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Habitat's Resale Store Comes Through!

August 31st, 2010 at 02:35 pm

We've been looking for a new cabinet to go over the stool in the bathroom remodel. The one I had up there was an antique-y looking one (crackle paint & old hardware) and Hubster thought it time for something else for prospective buyers. Ehhh.

The ones at the big box stores look like crap and they wanted at minimum $115 plus tax for them. I had checked at three different stores and nothing looked any good and the prices seemed awfully exaggerated for what you were getting. No sale.

CashHappySon and I went yesterday to metro area to do some banking and while we were there I thought we might as well take a chance and look at Habitat for Humanity's resale Store where they sell old and new lumber type items. Score! I wasn't exactly sure it would work so took Hubster over there today and we found the closet doors we also need for another room and the right cabinet. Total for 2 solid wood louvered closet doors and a bathroom cabinet? $16.28. Yippy-Ya! Lurv a good bargain.

I will have to repaint the cabinet, but I don't mind - I'd much rather do that than overpay for something ugly to begin with. I'll try to get some pics of the before & after looks to post later.

Also, I will likely take the old cabinet to the junque' booth and sell it at a good profit. It'll be all profit as I got it for free to begin with.

Lux Bites Bullet In Upcoming Bathroom Re-do

August 28th, 2010 at 04:40 am



This past week - we've met with and ordered from our plumbing contractor a new bathtub and surround, which will run about $1610 installed. Had to do it - the vinyl bathtub has been cracked for awhile (whoever installed it before we bought the house did not get the concrete base down correctly) and the tape job Hubster did to keep it from leaking was an okay short-term fix, but it's been needing doing, so we're biting the bullet. One less thing for potential buyers to balk at.

I went earlier in the week and bought the new hardware for the shower and replacement matching faucet for the sink, new towel hooks, toilet paper holder, new toilet seat, flush handle, valves, doo-whichies and doo-ma-bobs, etc. to the tune of $400.

Waving bye-bye to $2000 not so fun necessarily, but something we have saved for, so nothing debted for.

While I was at the big-box lumber store I was happy to see that to just buy the stuff to do the tub & surround in the materials we chose? $1474 plus tax, so it is very much to our advantage to have someone who knows what they are doing being the wrecking crew & installer instead of us. Cost difference is minimal - $136!

http://www.onyxcollection.com/onyx-shower-wall-panels.html

Boys and Hubster working hard on the yard this week. We got another load of the ice storm firewood to Dad, and there are probably 8 or more loads left! I bought my crew ice cream sundaes last night to the tune of $11 and change. Ordered a birthday DVD gift for $25ish yesterday off ebay.

Hotel de'Frugalis - It Costs How Much??

December 1st, 2009 at 04:49 am

Tried to make this post last night and it went to blipdom. Trying again!



How much does it cost to stay the night in the Hotel de'Frugalis? Or put another way, how much does it cost to live here each day? $13.68.


Mortgage $000.00 (pd. off 9/21/09)
Insurance $001.59
Taxes $001.66
Utilities $010.43
____________________
Daily Rate $013.68*
Monthly Rate $410.40
Yearly Rate $4924.80

I am not unhappy with this figure.

Cheaper than most hotels I can think of.

And, we just lowered our rates when we reshopped our house insurance. And costs may go down further this year as my heating bill just came in way under last year's balanced payment plan figures.

However, it does go to show you how much even a paid for home can cost you.

"You paid off your house! AWESOME - now you're on easy street baby!!!"

It might blow somebody's mind to think it still costs to live here if they don't consider true costs. The actual rate above would be higher still if I'd of managed to figure in upkeep, repair and maintenance dollars.

It's here where I get to thinking of something many of us ofteN overlook or just gloss over:

Cost vs. price.


Figuring out the true cost of home ownership.

And then I get into thinking about Use Value vs. Exchange Value.

In many countries a home isn't thought of for it's dollar value like it often is here in the US, but more for the tradition or use value as a home to flourish in that is purchased for generational use, rather than flipping potential or investment potential.

That being considered, here's a nice calculator on the buy vs. rent debate.

[url]http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/2007_BUYRENT...

This gentleman's article goes on to help you figure out, if you're in the shopping conundrum of rent vs. buy, how to understand the Rent Ratio. A way to effectively compare apples to oranges. Yes, the article is a bit dated, but the ratio will still work.

[url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/28/business/28leonhardt....

Okay, so now that begs the question, how much does it cost you to stay in the Hotel of YouAndYours-dom?

Link: Cheapest Cars to Own

November 29th, 2009 at 11:05 am

Thought some of you might be interested in reading this one about the cheapest cars to own:

[url]http://autos.aol.com/article/cheapest-cars-own[/url]

[url]http://www.me.berkeley.edu/one_wheel_vehicle/Movie.htm[...
Watch that puppy run! So cool! I want one. WHINE!!!


