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Keeping ImaSaver Company

December 19th, 2009 at 03:41 pm



Well, I've been busy. Elsewhere.

But to keep ImaSaver company over there on the upper right $20 Challenge corner, I did manage to have that $20 left over at the end of the last month, so I'm adding it to this month's $20 challenge, plus I found a quarter the other day. Adding that in as well.

$20 Challenge

$0000.00 Dec balance
+0020.25 keeping good company
________
$0020.25 Dec MTD

2009 Challenge Total $1,036.05
Cumulative Challenge Total $2,089.81

Back from the Races

October 29th, 2009 at 01:18 pm


Yesterday was a new day at the Frugalicious races...

Got up early and Hubster and FrugalSon loaded up the back of my pickup with wood for my Dad using the wheelbarrow as I was not venturing back into the muddy yard with my truck again after getting sunk and stuck the other night. I picked what appears like the last of my tomatoes for the year and took about half of them for Dad.

Then Frugalson & I loaded up and went to the bank and got my signature on Hubster's Carpenter's Pension notarized and then scooted on over to the post office and got it mailed off.

We took off on the backroads and drove the hour and half trip to my Dad's and he and FrugalSon unloaded the wood while his wife and I visited. They got through and I got to visit with my Dad for about 30 minutes and then we started heading back.

Dad had slipped me $40 for gas. He can well afford it and if he didn't get wood from me? ...he'd be buying it from someone. Nice. It takes about $50 to fill my truck and I can get one full trip to his town and back out of it, plus some other running around my town. Last trip was on me.

I needed to treat my helper to lunch so at his choice we stopped for a burger basket, frosty rootbeers and had the rare treat of fried pickles as an appetizer. Yummers. $17.23 + $3.00 tip.

After lunch we stopped at a good garage sale. I bought myself two nice little side-tables - they are very heavy, have a cute rustic style to them and are formica-ed on top. So useable with those tops & too Too TOO cute to pass up.

I don't know that I NEED them, but will try to work them into the house. If they don't work out I might sell one or both of them in my booth at a profit. Or maybe FrugalSon can use them downstairs in his apartment. They are sweet little tables & at $25 for the pair, I can easily double my money. The finish on the legs is a bit aged, but they could be really cutened up w/some beige or antique white paint on the legs! Or, even some barn red or a forest green for a bunkhouse or cabin look. Here's one of them before cleanup:





Also bought myself a cute new to me denim jacket for a $1.00, and the guy running the sale, who was flirting with me ended up giving me a paperback for free - wooo, a big spender type! Big Grin

He was a nice man, but kind of overtly obvious with the compliments, thinking my son was my husband because obviously I couldn't P.O.S.S.I.B.L.Y. be that old, etc. Yeah, right. Nice to hear, but you know it's patently not true. I do look younger than my age, but not THAT young.

Also got two paintings in frames for $3 each. We'll probably paint over the canvases and have the frames to use for our creations. Cheap art material!!!

Then it was off to my Mom's house where they gave me a very nice metal patio table. They had three outdoor sets? I think one of them was from stepdad's Mom's estate. They are closing in their back patio and now have one inside that room and one set outside and this set just extra. Nice. I had given CashHappySon my old set when he moved away.



This patio set is black. My other outdoor set ALMOST matches it but is white/yellowish. The white set is 'chippy' and likely this coming spring, I'll wirebrush it down and paint it out black to match. I spot-shot the rusty areas the other day w/rustoleum to get it thru the winter. I nearly STOLE the white set late last year at a thrift store. All seven pieces for only $27.00! The other little table Hubster is using indoors for his printer stand.


(note one of the little arched water spigot cubbie covers that Hubster made the other day over on the left)

Mom THINKS she knows where the umbrella and stand is at in her storage building.

I'm counting my parental units as Corporate Sponsors! They're members of the Golden Eagle Elite Club!! Thank God for our parents. They've all done so much for us through the years.

We visited with Mom about 15 minutes and admired stepdad's handiwork on the new patio room, then jumped back in the truck.

Stopped at vitamin store and spent about $30 there, needed more magnesium for routine maintenance and also Sambucol to keep the sore throat and flu bug away. Pricey stuff but needed for to the keeping away of the creeping crud & the blue funks!

Then we stopped at the Dollar store for FrugalSon to buy more minutes for his Tracphone.

Then we got home by about 3:15 and I crashed! Then I got back up and took vitamin herby stuff to keep from being sick as I felt achy, and ate the rest of the Tortilla Soup from the other day at about 5:00 p.m. and then laid back down.

FrugalSon stayed outside and unloaded all the new bunkN'junque off the back of the truck.

FrugalSon then went out and helped Hubster who was mowing on the rider, by pushmowing the garden area and then the top-yard for the last mow of the season and to run all the gas out of the mowers so they can be winterized.

Hubster spent the day yesterday raking up all the leaves and twigs and general messiness that the tree cutters left behind and trying to repair a cheap-o rake that kept breaking on him. The last rake we had lasted about 15 years. This one? Lasted less than one season! Come on folks lets manufacture something worthwhile could we????

Then they stayed outside till dark-thirty chainsawing and stacking the rest of the wood in the front part of the yard. We are racing trying to beat winter! I had made Hubster promise not to chainsaw until I got home. I rushed around as much as possible for this daytrip to get back so he had some daylight left to work in. Supposed to be cold and wet the rest of the week here.

After all that cutting & stacking they came in and FrugalSon heated up the Black Bean soup that was also in the frig and they had that and sandwiches and marble cake for supper while I was going thru a nice little sleep cycle on the couch.

Poor FrugalSon had quite a busy day off!
I am feeling much better this morning. Like a new woman. Bouncing up at 5:30 a.m. Hubster is still sawing logs. In bed, that is!

Taking the $8 I didn't blow at a garage sale to the $20 Challenge.

$022.82 balance
+008.00 garage sale leavings
_______
$030.82 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $993.10 (think I'll beat a thousand this year? Who'll give me odds?)
Cumulative Challenge Total $2046.86


*Little known L.L.Frugalis factoid: I used to jockey as a pre-teen.

S.S.S.G.

October 28th, 2009 at 09:14 pm



S.S.S.G. = Social Security Speedy Gonzales.

