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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.

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!

Snowflakes

October 29th, 2014 at 08:50 pm

With all of the spending on the Wells Fargo card (vacation and bathroom remodel), we have earned two more $25 rebates towards our mortgage principal! One posted 9/30 and one just posted 10/28....it also appears we are less than $1 away from earning another.

I had 8000 points in my account at My Points. I cashed one out at 3700 for a $25 Regal gift card. We will save that and use it for a date to see the new Hunger Games Movie.

I think I am also going to cash out 3700 for a $25 Starbucks e-gift card. I can load that on to my registered gift card.

I have also in the past few months, earned several $5 Starbucks gift cards by using some various apps on my phone (ShopKick and Ibotta). I also started using another shopping/rebate app called Checkout 51. I am $9.25 towards earning a $20 check.

I love free stuff Smile

Cancelled the paper

May 20th, 2014 at 07:57 pm

We are cancelling our newspaper subscription. Our paper went to a F,S & S edition with an "extra" edition on Wed. We signed the card to get the Wed paper and it came once and has never come again. DH also hates the new format. They changed it, I imagine to save some money. I like it but DH doesn't. We have also had problems with delivery.

That will be a savings of $12.50 a month.

I imagine we will pick up a Saturday edition or a Sunday edition for the coupons. We are usually out and about at some point, so it won't be a wasted trip.

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!

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

Got my Christmas bonus!

December 16th, 2013 at 08:53 pm

It was slightly smaller than last year, but that's ok....I feel so lucky to even receive one at all.

It was $1000. It has gone into savings for now.

I am not counting on a raise in January at my review. There are some big changes coming to healthcare next year and it is going to be costly for healthcare employers.

I am not just talking about the new healthcare plans. There is also going to be a new medical coding system in place starting in October.

We also may be looking at getting an electronic medical records system. That will be very expensive, not to mention the training it will involve.

So for now, I am just feeling thankful for what I have and for what I have been blessed with.

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

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!

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.

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.

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?

I met an extreme couponer from TLC

April 26th, 2013 at 03:07 pm

Well...kind of. One of the gal's that was on the TLC show Extreme Couponers, was in our area recently. Our local paper was a sponsor and they were offering a coupon class for free. I didn't actually meet her, but she was there along with a more local gal that was on the show also, and does a local coupon class. My mom really wanted to go and I thought why not? Might learn something.

I really didn't learn anything new, but the speaker was really entertaining and funny....seemed like a very sweet gal.

The whole idea behind all of this extreme couponing, is subscribing and having multiple copies of your local Sunday paper. That way, when something goes on sale, you can really stock up. By the time you use your "stock" up, another sale will hit. They were offering additional copies of the Sunday through Tuesday at a very reduced rate (up to 4 for subscribers and up to 5 for non subscribers). I was tempted, but didn't bite.

Now, I do use coupons whenever I can. I think that is just smart shopping. Little bits do add up. My problem is, that for one, we have no stores that double. We also do not have a CVS...jealous of those that do! Smile, so it seems sometimes I just can't get major awesome deals that I see other people getting. Of course, anything cheaper than full price is always a bonus, and if something is on sale, even better.

They had some gift cards they were raffling off, but we didn't win.

All in all, it was a fun time....and it was FREE! Smile

1st quarter progress

April 1st, 2013 at 07:59 pm

CC Free got me thinking after she posted her 1st quarter progress.

I didn't have a lot of financial goals for 2013, but, for the ones we do have, here's how we have been doing:

Paid off SUV loan
Increased DH's 401 contribution to 14%
Increased my SEP IRA contribution also (although that doesn't appear on my sidebar).

Already thinking ahead to 2014. Our house will be 16 years old this June.

We imagine next year and in the next few years, needing a new roof, possibly replacing the hot water tank, and possibly replacing the furnace and air conditioner. Our house has been painted...that will not need to be done.

Also, we will need to replace the carpets at some point. All 4 bedrooms have carpet, as well as the family room, and living/dining room. We will hold off on this for a while though, mainly because the carpets are in pretty darn good shape for being 16 years old. We don't wear shoes in the house, and I think that helps. We also want to wait as our cat (who is 14) vomits sometimes, and almost always on the carpets instead of the hardwoods...go figure. We used to get the carpets professionally cleaned once a year, but last year, decided to invest in our own carpet cleaner. I think it has been well worth the cost (a couple of hundred bucks). We also have a hand held smaller carpet cleaner for spot cleaning. I also think that was a good investment.