One Wheel Vehicle


Childhood Bed - Before, During and After

November 28th, 2009 at 07:54 pm

Okay, here's the transformation via pictures. This was the bed my Mom got me from one of her patients, WAY, WAY back in the day. I think I got this when I was about 10 years old. It was OLD OLD OLD when I got it. I am near OLD now!

It has been re-veneered once by me about 23 years ago and has since barely survived my troops.

Costs - Gel medium paste to fill in splits & cracks 11.99, plus tax and about $18 gallon of paint which I have much of left for other future projects. Hubster had sandpaper already.

Got the bed-in-a-bag for $40 smackers. And, I already have similiar toile fabric to make new curtains.

Time invested - about 6 hours so far. I did A LOT of sanding!

BEFORE-in sunroom:



DURING:


AFTER-in spare bedroom:


Earn A Bit o'Green On Black Friday?

November 27th, 2009 at 06:20 am

Today we go to my Dad's town to eat out at a buffet place for our Thanksgiving meal with him and my brother, and take Dad another load of firewood. Not sure if my sister will make it or not. I did just see her the other day as she, Mom & my niece took me out for my birthday luncheon. Last night the Mom & Stepdad parental units came by for general Thanksgiving feasting. Several places to visit/separate celebrations on holidays? Oh the joys of divorced parents! Means we stretch these events over several days!

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I'm planning on participating in Jeffrey's (co-owner of Saving Advice dot com) Penny Experiment. Care to join me?

[url]http://www.pennyexperiment.com/[/url]
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Do Black Plus Orange Equal Green? YES, today they do!

ING has some special offerings today on Black Friday only.

[url]http://ingdirect.com/BlackFriday/[/url]

Think I'll take the $465ish I've been gathering together for our next CD purchase in our CD Savings Escrow Fund and add a bit to it to get to at least $500 & go ahead and do their 2%/12 month CD.

Yes, we have a line item in our budget called 'CD Savings Escrow' where we put back a bit of money each month towards purchasing CDs. Gather enough together to make it worthwhile and pop off & purchase one.

We also have line items for making 'Savings Bonds Purchases' and another for buying 'T-Bills' and the autoMAGIC ones for our 'DRIPS'. What can I say, I like having lots of various money piles!

And, I'm likely to bite on their $121 bonus for orange checking. Usually not a rate 'ho, but today, I think I will dally w/the orange in order to get a little green in my pocketbook.



I don't particularly NEED another checking account, but what the heck, I'm sure I can think of & set up another goal fund for something! Big Grin

No, still not a big ING fan, but I'll happily take their money.

Re: their requirement that you make 3 signed debit transacations - does anybody care to comment on the 'where you have to sign for debit transactions', as I'm a little unclear on where exactly those places would be. I'm sure I've signed before at places, I just can't recall any specifics at the moment - brain fog has rolled in. I'd appreciate your comments & suggestions.

Help please?

My Honey Bear & His Sidekick

November 2nd, 2009 at 07:40 am

Yes, Hubster is an awfully sweet man, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about my plastic honey bear, Hank. He's about to get all likker'd up inside.



On Saturday I went to our local farm store where they were having a 20% off everything that fit in their 'green' bag sale. You had to buy their 99cent bag. So worth it.

They were having honey on sale. 5 lbs. bottles - which normally sells there at 13.99 a bottle, on sale for 10.99.

I had four dollar off coupons. I ended up getting my honey at $7.99 a bottle. Almost half off. SCORE!! How Sweet It Is!!

I bought four jugs. Honey does not go bad. It might crystalize, but stick jug in warm water and the honey melts back. This stash should last a while.

I have been weaning myself off of white sugar and have gone to using honey as my main sweetener.

I refill my little honey bear, Hank, from the big jug. A savings device. Buying those individual little bears can get costly. I'd like to have a nice glass or ceramic honeypot. Maybe I could put it on my Christmas list, along with the tea ball I'm asking for?

And as for honey bear's sidekick?

Meet Poppie, The Popcorn Clown.


Not OUR Poppie!


A hold over from my childhood days. We keep our 'currently using' popcorn in an old Grapette Syrup bottle in the cabinet. Our storage for larger supplies is elsewhere. Poppie, kind of scary in a droopy sort of way, but friendly none the less. These are neat old bottles that had a slot in the top for making him into a bank.