Hubster's first SS check which we applied for on Monday morning 10/26/2009 at 9:00 a.m.? Hit our bank this morning Wednesday 10/28/2009 by 8:00 a.m.! Holy Cow, when did the U.S. government get so efficient???? I am thrilled, amazed, gobsmacked, etc., etc., etc.

We are both pretty darn impressed!

"¡Andale! ¡Andale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!" (Spanish for "Go on! Go on! Up! Up!) Yeeeehaw!!

Here I was thinking they were Speedy's cousin, Slowpoke Rodriquez!

One of my favorite childhood cartoons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXJv5-L6FwM


---

It's ALWAYS Something - Keep Vigilant!

October 17th, 2009 at 07:29 pm

Not much going on here - except I spent a bunch of money buying frames for mine and FrugalSon's artwork at the 50% off sale. That took a load out of my wallet and now I'm nigh on to broke in the checking account department. But we got lots of frames for artwork we've had sitting around, as we say in my neck of the woods, nekkkkid.

Good news for FrugalSon as he sold an artwork this year. His first. Big doings, and he had prints made of it and has sold those as well! He's now a PRO. Momma Frugalis is sooooo proud.

The dog herd left this morning again after another round of sitting. Another tiny bit of inflow here for the dog-sitting, and I'm going to take $20 of it and put it toward this month's $20 Challenge as that seems to be lacking and the rest I'll put towards the RV Land Travel fund LATER, if I don't have to have it to run on later in the month.

That frame expenditure ran me close to empty and I do have an out of town trip to make later this month that will likely take cash.

Today will be a No Spend Day.

Housebudget spent yesterday $90ish for groceries, and I spent $15 for a name plaque to go on the bottom of one of my paintings that will be going to a museum later this month as well. So, all said and done, I'm experiencing a temporary cash flow problem! Oh well. I can always pull back out of savings if I had to, but I won't do that unless absolutely necessary and I can't see any upcoming expenses that I haven't already accounted for.

The tree guys are all gone and Hubster has much chainsawing left to do on some big pieces - the base of one tree stump sits at 37 inches before it flared out toward the roots! Our collective emergency fund said OUUUUUUUUCHHHHHH over that expenditure, but twas needful. Back to boosting that savings now.

BEFORE after death by FREAKISH ice-storm



AFTER very sad, it changes entire look of main approach to house:


These are only the corner on one side. There were about 8 more gigantorific trees that had to come down all together all around my house. The back of my house now feels naked and VERY exposed! They cut to 14 inch length & stacked most of it.

While Hubster was out trying to get the rest of it cut up his chainsaw stopped oiling itself, so it's back in the repair shop, and who knows what that'll cost.

It's always something. ;{

Took one load of the wood to my Dad's this week, there are about five or six more loads to go! He'll have wood to burn all winter and some for next year likely.

Our phone bill came and whatever special we had signed up under has now ended adding another $20 a month to that expense, and there was a 'CRAMMED on' charge for IDL - some kind of identity thingawhich that we did not ask for at $12.95 a month, and now have to wangle around to get taken back off the phone bill. Ought to be a law. The phone owner cannot ask for it to be removed, it has to come in the form of a credit from the CROOK who crammed it on there to begin with. They have you by the neck!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGG!


Photo caption: Abott & Costello?


Did I mention? It's ALWAYS something. Vigiliance is key. Somebody always trying to play GOTCHA in the wallet department!!


$20 CHALLENGE
$000.77 balance
+020.00 Wooof-woof!
_______
$020.77 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $983.05
Cumulative Challenge Total $2036.81

This Week's Wind Up Quickies

September 26th, 2009 at 03:54 pm

Worked Thursday to get Hubster's 401-K rolled over to Fidelity. Tried to do it online by ourselves. No luck. Tried to do it online while talking to a Fidelity rep. No luck. Forced to go the old fashioned paper route mainly because of where the 401-K is being held. Crossing fingers. That mail went out Thursday.

---



On Friday we sold a big old heavy iron smoker/BBQer for $25 using Craigslist. It would not fit into our plans to downsize some time in the future. It was rather gigantic and old, starting to have some rust out issues and I had gotten it for FREE years ago by being a willing Sanford & Son type hauler-away of 'almost' any good junq'ue. We used it for many years when we were hosting church picnics, but that need has fallen away as the church we belong to now is way far away. Haven't decided what to do with this $25 yet, probably divide it up between my various goals. Will make a followup post when I decide. Any condo or smaller house we may buy in the future? Ehhh, we can either get by without a cooker or we'll get a nicer propane one or maybe a nice George Foreman electric grill on a stand.
We're not that big of entertainers any more and we don't grill out often anyway. Yes, I probably could've bought some heat-resistant paint and painted this and got a bit more out of it, but the sides are rusting out, and most importantly I wanted it GONE! One less thing to move if we decide to later.
---

We are waiting until the September interest posts in our Money Market account to move some of it to Emigrant Direct where it will earn a bit more money. Leaving just enough in MM to cover a true CASH emergency. Haven't decided yet whether to stash the money moved in $1000 incremental CDs ladder, but that's the likely way it'll go. This is our Household Emergency Fund.

---

Today I deposited $100 in my pre-Roth account aka Grrls Just Wanna Have E-Funds, on my way to getting as much of next year's Roth IRA contributions together as I can. I did this by depositing a check by mail - this is the first time I've made a long-distance deposit of a check into Fidelity. Usually I just deposit locally and then go online and move it. We'll see how it goes. I always feel sketchy about trusting the mail! That envelope went out this a.m.

---

While I was out I cleaned out my wallet at the bank and deposited $52.02. This & the $100 will go towards my $20 Challenge and in the Grrls Just Wanna Have E-Funds because that's where it temporarily resides. I came home from the bank and moved it to Fidelity.

$106.17 balance
+152.02 check & wallet cleanout
_______
$258.19 Sep MTD

2009 Total = $962.28
Cumulative Total $2016.04

---

Passed one without stopping but did stop at another garage sale - bought nothing! Yeah me! So today likely to be a No Spend Day as I don't intend on going back out.

---

Early this a.m. FrugalSon and I hit the walking trail down by the river for a nice 30 minute walk before he had to report to work. Nice and quiet in the park at that time of the morning. Noticed one of our local hospital has installed free bicycles to be loaned out with a CC deposit in case the bikes aren't returned w/i 24 hours. Nicely done with a self-serve set-up! Might have to try that some time.

