somewhere else instead. (Meanwhile, I had to keep telling people that I wasn't in line.)

Finally we decided that they must have just not gotten sent. So I decided to reorder them. Hassles.

Finally got them ordered. The lady told me she wasn't sure how long it took for the order to process. I waited about ten minutes, and then decided I'd have to get them later.

About three minutes later, I got a phone call telling me they'd just printed! So, I turned around and picked them up. The cashier gave them to me at no charge!

(Which I now feel bad about, because as I checked my hotmail account tonight for Mypoints emails, I found an email from Walgreen's telling me my order was ready. Apparently I ordered from the Walgreen's app instead of the CVS app. I was sure I'd ordered fm CVS because I had prescriptions to pick up there ...) Oy Vey.

DH was happy with the photos, and we got the card mailed out after the restaurant.

Billy's was good again - good food, good service - but not quite as special as last year. I'm not sure why really - maybe because we had high expectations set from last time?

We remembered to ask the waiter to take some photos this time. I also took photos of our dishes.

DH had a rack of lamb:

I had "Vegetarian Surprise" brussel sprouts, squash, carrots, pasta with some kind of cream. Lots of it. Smile

This is us in front of the Christmas tree.

When we got home, DH sort of started our first fire in our fireplace. (BTW - the chimney cleaner charged $150.)

He's planning on youtubing himself on how to get a better fire for next time. Smile

Still, it was nice to have our first fire in our fireplace. Big Grin Even if it didn't last long, or put out much heat.

I had planned on doing Hacksaw Ridge and then some shopping, and then Brake's Plus today. In the end, I decided to skip the movie - due to forecasted bad weather coming. The shopping was a bit more important.

I ended up purchasing 8 sweaters, a pair of dress pants, a hoodie (with a zip pocket for keys/card!, a dress and a couple pairs of tights for about $170.

I've gotten really tired of being cold when the wind blows up the stairs and through the bottom of the window into my office. I had planned on seeing if I could find one cardigan to just put over my normal tops ... but just couldn't find anything neutral enough.

I'm VERY happy with what I bought. Especially the dress (Lane Bryant) and the sweater/pants/hoodie from TJ Max. The other 6 sweaters came from JC Penny's.

I also bought some clearance thermal curtains from
Sears, which came out to $2 after my shop your way points.

Then I made a stop at Aldi to get some Almond Milk and a few cans of beef ravioli for DH.

Next up was Best Buy. I talked to someone in the computer department about my catblocking frustratio. I left with a 10 foot power cord and a vga extension cord. After setting it up tonight, I believe it's going to be beautiful. (I put my monitor on top of an empty box.)

Finally was Brake's Plus. Due to the road conditions, he couldn't test out my brakes fully, but he thinks my issue might be the ABS brakes. He told me to come back next week after the roads clear up. My front and rear brakes are in good condition.

Now I'm home and don't plan on going anywhere til Sunday. Poor DH though - he has to be out in it tonight and Saturday night. I hope people tip well - delivery drivers are out there when most people prefer to be bundled up safe and warm at home.

I got birthday/Christmas money from my aunt.I'm giving half of it to DH for his fun money, and the rest to mine. Good thing to he, since I pretty much decimated my spending money today. Big Grin

I also *finally* cashed out of Inbox Dollars. A check for $27.20 will come eventually.... That took painfully long to accumulate.

Sick Kari :( ,Rug doctor?? etc

November 25th, 2016 at 07:44 pm

I took my cat Kari to the Vet today. She has another UTI. Frown The vet said that sice it's her 2nd one in a short time, that we should start using only distilled water, give her l-lysine pills, and switch to Iams or Science Diet. He said that if it keeps happening, then we'll have to go to a prescription diet.

I hate it when my furkids are feeling poorly. Frown

Question - What is the best way to have a continual source of distilled water? I bought 3 gallon jugs tonight, but that probably won't be enough or more than a week! I'd hate to be generating that much trash st for water.

We are on the lookout for a rug doctor, or something of similar quality. DH says the ones in the store are way subpar to the ones you rent. We need to be cleaning our carpets at least once a month ... renting a RD will get old fast.

Any suggestions?

Also - we almost bought a snowblower today from Tractor Supply, but DH found out that the engine was made in China, and the warranty isn't being honored. He wants electric start and self propelled? The ones he was looking at on Sears and Ace was a $600 Craftsman. But he feels worried about the engine ...

DH made his first turkey - a 14lb one we got for "free" using grocery store rewards points.He was very happy. I got a tofurkey roast. Ugh. Won't get that again.

I did do some shopping today - got e clothes at Goodwill's $.99 sale, got my oil changed at Walmart (shopped), used a $10 survey reward at CVS to get some freebies, etc. Basically what I would've done Saturday night if I hadn't had today off.. Smile

Computers and Cats!

October 29th, 2016 at 07:32 pm

Thank you everyone for your comments on my last post. DH and I had our budget meeting for November Thursday night (since I'm going to be gone most of Sunday.) We also discussed the grocery situation and meals. I think we came to a workable solution, but time will tell.

Almost finished with week 5 of the Stepbet. Currently looking at about a $5.56 profit. So .. not much, but it definitely has motivated me to move more consistently.

I'm really getting frustrated with the computer and the cat situation..

