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Archive for January, 2008

Some Other Midnight's Summer Dream?

January 25th, 2008 at 10:45 am

Taking the $4 I got yesterday for selling books and adding it to the challenge. Also there are 3 cents here from the laundry fairy.




No. Not the ass in the picture. Isn't that from Shakespeare or some other midnight Summer's dream? Yes, it's been tooooooo many years since English Lit.

$20 CHALLENGE

$027.87 balance
+004.03 books/laundry fairy
________
$031.90 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $31.90
Cumulative Challenge Total $560.51

Nobody claimed the pennies as theirs so, yeah, Anywhooooo...

Yesterday was a No Spend Day. Today looking like it will shape up similarly. Got to love those Back To Backs!! It's cold, Cold, COLD here today and I'm trying to stay inside. Have to run FrugalSon to work in a bit, but other than that I'm going to stay inside and toasty!

Posted a collectible book on Amazon yesterday for sale - I paid 50 cents for it at a garage sale last summer, just never got around to getting it posted for sale. Going list price for this rare badboy is in the $33ish range.

Also took pictures of my $5 to AT LEAST $125 if not more project and I'm still trying to decide where to sell it.

Any Shakespearean's here want to straighten me out?

Am I dreaming or was there a Prospero somewhere in Shakespeare land???

Balancing Accounts

January 24th, 2008 at 04:46 pm



Nothing too exciting today. Just balancing accounts and doing filing and shredding! Boring but necessary.

Got the CC bill for the unexpected chainsaw purchase. Gaaa!! One expense I could have lived without. But Hubster sure looks fine in his flannel.

Received a $4 check for some books sold.


Hopeful for Reflections of Happier Times

January 22nd, 2008 at 07:14 am



Hubster's uncle on his Mom's side passed away and the funeral is today. I've got to run back to the grocery right now and get some of those throw-away pans.

Yesterday I purchased a spiral cut ham, a 24-ct case of pop, 2 packages of rolls, a jello ambrosia thingy, some creme puffs and today I'm going to bake a potato casserole. That should at least feed our crew and a couple of the out of town relatives.

I spent about $90 at the unscheduled grocery shop yesterday. Of course not all of that is for the funeral, but HARD-TIMES seem to be on the horizon and I'm forever stocking up against it or so it seems!

This was a favorite uncle, close in age, and almost identical in looks to Hubster. Back when they were in their 20's they were running buddies. We had just seen him at one of Unc's sister's funeral and he seemed fine. He's had some illness but it was certainly unexpected. He leaves behind a wife, 2 daughters, a son, and a grandson.

Hubster and three of our sons are going to be pall-bearers so they've got to show up early.

I'm off to scrounge up some pictures I was wanting to pass along to some of the relatives from out of Hubster's parents estate. They are of cousins & their kids and such when they were little.

Maybe they'd enjoy having them more than we, who hardly know them and only see them at the funerals. Now is a good time to pass them back around to those who would get greater enjoyment. And just maybe, they'll spark some moments of reflection today of happier times.

It's also a cold bugger-bear here today, I'm also off to round up some of the boy's long-johns to wear under my pants! So if I look a little lumpy, you'll know it's just a mirage!!

Outfit 1 - Church or Office

January 21st, 2008 at 09:34 am

Okay since I just hung everything up last night when we got in from church and have yet to put it away...Here's my start on getting the closet more organized and a way to get more outfits out of what I have already WITHOUT SHOPPING!!

Outfit 1 - Church or Office w/Modifications



I also wear a black stretch skirt w/this jacket at times, but yesterday it was COLD COLD COLD outside and I needed warmth.

I think I could save some time by doing this either when I'm already dressed for going out or doing it w/o actually putting the outfits on.



To wear this to a corporate office I do believe I'd tone down the shoes and jewelry to black onyx jewelry and black shoes and possibly a black blouse or tee. Wink



If you don't know what I'm talking about on organizing outfits check out my last blog post here:


http://luxliving.savingadvice.com/2008/01/21/something-tas...


Something Tasty Out of A Sea of Black??

January 21st, 2008 at 08:51 am



How to create something tasty out of a sea of black? The black sea that is my closet. You see, I am a lover of the simple black and white motif for a basic wardrobe. The only thing is I never buy much white!! hahaha!

I open my closet to look for a specific piece and WHAM the black hole that is my closet just kind of blends into differing shades of black! I need to do something about that!!

And I am trying.

I did buy some solid sherbert shade sweaters this year thinking I may go back to the corporate world at some point and I can always wear them to church.

I was just thinking about how to rotate my clothes better when I ran across the below website.

I like the idea this girl has below. I'd also take a head w/hair out of the way and hand shot to go w/each outfit to show what jewelry I've picked to go w/each outfit. Or a shot of just the jewelry items grouped together.



http://iwantthatdress.blogspot.com/2008/01/cataloguing-you...


How is this financial? The more combo outfits you can get out of your current clothing, the less you have to purchase foolishly to create some level of knowing that whatever comes up you've got something to wear!! Organized and planned equals less dollars spent.

However, I still need to do something about how to tell one black item from the next in my closet a little easier.



Maybe floodlights installed in the closet???

How about you - do you have your clothing well organized? Does it save you money???

