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I've been gone for two-plus years

May 5th, 2010 at 08:37 pm

I haven't made an entry for over two years. I still post over on the forums just not as often as I'd like to. I really haven't had much to report in the financial world. I'm plugging away.
I just paid off my car (2-year 0% interest) so that's done. I have $47,000 balance on my mortgage which I hope to have paid off in no more than three years but at the worst it would be 4 years, 7 months. The student loan in almost gone.
We're going to look at new flooring options tomorrow for the kitchen and two bathrooms. That might lead to spending more money. I'm in no hurry to replace the floors but DH wants it done.
I've had two big trips since my last post - one to Germany/England/Scotland and one to India. I'm not sure of my next destination but it probably won't be until 2011 since I've used up most of my vacation days for this year on the India trip.

THE Vacation Fund

February 6th, 2008 at 11:11 am

Since May 2007:

107.32 Coins
6.80 Bottle deposit refunds
121.00 Gifts
181.21 Rebates
159.10 Business expense reimbursement
63.83 DH Biz expense reimbursement
385.33 Flex Spending Acct reimb.
100.00 online surveys
773.00 my side jobs
363.03 interest from savings accts.
151.00 part of Fed tax refund
- - - - -
2411.62 Total

One of the things I've learned here at SA is giving names to my dollars. I started with the vacation fund but need to do it with some other categories in my finances.

I started the above last May and it represents a total of 62 deposits from 11 different sources of cash.

I decided that any check I received would go into the vacation fund. For example, I had traveled for my job and had to pay a few things out of pocket. At the end of the month, I still had money left in my checking, so the out-of-pocket expenses didn't hurt me. When I received the reimbusement from my employer, I put the check into the vacation fund. Similarly with rebate checks and online survey checks, etc.

I also took some of the interest that I earned in my various savings accounts and money market accounts and credited that to the vacation fund. Some of the interest I earn each month stays with the original account though.

Both DH and I have over 50,000 airmiles with United so we're set for a flight. Now we just have to decide where and when we're going!

Using up leftovers

February 3rd, 2008 at 10:52 am

I'm on a quest to use up leftovers and to also clear out my upright freezer.

Today I made a wonderful fruity sauce that I'll use over chicken tonight. I had some leftover fresh pineapple and a mango (49-cent score from Aldi). I pulsed these in the food processor. I added a bit of minced fresh ginger, a sprinkling of brown sugar and a tsp. or so of garam masala. Lovely.

There is enough for two servings which means I'll freeze half of it. Doh! That interferes with wanting to clean out the freezer!

Mall Shopping

February 2nd, 2008 at 04:04 pm

I do not like shopping but today I headed to the mall. The place was packed. I avoided the traffic by staying in just three of the department stores.

I didn't do too much damage. I spent $58 on clothing which consisted of two pairs of pants and one sweater.

I used a gift certificate to pay for a large frying pan that I have been wanting.

All shopping urges are satisfied for the forseeable future. I probably won't go back to the mall for a couple months.

Looking for a meaningful challenge

January 29th, 2008 at 07:40 am

I like reading about how others have 'No Spend Days.' However, this just doesn't apply to me. Most of my days are no spend days and it has been like that for a long time.

I pack my lunch for work every day. I don't usually buy anything from the vending machines. At both my old job and my new job, there are no shopping places along the commute and I have little desire after a day of working to go out of my way. My spending mostly consists of going to the grocery store on the weekend and filling the car with gas. On the weekend I might also stop into a hardware store.

My guess is that I have maybe 6 spend days a month. I'll keep searching for a challenge.

Resurrecting the blog

January 27th, 2008 at 08:21 am

Trying to figure out if I want to get back into blogging. I took quite a break after I went from being unemployed to being employed. For a while after starting my job I didn't have time to even read the forums and blogs. So here goes.

Little finance bits:
1. I found 15-cents at work!
2. I submitted the info necessary for both DH and I to receive the $25 refund for being assessed surcharges on our international credit charges. No idea when that will come.
3. I received a raise at work and now make more than when I lost my original job.
4. DH has been off work for two months. Surgery. In his line of work, no work = no pay. We're managing.
5. After 6 months at the new job, I am finally eligible for the 401k. My first contribution was on Friday! Yeah.

In 2007 I tracked every cent that I spent. I have it all in a spreadsheet. I just need to compile the results. DH did not do the same. I am hoping to get all of our tax numbers and income and then compare it to what I show as outgoing. This will obviously leave the amount that DH spent. I expect it to be something to the tune of several thousand dollars. Then I'm going to ask - where did that money go?
So far in 2008, I have not been tracking every cent. It has been hard to break the habit.

First Paycheck at new job

July 13th, 2007 at 09:35 pm

Today was payday! I checked my bank online today and see the deposit. Yeah! The only thing I'm not happy about is that my new job pays me every two weeks. I much prefer to get paid only once a month.

I don't understand why companies pay every two weeks. Isn't it more expensive for them to have to run payroll 26 times per year rather than 12 times?

I miss this place!

