<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: May, 2005
 

Archive for May, 2005

Great weekend/lousy Tuesday

May 31st, 2005 at 07:51 pm

I had a pretty good Memorial Day weekend, but I spent a lot. We didn't do anything Friday night (which was great!). On Saturday I got a haircut/color ($95) to hide all my gray hairs (probably from spending $95)! If I wasn't such a chicken, I would color my own hair with L'Oreal. I'm just afraid it would turn out green! But it would be a lot cheaper...After DD's T-ball game at 1:00 we were home for the rest of the day.

More money spent and a narrow escape on Sunday. I had to go to Toys R Us for a birthday present. No cash out of hand, but I did use a gift card. After the party, DD and I went to the fruit/veggie store and to the supermarket. Grand total: $190. This is where hubby and I differ when doing the budget. I chalk all of that up to "groceries", but he thinks that part of it should go under "entertainment", because some of the food was for a barbeque with friends on Monday. I don't care where I put it on the budget, it's still out of pocket! While I was doing the shopping, hubby and DS went to his mother's. On the way, the nice friendly police officer pulled him over to tell him that his car was supposed to be inspected by the end of April! Neither of us had any clue!!! The cost for driving around in an uninsured vehicle? $150 ticket which he thankfully didn't get. Just a stern warning.

The barbeque Monday was great. The couple was fun, weather was great, food was super. Just a really good time. (A lot of wine/sangria didn't hurt either!). But then it was back to work...

I'm normally home on Tuesdays, but I needed to go into the office for a few hours today. So I was already in a bad mood when I walked out the door. Spent $20 on parking and $18 for after-school care for my daughter Frown. I left work at 2:00 to get the car inspected before picking up the kids. Went to Motor Vehicles, but the estimated wait time was over 90 minutes!!! I got on the line figuring it couldn't really be that bad, and it was worse. I didn't move for 25 minutes! Then I realized that it was the last day of the month and everyone and their mother were trying to get their cars inspected. Desperate as I was, I couldn't stay in the line another minute, so I went to pick up my son at MIL's house. I parked in front of the house, ran in to get him, hopped back in the car and it wouldn't start. Dead, so I had to call AAA. Now, there's a small part of my brain that's happy to be getting my $65 yearly membership's worth, because I needed the car towed about 30 miles. On the other hand, it was about the most inconvenient thing I've ever experienced. The driver came in 20 minutes (which was great). But he couldn't accommodate my son's car seat so I had to leave him with Grandma. I took the ONE HOUR ride with this guy (in total silence), and dropped the car off at the dealer. As soon as the tow truck left, I tried to start it just for the heck of it and it started right away. Go figure. I left it with the dealer anyway so he can take a look at it tomorrow, because I can't risk breaking down with the kids. My husband, who left work early to go pick up my daughter (because I didn't know how long I'd be) came and picked me up at the dealer. We went to Wendy's for dinner ($14), then picked up DS and came home. So now I have a car that's still not inspected, I risk a $150 ticket as long as I drive it that way, and it's at the dealer, with who knows what wrong with it, and who knows how much it will cost. Bummer!

Tomorrow's another day...

Final May Numbers

May 27th, 2005 at 07:05 am

Even though it's not the end of the month, it's close enough for me to figure out where I stand. I was able to put $904.67 toward the home equity line. Not the $1680 I was hoping for (which would have gotten the balance below $30k), but better than nothing. The big area of disappointments this month were groceries ($562) and eating out ($205). We can do a lot better than that! The grocery total is a bit high because I usually charge my groceries to get my credit card points, then pay it off the next month. But when I lost my credit cards earlier this month, I had to write checks for groceries, which means that the $562 actually reflects all of my April groceries that I charged, as well as about $130 of May groceries that I wrote a check for. So I expect that June's total will by WAY lower. The eating out total is a whole other thing. I usually only budget for hubby and dd's weekly trip to TGIFridays. But in addition to that, we've gone out a few times, and we've ordered out a bunch. Luckily, school ends in 4 weeks, so the weekly trips will end. I also need to get better about meal planning and grocery shopping to rein this in...

