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Archive for March, 2008

Calculator Tape is Flying

March 31st, 2008 at 01:33 am



We are kneedeep in calculator tape here this evening. Hubster still working on Father-In-Law's Estate's Final Accounting numbers. We have personally loaned the estate a potful of money.

He can't turn in the numbers yet as he has to call tomorrow and sell the Prudential stock that the estate owns.

So here's where we set:

$**,***.** loans from Mr. & Mrs. Frugalis
+0*,***.** Hubster's 1/5th portion sale of home & assets
-0*,***.** furniture purchase from estate
__________
$**,***.** check cut to Mr. Frugalis

(Sorry to be so vague, but let's just say there is enough loaned out there to easily pay off our house and then some! I, for one, will be so happy to get that portion of the money back and separated from the estate. If something were to happen to Hubster it might take a long long time to get it returned, ya know?)

There is also some jewelry, coins & photos to be disbursed. Basically they will set jewelry & coins up as an auction, with each child being able to bid on the pieces that they want to own. Proceeds to be divided by five kids, so basically you get a 20% discount on your purchase.

I'll have to look at it again, but we might only bid on one or two items. There are 3 boys and two girls. Mom didn't wear a lot of jewelry, and Pops wore quite a bit. He also walked alot and found lots of jewelry pieces that he kept, so it's kind of hard now to know what had sentimental value to them. The girls will know more about this than either Hubster or myself. Hubster mentioned something about getting some of the nicer pieces of jewelry appraised so he can start the bidding at somewhat of a fair market value.

There are also coins. I don't think there are any of much value but that still has to be determined and them disbursed as well somehow. Estate is going to buy a 2008 coin book and we'll see how it goes from there in at least trying to determine value.

Then there are pictures. Guess we'll have a picture party at one of our churches and spread them all out and try to divide them up fairly. That might be hardest of all. I've already done a bit of sorting on this front. Getting everyone of the grandkids school pics in a pile to go back to that family.

Had to loan the estate an additional $300 tonight to cover this past month's utility bills on the house and hopefully any final bill that comes in after we had the utilities cut off at the house on the 26th. Those are all autodrafted out of an account that Hubster held jointly w/FIL. We just never switched it as the estate had no money of it's own to pay those until after the sale of the house. The final attorney bill will be paid out of the estate account, and then we can shut out the books and hand out the sib's checks & cut one to pay ourselves back.

It won't be much as the in-laws were a one-income blue collar family that raised five children. They were frugal and did okay by themselves, but there won't be a lot of money left to distribute after the house set on the market for two years racking up utility charges. Small charges, but still they diminished the value as did the kids poking around getting the house cleaned out plus a bursting real-estate bubble.

If the house would have been sited elsewhere but the neighborhood it sat in we could have cleared an additional $20-25K. Location, Location, Location.

My MIL tried for years to get FIL to sell and relocate but he'd have none of it. In the end, the neighborhood had deterioated so badly that much of the value of their equity was diminished.

----
Adding to the $20 Challenge:

$18.63 balance
+08.75 addition
______
$27.38 Mar MTD

2008 Challenge Total $81.82
Cumulative Challenge Total $675.50

----
Miss Toffee is doing much better. She still falls over and sits a spell. Tired from her efforts. But on some hops she is doing really well using all four legs. Her little spine is crooked looking still and might always be so. Here's hoping lots of rest and the meds do their part to help her to a full recovery.

Adding to the Challenge & My Progress

March 29th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Adding to the $20 Challenge

$010.63 balance
+ 8.00 addition
_______
$018.63 Mar MTD

2008 Challenge Total $73.07
Cumulative Challenge Total $601.68

Adding in a picture of the spring cleaning I did last weekend. Got started doing it because '??someone??' twisted the blinds in the utility room beyond the point of no return. So, I went and tried to pull the blinds up when the hole darn thing fell off and hit me in the wrist last Saturday morning! Ugggh!!

To get to the blinds, I had to move the jungle out so, while it was outside I just cleaned out the spot and moved the ironing board from the kitchen in there and the jungle's desk where the ironing board had been.





The ironing board is sort of an interesting story. Our old house was so small (How small was it?? REALLY Tiny!!)that there was no room to keep the ironing board up w/all that room underneath where the X legs normally are being wasted. So, I scouted and found this cabinet and Hubster took the legs off the ironing board and screwed the top to the cabinet, so now it's part of my ironing/pantry center! Big Grin The rest of the pantry is in the basement.

