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Video interview w/Amy Dacyczyn of The Tightwad Gazette

December 29th, 2011 at 01:07 pm

Hey boys and girls - I just ran across this interview and enjoyed remembering how excited I was when I first ran across this woman and her writings. What a nice gift to get a glimpse of her in person and to see inside her lovely home...every time I tried to forget my way? She sparked my Frugalicious Gene (TM) back into action!!


http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/interview-with-amy-dacycz...
Video interview with Amy Dacyczyn of The Tightwad Gazette

A Good Grease Monkey Is Always Prepared

November 21st, 2009 at 12:11 am


"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!

My Intentions Are...

October 18th, 2009 at 03:12 pm



Here's my five I intend* to get done today:

[X]DONE 1)Sort some bills that need paying and write the checks, address, stamp. One rogue bill here ?somewhere? that came in earlier this week from the day Hubster got laid off in early January. He went to the doctor early that morning only to arrive at work to layoff news for the entire plant. Evidently they've been trying to collect from insurance company all this time and it's a no-go. I normally put all bills in one place and a quick glance this a.m. finds that paper missing - perhaps it's on Hubster's side of desk?

2)Clean off side desk-table whatchie. (I need to get you all a picture - great buy!**SEE BELOW) Maybe that bill is there? Piles of files and miscellaneous junk mail gets piled there from time to time. Okay, PEOPLE, who stacked this stuff h.e.r.e. of all places??????????

ON HOLD - MORE PARTS NEEDED 3)Get canvas framed & name plaque installed. This will entail encouraging Hubster to do it for me. Hopefully today. I need it for sure by Wednesday a.m. I keep trying to get him to let me do it with his instructions so I learn to feel confident with those tools, but this particular project is in need of the pro's touch.

[X]DONE - 4)Cook Sunday dinner - creatively, using any leftovers that can be incorporated into something looking like a balanced meal. Wish me luck, I'm going in to the tupperware...

[X]DONE - 5)Strip & wash current bed linens and get the flannel sheets on the bed. It's cold here! I told Fern already, I'm out on the heat challenge. Hubster turned it on early this a.m. as it got down to low 30's last night. His fault entirely Smile, I SWEAR I could've made it with more blankies & a nightcap! Shiver me timbers!


[X]DONE - Alternate #3)Paint one wall of living room & trim doo-dads so Hubster has them to work on dining room. His decision to start this late in the day! After this there is only one portion of one wall in the living room repainting job that needs doing. It'll wait for another day.

*I will update throughout the day as things get done.

**side-table desk whatchie:

Great for when a project needs more space, such as for collating papers, sewing, crafting, sorting STUFF, extra place settings for a crowd, etc.

I paid $49 for this and then went to Walmart and bought paint in their discounted 50% Oops Mixed Up The Wrong Color aisle to get paint that nearly matches walls & desk in living room - SCORE! The cabinetabledeskwhatchie was originally $69 at a junk/antique mall. I asked if they'd take $49 - I figured dealer had anywhere from $0-35ish in it. I'm perfectly willing for dealer to make a profit, but they don't have to make their entire month on my back, you know?

An FYI - ALWAYS ASK FOR A DISCOUNT at these places. Many are already preauthorized to give at least a 10% discount without contacting the booth owner. You can get often get more off by asking them to call them and just ask. Worth a try.

I resisted when I first saw this and left it there and kept thinking and thinking about it - always a good sign that the something would be useful to me, so back I went for it some weeks later glad to see it still there.

Anyway this thing was a perfectly servicable white when I got it but it didn't match the decor. ALWAYS when shopping in these places think of if you could make something work for your place with a bit of paint, spray or brush. I OFTEN spray paint items from the antique'heap. EASY fix. This thing has drawers on both sides (6 total) which is cool and the drop-leaves are also on both sides. I want to add wheels to it which would make it even mo'betta!! Note that for a future Five Things list? Maybe next month.

What? I told you if it stands still? I paint it. Forever am painting some thing.

Oh look. I even gave Hubster 3 drawers of this for his very ownsome. He accuses me that all the space in the house is mine and all he has is one sad bookcase to store his good stuff on.

