Home > Archive: December, 2007

Archive for December, 2007

Travel Log

December 31st, 2007 at 11:20 pm

States Are in Red That I've Visited

At least I think I caught them all. There are a few I need to check on because I think I went through a few more as a very young child. So far as I can verify I've visited 58% of the U.S. of A. Will have to get with the folks to check some others that are iffy in my mind.

I'd surely like to clear up that pesky southern sweep from being complete and then I could move on the the next tier north!

Just trying to figure out a location for travel in 2008 and in which state to make my timeshare exchange.

Thanks to Kashi for inspiring me.

Create your own personalized map of the USA
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A Face A Frugalite Could Love?

December 31st, 2007 at 01:30 pm

"Oh! winsome, coy, demurest girl,
Thy rosebud smile and limpid eye
Make thee fit bride for any earl." ~??

Behind the veil...

Okay, Broken Arrow, listen up my friend, surely there is a face amongst these winsome beauties for a frugalite such as yourself to love??

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...and I've got to say Miss Ivanka is such a striking beauty!!

Some vows might be worth taking!!

"Suddenly amid a rustle of silk and frou-frou,
a slender figure emerged from the bushes.
It was her Grace
the Duchess of Dublin —


MY sweet!" ~~D. Boyle


and the total for 2007 is $402.50. I had wanted to make it to $500.00 this year, but uh, not quite. I'm shooting for much more in 2008. Shhhhh...the amount is my little secret!

Adding in the .27 I had told ya'll earlier that CashHappySon slipped into Piggy one day. I saw him putting it in there but he didn't know how much he'd slipped in...


$23.31 balance
+00.27 slipped in
$23.58 Dec MTD

2006 Challenge $126.11
+2007 Challenge 402.50
Cumulative Challenge Total $528.61

Taking Dec's piggy totals to the bank today, and will be rounding it off and sending $24 off to the IRA this afternoon.

Is That My Sciatic Nerve Acting Up? NO!!

December 31st, 2007 at 12:38 am

Posterior Pain - OUCH!!!

Is that my Sciatic Nerve Acting Up? NO!! It's a genuine pain in the posterior!

Okay, the Hubster's 40 Year Service Award is going to be paid out in the form of being added to supposedly his next paycheck, which means it will be frigging taxed & won't be issued until after the first of the year, so it will be an entire year before any of that tax bite can be recaptured.

Can you tell I'm slightly ticked off????


In an attempt to soften and at least slightly counteract the blow I went in and upped the 401-K deductions only to be told that it won't go into affect until AFTER that check is cut!!

Pain in the right and left buttocks**!!

Like I said before it would certainly be nice if the employees had a little notice that the company was going to do these bonuses and awards in the fashion that they do, so we can counter-attack the tax burden.

Guess why? They don't do matching or take any 401-K contributions out of bonuses or awards. Isn't that just fine?

NO, not in my book.

Does anyone have a solution, methodology or a way around this?? Maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong, but it chaps my hide and yes, I do think it a royal pain in the posterior.

I hope I'm wrong and it comes in a complete untaxed form.

Yes, we could go ahead and take some of our own money and go buy the television NOW that he's wanting but it's doubtful that we will. I didn't particularly want a new TV, but he does, and it gripes me that they COULD HAVE done better by him than they have.

Okay, so I'll let you know how much actually shows up later, should be in his hot little hands when he returns to work from vacation time off on Wednesday.


Of other financial interest, I managed to scrape up an additional $999 to go into my Roth from various savings. I'm going to add my own little $1 from the current budget to get it to that magical $1000 mark. That still leaves me slightly short some on the 2007 done by midnight on the 31st, however, perhaps I will be able to make the deadline by April. GEEEEEE, WHINE, WHINE, WHINE, I so wanted to be done by the end of the literal year.


Yesterday was a NO SPEND DAY!!! YEAH!!

Today was a spender. Everyone here but the Hubster has the croup and the boys have been hitting the cough syrup supply quite heavily. So, after church we stopped for cold supplies. Tried to buy day time cold meds, night time cold meds, tissues and regular cough syrup.

Because some people in my state like to cook up funkydunkydrugs from the stuff I had to give the cashier my date of birth and was only allowed to buy two of the cold meds on one ticket. The third one I had to buy on a separate ticket.