---

I'm working on painting crown molding trim's last coat today before it's ready for Hubster's installation portion of the program. This is for the living room.



---

Rehabbing an old deco 'bow front' chest of drawers that had veneer chipping off. I went to my small town art supply place and they were out of the 'goop' I needed to fill in those chipped out places w/o replacing the veneer. The lady there was nice enough (I am a GOOD regular customer) to loan me her giant tub of it. Came home and filled that stuff in. Chore for this afternoon is to sand it down and start painting it.



I'm also going to do my girlhood bed. I already fixed the veneer on it once with a costly $250 veneer job years and years ago and then all my kids used the bed and the veneer on it is now chipped again as well. So later today I'm planning on hauling it out and filling the chunks in on it as well. And then I'll be painting both these pieces out in a low-gloss black. More AFTER pics to follow later.


Updating Grrls Just Wanna Have E-funds

August 15th, 2009 at 08:34 pm


Today I'm updating the left side-bar as I've got a few minutes.

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

On 2/18/09 this fund was sitting at $1,391.56. Since then I've been putting $10 a month in it, adding the itty bit of interest in it as well. Some of you may remember I got a nice big gift from parental units and a bit of that went in here as well, some of that went into my Roth IRA - some to municipal bonds, etc. Anyway I've also been hitting the Grrls Fun e-Fund with some portion of my junque' booth sales. Today it sits at $2,662.81 updated 8/15/09.

This is my own private emergency fund that is seperate from our household e-fund.

State Revenue Increased by $62.50

February 26th, 2009 at 06:53 pm


Seen on the web, not my st8e!


I've got to go get my truck tag today. It's not horrible and I've saved for it, so wave bye-bye to $62.50 outgoing. I could mail it off but they charge an additional $2 fee for that, so instead I'll combine it with a trip to the post-office to mail off two items that sold on ebay, totalling $14.85 minus $1.03 paypal fee = $13.82 incoming. Lucky for me my little tag office has a post office window in it. Nope - no vanity pl8s 4ME!

Think I'll add the $13.82 to the $20 Challenge:

$003.00 balance
+013.82 ebay sales
_______
$016.82 Feb MTD

2009 Challenge Total $37.97
Cumulative Challenge Total $1040.75

Well color me shocked!

February 20th, 2009 at 05:57 pm



The other day my Mother & her husband gave me & my siblings a gift each of $**,***.**. TOTALLY UNEXPECTED!

I am awaiting as I type a call back from our accountant verifying my thoughts on keeping this VERY generous gift tax free for years to come. I'm thinking of my state's municipal tax bonds, and not co-mingling it with any other monies currently so as to always know where any income it generates came from.

I do believe it will soon be enough to pay my house taxes each year if I let it compound and grow (assuming we stay in the same house).

THANKS MOM & HUBBY!!!

edited to add: The accountant says since we aren't in a high tax bracket to begin with it doesn't really matter if we pay taxes on it or not. Hmmmm, I just hate paying taxes, and currently my state's municipal bonds are paying a nice interest considering the economy. I haven't checked their ratings yet, but I'm still going to mull over my options. If you've any good ideas, pipe up, I'd love to hear them. I could conceivably put this money inside my Roth and finish fully funding it for 2008, all of 2009 and some of 2010 when we get to that point. For today, I'm taking it to the bank to deposit then moving it to a savings vehicle until I make a final determination as to what to do. I'm thinking NICE & CONSERVATIVE on this pile. Of course, there is a tithe to be returned on this, so after paying that I may have to add some of our other funds in to meet some of the bonds purchase price.

And, I'd like to hear any ideas on what extra special thoughts should be included on the thank you note I'm currently writing.

Please, let me hear your thoughts...I'm open to everyone's ideas.

Can A Leopard Change It's Spots?

February 4th, 2009 at 06:42 pm



Went yesterday with CashHappySon trying to get his taxes prepared so he can have money for a large ticket that he has to pay. No fast action there as we got to the free AARP tax assistance at our local library too late in the day to get on the list - they closed at 3:00, we got there at 2:15 which was the earliest he could make it after work and they were already booked. Will try again on Friday.

Yesterday was a spending day as I paid for some custom reframing of an Native American Indian art print that my Dad had gifted me years ago and the picture had slipped from the matting and it needed help. Updated the matting to new colors and it looks great. That cost me $43.00 & some change, but well worth it. Love the new look.

Also bought fast food chicken sandwiches for the crew & FrugalSon's girl-i-o who has now been back in the picture for a few weeks. So, she was over to the house to eat yesterday before they went out to get his haircut and to the community center to workout and walk on the indoor walking track there, then he dropped her at work. Lunch for 4 - $8.32. His hours have dropped drastically and she was told they would be on 'cheap date' status until his hours pick up again. Here's Mom hoping a leopard can change her spots!

Hubster sold one of his old, Old, OLD computers yesterday for $25 to a young girl off of Craigslist. She'll be happy with it. Another old one he's got on there for $50 hasn't generated any response yet but was put up late yesterday afternoon.

I went Monday over to my booth and collected a check there for January sales. I met my booth rent and made enough to keep me satisfied with the low amount of effort that it takes to generate that income (+$169 & change). I sold a couple of small items on ebay (+$17.82) and shipped them out on Monday (-$2.35).

Johnny Law and CashHappySon

January 31st, 2009 at 08:42 pm



I've been working on my ebay listings today (14 new items listed), so there's that for future income. I've also priced a couple of old fashioned outside metal chairs and an enamel bucket for sale in my junque booth. I go on Monday to install them in the booth and pick up my January sales check.

Adding to the $20 Challenge

$015.91 balance
+005.24
_______
$021.15 Jan MTD

2009 Challenge Total $21.15
Cumulative Challenge Total $1023.93

CashHappySon called today wanting to pick up his W-2 so he can go do an instant refund thingawhichie. Thing is he can't really afford the fees for a fast back refund. Not sure if he'll even get a refund since he cashed in part of his retirement (401-K & IRA) this year to pay off his car loan to us.

He did go buy himself a Go-Phone (something like a pay as you go Trac-Phone) blaming me saying that I complained that I couldn't reach him. I explained to him that my statement of fact did not constitute a complaint nor a need for him to spend money he doesn't really have! Oh well. He WANTS a phone.

