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Archive for June, 2007

DramaKing Makes A Move

June 29th, 2007 at 03:19 pm



Adding to the $20 Challenge.

$08.40 balance
+14.02 addition
______
$22.42 June MTD

I haven't been keeping up with this as I've just been stashing the cash on the dresser and am ready to tidy up accounts for the end of the month.

We've had a wild, wild month here as CashHappySon has pulled a few stunts and let's just say that he's ready (so is his dear ol'mutha for him...) to move out but can not yet afford the local market rates and he doesn't have a buddy that needs a roommate, so I now have a new renter in my basement. So, he's gotten a bit of 'release' but yet he's not so far that we can't check on him and he can continue to save for the 'big move' sometime in the future.

He is paying a nominal rate that should cover his little bit of extra electricity usage (microwave, fan & dorm refrigerator) and thusly I've increased my income a bit. The walkout basement is not heated nor cooled, but yet maintains a nice even 68 degrees year round. But w/o a fan in the summertime it is a bit clammy feeling sometimes.

I should mention that the basement is plumbed. It's not quite the belly of the whale, but close!

He is still required to help w/lawn maintenance and attend church with us on Sunday and has a standing invitation to Sunday lunch. However, he now has to do all his own banking and laundry care and prepare for himself all other meals. Things Mom used to help with.


I love this boy dearly but he has always been 'high maintenance' and known to us as the DramaKing, so it is a bit of relief that he is making the move toward freedom. Also sad to see the birdies flying the coop. A mixed feeling for Mom. The only mandatory thing that is required to keep the low rental rate?


He MUST shower each day!


Gaaaaaa!

He works in a machine shop and that oily smell is icky and pervasive!! He also is STILL (awwww Mom!!) required to let us know of his comings and goings.

His fixed expenses are:

$100 rent
$100 car insurance (he tags on older brother's rate)
$100 orthodontist
$200 IRA contributions
____
$500

Gasoline runs around $100-140 a month.

He normally pulls about $1000-1100.00 a month. Some months a bit more and others less. He is supposedly to have a raise on today's paycheck. We shall see what amount.

Local apartments rent for an efficiency about $399 PLUS you pay your own utilities. He's just not quite there yet. We've been telling him that for a year or so now, but it took some literal visits to the local dumps & high end apartments and everything in between for him to see that he really can't afford to do the swinging batch' dealywho just YET! He is 18, with a birthday coming up in the next couple of months.

Pray for us all!! Big Grin

Will You Be A Transumer??

June 26th, 2007 at 01:53 pm



Inquirying minds want to know...will you be a transumer??


http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/transumers.htm


I think I'm not going to go there myself!

High Rent Cheese Trap - Rent vs. Mortgage?

June 22nd, 2007 at 09:00 pm



High Rent Cheese Trap - Rent vs. Mortgage?

One side weighs in...

http://positivesharing.com/2006/08/low-rent-living/

Can Ben & Jerry Cure Our Issues w/ an Oreo??

June 19th, 2007 at 10:51 am



Think our American society can be cured of it's issues with an Oreo?

Leave it to Ben and Jerry.

Watch this...

http://www.truemajorityaction.org/oreos/


Ohhhhh.R.E.Ohhhhhhh!!!

Frugalis Loan Company & Junqtiques

June 15th, 2007 at 05:21 pm



Just wanted to make myself a note here that I did my first Kiva loan a few Saturdays back as a community service project (my loans there will likely all go to widows or single Moms) and am currently investigating putting some money out to loan over at Prosper.com. I'm researching now but will likely not loan any $$'s out at Prosper until after vacation time when my head's clearer. Right now it's all bottled up w/figuring out where to kennel my dogs while I'm gone.

http://www.kiva.org

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I went last week and got on the list to be contacted when a booth space opens up in the antique mall in the next town north of me (about a 15 minute drive). And I made contact yesterday about taking over my Mom's space in the mall in her town about an hour and a half south of me. I can stock/clean/straighten it once a month when I go down for a visit.

Wanting to expand my operations AND get the basement cleared out as well.

Having a 'junque' booth generally takes little time for me as I have a bunch of stock already and all that is required is to sit and inventory it & price it while watching tv a night or two a week. A nice little side stream of income. Whenever I run out of STUFF (maybe a year or two away as I've got a big basement stuffed w/FIL's goods) I do enjoy going to auctions, yard-sales and thrift stores and believe I have a decent eye for what sells and am fair at making my displays sell for me. I've been wanting to get up a photo of my current booth but camera is all gum-up-i-fied. Meaning it's internal memory is full and I've got to hunt up the book as to how to empty it first before any more pics can be taken!