Looking forward to June, I'm going to pick up the budget again and look through it to see where I can save some more. This weekend, I'm going to program the thermostat for the AC to make sure it only goes on when it's 76 and hubby is expected to be home! Other than that, we have a quiet Memorial Day weekend. I have a much needed haircut tomorrow, and DD's Tball game at 1. Then a birthday party Sunday afternoon, and a couple coming for a barbeque on Monday. That's it!! Should be a quiet weekend...

Feels like March 1st!

May 25th, 2005 at 09:15 am

This weather is ridiculous! The high today is going to be 53 degrees. 53!!! June 1st is in 6 days! Unbelievable. Things my way are going fine. Yesterday was my at home day, and a pretty productive one at that. DS had a friend over for about 1 1/2 hours, so I was able to straighten up, do some laundry, and read the paper! After the friend left, we pretty much just bummed around the house and played. We picked up dd from school and went to a park with some friends, but it was sooo cold and sooo windy, that we only stayed for about 30 minutes. She was supposed to have T-Ball at 6:00 last night, and I was hoping all day that it would be rained out, but no such luck. So we stayed home anyway. I'm not usually into doing that - the whole team commitment thing - but then again, she's 6, it was cold and damp, and the last thing I need is sick kids! So a spend-free day for me!

I need to go back to ShopRite, because they made a $7+ error on my bill from Monday. I was going to go yesterday but just didn't feel like leaving the house, so I'll get there tomorrow or Friday. How inconvenient. When updating my price book last night, I found another error from a receipt from last month, this time in my favor, when they rang up the same item for .89 and 1.79. (Both should have been 1.79). The point is that I need to get better about 1) watching stuff as they ring it up and 2) checking my receipt as soon as I get home. My problem is that I really need to find a way to avoid shopping with my kids, because 1) it's impossible to watch the register when I'm also watching them (act up) and 2) they add money to my bill each week!

I also called Oxford yesterday to see if her trip to the eye doctor would be covered. No such luck. The bill was $95 Frown and I already paid the $15 copay, which means a bill for $80 should be heading my way soon. It will be reimbursed by our FSA, so I guess that's a little (not much) consolation. I also needed to order ink for our printer. What a racket Dell has. Apparently, you can't buy their ink from anyone but them. A black ink and a color ink cartridge cost me over $60! I need to start cracking down on the kids printing so much stuff out. They go through ink like water!

The rest of the day should be fun. DS has a birthday party after school and hubby is due back around dinner time. I'll check out the American Idol final tonight (this is the first season I've watched, and now I follow it pretty closely). No spider solitaire for me tonight...

Addicted to Spider Solitaire

May 23rd, 2005 at 08:06 pm

I had great hopes of being super-productive during hubby's business trip, and it's just not happening! Instead, I get the kids to bed, grab a glass of wine, and hop on the computer to alternate between this site and spider solitaire! Yikes!

Today was a good day, although I spent some unbudgeted money. First, I needed to take dd to the eye doctor for a checkup. The nurse at her pediatrician's office said her eyesight was 20/30 at her 5-year checkup and 20/40 at her 6 year checkup, so they recommended that we get it checked out by a specialist. I took her today, and she's fine - 20/20 - which makes more sense to us because we've never seen an indication that she's struggling with her vision. So while we're thrilled with the results, it was a $15 copay, and they don't think it will be covered by insurance. I need to call Oxford tomorrow and see if the fact that it was a referral from her pediatrician makes a difference. Otherwise, I have no idea what the bill will be.

On the way home, we stopped at ShopRite. I only needed a few things, but taking the kids with me always adds to the bill. Ice cream was on sale, and they suckered me into getting all the fixins for ice cream sundaes (sprinkles, chocolate sauce, etc.) that I never would have bought if I were on my own. Oh well...The total still came in under $50 ($49.71!), so that's still ok.

Tomorrow is my stay-at-home day. I may bring the car in for an oil change if I can, but that should be the only expense. DD has Tball tomorrow night, but we sure won't be going out for ice cream afterwards - they can have it at home!!! I'm curious to see as the month winds down where we stand. We got the escrow refund check, and our NYS tax refund, but owe money to the landscapers. I'm hoping that I'll have about $1700 leftover, because that will bring the HELOC below $30k, and psychologically, that would be cool.