I hope he can use it in jail when he gets to court on Monday. That's a whole 'nuther story about the $1000 clunker car he signed for from his side-job boss (against Mom & Dad's advice) and got stopped by Johnny-Law and it got impounded because he had no insurance on it nor did it have a tag.

Tickets for that little part of this fun-tasmagoric saga equal $788.00.

Since the car was not offically in his name yet the impound lot hasn't dunned him - YET! The boss says to forget about the car and just let it set there as he doesn't want it or the title back.

Oh yes, he also mentioned that the apartment managment is fining him $100 for having a pet in the apartment without having come and put up the proper pet deposit. All of which was carefully explained to him when he went to rent the apartment. I know it was because I was there when the guy laid out all the rules for him. Ho-Hum!

You breakie the rules - you pay-ee!! He'll learn I suppose.

On sale at the local grocery this weekend was our favorite big-name brand pop at 69 cents a liter. We bought a bunch! We bought 30 bottles! Since it's hard anymore to find them on sale for the normal 99 cents and usually priced at $1.25 this seemed like a great offer. Of course I fell for it and bought a couple of other things - like the slicing tomatoes & cream cheese I went in after! I didn't know they were having the sale so it was a happy surprise.

Ronco SprayHair Paint 4 the Hair Tear Outs?

January 29th, 2009 at 02:58 pm



On ebay one of my books sold this week and Hubster sold one of the computers & monitors laying around the house extra (he's got a bad habit of upgrading REPEATEDLY) for more than we had in it so we're up. And, better - that money ($525 minus ebay & paypal fees) has gone back into the emergency kitty. And nice too - it's out from underfoot where we really had no place to store it so it's been decoratively sitting at the end of my bed.

Also this week FrugalSon paid the kitty back $100 on his remaining balance for his new motor - so he's still down to us to the tune of about $600.

Yesterday Hubster braved the 2009 ice storm to ship out the computer ($35.77) which was covered by the buyer and got the tag renewed for his car which cost $83.50.

A small bit of financial smiles came forth when Hubster reminded me that the checks we are out of will be replaced FREE because of the type of 'Old-Timer' account we have at the bank. Yeah FREE! I'm calling them today to order up.

FrugalSon although not on the schedule (when is he ever on the schedule any more??? They've cut his hours at Burger Arches quite harshly) yesterday got called in for four hours worth of work unloading the truck. When the ice storm lets up we are going into the metro area to see if we can get him on at one of the several major hospitals in our area.

CashHappySon called a night or two ago wanting to know if his W-2s had showed up yet or one of the two checks he's got coming is in. 'Nope' to all three, but I'm fine thanks for asking!! :< He's so self-centered these days - I didn't talk to him but his Dad did - the boy did not even say good-bye but just hung up when he had his answer. GAAAAA! What kind of child have I raised?

I tried to reach him the other day to take him with us when we went to see the new baby, but his cell phone has been cut off - Not a big surprise. I don't know if he's going to work or not - supposedly some girl he works with was going to be giving him a ride. Hopefully he is more polite to her than he's been to us. Fact is, he told me the other day he doesn't care if he keeps his job or not! Exactly the problem I tell him.

Really, does this bald spot on my head show where I've torn the hair out?? I've tried that colored hair spray paint but I'm not sure it's going to work for such a major balding!!! Big Grin How much is this 'coverage' going to cost me??????


To the $20 Challenge I've got:

$005.54 balance
+010.37 in a purse cleanout
_______
$015.91 MTD

2009 Challenge Total $15.91
Cumulative Challenge Total $1018.69

I listed three more books yesterday and will try to get some more done today. There are scads and scads of them that need to go!

Yesterday was a NSD for me as the only time I left the house was to drive FrugalSon in the ice ruts to work.

3 Thumbs Up! Laundry Dog Makes Discovery!

January 18th, 2009 at 05:30 pm



FrugalSon found a nickel in the laundry to add to the challenge.

$20 CHALLENGE

$005.49 balance
+000.05 laundry donation
_______
$005.54 Jan MTD

2009 Challenge Total $005.54
Cumulative Challenge Total $1008.32

No, he's not in the doghouse. I start the clothes to washing and he moves them to the dryer and folds and puts away as part of his daily chores that come along with still living at home. He also does dishes on his nights off and every morning puts away the dried dishes from the night before. He's 22. For those of you just tuning in he also pays a small Room & Board stipend to the First National Bank of Mom Frugalis.

I am feeling some better. Yesterday I was dressed to shoes, with makeup done and everything and think I'll be able to get to the same level of alertness today. I do like the newish mucus relieving medication - sorry, this is gross, but it does thin the gunk so you can rid yourself of it. 3 Thumbs Up! Uhhh, yeah, well, I didn't say it doesn't make you loopy! So....ummm yeah, Two Thumbs Up!

Yesterday I was feeling so much better that I got about 10 items listed on ebay. And woke up this morning to see that one of Hubster's computer peripheals did sell and he's busy packing it up now for shipping tomorrow. It was one of four sets he had bought for resale, so at least he's on his way to paying back the CC.

And a few of the things he had listed on Craigslist have sold as well. YEAH HUBSTER. My deal with this is not that we don't have room, but that technology moves at such a fast pace that it's better to move it along while it is still viable!

FrugalSon is down with this creeping-crud now. CashHappySon came by to pick up his **OMG $968 OMG** cell phone bill & several letters from the bank on overdraft charges!! Did I say OMG? O.M.G.!!!

The boychild is one stubborn kiddo and will only learn his lessons the hard way. Of course the cell phone company cut your phone off! What the holy-heck do you do to rack up a $968 phone bill???????

Yesterday was a No Spend Day!

She Did A Costly Boo-Boo!

January 5th, 2009 at 03:10 am



Busy doing a Flylady fling-fest here on all the old receipts and paperwork that just sometimes seems to get out of hand and put into a stash and dash pile.

Feeling the pressure as the 'tax package' came from the CPA yesterday....GAAAAA!!! I'm not ready to think about how hyper-critical he'll be of all my various accounts!

Survived the holidays but of course the house looked like a cyclone blew thru. I've spent the last four days trying to shuffle furnishings around and deep clean all at the same time. It's WINTER cleaning, getting a head start on spring cleaning, doncha' know!

