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Archive for November, 2009

Link: Cheapest Cars to Own

November 29th, 2009 at 11:05 am

Thought some of you might be interested in reading this one about the cheapest cars to own:

http://autos.aol.com/article/cheapest-cars-own

http://www.me.berkeley.edu/one_wheel_vehicle/Movie.htm
Watch that puppy run! So cool! I want one. WHINE!!!


One Wheel Vehicle


Deep Diving

November 29th, 2009 at 07:18 am

It pays to dive deep! Oh the things you see when you scavenge all the way to the bottom.



Yesterday's purse cleanout found $1.82 in change at the bottom to put towards the $20 Challenge. There's also a $20 buried deep in the wallet that MIGHT make it over to begin December's $20 Challenge with if I can keep it whole! It's leftover from my $10 a week November allowance. (Can't we afford a bigger allowance? Yes - I've just got no stomach to blow money for no good reason.) There's $50 incoming allowance on Tuesday, so I might just make it.

$20 CHALLENGE

$020.63 balance
+001.82 deep diving
_______
$022.46 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $1015.80
Cumulative Challenge Total $2069.56

Childhood Bed - Before, During and After

November 28th, 2009 at 07:54 pm

Okay, here's the transformation via pictures. This was the bed my Mom got me from one of her patients, WAY, WAY back in the day. I think I got this when I was about 10 years old. It was OLD OLD OLD when I got it. I am near OLD now!

It has been re-veneered once by me about 23 years ago and has since barely survived my troops.

Costs - Gel medium paste to fill in splits & cracks 11.99, plus tax and about $18 gallon of paint which I have much of left for other future projects. Hubster had sandpaper already.

Got the bed-in-a-bag for $40 smackers. And, I already have similiar toile fabric to make new curtains.

Time invested - about 6 hours so far. I did A LOT of sanding!

BEFORE-in sunroom:



DURING:


AFTER-in spare bedroom:


Today's Five Plus

November 28th, 2009 at 07:41 am

DONE-1)Shower, Dressed, Makeup, Breakfast & Vitamins.

DONE-2)House checking & Money Markets checkbooks balanced.

DONE-3)Stop an old autodraft before 1st.

DONE-4)Add new autodraft that will cover auto insurance, house insurance and house repairs their monthly pro-rated amount that we set back. To-do's numbers three & four are the result of insurance shopping that Hubster took care of for us - nice savings included! It paid for us to shop around - our new insurer is AAA. Twice the coverage and about $500 a year less cost! I'll take it! Auto insurance was due for renewal 11/30 so that's all spent, but there should be about a half of a year refund coming in on the house insur.! Old Agent - Send it!! Big Grin

DONE-5)Set up CC payments for Dec - 56.14 & 23.15 balances on two cards. We never carry a balance any more. EVER. 69 days TOTALLY DEBT-FREE and counting!

DONE-6)Paperwork filing.

DONE-7)Recharge camera batteries.

DONE-8)New entry here showing my spare bedroom BEFORE & AFTER pics. After repainting the bed and investing in different bed-linens.

DONE-9)Clean out purse.

DONE-10)Sketch out painting idea for Jeffrey's Penny Experiment. http://www.pennyexperiment.com

DONE-11)Get old comforter & shams listed on Craigslist.

12)I've been eyeing the closet in the spare bedroom. The clothes/shoes/stored items all need to come out and the walls & shelves in there need a coat of paint. Actually while doing that I need to 'encourage' Hubster to help me change the way the shelving is in there to add some more up top storage - we now have a LOT of wasted space. There is probably wood in the attic that could be used to add some more simple storage shelving. He's not up yet - he'll be thrilled with this idea - NOT!!!

The reason I want to get into this closet is there is a bunch of his parents' stuff that needs going thru and either shared with siblings or gotten rid of. So far, it's just THERE, overlooked and neglected, as it will stay unless I press the issue.

This is their jewelry, his Dad's coin collection, and family photos. I feel bad - he has two sisters who could be enjoying some of their Mom's jewelry. The coins and Pop's jewelry could possibly be worth something as well, and they could all probably use a small cash influx right about now, and the family photos ought to be shared.

13)Work on FrugalSon's & my personal (not House) budgets for 2010.

Okay - that's today's direction. Here we go!

---

Yesterday was a No Spend Day for the housebudget. Well, it was no-spend if you don't count that we popped off and invested in ING's 2% CDs yesterday. I don't consider that 'spent'. AND, while I had planned to pay yesterday for the meal out w/family, you can't beat my Dad to any restaraunt and pay first. He's a sweet little pain-in-d'patumpkus that way!

