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Viewing the 'Saving Money' Category

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

Rumblings at DH's work

December 11th, 2012 at 07:53 pm

I blogged a while back about rumors at DH's work. So far, it appears some of it may be true. For the immediate, they are having a shut-down from the 24th through the 1st. DH will be paid for the 24th and 25th, and also the 1st as holiday pay. He is planning on taking only 1 vacation day (the 31st) and unpaid the rest. He wants to hold onto his vacation, in case there are lay-off's...that way they have to pay that out to him if he was let go. There are also rumors of a slow down for the 1st and 2nd quarters of next year. No idea if there will be furlough's and/or lay-off's. For now, we wait. To be honest, I am not too worried at this point. You may wonder why? Well, we have a very healthy emergency fund. We are 2 payments away from paying my car off (Yay!)and we are ahead on payments for DH's car. Plus, he would get unemployment. With my paycheck, we would be just fine.

In other news, our office Christmas party is on Friday...fingers crossed for a bonus! The past 2 years it has been $1200.00....of course, anything is nice.

If DH can make it to the end of year with no sick time, he will receive a bonus sometime in January of $750....this is to reward people for not calling in sick...years ago, if you had all of your 80 hours (different than vacation)saved, you would receive the equivilant of 2 weeks pay...those days are gone, but again, anything extra sure is nice.

For now, these checks will go into savings....if everything ends up ok, DH and I will be planning a trip to Washington DC next year...that money will go towards that, and should help offset the cost.

Weekend doings and spending......

December 3rd, 2012 at 08:03 pm

DD2 had her semi-winter formal this past Saturday night....we gave her a budget of $100....this covered:

$39 dress
$25 tickets
$23 shoes
$8 boutineer
$3 earrings
$2 nail poish

I sprung for the "formal" pics at the highschool...$22 and her boyfriend paid for dinner. Another "last" in our household and I am mourning the days gone by....DH and I also headed out to dinner with another couple who's daughter also attended the dance with her boyfriend.....this girl does not go to our highschool, but is dating one of DD2's and her boyfriends friend....since they live about 30 min from us, they asked if we wanted to have dinner since they were coming out our way....of course we said yes! I've only seen my friend once since club soccer ended in the Spring (that's how we met). The husbands get along well so we had a great time....well worth an evening out.

DH and I also hit Costco to the tune of $183...stuff we all needed...well...except for the M & M's Smile

We also hit Kohl's.....Got DD2 a fragrance set she wanted and I got 2 pairs of much needed jeans....we had a coupon for 20% off and if you spent $100, 25% off....well the total came to $99.73 and Kohl's was nice enough to give us the 25%! We also had $15 in Kohl's cash.

DD2 had her soccer banquet on Sunday night at a local restaurant....MUCH better than last years's AWFUL dinner at the country club....coach paid (out of team funds) for the girl's dinner and beverages and we adults and any other family members had to pay $12, plus our drinks....I spent $14 total for a much better dinner than last year...very well worth it!

We also went shopping at Fred Meyer's for the family my office adopted for Christmas....again had some great coupons....I've talked about the employee discount card my parents have, and that they let me use it whenever I want....Fred Meyer occasionally sends out a pass where you can save like an associate....it is the same discount employee's and retiree's of the company. We were able to get some good deals with the pass and also the coupons they had in the paper....even though the pass is expired now, I am hoping to get my parent's card and head back to get a few more things. It's a great feeling to be able to help a family in need...their greatest wish? Things to stay warm.....our office will definately help this family to have a brighter holiday season!

Happenings

August 1st, 2012 at 07:07 pm

Haven't felt much like blogging lately....but have been reading and commenting though! Smile

June and July were somewhat spendy....we had money going in and money going out.