After the upcoming garage sale and when I can get these other two booths up and running then there should be enough room in the basement to set up one of the rooms as an occasional sales area. A lady in our town used to do this before she retired and moved away. She'd run an ad for 'junqtiques' about three times or four times a year, open up on a Friday and Saturday and then be closed again. No muss, no fuss.

As long as I can have someone else at home with me then I wouldn't mind doing it this way. I have lots of off-street parking and an easy to find address so I think I could do this w/ease. Only additional expense I believe would likely be necessary would be a rider on our homeowner's insurance if someone were to trip and fall or some such. I am also outside of the city limits in a semi-rural area, so unless there is some county permit needed, I think I'd be okay there.

Your Thoughts?

Million Bells & Nekkid Radiant Gloryness

June 14th, 2007 at 02:03 pm


A Few Years Ago On the Front Patio

Photo staged to sell desk part on ebay-before house got painted

That's my PRIVATE sunroom peeking out over on the right


Seems the talk this morning is all about the garden, reminding me of an e-mail letter I wrote to a friend about a year ago! Here's an excerpt:


The Iris are in bloom, they look so stately with their sturdy stems and haughty heads! Back in the creek are the buttery-yellow daffodils, not to be confused w/the bright yellows. These are a churny butter color w/ruffled edges and look like they are fairy butter sculptures.

This week we have put out the banana trees; and the Margarita vines, which are the real show stoppers in the garden. They are that cool lime green color that stands out from the rest.



This week I planted two in a new 'old' junk treasure that the boys dug up for me from the 'junque' pile' we are dismantling in the back! It is an old enameled electric wash tub on a stand, you know the kind that had the handwringer on the top just like grandma used to have.

Tis cool and rusty and I gotta get it painted before the rust that's holding it together disintegrates! The other thing on the list is to get the BINKITY PINKITY bath-tub sealed up to hold water and get a fountain in there to keep it 'fresh and natural' like, and get some aquatic plants going in it.

We have laid down a new path in the garden this week, lots of weeding, weeding and more weeding, put out deisel, planted the geraniums, and hauled off junk, junk and more junk to the dump!!!

This morning I have seen the four'oclocks starting out of the ground, they are kinda my favorite as they are very clever flowers indeed. They have all sorts of neat BRIGHT colors which kinda sing all on the same plant! The nicotinia are volunteering themselves this year, they are the smell good of the flower bed. Some Per-fuuuff! You'll be walking along and shazam u is transported by the wafting breeze! I like it.

The indoor plants have gone out for their yearly sunbaths, found a volunteer poppy and volunteer wood violet this morning, and got out the cosmos seed, the road daisies seed, the sweet peas are 'soakin' getting ready to hit dirt, and planted up the glory vine, the hyacinth vine, moved some phlox around, etc., etc., etc. The garden stuff is lots of work, but tis so pretty!

Oh and the johnny-jump-ups are volunteering themselves this year as well! Isn't that nice of them to sign up for duty w/o any work on my part? YES INDEED!

The azaleas are also popppppping out at me this week, as are the snowdrops, the wood violets are in bloom, the geraniums and the grape hyacinths w/their little nappy burple heads are up. Everything is starting to sing, dance and look so good.


Autumn Joy Sedum


The morning glories are taking off like mad, and I am still working on getting last years old vines down...I may make it before this years crop overruns us...they are kinda like kudzu once they get going. I think the neighbors must worry about the poor soul who wanders the garden at night, pulling on the 2 1/2 acres worth of fence rows. I've got a real billowy white nightie that really shows all ghostly bright in the night...I think I must scare the hebeebajeebies out of 'em!!! ...well, mostly they do keep their distance in the daylight hours! Big Grin I have ways of keeping my privacy!

And YEAH TEAM, ~~finally~~ both my Clematis vines are ~~Finally~~ established and ~~FINALLY~~ going like gangbusters up over the fences and trellises - finally Finally FINALLY! Have had to buy & replant three times trying to get them started!! Thank You God!!! Never Give UP!!!

Today, this afternoon am going to put out my sunflower seeds - they make me happy, and some coreopsis (looks kinda like a yellow daisyish thingawhichie) that Mrs. Stinnett gave me seed for last year. I certainly hope they come up so I can give a Good Report! Ha! Cuz I know she'll be asking me!!! Oh yeah, got the red, yellow & white onions in the ground yesterday, still to go are the squash and okra! Also planted this week another GIFT (do you get as many as me??????) of a great big purple rose bush! HA!!! Thank you God!