Also when shopping an antique mall, think REPURPOSING. Just because it's always been used as a frobtottlebaum, doesn't mean you can't use it as a bobleknocker, does it? Go for it. Note our repurposed two user desk beside this thing - it used to be a kitchen table.

For all you Flylady fans - this however is one of my hotspots.

Some BIG Spending

October 8th, 2009 at 12:04 am

Plumber yesterday to replace all hot water lines in basement = $300.00

Tree surgeon to remove about 10 trees & haul off all brush = $2700.

OUCH!

My Frugalicious Gene is puckered up TIGHT!! aUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! Our poor House Budget.

IT IS FINISHED! We are T.D.F.

September 21st, 2009 at 05:38 pm


"Does this smile make my wallet look fatter?"



We are TOTALLY Debt Free!

I came home from the bank after wiring the mortgage company their money and decided I wanted to have a MOMENT of debt-freeness. So, who else did I owe?

I had small balances on 2 credit cards. These are from this month's charges as we don't carry a balance EVER any more. Went online and PAID OFF. Balance $0.

And, I'm planning on calling them and getting our credit limits lowered! Who needs all that exposure to rip-off? I do have an open dispute with one CC company over a $31.54 charge to McDonald's. I've never spent that kind of money there EVERRRRRRRRRRR! Should've been $3.54. I am a dollar menu shopper unless I'm splurging on a salad.

We owed our accountant $147. I just now wrote him a check and took it to the post office. Balance $0.

We are totally and completely debt free.

We don't owe anybody anything - other than the utility companies their normal monthly charges - any money whatsover!

We are UTTERLY FREE!!! Taaaaaaaa-daaaa!

It feels awesome now, but it will feel extra special good-a-licious Each and Every first of the month when I don't have to send off a wad of cash to the mortgage company.

Paid off 4 years and 8 months early from our contractual obligation!


Breaking the chains of debt? It can be done!

Now, we'll be fueling even more dollars into our House Maintenance Fund for future repair needs on the house - carpets are getting worn, roof in the next ten years likely, and heat/air-conditioner could need replacing at any time.

We do need to do some bathroom repairs relatively soon too as we need to replace our bathtub and the resulting sheetrock & tile work that goes along with. Even if we decide to sell and downsize, the bathroom will HAVE TO be repaired or made allowance for.

I will likely split what was going to mtg. to my retirement funds and this House Maintenance Fund.

I am a happy camper with minimum household utilities running currently around $315 average and $135 a month going for household taxes (apprx. $660 year) and insurance (apprx. $800 year) and other 'slush fund needs'.

So, our household expenses are sitting right now at ONLY $450 a month (not counting saving for repairs & upkeep).

I can tell you friends that's a wonderfully scenic place to be sitting looking at retirement!

Now to convince Hubster we need solar, a woodstove and a water-well and we could get those things lowered even further!! Big Grin I would like to say that I was being tongue-in-cheek, but what sane person likes to pay the utility companies???? I don't.

Either we've got to get those things OR get our investments up in order to have them paid for by the investments in my mind's eye. I know it is probably silly, but wouldn't it be fun to own enough dividend paying electric stock to where your own electric bill became a wash? and gas bill, water bills, etc. doing likewise????? I would ADORE THAT!

A new goal!!! Big Grin Everybody needs something to shoot for, right?

Stay Tuned!!



P.S. I wanted to buy us a treat for today, but suceeded in not spending any money while I was out! So I outlayed a boatload of money today, but not out of my personal wallet, so today's a No Spend Day!!

I did grab two FREE suckers from the bank counter (after telling the lady if they were paying decent interest we wouldn't be doing this) and we have steak, stuff for baked potatoes, salad and a good bottle of wine for tonight's celebratory meal! Don't worry, I won't abandon my Frugalicious Gene ways, I just got the sirloin steaks out of the freezer to defrost - they have an orange REDUCED label on them - cost? $2.33! The wine was bought at case discount costs on our last vacation.

Breathing freely!!! Now off to paint some crown molding trim that was in the attic when we bought the house. Hubster is going to put it up for me as soon as I get it painted.