We'll see how it goes...

Relaxing Sunday

May 22nd, 2005 at 06:40 am

After a really rough start to the weekend, I rebounded and expect to have a great Sunday.

On Friday, I picked up my daughter from Kindergarten, and she was all upset because every kid in her class has those Lance Armstrong-type bracelets except for her. The school has banned them from being worn, because they were taking so much of the kids' attention. But in Kindergarten, they have "Centers time" where they basically play for 1/2 hour, and are allowed to bring in toys from home. Apparently a bunch of kids bring these bracelets in. I wasn't really prepared for the whole "It doesn't matter what other people have as long as your happy" talk. Can you believe it starts this early? Anyway, she was totally out of sorts all day/night on Friday, so it was just a bad way to kick off the weekend Frown

Saturday was much better. I went to Toys R Us to pick up gifts for Saturday's party and this Wednesday's party (using my Main Street Savings 20% off gift cards Smile The party was a lot of fun, and hubby/MIL took my daughter to TBall. The only money we spent all day was at the fruit/veggie store! All of my planting is done, except for a few leftover flowers that I need to find a place for. It looks cold/damp today, so I'll shoot to do this early in the week.

Hubby is leaving on a business trip this afternoon through Wednesday night, so I'm going to try to get a little more organized, throw some stuff out, file, etc. The house is pretty clean, and I only have 2 loads of laundry that I'll do today, so I can devote my time to other stuff that I normally don't have a chance to do. Except for church, we have a no-spend day going today.

Quick Updates...

May 20th, 2005 at 10:50 am

My Main Street Savings cards are in hand. Hooray. I'm so glad this is on the up-and-up, and am looking forward to getting a few more. Seems like a great deal to me!

Also, called the Board of Elections lady again and got one of her colleagues. She took my info and will pass it along. Training is only one 90-minute class, about 20 minutes away from my house, and they're scheduled for June 4 or June 6, right in time for the primary election. How great would it be if I could work that?

I'm home free starting tomorrow afternoon, with a pretty clear weekend. Today, though, I need to stop at the grocery store and pick up food for dinner tonight, and I need to pick up a gift for tomorrow's party (again, waiting til the last minute)! Have a great weekend everyone...

A little setback...

May 19th, 2005 at 12:31 pm

It's great to re-read old posts. I mentioned the check from the escrow account that I received ($1721) and how I planned to put 1000 toward the HELOC and the other $721 to my new Chase account. Well it turns out that hubby hired a landscaper to do some (pretty necessary) work and the tab will be about $2000. So the money will go to paying that instead. The best laid plans of mice and men...

Also, I need to follow up with the woman from the Board of Elections. I got myself all psyched up about the idea of working an election and making a few hundred bucks, and then she never called me back. It's been a week, so I think I can call her without being a nag.

I'm hoping to keep my momentum going and get a bunch of things done this weekend. On Friday, I go for a massage (Mother's Day gift from hubby - can't wait!). Then on Saturday, DD has a Tball game and DS has a birthday party, but they should both be over by 1:00, which leaves the whole afternoon for playing outside and getting the rest of my gardening done. On Sunday, hubby leaves for a business trip through next Wednesday, so we'll just be hanging around the house. Plenty of time for me to take care of some laundry, organizing, etc. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend!

Made some more progress today...

May 17th, 2005 at 08:10 pm

Got a few more things crossed off my list. Did 4 loads of laundry, went to the library, the dry cleaner, and took my son for a haircut. I also managed to plant some more, though I still have more to do, and the kids went to the dentist. Whew. I'm wiped! I'll try to get the rest of the flowers done tomorrow.

I also got an email from Main Street Savings that the gift cards I ordered were shipped on 5/16. I'm just waiting until I have them in hand and verify the balances before I order more. We have a slew of birthday parties over the next month, so the Toys R Us cards will be particularly handy, and I have friends who want me to order Target and JC Penney cards for them, as I don't usually shop at those stores. I'll keep you all posted, because it seems like a pretty good way to get 20% off. Most of them don't expire (at least not for awhile) so I may buy a few each month in anticipation of the holidays to spread out my Christmas spending.