How, may I ask you Dear Reader, did that keep in bounds with the law? Yeah, it did with the letter of the law?? but still. It's a law with good intentions, but silly if the cashier is just going to let you buy the stuff on two tickets. WEIRD.

Not sure how I'd of liked it handled, because with three croupy people I needed the goods, but come on!!! Either stick with the law or don't bother.

Geeee, it is a strange world anymore where you almost need an act of Congress to buy cough medication!

**For more classy information on buttocks check out Wikipedia for Venus of the Beautiful Buttocks!

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Oh the things we can learn these days. I had seen the statue, but never heard the story about the farmer with two daughters possibly originating with Venus????

I live, I learn, I educate my faithful readers.

We all are now further classically educated, yes?? Additional small talk fodder for the New Year's Eve parties to come!

Goodbye Old Nightie, How I Loved You!!

December 29th, 2007 at 02:21 pm

"If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have, that you don't want." ~~unknown

I received a $50 gift card for J.C. Penney's for Christmas again this year. Thank You, Momma!!!!

I was wanting to use it to buy new towels for my redecorated bathroom (it's all Chinese Plum Blossom Red w/Black accents now (very exotic looking and I love it - see I was busy while I was off the blog). We are not going to talk about how much I spent for the black leather shower curtain!!! However, I had just recently within the past year and a half bought new yellow towels. They look 'okay' in the bathroom, but black towels would be mucho mucho better.

So, Penney's was running a sale on their towels yesterday and I went but alas the only black ones they had in stock were of inferior quality and so I passed. Will find dollars later to buy the kind I want. Does Cannon still make towels? I dunno, but theirs are the only ones I know of that last, and last, and LAST!!

Hubster asked that I buy myself new nighties for Christmas. I believe I know the one he BADLY wanted replaced - it's from one of our trips to Florida about 10 years ago, I paid $7 for it at a roadside stand, and is on it's very last leg, but OOOOOOHHHHHHH so comfy. I'm saving it for a pattern.

I've been shopping around all Christmas time to find myself new nighties but alas all the stores seemed to have are flannel and fleece and I'm a hot sleeper and I need SEXY, sleeveless and thin, not GRANNY GRUNT nighties!! I have not been married 25 years by accident you know!!

Anyway, I was cruising around Penney's and there was nothing that I wanted!!!

Isn't that FANTASTIC??????????????

I think so.

Oh how your tastes change as you age. I don't really NEED anything! It's a good place to be mentally friends.

So, I did finally remember about the nightie request & found Penney's had a few that fit my (Hubster's) NEEDS for me to have new nighties. Got three of them, black, red, blue. They were all 60% off and came in just under $50 by 11 cents. So, Penney's it is doubtful I'll be back until next year & then only if Mom gets me another gift card, so I've just increased your bottom line by 11 cents. Big Grin

And now Hubster is EVEN HAPPIER coming to bed!! (as if that's even possible???)

Goodbye old nightie, OH how I loved you!!! We made some FAN-TASTIC-MOR-GASMIC memories together - but I love Hubster & gift cards more.


$23.28 balance
+00.03 from FrugalSon
$23.31 Dec MTD

2007 Challenge $402.23
Cumulative Challenge Total $528.34

Yesterday was another NO SPEND DAY!!! ...if you don't count the $50 gift card, which I don't as it didn't come out of my pocket.

Grabby Warm Fuzzy Feeling

December 28th, 2007 at 05:24 pm

Why Sharebuilder??

They reached out and wrapped their loving arms around me with a $50 bonus!!

Kinda gives you that grabby warm fuzzy feeling, doesn't it?

So, I reached out and grabbed them back!

I was waiting to say why I chose to open a Sharebuilder account now. There is a $50 promotion right now for opening an account there and making a trade.

I'm not sure how long the promotion lasts but here's the letter I just got via email from Sharebuilder. You might want to open one yourself. This offer is not affiliated with me, but another blogger from another website.

"Thank you for opening your ShareBuilder account. To receive your $50 Web Channel Offer, all you need to do is purchase a stock or ETF in either your Automatic Investment Plan or through a real-time trade by 02/05/2011. If you have not set up your investment plan or real-time trade yet, schedule your first trade today.

For your reference, the Promotion Code is FILIFE50.

Thank you for selecting ShareBuilder.


etc., etc."