I heart Craigslist $70 worth

August 7th, 2009 at 01:49 pm

We are getting ready to downsize since the kids are all getting on to independent adulthood. So, earlier this week on Craigslist we sold our big dining room table that took up so much room in our tiny little dining area and then went on the prowl to find another.

BEFORE



It took awhile of missed connections and a bit of people overstating what they had for sale, but we were able to buy a nicer, better table, more suitable for our area now and will fit nicely in most any new place we might buy in the future. It has a leaf to increase/decrease size which our old one did not. That's it leaning against the door for now - I've got to clean out under a bed to find a good spot for it.

AFTER


I'm hoping this helps show the house a bit better with a smaller table in here. (When/If we get around to listing it for sale. We aren't there yet, much stuff still in basement from FIL's estate to go through.)

And, we came out ahead.

I paid $265 for my old table at an auction years and years ago. Got lots of use out of it. Sold it for $250 and bought a replacement for $180 and came out with a nice table & $70 left over. I also found a nice comforter set on craigslist for $60 that I might go for and then will take the left over $10 to retirement savings. (...and then? I'll clean my old comforter set and list it for sale too, so possibly there'll be that cash too, to add to the retirement kitty!)



Oh yeah, earlier this week I made my final 2009 IRA contribution! YEAHHHHHH ME!!!

Happy Valentines Day 2 My Fruggie Frenz'

February 15th, 2009 at 03:25 am


Happy Valentines Day to My Frugal Friends! XXOXOXOXOX, Lux

Yet Another Rate Hike?

January 16th, 2009 at 04:06 pm



Adding to the challenge:

$20 CHALLENGE

$004.27 balance
+001.22 change from OTC meds & kleenex
_______
$005.49 Jan MTD

2009 Challenge Total $5.49
Cumulative Challenge Total $1008.27

Medical update: Feeling a tad better today, just can't swallow much without pain and now FrugalSon is getting this crud. Hubster had it first bringing it home from his last week of work.

Prices at the pharmacy for OTC for mucus - name brand $20.99 - generic $7.00. Quite a spread! Guess which one I picked?

Of financial news we've heard of yet ANOTHER possible rate hike on utilities.

Thanks to Princess Perky for reminding me, I just made another KIVA loan.

Clash of the Titans - Harry Hamlin Aside

August 18th, 2008 at 06:36 pm



My weekend was the scene of the small economies and we rewatched the 'Clash of the Titans' I think the title is - with Harry Hamlin (va-voom!).

While cleaning my bedroom on Saturday morning I found about 7 partially used bottles of lotions (a good sign that I need to re-join the flylady emails) that I downsized into four. Most of these were gifted but still 7 on one bedside stand is WAY too much AND birthday and Christmas and the lotion gifts that might be incoming are on the horizons.

So I combined those even going so far as to add a splash of water into the near empties to get that last little bit of goodness out. The combo jar is what I use to moisturize my feet with before I put on fresh socks for bed so it's of no big import that it's a mixed bag of juicieness in there.

Also on the beauty front I colored my own hair again on Saturday night. My normal night of Lux's House of Beauty treatments! Cost has gone up at the dollar store from $2 a box to $2.75! Frown


I spent a bit of time on Saturday combining the multiple open bottles of jelly, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce and pickles in the icebox. Why do males open another jar instead of looking to see if there isn't another one open already???? Hmmmm?? Probably the same thing that makes women have 7 bottles of lotion going at once!! Ha!

Also in the kitchen we had the ongoing battle of the wire mesh coffee filter vs. the paper ones. I dislike paying for the paper ones but Hubster prefers using them. Don't ask me why as he can't say. GRRR!


vs.


Anyway I saw that we are down to the last little stack of paper ones that I got when a grocer was having a 20 for $10 sale about three years ago. That made them 50 cents a bag rather than their normal $1. I bought $5.00 worth that time.

IF I can get in there and get the coffee made first or set it up the night before we use the wire filter. If Hubster makes it sure as shooting it's one of the paper ones. I think I paid $2.98 for the wire mesh filter years back. Ho-hum. I think it's better to use the wire one! I have four reasons - number 1)it costs less in the long run and number 2) the paper ones sometimes fall down leaving me with grounds in my cup and number 3)I can empty the wire one more easily into my garden for composting efforts and number 4)it saves cutting down trees to make more paper ones.