No before pics. It was pretty bad.
Once the weather warms up most of the jungle is going outside on the back porch!

It is cold here today and I've had a No Spend Day. I made bbq sandwiches for lunch and potato soup for supper.

I've been trying to help Hubster with the Final Accounting for FIL's estate. Although I'm the one with the accounting background he's trying to do it by himself which is making me antsy as all get out. Of course he's capable. Yet, I'm the one w/the accounting education. Trying to sit on my hands while he takes 6 hours to do what I could've been done with in 2! Butting out, is harrrrd toooo doooooooooooo!


Utility Bills and the Good News is...

March 28th, 2008 at 03:21 pm



Sweet Black Toffee got to come home from the vet last night. She is trying to walk herself around again. She wobbles and falls over a lot. Back left leg working great. Right rear leg comes and goes. We are to do physical therapy with her three times a day and she has some meds.

As long as she can eliminate on her own I think everything will be okay. As the doctor was explaining it to me the first day his scenario was we'd be doing basically a colostomy bag and physical manipulations to help her go potty, which wasn't the type of life we wanted for her or ourselves.

So far so good. She went potty by herself this morning and is on predisone which is keeping her thirsty & kidneys going as well. Mostly she is back to her usual sleeping all the time. You can wake her up and interact with her on any given day and within 2 or 3 minutes she'll tire out and curl back up to sleep. She is after all a little old lady!!


Toffee - 2005


Vet bill on the CC to the tune of $180.00. Will pay that out of the Veterinary Fund. Thank goodness for pre-planning, although obviously there isn't enough in there for anything major.

Talk about your up and down days!!!

Right before we left for the vet my sister called and asked 'when was the last time I had talked to our Mom?' I had spent about 2 hours on the phone with her just the day before. Okay, she says, now she is wearing one of those heart monitor packs for 24 hours. Say what??? Both my parents are falling apart at the same time. I live one hour from my Dad and an hour and 1/2 from Mom.

I get off phone w/Sis, go to the vet w/Hubster & CashHappySon thinking we are going to say goodbye as they closed w/i 15 minutes, find the dog much better and get Toffee, come back home and call my Mom.

Seems she had recently changed health clinics to one closer to her home and they had changed her medications from one she takes twice a day to a time released type. The new one appears to be what is making her heart race.

After I got off the phone w/her CashHappySon started acting the 'wicked-child' again and I frankly did not need the additional stress. Hubster had his job cut out for him again trying to referee!

Ay-Carumba!! Thankfully the rest of the evening smoothed out and I went to bed early w/a warm corn-bag (microwave heated) and de-stressed w/a good book. I'm reading about the Ochs family who started the New York Times newspaper. Very interesting. The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family behind The New York Times, Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones, Little, Brown and Company, 1999.**

Giving parental units time this a.m. to get up and running and I'll be calling to check in with both of them!

----
$20 CHALLENGE
$007.38 balance
+003.25 wallet cleanout
_______
$010.63 March MTD

2008 Challenge Total $65.07
Cumulative Challenge Total $593.68

----
When I was paying bills yesterday I thought I'd do a little addition and check how the utilities are running. This is more for informational purposes into the retirement planning stages because if we pay our house off and stay here I wanted to see where we'd be.

Going to try and start logging them here monthly.

Utilities for March 2008

$90.68 Phone*/Cable/DSL
$97.00 Natural Gas
$14.00 Trash Service
$62.00 Electric
$49.40 Water/Ambulance Fee**
______
$313.08

*Landline charges. I recently ended my cell phone contract that I'd had for about 6 years and have gone with an Emergency Use Only tracphone (pay as you go.) Cell is now paid out of my budget and Hubster doesn't carry one.

**A couple of months back the rural water district we live in decided to start charging us $2.50 month for emergency medical services fee in the off chance we need to use an ambulance. If we had our druthers we'd pay for an ambulance IF and when we needed one. Boo Hiss!

Okay, back to the utilities, so w/the projection of having the house paid off right about retirement time and adding in current house taxes of apprx. $56.00 a month and we'd be sitting here (in today's dollars) paying right at $370.00 to live in our home. Not too shabby, eh folks??? But, we must not forget to factor in that nasty inflation!!

$370 a month - That's low enough that we could stay here and hire out the lawn care, if we wanted to. Ahhh, the joys of not buying TOO MUCH house!

----
I personally had a no-spend day yesterday.

