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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.


Bathroom/Laundry room renovation

November 7th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

is almost done!

It has been a LONG 2 weeks, but it should all be finished by tomorrow. At least the contractor side of things.

DH and I will be painting and re-staining the cupboards and vanities.

All in all, this project will be costing approximately $12,000.

I'll provide a breakdown later.

I'm excited it is almost done.

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.

Going back into debt again.....

October 23rd, 2013 at 08:02 pm

It is good and bad.

The bad....DEBT! (and just when we were $400 away from being debt free except for the mortgage) Frown

The good.....we are doing some renovations on our house....since we are now empty nesters, we are redoing the hall bath/girls bathroom and the laundry room which is upstairs right next to said bathroom.

We are planning on staying in this house for 3 to 5 years, possibly longer depending on many circumstances.

Over the years, we have done many updates to our house....some small...some bigger. A little background...when we moved into this house a little over 16 years ago, it was brand new. Because we had sold our previous house and had exactly 21 days to find a new house, this house was about 2 weeks away from being completed worked out well for us....that being said, we were not able to pick anything such as flooring ect, so over the years, we have slowly been updating it.

Every year, we would choose 1 or 2 things to do and slowly but surely it has come around.

I took before pictures and will take after pictures to share if anyone is interested.

It will take about 2 weeks for completion. They came today and did the entire demolition.

In spite of the mess/chaos, it is exciting!

RIP Sammy.....

October 20th, 2013 at 08:26 pm

This weekend has been very terrible for me and my family....we had to euthanize our 16 year old cat.

Even though he was an older cat, it was sudden and unexpected with not a lot of time to prepare.

He was like my third child...my little shadow and a family member to us all.

I have been a blubbering mess all weekend when my mind is not busy doing something.

I know in time it will get easier.




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.

Foster Farms Chicken Recall

October 9th, 2013 at 08:17 am

I made dinner last night (orange chicken stir fry) and we had just sat down to eat, when DH turned the local news on and they had a segment about a Foster Farms chicken recall. They gave the serial numbers and DH went to get the bag of chicken from the freezer (I buy the big bag of frozen chicken breasts from Costco) and sure enough, the bag was part of the recall!

Dinner went into the garbage (boo)and we will be returning the bag to Costco this weekend for a refund.

They said the recall just came out (and not sooner) because of the government shutdown and the lack of people available.

The recall affects people in 18 states and approximately 287 people have become ill.

Two of the serial numbers are P6137 and 6137A (I believe).

Whew!

October 7th, 2013 at 08:11 am

They waived the fee! (see previous post)Yipee!

Now to make sure that doesn't happen again!

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.

My Points

September 27th, 2013 at 08:49 pm

My 2 gift cards came in pretty quickly.

$25 Regal Entertainment

$25 Target

Regal will probably get used pretty quickly, but I think we will save Target for Christmas.

Small snowflake, but every bit helps.

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!

The check cleared!

September 16th, 2013 at 08:06 am

It's official! We now own both of our vehicles. Can't remember a time in almost 26 years of marriage that this has happened.

The really nice thing? We really buckled down and paid this loan off fast....1 1/2 years. Smile

Focus loan paid off!

September 13th, 2013 at 08:03 am

Woo hoo! We are only about $600 away from being debt free except for our mortgage!

Will tackle that Zales account either later this month or October! It is 0% interest so it is not imperative it is paid off....we just want to be debt free Smile

Paying the Focus loan off!

September 9th, 2013 at 01:24 pm

Yep! We are going to do it! I am calling the credit union today and am going to mail the check off after work. We are at $1499 and some change, so I will need to get the exact payoff.

Part of the reason we are doing this, is that my generous mom gifted me with another $500 this weekend.

I wish I could say we were debt free except for the mortgage, but I forgot to add our Zales account to my side bar. You see, a few months ago DH really wanted to get me a new wedding ring. We went to Zales and purchased one on 12 months deferred. I originally divided the balance by 12 months, but then last week realized, if we want to be debt free by December, I would have to up the payment. I figured out how much that would be with a final payment in December.

We will most likely be paying it off next month as the balance is $608.79. We will find the cash to do it, and then I can really say:

We are debt free except for the mortgage!

Extra to the mortgage

September 4th, 2013 at 08:16 am

Our regular payment is $918.62...I sent an extra $31.38 to round it up to $950. I have been doing this for some time now. When DH's car is paid off by the end of the year, we may consider upping that extra amount.

