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Car battery died and other happenings

January 26th, 2015 at 06:38 am

Yesterday when I went to leave to go grocery shopping, my car wouldn't start. My hubby is now working a new schedule (Sunday through Wednesday 10 hour days) and wasn't home. So I called him and he figured it was the battery and said he would leave work early and get it fixed for me..he rocks! He called O'Reilly's and found they had a battery for $140....he also found a coupon online for $99! Yippe! It's all fixed...he said they seemed annoyed that he had the coupon...oh well...it's not his fault they put out coupons. I guess they hope nobody will be smart enough to look around for coupons?

My parents live a mile from me and my mom was sweet enough to come and get me and take me to the grocery store...I treated her to Starbucks as a thank you.

Since my hubby is now working Sundays, instead of being grumpy about it (thank goodness I work 1/2 days on Fridays), I decided if I didn't have plans on Sundays, I would make it my day to do projects around the house (in addition to regular things that need to get done)......yesterday's project was to clean the fridge and freezer. They look so much better now!

I've got lots of other projects on my list to cross off..and add as they come up.

Resisted temptation/hubby's in Japan/fitness update

January 14th, 2015 at 06:42 am

Hubby left last Sunday for a work trip to Japan, so I've been on my own since then. Last night after the gym, I was tempted to stop and get take out. I was proud of myself for not doing it. I did splurge on Sunday at got Panera for dinner and grabbed a sandwich there for lunch on Monday.

Last week we were really bad about hitting the gym, so I've renewed my commitment so getting there at least 4 times a week. I stopped Monday and Tuesday this week and walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes. I bought a new (cheap) pedometer to help track my steps. I'm aiming for 10K steps a day, but with a desk job it makes it harder. Luckily I work upstairs in our building so I make about 10 trips down the stairs every day. Hitting the gym is a huge step to meeting that goal. I hit 8667 steps on Monday and 9000 on Tuesday. I'm excited to see what I can get to today!

I hope everyone else's fitness (and financial) goals are going well!

Happy New Year and updates

January 1st, 2015 at 07:36 pm

Been a bad blogger these past few months but hope to keep it up much better.

We ended the year on a pretty good note. DH received a 3% raise effective next paycheck. I received $1000 Christmas bonus at work, and finally, my very generous parents gifted us at Christmas, $14,500.

We also met our goals, with the exception of paying off the credit line. This was from last year's bathroom/laundry room update. It was almost paid off and we decided to remodel our mater bath. In October, the balance was about $3000. We added $14,000 to that that by the beginning of December. However, with some diligence,(and using some of the money from my parents) as of January 1st, it is $10,000.

I will blog about the bathroom remodel in another post. I am excited to share how we cash flowed a big portion of that.

We also had our water heater replaced the day after Christmas. It was 17 1/2 years old. As the girls have been in and out for the holiday break for Christmas, we discovered when all 4 of us needed to shower one after the other, some people were getting cool water. DH found a good deal on a new water heater from Lowe's, and for opening a Lowe's card, we saved $80 (and it will be paid in full when the bill comes) and we will also receive a refund of $125 as it is an energy saving model.

2015 goals include: paying of the credit line ($10,000)....getting the mortgage down to $100K (currently at $112K) and cash flowing a new roof in the Spring/Summer(amount unknown....5 to 7K).

That's it for now...off to update the sidebar.

Wishing everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year and good thoughts for meeting our goals!

Back to blogging/updates

May 18th, 2014 at 07:47 pm

Hi SA friends!

Well I am back to blogging. Finally feel in the mood Smile

I updated my side bar figuring it was time as I still had 2013 goals on there.

