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State Of Our Union

August 28th, 2008 at 11:54 am


Nope, 'twas well before our time!


Hubster has had his 62nd birthday this year and we are checking our facts and figures here. Upcoming work at his job is looking slim. Could we make the jump to full time retirement?

Yesterday I worked on updating our Net Worth Statement for August and things are looking UP! He was pleasantly surprised and had drastically under-estimated what we had so that was a nice bump up for him while he's worrying what his employer is doing.

Yes, you know me and my money tucked here and there style, while I slip him little pieces of paper every now and again and say we've got $XXX,XXX.00 amount of dollars here in this account and $X,XXX.00 here - it had been some time since I had given him the entire BIG picture.

He thinks he'd like to just stay employed and eventually just go to working part time where he's at. Hopefully more work will flow through the pipeline and be scheduled for when they run out of what's currently on tap.

But meanwhile back at the house even if he decided to take early Social Security we wouldn't go too hungry. We wouldn't be living the life of the Astor's but still we'd do okay.

Life's good! Carry on dancing!

Clash of the Titans - Harry Hamlin Aside

August 18th, 2008 at 11:36 am



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!

Waste Is A Resource Out of Place

August 16th, 2008 at 05:50 pm



Did anyone else see this? Ethanol made not from corn but from beer mash???

This morning on TV - it was quite early here as I hadn't even had my coffee yet - was a morning show of some kind talking about Coors and their ethanol reclamation project.

With our trash service broken it caught my attention. I was beginning to crazily wonder what I could do creative w/ about 17 days of trash???? Later today I found this out on the web from the tag line that I remembered from the show 'waste is a resource out of place'.

"Minimizing our impact on the environment is the right thing to do and it's good for our business," said Molson Coors CEO Leo Kiely. "Bill Coors used to say that waste was a resource out of place - that thinking still drives us today to recycle, reuse and reduce our consumption of energy and materials when and where we can."

I'm not a beer fan but I'm going to try to remember this phrase! I do try often to reuse stuff but I'm disinclined to save 25+ oatmeal containers if I've no use for them. I wish there was a better way to sort & distribute such stuff as you know would be good for churches, schools, scouts and other groups to use in their projects.

"Reduce, ReUse, Recycle!" I recently painted such a sign on an old barn board I had laying around. Put it in my junque booth.

As I'm typing this guess who just drove by? My OLD trash service and FINALLY picked up the trash! They don't know they're out yet! Come Monday they'll find out as Hubster's calling them up AGAIN! And I'll be wanting a refund for the last half of this month.

Oh, did I tell you? FrugalSon PASSED his driving test!!!!

Woooooooooooooohoooo!

good Good GOOD News vs. Bad News

August 16th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

good Good GOOD News vs. Bad News

Are we going or coming?? Travels or Travails of the Frugalis Familia?



You decide:

FIRST the good Good GOOD news is that FrugalSon just had his 22nd birthday this month and a few days later?

HE PASSED HIS DRIVING TEST!!!


Hallelujah and pass the beans!! He has driven himself to & from work a few times now and I think we'll see his self confidence grow by leaps and bounds in the near future! Thanks to all of you who've been reading and praying along with me on his trials and tribulations to get past that darn parallel parking portion of the program! See the back history under the tag of FrugalSon as his learning disabilities have held him back for far too long. God bless the sweet little easy going man that he got this time that passed him! I refrained from kissing the test examiner all over but to say we are pleased is a great understatement!

FrugalSon has since his birthday broken up with TheGrrl. She wouldn't quit flirting with another guy at work and even went on a night-walk with him on her break (FrugalSon & she work together) while Frugalson had to stay working, even after he'd asked her nicely not to do it. He'd given her several chances to stop and it continued rather blatantly in his face, so - So long, see-ya si-a-nar-a senorita!

He'd told her that he didn't mind her being friends with the guy but the flirting & walks needed to stop. This girl is 24 years old and I believe FrugalSon was considering buying her at least a promise ring for Christmas this year. In my humble, mother-love aside, opinion I do believe this girl just messed up big time. They've been dating almost a year.

She's gone on a family vacation this week. I told him I'd hustle up another job while she was gone and be out of there before she ever came back if it were me. He'll probably stay, but I'm hoping that she either truly sees the light OR he finds someone else NICER to date rather quickly.