No big fuss but along with shopping carefully for big purchases I think it's these little differences that can make a difference too in the long run on your money.

A tip I use is to buy flavoring extracts and to use dropperfuls of it to flavor our coffee instead of buying the more expensive flavored coffees. It works!

Two Hips & A Hurray for making the little efforts. Say what you will but in the clash of the Titans I still contend that the little things add up to a bit fatter wallet! Speaking of Titans, Mr. Rockefeller believed it too, according the biography about him called "Titan"!

I'm going with Mr. Rockefeller on this one!

Outside the boys and I go to work on the backyard jungle left from the ice storm! Lots of limbs still to be removed from trees and brush to be burned and bagged. See ya on the flipside hopefully without too many skeeter bites!

My Olympic & Patriotic Colors

August 14th, 2008 at 04:40 pm



My Colors? What's black and gray and pink all over? Just kidding -- Okay, I can play but I think I'll keep with an Olympic & USA patriotic theme:


SOLID GOLD - a loving, good-looking, hard-working Hubster who enjoys providing for his family which has allowed me to enjoy staying home for many years with our kiddos.

Silver - our fully stocked one year plus emergency fund! Also that currently we have no debt other than the mortgage!!

Bronze - relatively low interest on the mortgage.

Red - our two paid for vehicles that seldom let us down.

White - always plenty to eat and a nice place to lay our heads at night and the chance to tithe all the while never doing without any of the neccessaries and chances to splurge on the wants more often than not.

Blue - true blue, loving parents and in-laws who have passed the torch by generously giving to us by inheritance and down thru the years - who taught us the lessons of generosity, determined focused work and frugality as wise life choices.

Okay, what would a money blog be w/o a color mention of GREEN - symbolizing the earth of my homeland the good old USA, the color of money and the warm feeling I get inside because I have good online friends here at Saving Advice. So, here's a hat-tip to BA, thanks for a good thread idea - here's what I'd imagine your ideal kitchen to look like:



and another tip o' the hat to Michael Phelps for his amazing wins! ...and all the other athletes who have won the right to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics!

BINGO - We'd both Win!

August 14th, 2008 at 01:52 pm



I do use & LOVE the You Need A Budget software. Here's a referral link -

http://www.refernow.com/referral/0cd8ca38/35267.html

yes, I'd make a little money if you sign up & use it, but the major advantage goes to YOU when you get out ahead of your bills and get your financial life in order! Such an EXCITING feeling!! There's lots of good budgeting and financial advice here as well. An inexpensive solution to a major problem:

http://www.refernow.com/referral/0cd8ca38/35267.html

We use the YNAB Pro program. Wonderful support to be had as well from the creator Jesse!




Meanwhile, I'm adding a dime I found to the $20 Challenge.

$20 CHALLENGE

$222.56 balance
+000.10 dime-a-roo
_______
$222.66 Aug MTD

2008 Challenge Total $409.61
Cumulative Challenge Total $938.22

Vitamin D is Cheap Entertainment

May 13th, 2008 at 12:21 pm



Yesterday we did shopping & banking errands while we were on our way to and from set activities.

FrugalSon, TheGrrl and I, packed a few homemade sandwiches & filled bottles w/homemade tea and headed to the lake (about five miles away). No swimming but they enjoyed a walk before and after lunch and we had a fire in the firepit and watched a family of ducks, enjoyed lots of pretty wildflowers, and soaking up lots of good Vitamin D sunshine. Cheap entertainment. I read my book and laid in the sun while they held hands and walked around. Then we let TheGrrl-i-o practice her driving on the empty roads around the lake. She says I'm more patient that either of her parents.

Got good stuff at the scratch-n-dent grocery on the way home from the lake. 2 jars of soup base .79 a jar, 4-parmesan cheese shaker cans .99, small mayo/mustard jars at .49 each for vacation packing, 2 BIG boxes of cheeze-its at .99 a box, 4 big jars of dill pickles at .99 a jar.