More often than not, as soon as I sit down at the computer to work/relax, I have anywhere between 2 - 4 cats join me. On my lap or on the desk directly in front of the monitor. It's a constant battle to keep them from blocking my view.

Then there is my monitor itself ... the monitor was a refurbished monitor and is at least 7 years old. It worked fine up to about 2 months ago when I came home one day to find splotches on the screen and a blue line square that wouldn't go away (it did go away about 36 hours later.) The best we could figure out was one of the cats sprayed the monitor, and the display control button kind of spazzed or something.)

The blue line is back today. Plus the little box about adjusting the brightness. It makes surfing the Internet miserable (combined with fighting with cats who like to sit in front of the monitor - one who especially likes to play "chase the cursor")

Add to this my keyboard constantly drops letters or sometimes whole words!

We only have $150 (as of November) in the computer replacement category. My CPU is a bit more than 5 years old. I've reformatted it twice, but am still having issues with performance.

The only idea (temporary) I've had is to figure out a way to raise the monitor so that the cats can sit on the desk and NOT block the screen. It's just that the cord is already maxed out stretched, and I'm not sure how I could make sure the monitor would be on a stable surface.


Tomorrow I will be getting between 4 - 5 hours of overtime! My boss and I will be putting the new route maps and schedules in 67 buses. The new routes start on Tuesday.

We've had them available in the lobby for about a week and a half now - I've had to refill them just about every day. We have two signs clearly marking Current and Effective Nov 1, but, people don't read. Which is why we aren't putting the new stuff on til the day before - even though people have loudly been complaining about that.


After I'm done with the bus overtime, I'm going to go spend a few hours helping to serve drinks at a many nations food festival.

Then on Monday, I'm spending a few hours sitting at the book giveaway table at our Halloween alternative program.

Tuesday night I'm going to crash.

Good and Bad

October 18th, 2016 at 06:25 pm

When I got home from work today and checked the mail, I found a check for $23.41 from one of those settlement things - Linked in. Yay!

But then just as I was getting ready to go for a walk, I saw that I'd missed a call from DH. I called him back, and found out that my SIL might be needing a liver transplant!

She has had hepatitis for a long time, and drinks/smokes quite heavily. So .. it's not really shocking, just really sad. She's about 9 years older than DH. Frown

I haven't really spent that much time with her, but the few times we have, I like her. We just don't have much in common (other than loving my DH.)

I stopped by Ace Hardware ($24) on the way home to pick up a drill bit and a stud finder. I needed the drill bit to put up the removable showerhead, and the stud finder so we can get the mirrors hung.

Our house doesn't have drywall, it has plaster. So we were told we had to do something with tape? whenever we hung anything.

I wanted to get the cat tree project finished tonight before DH came home, but couldn't figure out how to change out the drill bit (I'm going to be attaching it to the brick wall near the fireplace.) DH kind of told me Sunday night, but I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention.

Like I told DH, I've just not done projects like this. My brother or my dad always did them for me. Hanging pictures and screwing the table legs on are about the extent of my handiness (oh, fixing the toilet tank thing too!) (I was ecstatic when I figured out how to use the drill to unscrew a screw = you know, reverse direction? Big Grin )

DD 23/24 - Thinking About a Dehydrator

September 28th, 2016 at 07:54 pm

Still going strong on no soda. Smile

The light duty person has been diagnosed with per-diabetes and high cholesterol, so we have been doing a lot of talking about diet, etc. She's a big meat eater, so I suggested she may want to try cutting back on meat by using it as a condiment to her meals, as well as cutting out/back on dairy and eggs.

I've been doing fairly well with the DD. The one item I'm having trouble with is getting my greens.

That's partly why I'm thinking about getting a dehydrator - so I can make Kale Chips (maybe spinach ones too?) Then I can use them to dip in my homemade hummus. Taking care of greens and beans! Smile

I'd also like to do dried apples like my dad's friend Pete does. Every time I go out to CA, I come home with bags of died apples. So addictive. Smile

I found one on Amazon for $50 I like, but plan on checking Craig and FB first. DH thinks that's a good idea in case I end up not really using it. Smile

I got an email from the Achievmint app today telling me how many points I'd earned. I've been ignoring them because I thought that I'd earned the max number of rewards. But today I decided to see why they kept sending me emails.

Well, I guess they restructured their program so that even people like me (who earned $200 from them) could continue to earn rewards in $10 increments. I'm halfway to the next $10! Guess I'll start tracking my water again. Smile

Also last night I decided to look at the Bounts store ... and was able to snag a $10 CVS card! I tried to get a second one, but it wouldn't let me add it to my cart.

I stopped at a Dollar Tree yesterday (Tuesday) and was disappointed to find that most of their frozen vegetarian selections weren't available anymore. Frown At least they had a good selection of frozen fruit.

I also bought 4 plastic canisters to put rice/beans/quinoa, etc. in. I need to buy some more, and also find my sharpie so I can label them. Smile

I got a reply back from N e l n e t. They didn't answer whether they accept 3rd party checks or not, but they told me here to send a payment ... So, I guess we can try and see?

DH needs to recertify for the IBR plan. If it's based on 2015 taxed income, he should be okay still. By next year when it'd be based on both of our incomes together, we'll already be in student loan repayment focus so it won't matter. Right now we are focusing on the medical debt.