As I already posted earlier, CashHappySon's girl broke off with him earlier last week. So, no girl-i-os around for the moment.

The other BAD news is that yesterday we got a letter from the IRS on some of the income from father-in-law's estate that we did not claim. We had varying pieces of advice from different tax people as to what needed reporting, so it was probably to be expected.

I just quickly glanced over it and gave it to Hubster since he's the one who dealt with all the estate stuff. There is likely an appointment to be arranged to visit with them to see exactly what's what as their paperwork is mightily confusing!

Oh well, in my mind the driver's license outweighs the IRS & girl news in this balance-off! Heads, HE WINS!!

I'm going to give it a month or two for him to smooth out on his driving and then it'll be time for me to dust off my resume and either hit the school yard and/or the work-force!

Other good news is that earlier last month one of our other grown sons finally got married - this is ManOfTheYearSon! She's about to graduate from college w/a psychiatry degree. Big doings party wise went on. I failed to mention much about it because we weren't actively involved in the planning. Her family threw a big party in her hometown which is halfway across the state. We gifted from the registry - a nice fat Lowe's card for "the woman's touch" that's needed at his house. He lives across the metro area from us in a suburb town. Our daughter who lives in California came into town for the 'do'.

Meanwhile back at the house our trash service just posted an increased charge of an additional $1.40 a month. Not too bad, BUT they haven't bothered to pick up my trash at all this month - TWO WEEKS worth and it is beginning to stack up big time!

I've called them and Hubster's called them. They have yet to come get the trash although they autodrafted our payment as usual the first of the month! GRRR! Equipment troubles. Yeah well, rent a pickup truck and come get our trash!! GEE-WHIZ-LOUIZ!!



Hubster made a call yesterday to a new service and they'll be out Monday w/a new cart for us.

Adding to My Houseboat Fund & Etc.

August 16th, 2008 at 09:01 am



I added $2.00 to the Retirement Houseboat ticker over on the left! New total $177.00.

Also new on the left is the Grrls (Lux's Personal) Just Wanna Have E-funds! ticker. See below for a more detailed explanation. New balance $335.00.

Spent $11.05 yesterday on new black t-towels and those multi-color candles for the Frugalis Wine Cellar. What wine cellar would be complete without a Chianti bottle with a candle and all it's drippings hanging about? Will post a pic of it when we drink the Chianti and get a decent amount of wax built up! Who knows maybe it was a 70's thing?

I also signed myself up for a FREE wine-making course in the next couple of weeks. I want to see if I really would enjoy a full on wine-making setup before expending dollars on the equipment. The wine I've made in the past was done in my kitchen w/gallon pickle jars, plastic wrap & rubber bands.

Currently brewing is a bottle of homemade rootbeer. I'll let you know how it turns out. The extract I had is kind of old so it may be a waste of sugar water.

I did finally get pictures up the other day of the wine cellar before we got the floor mopped (this area gets run-off from the hole in the wall when it rains heavily):


http://luxliving.savingadvice.com/2008/08/08/dressing-the-...


Scroll down for the pictures of my hole in the wall!

----
I also added a new ticker as well called "Grrls Just Wanna Have E-Funds!"

This is a checking account I recently started at Fidelity and it didn't really have a purpose. I've been married for 25 years so I don't really think I'm gonna have to fend for myself as in a divorce situation but I figured I'd take the going apartment rental rate here as a good figure to start with. Small studios are renting here for $450 a month. Add another 900 to cover first and last months rent and a 50 to round it up gave me the 1400 figure to start with.

Hubster and I have our combined years worth of emergency fund at another bank. I doubt he's running off* anytime soon (likely NEVER) leaving me stranded but I needed - in my minds eye - to give this account a goal. That's it. It's my personal emergency fund. If I never need it so much the better. (Plenty of women have never seen it* coming!)

I plan to update and adjust the rental rate figure each year on Hubster's birthday which is sometime soon this month.

I have this checking account set-up with an autodraft addition of $10 a month out of my hometown personal checking. Mainly

I started it because I wanted to see how Fidelity's SmartCash checking accounts work before we eventually use them to withdraw from our retirement funds. I've had the account three or four months now and have never written a check on it.