So another goal, I think, is to start a seperate account for the household maintenance that is going to be coming up. I really don't want to tap into the home equity line. To me, that is just too tempting to go hog wild and just get it all done at once and be done with it.

No thanks, think we will try to save cash for it!

SUV loan paid off!

February 19th, 2013 at 02:33 pm

Yipee! The check finally shows online as pending...should clear tonight!

I did it!

February 13th, 2013 at 08:08 am

Sent the remaining $500 on Tuesday to the SUV loan...hopefully by the end of the week it will post....and then I can post the loan is actually paid off! Yahoo!

Exciting week ahead SA friends....

February 10th, 2013 at 08:37 pm

Yes...it will be very exciting as we are paying my car off! I plan to send the payment on Tuesday and it should take just a couple of days for it to process.

Then...on to DH's car loan! For Feb, I plan to send about $350. This will put us at just under $5000. Then the plan is to send $500 per month and that should have the car paid off at the end of 2013.

With the extra money we will be saving, we plan to send extra on the mortgage...our current payment is $918, so we will make additional principal payment starting in March that will make it an even $1000 per month for now. Perhaps in 2014 after DH's car is paid off, we can send even more.

We would also like to increase retirement savings. We will be evaluating that too.

It's my birthday today!

February 7th, 2013 at 08:19 am

My gift to myself? Better health this year....AND.... being debt free except for the mortgage by the end of the year...I am so excited for next week. We will be paying my car off!

Oh...and we had a no spend day yesterday!

No spend day

February 4th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

Hardly EVER happens....hope it is going to happen more now that I have given up my daily iced coffee....honestly...not so much for financial reasons...more just to lose some weight! Ugh...the calories! I am on day 4 of my "no more coffee"...and it's going well, but I still miss it. It's funny...I have NEVER owned a coffee pot...not in 25 years of marriage. I am one of those "fancy schmancy" coffee drinkers and have taken to visiting various coffee shops over the last couple of years for my daily fix. I don't like regular brewed coffee....just shots with all of the extra goodies (except whip) Smile Staying strong and not going to give in!

On track to being debt free by the end of 2013

January 27th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Except for the mortgage!

My car will be paid off in the middle of February.

We have been paying extra every month on DH's car, but, in February, will start sending $500 a month. This is more than double the actual payment required per month.

With my car being paid off, we are pondering what to do with the extra money every month.

Some idea's

More to savings
Extra to mortgage
Increase contributions to DH's 401K and/or my SEP IRA through work.

More than likely we will do a combo of these.

We will however, need to be thinking ahead about our vacation to Kauai at the end of July. We will put the vacation expenses on our Wells Fargo card to earn points towards principal mortgage rewards, but will definately want to pay the card off as we are booking hotel/condo, air, and car rental in the next few months.

Small raise & DH bonus

January 18th, 2013 at 07:49 pm

Today I had my annual review. It went well. I was surprised to receive a raise....only 1%....I wasn't expecting anything, especially since they put a freeze on raises for everyone last year.

We had a lot of changes at the office last year, most of which was good, but are still feeling things out and I think they are just being careful. Dr felt bad he couldn't offer more and said it just didn't seem right (I've been there 14 years)...in this day and age, I am just happy to have a job...a job that I get to go to every day with NO drama what so ever and no backstabbing co-workers...I count myself blessed!

We did receive a bonus at Christmas (which we always do) and it was $200 more than 2011...that certainly helps a bit to make up for the small raise.

DH also received his $750 perfect attendance bonus. That went straight into savings for now.

Almost a no spend day....spent $1.00

January 7th, 2013 at 06:06 pm

On a tip at my coffee drive through .I had filled my punch card up and was due a free drink, so I put a $1 into the tip jar.

Saving another $13 a month & good news on the Focus loan!

January 6th, 2013 at 02:18 pm

Well I feel silly! Don't know how we ever managed to not have AOL free...lol...anyway, as soon as DD2 gets her contacts switched over tonight, it is goodbye AOL. And it was actually $17.95 a month...so saving closer to $18 now.