Great! I wrote them a note because it did not immediately show up in the account, so I started wondering. This letter just came after about 2 hours from the starting time. Doubtful it is in response to my note, but just on a normal time delay.

I did set my account to be automatically drafted after the first of the year, so I am assuming that the bonus will be credited at that time.

One way of looking at it is "I can use that free $50 to execute 12.5 trades at $4 fee a pop." Big Grin OR "I can use $46 of it to buy into my new Goldman Sachs position w/the house paying the $4.00 fee." Either way works for me.

More Nest Egg Money

December 28th, 2007 at 03:27 pm

Started a new Sharebuilder Account today with plans to use it to keep my DRIPs & DCA (dollar cost averaging) buys inside. Will see later about transferring some of the ones I've had for awhile over to there...not sure how all that works, but know it is doable, not sure on the ease.

For a new dollar cost averaging holding I am going with $50 automated buys monthly of Goldman Sachs (GS)...

Text is and Link is start this off in the new year with my first buy to take place 1/8/08.

I wanted to do the OIH & CGW etfs, but alas they are not listed under their available Tuesday purchases. Not sure exactly how all Sharebuilder works YET/BUT, think it may be possible to do a real-time trade into OIH & CGW. We shall see later. Just trying to up my diversification outside of my OFFICIAL retirement accounts.

This money has a dual goal set for it. It is my buy a houseboat and an RV for my retirement living/travel needs. I MAY go without a permanent station in retirement other than a docking & parking fee at a local lake.

I am invisioning a small auto (used paid for in cash) pulled up to the darling houseboat (used paid for in cash) which is docked alongside a smallish van/truck over camper RV type (used paid for in cash) with a tow hitch.

Any one of these three could take me away for a bit of travel/living economy style. I could hop in the small RV and head for the kids and grandchildren's homes and visit a week or two without being a major inconvenience and yet get my wanderlust satisfied at the same time.

We shall see.

That's the somewhat distant & vagueish goal at this time. Who knows, it may be only a slightly bigger RV and I rent a houseboat each summer on different lakes. OR a small condo with time each summer in a rental RV &/or rental houseboat.

Time & health will tell.

And I have saved enough in my CD Savings Fund that I'm popping it off today to buy another short-term CD.

And, there's enough in the Savings Bond Fund to buy another I-Bond. I am buying these and putting my children & grandchildren on as POD (payable on death). This way I can use these IF I need them (future income) in old age, but if not, the ones w/the kiddos on them can be their small inheritance from the old Gran.

What can I say, I like my eggs in different baskets. It's scriptural I believe. Simpler to have it all at one place, but not sure of the soundness!

SEE: "Ecclesiastes Chapter 11 - Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good."

I'm trying to be a good caster of my bread! Big Grin

And this Sharebuilder automated account builder is one of those set it and forget it doowhickies. Yes, I'm willing for now to pay the $4 for trades. We shall see how it all pans out.

Yes Virginia, I am BUYING assets. Assets that pay me in future income. Remember my Granny L's saying, "Trinket or Treasure?" The difference I heard someone speak of between poor people and people who have money are that the poor people buy STUFF and folks w/money buy ASSETS.

No, I currently (me myself personally, not counting Hubsters income) don't have enough income after normal living expenses to just buy a CD or even a savings bond sometimes.

I just budget a bit each month for these things into various little funds kept earning interest under an umbrella slush fund at EmigrantDirect and when they accumulate up to a certain size then I pop off and buy them. Anyone can.

At this point in time I already have way too much STUFF. Need more income producing ASSETS.

Of financial quickie note - yesterday was a No Spend day. I've gotten away from blogging about them, but they do count and add up!

Checking the Records

December 27th, 2007 at 09:52 pm

Okay, just went back thru the check register and I deposited $16.92 from Piggy in September. And in October I added a contribution of $101.00 to my Roth IRA most of which was left over from my Texas trip that went unspent. This was over and above my regular contribution.

Making the addition to the log over on the left.

$20 Challenge

September 2007 $16.92
October 2007 $101.00

So, I didn't make my goal in September but I seem to have more than made up for it in October.

CashHappySon was spotted the other day plunking a few coins into Pigger before I could stop him, so I'll wait to the 31st to give a final 2007 $20 Challenge update.