Somehow it has an auto-leveling feature that pulls from one account to keep the balance at a minimum that you set. Checks were free, but it currently pays only 1.49% interest a month. Ehhhhh & Bleck!!

I need to write a small check some time and see it in action. I started with $50 in there in late April. I deposited $250 a day or so later and I earned 5 cents interest on 4/30, .38 on 5/30, .37 on 6/30, added $10 autodraft in July and earned .39 on 7/31. Added another autodrafted $10 on 8/1 and yesterday I added $13.81 in there to round it off to a nice even number of $335.00.

Feeling generous with myself while at Fidelity yesterday I also rounded up my 2008 Roth IRA contributions by $12.00.

Today's mission - clean up my sidebar! I'm doing that by adding some of my historical stuff to the "My Pages" section of our blogs. Did you know we could do that?

Automatically Cutting It Short

August 1st, 2008 at 09:16 am




To finish up July books while cleaning out the wallet last night I added $17.33 to the $20 Challenge.

$005.52 balance
+017.33 wallet cleanout
_______
$022.85 July total

2008 Challenge Total $186.95
Cumulative Challenge Total $715.56


Just went online and paid my mortgage payment. New balance $17,469.22!

Contractual remaining on mortgage 5 years and 10 months. Actual payoff, if we continue paying the $71.04 extra principal per month as we've been doing, is in 5 years. Sooner if we can prepay more as we go along. Today I finally set the payments along w/the extra principal on autodraft. We've been paying the extra little bit for the last year with no problems so I think it's safe to go ahead and make it automatic. Big Grin So far this little extra will cause a reduction in the term of our loan by 1 year and 10 months. Gotta keep spinning my web of financial support for old age!

Hopefully I'll be back later today to update my utility bills recording.

Throw Some Dogs A Bone...

July 24th, 2008 at 06:11 am

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 05:49 am


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 12:55 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 09:08 am

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.

It's Always Something! How Stimulating!

May 9th, 2008 at 05:13 am



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 10:20 am


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

Twist & Shout

May 3rd, 2008 at 02:05 pm



Thursday afternoon I fell down the steps on the side of the house. Poooh! I did twist and I did shout. Uggh! Hubster went by my niece's house and borrowed a foot brace which allows me to hobble around enough to get to the bathroom!

I mentioned in my last blog post that the frig went kaput. Hubster is out shopping for us one right now. He just called on the phone. We are attempting to be wise shoppers and getting the bottom of the line! I think we'll get out with a new machine right at $500. Does stainless keep the food colder? I don't think so.

Putting it on the CC which will be paid off next month. This one will be Energy Star rated at $43 a year to operate.

April Utility Bills Were...

May 1st, 2008 at 04:38 am



April 2008 Utility Bills fell out like this:

$90.75 Phone/Cable/DSL
$92.00 Natural Gas
$14.00 Trash Service
$62.00 Electric
$59.95 Water/Ambulance Fee
______
$318.70 April Utilities
-$313.08 March Utilities
________
$ 5.62 >difference

Dang that pesky water bill. All I personally did different this month was water the 6 tomato plants TWO DAYS for just a couple of minutes - I didn't just stand there mindlessly either, purposefully watered only as little as was needed!!

Going to look at getting a different shower head and pricing out a more water saving washing machine! GADZOOKS!! I will refrain from cussing (HRUMPH - I mean discussing Big Grin)about a 10 yr. old refrigerator that possibly needs replacing because it isn't freezing correctly this morning until after I try moving it out a little further from the wall and vacumning the coils today.

In today's advanced industrial society you'd think we could make a frig that would last longer than almost 10 years to the day!!!

Wave goodbye to the stimulus package Mrs. Frugalis! DAGNABIT!!! I wanted to add that to our Roths. There is some money in the Frugalis Furniture/Appliance Fund, but not much.

Compared to March 2008:
$90.68 Phone/Cable/DSL
$97.00 Natural Gas
$14.00 Trash Service
$62.00 Electric
$49.40 Water/Ambulance Fee
______
$313.08

I still need to look back at this time last year and go thru all the files and see what last year's utilities were.