You will notice a little debt. The story behind the tires...first mine...back in February, I had 2 nails in one of my tires....DH also noticed my tires were pretty bald. My vehicle (2010 Ford Escape), it would seem was due for some new tires after 4 years. We went ahead and got them...0% interest for 6 months. DH's tires are another story. In 2012, he gave up his Ford Fusion for a more economical car (Ford Focus). He loves cars, and really wanted to add a bit of 'dash" to the Focus. He doesn't really have any hobbies, and rarely spends money on himself, so he wanted to use his bonus for new tire and wheels. I didn't feel like I could say no, so he shopped around and got new tires and wheels. Again, we are at 0% interest for 6 months. On both sets of tires, we also got visa rebate gift cards.

With $38K in savings, you might wonder why we don't just pay them off....I definately would, but DH thinks it's better just to keep the money in savings since we are not paying any interest. They WILL be paid off at the end of the promotion though. I have just divided the payment into 6 months, and they will be gone. I just hate having it hang over our heads, and it's one more bill to remember to pay. We have purchased many, many things over the years on promotions like this and have never paid a penny of interest.

Our home equity line of credit should be paid off in about 5 months...just in time to start a new remodel project...lol...that's another post.

My mom is still giving me the $500 a month...for now, I just put it into savings. We have had some big visa bills the past few months, mainly from our recent vacation and a few other purchases, (a new mattress for one)however, I have been able to pay in full each month, but have had to transfer some from savings. I hope with this months bill, it will be the last time we will have to do that and we will be able to start earmarking the $500 for something else.

That's about it for now Smile

Feeling meh & a few vacation pictures

May 1st, 2014 at 07:33 pm

St Maarten

Pretty sunset

The Pitons in St Lucia

I've been feeling kind of blah lately and haven't felt much like posting.

We had a great vacation, so I thought I would share a few pics.

Hope you enjoy them Smile

Back from vacation......

April 14th, 2014 at 02:46 pm

We had a great time, but unfortunately, I am feeling really cruddy today. I started feeling ill on the 2nd leg of our flight home.

Woke up today and still feel yucky. I feel fine for a while and then all of a sudden start to feel awful again. Managed to get to the grocery store and fill up my tank though. DH was a sweetie and got all the laundry in the washer and dryer, dropped books off for me at the library, and went to the post office for the mail .He also mowed the lawn.

I hope I can make it to work tomorrow.

Will try to update vacation numbers soon.

Quick check in....financial & fitness

March 14th, 2014 at 06:51 am

Not much new on the financials....having low/no spends days....it's not hard during the week, but is harder on the weekends when we have more free time.

Paid the water/sewer bill on Wednesday and also the garbage bill. DH and I both needed gas on Thursday, other than that, no spending except my iced coffee addiction.....I am working on that!

Workouts are going well....this week I went Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday...took Tuesday off as my stomach was bothering me....been doing cardio (at least 40 min) and some form of weights (working a different body part each night).

Seems to be paying off...I have lost 2 pounds and definately feel slimmer....I think I haven't lost as much weight as it is all turning to muscle.

Happy Friday friends!

Updates...financial and fitness

March 9th, 2014 at 08:38 pm

First....fitness...worked out 6 out of 7 days last week....M,T,W,TH,Sat,Sun....took Friday off! Working on the treadmill for 40 min and then doing weights of some sort. Stepping on the scale tomorrow to see if anything has happened. I don't think I lost much (if any), but I definately feel slimmer.

Finances...on autopilot....not much new to report. My mom is still gifting us the $500 per month. For now, it is going directly into the savings. I will be increasing my SEP IRA at work tomorrow.

Working on plans for the next 4 weeks. Making lists of what needs to be accomplished before we leave on vacation. Financial, household, and personal.

I am really looking forward to getting away! So glad it is coming up soon, AND that is is paid in full!

Mortgage payment & workout

March 5th, 2014 at 08:53 pm

Paid the mortgage today...with an extra $82 going to principal. Just received another $25 reward from Wells Fargo that will be applied to the principal.

We have received 2 rewards so far this year as we have spent quite a bit on the card. We have charged our upcoming vacation and a new mattress which has really added up.

We get 1% back on all purchases and when we reach $25, we have it applied to the principal.