Uncle Jay Explains & $20 Challenge

March 27th, 2008 at 04:44 pm



Busy here this morning balancing checkbooks and seeing what bills need paying and filing, etc.

One day this week? When??? ...Anyway got a call from my stepmother that my Dad had another mini-stroke TIA last Thursday and had his arm go completely numb for about 15 minutes. He drove himself and went and had a brain scan this week and was going to drive himself about 4 hours away for a delivery. GAAA! My stepmother is disabled but she can drive! Why didn't she take him to the doctor? Why didn't she call an ambulance? Call us sooner? Call me in time to drive him for the brain-scan? At least she finally called! I do check in on them every week or two, but still she can afford a phone call!

I am beyond p.o.'d!

So, I dropped everything that day and ran down and drove him to and from the place he had to make deliveries. He's previously had 5 bypass surgery and a massive stroke before. What is wrong with this woman that she can't call???????

I chewed them both out - why not call us and let us know at the time something is happening. Yes, it might be scary, but I'd rather be informed in time to help than to be left in the dark until sometime in the future when it might be too late!

On my doxie - I took FrugalSon & went to see her yesterday at the vet's office, didn't get to talk to the vet, but there wasn't any visible improvement. Unless we do a very costly (to us in our financial situation) surgery then it is unlikely that she will recover the use of her hind legs and as she is apprx. 10-13 years old and already sleeps 23 1/2 hours a day we will likely have to put her down. If we did the surgery, there was no guarantee that she wouldn't have the same thing happen w/other vertebrae, etc. We just can't afford to do it.

Myself, Hubster and CashHappySon will go visit today, and if there is no signs of improvement we will let her go. So sad. We got her from the pound when she was about 6-8 years old, and she's had a good run here with us. We just can't see that if she doesn't improve she'd have much quality of life. Too sad to write about it any more today.


To keep you kiddies entertained while I do my bookkeeping...

Uncle Jay explains the Stimulus Package

http://www.unclejayexplains.com/media/UJwmv01-28-08.wmv


Funnier....

Uncle Jay explains the Congressional Recess

http://www.unclejayexplains.com/media/UJwmv09-03-07.wmv


$20 CHALLENGE

$007.29 balance
+000.09 keyboard change
_______
$007.38 March MTD

2008 Challenge Total $61.82
Cumulative Challenge Total $590.43

FIL's House Closed & Sick Doxie

March 25th, 2008 at 12:48 pm




THANK YOU LORD - We closed yesterday on FIL's house. Next is to wrap up a sale of some stocks and divide the remaining photographs and some coins with the siblings and do the final accounting and then disburse checks and that should just about wrap things up.

The older gentleman who bought the house would be someone my FIL would have approved of and he reminded me of him very much. They were of the same generation, both veterans, snappy dressers - he came to the closing w/a walking stick, pinky ring and a nice suit and hat on. He served in the same branch of the military as FIL and everything.

My one gripe? I had to insist about 10 minutes into the closing that they stop and introduce us (buyer/seller) to each other. The closer went on ahead as if I hadn't spoken. I pinched Hubster under the table and he finally stood up and introduced himself and me to the gentleman. Then the dumb girls doing the closing finally apologized. They all knew each other and I don't know I guess forgot??

I would certainly do things differently if I were the closer. I didn't like it one little bit and if I ever have my druthers again, we'll be using a different closing company.

I am decidely not a timid mouse type and I'm certainly not used to speaking to a group of people (I used to run corporate meetings & large seminars) and having people act as if you haven't even spoken at all. Like everyone else, I suppose I do not like being ignored. Big Grin Anyway that part was WEIRD!!

Nicely done was our realtor's projected net to seller estimate. She was within $300 which isn't horrible estimating in my opinion. We weren't all that excited by the lack of some requested actions during the course of the listing contract, but she did get the house sold.

Funny thing is that I'm the one who got all emotional on the way home at having the last real physical marker of his family childhood home & parents gone. Hubster is/was his usual 'ROCK'. Accurate in his "Mom and Dad have a better home now and I'll go visit them one day, and it hasn't been home w/o them there for a long time."

But still I teared up. Sad.

But glad that the financial/physical drain of maintaining the home is gone. After getting the check to the bank yesterday I came home and collapsed like a limp-rag. I think I've been holding my breath for the last month since the initial offer!! The boys cooked supper and cleaned up. Good thing because by that time I was worthless.


