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Archive for September, 2006

Cool, Dry and Increasing my Financial IQ

September 29th, 2006 at 03:14 pm

Cool, Dry and Increasing my Financial IQ


Photo Credit: by Arron

My gratitude goes out to my Corporate Sponsors, Dove/Unilever for the sample of their Ultimate Clear Cool Essentials anti-perspirant deodorant and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the comic books, 'Once Upon A Dime', 'The Story of Money', The Story of Banks', 'A Penny Saved', The Story of Inflation', The Story of Foreign Trade and Exchange', 'The Story of Monetary Policy' and 'The Story of the Federal Reserve System'. Count 'em, 8 free comics!

I'm going to enjoy reading these comics myself and then passing them along to my two sons to read!!! Just think I'll be cool & dry while I increase my financial IQ!

Also a big thanks to Wilson Grissom & Associates for the Free 'Helping You Avoid IRA Distribution Mistakes' booklet! Thanks Jim! I'm reading thru it as well and marking my favorite passages with the new 3M Post-It Notes that came as free samples this week as well! If I find out I've made any mistakes in our IRA accounts I'll be all set with some free Advil PM tablets to send me off to snooze-land and cool my throbbing temples!

Also in this week's mailbag was a nice little package of FREE Hewlett-Packard Bright White Inkjet Paper. They have a buyer's reward program called PurchasEdge where you can earn free HP products. See purchasedge.com.

FREE - what an exciting concept! I feel myself blooming out all over! Thank you Sponsors!! Team Frugalis really appreciates your contributions.

Nifty Fifty PLUS!!

September 29th, 2006 at 08:30 am

Nifty Fifty PLUS!!



Take a good look at that picture and tell me why you wouldn't want to keep up with it? Some people think change is useless. Well, I beg to differ with them!

So, who would think that they could come up with more than fifty dollars in two months time just from loose change that floats by?? Not me! But it's happened.

I mean, I knew that little bits of change add up, but $50 smackers?

CashHappySon handed me .68 cents last night from his 'drive-thru' change found on the ground collections. That put me over the $50 mark. Well, I'm happy to be the recipient!! Thank ye! Thank ye!!! Wheee-doggies, I like FREE money! Don't you???

$20 CHALLENGE

27.30 balance
+0.68 ground pickin's
_____
27.98 Sept MTD

$50.03 Cummulative Total


Some Books for Potential Investors To Read

September 29th, 2006 at 06:35 am

Some Books for Potential Investors To Read





Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (revised 1993)
by Edwin Lefevre - an oldie but goodie


How to Make Money in Stocks (revised 2002)
by William J. O'Neil


The Intelligent Investor (revised 2003)
by Benjamin Graham


One Up on Wall Street (1989)
by Peter Lynch


The Essays of Warren Buffett (2001)
by Lawrence A. Cunningham

Safety Issue?

September 28th, 2006 at 05:46 pm

Safety Issue?

No, my cash was safe today! No Spend again!

Help Wanted or Unwanted?

September 28th, 2006 at 04:01 pm

HELP WANTED OR UNWANTED?

Don't you just love when you get unwanted help?? And then need more help to get out from under the unwanted help???



Got a call this morning from Emigrant Direct where I had just recently sent a voided check from The Hubster & mine's joint checking to be added to the other one that is already on there being my personal checking account.

A lady called to verify the account number which I had printed on the check as they requested. It was kind of weird and I wondered out loud to her why couldn't she just match up the initials or the addresses if the number was off??

Anyway...it was a weird call and I'm just barely hanging in there telling her the last digit of my account number as I'm too wigged out talking about my accounts over the phone with someone who calls up seemingly out of the blue...How did I know it wasn't someone who had intercepted the check??

So, after the call is over and we've matched up my account number from the one or two digits I was willing to come forth with to what she's seeing on screen I decide that I will log on a bit later this afternoon to check this all out. I was heading out the door as the phone rang to begin with! Sigh!

About an hour or so passed before I could get back to the screen. So I go in to my accounts and see that isn't she lovely??? ...she has taken my old checking account off and put the joint checking on instead of just adding it to the linked accounts.

ARRRRRRRRGGGHHHHH!

Off to make a call and of course I'm connected to yet another foreign person whom I can barely understand and I feel can barely understand me!