So far 2007 found $402.20 for the $20 Challenge. Add that to the 126.11 for 2006 when I began and you get a Cumulative Total of $528.31.

Not Mr. Rockefeller yet, but hey, for money that I would've piddled off elsewhere it looks to add up, yes?

Of other financial note: Paid 1/2 of the house taxes earlier this week, these were due by the 31st. I have the other half set aside, but that half isn't due until mid March, so I say, "Let the interest pileth up!" and then I'll mail them the rest of what is owed later. House taxes up by about $30 this year, not too bad if they just HAVE to go up, this at least is a reasonable figure!

Also paid this week and taking another bite out of the ol'bankbook was my taxes and association dues for our Florida timeshare. I know lots of people hate timeshares but I've always been well pleased with mine. I love to travel and the exchanges have always worked relatively easily and well. My sister and I co-own this property, so my share for it is only half.

Oh yes, on the challenge, I did find a jar w/money in it in my gift drawer the other day when I was fishing around for a last minute gift. I've yet to count it. Will be taking that to the 2007 Challenge as well. I don't think there is more than $3 or $4 dollars in there though.

So, inquiring minds want to know, how did you make out on the $20 Challenge this year?

God Bless Us All, Tiny Tim!!

December 27th, 2007 at 08:09 pm

Tiny Tim, actor Tyler Hynes

Adding results of another purse cleanout to the $20 Challenge:

$08.27 balance
+15.01 tidy-up
$23.28 Dec MTD

2007 Challenge Total $284.98
Cumulative Challenge Total $411.09

Wooooooo, well it looks like I at least more than doubled my 2006 challenge total which was granted only a partial year, but I think I can do even better next year.

Here's to a more prosperous 2008 for everyone! God Bless Us All, Tiny Tim!

P.S. I still hope to get back in the check register and see what I plugged into the IRA for this challenge back in September and October, so these totals may still go up.

Of financial note for my kiddos, this is the first year that FrugalSon was able to make all of his Roth IRA contributions before the end of the year even. Wooo-hoooo!

I'm not certain he can up it to $5000 for 2008 UNLESS he gets an additional part-time job OR he gets a better paying job where he's at or elsewhere. We just took $1793 from his extra well-padded emergency fund and finished making his 2007 contributions. At any rate I am VERY PROUD of him, he's only 21, and it seems he was BORN FRUGAL. He can go without most of the rewards everyone else seem to think so necessary.

I wanted us all to be finished w/our Roth contributions by the end of the year. He may be the only one of us who actually makes it!

I'm updating my various personal savings accounts balances today and I may haul out some from somewhere and plunk it to the ol' Roth. I'd really like to do whatever I'm going to do for 2007 before 12/31. Yes, I know I have til April. No, I don't like mixing my years on this stuff. It confuses ye'ol pea brain.

It's not like I'll go without anything as we still have our joint savings and emergency funds and all those empty CCs, so if all went to pot (God Forbid), we'd still be okay I think. I'm mulling it over.

It's not like I can't get to it if I wanted to badly enough but I've never withdrawn from my IRA. To me it is sacred for retirement only funds and I wouldn't want to ruin my streak.

How about you - do you take money out of your IRA's for other than retirement??

Late Library Book? Watch Credit Score!!

December 26th, 2007 at 04:24 pm

Do Not Mess with the Library Ladies!

Here's a link to an interesting development:

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Adding to the $20 Challenge

$03.73 balance
+04.54 change on desk
$08.27 Dec MTD

Tiiiimmmberrrrr, a/k/a Free Woodcutting

December 23rd, 2007 at 03:04 pm

Corner of the big side yard

Yesterday my niece called and wanted to borrow my truck to go buy some wood and haul it to my sister's house as she burns wood for heating her house. Sister is a single gal. My niece and nephew-in-law take good care of her. Anyway Sister has lots of wood already, it's just all dry wood and she needs green wood in order to keep the fire burning all thru the nighttimes.

Anyway, I told niece sure, come and borrow the truck, but don't buy green wood as there is a potful here. Probably five or six pickup truck loads full when all of the trees are cut up that fell during the last ice storm.

So, nephew-I-L came out w/his chainsaw, cut up a bunch of wood along w/Frugalson and CashHappyson filling up the truck. CashHappyson had also recently bought himself a used chainsaw during his recent spending spree, so we had two saws going. It was icy and wet w/blowing snow. Niece who is getting over a long streak of bronchitis and I stayed inside and made a pot of potato soup and kept trucking out the hot java.