Trying to match yard pavers! Yeckkkk!

April 30th, 2008 at 02:52 pm


Lux's Cowboy Tub - Garden Year 2004



I want four more matching pavers to complete the little patio area FrugalSon and I worked on yesterday. I went back to where we got mine a year or two ago and now they don't carry them any more. What a pain. Drove around looking for other places that might have them. No luck so far but I did manage to spend $9 on plants.

There's good reason for ME to stay out of the plant stands! I'm the same way in bookstores. They are dangerous places for me to venture.

Oh well, I've been 'color-hungry' and I got a few things that will spice it up just a little bit. Plants have really gotten pricey since last I went. Will try to hang tough against all the enticing plants when I try the next couple places for pavers some time in May. I'm out of gas and I'm waiting at least till tomorrow and a new months' budget kicks in to fill it up! Oh the cringing I'll do! Frown


Adding to the Challenge:

$017.82 balance
+008.02 wallet cleanout
_______
$25.84 April Total

2008 Challenge Total $107.66
Cumulative Challenge Total $636.27

Paid my mortgage payment just now for tomorrow. New balance will be $18,438.49.

Contractual payoff: 6 yr. 1 mth.
Actual payoff: 5 yr. 4 mth.
Projected payoff: 5/2014

With extra principal payments of $71.04 the projected payoff will be 7/2012!

If extra principal continues to be paid the interest savings will be $713.50.

Total reduction in term 1 yr. 10 mths.


CashHappySon mailed off his payment to the hospital today - before the postal rates go up!

Adding To the Challenge / Crossover

April 29th, 2008 at 06:36 pm




Adding to the challenge:

$005.71 balance
$012.11 leftover from a budgeted purchase
_______
$017.82 MTD

2008 Challenge Total $099.64
Cumulative Challenge Total $628.25


For those of you who know what your Crossover Point is (Your Money Or Your Life), congratulations. For the rest of us, here's where to find out!


http://www.whatsmycrossover.com/

Hello, Cemetery? I'm Over Here...

April 25th, 2008 at 09:51 am



I called the cemetery office this morning and gave them our new address. We've lived here almost 9 years now. But, hey, it was news to them. Hubster thinks I'm crazy, but you never know they may need to contact us at some time and better they should have our current address in their records. We bought our plots about 15 years ago.

We are also discussing going out shopping for headstones. We've talked about it several times but have never done anything about it. I think I may just have to make plans on a Saturday morning and tell him, hon, today's the day we go buy our markers. I doubt the price of those are going down any time soon and likely going up as we speak! I'd rather have them bought and paid for now so it's just one less thing to worry about later.

Yeah, I know, I can be rather morbid, but I do like to think practical whenever I can and get the smaller details cleaned up. I do not forsee us moving out of this area, and even if we buy them and not have them set, but store them in the basement (Yeah, really weird I know) and move them with us if we ever do move out of state, it's better to buy them now while we're a bit flush with the cash than wait until later - for me anyway! One or two less things for the kids to worry about. I'm not talking some giant statue or anything, just small marker stones. I believe some monument places will store them for you as well. We'll see.

Okay, so - on to lighter subjects...

Adding to the $20 Challenge:

$005.04 balance
+000.67 keyboard change
_______
$005.71 MTD

2008 Challenge Total $87.53
Cumulative Challenge Total $616.14

Took another step yesterday in the overall future financial plans. We've been planning all along to eventually put most if not all of our investments with Fidelity for retirement purposes to have a more centralized place for our retirement assets. I'm not entirely ready to do that yet, but did step along the 'goals'-line to starting a checking account with them. Over time as we begin draw-down of retirement assets they have a cash-manager program that will assist in keeping cash necessary for day-to-day expenses available in the checking account w/minimal involvment from us. Check one more item off the to-do list.

Yesterday was a No Spend Day for Me. No gas usage either.

Whack Your Electrical Moles

April 15th, 2008 at 09:26 am




It's that time again kiddos - go Whack the Moles - the ones stealing your $$'s by eating thru the electrical budget. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go check out the backstory here:

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

Today, all there was on my sweep thru the house was the hairdryer and microwave. We've been doing better with this lately.

Roths, Taxes and Cemetery Flowers!