Other than MainStreetSavings, which I had been looking at for awhile, I'm not doing much frugal-wise for the rest of the month. I already ran through most of my budget categories and picked off the easy fruit. I have a hectic couple of weeks coming up, between parties, hubby travelling, school stuff, etc., and I'm letting the dust settle from some of the other changes I made (particularly with the escrow/house insurance stuff), so my plan is to start again in June.

Finally listed on half.com

May 16th, 2005 at 07:25 pm

I made some progress this weekend. It didn't start out that great, because I was running around like a nut on Saturday. I left the house at 10:00 to buy a birthday gift for the 11:00 party (way to wait for the last minute!). The party was 11:00-1:00, then I had to run back out to the store to get a gift for hubby's cousin (we exchange with him). I ended up getting a shirt for him that hubby really liked and kept for himself! Then we went to DD's T-ball game at 3:00. Hubby dropped the kids at MIL's for a sleepover. When he got home, we went clothes shopping for him (and got cousin a different gift!), then went to Chili's for dinner. Both the shopping and the dinner out were totally unplanned, though I have to say that it was great to spend the time with each other. We don't usually get to go out and do stuff like that alone very much.

I spent a lot less on Sunday (thankfully!). The weather was beautiful (I need a job where I can be wrong 75% of the time - the weatherman predicted rain). We were able to get a bunch of yardwork done, and I planted a lot of my flowers. I also did my grocery shopping (with a 20% off coupon, thanks to a great ShopRite promotion, and plenty of coupons). I also managed to get through about 5 loads of laundry, which is always a help.

Today went well. Hubby went on a business trip through Wednesday, so I found myself with time to organize after the kids went to sleep. I went ahead and listed 15 books and 2 CDs on half.com. I've never done this before, and was really surprised at how easy it was. Now hopefully they'll sell!

Tomorrow is my at-home day. I'm planning on coffee (at home) with a friend after drop-off for school. Then I need to buckle down and do a few things:
1) 3 more loads of laundry
2) Mail out clothes to my friend (leftover from my list last week)
3) Finish planting flowers and veggies
4) Return overdue library books Frown
5) Deposit check at bank

My house is a mess, but I'll start here. Hopefully it will be a fairly inexpensive day...

Finally signed up at Chase!!!

May 13th, 2005 at 04:12 pm

Ok, it's been a great day!!! Anyone who's been keeping up with my posts know that I got a letter in the mail from Chase a few months back offering a $50 bonus if you signed up for free checking, with a $100 deposit. The account had to stay open for 6 months. I had every intention of doing it, but never got around to it. So then, on fatwallet.com, I came across a thread with all different bank offers, including a new one for Chase for a $75 bonus, same terms, expires 6/1. So I went to my local branch (that just opened up in my town two weeks ago) all set to open one up. Well it turns out that their "Grand Opening Party" is tomorrow morning, and they're giving away a $100 bonus, same terms as before, just for Saturday. The rep told me that she'd enter my information after 4:00 today, so I'd be eligible for the $100. Wahoo.

I also finally signed up for Main Street Savings today. The deal there is that for $9.95/month, you can buy gift cards from certain companies for 20% off. You get the first month free, a free $25 gift card for joining, and you can cancel anytime. I've been searching on a bunch of different frugal threads, and it seems on the up-and-up. Companies include Home Depot, Lowes, Toys R Us, Target, Circuit City, JC Penney, Kohls, Barnes & Noble, etc. You can get up to $500 per company per year. My plan is to buy up what I need over the next 3-4 months, then cancel. I ordered some today, and I'll see how it goes from there.

Other than that, had a pretty quiet day today. I was able to pick up the present for today's party, as well as an outfit for a new baby gift yesterday, but that was it. I need to go out tomorrow morning to get tomorrow's birthday gift. I should be able to make up some ground this weekend. The kids are going to MIL's for a sleepover tomorrow night, so I'll have Saturday and Sunday to do stuff around the house. I don't think the weather is supposed to be great, but I should be able to get some things done...