Out:
1. Bought dd2 a new bed frame and dresser for her b-day in early June (her bedstand had a broken leg...propped up by a brick and dresser was old and somewhat falling apart) These were unfinished as she wanted them painted black..her room is a pretty blue and her bedcovers are blue, black, white and a bit of silver...throw pillows match bedding...turned out great!

2. Bought a new curio cabinet from an upscale consignment store....bigger than the one we have had for years...not crammed anymore and it looks great on the wall we have it on.

3. DD2's wisdom teeth out ($437.00 our portion)

4. Vet bill for cat (exam and lab work)

5. Gift card for sister for b-day

In:

1. Sold old curio cabinet at upscale consignment store ($75 our proceeds)

2. Sold DD2's old dresser ($20)

3. DH sold 3 wheels off his old car ($100)

4. Reimbursement for wisdom teeth from dental account at work...seperate from flex spend acct($437)

5. Small amount from garage sale...mom, aunt, and sister had one a few weeks ago..we hardly had anything as we cleaned out before our cruise in April....but got rid of everything except 1 thing.

We have several upcoming expenses for Aug...senior pic's for dd2, high school registration, school soccer camp, and high school soccer registration. Also we have a "staycation" next week....have some day trips and an overnight trip to the beach and a family b-day celebration for great-nephew & bil (july b-days) and Dh who's b-day is Aug 10th.

Time to tighten down....Aug is looking very spendy! Frown

What would you do?

July 13th, 2012 at 01:25 pm

DH and I have decided to refinance. We are currently at 4.8% and going down to 3.5% (and to a 15-yay!) with no out of pocket cost, except for a possible appraisal. Since we refinanced about 3 years ago, our mortgage broker said we might get away with an online appraisal for $75 vs $400 for an actual one. We considered going down even further to about 2.8% but that would cost approx $1800 plus the appraisal. Going to 3.5 will save approx $55 a month....going to 2.8 would save about $75. Since we are planning on selling in (hopefully) about 5 years, we think just going with the 3.5 is the best thing. Not sure we could recoup what we would have to pay by buying down points.

Anyway, we are now trying to decide what to do with the "extra" money we are saving.....throw it towards the mortgage? Or up the 401K's? Our mortgage is approximately $127,000

What would you do?

On a side note, if we went down to a 3.5 and a new 30 year mortgage, our payment would be cut almost in half of what it is now....lol. We decided NOT to do that mainly because it could be too tempting to have all that extra money hanging around every month. Sure, we could SAY we would use it wisely by paying down the house or upping the 401K's but it could get real comfortable having that extra cushion around.

Also, we will not throw it at the car loans....my car is now down to $4000 with no interest. DH's care is now down to $9100 with a very low rate (plus we pay extra on the loan every month anyway) and once mine is paid off, we will up his payment even further.

Thanks for your advice and opinions! Smile

$106 to fill your tank!?

June 2nd, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Crazy! A facebook friend posted that it cost her $106 to fill her tank the other day! She drives a Suburban because she has 2 kids in sports and has to haul them and all of their stuff around.

To be fair, they probably need more space than a car....I spent many years hauling kids and sports equipment around myself. But....my small suv (Ford Escape) has done us just fine....before that, I had annother small suv...a Mazda Tribute.

They also have a sporting event across town this weekend....at least 30 miles each way and she joked that the tank would probably last the weekend and she would have to fill up again.

No thanks! Even though we have a new car payment with DH's new Focus, I am glad we did it.....it might not make sense now (having a car payment and all), but we are working to pay it off as quickly as we can...that and the fact that it gets 34 miles to the gallon is even better....hopefully within the next few months it will even be better.

Hit our savings goal

May 8th, 2012 at 08:21 am

I had a goal to hit $25,000 for savings and we did it! We are now at $27,000.

Going to update my sidebar to reflect a new goal....$30,000!