We had a nice lunch after they were finished of potato soup and sandwiches and it was nice to get some of these downed limbs gone w/o the expense of having someone come in to do it and know that Sister got herself some wood. Love it when it all works out nice and neatly. I will be picking up my truck this evening and driving it home after the family Christmas celebration that we're attending at my other nephew's house.

A good deal all around. Except for the fact that I loved my trees and many were badly torn up during the storms. Gaa!

We probably have 200 to 250 trees on our little 2 1/2 acres. We probably lost 25-35 of them completely and many, many more were very badly damaged. Some of my trees are of the 200-300 year old bracket. It is horribly sad to see them so badly hurt by the storms. I'm not quite sure how we are going to be able to afford to trim them properly, and may just have to leave them w/some dangling limbs for awhile.

The sliding glass door was completely blocked by branches after the storm.

I only lost one small pane of glass that was cracked in the sunroom by a falling branch. It'll cost less than $10 to replace it, so I don't believe we'll be making any insurance claims. I'm going to get out my policy and read it though about the tree clean up, there may be some coverage there.

We do not own a chainsaw. Yeah, I know, goofy after you consider how many trees I have. After the storms we've talked about buying one but haven't done so yet. There aren't many in the stores around here anyway as they were cleared out immediately after the recent ice-storms. Wouldn't have done us any good yet anyway as Hubster has been on 12 hour days, and even working Sundays. Something he's never had to do since we've been married. This little bit of woodcutting has already been a big help in getting to at least the front & one side-yard.

Update: Hubster has still gotten No Comfirmation of what they'll be doing for his 40 year service award.

WELL, SPIT SPIT SPIT!! Looks like it may be time to start polishing up the ol'boohoodie kicking booties.

Don't Make Me Come Down There!!

December 21st, 2007 at 10:33 pm

Okay I keep forgetting to post about this, as it happened before I got back to posting regularly. The Hubster got a rather smallish bonus this year, and about 1/3 of it got eaten up in taxes which I think is a real rip! Slightly bigger than last years but still rather small for the work he does. Twould've been nice if the company would have allowed us notice and we could of upped our 401-K contribution w/it on that check and kept most all of it! PHHHPPPFFFT!

Anyway, it's sitting nice and snugly over in the Money Market account until I can convince him to let me put it in his IRA. I'm working on him! These seem to be no-brainers for me, but he has to ponder on these things for awhile.

Also in a similar vein in addition because he has been at his company 40 years (it will REALLY be 41 come Jan 2) he is supposed to be given his 40 year award today at work. Someone on the awards committee let it slip about two weeks ago that his award was to amount to a $1500 budget that he can spend on a few certain things.

Only problem is he doesn't want any of those things as they are rather on the chintzy side. There is a kayak, some golf clubs, some SMALL tvs, a watch, etc. Nothing that he wants. He doesn't golf or kayak, they gave us a 36 inch TV for his 35th year, he has an old timex that he's had longer than me (we just earlier this month celebrated our 25th anniversary). Oh yeah, he could get a lingerie chest. Un-huh, like that's gonna happen! NOT!! Lordeee, they gave him a thousand dollar diamond ring for his 25th award, you think a kayak is gonna do the trick for 40??? Nahhhh.

What he wants is a 47 inch flat panel TV and with the budget amount he could go out and buy what he wants and we could pay the taxes. Catch the right sale and we wouldn't have to add anything to it.

We shall see. He is 'negotiating' with them to either give him a Walmart gift card for that amount or let him use their work Dell account to get one. Either way works, but we could use our own money and buy one wherever he wants to buy it were we to be given the Walmart card then we could use it for groceries thru the year.

They are balking. Gee, just how many 40 year employees do you have? Oh, that's right only 2. The other guy got his airfare paid for on his vacation and now they don't want to accomodate Hubster?

Sucks eggs, folks.

Forty years, that's longer than some folks live!!

I don't want to seem ungrateful, but you've got the budget already laid out, let the guy do with it what he wants for pity sake!

More to follow as we find out what happens. He was miffed with them when he left for work this morning. Had his company shirt on, but the old colors jacket on from back in the early days. If they didn't say anything about his award before the ceremony he was going ol'school, if they came thru, he'd go w/the new logo and stuff.