(Citi gives the option of sending rewards money to either a student loan or a mortgage. Otherwise, I'd send it to the medical debt. The medical debt has no interest, but the interest on the student loans is negligible, and the mortgage isn't bad either. I just want the medical debt gone first. Even if it doesn't totally make financial sense. Smile )

Post 2 - DD 12 and 13- Legumes & Healthy $$$ Mortgage!

September 17th, 2016 at 06:43 pm

Today makes 13 days sans soda. I don't really miss it that much.

I did buy and eat some chocolate on Friday, but much less than normal. I actually ate an apple instead of eating the chocolate right away .... Smile

I'd say Day 12 was about a 85% and Day 13 about a 65%. I had leftover pizza for lunch today (from Thursday Little Ceasar's) and it wasn't all that appetizing.

I was going to go on the Saturday afternoon hike with some fellow church members today, but after I finished my earlier post and started to get ready, I realized I just wasn't up to it.

Instead, I took a 90 minute nap.

Even after getting up from my nap (to see DH off to work) I still wasn't feeling very good. So, no walk today. Frown

I'm really hoping I'm feeling better by the morning because I'm way behind on cleaning, and I need to get food ready for the week. Tuesday and Wednesday will be late evenings for me (helping explain the new bus routes to people) and I don't want to derail my healthier eating.

I'd really like to hire someone to come in and assist/push me to get the cleaning done. Maybe some organizing too. Also have someone help me figure out how to make the house smell better ... Sigh.

I did some grocery shopping the last few days. DH agreed that if I made a big pot of Great Northern Beans, that he would eat them throughout the week. (This was after I read to him the section on how people were able to eat 1/2 cup of legumes daily on top of their regular intake, without it causing weight gain. In fact, it caused the opposite. Plus helped to regulate the blood sugar, etc.)

The beans and chickpeas have been soaking since Friday night. I am going to take them out of the water in a few minutes. Maybe use the Instant Pot for the GN beans so hubby can start eating them. Smile

I bought from our local "Farmer's Market" store - almond milk, spaghetti squash, eggplant, red onions, apples, oranges, 2 lbs of Great Northern beans, 1 lb of chickpeas (going to make hummus and roast some too), 1/2 lb of Brazil Nuts (eat 2 a day to help with thyroid, plus heart health), two Medjool Dates ($$$$$$) and some other things I can't remember. $26.xx

From HyVee, 3 candybars (3 for $1), red seedless grapes, ?? $13.xx

From Dollar Tree - multiple bags of frozen broccoli florets, frozen asparagus, a couple spices, etc.


From another local grocery store (Russ) -
bananas, ten different spices/herbs (ground mustard, bay leaves, chopped basil, ground ginger (to keep at work), sesame seeds, ....


I also looked at buying Chlorella and liquid B 12 ... but couldn't stomach the cost. I was thinking about buying some fresh kale too, because the fresh/non-bagged stuff was on a good sale, but I didn't know for sure what was the kale I wanted (3 varieties) - I wanted to try making Kale chips. So I didn't get any.

I'm about halfway through How Not to Die taking notes. Some of the recommended stuff is SO expensive. I'm thinking I'll stick to the recommendations that are a reasonable cost, and then IF something happens to me, then I can go for the more expensive stuff (like Chlorella ...)

A part of me is really frustrated that I'm feeling so poorly even with having been eating much higher amounts of fruits and veggies for nearly two weeks, and little junky food.

I'm not giving up though. Something has to work to get me feeling energetic again. Maybe if DH sees it working for me, he'll be more willing to expand his choices as well...

Redeemed a $25 Walmart gift card today from SBs.

Also used a $30 Petco gift card I earned last month by setting up "repeat delivery) to order some grain free cat food and more litter. Cost after rewards and gift card - $6.86

Almost forgot! The mortgage FINALLY posted to my credit reports! I got a call from the fraud alert place my company uses that there were two alerts - one that the mortgage had been added, and one about the inquiry from Chase.

Name Change Frustrations ... etc.

August 6th, 2016 at 07:46 am

So I have a Credit Card that gives me 5% back on gas purchases. It was nice to have before when was only purchasing one or two fill ups a month. But now with DH filling up every few days, it is worth almost 3/4 of a tank of gas!

A few weeks ago I tried to start the process of changing my name on the card and getting DH added on to the account (so we each could have a card - right now he has it most of the time, and then gives it to me when I need to fill up.)

First, it was nearly impossible to figure out HOW to start the process. So I wrote to customer service.

A few days later I got an email with a link to a form I needed to print out and send back, along with a scan of my marriage certificate and another form of id.

So I managed to get my scanner function to work again, and scanned in the documents requested.

A few days later I get another email telling me that what I had sent wasn't enough. That I needed to send in a "certified copy of your driver's license." Say what?!

Another couple emails, and it was clarified that yes, they require this, and yes, they know that it is more than most places require - but they are a conservative organization and very careful.


So... yesterday after work I stop my credit union (where I get the 2.5% on checking) and asked about getting my driver's license notarized. Of the two notaries there, neither one had EVER heard of such a thing, and couldn't find any kind of form on the notary's website for NE.

So now I'm waiting for another email back from customer service to tell me if there is a particular form the notary can use, or what else they'd suggest I do!