When DH was switching our DISH billing from Capital One over to Wells Fargo (might as well get that 1% rebate), he noticed that he still had Starz at $13 a month. A while back, he really wanted it, but now that we have streaming Netflix, it seems a waste of money. He canceleld it yesterday. So all in all, we are now saving an additional $31 a month.

We also received our statement from the credit union for DH's car loan. Turns out, it was lower than expected. We are now at $5665. If we can send $475 a month, we can have this paid off at the end of the year! That would mean being debt free except for our mortgage.

Yipee!

$11.50 and now saving $17/month

January 4th, 2013 at 02:46 pm

The $11.50 is the current "rebate" balance on our new Wells Fargo credit card. We only have one other credit card...Capital One of which we have no problems with. When we refinanced last year, Wells Fargo offered up their credit card. They give you 1% on every purchase and after you reach $25, it is credited to the principal balance of your mortgage. Since we don't do credit card rewards, this seemed ideal. We are moving back from Capital One and using the WF card when we charge something....why not, I say? Every bit helps! We are uncertain if we will keep Capital One. We don't carry credit card balance so I am not sure that we need 2. Just don't want our credit scores to take a hit if we cancel...currently we are around 850 for both of us. I wonder how much of a hit we would take? Any thoughts? The only reason I can think to keep it would be that the credit limit is a little over double what the WF card is.

Also, FINALLY getting rid of AOL to the tune of $17 a month...this has been on my list of things to do for far too long....DH finally got on me last night and asked me to switch to either yahoo or gmail. He will then cancel AOL saving us $17 a month. Should have done this sooner as there was really no reason not too other than the fact it seemed too daunting....in the end, it really wasn't. Again...every little bit helps!

No spend day

January 2nd, 2013 at 06:51 pm

Can't remember the last time we had one of these! Yahoo!

2013 Goals

January 1st, 2013 at 05:34 pm

Financial:

Pay off SUV loan of $1000. Should be able to accomplish by mid February.

Pay off Ford Focus loan: $6000.00.

Savings to $30,000

Pay before we leave: A trip to Washington DC this summer (July or Aug)

Increase DH's contribution to his 401K from 12% to 15%

I think these are all attainable....we will have to see what the early months bring in terms of DH's work....since work has been closed since 12/24, DH goes back tomorrow....who knows if and when they might announce a slow down....you never know with this company...it may not even happen at all.

More on personal goals in a seperate post

Happy New Year everyone!

DD2 got her 1st job!

December 28th, 2012 at 11:29 am

DH and I are very excited for her...as well as she is! She will be working at a movie chain. She had paperwork and some training on Thursday and today (Friday) is her first day!

There are some perks too....when she see's a movie, she can get 1 person in free....we also found out that her manager decided that if your child is working on a particular day, the parents can get in free! She says that extra perk seems to really help the kids (high school I imagine) really focus and are great workers...she wants to thank the parents for being supportive....I've never met her, but I think I really like her Smile She also gets a discount on concessions.

She also gave everyone 2 free guest passes....we hope to use these this weekend to see Les Meserables....with the 2 free passes, and DD2 being able to get one of us in free...DD1 can come with us.

Once she gets her first paycheck, we will go to the bank and have her open up a student account.

Planning ahead

December 19th, 2012 at 08:12 pm

As I mentioned in a previous post, DH's work is having a shutdown from the 24th through the 1st. We are not sure what will happen in the first quarter of the year...rumblings are happening that business will be slow.

So, we are preparing a bit for a possible furlough.....my bonus check of $1400 went directly into the savings account. DH's $750 bonus that will come sometime in January will also go into savings.

I have been slowing stocking up on things....mainly toiletries....we do not have a CVS so those awesome deals people get, well, they just don't happen here. However, I have been keeping my eye out for sales and when they happen, if I have a coupon, I am buying things such as bodywash, toothpaste, make-up, toothbruhes and the like. This way, if anything does happen, we will not have to run to the store if we run out of something like that. Spending can be kept to a minimum. I always have a small stockpile of these things, but it will be nice to have a bit extra just in case.

And hey, if it doesn't happen, well, all the better...we will still be able to use that stockpile...it certainly won't go to waste Smile


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