July 10th, 2007 at 06:29 pm

Okay, so I have not posted in a while. But worse, I haven't been reading at all! After almost seven months of unemployment I landed a job and I started a couple weeks ago. In the run up to that I hadn't been visiting the site because I had a 100 things that needed to get done before starting the new job. Now that I am at the job, I am tired at night.

I was never a frequent poster but I loved to read about all of you. Even though my financial situation has improved because I am once again employed, I am still very interested in reading the blogs and forums. I'm just into it!

The only bad thing about my new job is that I'm not able to contribute to the 401k for 6 months. This means I have little to no tax sheltering available to me for 2007. I have made a resolution however, that when I can start it up in 2008 I am going to make the max contribution (15500? or maybe it will increase for 2008).

May 2007 coupon usage

June 5th, 2007 at 05:33 am

2.95 Free Prego
0.75 candy
3.00 razors
3.00 razors
2.00 razors
2.00 razors
0.35 zest soap
0.75 pledge
1.00 salad dressing
1.00 meat
0.40 mayonnaise
6.00 Anything at Wags.
1.00 Cereal
0.50 sour cream
2.00 razors
0.25 downy
2.00 meat
0.35 bathroom tissue
1.00 glad products
1.00 coffee
1.00 coffee
0.75 egg rolls
1.00 salad
------------------
$34.05


Not a great month compared to previous months.
In addition to the coupons, I used a $10 Kohls gift card that was from a grocery store promotion. I also used $20 in Kmart gift cards that were from a spend $50 get $20 promotion.

I received two coupons for free pet food which I'll use this month.

Job Offer!

June 4th, 2007 at 10:24 am

On the six month anniversary of leaving my old job, I received a job offer. Recall, I was part of a corporate merger which moved my job to another state.

I have to call back today or tomorrow to formally accept the offer. I like the company and had hoped that I would find something there. The salary difference is almost negligible so I’m definitely happy about that.

I celebrated over the weekend by buying annuals for my containers. Without a job, it was one of the things that I was going to give up this year. I have a few other little splurges that I’m going to indulge myself with now that I’ll have a paycheck again.

I can’t contribute to my new 401k for the first six months. That means I won’t be able to start until January 2008. In the meantime, I’m going to have to figure out what I can do to get a tax break on my income for the rest of 2007.

Yeah! I have a job again!

Swimming in Interviews

May 17th, 2007 at 04:31 pm

I'm now at 5.5 months of being unemployed. Up to now I've mostly had phone interviews and they've come in about once every other week. This week and next are a completely different story!

I have one phone interview scheduled for next Monday.

I have one phone interview that is actually a second interview that will either be scheduled for tomorrow or Monday.

I had an in-person interview on Tuesday. They called me back today and want to fly me to another city next week for a second interview.

Lastly, I have another hot job contact that I am pretty sure is going to lead to an interview.

Wow... months of a dry spell and now this.

April 2007 Coupon usage

May 1st, 2007 at 03:42 pm

1.00 frozen veg
1.00 frozen veg
1.00 Lubriderm
1.00 lipstick
1.00 excedrin
0.40 ziploc
0.25 downy
1.50 Advil
1.00 candy
1.50 candy
1.00 toothbrush
1.00 Aleve
1.00 excedrin
1.00 milk
1.00 Aleve
2.00 Benefiber
1.00 cat litter
1.00 coffee
3.49 meat
0.55 shave gel
0.40 yogurt
0.50 mints
1.00 Pepp. Farm cookies
1.00 advil
1.00 gum
0.55 brownies (Free!)
0.55 brownies (Free!)
2.00 Advil
5.00 Soy Joy
--------
$34.69

Several coupons were used in conjunction with a Free-After-Rebate program so they ended up being money-makers. I think it turned out to be $7.50 in money-makers this month.

I ended up getting four Bird's Eye 1-lb bags of frozen peas for 25-cents each.

The brownies were reduced for quick sale to 50-cents and I had the 55-cent coupon!

I'm not able to use coupons much for food. I don't buy the types of food for which there are coupons.

Easy, Inexpensive Chicken & Peaches

April 19th, 2007 at 06:22 pm

Tonight's dinner



$2.44 Six chicken thighs
$0.79 One can peaches
$0.25 Blanched Almonds
$0.05 2 Tbs Vinegar
$0.10 1 tsp Curry powder
$0.10 1 tsp Garam Masala
$0.05 Cornstarch
$0.59 Fresh Green Beans on the side
- - - - - - - - -
$4.37 Total.
Two chicken thighs leftover for lunch tomorrow

March household spending

April 4th, 2007 at 11:31 am

Third post for today. Since I used my other two posts to talk about how much I had saved for the month, I thought I should also throw in how much I spent for the month.

$193.00 Groceries/Food
$9.00 Meals out (sushi)
$10.54 Cat Food/Litter
$5.75 Cleaning supplies
$49.99 Health & Beauty (This includes the $25 at CVS for 2-180ct bottles of advil)
$66.95 Beverages.

The beverages number may seem high but it includes $18.79 in coffee beans that I had to purchase in order to use my $9 worth of coupons by the end of the month. It also includes $9.50 for gallon refills of water because we don't drink the water from our well.

This is for two adults.