It's so funny. I think, I need a 'whatchie' to go here God, and viola...here it comes in gift form! Is HE GREAT or WHAT???????????????????? Same thing happened this week and got a potful of some other good thing that was going to be a big expense...ta-da! He PROVIDES!!! You Gotta Gotta GOTTA love HIM!!! Even when I don't receive as a gift, I receive at a bargain price. The rose needed a trellis...when what to my wondering eyes should appear at a garage sale but one for a quarter! A QUARTER!! HA!!!

NAKED LADIES
You must continue to Be Kind to me or LLFrugalis will plant you 40 zuchinni plants!! One plant for each year in the wilderness. Did you know I was 40 years old when I met you???? Ha!!! Twill be a LITTLE gift!!! heheheee Coming On Strong in the NEXT wave of color are the bright orange day-lily's we dug those out of a ditch on a country road!!!

They are just like the one's Momma used to have in her garden when I was a kid.

Number next tis the hostas are coming on from under their leaf beds, and the bleeding hearts are starting to lean over which means they'll be dripping their little pretty pink hearts soon, and how could I forget to tell ya about the NAKED LADIES???? ha!!! They are about ready to pop.

Do you know what they are? They are kinda like an oniony lookin bulb, but they lay dormant all year when right when you least expect it they pop up out of the ground, grow really fast, put out one bright pink or red bloom, then poof, they are gone, died back and gone. They are always a surprise cuz you forget that they are gonna give ya a 'Sneak Peak', and badabing bada boom...TA - DA!! There they are in all of their NEKKID RADIANT GLORYNESS!!! Think they are called nekkid, cuz there are no leaves on the flower portion maybe??? Who knows...but that's their common name.


You oughta see this one plant I got, it's called 'Million Bells', and tis true. The sucker puts out a ba-gillion flowers, and they are so pretty, with hot pink and pale yellow and peach colored blooms. Very Smart looking! The other thing that is really looking neat is a hot pink phlox plant that is tumbling over the side of the cement block wall. Makes it look ever so much more pretty than that ugly, unpainted thing we had when we arrived.



Things are coming along. Methinks it all looking very pretty all about me!! This place was the absolute pits outside when we got here!!! THE PITS!!! Tis been a lot of work, but it has been good for the little chillens and is part of the reason we were looking to buy a place w/some land...they needed a physical outlet and to learn how to labor. Boy, have they labored!!! Only thing is I wasn't thinking about who was gonna hafta be out there teaching them how it was done every step of the way!!! HA!! But it is good for body and soul and I am glad to have it to do! I love my house!! And my yard!!!

And guess what, I have a shoe-box full of seeds that still need to go in the ground!! What was I thinking this year when I bought so many??? And saved so many from last year???? BONKERS!!

Better Than A CrackShack - EcoLiving

June 13th, 2007 at 02:32 pm



Say you're feeling blue? ...a bit down about your living situation, bouncing from place to place? Want to upgrade from Tina's CrackShack? Follow the bouncing ball and try here!

http://www.freespiritspheres.com/eryn.htm

Opting Out - Stay Out of My Pocket!!

June 11th, 2007 at 08:22 pm



FrugalSon and I made a run to drop off 'good junk' in my antique booth and we drove by the car repair shop and there was Hubster's car all de-bumperfied getting itself fixed. We stopped by Wendy's for a Frosty Treat at $2.16. Got to keep my totin' & carryin' guys happy!

Then we stopped by our rural water department and opted out of their newest services...charging us for ambulance and fire services on a monthly basis. Personally I'll take the risk myself and keep my money invested elsewhere and if we need either of these services will pay the going rate at that time. This would have put my water bill at over $50 a month and it's just too, too much already! ARGGGHHH!!! I feel like someone is always trying to get into our pockets!

Stay Out of My Pockets!!

Blog Blooper & The Little Woman

June 11th, 2007 at 03:29 pm



I wrote a big long blog entry on Saturday and then it went to blooper heaven by some strange flick of the wrist! AUGGHHH!!!

The boys keep handing me their change (good guys, eh?) so I'm adding to the challenge:

$20 CHALLENGE

$06.20 balance
+02.20 change gifts
______
$08.40 June MTD

2007 Total $171.19
Cumulative Total $297.30

Scheduled our upcoming vacation a couple of weeks ago - we'll be heading to Tucson in July. Hubster wanted to go somewhere 'warm'. Warm we'll be, I suppose, at least during the daytime hours. We'll be using our timeshare exchange to a nice resort for 7 days and the fee to use it is $135 to exchange and beyond that we've a budget of $600.00. Most of that will be for gasoline, 2 nights hotels w/continental breakfasts and we take most of our own groceries with us and eat out only a couple of times on our trips. Last year we came home with money leftover! Get out of here you say, no way? Yes way, we squeak those Lincolns ba-bee!!!