We came home, put up our groceries, and I mowed the acreage up top while the young'uns picked up more broken limbs left from the ice storm.


(Our house sits behind & under those evergreens about half-way down the road)

Then we cleaned up & went to see Speed Racer at the matinee movie at an increased price of $2.75 - up from $2.50! GRRR! I'm tired of them raising the prices of the matinee!! It makes my Frugalicious Gene (TM) pucker!!!

Then we came home and ate Mother's Day leftovers of baked ham, creamy 'funeral' potatoes, green salad and German Chocolate cake.

It was a full, yet inexpensive day for me. CashHappySon's car had to be towed back to the place we had the motor replaced at. Possibly a cracked head or busted head-gasket or some doo-whicky. If it's either of those two things it should be covered under the warranty and all he'll have to pay is the towing fee. Fingers crossed!

Deposited two recent Pinecone checks. I'm adding them to the challenge:

$20 CHALLENGE

$000.00 balance
+010.00 surveys
_______
$010.00 May MTD

2008 Challenge Total $117.66
Cumulative Challenge Total $646.27

Acid Rain? No, I'm Queen of the Mist!!

May 7th, 2008 at 05:20 pm


Pic: Annie Taylor, (Queen of the Mist) who, in 1901, became the first person to plunge over the brink of Niagara Falls in a barrel.




Come along Lil'HippyChillen' and sing along with me...

"My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,
My Bonnie Lies Over The Rain Barrel!"



I've been bemoaning the price of my water bill on here lately. This morning on a whim - since it's raining here today - I put out an old trashbarrel under the inside L corner of my roof, where two ridgelines meet, to fill w/rainwater. I'm planning to use it to water the banana trees and tomato plants later this week when the sun comes back out. Don't try this at home if you've got small children about. If you've got kiddos you need a closed system that one couldn't fall into!

Then serendipity led me to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwe_pVOYOrY&feature=dir


Holy Toledo, this place says there are beacou gallons to be had? WOW!

http://www.rainbarrelguide.com/

So, if you are feeling greenly conservation minded you might want to do something similar. As a teen I was constantly washing my hair w/rainwater, but that was back before acid rain and such. Oh, we probably had it, we just didn't know it!

I did speak to Hubster this week about perhaps installing a graywater system of some kind, and he said he thought we could hook one up pretty easily, so we'll see. Doubtful we'll go this far! I was just thinking of hooking off of the bathroom sink or something. I'm not this much of a gardener!


http://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/articles/adams/audrey/wa...


This reminded me of my time in Honduras. Many people live w/cisterns year round as their main source of water.

And once I started thinking of this and googling around for pics I found this link that many of you may enjoy sloshing around in:


http://blog.makezine.com/archive/diy_projects/122.html


and this should have a special appeal for a certain someone who opposes composting toilets!


http://www.reuk.co.uk/Rainwater-Toilet-Flush-System.htm


Well, of course I have to categorize this post as INFLOW! Big Grin

Outfit 1 - Church or Office

January 21st, 2008 at 05:34 pm

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...


Time To Whack Your Mole!

January 17th, 2008 at 05:49 pm



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!!!

Next On My Reading List *Attn: Ms. Goddard

January 13th, 2008 at 02:10 pm

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'.

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

January 11th, 2008 at 06:03 pm

????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

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

January 4th, 2008 at 12:10 pm



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.

Perfect PizzaPizzzzzzzzzazzzzz!

January 3rd, 2008 at 08:55 pm



Perfect!!! FrugalSon just gave me $6.25 left from his December Entertainment budget - "to help you with that pizza from the other night Mom", you know the one we invited his girlfriend over for? What a trooper!

Wooooot!!!

Now normally the Frugalis family makes pizza at home which I can make a couple of nice pizzas for about $5 or less, so even w/the coupon the other night it pained ol' Mom's Frugalicious Gene (TM) to pay for pizza (no, I didn't say a word as it was my idea to do it this way), so this is a nice surprise.

Unexpected, so, I'm taking it to the challenge!

Plus, the dryer fairy left me a penny. Thank you muchly!!