A lady backed into my truck back on the 9th of December in a parking lot. Two checks came from her insurance company totalling over $1300.00 for the tiniest bump you've ever seen. The price to fix these things is astronomical in relation to the size of the boo-boo! Don't know if we'll even fix the truck. Thinking of taking the money and buying a flat-panel TV and with the leftover money buying myself a new front door. We'll see.

Give me a day or two and I'll get a pic up and show you what costs $1300 to fix!

Yesterday was a no-spend day!

Santa finally brought me my inheritance from my Granny (long story and long time coming - she passed away about 9 years ago)! It's the large thing sitting under the lamp, and it's a player one as well. I have lots of great memories sitting with her and singing along as the rolls ran! On the piano are some of the ebay books I've got listed. Only a full basement library to go!!

Adding a quarter to the $20 Challenge - still have to get that record over to the side updated!

$20 CHALLENGE

$000.25 2009 Total

Today's My Blogoversary - since '06

August 23rd, 2008 at 08:42 pm




I've been here at Saving Advice since August 23, 2006. Wow. Glad I set up the blogoversary button to remind me.

Went to the wine-making class this morning. It was an hour and a half class and about an hour into it I got too hot and thought I was going to pass out and had to step outside to cool off. Got in the car and started up the air-conditioner and headed home. The class took place about 45 minutes from home.

BUT - I recalled that she'd mentioned that we'd get a FREE bottle of wine to take home. I was about 5 minutes away and turned back and finished the last 15 minutes or so of the class, got my FREE hooch and headed home. It's a black raspberry merlot. Will give it a taste here in a few days. It's from a four week wine kit. The lady who teaches the class has wine in several stages of production so this was ready to be bottled and is ready to drink.

I'll let you know how it tastes.

It was tempting but I didn't buy any equipment today. She was very nice and didn't do a hard sell at all. I'm wanting to but am hoping the desire will pass, if it doesn't then I will probably buy off of ebay if I can get it cheaper.

Today's free wine is counted as INFLOW.

Things Look Up When You Look Down

August 18th, 2008 at 03:44 pm



Adding to the $20 Challenge. This money will be added to my Roth IRA.

My Discovercard $20 reward hit the bank and I've got .12 cents here on the keyboard to put towards the challenge. Those rewards should stack up again rather quickly as we've been putting our gas on the Discover Card as they've got a 5% Cashback bonus going right now on gas purchases thru September.

Who says it doesn't pay to look down??

I found the twelve cents. Eleven of it was found in the lobby at the Dark Knight movie last week and a penny that fell in the floor from taking clothes from the dryer this weekend.

$20 CHALLENGE

$222.66 Aug balance
+020.12 Discover & found & laundry
_______
$242.78 Aug MTD

This is my best challenge month ever thanks to Hubster!

2008 Challenge Total $429.73
Cumulative Challenge Total $958.34

Yesterday I had a personal No Spend Day.

Housebudget bought a newspaper (FrugalSon & I both looking the employment ads over), cold meds, and trashbags at Walgreen's and paid McDonald's for supper. Hubster has the creeping crud of the lunger sort so it's AlkaSeltzerPlus time for him. And there is STILL one corner of the back yard that needs a lot of small limbs picked up & bagged from the ice storm last winter! It's returning to jungle back there and both boys are off today so we've got a plan of attack for it this afternoon if the rain holds off.

In case you missed it last week - FrugalSon passed his driving test FINALLY!!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-DOGGGIEEEES!!!

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

Bonus Check Cashed

August 7th, 2008 at 02:43 pm



Finally Hubster got around to cashing his bonus check that I mentioned before and giving me MORE than half of it. I'm taking it to the challenge.

$000.00 balance
+220.00 my 1/2 plus bonus check shared
+000.61 change purse cleanout
_______
$220.61 Aug MTD

2008 Challenge Total $407.56
Cumulative Challenge Total $936.17

Yes, he's a VERY nice man!!! I won the prize when I got him. When I told him I was going to put it back, he just rolled his eyes and told me he wanted me to buy myself something with it. Problem with that? There's nothing I really want or need at the moment. A nice place to be for a frugalista!

Jun &Jul Utility Figures OH the Excitement!

August 1st, 2008 at 08:11 pm



Looking backwards I see that I didn't post our June utility records. And I want to keep going forward tracking those costs here. So here are June & July!

July utility figures for Frugalis Family of four adults (1 female/3 males):

$97.33 CableTV/Internet/Phone
$94.00 Gas
$66.00 Electricity
$38.85 Water/Ambulance
$14.00 Trash
_______
$310.18 July total

The cable/phone bill went up because I added a feature to block all those annoying 800 number calls that were coming in with no one on the other end of the line! So sad that a consumer has to protect themselves this way and there is no way to get them to stop calling you five or six times a day. GRRRR! Anyway, that's why that went up. I did some investigating online and it seems that many people have this same trouble and there seems no way to stop them from dialing! OUGHT TO BE A LAW!

Water bill was down for July because we were out of town for 10 days on vacation.

---

The June utility figures were:
$90.75 CableTV/Internet/Phone
$91.00 Gas
$64.00 Electricity
$49.40 Water/Ambulance
$14.00 Trash
_______
$309.15 June total

~~~

AVERAGE FRUGALIS UTILITY BILLS - 2008
$310.18 July totals
$309.15 June totals
$309.15 May totals
$318.70 April totals
$313.08 March totals

Since I started tracking here the average is $312.05 per month.

~~~

I did get a notice from my trash carrier that starting in August they will be taking a bit more on the old autodraft payment to cover gasoline prices.

Ho-hum!

It's to be expected and they were the one company that had not adjusted their rates since we moved here in 1999! They are well worth the trouble to keep me from hauling stuff myself to the dump which would cost me exactly the same amount PLUS my gasoline & time/energy to do the hauling.

I can't locate the paper at the moment that stated exactly how much they'll be going up but it was rather a small increase and I'd say well deserved!

FYI: I have a two story home w/a walk-in attic & a walk-out basement that has central heat & air. The basement is not heated/cooled but stays at a naturally regulated temperature year round. It's always nice down there!

Upstairs I keep the shades drawn all summer and have curtains over all the blinds except in the kitchen & utility room.

We did put new energy efficient windows in last April. I've yet to do the homework to see if heat/cooling bills have gone down. Funny, huh? I should do that!

With attic & basement space we run about 3600 square feet. We keep 1600 or so sq. feet on the main floor of it 'conditioned' at all times.