The whole way there I was encouraging Hubster to speed up or he'd beat us there and have already fixed it up with the cashier. Sure enough, he was there first. If I'd of been driving, we MIGHT have made it there early enough, but Hubster drives like your Great-Grandma on a handful of downers! I have to read in the car or go further C.R.A.Z.I.E.R. than I already am!



Found out yesterday that Dad will likely be having cataract surgery within the next month or so. If it's on a Friday, sister will drive him. Any other day of the week, I'm his chauffeur, and I'll need to budget gas money for that. Glad to do it - he often takes long driving trips to make his living/playing, it's worrisome enough for my 78 year old Dad to be out driving cross-country, so at the very least I need for him to be seeing well! He doesn't have to keep working, but does like a mad-man. He's a very hard worker.

Earn A Bit o'Green On Black Friday?

November 27th, 2009 at 06:20 am

Today we go to my Dad's town to eat out at a buffet place for our Thanksgiving meal with him and my brother, and take Dad another load of firewood. Not sure if my sister will make it or not. I did just see her the other day as she, Mom & my niece took me out for my birthday luncheon. Last night the Mom & Stepdad parental units came by for general Thanksgiving feasting. Several places to visit/separate celebrations on holidays? Oh the joys of divorced parents! Means we stretch these events over several days!

----
I'm planning on participating in Jeffrey's (co-owner of Saving Advice dot com) Penny Experiment. Care to join me?

http://www.pennyexperiment.com/
----

Do Black Plus Orange Equal Green? YES, today they do!

ING has some special offerings today on Black Friday only.

http://ingdirect.com/BlackFriday/

Think I'll take the $465ish I've been gathering together for our next CD purchase in our CD Savings Escrow Fund and add a bit to it to get to at least $500 & go ahead and do their 2%/12 month CD.

Yes, we have a line item in our budget called 'CD Savings Escrow' where we put back a bit of money each month towards purchasing CDs. Gather enough together to make it worthwhile and pop off & purchase one.

We also have line items for making 'Savings Bonds Purchases' and another for buying 'T-Bills' and the autoMAGIC ones for our 'DRIPS'. What can I say, I like having lots of various money piles!

And, I'm likely to bite on their $121 bonus for orange checking. Usually not a rate 'ho, but today, I think I will dally w/the orange in order to get a little green in my pocketbook.



I don't particularly NEED another checking account, but what the heck, I'm sure I can think of & set up another goal fund for something! Big Grin

No, still not a big ING fan, but I'll happily take their money.

Re: their requirement that you make 3 signed debit transacations - does anybody care to comment on the 'where you have to sign for debit transactions', as I'm a little unclear on where exactly those places would be. I'm sure I've signed before at places, I just can't recall any specifics at the moment - brain fog has rolled in. I'd appreciate your comments & suggestions.

Help please?

I Am Thankful...

November 26th, 2009 at 08:45 am



I am thankful for all of you here at the Saving Advice dot com bloggerdom! All through the year you inspire me and help me stay focused. I do appreciate all of you so much. The differing perspectives of each of you are such a help to everyone. Here's hoping you all have very nice holidays with your families. I wish you all plenty of enough and MORE! Safe travels too!

In your honor I'm donating $8.03 to my $20 Challenge. Here's hoping it keeps me off the dole in my old age!!

Can somebody pass the turkey please?


$20 CHALLENGE UPDATE

$012.60 Nov balance
+008.03 turkey donation
_______
$020.63 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $1013.98
Cumulative Challenge Total $2067.74

Steaming Past A Thousand! HIPPI-YIPPIE-YAH!

November 22nd, 2009 at 07:06 am



Steaming Past A Thousand! HIPPI-YIPPIE-YAH!

2006 Challenge $126.11 started late Aug
2007 Challenge $402.50
2008 Challenge $525.15
2009 Challenge +$1005.95 Nov YTD
------------------------
Cumulative Total $2059.71

This will be the first year I've been able to put back over $1,000.00 for the year in the $20 Challenge category! A goal has been reached. Perhaps next year I can get to $1500 or more. Watch out Ima Saver I'm picking up steam! Big Grin


$0005.53 Nov balance
+0007.07 Steam booster additive
________
$0012.60 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $1005.95
Cumulative Challenge Total $2059.71

Yesterday was a No-Spend-Day for me.

A Good Grease Monkey Is Always Prepared

November 20th, 2009 at 04:11 pm


"Ohhh! Now THAT's gonna cost ya!"


"Very few people have knowledge of their true expenses. Because they do not consider intermittent and irregular expenses as regular monthly obligations, their expenses turn into emergencies and financial crises." -Mary Hunt

As we are lately revamping the Frugalis House Budget, I thought I'd give a breakdown on what we put back each month on automotive expenses over and above repair/maintain/replace funds, gasoline expenses & the auto insurance escrow.

