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eBay sales and cereal deals

September 9th, 2008 at 06:00 pm

Sold and shipped a couple of my daughter's outfits. My "share" was $8.88, which I'm putting toward the Challenge, so the new total is $11,789.04.

I had to take some money out of the Vespa fund -- not for a Vespa tire, but for something else that I hadn't budgeted for -- so my adjusted total there is $231.24.

I had to get my eyes examined and order a year's supply of contacts today, so I spent $310, which I'll be reimbursed for from my flexible spending account. I also need to order new glasses for those times that I can't wear my contacts. I'll be doing that later this week after I recover from writing the check for the contact lenses....

On a good note, I took advantage of

Text is this deal and Link is http://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2008/09/target-free-or.html
this deal and got four boxes of Kashi for $1.

Saving on landscaping

August 31st, 2008 at 06:59 pm

My husband has been working on our front yard landscaping and decided we needed some big rocks to accent the plants. Rather than buy them, he dragged us to the mountains today and loaded up my trunk with free rocks.

Tomorrow, he's going to make a small retaining wall with some of them.

In other news, I sold the Twilight book I finished reading last week (which I received for free) and made $5.43, which I'm adding to the challenge. My new total is $11,769.42

A necessary evil

August 26th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Ugh... I just mailed off a huge stack of paperwork to get my daughter evaluated for learning "differences" at the local children's hospital. Of course insurance won't cover it, so we're paying $900 out of pocket to have a bunch of testing done before we decide where to place her for school next year.

There is a possibility that her current public school will be closing next year or that a number of new students will transfer in because another school in the district may be closing. Either way, this doesn't bode well for her because she needs to be in a very small classroom setting and/or have one-on-one assistance throughout most of the day.

Because of this, we are thinking of putting her in a private school that will better suit her needs. The tests her current school already conducted to assess her needs weren't thorough enough, so that's why we're having to pay out-of-pocket for more testing before we decide on a school.

Our flexible spending account for health care will cover the tests, but that means less money available for things like dental care, eyeglasses, real medical "issues," etc.

GRRRRRRR!!!!!!

OK, enough ranting.

I did manage to haul the Midge to karate and back yesterday without splurging on that certain Asian cuisine that I've been asked not to mention anymore -- lest it lead to mass cravings here. (As predicted, we ate Ramen noodles instead....)

Despite the craving for the above-mentioned Asian food, I've been particularly pleased with myself because I've been pretty much staying home during the day and working -- and not splurging on things like Starbucks, trips to Target and lunch out. For instance, today I warmed up a leftover Greek burger that we made from scratch Friday when the Asian food craving first hit (I know ... Greek/Asian -- not the same thing...)

And, for dinner tonight, I'm making French dip sandwiches using the Crock Pot for my husband and I to eat after we get done with back-to-school/squeeze-your-adult-body-in-a-chair-meant-for-the-Midge night.

I'm guessing there will be more than enough left over for me to eat tomorrow for lunch as well.

Sold more on eBay and got a check in the mail

August 18th, 2008 at 07:50 pm

Sold and shipped some more eBay stuff, and Pinecone sent me a check so I'm adding $22.60 to the challenge (but only $19.60 to the Vespa fund since I have other plans for that Pinecone check).

The new totals are:

Challenge: $11,214.40

Vespa fund: $139.65

The Midge heads back to school tomorrow. I'll be sad to see her go, but might be able to get more work for the booming business done with her gone most of the day.

I'm limiting my volunteering this year to Thursday afternoons, so hopefully that will save me time and money (in the form of gas).

I also discovered a store three doors down from the Midge's karate place sells my favorite tea, which I usually buy at Whole Foods every couple weeks. The price is comparable, but I'll be saving even more money on gas by eliminating the drive to Whole Foods.

Updated the numbers

August 14th, 2008 at 06:50 am

Finally got around to updating the debt and savings totals over there on the left. The debt is slooooowly going down, but then again so is the savings. The savings dropped a huge amount because I did take some money out to pay off my one-and-only credit card a while back, but also the stock market isn't helping me any these days (not to mention the $1,000-plus vet visit we had this month....)



Bad day for gadgets

August 6th, 2008 at 08:32 pm

Today our DVD player broke along with my alarm clock.

Because we don't have cable and we get virtually no TV reception without it, I borrow DVDs from the library for The Midge so a DVD player is nice to have.(Not a need, though, since The Midge could be doing other things with her time.....)

Fortunately, I was able to salvage an old beat-up DVD player (read "on it's last legs too") from our basement. It was a remanant from our cable days when we had both TVs hooked up to everything under the sun. Now the giant TV in the basement isn't even used, so for the time being the basement DVD player will work perfectly upstairs.

I did go to Best Buy's site and priced new ones. I have a $20 gift card so I'm thinking I might budget for a cheapo replacement in the next few months -- plus I can buy it online and get MyPoint credits.

Awhile after the DVD episode, The Midge knocked a glass of water over on my nightstand and it fried my alarm clock. Because I'm blind without my glasses or contacts (seriously not kidding), I had a special alarm clock with super large numbers. I could replace it, but for the time being I'm going to try going without for the time being as well.

My husband has an alarm clock on his side of the bed, so if I really need to see the time I can put my glasses on and climb over him to see it. As far as the alarm goes, I can set my phone alarm to go off if I need to wake up at a particular time.

On another note, someone posted on here earlier about not buying things they didn't really need just because they were "good deals." I read it right before I headed to Walgreens to stock up on Kellogg's cereal and cash in on the $10 rebate Kellogg's is offering. After reading the post, I decided I didn't really need anymore cereal since we have 12 boxes down in the basement, so I stayed home instead.