Here the 1 lb. bags at the grocery had been going for .88 a bag for years. All of a sudden they are up to 1.39 a bag! I like to stock up so I don't have to wander out in the snow and ice later. Said farm store had 12&1/2 pound bags on sale for $5.49. Since they fit in the 20% off bag? I got two bags, making my outlay for popcorn at .359ish a pound. SCORE!!



Popcorn - an inexpensive, yet filling snack. It's a Sunday afternoon tradition at my house, no matter how large the luncheon feast, we pop a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for a movie & nap.

My bag was heaaaaa-vy - 45 lbs plus. I also stocked up on a few spices while I was at it. I can pack a bag let me tell you! And, now I have another nice little green bag to go with my others.

Hank & Poppie, a couple of friendly faces when I open my cupboard - they, along with Pigger, help me save & stretch our food money.

Today and Carpenter's Pension

October 27th, 2009 at 08:29 pm



Tonight we filled out the online forms for Hubster's Carpenter's Pension to begin. We had busy busy daylight hours today that kept us from getting it done during the day.

It has to be printed out and taken in for a notarized signature. Spouses are protected from being left out of pension benefits and decisions by the law requiring that we sign off on the decisions. It's rather a strange thing. His application signature? Requires no notarization. Mine as spouse? Does.

Anywho, I plan to go first thing in the morning to the bank and get it notarized and off in the mail. The way I understand it we are asking for it to begin on 11/1. Not sure when the first check will arrive though. It will be back-pay from 11/1/09 though no matter when it actually starts.

First we had to get an estimated payment paper from them, which we did, telling them when he was planning on applying. That & the online application gets them on notice that he's to be put in the starting line up. Once they receive the notarized paperwork evidently they spring into action and send you a letter telling you when the first check will arrive.

We're going automatic deposits on this as well.

Once it's up and running they notify the authorized state insurance agency that he's eligble to go with that HCTC (I think it stands for health care tax credit) thingamadoodle that will get him the 65%-80% discount on some health care insurance coverage. The money in the pension check will be nice, but the healthcare benefits that we're hoping to get until he qualifies for Medicare? EXCELLENT.

Step by step folks. It's a process.

Keeping yourself going lockstep through the process can be, shall I say, taxing. He hates paperwork and gets majorly frustrated by all the little boxes to be checked and legally jargoned disclaimers that are made.

Also required are copies of birth certificates and marriage license. Fortunately that was all still out of the safe from the SS office visit.

Once this starts I will be so relieved. If you've been reading along with me from the beginning this was the mysteriously disappearing pension. I fought long and hard thru Congressmen, etc. to find out where it was 'hidden' and get it on somebody's radar that several million dollars of this company's pension funds had just slipped silently away after a company bankruptcy and was hidden deep within several layers of insurance buyouts by a major insurance company and it's many subsidiaries - I'm not naming names but it almost barked like a dog in it's commercials, Charlie Brown.

Finally we were able to get it taken over by this Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. It's a really AWESOMELY GOOD thing that they are doing protecting people's pensions in these trying financial times.

Today was a personal No Spend Day for me.

Today we went to another town to deliver some of CashHappySon's winter clothes.

Today the nearly local parental units came over. Since early this year they now live 30 minutes away instead of two hours away.

Today I got my truck stuck in the muddy yard trying to load up more wood to take to my Dad's tomorrow.

Today my Step-dad helped get the truck unstuck.

Today I baked a chocolate marble cake.

Today I balanced the housebudget checking account.

Today I called the bank on the sudden $15.47 checking fee that they whomped on our housebudget account. Because of Hubster's age we have a FREE Senior checking account.

Today they refunded the mistaken monthly fee.

Today my Mom had a brain scan and a check on her caratroid (sp?) artery to see why she's getting so confused and forgetful. No indication of when the results would be back.

Today my Mom told me the same story for about the 100th time.

Today I acted like I heard it for the very first time, again.

Today we had quite a spirited family discussion of the moral tone of our country and bashed various and assorted politicians.

Today I cooked a pot of Tortilla Soup for lunch.

Today I paid two CC's in full, as I do every month. We are still debt free. Housebudget paid.

Today I paid the water bill, 3000 gallons this month - $40.45 - that's for 3 adults, 2 of us who are home all day every day now. Housebudget paid. $2.50 of that is for prepaid ambulance service. ARG!

Today I cooked steak, baked potatoes and a salad for supper.

Today Hubster worked all afternoon cutting up the biggest chunks of the wood into small enough pieces so my Dad can carry them.

Today was quite a day.

Now, I'm going to bed w/the lumberjack! Talk to you all later.

Good night Gracie!

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link to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
[url]http://www.pbgc.gov/
[/url]


link to PDF file about a Predictable Secure Pension For Life - has a nice checklist:
[url]
http://www.pbgc.gov/docs/a_predictable_secure_pension...

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