We don't monkey around w/the thermostat and it stays set at 72 summertime, 78 wintertime. I use portable fans in the areas we need extra cooling in from time to time and I sleep w/one of those Vornado fans blowing on my face all night every night year round for white noise & I like a BRISK breeze.

In the winter time we do bring up a space heater from the basement to use in the bathroom. 28 days out of 30 we never use it, but sometimes it is extra nice if you've been out shoveling snow or some such and need a hot bathing experience.

I always figure if we're too hot we can take more clothes off or if too cold we can bundle up more!

I wash one load of colored laundry per weekday & Sunday and 2 loads on Saturday (1 whites/1 colored).

Dishes are done once a day by hand. We use cloth napkins.

Computers are turned off every night. I try to unplug everything that isn't absolutely necessary - in the kitchen this means the microwave, coffee pot, tv, toaster, etc. are all unplugged if not in use. In the bathroom hair-dryer is unplugged after each use. Two electric clocks in the house - all others use rechargeable batteries and all bulbs that can be are CFLs.

We have natural gas for heating & cooking.

Some one is home all day every day.

---
Paid bills today and requested my CashBack Bonus from Discover card today. That $20 should show up in the old bank account in a day or two if not today. When it does I'm adding it to my $20 Challenge.

Throw Some Dogs A Bone...

July 24th, 2008 at 01:11 pm

Dear You:



"Just Never You Mind What I've Got In Here!!!"


Throw Some Dogs A Bone...
a/k/a Lux's Monetary Influx Announcement



Hubster got a nice little profit sharing check this week of $431.00 and some odd change.

Of course you know what I want to do with it? Of course you do my lil Pupcake...put it into our retirement monies, but he wants to have some money to spend.

"Well, you earned it. It's all yours honey, spend it if you want."

I understand. He does get tired of me always wanting to put back for that proverbial rainy day and we do usually keep our blow money to a strict minimum.

So, the final decision that he came up with? He's going to cash it and give me half and him take half. He wants me to spend mine, too.

Soooo, what to do w/my $215+?????

Likely I'll BUY a couple of savings bonds or some stock or put it towards one of my drips w/$200 of it. And blow the $15 and change on ING savings or whoever's running the nicest rate at the moment. How does that sound???? At those online banks I have subaccounts called CD Savings Escrow. When it gets up to the $500-1000 level and rates are good, I pop off and invest it in a certificate of deposit (old school) and start over saving in it again.

Old dog, same OLD tricks, w/a different twist to make it more palatable for those who like to gnaw their entire bone away on the same day. See me??? - I can do that too, but have a little bone left to gnaw later as well. Dig a little hole here and there, stick in my bones and cover them up for later!!



It's all good! Some things never change.

YEAH Profit Sharing!! YEAH Hubster!

Love,
Lux

~~~
P.S. Yesterday was a No Spend Day!!

Re-deposited $7.28 from CashHappySon reimbursing me for something he bought off of ebay.

Balanced checkbooks yesterday.

~~~
P.P.S. Funny - Hubster & I - our Chinese Horoscope Symbols? Both dogs.

quote from a website talking about the Chinese Dog Symbol:

"They generally have hidden savings accounts for future family endeavors such as family vacations and college tuitions."

Not to worry, I know where he keeps his socks of money buried!!

So You Think You Can Dance?

June 21st, 2008 at 12:49 pm


Bellydancer Suhair Zaki




CAN YOU DO THE SCRATCH-N-DENT HIP-HOP IN YOUR FUNKY BOOTS?

Got cases of chicken noodle soup yesterday at the scratch-n-dent for $3.88. Only catch? No labels. So, I spent a bit of time yesterday writing the contents on the cans & boxes. Each year finds somebody sick and wanting chicken noodle soup! Other good buy was pretzels 4 bags/$1. And I got Hubster some funky color shoe-polishes for his cowboys boots which are funky colored for .88 a can.


HOW ABOUT THE LENDER'S WALTZ?

Yesterday my step-dad paid me $50 on the computer he bought from Hubster. These dollars have to go back in the kitty. Sorry Hubster! Big Grin


CAN YOU DO THE 401-K MAMBO?

This past week I finally got through all the paperwork on CashHappySon's 401-K offerings and got him signed up. Reading them is bad enough but explaining those things to another person is complicated to me, so I fell back on the nice explanation found around page 90 in David Bach's 'Automatic Millionaire' book. We set CashHappy's deferral rate to 18% which should just about match what he's been putting into his Roth.

Still left to do is stop CashHappys' Roth contributions for now. With his car payment, paying room & board here plus trying to save for moving out he can't afford to do both right now.

His 401-K plan does not offer an employer match that I could see. But, it did have a place to set up automatic 1% yearly increases, which we did. Thing is, the kiddo is 19. How likely will he be to stay at this place of employment? Ehhh, not too sure, but we're doing what we can while we can.


DO THE HEALTH-INSURANCE MOMBO??

Also yesterday we spent some time on the phone with FrugalSon's employee benefits office getting him signed up for health insurance. He finally got some small scrap of paperwork saying the open enrollment dates, which window was mighty short for use in view of vacation plans. There were no written explanation of benefits forthcoming!! BAHHH! It's complicated enough - try doing it without the info in front of you!

Eventually we got him signed up for health & dental insurance yesterday. They offer disability but the lady did not tell us about it and we'll have to call back another day to get a rate quote! Sheesh, it's always something.

Also on FrugalSon's we'll have to adjust his Roth contributions downward by about $30 a month in order to make his small salary cover everything. He's been contributing the maximum, but we'll just have the insurance and lower the contributions for now and if no huge expenses come up during the year attempt to fully fund his Roth from his emergency or car repair savings at the end of the contribution period.


DO THE HULA??

What I want to know is how do parents with 6 to 15 children handle all the paperwork for all their jobs??? Good grievies!!! I'm tired with just two of them still at home!

My parents generation never had to help with all this stuff because it didn't exist back then! They can say life is easier now, which may be true, but it is more complicated and comes with more hoops to be jumped through - what with the limited open enrollment dates and such! PHEW!


DO THE SHAREBUILDER BOO-GA-LOO!!

For myself there's a problem in my Sharebuilder account which requires me to send a notarized letter. I went to my bank last evening (long hours) and no notary was on duty. I'll be going back this morning to get the darn thing notarized and off in the mail. Due to security reasons it could not be handled over the phone. Pain in the patumpkus!!