To be clear, we always pay the statement balance off each month and never pay any interest.

Work out today: 45 min treadmill (392 calories burned)
also work ab's.

Have exercised 3/5 days so far.

Fitness goals

March 5th, 2014 at 06:44 am

Hi all!

I haven't been online much and when I finally did, it appeared SA was down.

So I promised I would post my fitness goals and here they are....I am dating mine from 3/1/2014 to 4/4/2014 as we are leaving 4/5/2014 for our cruise....that gives me 5 weeks to work on the goals.

Work out: 25 days (more if possible)

This will be a combination of treadmill and weights.

So far:

3/3/2014: 45 min treadmill & worked abs and legs (calories burned 378)

3/4/2014: 45 min treadmill & worked abs and shoulders (calories burned 388)

On the treadmill my incline is between 8.5 and 9.0 with a pace of 3.1 to 3.2.

I will weigh myself once a week (on Monday's)

Rooting for all my fellow SA friends who are working on their own goals....we can do it!

Got my ticket reduced!

February 19th, 2014 at 08:24 pm

Went to take care of my ticket on Tuesday. No more do you have to see the judge (I guess it's been a long time since I've had a ticket). Went through security, got in line, went to the counter, the gal ran my driving record and said I can reduce it to $130 (it was originally $260). I whipped out the debit card, paid and was out of there in less than 10 minutes. I was sure happy about that!

Did I mention that about 4 days after I got the ticket, they put a big long speed hump so people can no longer turn left? The no left turn sign is still there though....ugh....

Glad it's all done and taken care of.

My dad's in the hospital.....crazy days

February 12th, 2014 at 08:32 pm

It's been a crazy past few days....my dad was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday somewhat unexpectedly. He is having some surgery on Friday so won't be home until Saturday or Sunday.

First we had the snow/ice storm hit Thursday afternoon. I left early that day. On Friday, my birthday, we ended up having to go get new tires for my car. My low tire pressure light came on Thursday and when DH checked my tires, he found 2 nails in one, and discovered that the others were bald. Found a good deal and we were able to get them on that afternoon.

Sunday, we went to see my parents (1 mile away), dad was having an issue and we offered to take him to urgent care but he refused. We did convince him to make an appointment with his doctor on Monday afternoon. I had a mandatory meeting on Monday morning at work from 8:30 to 11:30 and then I left early. There was still so much snow, there is no way they could have gotten out of their driveway. Got over to the doctor, they saw him and did a few things, wanted him to see a specialist on Tuesday. Got that all set up, and took the day off from work. Got them over there and did paperwork, after the appointment they decided to admit him to the hospital. Had to take them home to pack and eat lunch, go back to get them, get to hospital and got him checked in and then took my mom back home after he was settled and all. Exhausting day. I am just grateful I am able to be there for them and that it appears (fingers crossed) all will be well.

DH received a cash reward at work for an idea that was implemented. His work will do that if you suggest something and they put it in to place. He got $30 so he took me to dinner at Panera (we just got one in our town....I love it there). It was welcome after the previous few days.

Thank goodness all the snow and ice is gone! Today we are back to typical winter in the NW...rain! It feels like a heatwave at 50 degrees!

It's my birthday..who ordered snow? Not me!

February 7th, 2014 at 10:42 am

So it's my birthday today.....I'm another year older and hopefully maybe a little wiser....lol

Enjoying a snow day today at home I was going to take the day off, but then decided not to since we only work half a day anyway on Fridays. We got hit with a snowstorm on Thursday. Luckily we only got about 3 inches in Portland, but the snow really packed down and it is very cold out. The college town where my daughter's are got 9 inches (kind of like right before Christmas and finals week where we got nothing and they got 9 inches). Only 2 people that I know of were going into work today...one was going to be picked up by the owner of the clinic who has a 4 wheel drive truck. The rest of us live out in the suburbs and nobody wanted to chance it going in..especially since more is supposedly on the way. Luckily we were all able to leave early yesterday. It was slow going on the way home...took double the time to get home but thankful everyone was safe and sound. By Sunday it is suppose to warm up and actually rain...something we have seen very little of around here this winter. It has been dry and cold. Still, I am thankful...so many of you have had a never ending Winter Frown

DH and I are going to head out for a birthday dinner later though....I have a Ford Escape that is a 4 wheel drive so we should be just fine.