Victorious Smiley Face

January 20th, 2008 at 04:13 pm



Photo Credit: Smile by Cupertino, 2003.


Today was a NO SPEND DAY.

Wow.

That's about all the news I have to report, yet I'm trying to consistently blog this year.

Doubtful I'll make it if that's all the exciting financial news I can come up with.

We took TheGrrl with us to church this morning and resisted the urge to stop after church and eat out. We don't do that very often anyway and we've taken her out to eat with us after church before, I just don't want to give her the idea it's something we do every Sunday. It did however feel funny just to pick her up for church and then drop her afterwards. I felt somehow guilty for not feeding her! Weird.

When my little familia got home we had leftover creamy chicken & rice, black eyed peas, corn salad, bread, chocolate brownie covered w/pie cherries & whipped cream. Yummers.

I do however, still get a thrill out of having those NSDs. It can be so hard to rack those No Spend Days up sometimes.

I remember when I first read Joe Dominquez's book, "Your Money or Your Life" and started logging my spending, how hard it sometimes seemed to just have a day with out spending some money. Those days when I could manage it got a big smiley face in the log book.

I have gotten much better at racking these days up over time! So, those of you who are just starting on that particular journey keep the faith and keep trying. We are often such creatures of habit that we think we have to stop in here and there and just see what's new, what's on sale, etc.

No, we don't.

NO - the consuming world will rock on without us!!

For me, it was regular grocery stores, scratch and dent grocery stores and antique and thrift stores and yard sales.

No - I don't HAVE TO stop. The world will go on!!

There were days when I had to grasp the steering wheel & tell myself, "I'm going to have a No Spend Day if it harelips the Pope!" So, yeah, keep driving, eyes on the road, don't even consider stopping. Just make it home and get inside and I promise the shaking will stop!! Big Grin Eventually!

Right after you post your little Victorious smiley face here!!






Tag Team Preaching - Round 736

January 19th, 2008 at 07:46 am



Last night was more planned and unplanned tag team preaching by Hubster and Mrs. Frugalis to CashHappySon. It was a bit more measured in tone than the previous evening.

HOWEVER,

His cell phone bill just came yesterday to the tune of "Hang On Elizabeth I'm Coming" $287.47.

Digitalis, anyone???


He can afford a $40 plan.


Prayer Meeting Results:

No Repentance. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Promise by parental units to remove cell phone from his possession for 4 months time if it is not brought back into alignment with his cash flow projections next month.

This too shall pass.

This too shall pass.

This too shall pass.

oommmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


OOOOOmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!


breathe in - breathe out...

---
In other financial news, I've got $10.40 to take to the challenge. Ten being what I've taken out of my allowance to put away instead of spend and .40 was given to me by Hubster for the challenge.

$20 CHALLENGE

$0017.47 balance
+0010.40 Retirement cost proj. scares the beegeebers out of me!
________
$0027.87 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total
Cumulative Challenge Total $556.48

----
Yesterday was a spending day.

Frugalson's girlfriends' parents are both sick and she doesn't drive so I picked her up and drove her to work. I made arrangements to pick her up early and we stopped at Sonic and got a couple of things to sip ($3.87 + tip) and chatted. She has the idea that they are dating exclusively and he has other ideas. He doesn't have any one else in mind right now just wanting to keep his options open.

I tried to gently reinforce this to her (I call her TheGrrl) as he has done himself. No, I'm not THAT BAD - she's the one who broached the subject. They are both still free agents. SO FAR, I really like this little girl but don't want her to become a cling-on, unless, that's what FrugalSon wants her to do.

He thinks she MAY be 'the one', but who knows. IF she wants to pump me for information or side with me against him it will be no go - she'll be on my extremely short list to hit the road! She tried it once when they first started dating and I told her he was my priority and that I wasn't going to play that game with her. I am trying to get to know her better as she may be my future d-i-love. All I know is her biological clock is ticking like crazy!!

TheGrrl and I then went to the grocery to pick up worcestershire that I forgot and a few bottles of pop. Then I dropped her at work.

TheGrrl works at the same place FrugalSon works and has managed to get her schedule switched so they are both working pretty much the same shifts.

TheGrrl was on days and him on nights so it really limited their time together. They were crossing paths for about an hour a day in the middle and had one day a week to actually go out or be together. Proximity may do them in or bring them closer. We shall see.

FrugalSon is a MODEL HANDSOME, 21 and has some limitations, so it is still somewhat questionable as to how his fates shall work out. Pray for him. He still doesn't drive either. She's 23 and doesn't drive, so pull for them to get their licenses. Parrallel parking is holding them both back. Anyway, they have a date set for her to go to church with us this coming Sunday.

We are currently investigating him paying for driving school hours to get that parrallel parking demon beat. I can't seem to teach him sufficiently.

On buying pop - CashHappysSon had bought two cases of a lemon/lime drink that he doesn't like. He donated it to the household. I can drink it IF I cut it w/real Sprite, so I bought 3 bottles of it on sale at 78 cents. Will buy more later to balance this out.

So HALLELLUJAH I got in and out of the grocery for under $5. I paid for this grocery run out of my budget since I'm the goof-ball who forgot these things when the HouseBudget was paying and I HATE making two trips. Trying to penalize myself in order to learn to GET IT ALL the first time!