Utilities

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

Focus loan

August 16th, 2013 at 07:58 am

Sent $1000 to the Focus Loan yesterday...that brings us to under $1500!

Unexpected cash gift from my mom :)

August 14th, 2013 at 07:00 pm

That's right! I got home on Tuesday from work and there was an envelope that had come in the mail from my mom...it's funny...she only lives 1 mile from us....lol

DH didn't open and when I did, to my surprise was a check for $500!

I called to thank her and asked why...she just said because....she also gave my sister the same.

I think she is just wanted to thank us for being such good daughters to her and our dad....we are currently estranged from my brother and his wife (about a year now) and I think she just wanted to do something totally unexpected and surprise us. She also gave DH and I $100 before we went to Kauai.

For now, I just put it in the savings account.

What a lovely blessing!

Got my freebie....

August 8th, 2013 at 08:46 pm

Popped by Bath and Body Works on my way home and got my travel size signature item...actually...it's not for me. It will be a great stocking stuffer for Christmas.

I have another one that I will redeem tomorrow.

The sales clerk said there were a lot of people coming in to get their freebie as it expired today.

I am glad I stopped in...last time I let my coupon expire.

Snowflakes

August 6th, 2013 at 08:38 pm

We were at Target last night getting some dorm room essentials for DD2. DH said he needed socks. The pack we bought came with a $5 gift card.

I also have 2 coupons for travel size items at Bath and Body Works. One expires on the 8th, so I need to make time to pop in there and grab something.

I am sitting on over 7000 my points, but can't decide what to do with them.

I also have enough points to redeem through Shop Kick, small gift cards to Starbucks, Target, or Redbox. For now, I am just going to hang onto them.

Vacation pics

August 3rd, 2013 at 06:51 pm

If anyone is interested Smile



Kauai Beach Resort



Waimea Canyon






Spouting Horn



Lydgate State Beach



Cute little turtle






Focus Loan

August 2nd, 2013 at 03:36 pm

is now under $2500!

Things are looking good to have this paid off in December as planned!

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

Heat wave and an update

June 30th, 2013 at 05:09 pm

We are in the midst of a heatwave here in Oregon...at least in the Portland area. Usually our "summer" doesn't start until July. We hit 100 today and the forecast for the upcoming week is in the low to mid 90's. All I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning.

We are wrapping up a few months of crazy entertaining and attending events. One more to go (parent's 50th wedding anniversary party on 7/14) and then we are done! June was very busy with dd2's 18th b-day, graduation, and her graduation party. The other events were luckily spread out a bit more.

I am looking very much forward to vacation on 7/24. Tomorrow I can officially see it on the calendar! I am looking even more forward to it knowing everything but our food (except lunch and dinner) is paid for. We did pay for the breakfast buffet that is offered at the resort. We hit the Goodwill yesterday and found a small collapsible cooler for $3.99 to take with us, so we can pick up sandwiches and drinks to take while we are out and about exploring and hitting the beach. That should save some money by not eating lunch out in a restaurant every day, and bringing our own snacks and drinks.

Life will be slowing a bit after vacation, and we will use that time to get back on track spending wise.



Playing the streaming game

June 21st, 2013 at 03:47 pm

A few weeks ago, I finally decided to check out the Downton Abbey series and see what all the excitement was about. I am so glad I did! I am totally in love with it!

To start off, I watched season 1 on Netflix (we have the streaming package). I was ready to watch season 2 and couldn't find it on Netflix. After some research, I discovered Netflix didn't have season 2. In fact, they are losing the streaming rights for season 1 any time now.

I then discovered that Hulu Plus has season 2. I signed up for a free 1 week trial, and got busy on season 2. I cancelled my free trial last night.

Now, I am planning on getting a 30 day free Amazon Prime trial to watch season 3. I am, however, double checking, to make sure it really is a free 30 day trial. If so, I am on board! An Amazon prime yearly subscription is $79. That works out cheaper per month than Netflix and Hulu Plus. It also seems, they may have more tv and movies to offer. If so, we may consider switching to Amazon and dumping Netflix.

For reference, we still have DISH network. Can't see the hubby giving that up though.

What about you? Do you still have cable and/or satelite? Streaming only? If streaming only, which service do you use and are you happy with it?

Focus loan

June 20th, 2013 at 06:38 am

The payment of $500 hit and we are officially under 3K!


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