Have any of you ever heard of such a thing??

If it wasn't for the 5% on gas, I would just forget this card! I guess I could just keep using it with my maiden name ... I still have my old driver's license to prove that was my name at one time.


Dh's birthday was on Wednesday - the ol' 50. He worked that night, so we celebrated on Thursday. We went out to eat at this nice local Mexican restaurant -Tico's. It's been here in L town since shortly after I was born. Smile Really good food (lots of veg choices) although a bit pricey. Their dessert - Ponzaneita (sp?) is utterly scrumptious, and their chips are addictive. (I don't normally eat the chips at a restaurant, but these looked so different, I had to try them ... ate half a basket!)

Once DH gets to Walmart, he's getting a new electric razor for his birthday. Smile

I think I've been spending too much money at CVS .. I got a postcard in the mail this last week telling me I was in the "top 4%" ... Then I proceeded to stop there Friday afternoon and spend $23 - after about $30 in a variety of coupon savings and a blanket 15% off. I also got back $8 in ECB. I just need to spend another $7 on P&G products to get another $10 ECB. I'm debating about it ... Smile

I opened up a new AmEx Charge card last week. Received the card on Tuesday? and went ahead and used it to pay $1k on DHs medical debt. 5 or 6 weeks from now I'll get 25,000 rewards points. They can't be used for cash back, and can't be used for statement credits (unless I use the card charge $250 worth of other budgeted stuff ... that actually work out ..) My other option is gift cards - Amazon might be one of the issuers. My card isn't listed on my account yet, so I haven't been able to explore the options yet (other than what the CSR told me.)

I also opened a new checking account. (DH rolled his eyes when I told him.) All I have to do is have one direct deposit of $500 within 90 days, and have some kind of transaction each month, and I'll get $150.

That's $400 to throw at debt! (eventually ...)

I've been looking for large container to put change in for DH's boat fund. I'd thought about a used/beat up 5 gallon water jug (like what is used on water dispensers) but couldn't find anything like it for cheap. So yesterday I was at Dollar Tree and I found a 3 gallon container similar in shape to an old water bottle I had. That is now here at home and labeled with "DH's Boat Fund" and I already put in a couple dollars worth of change that's been scattered through out the house.

(As a delivery driver, DH has lots of change floating everywhere. I plan on offering to clean out his cars so I can get all the change out from them .. and hopefully he'll put his change in the jar at night instead of tossing his jeans on the floor and letting the change all go wherever ... Smile

I don't really use cash, so I'll probably just add to it whatever money I find on the ground, etc.

I don't know if it is just coincidental or if there is something there ... but a few days after I started taking the iron supplements, I also switched from Allegra D to just Allegra. I also stopped taking the cold medicine at night to sleep.

Ever since then, it seems like my allergies have gotten better! I haven't had a sinus headache in weeks! I've been getting slightly better sleep (my average has gone up to 5 1/2 hours! vs. an average of 4 1/2 - 5 hrs.)

So ... is it the iron supplements? The switching from Allegra D to Allegra? Whatever I'm most allergic to, getting less? I wish I knew the answer, but at any rate, I'll take it!

First Month Fully Integrated Finances

July 31st, 2016 at 04:03 pm

Although we've now been married just over 3! months, July was the first month where we followed a joint budget and I completely took over the bill paying. It also was the first full month where we only had one household - although we were paying the final bills from our former apartments.

Whenever DH wakes up, we're going to have a quick budget meeting for August. One thing we've kind of had to hash out this month is the when/how of him giving me the cash tips to deposit. He was used to to just going by the bank once or twice a month to make a deposit. I want to make a deposit every Friday (when the lobby is open til 6.)

He didn't see why I wanted to do that since our account balances have more than enough for our daily expenses. I explained to him that all my money is directly deposited and that helps me be able to guage what the next month's budget will be like. When I showed him how much was available to budget for August from my contributions versus what he'd given me so far ... he started giving me the tips as he got them. Smile (He's a delivery driver - makes a small hourly wage, but averages 2x that in tips/delivery charges.)

So ... since we were putting everything together this month, it is difficult to say what our "income" really was - our budget was based off of all moneys from various checking/savings being put together. Expenses include final bills and deposit charges for new accounts. In other words, this isn't a typical month for us by any means. Smile

So .. expenses:
Mortgage (loan only) $526
Extra Principal: $25
Natural Gas: 69.20
Electricity: 382.44 (includes June bill that got misplaced!!)
Phone: 239.04 (last month of DH needing to use phone as a hotspot for Internet - our bill for August is less than $60.)
Water: 51.43 (2 month bill)
Internet/Cable: 150 (deposit, extra house visit)
Groceries - Fast food: 29.81
Groceries - 265.08
Auto Fuel - 241.87 (delivery driver ....)
Tithe: 130 (DH isn't on board with tithing, but is ok with me continuing my same level as before)
Giving: 30
Car Maintenance: 14.97
Car tax/licenses: 421.69 (Tags for 3 cars, 2 new licenses)
Clothing: 20.40
Computer Replacement: (DH) 249
Garmin Replacement: (DH) 142
Household (blanket, toiletries, paper goods, fan, etc.) 148.36
Medical - Non-deductible (allergy, etc) 64.53
Medical FSA Reimbursed- 80.48 (copays, meds, heating pad)
Pets - Cats - food/litter -$80.97 (a LOT of litter/food)
Pets - Cats - Medicine(flea meds) $77
Pes - Non Cats - Food - 13.50
Pets - Non Cats - Medicine - 16.61
Fitness - 41.83 (my gym membership, hopefully can cancel soon)
Date Night: 14.77 (although will be getting pizza tonight)
DH fun money - 16
Laura fun money - 79.22
Student loan (DH) 55
Medical debt (DH) 372

Whooh! I think that covers it! Besides the money put into the above categories, there was also money put into a variety of other holding categories.