Blow Out At The O-K-Frugalis Corral

January 18th, 2008 at 09:45 am



Okay, I must admit I turned into a raving lunatic last night as CashHappySon did it again with the poor attitude, smart mouth and inability to follow directions (read that DIRECT IN-YO-FACE disobedience). Gaaa!!!

This was after I had just laid down my CC to the tune of $220ish dollars to have his car repaired because he's blown all his money. Only to come home and find that he has now targeted something else minor that just NEEDS to be fixed. (No, it's a clunker, I'm not paying to fix all this crap!!!)

I had a blow out pure old no bones about it CONNIPTION-FIT! Offered to leave the premises and let them all have it plain and simple and I would not stand in their way. (uh, I don't normally do that - Hubster and I almost NEVER fight.)

We spent quite a bit of time with him last night and Hubster says we're having another family meeting over it tonight. The boy is a brick wall and I'm a brick wall, and poor Hubster has to find a way to coalesce us into a functioning unit! Good luck to him.

Meanwhile back at the ranch somebody left the waitress a tip at the ol' Frugalis Bean Counter last night.

Taking it to the challenge!

$20 CHALLENGE

$017.15 balance
+000.32 tip because evidently I'm a real beaut while I waitress, sling hash & rage against disrespectful & ungrateful children at the same time*!
_______
$017.47 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $17.47
Cumulative Challenge Total $546.08

*I do feel bad about raging, but sometimes people push you to the brink and it's time to push back!! But even so, I'm still a tiny bit flirty, ya know?

Time To Whack Your Mole!

January 17th, 2008 at 09:49 am



Okay folks, it's time to walk through your house or office and find out where you can whack the ever-more popping up mole of electricity usage!

If you don't know what I'm talking about check here:

http://luxliving.savingadvice.com/2008/01/11/whack-a-mole-el...


For me this time it was the:

1)desk lamp (opened the curtains instead)
2)calculator
3)coffee pot
4)microwave oven


Come back and tell me what all you had to turn off or unplug!

Now WHACK THOSE MOLES!!!

Stop The Clock? Dangling Dangerously?

January 17th, 2008 at 06:24 am



Getting ready to zoom & follow CashHappySon off to the auto mechanic. Have you ever heard of those people who can stop a clock with their body's electrical system? Well, perhaps this boychild is the same way????? Seems we are forever taking him to the auto repair shop!

AND, what I haven't blogged about here was that his old car has a problem that is more costly to repair than the car is worth, and we are advertising it for sale with all it warts and dimples showing. So far, no takers.

We may have to take it to the local auto auction. Boychild did not follow fatherly advice on car upkeep (read that - let the oil levels get low) and may now be taking a BIG FINANCIAL LOSS. At least it's big for his income level and age.

So, that being the case he had to have something to drive to work. You may remember me speaking of his reckless spending ways that really accelerated in May of '07 and went downhill from there. SO, of course he has wiped out most of his savings. He is 19 and has no credit.

Dad & Mom to the rescue and I HATE IT!!! We loaned him $700 to buy a clunker. Guess what? It clunked on day two. Now we are off AGAIN to the mechanic.

Please, somebody, tell me that this part of my life is soon to be over??? I am not wanting to be one of 'those' parents who runs in to wipe up Juniors mess every time he gets his butte in a wad!

Hubster is much more of a marshmellow than Mom, and I didn't put up a giant wall of resistance because of where the boy works - it is about 30 minutes from home and he works the night shift. If we didn't help him get a car then GUESS WHO would be having to get out late at night and early in the mornings to haul him around to work??

And, because he was doing other goofball and dangerous things like racking up huge dateline charges trolling for girls and gigantic cell phone bills w/over $500+ worth of text messages, Mom has since taken away his debit card and taken back the checkbook and deactivating text capabilities at his cell provider, we are working TOGETHER - Once Again - on his learning to stay inside his budgetary limitations.

AGGGHHHHHHHH!!! I hate this!

It is TOO, TOO EASY for Hubster to say yes WE have to help him, but he isn't doing the GRUNT WORK nor is he getting the resentment from CashHappy. Dear Old Mommsie gets all that for my trouble!

For one thing I think it almost an impossible task for someone on the outside to set what has to be internal limits in the financial scope. He has to see the necessity of staying inside his limits, and this kid is fighting tooth and toenail to dangle as far over the side of the cliff as possible!


Sorry, had to whine somewhere!! Wink

-----

Yesterday, out of my personal budget nothing was spent making ME have a No Spend Day.

However, the HouseBudget spent at the grocery store stocking up for a snowstorm that just blipped afterall.

-----
Taking the one dollar bills and change in the wallet to the challenge.

$015.42 balance
+001.73 wallet sweep
_______
$017.15 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $17.15
Cumulative Challenge Total $545.76

A Four Day Streak

January 16th, 2008 at 11:37 am



Well I DID have a four day streak going...

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday were all No Spend Days for me. Yesterday I spent as listed in my last entry. But hey, four days in a row was good. Going to spend a bit now as I'm off to the grocery store for the old pre-snow stockup. It's cold out there right now and overcast, snow predicted to come rolling in this evening some time. I believe the weather man, this time!