Hubster got his car tires the other day and by doing even more diligent shopping he was able to carve another $200 off of his cost and we're using the extra that we'd saved for that to fix the scratch he got on the back of the car a few months back when he didn't listen to me and use the truck to haul a bicycle - estimate to repair? $340.00. OUCH! Fellows, sometimes the little lady can be right and it might be worthwhile to listen - and NO, I didn't say I told you so, tempting as it was! Big Grin

Updating Challenge Info

June 8th, 2007 at 05:21 pm





Adding $1.95 to the challenge.

$20 Challenge
$04.25 balance
+01.95 add
______
$06.20 June MTD

2007 Challenge $168.99
Cumulative Total $295.10

Updating Mortgage Balance

June 3rd, 2007 at 10:27 am


Credit: Nagel


After making my mortgage payment & paying extra to principal on the first, the new balance is $21,856.08.

How Pinecone Survey Saved My Budget

June 1st, 2007 at 01:43 pm



Finished up May yesterday with a $5.00 check in from Pinecone. I was over .75 cents in my grocery budget for May so I applied that to the zero based budget for May ending the month totally in the black. And, as I said yesterday there wasn't a spare penny even laying around the house to put in the pot! Thank you Pinecone Surveys!!

We use YNAB software (youneedabudget.com) and I just hate seeing any red in my columns, so I'm one of those who adjusts my budget as the month goes along. Others are diehard, fix it once at the beginning of the month/year and roll with the occasional red.

I just can't do it.

Too TOO Anal!!

I love a zero based budget - all the money coming in is given a job and then sent on it's way to do it's work. Some to short term savings and some to investments and then some to spend for current expenses. At the end of the month it should all tally up to no more than what you brought in.

I will take the remaining $4.25 to start off the June $20 Challenge.

$20 Challenge
$00.00 balance
+04.25 survey says
______
$04.25 MTD

2007 Challenge Total $167.04
Challenge Cumulative Total $293.15

Yesterday was a no-spend day for me. Big Grin

The house budget paid all of the June bills: The mortgage payment plus an extra $65.04 to principal, including a painful $763.00 for house insurance for the year and $505.06 for 1/2 years worth of auto insurance for mine & THE Hubster's vehicles.

It is amazing to me how much more difficult it is these days to turn loose of the monies for these things. It was all there in savings House Insurance Escrow and Car Insurance Escrow earning us interest, but I waited until the last possible moment to pull it out so as not to loose even one extra day's worth of interest.

I'm actually becoming very Scrooge-esque these days. I mean 'tight-fisted butt-puckery' over spending money! However, it is a LOVELY feeling to be able to pay all the bills w/o having to worry IF we have the money. AND, it's not so much the spending of monies or worry over interest as it is the loomingness of an underfunded retirement portfolio. Youngsters take note and start retirement savings earlier!!

On the CC this month was a $55.00 emergency dental bill for Hubster (money was already put back in the Medical/Dental/Prescription Co-Pay Slush Fund) and a new Dell computer monitor $313.00. I've finally convinced him he HAS TO move the old stuff on BEFORE he buys new. Used to he'd buy first w/plans to sell the old, but somehow it wasn't ever getting done.

We did sell his old monitor for $150.00 on Craigslist and he recently got a nice little bonus check of $295.00 after taxes so he's paid for his new monitor and still has a running start on his next computer purchase in the bank in the Office Equipment Slush Fund. So, the CC again was used and is back to zero.

It's going on three or four years now and it is SOOOOO Nice not to ever carry a balance on those suckers! It has been tempting a few times especially for Hubster, but I've prevailed as that is a slippery slope I don't want to ever go back down if at all possible and I mean, I'm willing to go donate at the plasma bank if necessary to keep it from happening ever again!!

And I absolutely HATE needles! But, I hate debt even more!!

On the slate for tomorrow is a set of new tires for his car - he's making an educated-prices-already-compared estimate of a cost of about $425.00 including tax, mounting and balancing and there is **TA-DA** (NICELY DONE Mrs. LLFrugalis - pat back pat back!!) a total of a little over $475.00 sitting in his Car Tire Fund!! Again, the tires will be purchased on a cash back credit card while those tire dollars earn another month's worth of interest. You gotta love it when you're ahead of the game!! HOOOOOO-HAAAAAAAA!!