August will be spendy for car maintenance, and I just got approved for a new AE card which I'll be using to make a $1k payment on the medical (get back 250!)

I'm looking forward to what our first month of spending will be like without deposits and final bill fees. Smile (also without needing to replace electronics!)

I have around 6 hours of overtime in August, and I think September will be a 3 paycheck month. DH is working on putting together some speaker sales. (To help fund his boat and tv wishes.)

Mortgage Principal Balance:
Start 7/1/16 - $112,000
As of 7/31/16 (2 payments) - 111,619
Medical Debt:
As of 7/1/16 - 3,668
As of 7/31/16 - 3,296
Student Loan - TBD


July 16th, 2016 at 06:46 pm

Life is going pretty well overall.

I made an appointment with an allergy doctor for August 23 - the only caveat is that I have to stop all allergy meds for 5 days prior. Yikes. Hope I can survive that.

I got my refund of my security deposit from my apartment. They charged me for cleaning the carpet. Huh? It wasn't stained or worn more than normal? DH says that it's expected that you clean the carpets when leaving an apartment. Maybe just in NE? I never did that at any other place I lived, and always got my deposit back.

Oh well, I was prepared to not get any of my deposit back since these property managers have proven to be exceedingly picky ... so, getting back $117 of $415 is better than I hoped for.

This afternoon I was walking in the park near our local zoo and got a bit lost. Smile So I got out my GPS to get me back to my car. I stopped near a statue and was staring at my phone - when this young teen stopped near me and said, "Pokemon?"

I smiled at him and told him, "Sorry, no."

There were lots of people in the park with their nose to their phone ... assuming most were Pokemon hunting.

I'm glad the game is getting people out and about.

DH seems to be adjusting to living with a budget so far. The real test will be next month - I've already done some projections, and unless he gets some really good tip money the next couple weeks, we're going to have to lessen the fun money categories. He probably won't like that too much.

I'm hoping I can get him to sit down with me as I allocate the money out, so he can see all the places the money has to go.

We're having a quasi-date night tomorrow. Going to eat at a local Chinese buffet with the owner of the dog we dogsat for. Hoping he'll reimburse us for the medications ... but not holding my breath. ($150)

Thursday night we went to Dollar Tree and picked up a bunch of frozen items - vegetarian stuff for me, and chicken for DH. Smile Also, the fixing's for spaghetti. Which is what DH made for dinner. Smile (We've agreed that we will take turns making dinner for each other on Sundays/Thursdays. His two nights he doesn't work at all.)

I'm going to probably make a cottage cheese loaf on Thursday night. Then next week will try out a new recipe.

I still haven't used my Instapot. I'm not sure why really. Tomorrow though I plan on doing the water test, and then using it to cook a butternut squash and some sweet potatoes.

I am going to be volunteering at our VBS program M - W nights, so want to have something easy to fix for my dinners. (probably am going to make butternut black bean burgers and sweet potato burgers)

I also got some firm tofu, and am planning on frying some of it and baking some of it. Then cooking a cup or so of quinoa and brown rice for lunches. (along with a zucchini and yellow squash and onion - all on good sales.)

Will see what actually gets done tomorrow. Smile

Almost forgot - I had DHs and I's 3 car registrations/wheel taxes combined into the same month for renewal (August) For all 3, it was $392. That was a good bit less than I had estimated, so that was a bit of money back in the budget. Smile Although DH wants to get a 4 Runner by November, so I need to have money set aside for that registration/wheel tax too. (Guessing $100 - 120.)

(The 4 Runner is for getting around delivering in winter, and also pulling the eventual boat ... He's funding both purchases by 1/3 of the inheritance check, plus 1/4 of whatever sales he makes via Craigslist, etc. We've agreed that 50% of sales go back into a "business operating fund" for purchasing more inventory, making repairs, shipping, etc. 25% goes to his car/boat/tv funds, and 25% goes to the general budget - i.e. debt payments for now.)

Dead iPad :( Updates

July 4th, 2016 at 06:36 pm

DH has been using miad for the past 6 nonths or so since his 6th used laptop from eBay in 2 years died... So today he comes into the office and tells me iPad is dead - won't charge, or turn on. I test this out too. reaching the same conclusion.

I call the Apple store in O town and find out the next appointment isn't till Friday at least. The person did tell me about some local places - but didn't know their schedules.

Just on Sunday I worked through a joint budget. I'd put $200 in computer replacement category. Knowing how both DH and I like to be on the computer, I didn't relish the thought of however long it would take for an appointment to even find out if this is fixable or not.