Thar's Gold On That There Asphalt!! or Night Boogies!

January 16th, 2008 at 08:15 am



Thar's Gold On That There Asphalt!!

Well, maybe not gold, not in this instance anyway.

Yesterday afternoon both sons were off work and we tried to get ahold of their girlfriends last minute to go to the movies with us. Alas, the poor girlies missed out on a last minute date! We went to see Will Smith's "I Am Legend".

It was really good, but I had no idea it was a scary movie or I wouldn't have gone. I CUSSED out loud four different times in the movie when something jumped at me. I thought the old ticker was going to go at any minute.

I think I actually strained my shoulder by grabbing onto each boys shoulders as I sat in the middle.

Ohhh, and yeah, I did pick my feet up off the floor. You never know what scary thing is down there!! Wooooo.

After the movie we had to hurry home - IT WAS GETTING DARK!!! I saw a bit of shiny-shiny on the ground by the truck. So, looking carefully around to be sure no boogies were going to get me I grabbed that puppy up - it was a dime.

So, as you all know I've been collecting money WHERE-EVER I can find it since my Grampa H. taught me when I was knee-high to the proverbial grasshopper - We now can ascertain that I'm willing to risk being bit by the Boogie-Men to pick up a dime!

Man, was I glad to get home safe! Big Grin

**I don't DO scary movies people and this here just proved my point. Of course both word police sons' first words out of their mouths when we got home was to tell Hubster "Dad, Mom cussed during the movie - FOUR TIMES!!!"

hahahhahaaaaaaaaa!

Hilarious.

I said it loud too where everyone could hear me*!! "OHHHHHHHH Shoot!" Or something like that!

*I'm kind of public safety minded that way - I was giving warning to the other citizens of the theatre to let's get the heck out'a here!!!

Anyway, I'm taking my dime**to the challenge.

$20 CHALLENGE
$015.32 balance
+000.10 The Risk Queen Salvaged
_______
$015.42 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $15.42
Cumulative Challenge Total $544.03


**Effectively bringing down the cost of going to the movie by 10 cents. Matinee costs yesterday were $5.00 - I bought for myself and CashHappySon, so only $4.90 for me this time. FrugalSon paid his own way. We also got the DREADED fast food yesterday - but with FrugalSon's employee discount it was only $3.27 for all three of us to each have a burger & fries, w/water to drink from home!


Soooo, check that asphalt people. There's gold and silver and folding money to be found out there! But, do watch for the night boogies. And light up the dark!!

You can read the book it is based on here:

http://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Legend-Richard-Matheson/dp/076531...

Or light up your dark-night here:
http://www.amazon.com/Best-Bob-Marley/dp/079359412X/ref=sr_1...

How about you - do you nightmare from scary movies? I don't, but I don't like them.

Do you pick up money when you find it on the ground?

The Spoiled Under 30 Crowd

January 15th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

This story was found in my inbox this morning, author unknown. I thought this was cute in lieu of what Denise was just talking about over at her blog about Making Do!


The Near Extinct Card Catalog


The Spoiled Under 30 Crowd


"If you are 30 or older, you will think this is hilarious!!!! If not, send it to your parents! They'll think it's funny!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning .... Uphill BOTH ways .. Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in heck I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that...

I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a dang Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

1. When I was a kid, we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the dang library and look it up ourselves... In the card catalog!! (Do you even know what a card catalog is? Didn't think so!)

2. There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter... With a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

3. There were no MP3's or Napsters! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the dang record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up!

4. We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

5. And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

6. We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids' and the graphics were horrible! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

7. When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

8. Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!

And there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

9. And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove or go build a fire ... Imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing or a pan with HOT oil and Real popcorn kernels and shake it all over the stove forever like an idiot.

10. When we were on the phone with our friends and our parents walked-in, we were stuck to the wall with a cord, a 7 foot cord that ran to the phone - not the phone base, the actual phone. We barely had enough length to sit on the floor and still be able to twirl the phone cord in our fingers. If you suddenly had to go to the bathroom - guess what we had to do..... Hang up and talk to them later.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled!!

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

Regards,
The over 30 Crowd"

I'm ducking now - ;D if you've just got to throw something make it hundred dollar bills, won't you?

Adding to the Challenge

January 15th, 2008 at 11:53 am




He did it again.

$20 CHALLENGE

$014.58 balance
+000.74 CashHappy contributes
_______
$015.32 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $15.32
Cumulative Challenge Total $543.93

Tough Cookies Neighbor

January 13th, 2008 at 01:02 pm


Oregon loggers - not my part of the world. What a brave guy to lay down in there!!


Yesterday was a No Spend Day, mostly because we (Hubster, myself, FrugalsSon and CashHappySon) started at 9:00 am and ending at 6:00 pm when we ran out of daylight cutting up & stacking MORE of the wood on our place that fell off or was hanging from the recent ice storm.

That is in addition to all the work Hubster did while he was on vacation!

I'm telling you the trees here were majorly decimated.

DEFORESTATION via Mother Nature on a grand scale!

It is so sad, and to make it worse I spent a lot of my time yesterday fending off my next door neighbor AGAIN who keeps wanting to cut down this or that ON MY PROPERTY!!