I just want both accounts linked there so that if I want to contribute to them I can. If WE want to contribute from the joint accounts we'd be able to as well. Just like it said in the nice little letter I enclosed w/the voided check.

So - we'll see if the little fellow got it straight as I will have to log back in tomorrow and see if all is right with the world because I have to log on again anyway to verify the deposits.

Major pain in the watusi!

Doesn't help that I just spent a major amount of time yesterday on the phone w/3 folks trying to explain their convoluted accounting methods at my mortgage company! I hate doing phone 'business'.

...and I just HATE it when someone helps me when I didn't want their brand of help to begin with.

Have a nice day now - ya hear!! YEAH, and may the bird of paradise fly up your nose as well Kabobblemeister!!

Ppphhthttttt!! Pfft! Pft! and Double Phhffpptt!!

Keep your eyeballs crossed and your breath held praying that all will turn rightside when I log on tomorrow!


Laundry Room Confessional

September 28th, 2006 at 09:41 am

Laundry Room Confessional


Okay - this seems to be the appropriate time and place - does anyone besides me iron their money??

Time to 'fess up!

Mystery Money In The Laundry Center

September 28th, 2006 at 08:38 am

Mystery Money


Allrighty who put this 3 cents on the ironing board??? Anyone? Nobody knows where it came from??? Really???? You're joshing me right? Going Going GONE! Sold to the Lady with the Piggybank!

I've asked all three of the gentlemen that I live with and none of them claims to being the culprit. Pretty sure the dogs didn't do it.

Must of been The Hubster. I keep asking him if he wants to contribute any of his change to Piggy to fuel the $20 Challenge for accelerated mortgage payoff. So far he has been unwilling to part with any of his change. We are both on a pretty tight allowance so I can understand his reluctance.

BUT-I think he put the change there but doesn't want to be 'SEEN' contributing as I would want him to do it again!!! Ha! He knows me so well.

Okay, I asked and nobody else claimed it so off to Piggy it goes.

$20 CHALLENGE
27.27 balance
+0.03 Mystery Contribution
_____
27.30 Sept MTD

Cummulative total $49.35

I think I'll just artfully arrange Piggy a place to sit on the ironing board, just in case anyone else feels like mysteriously slipping in some gold coins or folding money!!

Or just maybe I should plant some ideas with seed bills on the inside laundry line?? Marked bills of course, just in case somebody got the wrong idea!

TallyHo! Happy Days Are Here Again!

September 27th, 2006 at 04:47 pm

Tallyho! Happy Days Are Here Again!



Upping the tally...another no spender here!

Never fret my pretties, I've been doing no-spenders for about 4 years now, so I'm used to it. It does take some adjustments and every now and then I have to fight myself to stay out of the scratch & dent groceries.

There is almost always a good deal to be had in these stores, but sometimes I just don't really NEED anything and I've already spent my grocery budget for the week/month.

Keep the faith, it does get easier!



I'M HIGH STEPPING NOW!!!

September 27th, 2006 at 01:58 pm

I'm High Stepping Now!!



Just now got on the phone with my mortgage company and got a little booboo on their part straightened out (it only took 3 of them to figure out their loverly accounting and be able to explain it to my satisfaction -- and they wonder why I'm confused!! HA!!!) and while there I finally made the extra principal payment from our money market interest that The Hubster finally agreed to release all to the tune of 253.04 extra to principal. YEAH TEAM FRUGALIS!!

This includes August's 22.05 - 22.04 = .01 left in piggy as seed money from the $20 Challenge. It won't post until the 29th when I'll get back online and update the totals over at the side.

The sound of wonderful.

"WOOPEEDEE!!!"


And before you ask -- the answer is...

Nope. Definitely not. Although that does kind of look like the reform school (I mean jr. high) I busted out of!

Check, Check and Double-check!

September 27th, 2006 at 08:23 am

Check, Check and Double-check!

The personal checkbook balanced this a.m. Check, check and Double-check! I just love it when it balances! When it matches what my budgeting software says I'm supposed to have? - a THRILL! I'm such a geek as I get way too much excitement out of this simple process!