Many people overlook these costs listed below and then are caught short when it's time to pay the piper. Some of these things come up at the most inconvenient times.

These are monthly amounts set back for future costs. Yes, I literally move them into savings to hold until the money is all there. I also set back a small bit of money each month to replace our driver's licenses. On the side the date listed is when we anticipate needing these things replaced.

On the car:
Car Battery $2.15 /$50 - 2 years
Car Tires $10.41 / $250 - 2 years
Car Tag $6.95 /$83.40 - yearly
Car Oil Changes $8.75/$105-$35x3 times year
_____________________
$28.26 per month


On the truck:
Truck Battery $2.15 /$50 - 2 years
Truck Tires $22.22 / $400 - 18 months
Truck Tag $5.20 /$62.40 - yearly
Truck Oil Changes $5.83/$70-$35x2 times year
_______________________
$35.40 per month

Today was a No Spend Day for me. The housebudget spent money on dog food $11.45 & getting the dog's toenails clipped $5.00 and stocking up on dishwashing soap while it was on sale for 69 cents a bottle & some ice-cream $8.44.

A nice change of events (I'm afraid to call and find out why) but I got our recent electric bill and it's down about $30 lower than usual. I'll take it!

Updating $20 Challenge

November 18th, 2009 at 11:31 am



$000.10 Nov balance
+005.43 addition
_______
$005.53 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $998.88
Cumulative Challenge Total $2052.64

MY $20 Challenge is to earn / save / find an extra $20 per month or MORE to put into my Roth IRA.

Today was a No-Spend Day!

Savings Goals Updates

November 18th, 2009 at 09:15 am



Updating sidebar to reflect latest totals -

as of 11/18/2009:
RV Land Travel $260.22
Houseboat $428.78
Dream Car Fund $743.82

Our Banana Crop

November 9th, 2009 at 11:13 am

We've grown banana trees for years - technically we're in a growing zone that freezes each winter, so must take them out of the ground as winter approaches.

This year we didn't water them much at all besides the original watering in after planting and the occasional bucket of water I saved when showering. We dig them out and put them in the basement for overwintering. Took some pictures of a part of our crop.


Fingerling



Hanging on fence after harvesting


The ferny looking thing is another plant, a cypress vine, not part of the banana.

These are Hawaiian fingerlings. Had some on my breakfast cereal today. We grow them more for the landscaping qualities, but the fruit is a nice side benefit. They make for great shade on our concrete patio.


Shade & the red thing ? is where the next row will begin budding out


During the last week of October the banana trees were taken out and put away for winter. Come next April out they'll go again. We call it cheap entertainment and a bit of exercise. We often have folks stop and out Hubster goes to give a lesson in banana growing in our climate.

Grrls Just Wanna Have E-Funds! Update

November 8th, 2009 at 09:01 am



Grrls (Lux's Personal) Just Wanna Have E-funds!

$1,391.56 02/18/09
$2,662.81 08/15/09
$3,044.52 08/24/09
$3,194.01 09/22/09
$3,346.03 09/26/09
$3,361.50 10/07/09
$3,408.01 11/07/09
$3,450.18 11/08/09 new balance

The Emperor Will Have No New...

November 7th, 2009 at 03:16 pm

The Emperor will have no new clothes. At least not for awhile. Up to my eyeballs in calculator tape revamping the Frugalis Family housebudget. Better hope Santa puts clothes on the list for those here who need them as there is no room at the inn for new clothing. Being up in the air over the possibility of healthcare coverage for Hubster sees me throwing all extra dollars into the Medical category until we find out exactly what kind of coverage we'll be able to get.



Nope, not Hubster, he has better knees.

Today has been a No Spend Day.

Yes, we paid off the house, but those dollars are going into future house repairs or updates. For now.

Bookkeeper Eats Free!

November 4th, 2009 at 03:49 pm

Took another load of wood to my Dad today. Afterwards we were talking about getting something to eat before we headed out of town towards home. FrugalSon said, "Today bookkeepers eat free." That meant me, since I keep his financial records. I took him up on his offer. We had a very nice meal at a nice Mexican place - not here:



He did have tamales & an empanada and I had steak fajita nachos. Yums! We're calling it my birthday lunch. My birthday is later on in the month, but hey, it works for me!

Thanks FrugalSon! What a generous soul.

My Honey Bear & His Sidekick

November 2nd, 2009 at 07:40 am

Yes, Hubster is an awfully sweet man, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about my plastic honey bear, Hank. He's about to get all likker'd up inside.