NO, I don't want it taken down!

LEAVE IT ALOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNE!!!!

What part does the guy not understand??

Poor Hubster - he is having to hear my ranting and raving over this issue. I am trying to be polite to the neighbor but he is getting on my one last nerve.

BY CRACKY, It takes A LONG, LONG, LONG time to grow a tree and if there is any way to save some of these then that is what we're going to do - on my side of the fence buckobobby!! GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

Get this, he's going to rent 'at his expense' a brush hog to come on my property and cut down my bamboo stand.

Ummmmmm....NO THE *&@&*$& THANKS!!!

I like it.

I want it.

No, you can't come over here and cut it down!!

Makes a girl want to say a dirty word. Or SIX!!!

See, he likes his yard NAKED. I don't like mine that way. The bamboo stand in my yard blocks an unsightly view of one neighbor's swimming pool, plus it gives all kinds of creatures a cool place to hang out, etc.

You don't like it?

Tough Cookies Neighbor!


Did I mention that my house and my bamboo were here when you decided to move in the neighborhood and build???

I also don't like looking out my window and seeing your boat (which by the way you haven't touched in 8 years) in the back yard w/the blue tarp over it! We each have our crosses to bear.

But, I didn't say all that. If he keeps pushing me...I will.


The Frugalis Back Forty - Spring '07

Steetview - You can't see it in this picture but nearby sits a little Oriental cement pagoda light and a white wooden bridge that crosses the creek. Hopefully one day I am going to add an Oriental garden gate to this area (yes to keep out the one neighbor!!) Big Grin From this p.o.view you can't see SawHappyNeighbor's house at all! And it is a lovely new brick home, but I don't want to look at it.



This side faces the creek and here I'm hoping to add a bench and then to the right in the picture add the gate. It is very peaceful here and the rest of the lawn is well-manicured so it isn't as if my whole place is covered with bamboo. There are two whole houses back behind this on the other side of the street that you can't even see. That's the part I like BEST!



Same streetview as above taken today after the icestorm and some cleanup.

The county is supposed to start pickup in the next week. Won't be too soon for me.

Yes, the bamboo will spring back. Even if we did let him cut it down it would just grow back stronger! Wink But, we aren't going to do that - I reminded Hubster this is our neighbor that has a lawyer and isn't afraid to use him...sure as shooting he'd hurt his back or big toe nail over here and we'd be in court and/or have an insurance claim. No way!

We need an additional row of fencing!!

Next On My Reading List *Attn: Ms. Goddard

January 13th, 2008 at 06:10 am

Currently I'm re-reading** Ric Edelman's book, 'The Truth About Money', which I highly recommend.



http://www.amazon.com/Truth-About-Money-3rd/dp/0060566582/re...

Looks like he has a new edition out on this one.


But thanks to Jeffrey's heads up over on the forums next I'm putting this book on my reading list:

'Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole', by Richard R. Barber.



http://www.amazon.com/Consumed-Markets-Children-Infantilize-...

*Attn. Ms. Paulette Goddard, this looks to be one you'd enjoy reading as well.


Excuse me, I've got to run over to my county library's website and put it on order to check out & then get ready for church. Don't you just love the cover art? Perfect!!

**also reading 'We Were the Mulvaneys' by Oates and 'The DHEA Breakthrough'.

The Best Way To Sweeten Your Resume?

January 12th, 2008 at 06:01 am

The Best Way To Sweeten Your Resume?



One Must ENTER the contests at SavingAdvice.com* and win! That WIN listed in your accomplishments could easily tip the scales positive for the next boost up the earnings scale!

You, beautiful Queen, YOU!!

*Need not be present to win!!!



The Best Way To Have A Financially Happy Retirement

January 12th, 2008 at 05:40 am

The Best Way To Have A Financially Happy Retirement is...

...to Make A Plan and then IMPLEMENT The Plan, Tweaking as You Go.



Or as my high school Civics teacher used to say...

"Keep Your Eye On The Ball, Frugalis!!"


Retirement, It's the Next Frontier!!

Can I Meet The Challenge?

January 12th, 2008 at 05:28 am



Can I Meet The Challenge?

CashHappy gave me $4.71 to add to my challenge! With this kid on my side, evidently so!


$20 CHALLENGE
$009.87 balance
+004.71 insistent manchild
_______
$014.58 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $14.58
Cumulative Challenge Total $543.19

Who Was That Crazy Lady O/K/A The Best Way To Track Goals

January 11th, 2008 at 10:03 am

????WHO WAS THAT CRAZY LADY????

Otherwise Known As

The Best Way To Track Goals




Allrighty, here's another entry in the 'The Best Way To...' Contest. Did you know we could enter more than once?

I've been working PRIVATELY on my own personal goals today and I'm really wanting to use Joe's Goals again this year. I did use joesgoals.com SOME last year, but not enough. I need a BEST WAY to keep on top of this goal-keeping whatchadoodle.

I went in today and revamped some of my settings, one being the 'Preferences' selection. Last year I had it ding me by email if I failed to log on in 7 days time. Well for me it seems 7 days is too too long! I reset it to ding me if I haven't logged on and updated every 2 days. This should work MUCH better. You might want to try it.