I WANNA SEE YOU BELLYDANCE!
This entry reminds me of one of my favorite HAPPY songs - I Wanna See You Bellydance by the Red Elvises! Stop the music from up above & listen to a clip here:


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QQZMZQ/ref=dm_sp_alb?...


or listen to the entire song & watch them at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY_Ylj87e3g


Great Album!


No, I don't think I can dance - but if they keep those hoops low enough I think I can roll through them! Big Grin

Anybody have any bunion pads? Ben-gay??

---
edited to add:
Found money in house clean-up:

$20 CHALLENGE
$022.74 balance
+000.28 clean-up
_______
$023.02 MTD

2008 Challenge Total $164.10
Challenge Cumulative Total $692.71



FREE Sandy Loam! Estate Accounts Closed!

June 19th, 2008 at 07:55 pm



With all the rains the drainage ditches around my house have filled up again and the county is out here digging them out. I went out and spoke with the foreman and they agreed to dump two loads of the sand on our property.

There's a spot that the old owner of our property, who owned his own dump truck, put out a lot of old paving. By county order he was supposed to cover the entire bunch of it but never did as there is one probably 20 x 20 spot that he never did cover over. They've dumped one truck load so far and are still out there digging.

IF we can get it spread before more rains come along then maybe some of it will stick down in the craters that the paving has got. Mowing and weed-eating this area has been a pain for over 7 years. Time to get something done.

Not certain if it'll hold as the area sits on a slope, but any is better than none and if it washes it will wash into another area that could also use the help. The burms (mini-levees) by our creek were about an inch away from being crested yesterday morning.

So, if it washes, that's the area it'll head. So - FREE sandyloam stuff!!! We were just talking about buying a dump load of dirt ourselves. If this will work, all the better. FREE is good!

Something else that's been happening this month is that FrugalSon took most of his Economic Stimulus check and paid for driving lessons. He finishes the *fingers crossed* last one on June 30th and they've got a tiny little car that he's going to use to drive during the driving test scheduled for July 1st and hopefully he'll finally pass that dumb parallel parking requirement. He's 21. If at all possible I NEED him to be driving his'onsomeself around! He could never pass it driving his little extended cab S10 truck. Hopefully with their little car it'll be all systems go!!! PRAY HARD.

Today is a no spend day for me!!

We got all the siblings checks cleared on FIL's estate and closed both of the accounts. FIL's & Hubster's joint account and the estate account. It is done except for jewelry, coins, pics. Those will be finished after our family vacation. YEAH, YEAH, YEAHHHHHHH!!!! As my faithful dear readers know I've been gnashing at the bit because we had beauque'$_$$,$$$.$$'s loaned out to the estate w/no interest being paid. It's back in my hot little hands! Big Grin YEAHHHHHH!!

We will decide after family vacation what exactly we're going to do with that money and Hubster's inheritance money. Most likely we'll finish funding our IRA's for this year with some of it and I'm not sure about the rest. Some will go to tithe - likely we'll handle that portion by starting either a Family Foundation or putting it into a charitable trust so our tithing will be increased for years to come! I've got a good little sum set aside to make this happen.

Then the rest will go towards ome kind of retirement planning, with the exception of a few minor household things that need doing. Tub & Tile in bathroom appx. $1500 & $500 to widen the return air vent. Other than that it looks like retirement for those dollars. I'd like to do a municipal bond ladder but am not sure I can convince Hubster. Guess what we'll be talking about on vacation?

At the wrapping up, Hubster got the money from the sale of our personal car to one of his brother's two years ago. He was supposed to be making payments if the estate house did not sell by a set date. Well, he never made a single payment. Frown

I never said one word. (A miracle if ever there was one!)

I can hardly eat with the hole in my tongue, canshhhuuuusheee??

So, from brother-in-law's inheritance check we got $2900.00 back. I added a hundred & stuck it in a one year CD this morning.

Rates suck!

It's ideally for car replacement #3. We've already got car replacement CDs for Hubster's car & one for my truck. So, this is for the next vehicle after those so to speak, unless we just need it before then for something. What we do is sell our vehicles outright and then add some money (the CDs) with what we get out of our cars to purchase the next one for cash.

I'm running behind on the $20 Challenge - so I'm cleaning out the wallet($20.50) and adding in some change that was found in various parts of the 'hood (.71) and some ($1.52) that CashHappySon gave me.

$20 CHALLENGE

$000.01 balance
+022.73 assorted
_______
$022.74 June MTD

My second load of sand was just dumped. Yeah FREE!!!!

Beginning Payouts on FIL's Estate

June 10th, 2008 at 04:08 pm

Last night we went to Hubster's sisters house and met with 3 of the 4 siblings to hand out their inheritance checks.

Finally.

Hubster is meeting with the other brother today to give him his inheritance check and take him to the bank so he can cash it and pay us the $2900 he owes us for our old car.

They had to sign receipts for their checks. Funny thing was that they did not have to be notarized receipts. What would stop someone from forging them?????? Only integrity it seems.

Hubster goes this week w/the attorney to the courthouse w/those receipts in hand to get the estate finalized and then he will close out the estate accounts and we will get our $**,***.** money back that we loaned the estate, plus his inheritance amount $*,***.**. The expense money goes back into our MM account until we decide where to invest it. As far as I can recall we haven't discussed what he's going to do with his inheritance check, but most likely will put it into his retirement account.

By rights I think that the old car money from his brother should go into another CD to help with future car replacement funds.

He also has another account that was him & his Dad's checking account while Pops was alive that many of the bills were auto-drafted out of while the house was up for sale.

That's two checking accounts that can be closed. Two less accounts to be balanced each month! YES!!

There will be a final attorney bill and the sibs were told to save back a couple of hundred dollars each towards paying their 1/5th of the bill.

We've yet to set a date for them to divide up pictures, coin collection, and jewelry. We tried last night but no one would commit. So, for now then it will have to wait until we return from our family vacation.

They were also told if they want to buy something from among the coins or jewelry then we'd do it similar to how we did the family auction on the furniture. They can bid, then pay cash to the family kitty and then after all is sold either to them or to someone else via ebay or dealers, then we'll divide that kitty into 1/5s and send out another check.