$20 CHALLENGE
$001.46 balance
+006.26 pizza rebate & dryer fairy
_______
$007.72 Jan MTD

2008 Challenge Total $7.72
Cumulative Challenge Total $536.33

U.S. National Debt Grows $1 Million a MINUTE!!

December 4th, 2007 at 01:56 pm




This makes my Frugalicious Gene (TM) pucker!! How about you?

U.S. National Debt Grows $1 Million A Minute: See...


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071203/ap_on_go_ot/nation_in_...

Money's Tight and You Need to Eat??

March 9th, 2007 at 12:53 pm




Money's Tight and You Need to Eat??


...then here's a little inspiration!!

Hungry Much?

http://hungryforamonth.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_hungryforam...


Hungry Much?

This blogger reminds me much of our own dear LRJohnson!!

All I can say is WOW!!

Quickies ala Broken Arrow Style

January 21st, 2007 at 06:16 pm

QUICKIES ala Broken Arrow Style



*Adding to the Challenge money from CashHappySon donation.

$20 CHALLENGE
$35.43 balance
+00.83 generous manchild
_____
$36.26 Jan MTD

2007 Challenge $36.26
Cumulative Total $162.37

*FrugalSon worked yesterday, Hubster dug out ice in driveway and CashHappySon and I went to the movies to see Night At The Museum which was pretty cute. Somewhat better than I expected. Of financial note is that our matinee movies have now gone up to $2.25 from $2.00. Have to readjust my yearly entertainment budget now from $24.00 to 27.00! OWWWWWW!! Big Grin
Not painful, but still I'd rather that they hadn't hiked it! Even a quarter makes my Frugalicious Gene (TM) pucker!!

*FrugalSon got a dime raise on his check yesterday.

*I got headhunted for a very nice job - went for the interview - turns out it would be commissioned based sales and I'm just not interested in sales. Was nice to be sought out though and the commissions would be quite substantial but still I'm just not into sales - I've done it before and it's not quite my cup of tea.

*Hubster and I went and spent about 3 and half hours picking out the doors and hardware for our interior/exterior doors and they are now coming up w/a quote as much of it will be custom cut to fit our odd sized doorways. Hoping to get loads of the doors done for little cash, but that might be asking a bit much!

*Quote for CashHappySon's car insurance is ridiculous. Both boys are going to go together and each pay their own amount based on their respective vehicles, but they'll get a multi-car discount. Still, too much though!! OUCH!!! Hubster and I do not want them on our insurance - as we would hate to be financially liable if they were to seriously hurt someone in a car accident.

*Estimate from the country treasurer says that our house taxes are going up by a mere $5.00 next year - which isn't too bad you know! Big Grin

*Think I'll go drink a cup of serenity!

Day 363: Football Fever Hollaback!!

January 3rd, 2007 at 08:59 pm

Day 363: Football Fever




Only 363 days until 2008 and we have football fever here. No, not your everyday boob tube football fever, no tail-gate parties, no crisp air, hot cheerleader's kinda' fever.

Boring football fever.

Boring that is unless you have the dna of a fruggie. Gifted with the Frugalicious Gene (tm), that is.

Yesterday FrugalSon and I were cleaning out his room when we came upon some of the leftover boxes from when my FIL lived with us.

In there was one of those little plastic football shaped coin purses from the 60's and 70's like the one pictured above. This one was even decorated like a football and in it was .94 cents.