New savings goal

July 19th, 2008 at 07:17 pm

My husband and I have decided to invest in a Vespa for me to use for putting around in the 'hood. Although it's a rare day that I don't drive, it's rare that I drive more than a few miles away. (I would walk, but the Midget wouldn't put up with it for long....)

So to pay for the scooter, I've decided to save all my eBay money and put it toward the purchase, which we hope to make next April or May. (I'll probably also put money from the booming business toward the Vespa, which will cost about $7,000).

I'm also keeping track of all my trips and indicating whether they were potential Vespa trips or "car" trips. And I'm going to log my gas mileage. (I'm pretty sure this will all show that a Vespa will ultimately safe us big bucks.)

Off to post some stuff on eBay now....

Movies on the cheap....

June 30th, 2008 at 07:43 am

I've been hoarding a movie gift certificate since my birthday in March. Today I'm going to use it to take the Midge to see Wall E. She's been walking around for the last few months doing the robot's voice, so I figure it's time to take her to the actual movie.

I hit Walgreens yesterday for some detergent and also picked up two kinds of candy to sneak into the theater. (I used a gift card I got from Walgreens' rebates on my purchases so I actually paid nothing out of pocket for the candy or detergent.)

After we buy the movie tickets, we should still have money left on the gift card for popcorn and drinks as well so with any luck today's outing should cost me very little -- if anything.

No spend day -- can she do it again???

May 14th, 2008 at 05:12 am

Yesterday turned out to be a no-spend day even though I did leave the house to go into the "office" job.

I'm hoping I have another one today.

Think I can do it?

Set up a Roth IRA

May 8th, 2008 at 09:46 am

I've been off nursing a nasty flu that I've had for the last two and a half weeks and trying to wrap up work at the "office" job, which is officially over on May 21. Thus, I haven't had much time to focus on financial matters.

One thing I did manage to accomplish, though, was setting up a Roth IRA with Fidelity. This was all part of paying off my one-and-only personal credit card using some of my savings. I arranged to have the Roth funded with automatic deposits from checking each month, so it should be easy on my part from here on out.

I'm off to lay down down and hopefully build up enough energy to plow through some jobs for the booming side business later today....

More for the challenge and paying down debt

April 26th, 2008 at 03:28 pm

Another freelance check came in the mail today. After putting $262.50 into my tax fund, I'm putting the remaining $787.50 into the challenge. That brings the total to $9,725.30.

I also got the rest of my payout from my savings to put toward paying off my credit card debt so I've adjusted the savings and debt figures over there on the left.

Less is more if you ask me

April 18th, 2008 at 04:52 pm

I got the first of my two savings payouts to put toward my debt, so I've updated my totals over there on the left. On one hand, it hurts to see my savings take a nosedive, but I won't miss those monthly payments to Chase.

Finally, something other than the challenge to blog about....

April 11th, 2008 at 08:20 am

I am thinking the unthinkable.... I am thinking of dipping into my vast savings to pay down my debt. Specifically, I am thinking of paying off my United Mileage Plus card, which has a balance of $23,867.86.

Why this sudden change of heart? Well, basically, I'm tired of Chase trying to set me up to fail.

Yes, I'm have decided that Chase -- the bank behind the card -- would love to see me not be able to make my monthly payment on time and in full. Thus bringing more money to its coffers in the form of late fees and increased finance charges.

You see, yesterday I got a letter from Chase saying they were raising my interest rate. I called and politely asked "WTF?" and they transferred me around to four different people -- disconnecting me altogether at one point. I finally got Jamie, who I have to say was one of the nicest, most helpful credit card employees that I have ever spoken to.

I nicely walked him through my situation (nicely always being the key when asking credit card companies to play fair). He then walked me through Chase's situation. I then nicely pointed out to him that Chase was setting me -- and others in the same position -- up to fail and dig a deeper hole for themselves. He said he fully understood my situation/point and even admitted he's in the same boat himself. He then walked me through my options. And, without outright telling me what to do, suggested highly what I could do to get Chase to lower my interest rate even more instead of raising it.

As we were chatting, he took some info from me and said he was going to submit a request for a lower rate for me. He said it's unusual for Chase to accept the request on the first try, especially considering my current state (which I won't bore you with the details). I said I appreciated him at least trying. He said if it didn't go through to make sure I call back monthly to see if I could eventually get it approved. I said I would. He then said he'd have an answer for me in the next 48 hours.

Then I obsessed about it overnight and I decided if Chase doesn't agree to at least leave my interest rate alone then I'm going to take the plunge and dip into my retirement funds to pay off the card, and be rid of Chase and credit cards forever. (Yes, Chase is my one and only personal credit card debt.)

I have already figured out that I can save the money I was putting toward the card and in 5 years have the total amount I withdraw from my retirement fund paid off. I will have to investigate my investment options, though, since I'm pretty sure my husband and I have priced ourselves out of the Roth IRA market. But, that's a minor inconvenience for something that will ease my mind greatly.

I am still digesting it all while I wait for Jamie to call me back. Even if Chase does agree to leave my interest rate alone, I'm kind of leaning toward just cutting my ties with them altogether.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking do I really need this financial news when I just gave notice at the office job to focus on building up the booming side business even more?

I DON'T THINK SO!

Now, tell me what you would do and explain your reasoning? Also, tell me what you know about the Roth IRAs income limits. (And, be nice! I'm not in a very good mood here. I'm having a bad hair day. ...)