Funny thing I dreamed his old boss was still there a few nights ago and that he gave him a formula type race car to drive people back and forth between the two plants (driving - he doesn't do that for his living - weird dream). I told him upon awakening, if ***** was still there he'd of given you a car to drive! Ha! That may've set him off!! Poor guy.

I just talked to him on the phone a second ago and so far nothing. He wore the old school jacket (a mild mannered man makes his small protest) throughout the big presentation. This is a super nice man I'm married to, and he's very grateful that they want to give him something, but let us not forget people he is a Virgo.

Very, very picky.

He flat out doesn't want any 'corporate awards nicey-nice gift' that supposedly retails at $xxxx but we could pick up here for a third of what they are saying it's worth. He doesn't want something that will do him no earthly good.

The man wants to choose.

They said you can pick anything you want from the catalog. Okay, where's the FREEEEKIN' catalog?? Oh, that's what you call the two pages you handed him?


He said he'd rather get nothing than to have to pick something from their two measley pages. And I quote, "They can keep their trash." No, I'm not talking a nice guy folks, I mean think of the VERY NICEST MAN you know and triple it. He is calm, cool, collected and very very mild mannered and SUPER-SWEET. (let us not forget tall, good-looking and sexy as all get out as well! Big Grin)

What we have here is a...


He was insulted.

Sorry, corporate, but it looks like an old Fingerhut ad. Anybody besides me remember these folks? The vacumn you can buy local for $79.00 is $379.99 and they'll finance it for you for ten years. Yeah, that's what their catalog looks like.

When I called, he said they were giving out gifts right now and that people who'd been there six months were getting some very nice prizes and he popped off to his boss, "They're giving HER that??? I guess I'll turn in my early retirement papers on Wednesday."

"She" being the receptionist that literally LAYS ON THE DESK got a DVD/VCR combo player/recorder doohicky. I know this laying on the desk thing to be true as I've witnessed it myself! When she's not laying on the desk she's texting on her phone. Receiving customers and visitors, although that is her job description, she does not do!

EGADS People!!! Fire her sorry bum!!

He said his boss just went buggy-eyed on him when he mentioned an Early Out and went into conference w/the CEO. There is no one there qualified or even capable of doing his job - it's a custom shop and he's got 40 years of experience of WHY they do things like they do. He's been telling them they need to get someone in there under him because it's going to take a good three to five years for all the odd custom practices to come up.

Like I've said in other posts, he catches his own yearly salary and sometimes triple and quadruple that almost EVERY SINGLE DAY in mistakes others make. In other words, he saves them boo-koooooo buckos every single day, millions (yes plural MILLIONS) in the course of a year. No wonder his plant boss freaked!

So, freak on people...

And give the 40 year man his own version of an Award.

He deserves it.

I've lived thru 25 years of their hell, on the outside, so I can assure you he deserves heavy-fire combat pay.


I feel like one of those God billboards,

"Don't Make Me Come Down There!"

Because, if I did, I would be kicking some boohoodie and an early retirement it would surely be!! (Anybody seen that King of Queens show where Doug H.'s mom goes to the plant?) I wouldn't be near as nice.

CashHappySon Revisits His Rental Agreement

December 19th, 2007 at 01:45 pm

$20 Challenge

$02.99 balance
+00.74 CashHappy's Green Apple
$03.73 Dec MTD

CashHappy Son handed me 74 cents for Piggy last night right after his Dad and I talked to him about his reckless spending habits AGAIN! Can you believe this kid?? Geesh. I asked him "After what we just talked about you want to give me money?"

"Yes, why?"

"uhhhhh, because you've spent yourself down to the bottom of your checkbook and payday isn't until 5 days from now?"

"Naaaah, I'm okay."


It's still all "Easy Come, Easy Go!"

Anyway, Piggy now has more change to cling to, and CashHappy has decided that he can't really handle his money well enough to feed himself and get his own laundry done, so he's going to adopt the plan his older brother works on here with us.

That is, instead of paying $100 a month to rent the basement and then go out and buy his own groceries & do his own laundry, he's going to stay in the basement and pay $200 in a more loosely structured Eat At Mom's Laundry Center room and board situation.