I created some new daily line items there as well -

Checking Account Update
Investment Log
Weight

I already do those things on quite a regular schedule but there are some days when I'm playing catch up. Or on the weight, I do weigh each morning but wasn't logging it anywhere. I'd like to get these locked down as Real Deeply NEVER MISS A DAY Ingrained Habits.

Yes, I know, some will tell you not to look at your investments every day. Well, I'm not every body. I like looking at mine daily. Why? It keeps me cognizant of the fact that the balances DO run up and down fairly regularly.

So, for me, it keeps me out of emotional realm and on track to just keep logging the balance. It might not work that way for everybody, but it does for me. I think we had one sell off in our investments in 2007 and that was to rebalance, so I'm not day-trading or anything as a result of keeping an eye on it. It does however alert me as to when I've enough cash on hand to invest into another fund and further diversify. Of course, once I get to a certain point I will stop the diversification process as I'm not wanting to set up some giant maze of investments.

Also while I was there at joesgoals.com I was logging in some of the receipts here on the desk and had to stop and ask myself just who was that crazy lady that was at the fast food restaraunt about 5 times last week???? BARRFFFFF -- I surely don't want that to continue! So, those frownie faces do work.

It has hardened my resolve to see all those on there. BOO HISS!!!

The other thing you can fiddle with on Joe's Goals is to increase your points for certain activities. On those that I'd been slacking on I boosted the points. Doing this points boost, helps spike the charts as well. A nice upward spike on the chart does give me some incentive as well.

As competitive as I am I want gold stars people! No stars available, but smiley faces, points and checkmarks will do. He has a little gadget where you can import your goal chart to your blog.

Plus, for every day there is a frownie for eating out or pop there is also no smiley there for No Spend Days! WELLL, obviously that crazy lady Must Be Stopped!!! Before the fat lady must sing!

The other bad thing about fast food for me is that means I'm usually getting a pop at the same time and my bottom line (ba-dum-bum) doesn't require any extra padding in that department either. So again, the frownie faces may help come to the rescue as I gave SodaPop a frownie line of it's own! Saving on future dental bills as well.

Besides which it does me No Good to complain about my children's spending habits when I'm letting my own run wild!

Time to Get It T.O.GETHER!!

Therefore, the best way to track goals is to have a centralized place TO track them and CHECK IT OFTEN! Automating the reminders to check it often just might be the best way to stay on track.

------
In Other Financial News:

Today's $20 Challenge money came from a change slot in the wallet cleanout.

$20 CHALLENGE
$009.49 balance
+000.38 clean out change slot
_______
$009.87 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $9.87
Cumulative Challenge Total $538.48

Whack A Mole Electricity Challenge a/k/a The Best Way to Cut Electricity Costs

January 11th, 2008 at 05:32 am



We have a new contest huh? Okay, I'm going to enter this into the 'The Best Way To...' Contest.

The best way to cut electricity costs is to keep a somewhat eternal vigil on usage, wouldn't you say? I know there are big things you can do like buying Energy Star products, etc., but in the meantime or afterwards, is there a way for the ECONOMIZER in us to keep the electrical costs under control?

I've been thinking about this for a few days and I've come up w/a small idea. Alrighty guys and girls, every now and again I am going to alert us to a challenge such as the Flylady HotSpot Alerts.

I'm going to call this thing The Whack A Mole Electrical Challenge. Do you remember those games? Pop one mole on the head and another pops up?

That's what my electricity usage is like.

I think I have things under control but one sweep thru the house reveals a number of items that I can turn off, unplug so there is no phantom usage, etc.

Here I go - it's early morning here with showers and breakfast over...

Okay, I'm back -- I turned off:

1)desk lamp off
2)calculator off
3)computer speaker off
4)printer/copy machine off
5)bedside fan off
6)nightstand lamp off
7)living room TV off
8)living room overhead light off
9)kitchen TV unplugged
10)coffee pot unplugged
11)hair dryer unplugged
12)kitchen night light off
13)utility room night light off
14)bathroom night light off
15)microwave unplugged

YIKES!!!

See why we need to keep whacking that electricity mole????

Okay, your turn. Come back and tell me what all you were able to turn off or unplug!

Then stay ready, because you never know when I'll pop a Whack A Mole Electrical Challenge on you! ummmm...you might want to let your family in on this game, because there might be minor disgust from the spousal unit when one finds the microwave unplugged REPEATEDLY. Don't ask me how I know! Big Grin

What's in your electrical outlets?

Go, Go, GO!!!! Whack Those Moles!!

Two Bits a/k/a A Transfer of Assets

January 11th, 2008 at 04:27 am

Two Bits a/k/a A Transfer of Assets




FrugalSon gave me 50 cents yesterday for the $20 Challenge.

"Hey bud, where'd this come from?"

'CashHappy gave it to me!'

I guess I'm grateful that he isn't one of those who just throws his change on the ground???? AUUGGH!!

Don't get me wrong, I like having money to put towards my challenge, but I'd rather they save it for themselves.


$20 CHALLENGE

$008.99 balance
+000.50 Transfer of Assets
_______
$009.49

2008 Challenge Total $9.49
Cumulative Total Challenge $538.10

Yesterday was a spender - $82.96 at the grocery and $2.50 for matinee viewing w/CashHappySon of 'National Treasure 2' or whatever the second one is called.