TO-DO today:

Call the closer w/FIL's Social Security number so that the official tax reporting on the sale of estate property can be recorded correctly. If there is a chance I'll be asking for an exit interview w/the owner of the closing company and explaining the etiquette snafu and grim picture it left of his/her company.

Call his realtor and make sure when he's going to get utilities in his name, as I am planning to call today to have them taken out of our name. I don't want to leave him in the dark if he went ahead and moved in.

This is a strange dealywho as I am always proactive about this for us whenever we've moved and had a firm time set up with the old sellers so that I knew when I could get the utilities switched to our name. I'm not sure if this isn't the very first house this gentleman has ever owned. It seemed that way.

At any rate, I'd like to coordinate it w/his realtor as she even picked him up and drove him to the closing and promised to take him to the courthouse for some other paperwork later on, so I'm not sure if he even owns a car. If she's helping him, maybe she knows of his plans on the utilities. I got the impression that they went to church together and that's how they got acquainted.


$20 CHALLENGE

$006.29 balance
+ 1.00 quarters from CashHappySon
_______
$007.29 Mar MTD

2008 Challenge Total $61.73
Cumulative Challenge Total $590.34

Of other probably costly note my little doxie (which are notorious for their bad little backs) has had her hind legs go out on her and so I'll be taking her to the vet ASAP this morning. Maybe cortisone shots will do the trick but she may need surgery. Her little self is a sad sight. I don't want her to have to be one of those little wheelie doggies. Frown Usually when her back gets wobble-sloshed I can do a deep tissue massage on her and get her back into alignment. Not so this a.m.

Looking Forward to House Closing & Misc.

March 20th, 2008 at 07:57 pm




Moved money from online bank House Tax Fund to checking this afternoon to cover last 1/2 of the 2007 house taxes for our house. We have until the end of March to pay them. I don't personally like doing it this way, but I did earn a teeny-tiny bit more interest by not paying it w/the other half that was due 12/31. Will be mailing check out in today's mail.

House taxes for 2007 were $662.00. Not bad at all considering what many of you pay! I've estimated 2008 taxes to go up a bit and run at $675, so we're putting back $56.25 a month towards them.

Yesterday had to get new brake rotors or pads or something or other stuff done to Hubster's car to the tune of $190.16. Took that money from Auto Repair Fund that is also kept in the online bank.

On CashHappySon's car earlier in the week we had to have a new axle put on for $196.32. GEEE - these cars are costing out the wazoooloooo! This amount goes on his tab. He has the money in checking to cover it, however, we are trying to get him back on track w/being a month AHEAD of his bills using YNAB software, and he's almost there. I'd rather see him get a lifelong lesson money truth than a short-term gratification for me to get the money back in our account at the moment. He WILL be paying it back. He did make his first payment to us on the Toyota Tercel on the first.

***Of major importance is the fact that our realtor called and we are attempting to have closing on FIL's house on Monday! HALLELU!! HALLELU!! Looking forward to the return of a BUNCH O' DOLLARS that we've laid out to keep things moving forward.

I am praying that everything goes smoothly at the closing. We don't have a time scheduled yet though.***


There is only one tiny repair left for Hubster to get finished (putting in an elect. recept. that is one of those ones that can be by water). That's planned for early tomorrow when he's off for the Easter holiday. He's already put in three of them, fixed a small plumbing leak we didn't know we had and put in a new window that had been broken in the ice storm that we had made a stopgap fix on earlier. We also had to do a fix on the stove ignitor. Hopefully they'll be able to schedule their final walk-thru late tomorrow afternoon or early on Monday.

I freaked out a few minutes ago and had to call Hubster to ask if he'd already paid (I do balance the estate's checkbook, but I refused to take on paying the bills as well! I mean, isn't it enough that I never said NOT ONE single word to his four siblings that they weren't helping financially and we were tapping our own money to the point of making me gasp & butte-pucker monthly for two years??? Wink) the last half of the '07 taxes on his Dad's house as if not, then he needed to call realtor and/or title company and find out if they needed a Paid In Full receipt (meaning a run to the county courthouse for me) or if they would just include them in the final accounting. Not to worry, he'd paid them about two weeks ago. They will pro-rate the little bit of 2008 taxes.