The Hubster says I can have it for the $20 Challenge. Thanks Pops!! I miss you!

~~~~~~~~HOLLABACK~~~~~~~

!!TOUCHDOWN!! She scores!

$20 CHALLENGE
$1.71 balance
+0.94 Pops was a team player
_____
$2.65 Jan MTD

2007 Challenge YTD Total $2.65

Cummulative Total $128.76

Pamper Me Pamplona

December 14th, 2006 at 12:59 pm

Pamper Me Pamplona

Okay - Between Flylady's posting about pampering ourselves and my extended family acting all crappy about Christmas I decided that the last two days was a PAMPER MYSELF necessity!

FrugalSon and I went to see 'The Holiday' with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law! A very nice movie that I would watch again and again.

Watching that reminded me that I'd been wanting a haircut and I'd had mine styled similarly to Cameron's before so I went for it -- a cross between Diaz



and Sandra Bullock's.



While at the Supercuts (I wanted to go to a nicer place where the stylist takes more individual time with you - but the budget did not allow PLUS I had a Supercuts coupon!) ...anywazsoz' I decided while there I should do something else for myself that I've been wanting to try. I was up until yesterday an eyebrow virgin. Meaning I never pluck, shape, sugar or do that weird thing with floss.

I had my eyebrows waxed for an expenditure of about 12.50 or so. It was good. The shop was virtually empty so all three of the girls 'did me!' One cut my hair and the other two did the eyebrows. Fortunately both eyebrows match!! Smile

THEN, I went further and went to Cato Fashions. I had been reading my MissusSmartyPants stuff and thinking I needed a fresh look. So while there I got myself a new pair of basic black pants that actually fit me perfectly. As you ladies know that is a Major FEAT unto it's own. There is usually always something a bit off. These were regularly priced at 19.99. And I got a very cute and flattering top to wear to Christmas at my Mom's and will work well with the pants and also go with a long black skirt for church later. My color, a flattering blue/green that makes me ol' hazel eyes blue for the duration. Daring decollatouge' and all. Woo-hoo it was on the clearance rack for $5.99 velvet bodice ribbon and all! A SCORE!

Next up was a trip next door to the Payless Shoe store where I was able to purchase at the BOGO sale and got myself a very nice black flat everyday type (working world) dress shoe and a pair of black tennis shoes.

I know I know I said I wasn't going to buy any more shoes this year so I've blown my Vow (See Thrifty Ray's Vow post). I needed new walking shoes in the worst way. I've had three foot surgeries and shoes that fit and are on sale are hard to run into in the same breath. I promise to only wear them once this year to Mom's (it's an outfit) and then will put them away till January 1, Thrifty Ray!!

Okay, so I went a little wild. But hey, I look hot, and my feet will thank me later!

So a day of pamper me luxury - a very rare thing - and if my internal adding machine is working I'm somewhere in the $99 dollar range. Not too bad - but I don't make a habit of this kinda thing. Matter of fact I can't even remember the last time I did such a thing (maybe four or five years ago) which tells you it was long over due!

Wow -- Broken Arrow - it really does feel good to confess our indulgences! BTW, I love the tea-light lamp!!

Tres' Chic!

Like the 'new and improved' me!

Past Belated Birthday-Yah Yah Me!

December 3rd, 2006 at 01:58 pm

Past Belated Birthday - Yah Yah Me!





"There was a star danced, and under that was I born." - William Shakespeare

One day during the past three weeks I celebrated the day of my birth!

"Friday's child - loving and giving [Friday (vendredi in French) is ruled by Venus. "Friday's child is loving and giving" might refer to the Venus nature, that is, a person who is loving and receptive to love.]"

"Who keeps an arrow in his bow,
And if you prod, he lets it go?
A fervent friend, a subtle foe-
Scorpio! -author unknown"

***%%%00O00%%%***

"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words." - Plautus

Although it was a long day that day and my extended-peeps weren't acting their very best and I was near tears The Hubster did manage to take me out to the local rib place and bought me a nice dinner with just us two! Yeah Hubster!!

We celebrated w/a bit of inbibing - something we normally never do - I was just in that 'I need a good stiff drink' mode so I ordered a glass of wine, he a bottle of brew. I ordered a three-meat salad thingy which was jumbo and about $8.00. Sorry, but my Frugaliscious Gene (TM) kicked into gear when I found FIVE - count them 5 - large chunks of browned lettuce stem in my salad.