Finally crossed some things off my list!

May 12th, 2005 at 09:58 am

As promised, I increased hubby's 401(k) contribution this morning. Yippee!! He is now maxing out his contributions, which will not only help us save for retirement (I'm sure as heck not counting on Social Security!) but it reduces our taxes, too, because the money comes out pre-tax. Never thought we'd get to this point!

Followed up with Washington Mutual. They processed my request to get rid of the escrow account for my mortgage and sent me a check for $1,721.19 (balance in the account). I'm going to use the $721.19 to open up the checking account at Chase (and get that $75 bonus), and I'm going to put the other $1000 toward my heloc. Then, each month, I'll transfer money to the Chase account to cover the taxes and insurance so that when the bill comes due, I'll have the money to pay. And, I'll be able to put an additional $53.65 toward the heloc each month, seen as I don't have to fund the escrow account anymore! Wahoo!

I also called and left a message for the woman at the Board of Elections. Curious to see what this is all about - I hope she calls me back. Made two appointments and RSVP'd to a party. So all the easy things are done! Back to the rest of the list:

1) Go shopping for birthday presents - definitely today (I better - parties are tomorrow and Saturday!);
2) Laundry - Definitely some of it today. My 3 loads from two days ago is now more like 6 loads, plus my daughter's T-Ball outfit is in there, and I need it by 6:00 tonight!!
3) Plant peas and spinach - definitely today. The dirt's already turned over. I just need to drop in the seeds, cover, and water. Can you believe I'm procrastinating about something as simple as this?

The rest of the stuff will need to be done over the next few days:
1) Open the account at Chase
2) Box up clothes for my friend
3) Plant flowers
4) List books on half.com (will I ever get around to this?)

Have a great day!!

Possible source of income?

May 11th, 2005 at 07:50 pm

Got a card in the mail from our county's board of elections, asking if I was interested in being a "Board Worker" during elections. The hours are from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, with one hour for lunch and a half-hour for dinner. The salary for the day is $200 (just over $14/hr). You can also work during school board elections (which are held on different days), though they are usually shorter hours and, presumably, less money. A training class (not sure of the duration) is mandatory. I'm going to call tomorrow to get more information and if there's nothing more to it than this, I'm going to sign up. It's only a couple of times a year, but I'm usually home on Tuesdays (election days), and even if I'm working, it would be worth it for me to take a paid vacation day and get the cash. Funny thing is that hubby and I just voted in our local school board election last month, and wondered what those people were paid and how they got the job... I'll fill in the details after I speak with them tomorrow.

I guess this makes up for all the other things I DIDN"T DO today!!! It was almost 80 degrees, sunny and gorgeous outside! I picked up the kids from school and headed to the park with some friends until 5:00. By the time I got home, got dinner ready, got the kids ready for bed and watched American Idol, it was 9:30 and I didn't do one thing on the list!!! Well, that's not exactly true. I figured out how to allocate hubby's 401(k), and got his agreement, so I will definitely be making that change before my next post tomorrow. And I also stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things (8 2-liters of soda @$.75 each minus a $6 mail-in rebate = free!!! just in time for summer). Also, blueberries were buy one get one free. Even with that deal they were still ridiculously priced, but dd loves them and it's been months since we had them...

I'll try to get my to do list done tomorrow. I'm trying to stay positive, but I'm not sure how practical it is, given that I'm working until 2:00, picking the kids up from school, then dinner and T-ball at 6:00. I also need to go to the store to get bday presents for the parties on Friday and Saturday. Yipes!

Lots of stuff to do...

May 11th, 2005 at 07:39 am

I'm having a pretty good week so far. Hubby went to the dentist for his checkup last night. No cavities, and we're allowed 2 checkups each per year, so not out-of-pocket either! I managed to plant another bunch of string beans on Monday afternoon, about 2 weeks after the last bunch. I still have more spinach and sugar snap peas to do today. I think the rest of the veggies will need to wait a week or two, as it still gets down to the 45-50 range at night and that's pretty cold.