Saturday Luncheon Score

September 27th, 2006 at 07:08 am

Saturday Luncheon Score



Forgot to record that I scored big the other day on Corned Beef at a discount store (I may want more so I'm not giving up my source just yet! Big Grin) it was 1.30 a can.

The last time I had bought some was at Save-A-Lot for $1.79 a can. I can normally find it around 1.89-2.29 in the normal grocery stores around here. So, I'm going with the 1.89 as the more 'normal' amount and say I saved 7.08 by buying by the case of 12 with a .59 cent a can savings.

12 x 1.89 = 22.68
12 x 1.30 = 15.60
_________________
savings 7.08 per case!

What do I use Corned Beef for? With two teen boys here the usual Saturday lunch is BBQ Sandwiches. I'll add 1/2 bottle of the Kraft BBQ sauce I got in June for .67 a bottle (pre July Fourth sale). So lunch w/a bag of .99 chips and pickles .50.

1.49 chips/pickles
1.30 meat
.69 HB buns
.33 sauce
.34 porkn'beans
_______________
4.15 quick lunch for four + tax

Some time I might add the 7.08 per case to a challenge or something but this time I'm leaving it in the grocery budget for next month because it is still a bit too tight for my tastes.

Try this BBQ sometime. It's not for everybody, BUT, it's what Hillbilly Brand BBQ sauce used to sell in the grocery stores when I was a kid. Mom would buy these great sandwiches and bring them home...we all thought it a treat.

Now it's just the normal out of the pantry Saturday lunch here.

All I have to do is remember to buy the HB buns & chips and we're usually good to go by picking the canned goods off the pantry shelves.

Come October 1st with the new grocery budget allocation I'm going back in for probably 2 more cases! Just LOVE a good food score, don't you????

Lockbox Gives Up

September 27th, 2006 at 06:34 am

Lockbox Gives Up


Found .39 cents in the lockbox. Who put change in there?? Moving it to the $20 Challenge!

26.88 balance
+0.39 lockbox
_____
27.27 Sept. MTD

Total $20 Challenge $49.32

Off to a Good Start

September 26th, 2006 at 07:32 am

Off To A Good Start

This week is off to a good start as yesterday was a NO SPENDER!!

Every Day Counts

September 24th, 2006 at 04:42 pm

EVERY DAY COUNTS!


Today? Great Jumping Geehozafat!!

A NO-SPENDER!!

Blew Me Away!!

September 24th, 2006 at 03:18 pm

BLEW ME AWAY!!


The realtor called me Friday morning and told me to sit down as she had a rather insulting offer. I should say so!!

We have listed FIL's little house for $65,000.00. The offer was for $37,000.00. I guffawed. Really! Right out loud! Waa-Waa-Waa!

You've got to be kidding me? When most houses in the metro area sell for over 130,000.00 and closer to a couple of million she wants to offer 37,000.00???? Funny! I've heard of low-balling before but by that big of a margin? You gotta admit the lady's got nerve.

When I told The Hubster he said "tell her I don't want to sell the garage separate." Funny man! We counter-offered w/a thousand off the asking price. This lady wasn't even in the ball-park and nowhere near the bandstand!! The realtor told her she would tell us the offer, but wouldn't insult us with a contract.

Uh...no but thanks for thinking of us. The deallywho is this lady's brother lives next door and she wants to move nearby. Well, I think about six or seven neighborhoods over she could find something in her price-range. Even her sister-in-law who lives next door admits that her house is not nearly as nice and has no dining room in it, and they paid about 55,000 for it six or seven years ago and it has no garage, and no covered parking, no back covered patio, no fenced garden area, etc. that comes with the FIL house. I would buy this house myself if it were in my town.

I think we'll just wait. The realtor is planning to hold another open-house next weekend. Worse comes to worst, we'll find a leasing manager and lease that bad-boy out.

There are similar houses on the street, one of which is The Hubster's uncle's house and they are asking 69,500 for it and it is ramshackle as can be and FIL's house is move in ready with fresh paint, new carpet and has been babied all thru the years. We should have no problem moving it at or near the price we're asking. This house is no dog.

Still laughing!

Someone Is Making A Penny

September 24th, 2006 at 02:02 pm

SOMEONE IS MAKING A PENNY



CashHappySon gave me two cents to go in the $20 Challenge Fund! Didn't I tell you he loves to get rid of the money in his pocket?? ...it's like he is money repellent. Okay, I'll do it. I'll be his money magnet. Pick me - pick me!!!