Last night we discussed having any photos that more than one person wanted scanned and duplicate disks handed out. Hubster & I are going to 'gift' that duty to one of the other sibs!! Big Grin

After that we still have a 1/2 of a bedroom that is STILL (2 1/2 YEARS LATER) stacked w/FIL's packratted papers to go thru AGAIN! Most of it can be tossed. Some shredded. Little will be saved. The first time through them everyone was too raw to be able to throw them away. I already spent a couple of FULL days shredding lots of things when my FIL moved in with us. I swear my papershredder was smoking at one point!



Anybody have any idea how long to keep the estate accounting records around?

Dear sweet Pops died in 2005. I miss him. He was a loving husband, hard-working, sweet-hearted, family tending man.

Cleaning Off The Keyboard

May 28th, 2008 at 05:19 pm



Adding more keyboard change to the $20 Challenge:

$012.30 balance
+000.95 keyboard change
_______
$013.25 May MTD


2008 Challenge Total $120.91
Cumulative Challenge Total $649.52

Raises & Stimulating The Family Coffers

May 24th, 2008 at 04:05 pm



On Wednesday FrugalSon got a raise on his last paycheck of 20 cents an hour. Yeah FrugalSon!! Then he comes home on Friday and says his boss told him he's getting another raise on the next check another 35 cents an hour! WOOO-HOOOO! Hope it shows up. I do know that he'll be getting more when the mandated minimum wages go up in July. Is that 2008 or 2009? Anybody know off the top of their head???

Earlier in the month CashHappySon paid us back 421.00 from his tax refund on his car note. Today we got another $200 from his Stimulus Check to apply to his loan. He got $600 all together. So he spent $100 for fun (PRESENT), $200 for debt reduction (PAST), and $300 goes to help replenish his emergency fund so that's for the (FUTURE). Of course, he'd of liked to have blown it all. As it was he spent $75 buying himself a used TV off of Craigslist that is set up for easy gaming and then spent the other $25 on ebay buying new games.

So our inflow this month back to the FrugalisMoneyMarketCoffers account sees another $200 addition. That makes me happy. I hate having money come out of there because it was so hard for me to round it up in the first place so to have some we loaned out come back into the coffers? Oh yeah, that makes me smile! Big Grin

It reminds me of one of my favorite books, Mama's Bank Account, by Kathryn Forbes:


http://www.amazon.com/Mamas-Bank-Account-Harvest-Book/dp/0...


Read it if you get the chance! Or watch the movie that's based on the book.


Found Money - Thanks Koppur!

May 16th, 2008 at 05:34 pm



I found $2.00 the other day. Thanks to Koppur for reminding me. I'm taking them out of the wallet and putting them to the $20 Challenge before I buy a couple of tacos with it! Big Grin

I'm slow, but this morning I just now am getting around to moving my April Challenge money over to the Roth IRA. This will go later.


$20 CHALLENGE

$010.00 balance
+002.00 found
_______
$012.00 May MTD

2008 Challenge Total $119.66
Cumulative Challenge Total $648.27

Reward Me Already!!!

May 14th, 2008 at 01:00 pm




Baselle got a reward check from her bank and it reminded me that we should be up for our Discover card reward soon, since we put the replacement refrigerator on it. When I pay the bill in a few days I bet they'll be able to cut me a reward check! YEA!!

Yesterday was a No Spend Day for me. I spent most of the afternoon curled up in the bed under Grandma Many Moons' quilt and w/a corn bag on my banged up ankle (my toes are still BLACK! Gaa!), reading a book about a Texas oil family that I got for a quarter at a recent garage sale. A nice quiet cozy afternoon! Lumping up in bed just reading & relaxing is something I haven't done in years - not since before the last two boys. So yeah about 20 years or so.

The boys did the cooking & cleanup last night - chili-hotdogs. Did I mention the other day that the price of el-cheapo hotdog buns has jumped to $1.19 from their normal .79 cents????? I'm going to start baking my own again.

It's Always Something! How Stimulating!

May 9th, 2008 at 12:13 pm



Our stimulus dollars arrived today in the checking account. It was under the $1200 by a few dollars. Not sure why that is exactly. Anybody have a clue?

Hubster and I just had our 'state of the nation' talk. He's to get back to me exactly what we're going to do in the next couple of days. We are at an advantage in that we have his inheritance money coming to us fairly soon. Final hearing scheduled sometime mid-June. We have several projects around the house that need doing and we're not sure exactly what order we are going to do them:

1)Replace bathtub (cracked) and then tile the bathroom floor. It will leave a new footprint and the carpet in there is already shot, so these need doing. Even if we stay in the house it can only get worse. If we were to sell, still has to be done. It's a patch job for now, there is some kind of water-proof tape on it at the moment. If you read about Bubba (FrugalSon's) excessive use of TP and the resulting overflows you can see we really need tile in this area instead of just floorboards that are carpeted!

2)There is a pipe in the basement starting to look pretty iffy. It has to be replaced before we have a very wet 'boo-boo'.

The plumbing portions of #1 & #2 can be combined in one visit from a plumber who's a close friend of the family for some savings. I can tile the bathroom myself, except for the fancy cuts, which a niece & nephew will help me with.

3)The air return vent for our heat/cooling system is not large enough and keeps causing the switch to go out as it has to switch on and off too often somehow. This spot needs to be enlarged. Apprx. $500.

4)Our heat and cooling system in now 9 years old. It was the cheapest model the seller could throw in here in order to get us to buy the house. It will likely need replacing sometime in the near future.

I personally vote to put stimulus payment in the IRAs and let the inheritance money cover some of these expenses. We shall see. For today, I'm moving it out of checking into hard labor over at one of the online banks. Now, gotta go check who's paying what interest today!

I am grateful to have this stimulus money returned to us. Big Grin Because, obviously we're in need of it!

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

Well, Isn't This TERRR$$$$IFIC???? Yes!

May 4th, 2008 at 10:10 pm



The Hubster got a $1400 a year raise the other day! WOOOO-HOOOOOOOOO!! Now that is probably not much to many of you, but it is to us. It was included in his last check and after taxes and more going into the 401-K he'll come home w/an extra $70.00 or so a month.

Inch by Inch - They are finally catching on that he's vastly underpaid for what he does for them!

I am so tickled for him!

Especially in light of today's shrinking economy!!! TA-DA~!!!!!!!!!!

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.


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