So ... I told DH - let's get you a Chromebook. We'd looked into them before, but had put off getting one. We bought him a 15" Chromebook at Walmart for $179 plus a $40 2 year warranty. Normally I wouldn't go for that ... but DH is tough on computers.

I added an offer to my Aexpress card to spend $75 at chewy.com and get back $25. Then I went to chewy and ordered 160 lbs of cat litter and 48 lbs of cat food. The total came to $102.

I then added "autoship" for 16 weeks from now to get $15 off. Which brought me to $87. Once I have the $25 credit, my order will cost a measly $62. This will also add rewards dollars to my account - I ave 14 sitting in Limbo until I reach 25 and can cash out.

DH took me to see Finding Dory on Thursday. Loved the movie, but loved even more that DH took me to a movie he didn't really want to see in the theater.

We were hit with sticker shock though ... unwittingly we chose seats when asked what we wanted. I thought I heard the guy say that'd be $25.50 but was sure I was hearing things. I wasn't. Apparently we chose premium seats. Shows how long its been since we've been to a movie ... yikes!

I spent some time today cleaning the hardwood flooring and living room carpet. Most of what needed cleaning was dried cat upchuck. I'd been dreading it and putting it off ... but when it came to it, the swiffer type mop and floor cleaning spray left by the former homeowner, made it pretty easy (relatively). Hopefully DH will notice when he gets home tomorrow ... Smile I need to get some more of that spray stuff!

I'm in charge of the food drive at work this year. I set up three fundraisers, as well as putting out the barrels. A guessing jar, a team challenge to "feed the pig" and selling casual day tickets. To say its not going well would be an understatement.

Oh well. I tried.

Did I mention that the dog is gone? Big Grin For almost a week now. His owner paid us the $300 he'd said he would, and said he'd reimburse us for the $150 in meds. Waiting.

That first day I walked in and was only greeted by cats ... heaven.

Ok, I'm going to get a walk in before heading to bed. Hopefully I won't run into any fireworks.

The Inspection! And a Flooring ?

April 8th, 2016 at 07:11 pm

We had our house inspection this afternoon! R, our inspector was pretty awesome I think. He had spent a couple hours going through the house before we got there checking everything out. Then with us there, he took us through everything and pointed out a huge variety of things.

He told us that overall, the house is in very good shape. The main concern is the 23 yo water heater .. Smile There was SO much information ... but he's going to be writing a 17 page report with the same info so we can refer back to it when we need to.

We told C, our agent ... Go ahead! None of the issues raised by R are anything we can't easily do ourselves (well, with a little help from youtube ...)

One thing we found out was that the couple selling the house have just had their 70th!! wedding anniversary! The husband is turning 95 soon. We were SO off - we thought they were maybe mid to late 70s at most.

They also are the original owners - they designed the home themselves - back in 1952. The husband custom made the cabinets (he's way into woodworking.)

I didn't get any photos today - just way too much to take in to also take photos. But I will take some soon!

One thing R told us was about the flooring used in the kitchen/formal dining room/hallways - it's a wood vaneer? He basically said that you don't want to let it get wet, as it can ruin it quickly.

So ... um ... with all our cats, and possibly dogs in the future .. some with possible "issues" of the liquid variety .. We won't always be home to catch "issues" right away. So .. there's gotta be something we can put on it to protect it? Right?

So, our next hurdle is the appraisal. Then of course getting the stocks sold for the downpayment. (The T stock has been so UP and DOWN - wish I'd sold it on Wednesday!)

Just two weeks from now, and my brother/grandma/aunt will be here from California!

I still have SO much to do. I stopped at Dollar Tree and SuperSaver to get some napkins/plates/cups/plasticware for the rehearsal dinner/reception. I couldn't find the plates I wanted, so I might have to go to Party City for them.

I was going to stop at this new store FreshT for some great produce deals, but I hadn't eaten since lunch and was getting a sinus headache. Maybe I'll go there on Sunday after meeting with the photographer.

I finally made it to 100k points in the Achievemint app again. Sadly though, after I redeemed my points for my $100 gift card, I was told that I'd reached the max reward limit. So, I guess they only let you get 2 $100 awards. Frown Frown

This was a slow way to accumulate extra funds, but it was relatively simple and painless. So I'm sad to not have it as a tiny bit of extra motivation.

I probably should try to do my thank you notes tonight so I can hand most of them out at church tomorrow. Smile Save on postage you know. Smile That probably won't happen though, plus it might be kind of rude ... I don't know.

Question about homeowner's insurance and liability -- let's say we had a boat and it was within our fenced in yard. Some yahoos decide to climb our fence and get in the boat and goof off and end up getting hurt. Would we be liable? If so, would it be homeowner's insurance or liability for boat insurance that would cover it?

Mr FT and I were having a discussion about this today (as we were discussing where to check at for homeowner's insurance.) BTW - Anyone use Farm Bureau Insurance? R told us about it, and that they have only one deductible for whatever you have insured with them. (house, car, boat ..)

Busy, busy

April 2nd, 2016 at 05:58 am

I wrote a long entry, and then forgot to copy it ..

Oh well.

Jist of it -

*Been very busy helping Mr FT with a huge project this week. Still lots to do, and not lots of time to do it in ..

*Signed the mortgage paperwork with J on Thursday. Inspections are scheduled for the 8th, and the appraisal will be after that.