I have to dig out the papers that give him the right as executor to sell the house to take with us to closing. I'm sure the title company has done all of it's work, but he's not going to the sale table w/o the one thing that could throw a ringer! I'm invited even though I don't need to be there. He calls me his financial expert as I make him read stuff thoroughly and am one of those annoying read thru stuff people before we sign. And durned if I don't ask a lot of questions!! Big Grin

Late last year the local power company sent a guy out to mark some trees that need to be removed to keep from knocking out the power line to the houses across the road IF perchance they were to happen to fall. Okay. Not my wildest fantasy to have them cut down because they do provide a lot of shade for my house, but I don't think we really had much choice. Those guys are here right now cutting down one oak tree that was dead that we did need removed and one nice cedar.

On our top property they will be cutting down a nasty scrub thorn tree that I will be happy to see go as it has a giant amount of poision ivy, oak, and sumac that we spent a lot of money on Round-Up to keep knocked back. Seemed to come back yearly anyway! So, lumberjack types strolling around in my yard making the dogs go nutso. No charge to us personally, but I do believe we'll eventually see it in increased bills, don't we always?

On my desk for the challenge:

$20 CHALLENGE
$006.28 balance
+000.01 mystery penny on the desk
_______
$006.29 Mar MTD

2008 Challenge Total $60.73
Cumulative Challenge Total $589.34

Spent on groceries this a.m. $66.23, up a bit from my normal $35-40 a week range as we are preparing for the Easter luncheon w/TheGrrl in attendance, and I'm signed up to take dessert to SS class Sunday morning, that and I went long on a 24 count case of green beans at 4/$.88=$5.28.

Ppphhhffftttt, Gadzooks and Darnation!!

March 19th, 2008 at 01:22 pm



edited to add:

Adding to the $20 CHALLENGE
$006.08 balance
+000.20 found on keyboard
_______
$006.28 March MTD

2008 Challenge Total $60.72
Cumulative Challenge Total $589.33

/end edit
----------


You might say I am a selfish woman.

I admit it.

I want to sleep at night.

Not to worry about money.

Do I want scads and scads of it? I wouldn't be opposed, but I'm not obsessed with having money for money's sake but the idea of having my financial life in order does carry a certain appeal. You know?

I do not think I am alone in this. Surely there are many MANY women who feel that security is important? And they want to know when their family has reached it???

Ladies am I right??

Anyone????

The Hubster and I - We are stuck in the same conversation we get into all the time.

Hubster is **(double digit) older than I and our time-frames for investing for the both of us has to be coalesced into a working order that covers needs of BOTH of our projected lifespans AND takes into consideration our differing risk tolerances.

Noting that I'm generally more of the risk taker and he's super conservative.

IOW, trying to decide on a joint investment strategy is quite different in a May/December marriage than it is in say a Dec/Dec marriage. Or a moderate growth/moderate risk tolerance marriage!

Try finding research or advice on how to do May/Dec retirement investing and see the dead air space where such information should be (Google reposited thank you very much) and you'll come up empty handed!

Add a big sprinkling of the fact that Hubster doesn't like to read or keep too informed on the topics of finances and investing makes it difficult at times to persuade someone to move forward w/ a planned proactive methodology.

We just touched on that subject again last night. I am a reader. Big Time. I read oodles and oodles. He reads zip, zero, nada. He can, he just refuses to do it for knowledge building. If someone at work broaches the subject of finances or investing, fine. If he hears something on the news, great. Then we can discuss, but if I find a relevant article.

He.will.NOT.read.it!

ARRRRRGHH - my frustration level is tapped out, because although I homeschooled my children I am not an educator* at heart and, as it takes me an inordinate amount of study time to EFFECTUALLY give someone verbally (I'm more of a writer, INFJ remember?) at-the-rise/drop-of the market, the background reasoning for why XYZ-abc+123=BAD MOVE at this time, on the spur of the moment and off the cuff.

[The above paragraph was taken almost verbatim from last night's financial discussion!]

GIANT point of frustration for me, but perhaps I should just be thankful that his general lack of interest makes me become a more informed investor in order to discuss the topic with him when it does come up! I just get frustrated at trying to do it all extemporaneously, which I truly SUCK AT!!

*No, Virginia, there is no educator here. I am an autodidactic lifelong learning fanatic, FACILITATOR w/a heavy penchant for research. Thus my librarian tendencies. Imagine my frustration in finding out he's interested in owning gold and taking my knowledge of the subject (admittedly small) but I do have a nice personally assembled - because I think at heart I could be a gold bug - $green$ notebook full of information on gold mining stocks & ETFs that I have assembled and keep updated then adding in my penchant to find people the information that they need to make INFORMED decisions only to be met w/someone on the other end who refuses to read it after I've found it!