Wish us luck! Smile

2 cents

March 23rd, 2012 at 04:18 pm

Funny and frugal....I stopped by Wendy's last night for take out since dd2 was gone and it was just dh and I....had a couple of gift cards but wasn't sure how much was one each one....food came to $9.98....whipped out one of the cards and it was for $10.00....she processed the transaction and said...oh there is 2 cents left on it....want me to just toss it? Uh no.....I'll keep it for a future purchase....ha ha.....I am sure she thought I crazy!

Cancelled the paper

February 23rd, 2012 at 06:36 pm

In our quest to save money, we decided to cancel our paper. I tried to cancel and only take the Sunday (since that is our main coupon source) but they don't offer Sunday only....has to be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so I cancelled the whole thing. We will just pick up a Sunday paper sometime on Saturday as I usually have some sort of errand to run and can just get it then. It is worth it to us to still get the Sunday for the coupons as I mentioned before. The main grocery store I shop at (Winco) does not take internet coupons so I need that paper for the inserts. Fred Meyer does take internet coupons so I can certainly use them there.

On another note, looks like our auto insurance will go down a bit too with DH's new car....looks like around $10 a month....doesn't seem like a lot but as we all know, sometimes those little amounts sure add up.

Gas for the cars will be interesting. DH's new car will definately get better gas mileage than his one before but with prices going up, up, up, maybe it will even out in the end.

Still doing well with no home phone and just using cell's.

I love saving money! Smile

A $70 dress for $24

February 8th, 2012 at 10:30 am

I don't wear alot of dresses....just not my "thing". However, I felt like I needed a dress for my grandma's memorial, and I suppose, it is always good to have a "little black dress" on hand.

I found a dress at Fred Meyer's that was originally $70, marked down to $49.97. It was also on the clearance rack which was 40% off the lowest marked price ($49.97). I also had an additional 20% off making the dress a grand total of $24.00.

Not too shabby if I say so myself.

Using gift cards to get something back

January 10th, 2012 at 03:18 pm

DD2 had a soccer tournament last weekend....such as it is....we were out on the "other side" of town last weekend. That necessitated eating lunch and dinner out on Saturday and lunch on Sunday. Lucky for me, I had some gift cards to use!

I buy gift cards through our scip program at her high school...actually it is district wide, but at the high school level, we get a percentage back that goes into an account that can be used for school fee's.

I used to buy religiously when DD1 was in school and I have kind of slacked off the past couple of years.

I am happy to report I am back on it! I want to build enough so when DD2 is a senior next year, I will have hardly have any out of pocket costs. Freshman and Senior year in our school seem to be the spendy ones. The only thing it can't be used for is driver's ed....bummer for me....I just paid $185 for DD2 to do driver's ed in April.

These gift cards are going to come in handy next weekend....DD2 has a 4 day socer tournament this coming weekend.....1 game a day on Friday, Sat, Sun, and Mon (no school Mon)

I am hoping to find some coupons also to pair with my cards...nothing like saving money when you have to spend money....ha ha....does that make any sense? Smile

Receiving a credit

January 4th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

from Comcast. As soon as DH turns in the DVR's and cable modem, we should receive a check from Comcast for approx $44.00 in 3 to 4 weeks.

It was interesting....they didn't even try to get us to stay when I called to cancel....they did ask the reason why and I just said it's too expensive.....one rep said "oh, we are the same price as everyone else"....ha ha....I think not. You would think they would have tried to get us to stay with an excellent payment record and all. Not that I would have though Smile

Saving Money!

January 3rd, 2012 at 01:18 pm

It's official! The land line is GONE! Just have to remember now to keep my cell phone on at all times and not throw it in my purse when I get home Smile

DISH network is up and going and so is FIOS for internet....we estimate this will save $30 to $40 each month.

Next up....getting rid of AOL....still pay $11.99 for AOL....it's kind of like the losing the land line....had it for so long and hoping it will not be a PITA to switch over to something else.

Considering dropping the daily paper.....excpet for the Sunday edition...need those coupons!

Love to see money being saved Smile