I notice that I haven't been doing a lot of stuff on my "to do" list lately, so I'm going to list it here and try to hold myself accountable for it:

1) Increase hubby's 401(k) contribution
2) 3 loads of laundry
3) Open up a checking acct at Chase - $75 bonus
4) Box up kids clothes for my friend
5) Finish planting spinach and peas

I have a ton more to do, but I don't want to intimidate myself by listing it all knowing there's no way I can get to everything. So I'll start here and see how I do...

I think I've lost a few brain cells

May 9th, 2005 at 06:16 am

I find if I don't write in this journal every day, I have a hard time thinking back to what happened a few days ago. Pretty sad.

Friday was great. I took a v-day from work and went to the "Mother's Day Tea" in my daughter's kindergarten class. Very sweet. The kids read a poem and sang two songs, and we all wrote journals with our kids, talking about what we like best about each other and what we like to do together. It was a fun time. Then I zipped to the flower store and picked up the flowers for MIL for Mother's Day, flats of flowers and veggies for her, and flowers and veggies for us (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and eggplant). I didn't go overboard like usual - just got stuff that I needed. I still need to pick up herbs, but am all set other than that. Now if only the weather would cooperate. It's supposed to get up to 70 this week, so I'll try to get it done by Friday.

Saturday, Hubby went to the Communion with MIL, and I was home with the two kids. (Daughter had a Tball game, and son was coughing quite a bit overnight, so we thought we'd keep him home instead of infecting all the kids at the party). Luckily it seems like a fluky thing - he's been better since then. I took the kids out to Fridays for lunch after the game. I had a coupon for a free appetizer (my meal) and the rest was paid with a gift card, so no cash out of pocket. Hubby got home late from the party, and we ended up ordering a pizza for dinner Frown

Sunday, I was able to sleep late (9:45) and got coffee in bed and french toast for breakfast! After lollygagging around for the morning, we headed down to MIL's for dinner. She cooked and hubby did some stuff around the house so it was no great shakes, but pretty relaxing.

This week is going to be crazy! I need to go into work tomorrow (usually my at-home day), so I'm going to be pressed to fit in grocery shopping, laundry, etc. that I usually do on Tuesdays. Hubby has a dentist appointment tomorrow night, daughter has a tball game on Thursday and Saturday, as well as birthday parties on Friday and Saturday. For some reason, we are inundated with parties this month. Between daughter and son, we have 5 birthday parties for kids in their classes (and no EBAY Discovery Store gift cards, which means I'm going to need to be really creative to keep the cost down). I also need to pick up a bday present for hubby's cousin, whom we exchange gifts with. Wow, this is shaping up to be an expensive week Frown Luckily, both hubby and I both get paid on Friday, so I'll be able to take a first look at where exactly we stand for the month.

Hope everyone had a good Mother's Day...

Lunch with my sister...

May 5th, 2005 at 11:24 am

always costs a fortune! We both work in lower Manhattan, where everything is expensive! She usually works at home on Thursdays, when I'm in the office late and can take lunch, so we wind up missing each other. But for some reason, she's been in a lot on Thursdays lately. I can't pass up lunch with her, because she's a lot of fun, and I don't see her nearly as much as I'd like to, but at the same time, it costs me $30-40 each time! She's worth it, though.

So what I thought was a no-spend day actually cost me $43. (Glad I didn't stop for that Starbucks this morning!). It's still early in the month, so I can make it up somewhere. The rest of the day will definitely be no-spend. Tomorrow, I'm heading to the flower place that I didn't get around to on Tuesday, but I think most of the stuff I'll buy will be for my MIL, and she'll reimburse me. On Saturday, hubby is going to a communion with DS, while I take DD to her Tball game (unless it rains, then we'll all be going). I'm hoping that the communion only costs me $25, but it's hubby's family, so he decides. The good news is that we're not going to a wedding on Saturday (a few states away), also on hubby's side, and we only need to give $50 for that (I budgeted $100). So I think I'm making out here somewhere...

Other than that, things are quiet. I need to increase hubby's 401(k), using 1/2 of the raise he got in April. But first, I need to make sure that the money is going to the right category of investments. His company pays for a financial planning company to work with us in this area, so I just need to call them, then make the switch. The raise was effective in April, so I already went 1 month without increasing it, I really want to try to get the change in before the deadline for May. Also, with the whole thumb thing last weekend, I never got around to listing the books on half.com. I need to get to that this week. That's all for now...

