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Archive for April, 2013

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

Focus loan

April 18th, 2013 at 08:25 pm

Sent $500 to the Focus loan yesterday...that will take us below $4K!

Also sent some receipts to FSA...$45 (misc: co-pay, prescriptions, and a small lab bill) and $160 for contacts. Now I wish I would have done more. I will be done soon with my FSA as I only did $300 this year....now I wish I would have done more. It always seems to work like that....one year I almost didn't use it all up as expenses were low. This year isn't particularly expensive, but I just realized I have been wanting a new pair of glasses and I should have planned better as I could have put what wasn't covered by the insurance towards that. Bummer

Money going out.....

April 14th, 2013 at 08:11 pm

Paid the dreaded (and unexpected) taxes yesterday to the tune of almost $2000.

Tomorrow I will be sending $500 to the Focus loan...that will take us under $5000!

The Visa bill will be due on Friday (which I pay online) of about $800. That is the payment I had our travel agent charge at the beginning of the month. One more $800 charge and payment and our Kauai trip will be paid for in full (air, resort-including breakfast everyday, car, and trip insurance).

Even though it is money going OUT, it is a good feeling knowing that car loan will be paid off in December, and that our trip is also paid for. Paying the bulk of the trip expenses AHEAD of time, definately makes for a more enjoyable vacation in my opinion.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

April 2nd, 2013 at 05:45 pm

I will start with the ugly....we owe taxes...to the tune of approx $2000 between federal and state. The main reason is we lost DD1 as a dependent, due to accounts she has to pay her college expenses....a UGTMA and a trust....we also lost the education credit and the american opportunity act credit. Add to the fact our with-holdings were out of whack. This is the first time in years we have owed. Bummer.

The bad....the savings account will take a hit Frown

The good.....we have the money to pay for it!

To avoid this in the future....we have adjusted our with-holdings and increased our 401K/SEP IRA's.

We may get a couple of those credits back next year (for 2013) as DD2 will be entering college this fall.

We will see.

Another very important reason to have an emergency fund.....I am thankful we do!

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!