He GETS money all the time, but he won't hang on to it! Oh well, I WILL!!

"Ever notice how it's a penny for your thoughts, yet you put in your two-cents? Someone is making a penny on the deal!" ~Steven Wright

$20 CHALLENGE
26.86 balance
+0.02 repelled
_____
26.88 Sept MTD



Look Mom No Cavities!!

September 24th, 2006 at 01:44 pm

Look Mom - No Cavities!!



Wanted to take just a moment and thank one of my corporate sponsors CREST for sending me a free full size sample of their new Pro-Health toothpaste! Thanks buddies!!

I feel more health-ful, fresh and minty already!

Why Am I Dragging My Feet??

September 24th, 2006 at 07:30 am

Why Am I Dragging My Feet?


Photo Credit: Little Taylor

I have a victory to report!! It's a major concession by The Hubster. He's finally given me permission to take the monthly interest money from our Money Market 4.57% and use it to pay extra on our mortgage 6.75% principal! YEAH Hubster.

Now I've got to figure out why I'm the one dragging my feet. I've been 'cussin & discussin' with him about this for months now and suddenly he said yes about 2 weeks ago and I have yet to move on the deal.

Why is that?

Perhaps it's the idea of those dollars not compounding with the rest of them although I KNOW it is costing us 2.18% difference in the amount we have going out vs. what's coming in. I'm being silly and first thing tomorrow I'm getting online and making the extra principal payment.

Gotta move off of dead center here!!

Unless you guys can offer me good reasons why leaving it growing in the Money Market is a better plan. We are planning to retire in about 6 years so of course I would like to go into retirement with no house payment, but we might move before then.

What say ye, O Wise Ones???

Kisses for my Pretty!!

September 23rd, 2006 at 04:28 pm

Kisses for my Pretty!!



Oh I could just kiss him all over! The little accounting guy at our attorney's law office finally got all the federal estate taxes done on the FIL's estate and got us the number we need to get the stock transfers done!

Silly information and identity theft age that we are living in requires that it's all complicated and multi-layered. We have to transfer the stocks from FIL's name to the estate and then to The Hubster and myself. Had to go to the bank to get a certified signature which is different than a notarized one. Who knew??

His siblings do not wish to own any stocks so we are purchasing them from the estate. The sibs will get a one time check only. I don't understand these people. But hey, we'll be happy to own the entire block of it at what will be in a way at a discounted 20% off rate!

The stocks give off nice fat little dividend checks but once purchased and transferred these dividends and capital gains will be reinvested for now.

...and might just make us a nice little income stream during retirement. Happy thought.

We've been waiting since January for this part to be over!

Hohummm...patience is not my long suit.

What's In My Wallet?

September 23rd, 2006 at 04:00 pm

WHAT'S IN MY WALLET?



Are we all brainwashed or what??? What is in my wallet is cash my little pupcake! Why? Because I didn't spend any today!

Chalk up another day for NO SPENDING!! Oh Happy Day!!!


Bank Run Week 38

September 23rd, 2006 at 01:30 pm

Bank Run Week 38



This is week 38 of this years bank runs. On Saturdays I take my change leftover from the week's allowance and put it into my bank to be moved to Emigrant Direct in my own separate little retirement fund. From there it, upon occasion, goes out into the larger investment world to bring my dreams of a sunny beach retirement closer to reality.

This bank run money is over and above my automatic monthly contribution to my Spousal IRA.

BANK RUN CHALLENGE
$7.37 Sept MTD
+2.65 9/23/06
_____
10.02 balance forward

41 Hut Hut HUTTTT

September 23rd, 2006 at 10:20 am

41 Hut Hut HUUUUTTTTTT



Yesterday evening CashHappySon donated 41 cents to keep Piggy fat and sassy! This is money for the $20 Challenge. Ahhh, yes, stretching the ol' pigskin!!

$20 CHALLENGE
26.45 balance
+0.41 HUT
_____
26.86 Sept MTD

!!Friday Fun!!

September 23rd, 2006 at 10:14 am

!!FRIDAY FUN!!

Friday was fun!