My thumb is healing...

May 4th, 2005 at 08:25 am

But my arm is still sore from where I got the tetnus shot. Can't wait to get the bandage off of my thumb; I never realized how valuable thumbs were, especially on my right hand! I'm having a tough time writing, tying shoes, etc. Oh well, only a few more days.

This has been a pretty good week so far. Received the first of my 2 replacement credit cards. I feel so much better knowing one is in my wallet. A crutch maybe? I don't know. On May 2, I sent off the form to Washington Mutual to begin paying my property taxes/insurance directly instead of using their escrow account. They said it could take up to 60 days for them to process the request, but I'm hoping they come through faster, along with the check for my current escrow balance. In the meantime, State Farm sent me a check for $464.78 after they processed my cancellation. I'm going to deposit both checks into my (relatively) new ING account, where I'll continue to put my monthly property tax and insurance contributions. As soon as I get going with that, I'll see how much I really need to keep in there and use the rest to pay down my HELOC.

I fought a charge from the hospital from last November, when my son broke his finger. They wanted me to pay $30 for the visit with the doctor. I already paid my $15 copay, so I called up my insurance company (Oxford, they're great), and they told me that they submitted a check for $8.10 (the contracted rate) and I don't have to pay a dime. So I called the place back and straightened that out. I also got a rebate check for $4 back. It's not a lot, but it goes into the fun-money account I set up to show hubby that these little $5 and $10 savings are worth it, and it's already up to $566.17!

Then, one of the links on the side of this page (under "Partners") is for a "Personal Finance Blog". It then refers you to another site called fatwalletforum.com. I started surfing through it one day, and found a deal where Chase will give you $75 to open a checking account (minimum $100 deposit, need to leave it open for 6 months, expires 6/1). I was pretty excited about this because I received an offer in the mail from them to open a checking account and get a $50 bonus, but it expired on 4/15 and I never got around to it. (It's that whole disorganization thing). I was a little disappointed that I missed it, but now I'm psyched becuase it's for $25 more! I'm going to use the money from my fun-money account to start it and get the bonus. Yay!

So far it's been a pretty spend-free week. Went to Dad's yesterday to do his shopping, and added some of my stuff to his cart (he's pretty good about that). I forgot bread and yogurt, but that's all I need to pick up this week. Also, I didn't have time to stop at the flower place, so I didn't spend any money there (yet). We took the kids out for ice cream after T-ball, but that's been pretty much it. Today and tomorrow should be more of the same. I don't have any bills to pay until payday on the 15th.

Have a great day!!!

Trip to the ER

May 2nd, 2005 at 06:19 am

So I finalized the menu for our dinner Satruday, went shopping, and was almost all done with the preparation when I sliced my thumb on the mandoline (slicer). This happened at 4:45, company was coming at 6:00. It took me 1/2 hour to realize that it wasn't going to stop bleeding, so I had to go to the emergency room while hubby managed the two kids, final touches (setting the table, etc.) and entertaining the company for two hours until I got back. Thankfully, the wife of the couple is an awesome cook, so she pretty much took over and prepared everything! In the meantime, my thumb has this big, bulky bandage on it, and I had to get a tetnus shot to boot Frown My arm is still killing me -- I'm such a baby!

Spent a lot on food for Saturday, but the food was great, and it was still cheaper than going out. Sunday, as expected, was a no-spend day. I'm looking forward to a pretty frugal week, except for tomorrow. I need to go down to my dad's to do the grocery shopping for him, and while I'm there, I want to stop by a local farm to pick up some flowers/veggies for planting. Also need to pick up two hanging baskets for mil for mother's day. Even though this expense is planned, I usually end up going over, because I get so excited at the prospect of gardening and planting. I'll try to keep it at bay.

I'll piggyback on my trip to the store for dad to pick up a few things that I need. Other than that, I'm having leftovers from Saturday and using up pantry stuff this week. Hopefully it will be a cheap week...