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Archive for June, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance?

June 21st, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Bellydancer Suhair Zaki

Music to read by:
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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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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!!

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:

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or listen to the entire song & watch them at:
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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:

$022.74 balance
+000.28 clean-up
$023.02 MTD

2008 Challenge Total $164.10
Challenge Cumulative Total $692.71

FREE Sandy Loam! Estate Accounts Closed!

June 19th, 2008 at 07:55 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today is a no spend day for me!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rates suck!

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

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


$000.01 balance
+022.73 assorted
$022.74 June MTD

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

Beginning Payouts on FIL's Estate

June 10th, 2008 at 04:08 pm

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


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.

Map Making - Tracking the Flow

June 5th, 2008 at 04:00 pm

No, not me - I'm MUCH prettier!!! Big Grin

...and modest too!

I'm over here today making myself some maps! Financial maps of a sort.

With today's ability to link accounts at various financial organizations I thought it was about time I mapped out where all the tie-ins were on the old push/pull of EFTs (electronic fund transfers).

For me it's important to do this and keep it for my own information as well as Hubsters or anyone who survives me to find out where all my little stashes are! I'm notorious for stashing money! A bit here and a bit there. None of my eggs are in one pot it seems.

Besides, there are so many nice enticing bonus savings & CC offers out there for those who can roust up enough change to participate. However it can leave money scattered all around the globe. NICE! IF you can remember where it's all at! Not so nice if you lose track of it.

I need someway to get a visual on it! I try not to be a total rate 'ho and chase rates daily, but I do join in the merry-making from time to time. Can't you just see some accountant going ditzy and cracking his/her mental health over the state of some folks books on their money making efforts from running after all these cool rate offers???

So, how to do it? I just drew a circle with the primary account holder in the center of a piece of paper and drew lines out to various checking, savings and investment accounts. Those that have a push/pull get a double ended arrow connecting them. I'm planning on keeping them with my Emergency Control Journal. Those of you familiar w/Flylady will know what I'm talking about. Anyway, it is something that I will have to keep updating.

Mine is a bit more complicated than some as I'm on all my kids (5) accounts as well as joint owner. So there are accounts spread everywhere and yon w/my name connecting them. And some we do transfer to/from in our own personal family bank kind of system. Example: CashHappySon wants to buy something off ebay and he doesn't have an account. I'll go in on my ebay account and bid/win/buy for him and then we'll just go online to our bank and transfer the money from his account to mine. Or FrugalSon has autodrafted the car insurance for both of them off his account. CashHappy has an automated draft covering his portion transferred monthly to FrugalSon. Saves a lot of check writing!

Plus for the moment we still have two open accounts for FIL's estate.

Anyway, it can get confusing if you've a bunch of accounts. Time to make the maps. One for each person in the house as to their own accounts.

How about you? Is it time for you to make a map/s? Or, do you have a better method? I'd love to hear about it!

Lazy & Behind on IRA contributions

June 4th, 2008 at 07:59 pm

Image Credit: L. Palson

Went to the bank this morning and deposited my May Challenge money.

I just added the $33.00 from the May $20 Challenge to my Roth IRA. Which allowed me a chance to again realize that I'm behind on my contributions. BoooHiisss!!

Fidelity will only take round numbers for these deposits so some months I round up and other months I round down, using .49/.50 as my deciding factor. We're half way thru the year, and I need to step up my game.

Time to stop just la-la-la-ing thru life Frugalis!!!

I'm getting ready to redo my budget and increase my contributions there and stop the Ameritrade contributions. I was supposed to have already done that but have just been lazy. So that would get me to 151.00 a month currently out of my personal budget plus the $100 going into it from the HouseBudget. I think I could easily put another hundred a month back myself. I'm going to try. Conceivably w/the challenge dollars I could get close to putting back $333 or more a month. I know we're eligible to put back more than that but that's about all I can do for now.

The only difference is that by putting it in Ameritrade if I wanted something, a travel op presented itself or I just NEEDED something I could conceivably use it. Haven't - but could. I know that if I put that money in the IRA I won't be touching it. So, it needs doing and I'm going to give it a go.

Hardly anyone says that they've put back too much for retirement, right?


Today Hubster and I just did another 6 month CD. Ehhh, the interest underwhelms me!! It was just an itty bit of money sitting in Hubster's ING account doing piddly! I'm sure there are other places paying more but it was easy to do it at ING while I was there doing the next thing...


Today I sent Jeffrey 2 more ING invites for the bonus referrals.

Yesterday was a no spend, no driving day!

FrugalisHouseBudget just paid the auto insurance policy and house policy. Good news is that it's finally doable online. Bad news is I ALWAYS hate turning loose of the money.

Roving Due Dates on CC = ARRRGGH!

June 1st, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Getting out of the car from church this a.m. and I found a penny in Hubster's car and claimed it for my very ownsome! Adding it to the challenge.

$000.00 balance
+000.01 car change
$000.01 June MTD

2008 Challenge Total $141.09
Cumulative Challenge Total $669.70

Paid the house payment today adding my regular $71.04 extra to the principal. Will update the new balance tomorrow.

Of note while paying bills is the flyer in our National City CC statement (yes, we use a CC monthly and pay it off monthly). I hate reading that stuff, but it did say that they will be changing our due date around. Not that it would just have a new due date - but that we'd need to check it regularly as they apparently are going to go on some roving change the date around method of trying to trip their customers up into screwing up and making a late payment fee necessary. Pain in the Watusi!!!

Great - something else to watch! May be easier to pull another card from the old wallet, eh?