Gadzooks & DARNATION!!!

That he's the man who has hitched his wagon to my star and is supposed to have my financial best interests at heart...well PHhhhFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTT!!!

To his credit he does take a hands off approach for the most part while often acknowledging that most of the investing we are doing will be for MY benefit in the long term. He does admit that I'm the one who will likely beneft the most.

However, that isn't exactly true as I've tried to point out. Having our financial lives in order at any time should give BOTH OF US peace of mind, knowing that health care costs could be covered, prescriptions could be filled, that we might get to a place where LTC insurance could be purchased for the both of us, that we can get ourselves buried, continue eating into old age, etc., etc., etc. and that life could go on for any survivor should help BOTH OF US sleep a little better at night, IMHO.

I don't have any answers to my personal dilema here. But did need a nice place to vent. My fellow SavingAdvice.com forumites and bloggers will probably understand. Won't you???

I am a selfish woman. I want financial peace for not only myself, but my family as well. I don't want the kiddos to have to do a bunch of grunt work that we could've taken care of with some prudent COOPERATIVE planning! I don't want to be forced to make medical decisions later in his life based on whether or not we can afford it. I want to come along side my Hubster and help him make financial decisions that work for BOTH OF US!

I'm wishing right about now we had a video camera. Why? Perhaps if we video taped our financial conversations and family business meetings, documenting them w/either video or by taking corporate secretary type of notes we'd go farther in excuting a plan that could become more formalized and reviewable.

I just want to get out of loop mode where we're constantly going over the same ground.

What do you guys do to tag-team your couple finances FORWARD???

Forgot to Update the Mortgage Balance

March 18th, 2008 at 10:30 pm


Credit: Milt Gross


Okay, so I forgot to update the mortgage balance over on the left until today! Out of the blue it hit me that I hadn't changed it after the 3/1 payment.

New Mortgage Balance sits at $19,075.65!

We're getting there.

Also of note I recently upped THE Hubster's term life insurance and so that premium will be going up by about $20 a month.

Of major note on the financial awareness level here said Hubster was talking to me last night based on the bank bailout on whether we should allocate some portion of our assets into gold. At least he is FINALLY becoming aware of the financial world at large. We discussed our current asset allocation based on risk tolerance and our short/long term perspectives and our satisfaction w/our current diversification.

I also tried to talk to him about market timing and tried to get his feel on IF he sold some stocks or mutual funds to buy gold when he'd feel comfortable returning to the marketplace and how would he know that the time was ripe? No good answers there. I told him he shouldn't feel bad. No one knows those answers for sure.

For now we'll continue this discussion likely this evening. But it wouldn't hurt my feelings right now to be invited to a gold party as we do have some jewelry in the safe-deposit box we could sell!! Big Grin And I wish I was more informed about the currency markets.

After posting yesterday I went on over to Ameritrade and checked my balance there and in my Irish luck calculations I had forgotten to account for the interest I have received over this past year. In the next few days the Suze Orman/TDAmeritrade $100 bonus should post and I should easily make my last 2007 Roth IRA contribution w/$$'s left over. YEAH ME!!

Today is/was a No Spend Day! Yesterday would have been too, but the three guys here go thru bread like water, so I wrote a $2.05 check at the bread store!

TheGrrl came over yesterday afternoon and they had a stay-at-home date. They made & decorated sugar cookies and we had how-to-make-hamburger-patties that don't fall apart lessons (it's all in the thumb action). After supper we all went for a walk, worked in the yard removing some of the last of the 'hangers' limbs from the ice-storm, brushed and played fetch with the dogs and then came in and watched The Bachelor. At the end of the evening an inexpensive Frosty junior topped off their date. A little more than $2 for a nice day. FrugalSon is trying to make all of his 2008 Roth IRA contributions this year as well and that leaves him w/little other $$s to date with or spend recklessly. He's on a strict budget. She'll have to understand him or be gone.

One of the Things I Do With Cash

March 17th, 2008 at 05:45 pm



One of the things I do with cash in my wallet is donate to my church's building fund each week. Here's where I scrape the bottom of the purse out, check the coin purse and see if there is any folding money in the folding money spot.

On Sunday this week all I found in my wallet (aside from the cash for everyone's monthly allowances which are deposited into the First National Bank of Mom in the back hideyholes) was 51 cents. That's it.

Into the little special envelope it went.