*Debating on the timing of selling electric car stock (begins with T) and withdrawing from ROTH. The market has been SO topsy turvy. Especially the T stock.

*Aunt and Uncle (who paid for wedding dress) got their first T car - a the X one. Uber excited. My brother will get to drive it - lucky duck. (I could too, just would mean a California trip.)

(The above Uncle is the one who got my dads whole side of the family to invest in the T stock when it was still under $30.)

* Bridal shower is tomorrow! I'm not sure what to expect, since there is another bridal shower at the same time at the church! I wasn't expecting to even have one, so whatever happens, will be great! Smile

*I've been coming up with many ideas/ways to spend money regarding the new house. Smile Almost as bad as Mr FT with his landscaping/animals ideas. Good thing I have a strong penchant for keeping a strong EF! But will give ourselves a little bit of money to play with in setting up house. Smile

*Finally had a Groupon deal come out for a mani/pedi. There seemed to be a dearth of them for awhile. Maybe because of it being winter? Anyway, I got a deal for 3 gel mani/pedis at a local beauty school for $43. Not too shabby I think. Smile (One will be for wedding.)

*Got my interest for the Brink's account! 3 months worth at 5% - $57.68! I'm glad I decided to wait patiently and see if it would actually pay out 5%!

- Will now probably fund the Netspend card I opened a while ago, but got discouraged about actually using due to not having interest the first month show up. Will only put $40 on it to get the $20 bonus though. Later may put more on there.

* I started the Culinary PX program. I haven't gotten very far with it due to Mr FTs big project, but what I have seen so far, I like a lot. I think it's going to be well worth the $50.

Just a Cold ..

March 11th, 2016 at 05:39 pm

So yesterday (Thursday) I went home from work early due to feeling majorly "crummy." I ended up sleeping for at least 5 hours before Mr FT came over. I wasn't the greatest company for him, but he was understanding.

This morning I still wasn't feeling all that great ... so decided to stay home again. I had a doctor's appointment already to get some bloodwork done (recheck TSH) so called and had an appointment added to see the doctor.

I slept most of the morning after getting the appointment made, and would have slept more, but got calls from the Realtor and from Mr FT.

---- We may have found a house that works for us. Two possible ones actually. One is $52k and the other is $120k. The 52k one doesn't have a basement, but it does have a HUGE garage/storage shed. Mr FT thinks we could partition off part of it, insulate it, and make it part of his "man cave" instead of using a basement. Hey, if it works, and we get into a house for $52k ... I'm all for it!

The $52k house was built in 1880! About the same time the town was started. Yep, you're reading that right. Both of the houses we are looking at are NOT in L town. Both houses would mean a commute of about 35-40 minutes.

Yuck I know. Especially in winter.

But ... both houses come with LOTS of land. 1 acre for one, and 1/2 an acre for the other.

We're going to go actually look at both of them on Sunday.

I got a weird text from my boss today. She was asking me if I was unhappy at work. I texted back that I wasn't, with a couple of question marks, but no response.

My first thought was that maybe the CC I applied to back in January? didn't respect my request to NOT contact current employer. But it seems like its been a long time for that to happen...

The other thought was that she was thinking I wasn't really sick this week, and just taking time off because I don't want to be at work. In case that's the case, I got a note from the doctor. (felt kind of like a little kid doing it ... but, whatever.)

The third thought I had was that little miss busy body had taken my little off hand joke on Thursday morning as literal, and gone to my boss about it. One of our copiers has a bad part. The technician was in another town, and so talked me through resetting the code over the phone. One of my co-workers (who is invited to the wedding) jokingly told me that now I can add copier repair to my resume. I found that funny ... and without thinking, when talking to busy body co-worker, repeated that.

If it's the first issue - then that's going to be a headache to clear up. And is going to make me quite upset at the CC.

If it's either of the other two issues, then I think those will be easy enough to clear up.

Oy vey!

Mr FT has asked me to go with him on Wednesday to get his suit / tux picked out. Whew!

April 24 is getting closer and closer ....

Tuesday I have my makeup trial. Hopefully she can work miracles with undereye bags ... and make my eyes actually look open when I smile (I squint when I smile big - when I concentrate on NOT squinting, my smile looks all weird.)

I cashed out for $9 from Pinecone, and $5 from Bing.

Taxes done, etc.

March 8th, 2016 at 06:21 pm

Yesterday (Monday) I still wasn't feeling well, and so decided to take the day off from work.

I spent a few hours in the morning working in Turbo Tax after calling Nationwide to find out why I hadn't gotten a 1099 for the $200 bonus. It turns out that they counted it similarly to a credit card bonus! Wish all the other banks had done that!

In the end, I ended up owing $357 Fed, and getting a $33 refund from the state. I paid $23 to TurboTax for efiling and keeping an archive.

I made sure I got the email confirmations telling me that not only had my returns been received, but they had also been accepted!

I think maybe the step we missed with NE was inputting the confirmation number for the payment.

After that, I did the online defensive driving class. It was supposed to only take four hours, but I kept falling asleep .... so about five hours later I finally finished it.

I ended up going to bed about 9 p.m.

We're about 2/3rds of the way through our spending on the Citi card. Thanks to taxes and the driving course .... that's about $500 right there.

I received the $9 from Pinecone and the $25 PayPal from Swagbucks today.