I enjoyed the movie but was agog at the grocery receipt as I had a short list, but somehow was not that effective in sticking with it. However, what I did get that may have sent me over the top was fresh produce that should be healthful to our overall nutrition.

New Payout Funds for Retirees

January 9th, 2008 at 04:33 pm



New Payout Funds for Retirees


Has anybody looked into these yet? Seen a prospectus?


http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1231/p14s01-wmgn.html?page=1


December Sales - Booth 1

January 9th, 2008 at 10:25 am



Okay here are some actual numbers from Booth 1 sales for December 2007.

Total Sales $130.00
less 10% -13.00 (store owner)
___________________
117.00
less rent -50.00 lg. upstairs booth
___________________
67.00
less adver. -5.00
___________________
Check $62.00
inv. cost -11.71
___________________
Profit* $50.29

*Does not include taxes that must be paid, gasoline or my time to run it over there - I grocery shop at the same time, nor my time to price, or tithe - but it is nice to know that w/just $11.71 I can net sales of $130!

Sold 33 separate items which would average out at about $3.94 an item. I do have some large items in my booth, and nothing big sold this month, the most expensive one item went for $14.50.

I do try to keep a lot of 'smalls' in my booth as sometimes that is the only thing that sells. I remember my early days of 'junking' and I was happy to shop all day, but did want to bring some little something home for all my 'efforts' - HA! Thusly, I do try to have items in all kinds of price ranges available for my shoppers. I think my sales would about triple if I could get a downstairs space.

So, $31 to the Roth IRA today after I hit the bank w/the check I picked up yesterday. Booth 2 results are too sad to mention for December.


All Too Easily

January 9th, 2008 at 06:02 am



CashHappySon handed me $1.16 in change to go to the challenge. He is so cavalier about money it is scary.

$20 CHALLENGE
$007.83 balance
+001.16 parted with all too easily
_______
$008.99 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $8.99
Cumulative Challenge Total $537.60

Yesterday was a spender as HouseBudget spent a boatload on gas to fill up my truck. I took a load of firewood to my Dad about an hour away and then drove on to my Mom's to restock my junque' booth #2 and pick up December sales at #1 & 2 booths. Phhppfftt...those #2 sales not worth driving for (did meet my rent, got rid of some junk with a little left over*), but it does make me MORE regular in getting down to see her - she lives approximately 2 hours away.

Since both boys were off I took them with me to unload the wood and to see the grandparents, so it was $9.90 at the Golden Arches for lunch for the three of us (just the way the schedule turned out that we were between their houses at lunchtime or we'd of normally eaten with one or the other of them) AND $1.75 in toll charges.

*My other booth did meet it's December expenses plus $62.00 in income. Good thing I'm not trying to LIVE off of this money as it is very irregular! Now to figure out the profit...

Half of the income will go directly to my Roth IRA and the rest plowed back into more inventory.

Toothsome Viands or Groceries On Ice

January 6th, 2008 at 06:41 pm



"Hunger," said Robinson Crusoe,
"knows no friend, no relation, no justice, no right, and
therefore is remorseless and
capable of no compassion."



I spent $13.01 here this week on groceries. I seriously overstocked before Christmas and Hubster's vacation, plus he got a nice spiral ham from his company and CashHappySon got a turkey.

The ham is mostly spent, just a few remains in the freezer for future ham, beans & cornbread nights, but the turkey is tucked away in the freezer uncooked.

It's Grocery Banked!!

In other spending news...at Family Dollar this week I spent $45.50ish. That is for paper goods, paper towels, paper plates, toilet tissue, lots of cleaning and laundry supplies -- enough to last a couple of months, a new broom, 2 new dish towels, coffee creamer, $1 for 4 cooking utensils, shampoo, conditioner, batteries for my camera, a Valentine's Day card for Hubster and a bottle of 'fake-o champagne-bottled grape juice' for VD coming up.

While we were there I helped FrugalSon pick out a card for his girl 'not toooooo mushy', and some clearance lotion products for her VD gift. Nice - he only paid $3 on one of those sets with about 6 or 7 items in it. He also has a perfume here at home for her in the shape of a floral rose presentation thingawho that will be added to his gift.

We looked for hearts filled with chocolates but they weren't in the store yet. He also bought himself a new cap - it looks like one of those Greek fisherman caps for $3.99, so he got out for around $8.50 total on his big splurge.

PLUS, he was here to tote and carry all Mom's purchases to the truck and then into the house! Gotta love those boys with muscles AND a good attitude that look like Greek Gods. Sweet!

Thin Plus One

January 6th, 2008 at 03:24 pm



Hurry, hurry, hurry, the new year has begun!! Time flies, so have to get on top of the challenge once again.

Just one thin dime and one penny to add to the Challenge today. YET, every little bit COUNTS!!

$20 CHALLENGE

$007.72 balance
+000.11 thin+1
_______
$007.83 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $7.83
Cumulative Challenge Total $536.44

Yesterday I took myself to the TacoBell for a drive-thru lunch while everyone else was away, this was part of my planned budgeted Entertainment Fund dollars. Don't get too excited, this fund only gets maybe $6-15 a month. It varies. I usually take myself out to the movies at least once a month at the matinee $2.50 and buy myself a few cheap tacos and drink tea from home. Wooooo!!