The new agreement also calls for him in addition to his $200 room and board fee to bring The First National Bank of Mom Frugalis a $200 deposit on the first of the month to save for his "Moving Out Fund". He's always had one, just the past six months or so he's gone crazy with his 'trinket' purchases and has no treasure fund built up.

His attitude is getting him mighty close to thin ice lately, telling lies and not doing as the parental units instruct, so he's got to get some money built up for future living arrangements as this is not his permanent abode! Big Grin

IOW, his Dad offered to come home from work the other day and toss him to the curb for lipping off to Mom, so he's got to get turned around in attitude and finances.

God Bless him, he's a good kid w/a 'tude. Hubster and I have both been there, but there is only so much lip we're willing to tolerate while chillens' are also acting irresponsibly. Here's hoping this new setup helps or at least gives him some time to turn his self in a better direction.

How about it, guys and gals, I'm open to learning any tips & tricks for teaching late teen boys to be fiscally responsible??? Hit me with your best shot!

The Tax Man Cometh

December 18th, 2007 at 03:38 pm

The Tax Man Cometh

Warning: Yawns & frowns, ahead!

Yes, folks, it is getting to be that time of year. Time to think about getting receipts & forms together, contributions to retirement plans (yes, I know, you have until April, but think about it now) and any extra donations to charities made.

Here's a list of places for help:

To help grease the wheels, here's a Beatles clip of Taxman:

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Web sites for Tax Planning

Internal Revenue Service
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Tax forms & tips
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File your taxes online
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AARP Tax-Aide
Free help for low-income and older people
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Ernst & Young
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H&R Block
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Turbo Tax
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State income tax information
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of collateral interest:

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FUTURE RETIREMENT Contribution Limits
403(b) and 401(k) Retirement Plans

Basic Limit, Section 415 limit*
2008 — $46,000
2009 and beyond — IRS may adjust annually for inflation. Any adjustments will be in $500 increments.

403(b) General Limit on salary reduction contributions** 402(g) limit
2008 — $15,500
2009 and beyond — IRS may adjust annually for inflation. Any adjustments will be in $500 increments.

457(b) plan limit*
2008 — $15,500
2009 and beyond — IRS may adjust annually for inflation. Any adjustments will be in $500 increments.

Additional permitted salary reduction contributions** for those 50 or over
2008 — $5,000
2009 and beyond — IRS may adjust annually for inflation. Any adjustments will be in $500 increments.

* The maximum contribution is the lesser of 100% of compensation or this adjusted limit.
** Includes employee salary reduction contributions and Roth elective deferral contributions.

Future IRA contribution limits
The annual contribution limit for both Traditional (pre-tax) IRAs and Roth IRAs will increase from $4,000 for 2007 to $5,000 for 2008 and will be indexed for inflation thereafter in $500 increments. Individuals age 50 or over may make additional “Age 50 catch-up” contributions of $1,000 for 2006 and thereafter.

Traditional and Roth IRA contribution limits
2008 — $5,000
Thereafter, the IRS may adjust annually for inflation. Any adjustments will be in $500 increments.

Traditional and Roth IRA catch-up for those 50 or over
2007 and beyond — $1,000

Sorry, friends, taxes are a nasty subject...just try to think of all the half-way decent services we are provided with here in the U.S. of A. that these dollars provide. Hope this post will be of some small service. I'm ducking now! Big Grin

Inquiring minds want to know - Will this post help you? Aggravate you? Inspire you? Hack you off at the blogger? Incite rioting at the polling booth next time you vote? Spark a revolution?

The Thin Red Line

December 17th, 2007 at 03:11 pm

The Thin Red Line
otherwise known as
Today's Public Service Announcement

We interrupt your daily blog roll for this important PSA:

I replied to Paulette Goddard's blog posting on Money and Personality and I wanted to save the response here for posterity. Here goes. A few of the especially helpful book tips will be listed after this comment:

I replied:

"INFJ here.

I was just thinking around this topic last night. In my lifetime I have bought about three gajillion books on money and finance. Why did other people have it and what was my problem???

And I was trying to figure when it finally sunk in, what was the trigger? We started tracking $$'s w/Quicken which I soon found out that I hated, BUT, when seeing a piechart w/the TEE-TINY little red line that was our 'oochie' room in the budget AFTER credit card & car payments and being SHOCKED INTO REALITY, I decided something had to be done! Really it was an article on the web about making the savings literal when you get a discount. So what if you save 30 cents off your toilet tissue!! If you never save it LITERALLY, then it don't mean beans or retirement billions later! You have to LITERALLY DO SOMETHING!!