For informational purposes - yes this extra money I donate to the bldg fund is just that. EXTRA. We do tithe from the household budget and I do tithe from my personal budget as well. Extra this Sunday out of household budget was $25.00 that went towards a SS class mission project we are doing in Mexico this year.

So, now I'm PERSONALLY busted AHHHEMMMMM (I mean Cash Flow Inhibited) until this coming Friday when I'll give myself another fiver from one of those dark recessed places in the wallet. That five will do me for the next week.

Tight rations for moi this month!

Who cares and why am I telling you about this?

I was just working on posting some financial doings in the YNAB software and decided that just for kicks and giggles I'd run over to Jesse's YNAB blog and see what was happening over there since I hadn't been in a coon's age. Well -- the latest article there talks about being financially aware of where every penny goes. Why? Because it's important. That's why!

Okay. So 51 cents went out this week to the church's building fund.

Meanwhile I've updated my links over to the left to show you the way to the YNAB blog. WELL WORTH VISITING.

Of other financial note this week. I sold a dresser from when the kiddos were little for $40.00. I deposited it locally this morning and promptly came home and deposited it over into my IRA along with $211 EXTRA from this month's budget to try to get that darn 2007 limit fully funded.

So for March here's what I've been able to come up with for MY latest portion of the 2007 contributions to MY IRA. The house budget puts in $100 a month towards current contributions which is not included here.

$101.00 my normal monthly do.
+ 23.00 from Feb's $20 Challenge(round-up)
+ 40.00 from dresser sale
+211.00 scraped from the March budget
_______
$375.00

So, if I've counted my chickens correctly and IF the Ameritrade Suze Orman $100.00 bonus gets posted before April 15 and it should based on my join date then I'll have 600.00 that I've contributed this past year to earn the bonus + 100.00 bonus which will equal $700 that I can put towards my 2007 contributions and IF I can scrape another $37.00 up before April 15th I will make it to complete my 2007 contributions.

Meanwhile back at the ranch as I said, house budget is feeding $100 a month into 2008 contributions and my 101.00 (the $1.00 extra to differentiate it from household contribution and not confuse folks at the brokerage) will then go towards 2008 as well. I may well then stop the $50 to Ameritrade and put it towards the IRA.

In the old L.L.Frugalis PERSONAL checkbook I am close to the bottom scrapings. I've got about $33.00 in there to last until the end of the month for whatever weird unaccounted thing comes up. If I am extra special careful (which I rarely am) I could conceivably have that much left over that I could use towards the $37 I need - probably won't happen. BUT, I'll find it somewhere in April's budget if it harelips the Easter bunny who as a matter of fact is coming way too early this year for my tastes.

Keep your fingers crossed kiddos that the luck of the Irish holds for me! Yes, I'm a bit of an Irish lass as I had a full-blooded Irish Grampy!

Happy St. Paddy's day to you!


----


Here's so you don't have to scroll way down to visit the YNAB blog.


http://www.youneedabudget.com/category/blog//


Top of the morning to you!!


$3.73 + 2.35 = $6.08 March Challenge

March 14th, 2008 at 03:39 pm



Making addition to the $20 Challenge:

$002.35 balance
+001.00 from CashHappySon
+002.73 from coinpurse cleanout
_______
$006.08 March MTD

2008 Challenge Total $60.52
Cumulative Challenge Total $589.13

The good news is we got CashHappySon's car back from the motor rebuild shop yesterday! That's good news because it means we won't be having to drive him back and forth to work.

Bad news: A big whopping charge to MY credit card that CashHappySon will be paying back! Gaaaa!!! Hubster said this a.m. when the CC bill comes in for me to take the money out of our MM account (our E.Fund) and then CashHappySon will just be paying the MM account back instead of us for the car purchase and then also the CC bill. Did I say GAAAAAA already? Well GAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I hate taking money out of the MM account. It's too hard to get any to put in there to begin with. I fought hard to get that money in place!!

Good news: Hubster did finally acknowledge the fact that we have to charge the little bugger interest as he's taken a big bite out of our interest earnings. I only had to scream & rant a little! Smile So we'll be charging C.H.Son 4% interest which seems relatively tame in today's marketplace.

Bad News: There's some kind of new rattle under the car - so today we're off to take it back to the engine place to see if they failed to hook something up correctly.

Good News: They're willing to look at it for no cost.