I have my dress at home (hidden behind the bedroom door - couldn't hang it in my closet because the rod was too close to the ground.) The alterator told me to try it on again two weeks before the wedding to make sure it still fits - if it needs anything, just let her know.

Mr FT hasn't even gone to look for his suit/tux yet. I'm trying to not nag him about it. But ... 47 days .... and he's not a small guy in any shape or form.

The ladies making my bouquet had taken it all apart when I got there - it's a mom/grandma team. They told me they're excited to do mine because it's different from what they've done before (using snapdragons as the main focus.) I love the colors they found, and think it's going to be gorgeous. Smile

Mr FT asked me if using fake flowers is normal ... well, if it isn't, I don't really care. Smile It's what I'm doing (plus, I can keep my bouquet forever without having to have it "preserved" or whatever if I want to - or resell it!)

Is it weird that no one has bought anything off the registries yet? The bridal shower is about three weeks from now ... And only one person has paid for their room at the b&b. I've had four RSVP's, and two of those are from a co-worker and her husband.

Um .... April 24 is coming up real quick. (I asked for RSVPs by the 15th. I *know* most of the people I invited ARE coming with or without the RSVP, but still ...)

Last week at our pre-marital counseling session we were talking about some of our favorite dates. Mr FT mentioned the restaurant we'd gone to for my birthday this past year. The pastor had never heard of it, but was really intrigued. He emailed me this weekend to ask me the name of it (he'd mentioned it to his wife, but couldn't remember its name.) So I emailed him the name, as well as a code to get a $25 gift certificate for $4.25 from restaurants.com. Smile

I'd actually been thinking of getting a certificate for the pastor and his wife as a thank you for our PMC sessions - although it looks like they may be going before I can do that. Smile

Updates March 6

March 6th, 2016 at 08:02 am

I wasn't feeling very well yesterday, so after going to the church to do my duty of collecting the Sabbath School money (this is my month to do it) I came back home.

Somehow I came across a mention of the site cooksmarts.com. It is a meal planning site (as low as $6/month) but it also is a site with TONS of resources for learning how to cook.

I think I must have spent four or five hours on that site. I ended up adding some things to my registry too. Smile

I think I may sign up for it, but I'm going to wait until either we move into a house, or they offer a discount price. As I went through their FB feed, I saw they've offered discounts multiple times in the past at various times.

What I like most about it is that I can customize the meal plan for both Mr FT and I's food preferences, and have one handy grocery shopping list. (They have original, gluten free, paleo and vegetarian options for each of the 4 days of meal plans.)

I may end up getting Plan to Eat later on too, though that will have to wait til their Black Friday sale in November.

House hunting ... sigh. There just isn't anything in our price range that Mr FT and I can agree on .. except the FSBO house we looked at a few weeks ago. We both want to keep looking, but we also are worried that if we wait too long, that house will be gone.

If I was willing to go up another $20k in my price point, there've been several good possibilities. To do that though would mean needing to sell stock to get the loan value low enough so our monthly expenses wouldn't make it so we had nothing left to do anything else. I don't want to do that - especially since that stock has been going up the last week or so (back above where I sold some a while ago.) Plus, both of those houses in the $20k extra range seem way too big just for two people and a lot of cats.

Both my mom and my grandma think it's weird that we won't be living together right away after getting married. Well .. neither of our places is big enough to handle both of us AND the cats. Which is why we need a house. Maybe unconventional, but we get to write the rules for ourselves, right? Smile

I have a possibly final dress fitting today at 1, then am going to go look at my bouquet to see if I like their design, and then go to a Women's Ministry meeting.

Then of course Mr FT will be coming over later.

I'd kind of like to cancel on all of it except Mr FT because all I really want to do right now is keep a heating pad on my back and do nothing. But, you do what you have to do, right?

I had two Pinecone surveys this weekend. So once they credit, I'll be able to cash out $9.

I also cashed out 2200SBs for a $25 AGC, and will be cashing out for a $25 PayPal today.

I helped Mr FT with his taxes last year. He had filed an extension, and then in September we used TaxAct to file them. We went through all the steps and even paid what he owed to the Feds. He was due a refund from NE. He got confirmation of the Fed payment.

He still hadn't received his refund or a tax bill from the Feds (fees and penalities for extension) so last week he logged in to TaxAct and was informed that his taxes had never been filed!

He went to his bank and got a printout of his bank statements from last year. It shows that he paid the Federal taxes AND that he paid TaxAct. So I do NOT get how his taxes were not filed!

In all my years of doing my taxes online, I've never had any issues. Of course the first time I convince him to do his online, this happens. Ugh!

I spent about five or six hours last week getting this figured out - contacting customer service; ordering the "archived" copy of his forms from last year, printing two copies out (one for him to mail in, and one for the mortgage process), etc.

Hopefully this isn't going to cause any issues for him. (Other than extra penalties and fees, although I don't think it should be too much for $495 in taxes.)

TaxAct's customer service is a joke. They make it nearly impossible to figure out how to actually send a question in, and then you get back essentially a form letter.

Oh well. I have no idea how to prove that we did complete the necessary steps to file. So mailing them in and hoping for the best is all we've got I guess. I just wish I'd been more cognizant of the fact that he'd ONLY received confirmation of his federal income payment.


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