Today was a No-Spend day.

Maybe I'm Just a Little TOO Touchy??

January 5th, 2008 at 08:06 am


Nope, not me, nor any of our folks!


"She was building a castle in air -- a wondrous mansion whose sunlit courts and stately halls were steeped in Araby's perfume, and where she reigned queen and chatelaine." ~ Anne of The Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery


We keep getting all these emails and newsletters from Countrywide wanting us to borrow more money, etc. but funny thing is they are all addressed to the Hubster**.

Now my name is on the note and I'm the one who monitors the account, sends in the payments, opens, reads and filters the mail he actually sees, am the chief cook and bottle washer and basically the financial manager of the home, etc., and I am feeling a bit left out. Frown

"Dear Hubster,

Your time is reserved for a phone consultation to borrow on a HELOC, blah blah blah..."


NO, we aren't planning to call or refinance or any of that stuff, but...

I don't know about you but if I was marketing my company's products to current and prospective customers in this day and age I would hope I'd be smart enough to include the lady of the house or all those included on the account.

Harummpppffhhh! Makes a girl just want to shut her reticule!!

Had I not been the saver in the home we'd not of had the money for closing the loan in the first place!

I'm aware this is a subjective, piddly thing, but it gripes me, ya know? So, I'm thinking I may have to put pen to paper or hands to keyboard and write their CEO AND their marketing department.

What thinkest thou?

**side rant - nowadays they do not even address you by Mr. &/or Mrs. It's by your first name. How annoying. I'd prefer old school style "Dear Mr. & Mrs. Frugalis"!! You people don't even know us, so please get out your manners!!

The Use Of Money

January 4th, 2008 at 08:23 am



"The Use of Money is all the Advantage there is in having Money.

For 6 £. a Year, you may have the Use of 100 £. if you are a Man of known Prudence and Honesty.

He that spends a Groat a day idly, spends idly above 6 £. a year, which is the Price of using 100 £.

He that wastes idly a Groatís worth of his Time per Day, one Day with another, wastes the Privilege of using 100 £. each Day.

He that idly loses 5 s. worth of time, loses 5 s. & might as prudently throw 5 s. in the River.

He that loses 5 s. not only loses that Sum, but all the Advantage that might be made by turning it in Dealing, which by the time that a young Man becomes old, amounts to a comfortable Bag of Mony.

Again, He that sells upon Credit, asks a Price for what he sells, equivalent to the Principal and Interest of his Money for the Time he is like to be kept out of it: therefore

He that buys upon Credit, pays Interest for what he buys.

And he that pays ready Money, might let that Money out to Use: so that

He that possesses any Thing he has bought, pays Interest for the Use of it.

Consider then, when you are tempted to buy any unnecessary Housholdstuff, or any superfluous thing, whether you will be willing to pay Interest, and Interest upon Interest for it as long as you live; and more if it grows worse by using.

Yet, in buying Goods, ítis best to pay ready Money, because,

He that sells upon Credit, expects to lose 5 per Cent. by bad Debts; therefore he charges, on all he sells upon Credit, an Advance that shall make up that Deficiency.

Those who pay for what they buy upon Credit, pay their Share of this Advance.

He that pays ready Money, escapes or may escape that Charge.

A Penny savíd is Twopence clear, A Pin a day is a Groat a Year. Save & have. Every little makes a mickle." ~~Poor Richard, a/k/a Benjamin Franklin, 1737

Titan Tracked or 3 Things We Can Do 2 Fatten Wallet TODAY

January 4th, 2008 at 04:10 am



The following little factoid came across my screen this morning from the Money Fun Fact Feed at SavingAdvice.com, and I just wanted to make sure the folks here noted it.

---

"The richest person ever was John D. Rockefeller whose wealth was estimated at $900 million in 1913, the equivalent of $189.6 Billion today. His first job in 1850 paid him $3.57 a week." Source: guinnessworldrecords.com

---

The interesting thing is that if you read Titan a biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., you will note that Mr. Rockefeller from a very young age 1)TRACKED every penny and dime AND was 2) EXTREME in his cost cutting efforts AND was 3)QUICK to develop new business ideas and opportunities.

All three ideas which we here at Saving Advice can use to fatten our bottom lines as well. If it was good enough for John D., well, it ought to be good for us as well.

And, JUST because I like you, (said in my best car salesman voice) I'm going to throw you a little bonus thing you can do so your bottom line can begin to fatten like John D.'s - 4)he tithed. Many people are unaware of all the churches and schools he was charitable towards.


http://www.amazon.com/Titan-Life-John-Rockefeller-Sr/dp/1400...

To recap, he did the following:
1)Tracked Income & Expenses
2)Extreme Cost Cutting
3)Quickly Develop Business Ideas
4)Tithe


If you get a chance, read Titan with your pen & notebook in hand (I'd say highlighter, but I'm a librarian I can't go around telling you to mark up books!!)

While he was no angel, he is not the total devil some might make him out to be. An interesting, informative read.

~~LuxLivingFrugalis

P.S. You'll find out which bank is still around today that was started w/Rockefeller dollars.


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