It was a NO SPEND DAY!



yeah! Yeah!!! YEAH!!!!!!!

Teller Is A Magician?

September 22nd, 2006 at 12:24 pm

Teller Is A Magician?



This is no Penn and Teller story, but in clearing up the straggling entries on the September budget I saw that I'd forgotten to write myself a check out of Household/PaperGoods category for 10.00 and that I'd short-changed my allowance by 2.50. So, I wrote a check from our joint account for $12.50 and ran it to my bank while I was out.

Got the deposit slip back and the girl had made the deposit for $1250.00!

Darn my ornery hide, but I asked her if she meant to do that?

I wonder how long it would have taken them to figure it out? I told her, "You would have been working into the wee hours trying to figure out why your till was off" and she said, "No, we only have to account for our cash drawer!"

Ratfinkus - Could of gone shopping had my 'raising' not kicked in!!

You've got to watch them because they are only human and many times the tellers at my bank seem to make errors and more often than not in my case it has been to the bank's favor and not mine!

Another case in point...On the FIL's Estate Checking Account we have deposited a small amount to open it and will deposit proceeds of house sale into it for dispersment to siblings. We just put $100 in it to start several months back and then suddenly last month they decided to take a $15.00 fee from it! OUCH!

The Hubster called and supposedly got it corrected. Then yesterday we got another statement and they had fixed the one fee for last month and charged us another $15.00 for this month.

HELLO!!

The Hubster got back on the horn and asked if we needed to remove our checking and very large MM account to another bank...oh no Mr. HubsterFrugalis, we will get this straightened out for you right away. Un-huh yeah, that's what you said last month!!

Moral of the story? Keep watching your deposit slips and bank statements folks!!



Squirreling It Away - NASDAQ Going Down?

September 21st, 2006 at 12:55 pm

Squirreling It Away - NASDAQ Going Down



Making a clean sweep of the wallet and there was 1.93 in the change pocket, so I'm squirreling away the .93 into Piggy for the $20 Challenge.

The $1.00's worth of quarters stays just in case I ever need to make a phone call from a pay phone....well, I haven't needed to do that for about ten years, BUT "you just never know", my Mamma always said!

$20 CHALLENGE
25.52 balance forward
+0.93 squirrely Shirley wallet sweep
_____
26.45 Sept MTD

I don't think I'm going to bring down NASDAQ just yet, but like Mamma said..."You just never KNOW!"

"Nasdaq suffered a black-eye when an errant squirrel caused it to shut down for the third time in three weeks. Brokers were furious. It was the second time a squirrel struck; in a now-famous incident in 1987, an unlucky squirrel climbed into the main electric power line in Trumbull, Conn., with a piece of aluminum foil. His demise felled the sensitive equipment in the Nasdaq computer center there." -William Power, The Wall Street Journal Online

Scratch and Dent Shop

September 19th, 2006 at 06:01 pm

SCRATCH & DENT

Went on a scratch and dent grocery shop today. Paid 16.63.

Purchased:

6 pkgs. Lil' Debbie snack cakes - regular size packages at 50 cents apiece (now in the freezer)

2 LARGE pkgs. Lil' Debbie snack cakes at .99 each (now in the freezer)

4 pkgs. of granola bars at 50 cents each w/discount 1.78

4 pkgs. of spaghetti seasoning mix
4/$1.00 w/ discount .26

2 extra long rolls Owens sausage @ 2.50 each

4 bottles of shampoo/conditioner combo @ .50 each

2 large bottles of mouthwash @.89 each

tax .83
--------
16.63 LOVE MY SCRATCH & DENT stores! This is one of two close enough to my house to visit rather regularly!

This was budgeted grocery money, so I do consider this an unofficial no-spend day as I spent no other money besides my budgeted funds.

I never know what the discounted items will be. Sometimes when I get to the car I'll send the boys back in for more, but today I didn't have time.

The boys were supposed to go to a company party/seminar/pep rally type deally-who this afternoon and I took them and no sooner got home than they called for me to pick them back up as it had been postponed. Uaghhhh!!!

I hung up and headed towards the door and then decided why not give a shot at getting a freebie out of this deal? I hit redial and told CashHappySon to get me an ice-cream out of the deal since they had failed to call and let them know not to show up today on their normal day off.