I'm going to enjoy my unexpected 3 day weekend Smile

Birthday freebies.....

February 4th, 2014 at 07:48 pm

So my birthday is on Friday. I have received several emails for freebies and/or discounts at several restaurants.

Panera (free pastry)
Red Robin (free burger)
Roadhouse Grill ($10 off an entree)
Red Lobster ($5 off an entree)

Of course, some of these require spending money, but I am always happy to get an entree free or at least a discount. DH and I do go out to dinner at least once a week, usually on Friday or Saturday....sometimes we are really naughty and go out on Friday and Saturday.

Maybe being empty nesters isn't so good for the pocketbook Smile

What a scam.....

February 3rd, 2014 at 06:38 am

DH told me he received a call from Chase, letting him know that his debit and credit card had been locked and to call them right away....you had to punch in some number, ect, ect.

The scam? We don't have Chase. Of course he didn't do it.

Makes me wonder how many people actually do fall for these types of scams....my guess? Actually more than one would think.


My not so frugal day...traffic ticket.....

January 20th, 2014 at 08:12 pm

Boo! I had a pretty darn good day today until I stopped on my way home at Office Depot. We were out of printer paper so I popped in on my way home from work....I was also happy to get 100 shopkick points.

Well I decided to go out one way and wished I would have gone the other!

I took at left when I wasn't suppose to....in all fairness, there is a sign that says no left turn....but everyone and I mean everyone in our town takes a left pulling out of this particular lot. In fact, people waiting for the light to the right actually leave space for people to take a left.

My bad luck I guess...$260 and a court date of Feb 18th...hopefully I can get it reduced.

No excuses, but still, a crappy way to end my day!

I even had a friend on facebook wonder if anyone had ever been caught....well now she knows someone who has...ha ha

I cheered myself up with a cookie and Sunday nights episode of Downtown Abbey.

I'm such a criminal....lol

Happy New Year from Oregon

December 31st, 2013 at 10:27 pm

So it's about 10:20pm here on the West coast. I am just hanging out by myself....DH is in bed (he has to work New Year's Day) and the DD's are out with their friends celebrating. I'm not bummed we are not going out...we never do. I would rather just stay home and be cozy.

We ended up pretty much meeting the 2013 goals. We paid off both cars and a new wedding ring for me. We didn't up DH's 401K contribution to 15% but we did increase mine which probably made up for the 1%.

If it were not for my parents and their most generous gift, we would not have made the savings goal.

We would have been debt free except for the mortgage, except we took out the home equity loan to renovate a bathroom and laundry room. I don't regret this as those rooms were going to need renovating at some point. We will not be staying in this house long term....we have been here 16 1/2 wonderful years, but will be looking to downsize at some point in our closer to retirement years.

Looking forward to 2014!

My generous parents

December 29th, 2013 at 08:43 pm

DH and I enjoyed a very Merry Christmas courtesy of my very loving and generous parents. They gifted me with a check for $10K and DH received a check for $5K.

These funds for now, are sitting in the savings account. We would not have met that goal if it were not for them.

Plans for the money include making a large payment on the home equity line we took out in October for some home renovations. (I have already made one $500 payment).

We are also planning a cruise for April.

Next blog post will be about 2014

Bathroom/laundry remodel pics

December 19th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

So...here they are! We are really happy with how everything turned out.

The bathroom that was remodeled was the girls. I wish I had a before pic that showed it decorated, but oh well. It was a pretty grey/purple color with purple towels and rugs.

We also did the laundry room which is upstairs. I love, love, love having a laundry room upstairs.

