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Video interview w/Amy Dacyczyn of The Tightwad Gazette

December 29th, 2011 at 05:07 am

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

[url]
http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/interview-with-amy-d...
Video interview with Amy Dacyczyn of The Tightwad Gazette

A Good Grease Monkey Is Always Prepared

November 20th, 2009 at 04:11 pm


"Ohhh! Now THAT's gonna cost ya!"


"Very few people have knowledge of their true expenses. Because they do not consider intermittent and irregular expenses as regular monthly obligations, their expenses turn into emergencies and financial crises." -Mary Hunt

As we are lately revamping the Frugalis House Budget, I thought I'd give a breakdown on what we put back each month on automotive expenses over and above repair/maintain/replace funds, gasoline expenses & the auto insurance escrow.

Many people overlook these costs listed below and then are caught short when it's time to pay the piper. Some of these things come up at the most inconvenient times.

These are monthly amounts set back for future costs. Yes, I literally move them into savings to hold until the money is all there. I also set back a small bit of money each month to replace our driver's licenses. On the side the date listed is when we anticipate needing these things replaced.

On the car:
Car Battery $2.15 /$50 - 2 years
Car Tires $10.41 / $250 - 2 years
Car Tag $6.95 /$83.40 - yearly
Car Oil Changes $8.75/$105-$35x3 times year
_____________________
$28.26 per month


On the truck:
Truck Battery $2.15 /$50 - 2 years
Truck Tires $22.22 / $400 - 18 months
Truck Tag $5.20 /$62.40 - yearly
Truck Oil Changes $5.83/$70-$35x2 times year
_______________________
$35.40 per month

Today was a No Spend Day for me. The housebudget spent money on dog food $11.45 & getting the dog's toenails clipped $5.00 and stocking up on dishwashing soap while it was on sale for 69 cents a bottle & some ice-cream $8.44.

A nice change of events (I'm afraid to call and find out why) but I got our recent electric bill and it's down about $30 lower than usual. I'll take it!

My Intentions Are...

October 18th, 2009 at 08:12 am



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

**side-table desk whatchie:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some BIG Spending

October 7th, 2009 at 05:04 pm

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

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

OUCH!

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

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

September 21st, 2009 at 10:38 am


"Does this smile make my wallet look fatter?"



We are TOTALLY Debt Free!

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

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

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

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

We are totally and completely debt free.

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

We are UTTERLY FREE!!! Taaaaaaaa-daaaa!

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

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


Breaking the chains of debt? It can be done!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Tuned!!



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

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

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

I heart Craigslist $70 worth

August 7th, 2009 at 06:49 am

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

BEFORE



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

AFTER


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

And, we came out ahead.

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



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

Happy Valentines Day 2 My Fruggie Frenz'

February 14th, 2009 at 07:25 pm


Happy Valentines Day to My Frugal Friends! XXOXOXOXOX, Lux

Yet Another Rate Hike?

January 16th, 2009 at 08:06 am



Adding to the challenge:

$20 CHALLENGE

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

2009 Challenge Total $5.49
Cumulative Challenge Total $1008.27

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

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

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

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

Clash of the Titans - Harry Hamlin Aside

August 18th, 2008 at 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!