Bad News: The car needed tires. We knew that when we bought it. Okay. CashHappySon paid for those out of his current income along w/getting tag & title changed over. But, when we came out of the tire shop I told C.H.S. that the hubcap was loose and that he needed to go back inside and get them to tighten it up. He proceeded to hit it with his fist and seemed satisfied enough to argue with me that it would hold that way. Guess what? Old Mom might STILL know a thing or two and the kid will one day learn to listen. When? I'm not sure. But today we're back over to the tire shop for them to replace it.

I'm still involved here w/the driving as it's over in the metro area and he's just not that familiar with the city driving on the one hand, the city driving w/a new car that's a standard that he's also not that familiar with. Sooooo, the city driving, standard shift on top of not knowing his way around the city? Equals Mom is involved.

Did I say GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?????


GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


Good news: They're willing to replace hubcap or so they said on the phone.

Laundry Fairy Adds to the $20 Challenge

March 8th, 2008 at 02:37 pm



The Laundry Fairy left me $1.10.

$20 CHALLENGE

$001.25 balance
+001.10 laundry fairy
_______
$002.35 Mar MTD

2008 Challenge Total $056.79
Cumulative Challenge Total $585.40

March 8th, 2008 at 02:34 pm

Move Often? Must Have One of These!

March 4th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

When I first moved to the big city as an 18 year old low income wage earner I was always looking for cheaper rent and moved quite often. It fell to my Mom and StepDad to help me make these many, Many, MANY moves. Just ask them...they still gripe about it some muffflemum years later! What I needed was something like this:


http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/casulo_an_entir.php


Be sure to watch the video!

Much cooler than what we had back in the day. In my little studio condo what I did have was one similar to this:



Mine was blue, and had a rounded over top, but it was very lightweight, much like a beanbag. I slept on mine for quite a while, then I got a loveseat/foldout bed and then later I received the fold out bed I showed you earlier in the year.

You might like to look at other multi-function furniture they have featured:


http://www.treehugger.com/mt/mt-tags.fcgi?tag=transformer%...


My fav? The orange sofa that turns into a set of bunkbeds!

Turning To-Do into Ta-Da

March 4th, 2008 at 04:51 pm


Not my desk - but mine certainly feels like this! YUCK!!



I've got a big old honking pile of papers on my desk!

More Importantly - I'm TIRED TIRED TIRED of having a big old honking pile of papers on my desk!!

To-Do
1)Spend 15 minutes morning on deskwork.
2)Spend 15 minutes afternoon on deskwork.
3)Spend 15 minutes evening on deskwork.
4)Bank February's $20 Challenge money.
5)Figure out what CashHappySon's new auto insurance premiums are going to be.
6)Move money to Emigrant.
7)Move money to Roth IRA for 2007.
8)Go to the Dollar Store & get things on list.
9)Find another copy of my truck insurance paper to go in glovebox. Took the other one out when I went to get tag renewed yesterday.
10)Either Call or Take CashHappySon to employer to get new schedule straightened out. Make sure #9 is done before driving off!!
11)Spend 15 minutes before bedtime on deskwork.
12)Get some filing done!
13)Get some files cleaned out!!

Ta-Da
Already done this a.m.

1)Bed Made
2)Dressed to shoes, hair & makeup done.
3)Brushed, Flossed, Mouthwashed
4)Load of Laundry Done
5)Ate Breakfast (Strawberry Yogurt, OJ)
6)Midmorning Snack (10 Almonds & Green Tea)
7)Walked for 10 minutes.
8)Updated 4 checkbooks (don't ask) via computer.
9)On my third bottle of water.
10)Made a shopping list for Dollar Store.


Yesterday's Ta-Da's:
FrugalSon went with me yesterday on his day off and we got some running done:

1)Truck Tag Renewed til 2009.
2)Hubster & mine allowance money from ATM.
3)Went by my bank to get new register & make a deposit.
4)Took CashHappySon's uniform pants by to exchange them for a different size.
5)Made a clothing & junk donation to the local women's shelter.
6)Went to booth #1 & picked up February's sales check and put this weeks items into the booth. February - Booth 1 Sales after overhead $283.49 - Booth 2 Sales after overhead $60.49.
7)Had a NO SPEND DAY!

$20 CHALLENGE
$000.00 March beginning balance
+001.25 from Hubster
_______
$001.25 March MTD

2008 Challenge Total $055.69
Cumulative Challenge Total $584.30

Need a good laugh about the stimulus package?? Check it out...


http://www.salon.com/comics/opus/2008/03/02/opus/


FUNNY!!