Both rooms/projects cost approximately $12,000. Labor, materials,counter tops,mirror, paint, fixtures, tub, toilet, 2 sinks, new flooring, new towels & bathmats and few miscellaneous items. The last thing to do is redo the cabinets. We like the space they offer so we didn't want to replace them.

Feeling very blessed & what a day

December 4th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

I blogged a while back about my mom giving me $500 a month....she has been doing this for about 4 months now.....not really sure why, she just says cause she loves us. My sister gets the same amount, my brother (due to some family issues) gets nothing.

We have been throwing the money into savings for now.

Today I received a check for $2000!

That also will be going into savings for now to replenish after paying property taxes in November.

I had a few nice things happen today, all before 9:00. I stopped at Starbucks and the person in front of me paid for my drink....how nice....so....I paid for the person behind me. Wonder how long it went on?

I drove by and found out that a Panera is coming to our town....oh happy day...I love that place! Rarely get it unless we go to the mall (which we do not very often).

And finally, several co-workers complimented me and said I looked like I had lost weight/toned up. All that work at the (new) gym membership must be paying off a bit.

I would say this has been a great day! Smile

We rejoined the gym

November 12th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

DH and I rejoined the gym we were previous members at. We got in at no renewal fee and month to month so we can opt out at any time with 30 days notice.

We do have an eliptical machine at home and a total gym that my parents let us borrow, but to be honest, I find it hard to work out at home. Just can't get motivated. The eliptical also really bothers my low back and I am looking forward to using the treadmill. I still have a month to go on my yoga classes, which are on Tuesday and Thursday nights, so I will just finish those out and alternate at the gym on non yoga nights. We headed back on Monday night and I was happy to log 45 minutes on the treadmill. I was refreshed and felt so good. I also slept like a rock!

The cost is $59 per month.

A good investment in our health.

Well I sure feel dumb

October 27th, 2013 at 03:18 pm

A few months ago I upgraded to a smart phone. I wasn't really checking the bill (bad bad bad I know).

I discovered I was being charged for insurance and phone protection (which of course they never "told" me)

A few weeks ago, I was just browsing the bill and came upon these two charges. I immediately logged online and deleted those services.

This will save $9.99 a month. DH also downgraded his DISH movie package and that should save $20 to $30 a month. He had a special they offered him for 6 months and it has now expired. He decided it wasn't worth it anymore, except I am sure he will be missing Game of Thrones when that comes back on.

Our electric bill and water/sewer bill went down also. I imagine it is because both girls are now away at college and the usage has gone down. I am not spending as much on food either.

The natural gas bill however, did go up. Obviously that is because the weather has turned colder and we had to turn on the heat.. We have a programable thermostat which we feel really helps. We were also notified that our garbage bill will be going up also but I don't know how we could save anything there. If they offered every 2 week pick up we might be able to swing that, but I think it is either every week or once a month. I definately will check into that.

Property taxes going up

October 16th, 2013 at 03:36 pm

We were watching the news the other night and they said property taxes for the coming year were going to go up as much as 9% in our county.

We have not received our bill yet, but I did go online and managed to find our new rate.

The somewhat good news is that it appears it is only going up $123 from last year.

I guess some of it depends on which city you live in, and if certain bonds ect are expiring or taking effect, so it appears we got off somewhat lucky.

We do have a school bond measure and a parks and rec measure coming up for vote in our city and if those pass, I have a bad feeling about next year.

Not going to worry about that now, but just be thankful they didn't go up too much this year.

First time ever

October 6th, 2013 at 08:46 pm

to get hit with a late fee. Crud!

I was thinking last week there was something due...got sidetracked and then suddenly remembered Thursday night after I got home from yoga that the small credit card was due....I was one day late.

$25 fee....going to call on Monday and see if they will waive it.

If not, we may just cancel. Right now, the only thing on it is our Verizon (internet) and Netflix. Those would both be easy to change over to the Wells Fargo card. I had asked DH to do it a while back, but he just keeps forgetting.