April 1st, 2008 at 02:15 pm



I just added the last of my 2007 contributions to my Roth! Yeah ME!!! Phew. Two whole weeks to spare! hahaha I used my money from Ameritrade and the bonus from Suze Orman's promotion. That and the interest it earned made me able to slide the last little bit in there.

I'm already into my 2008 contributions as the Household Budget contributes $100 a month, and I've been contributing $101 on autodraft since the beginning of the year. Though I'll have to come up w/considerable difference to max it out in 2008. Most of this difference will be from selling junque & the $20 Challenge.

Went this afternoon and had the AARP folks do our taxes again for FREE. Yeah AARP! We have a very small refund from state and Fed both. Very closely figured - under $200 back on both. So, that's good. We didn't loan Uncle Sammie too much, and yet we don't owe him any either. E-filed, so shortly to have a bit back and we'll probably split the little bit into our Roths.

Today the house budget bought Hubster some floral arrangments for his parents' graves. He waited too long last year and couldn't find any the day he wanted to go out to the cemetery. Another thing off the to-do list.

Yesterday I took FrugalSon and the TheGrrl and we went to see 10,000 B.C. at the matinee. So yesterday I spent $2.50 from my Entertainment Fund. She came back to the house and we made goulash, salad, corn, hot rolls and apple pie for supper.

Before picking up TheGrrl FrugalSon and I went grocery shopping with a list and menu in hand. I bought for three weeks worth of meals and a months worth of snacks. I'm trying to stretch out my buying time to see if I can make it to finally doing 1 month grocery shopping trips. If I get lucky I'll be able to stretch what I've got here with what I purchased and make it w/o another grocery shop this month. Will have to go to the bread store though later in the month.

Housebudget spent on groceries $138.75. Housebudget spent on snacks $21.00 (this also included some meat as they carry Owens brand frozen there and two cases of corn at the scratch n'dent store.) The main grocery shop was at Save-A-Lot.

I watched and their register showed that something like $124 worth of my purchases would have qualified to be purchased with food stamps. I had never realized their registers showed such information before. So basically everything but tax?? I'm too pooped right now to figure it out or dig out the receipt to look.

I went long on flour, corn, beans and rice this trip. This is part of my keeping a years supply of groceries on hand most of the time. I bought two cases each of canned corn and northern beans. About three big bags of flour and 10 lbs. of rice. The prices of grains are predicted to be heading up, Up, UP.

I need a case of Milnot or equivalent brand, but will have to wait till next big shopping trip. I was shooting to only spend $140 at the grocery, so I came pretty darn close. I just bought a couple of cans of Milnot instead of a case. It's figuring that running tax that gets me every time. I got everything on my list except raw popcorn. Not microwave. Can't get just regular popcorn at Save-A-Lot here for some reason. I ask every time I go for the girls to put it on their buyer's list. Can ya'll get it at your Save-A-Lots???

Today I personally have had a no-spend day.

Tonight's menu - Steak Fajitas, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice, Fruit Cocktail, Iced Tea. A little pricier than I like to do at home usually, but it was at FrugalSon's request and he doesn't get to eat at home most nights as he's at work, so...for him (and his grocery hauling muscles) I'm doing it.

----
edited to update the mortgage balance over on the left:

New Balance $18,757.98
Actual remaining time frame 5 yrs. 4 mths.
If we continue making the extra $71.04 principal payment that we've been doing our house will be paid off in July 2012.


Adding to the Challenge & My Progress

March 29th, 2008 at 04:08 pm

Adding to the $20 Challenge

$010.63 balance
+ 8.00 addition
_______
$018.63 Mar MTD

2008 Challenge Total $73.07
Cumulative Challenge Total $601.68

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

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





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

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

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

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


FIL's House Closed & Sick Doxie

March 25th, 2008 at 05:48 am




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.

Ppphhhffftttt, Gadzooks and Darnation!!

March 19th, 2008 at 06:22 am



edited to add:

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

2008 Challenge Total $60.72
Cumulative Challenge Total $589.33

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


You might say I am a selfish woman.

I admit it.

I want to sleep at night.

Not to worry about money.

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

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

Ladies am I right??

Anyone????

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He.will.NOT.read.it!