When I got there...free ice-cream!! Ta-da!! I made a vow when I started blogging here not to BUY any ice-cream until 2007, but I never said I wouldn't eat any of the free stuff!



Penny Badunkadunk WARNING Centerfold

September 18th, 2006 at 12:40 pm

PENNY BADUNKADUNK

Welll....this is embarassing, but I'm telling it anyway. Too funny not to tell....Last night I was in the bed, rolled over, reached around to pull up the sheet and found a penny stuck to the rumpus!

Hahahahaa...

how did this get there???

All I can come up with is that it was on the couch from when the husband was sitting there earlier in the day and I was laying there before going to bed.

Maybe it had fallen out of his pocket?

Hilarious! I rolled and The Hubster wanted to know what I was snortling & snorkling about!!! heheheeee

Well, ya'll said I was lucky at finding money...it was dark and I was hoping it was a quarter, but alas, when I turned on the light it was only a penny.

Now, I've taken some measurements and based on my calc-u-mu-lations - the girth x length (omgaudddddddd - when did that thing fall to gravity???) divided by the hip ratio, I oughta be picking up more than a penny back there!!



If I can't laugh at myself who can I laugh at?

So, my friends, if you're looking for MORE money...might I suggest that you look behind you!!



Adding it to the $20 Challenge!

HOOT!

CashHappySon just contributed .36 to Piggy from off of his entertainment center.

$20 CHALLENGE
25.15
+0.01 badunkadunk find
_____
25.16
+0.36 entertaining
_____
25.52 Sept. MTD

Turn Up The Sound

September 18th, 2006 at 07:19 am




Turn up the sound and watch this. Nothin' to do with finances but fun!


http://www.gofish.com/player.gfp?gfid=30-1043602

I like the happy music!

Make That A Combo Please!

September 17th, 2006 at 07:02 am

Make That A Combo Please!



This week I did save $4.07 all together from my allowance combined and so I divided it.

$2.04 to the $20 Challenge and $2.03 went to the Bank Run yesterday.

$20 CHALLENGE
23.11 balance
+2.04 combo
_____
25.15 MTD


BANK RUN
$5.34 balance
+2.03 9/16
_____
$7.37 MTD

Just you wait, one of these days I'll SUPERSIZE my combo!!

Pride and Prejudice

September 17th, 2006 at 06:50 am

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE



Catching myself up to date here...Friday was a NO SPEND DAY!!! Terrific! Big Grin

But, alas...Saturday was a day of spending. We mowed FIL's yard and were in such a rush out the door to beat the realtor's open house that we didn't take our water bottles along, so that was 2.15 for colas (bad health choice), but some kind of liquid beverage was necessary.

Then about $6.00 for fastfood because I was zapped and there was no bread in the house and we were in no 'attire' shape to go into my small town grocery store. Ughhhh...you hate to go in looking like a bum AND smelling like a goat combined. Pride is a terrible thing! Look it just cost me $6.00 bucks!! This just gripes me!

Somedays there is just not enough time AND energy combined to get everything done. I had put off grocery shopping because of low energy on Friday thinking I would get to it on Saturday.

Well, ahhh...no. I didn't.

So today after church will be a forced quick stop for some bread, meaning that I'll have to go on Monday for a detailed shop. Putting off is really not ever all that great of an idea, is it?

Then The Hubster got on a wild tear yesterday afternoon to clean out one of the sheds (yeah!!!!) and re-caulk the windows in it. So, off he sent me to the hardware store for more window glazing caulky stuff which was $2.50ish and then I remembered that I needed to buy fertilizer stakes for the huge trees in back that have issues.

If I don't get them some MORE new growth around some rot there will be bigger 'tree surgeon' expenses later...so that cost me an additional $3.50 or so.

Don't ask me how but this fertilizer stuff is rounding off the deteriorating part with new growth and the gap is narrowing! It's working!!!

If it didn't there are two barns in peril and possibly even the house roof. These are old 100 year plus giantish trees and they provide good shade for my house in the summer time and it would be horrible to lose them!!

Dinner last night was homemade fish sandwiches on burger buns that were in the house. Yummy! Why didn't I move this meal up to be lunch? I dunno, except that it would have been another 45 minute wait to eat it and mowing makes a girl ravenous!


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