We will see.

So irritated with myself!

An investment & the title came

October 2nd, 2013 at 11:13 am

In me that is....now that I am an empty nester, I decided to sign up for a yoga class....$89 twice a week for 10 weeks. I think that is a pretty good bargain. It is through our local community college.

I have never done it before, but so far, I am loving it!

Also, the title to the Focus came last week. Now it is official! BOTH of our cars are paid off.

I am officially an empty nester (non-financial)

September 25th, 2013 at 05:11 pm

Today we took DD2 down to college. She is attending the same college DD1 is at (although DD1 just transferred to this college last year).

It is kind of nice to know they are in the same town Smile

DD1 is in a sorority and is living at the sorority house. DD2 is living in a dorm.

All seems well and we got her all moved in and unpacked.

The only downside is she is in a triple (not her choice), but the biggie is that the room is obviously a double made into a triple. Fortunately her 2 roommates seems really nice. She met 1 over Spring Break after they met on the profile board for the college. She lives in a town about 20-25 minutes from us and they ended up meeting at the mall in the Spring. They decided they would be a good match and wanted to room together. Getting a double was hard as you had to sign in multiple times to try and get the hall you wanted. They got the triple and then got assigned another roommate. She is from WA state so they both just met her today.

Hoping they will all get along well. Classes start on the 30th.

We went out to breakfast this morning and then DD1 came over to visit and we ended up taking the girls out to lunch.

We dropped them off and headed back home. We are headed out to dinner tonight as we are feeling a little lost. All in all, not a frugal day (we also had to fill my tank on the way home) as the college is about 1 1/2 away.

I am sure we will find our footing soon.

It's hard to let your kids go, but knowing they have exciting things to come makes it a little better.

Thanks for letting this mama spill her thoughts Smile

My Points

September 17th, 2013 at 08:43 pm

So I finally decided what to do with all my points....I redeemed them for:

$25 Regal Entertainment (we enjoy going to the movies)

$25 Target (because you can ALWAYS find something there) Smile

It is kind of weird now to see the balance so low.

Going to see how fast I can get it back up!


August 26th, 2013 at 08:02 pm

Electric and gas were down....water/sewer UP! By about $40.

DH has been doing LOTS of watering. He has been having to water his flowers every night. He has the sprinkler come on in the wee hours of the morning almost every day.

Will be glad for some cooler weather.

Also, with DD2 leaving 9/25/2013, I imagine water will go down even more. Not as many showers or laundry.

But that kind of makes me sad..that means we will officially be empty nesters Frown

Back from vacation

August 1st, 2013 at 10:36 pm

We are back from Kauai! Will try to post some pictures tomorrow.

We had a wonderful (but a bit spendy) time. We had reserved a compact car, but DH really wanted to get a convertible...sigh...men and their cars. I have to admit it was fun, but not so much when I stupidly failed to put sunscreen on the first morning...at least it was only my shoulders and the upper part of my neck that got burned. Now I just feel like a lizard! Peeling and itchy....yuck.

Most of the vacation was prepaid, but we still had a few expenses. Gas was at $4.50 to $4.60 per gallon, and food (if you have ever been to Hawaii) is very expensive.

Flossie stayed out of Kauai for the most part (just a bit of rain and wind on Tuesday am) and then it cleared up. It was very hot and humid the entire time we were there. The big island and Maui got hit pretty hard from what we heard.

Anyway, July was a super spendy month and we will try to make August a low spend month, with the exception of DH's birthday and a family get together to celebrate DH's b-day, his sister's DH, and our great newphew (who both had July b-days).

Other than that, it will be sticking to regular bills, and gas and groceries.

Headed to Kauai in the morning :)

July 23rd, 2013 at 07:57 pm

Haven't posted in a while, and now we are getting ready to leave in the morning for vacation.

Will plan on catching up when we are back.

Take care SA friends! Smile

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