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

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

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

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

Gadzooks & DARNATION!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forgot to Update the Mortgage Balance

March 18th, 2008 at 03:30 pm


Credit: Milt Gross


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

New Mortgage Balance sits at $19,075.65!

We're getting there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Move Often? Must Have One of These!

March 4th, 2008 at 02:12 pm

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


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


Be sure to watch the video!

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



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

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


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


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

We Have A Contract on FIL's house

February 26th, 2008 at 11:18 am



On 2/21 night we got an offer on FIL's house. As mentioned here previously Hubster is the Personal Representative for the estate (what used to be called an Executor).

The offer on the 21st was a little too low for what we needed to get out of the house, by about four thousand dollars.

Thus, we made a counter-offer on the morning of the 22nd that was in line w/the pre-approved loan amount the people got and with some concessions to them, but will let us walk away w/what we need to get our money back out of the house that we've put in for repairs and updates and hopefully let Hubster's siblings get a four or five thousand apiece inheritance (before the charge-off of the prices on the estate furniture they bid on and won) and PLUS, one brother bought a car from the estate against his future inheritance so that will come off of his portion and another brother bought OUR car w/his portion so we'll get paid back for that car.

Even with all that it will still let the house-buyer have a few wins on what they asked for.

The house sits in a horrid neighborhood, so we've only had a few lookie-loos.

Hubster's Dad passed in November 2005 and we've been carrying all the expenses for the funeral, lawyers, repairing, updating the house and keeping it insured, taxes paid, and utilities on since then out of our personal budget.

While his Dad had some insurance that we did receive, with just one of us working full time it's still been taxing us!

We called for prayer from family and friends that they'd accept our counter-offer. We were trying for a win/win here. It is a well maintained home that was a one-owner since it was built in the early 1950's.

And Hubster deserves not to have to worry about it anymore!!! Or to have to mow the lawn, etc., this summer.

This morning 2/26 we got a call from our realtor that we have a deal and then later this morning we got emailed a copy of the signed contract so I feel a little more comfortable telling you about it.

The closing is set for late March of course. Also good news is that the buyer is already pre-approved for the purchase price and so we are hopefully soon set. The Hubster has a couple of minor repairs still to make since a window & fence was damaged in the ice storm but they are relatively easy fixes.

So, thank you Jesus for a sale and thank you friends, family, blogites, for all your support through this trying time. Keep your fingers crossed and prayers up that the inspection process and closing goes smoothly!

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! YEEEE-HAWWWW - for us this means that the approximately $22,500 +/- a few dollars that we've laid out will soon be winging it's way back into our accounts, plus the Hubster's inherited portion of the proceeds, plus the portion for our old car, and then we can get the sibs their monies and wrap the estate up.

Hubster refuses to ding the estate for the interest we've lost on that money, but as I told you before, he's one of the good guys. I personally would get our interest back, but that's me, I'm more about business transactions being conducted fairly for EVERYONE.

The kids (5 of them) have had time to grieve their parents passing and are ready to relinquish the old home place.
Hopefully it's just what the buyers want and will make them a good home.


We are thrilled about the house selling.

Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus!!!

I'm absolutely thrilled I tell ya!!

Wicker Chair for the Junque Booth

February 23rd, 2008 at 06:27 am

Here's a photo of one of the chairs I bought this week at a nearby auction house that has online auctions as well as local nighttime antique auctions.



I paid $22 for this chair plus it's portion of the state sales tax for the entire lot of things I bought is at $2.00. So I'm in for $24.00.

It does have a couple of small issues at the foot level as does most used wicker.



I'm going to list it for sale at $42.50 and take it along with some other items over to the junque booth probably later this afternoon when CashHappySon is awake to go with me.

So here's how it will shake down when and if it sells:

$42.50
-24.00 price & tax
-04.25 store owner's 10% cut
______
$14.25 profit

...or less. There was a bit of gas usage to go pick the lot of 3 chairs I purchased up but we (FrugalSon & I) did our grocery shopping at Aldi's while we were right there nearby (about 5 city blocks) and of course there is a small percentage of each sale that goes toward the booth rental & advertising itself.