Many moons and lots of different budgeting / spending plans later, we now use and track like crazy. It works for us and that's important too, what works for you. Keep after it until you find the combination of tips and tricks that will help you get YOUR finances in order.

And figuring out that 10 cents HERE and $2.00 THERE really DO add up over time!! Also, finding and all the great bloggers here, became an excellent resource and motivator to keep going.

Thanks for being here everyone! You never know which thing you share will be the eye-opener for the next guy."

LuxLiving's Pared Down Financial Reading List:

1)Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. (Big Picture)
2)Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominquez. (Focus)
3)Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt. (How-To)
4)The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton (More Practical Help)
5)Automatic Millionaire by David Bach (for the understanding it gave me about how the 401-K means I have MORE money, not less!)

Many of these authors either have their own websites set up OR ones that are set up by their fans, well worth checking out!

My financial life turned around when I stopped worrying how to get rich and started focusing on how to save money and MAKE IT WORK FOR ME. A website that helped in those regards was the Invest in Your Debt one.

Here's hoping this reading list will help others get there quicker!

Thus ending today's PSA! Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogcast...

Violating Poor Piggy

December 17th, 2007 at 01:50 pm

Violating Poor Piggy

Yes, That's The Victim!

Photo Credit: Lux Living Frugalis

Oh My! I had to stick a ruler up Piggy to get out the dollar bills from last month's $20 Challenge. First I tried the needle nose pliers. No luck. All the dollar bills seems to have gone to Piggy's head. I think I heard a squeal or two as I ripped the dollars away from his clutches.

I have violated poor Piggy!! Ripped asunder and plundered!!

Alas, it is for good cause. I am sooooo behind on doing my money stuff, partially because we are in the Midsouth and have been without electricity for a good week. This is November Challenge money I have to get to the bank and then on to my IRA.

Also, I am going to try to get all my 2007 IRA contributions in before the 31st. It is too confusing to me to be putting in 2007 contributions on into April of '08! Not going to do it this year if I can help it.

Okay, so November money is out of Piggy and I've got $2.99 sitting on the desk waiting to go in towards December's challenge. Yes, really behind AGAIN! GRRR!! Got to get up off my behind and get this stuff center focus again.

1)Nov $$'s to the bank this afternoon!
2)Nov $$'s to the IRA this afternoon!
3)Dec Challenge $$'s into poor Piggy!
4)Work on final Christmas push!


$00.00 balance
+02.99 Piggy's Solace
$02.99 Dec MTD

2007 Challenge Total $264.69
Cumulative Challenge Total $390.80

Don't worry about poor Piggers too much - Nothing a good deposit or two won't fix right up and he'll be back to his old smiley self!

How about it, do you find it difficult to track your IRA contributions if you run over from year to year?

Just Room Enough For Love

December 16th, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Little House So Very Small,
Just Room Enough for Love,
That's All!

Updating the mortgage balance. Yes, I'm slow. No, none of those are my house in the picture. The payment was made on time, I'm just in pokey mode getting it updated here.

New mortgage balance $20,018.09

Contractual term is payoff in 6 yrs. 5 months, but w/an additional $71.04 each month in extra principal payments we are projected to payoff in July of 2012, that being 5 years and 9 months from now.

Plugging for a Friend

December 5th, 2007 at 02:16 pm

Just wanted to make a plug for my new friend

Elsa P. over at See her link over on the left in the links section, okay? Scroll DOWN, yes, I've got a lot of links. Smile It's under the music. Look for the star!

Her site is not monetary related but astrological. She's quite a pistol! ...and I really enjoy reading her stuff.

Go check her out at!

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Sorry, I'm not all that great on links inside the blog yet. GO TOWARD THE LIGHT (star) over on the left!! Big Grin

I think her Grandpa Henry was the frugal type! I really enjoyed her memories of meeting Peace Pilgrim.

Question: Does any one know the name of that star to the left of the moon????? I saw the same configuration in the sky this morning at about 5:00 a.m. and was wondering then what star that was.

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

December 4th, 2007 at 01:56 pm

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

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

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