On Saturday I went to our local farm store where they were having a 20% off everything that fit in their 'green' bag sale. You had to buy their 99cent bag. So worth it.

They were having honey on sale. 5 lbs. bottles - which normally sells there at 13.99 a bottle, on sale for 10.99.

I had four dollar off coupons. I ended up getting my honey at $7.99 a bottle. Almost half off. SCORE!! How Sweet It Is!!

I bought four jugs. Honey does not go bad. It might crystalize, but stick jug in warm water and the honey melts back. This stash should last a while.

I have been weaning myself off of white sugar and have gone to using honey as my main sweetener.

I refill my little honey bear, Hank, from the big jug. A savings device. Buying those individual little bears can get costly. I'd like to have a nice glass or ceramic honeypot. Maybe I could put it on my Christmas list, along with the tea ball I'm asking for?

And as for honey bear's sidekick?

Meet Poppie, The Popcorn Clown.


Not OUR Poppie!


A hold over from my childhood days. We keep our 'currently using' popcorn in an old Grapette Syrup bottle in the cabinet. Our storage for larger supplies is elsewhere. Poppie, kind of scary in a droopy sort of way, but friendly none the less. These are neat old bottles that had a slot in the top for making him into a bank.

Here the 1 lb. bags at the grocery had been going for .88 a bag for years. All of a sudden they are up to 1.39 a bag! I like to stock up so I don't have to wander out in the snow and ice later. Said farm store had 12&1/2 pound bags on sale for $5.49. Since they fit in the 20% off bag? I got two bags, making my outlay for popcorn at .359ish a pound. SCORE!!



Popcorn - an inexpensive, yet filling snack. It's a Sunday afternoon tradition at my house, no matter how large the luncheon feast, we pop a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for a movie & nap.

My bag was heaaaaa-vy - 45 lbs plus. I also stocked up on a few spices while I was at it. I can pack a bag let me tell you! And, now I have another nice little green bag to go with my others.

Hank & Poppie, a couple of friendly faces when I open my cupboard - they, along with Pigger, help me save & stretch our food money.

His Inner Sanctum Violated

November 2nd, 2009 at 07:06 am

Yesterday was spent working on a really detailed networth statement and cooking a fabulous Sunday dinner.

On the norm I just catch the various bank accounts & retirement funds, but yesterday went to zillow & edmunds and did a more in-depth look at where we are at starting Hubster's official "Golden Years" with ALL of our assets! Not too shabby. Could of been a lot better, but for us, it's looking better than expected and Hubster was quite pleased with the "If We Cashed in All of Our Chips" numbers. I am too!

One of the things I'd been forgetting to put into our networth calculations is our burial plots. Ours are paid for already but we might end up selling & replacing them in a different location. Depends on if we decide to downsize and where.

Today I've got a To-Do list that far outnumbers five - there are 45 things on my list! Boy, am I behind!!

The majors today will be:

{x}2/3rds - filler now drying - 1)Filler on twin bed veneer. It's outside and up on the working platform.

[X]DONE w/a snafu - 2)Buy paint for above project. - Got the paint, started on back side of headboard. More gray looking than the deep black. I tried to tell the guy in the store that it didn't look right - he was filling in from electronics - but he insisted that it was right based on how dark it looked when dry. It did look dark, but I've got to go back tomorrow now as it just looks like a funky gray on the bed. POOODLES & FARTZWAZZLES!!

[X]DONE - 3)Mail off tube.

[X]DONE - 4)Content placed on my other blog.

[X]DONE - 5)Write & mail off sympathy note to friend's family. Long time ill, she passed away this weekend.

6)Get those newly figured out categories into YouNeedABudget software. I upgraded my software this weekend and we're going to be starting a fresh new budget this month with some newly aligned goals and taking into consideration the different income sources we're firing up. Keeping spending in a tight line will be KEY!! A fine balancing act, if you will. Of course we want to put off withdrawing from our retirement accounts as long as possible.



[X]DONE - 7)Get these entries up on Saving Advice!

Yesterday was a No-Spend Day.

I have a dime on my keyboard to start off November's $20 Challenge.

$20 CHALLENGE

$000.00 beginning balance
+000.10 laundress pay
_______
$000.10 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $993.45
Cumulative Challenge Total $2047.21

Sicily's baking inspired me and I grabbed out my sourdough starter yesterday and made some fantastic sourdough rolls and I also made a chocolate pie. My fellows thank you Sicily!

While I'm out today I'll be making a bank run and depositing October's $20 Challenge Money. Yes, Pigger squealed again when I violated his inner sanctum!

And, speaking of inner sanctums, remind me to tell ya'll later, but Hubster has a stalker - one of his old fellow employees now hopped up on meth!