So, I'll probably actually clear right about $12 on it. It's not necessarily about making a lot of money on each item, but having an ecclectic mixture of new & coolio items in the booth itself is somewhat important to draw people into my booth to shop. Right now I've got sooooo much stuff of inlaws in the basement that needs to be sold that I'm not doing a lot of buying for resell. Of course, there is some kind of resell license thingawhichy which I could get that would eliminate me paying tax on the items I purchase but I've yet to get it.

If this chair doesn't sell as is after a few months, I will pull it back to the house and spray paint it an antique white and then bump the price up just a bit to cover my labor. I already have a boatload of the paint in the basement from FIL's estate.

Wish me luck!

Backtracking - The Saga Continues-Part 3

February 15th, 2008 at 06:52 pm


Mom Taxi


I'm recording here events of the last week or so for posterity & my faulty memory's sake - below are excerpts from email to a friend:


"CashHappySon sold his totalled Camry yesterday afternoon(2/7) to a salvage for $250.

It cost him 112.95 to get it released out of the wrecker place. And me four trips to the wrecker yard. First time was to take the autobody guy over and then take him back to his shop - wrecked Toyota Camry not worth fixing - something to do w/the suspension and it would never drive straight again. Besides which it was a $700 car to begin with.

Second trip was to go get car released from wrecker service after he found a buyer.

CashHappySon forgot his title papers after me telling him to pick them up, so third trip was backover to wrecker to get car released w/the papers and then later in the day a fourth trip to meet the salvage people - a forty-five minute wait. Then another trip to _______ (metro) to get a signature on some paperwork.

No fun. No fun."

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

But wait - it gets even more involved!!

More to come on that front but we pause here to add .13 to the $20 Challenge that CashHappySon gave me.

$20 CHALLENGE

$006.46 balance
+000.13 weary Mom taxi tip
_______
$006.59 Feb MTD (notice the extra zero's placeholding out front - that is my slightly prophetic notion that I'm shooting for this year - can't hit it if I don't aim for it, eh? Hope to roll it over to the thousands place though!)

2008 Challenge Total $038.49
Cumulative Challenge Total $567.10




Backtracking - Part 2 - The Saga Continues

February 15th, 2008 at 02:35 pm




On 7 February a friend wrote me:

"Your youngest child is even trying MY patience! Any remorse on his part? Does he expect you guys to buy him another one? Sigh"

I replied:

"trying your patience...

As he is mine!

Amen. Amen. Amen!! and the Lord knows, I don't have much to begin with! Big Grin


Remorse? No. None that is discernible. On to the next thing.


Expect us to BUY him another one? Not if he has any contact with reality. We bought the other one (Toyota Camry) on the 7th of January. Loaned him $700 on it, plus the bearings went out and he had to borrow another 300 or so to fix that and get a couple of tires and get them put on. It didn't last a month, which is rather a bit longer than I had predicted it would last. Oh well, the payment $100 to Dad still has to be made today. Hard to pay for something you no longer have I would think.

I do not relish saviour mode. There is always another excuse and always ALWAYS it was the other guy's fault. Although I've told him repeatedly not to take that road but to use Hwy #** to go to and from work especially during the winter months. But what do I know? Apparently nothing.

We are meeting a friend who has an autobody shop here this afternoon (7th)at the wrecker service to see if there is any hope for the car, but I'm thinking probably not as I saw them tow it past me as I went to get him - and then it'll be him making calls to salvage yards to see who'll take it off his hands. He was surprised to be told that even though the police had the car towed he would have to pay the bill and apprx. $15 a day in storage charges.

The real world may be beginning to sink in, but it's a hard lesson to learn that life and the choices you make have a price.

No, I'm definitely not having any fun with this boychild. The other car he has, Grand Marquis, has not sold yet either. So he has two defunct vehicles and it seems he doesn't see his role in why both are trashed. DEEP SIGH!! His Dad took him to work last night 11 p.m. and I picked him up this morning at 7:00 a.m. But, geeee, it's the 'could care less' attitude that makes me want to keep him standing outside in the cold while I am slow to get out of bed and even slower on the drive over to get him. Perhaps a good 30 minute wait in the frozen morning hours would help someone see the error of his ways??? I won't do that, but it is how I feel. YUCK!