The Hubster hates it when I complain in restaraunts but after I pulled the fifth one out and set it aside on a napkin even he agreed that we needed to talk to the manager. For eight smackers you can buy more than one or two heads of lettuce and throw in the meat and cheese and still turn a profit. The manager was very nice and comped my dinner! SWEET! Dinner 17.47 on the CC - yes, already deducted from the checkbook!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

"We are all born naked and screaming and if you're lucky that sort of thing won't stop there." - Unknown



Cracks me up!!! Loved this story - hope my future 'old age home' is as much fun! All ya'll aging rocksters give me a shout so we can coordinate our first annual blow-out!! Of course, my birthday is in November so socks & bowties for men and socks & earmuffs for women will be the appropriate attire. Maybe a nipple cozy should go on my 120th birthday wish list?? I mean, really, a birthday girl has got to have some way to differientiate herself at her own birthday bash!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(self portrait)

"Your future goes beyond the wooden floor of third dimension.
It goes beyond the endless sands of time that sift in the wind.
It stretches beyond the seas and the flow of creation.
It reaches above the sky, the stars, and the universe.
It is endless. Always look ahead, your lessons learned.
If you 'look' within your soul, you will see your future." ~Ellie Crystal


I'm learning from a dear soul-friend the art of looking ahead instead of behind me. Hoping to have our family foundation funded and fully going by the time I hit my 50s. A little legacy to hopefully benefit mankind.

-------------

"From birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five, she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs a good personality. From fifty-five on, she needs good cash." - Sophie Tucker



So, I'm here between thirty-five and fifty-five and hoping my personality is at least somewhat pleasing as I'm getting a head start on looking for some good cash in the future!! A nice roll of cash would not be an inappropriate gift in my humble estimation!

Happy Belated Birthday to Me!



Emptying The Old Mailbag

November 9th, 2006 at 08:31 pm

Emptying The Old Mail Bag

Time to update you on the generosity of Team Frugalis' Corporate Sponsors!



This past week we received thanks to our hard-working mailman:

1)Swiffer Duster by Proctor & Gamble.

2)Two samples of Cover Girl Advanced Radiance foundation.

3)Coupon for FREE 6.5 lb. bag of Purina One Dog Food.

4)Sample of Tide Vanilla & Lavender Laundry Detergent.

5)Sample of Downy's Rose & Violet Fabric Softener.

6)Coupon for FREE 5 lb. bag of Lassie Natural Way Dog Food.

7)Sample of Folgers Gourmet Selections Vanilla Biscotti Flavor.

8)Sample of Folgers Gourmet Selections Lively Columbian Flavor.

9)Eight Chews of Viactiv Calcium Chews - 5 Caramel and 3 Milk Chocolate.

10)Two Poise Pads - Extra With Wings.

11)Three Samples of Dove Advanced Color Care Shampoo, Conditioner and Reviving Mask.

12)Two Samples of Dove Sheer Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner.

12)Two Samples of Dove Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner.

13)Sniff Sample of Candie's new Heartbreaker fragrance. YUMMY!

14)Large Sample of Cheer's True Fit laundry additive.

15)Sample tube of Olay's Definity Highly Defined Anti-Aging Intense Hydrating Cream.

Many of these were courtesy of Walmart's Sample Program, so thank you Walmart and THANK YOU THANK YOU Corporate Sponsors!! YEAH!!

Budget To Match Reality - Zero Out

November 7th, 2006 at 01:29 pm

Budget To Match Reality - Zero Out



I've posted a new link over at the right that I want all of you to be aware of:

Getting Finances Done has some great ideas on zero based budgeting. Worth your time to read if you are struggling getting your budget to match reality!


http://www.gettingfinancesdone.com/blog/


Thanks to HalMd over at the forums for directing us to it!

If you think zero based budgeting is for you then try Jesse's (from this site)


youneedabudget.com

Double Fudge Chocolate Chip Toffee Almond Cookies

October 6th, 2006 at 09:46 pm

Double Fudge Chocolate Chip Toffee Almond Cookies

Good, good, good.

Trying to be frugal and use up some things that have been hanging around the pantry. Don't ask for a recipe, because I don't have one. I just tossed dry ingredients, additions, margarine, vanilla and water. Baked at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.

YUMMY lovin' from the oven!!


How Green Is My Valley?

September 14th, 2006 at 02:15 pm

How Green Is My Valley?



I just posted a new link over there in the right-hand links column on Michele Singletary's column The Color of Money at the Washington Post. When you get a few minutes check out the archives. Lots of good reading here for those of us with the Frugalicious (TM) Gene!


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/03...

Enjoy!