Guess who it will be that has to drive him around to shop for another clunker?? But, alas, and woe unto him, he doesn't have $$s YET, so guess who will be toting him around until he does??? It's right about 2 weeks until the next $500ish paycheck comes in. Or he could get lucky and someone buys the Grand Marquis.

I made my share of mistakes as a kid, but was much less stoic about the results and extra work I caused my family. He had an assignment to the steel plant down here about 3 miles from the house as a Security Guard, but without discussing it with either his Dad or I, he called his boss and asked to be placed back out at _______ 30 minutes from home! This was when he had the gas-guzzling Mercury on the road and costing himself about $50 a week in gas to get out there. And, we know why - at _________ he can sleep part of the night and at the steel plant he'd of had to stay awake. Gee, they actually expected him to WORK!!

The frustration level is much worse than you might imagine if you are the mother to one of this ilk!! The Coast Guard is looking better and better to have him as their charge. I've already offered to take him and drop him off. Pray for the Coast Guard, they are likely going to need it!!"

-----

Stay tuned...more to follow! GAAAA!!

Remember while all of this is happening I'm sick as sick can be, w/bronchitis, flu virus and resulting stomach upset all the resulting potty breaks and coughing my left lung up. Meanwhile I get a reaction to the medication for the bronchitis and break out in giant red welting hives ALLLLLLL over myyyyyyy boooooody!

Ohhhh. Some fun now!! huh? Big Grin

Just wait - There is MORE!!

Backtracking - Part 1

February 15th, 2008 at 10:12 am


94 Camry - Now Totalled



To update and log here what's been going on at the Frugalis Homestead...

On February 6th I spent my morning retrieving youngest (CashHappySon) from car wreck on the snowy icy hills nearby. He is fine and so were the other people. He was on a road I've told him repeatedly not to drive on in during inclement weather. Seems Mom does know best, however he hasn't quite got that lesson down yet.

The newest car (see above) we had just helped him buy 1/5/08ish for $700 was totalled and of course he only had liability insurance. It already had a bit of body damage to it anyway.

He wasn't issued a ticket but the police officer said the accident looked to be his fault. Following too closely, going a bit too fast for the conditions and he came upon another wreck and while trying to merge into the one lane he went sliding and hit a van w/a man, wife and small baby. Thankfully, thankfully, no one was hurt.

He had just spent $100 the day before getting the title changed over and he had yet to make the first payment to us. :{

Are we having fun yet?????

Hello Sweetie!! Love To All!

February 14th, 2008 at 06:40 pm


Rita Hayworth


Dear Sweet Valentines,

I miss you guys when I don't get to read or post!

Sweetums, a/k/a The Hubster brought home a card & chocolates for his lovely bride - yours truly! He took me out to eat on Monday night for Valentines Day at the local steak and rib place (we used the gift card we got from my sister at Christmas) and will be taking me out again on Saturday for our Sunday School class's Valentines Banquet at another BBQ place (appx. $10 a plate), so I am being spoiled. He got chocolates and his favorite hot rolls (olive bread) cooked and a nice dinner, a card and fancy juice for supper. We are simple people with pretty simple tastes.

Cleaned out the wallet a few minutes ago and found 30 cents in there to take to the challenge.

There is lots more to post about what's been going on around the Frugalis house but I'll wait till tomorrow to fill you in on some of it. There is also more change laying around from various sources that I'll post about tomorrow.

Now I've got to go pickup FrugalSon from work and take his single pink rose bud for him to give to TheGrrl whom he works with. He took her out to eat Monday night as well and out to see 27 Dresses at the movies. He gave her a perfume vial that was in a flower type presentation form and some lotiony foo-foo stuff, a scarf, some chocolates and a card. She is being spoiled too. She gave him a big box of chocolates. Love is in the air!

Hope everyone has had a lovely day and if you are your own special someone give yourself a hug and squeeze from me! Then go do something just for you that you LOVE to do - spoil yourself!! Okay?

Happy Valentine's Day to Everyone at SavingsAdvice.com!


Luv,
LuxLivingFrugalis


$20 CHALLENGE
$006.16 balance
+000.30 wallet cleanout
_______
$006.46 Feb MTD

2008 Challenge Total $38.36
Cumulative Challenge Total $566.97


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