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Archive for December, 2009

Took a Sneak Peak

December 29th, 2009 at 07:56 pm

I get my year-end bonus in my 12/31 check, so I looked online to see how much my take home pay was. I was pleasantly surprised...I usually assume I'll get 50% of bonus money, because they absolutely kill you with taxes, but this year I got about 63%! Doesn't sound like much, but I'll take it!

Tomorrow will be my day / night to balance the checkbook and get all of my month end bills paid. Then I'll calculate the ending balances in all my accounts after the 31st and I'll be ready to start 2010!

I found $.02, bringing my total to $.63. Wonder what I should set my goal at next year? (It's hard to set a goal because I can't control how much money people drop, but I'm thinking $.50/month).

I got my electric bill. I'll have to go back and check last month's. They must have settled up my account, with a credit in my favor, because my bill this month is only $62.95 (normally $250). Unfortunately, they didn't decrease the monthly amount going forward, so I'm not sure why if I had a credit. I hate calling their customer service, but I think I may have to...

Other than that I have a quiet week planned. Looking forward to resting up.

Christmas wrap-up

December 27th, 2009 at 06:37 am

We had a great Christmas. Everyone loved their gifts, got a few unexpected gift cards, dinner was tasty and clean up was pretty easy. Ahhh, I can breathe a sigh of relief now...

My sister and her family came yesterday and will leave on Monday morning. They're totally low maintenance so it's not even like having guests. I love having her here!

Today I have rest, relaxation, football and laundry on the menu. I need to do some year-end financial stuff also to make sure I'm starting off 2010 on the right foot. I'm working in the office all week, which is a bit of a bummer, but it will be really quiet, so I may get quite a bit of stuff done.

Closing out my 2009 Challenge...

December 23rd, 2009 at 08:24 pm

...with $158.62. Not bad for 2 1/2 months. I'm not anticipating anything else coming in over the next week, and if it does, I'll likely not get to the bank anyway.

So the 2010 challenge is on!

I'm setting my goal high at $100/month. I'll be off to a good start because I'm still waiting for $15.20 in rebates that I haven't yet received, I need to mail in a rebate for about $10, and I just sold 4 books for a net of $37.16. I also never opened up my additional checking account (need to find the best bonus going), and I never cashed in all of my coins (though I did raid it of all its quarters on the day I went to the laundromat). Nothing like getting off to a good start!

Regarding the books, for anyone that's interested in selling books online, it really pays to compare prices. I had 4 hardcover books to sell. If I sold all 4 to Cash4books I would have gotten $28.99. If I sold all 4 to Powells, I would have gotten $32.50. By comparing the price for each of the 4 books, I'm selling 2 to Cash4Books and 2 to Powells for a total of $37.16. That's a big difference! In one case, I received $9.50 instead of $3.23, and in another I got $12.98 instead of $9. It only takes a few minutes to run the ISBN #s through both sites, so definitely worth it.

I spent a bit more than I wanted to for Christmas. More than last year but less than the year before. I'm happy with what I got though, generally bought on sale, and things that I think were really wanted and would be used and enjoyed.

Grocery shopping tomorrow, dinner at a cousin's tomorrow night, then hosting Friday. If I don't get a chance to get back on I'd like to wish my blogger friends a peaceful, merry Christmas filled with love and laughter!

Made it...

December 20th, 2009 at 07:12 am

...through a crazy week! We had DS's birthday party, DD had two friends sleepover for her birthday, basketball and soccer practice, and a really busy week at work. Seems like everyone is trying to tie up loose ends before the holidays.

But I'm now in good shape. I still haven't finished my Christmas shopping. I intended to finish it up yesterday, but we were hit with a snowstorm (that actually didn't materialize until last night, but the news reports were enough to keep me away from the stores during the day. In retrospect, I could have made it). Anyway, I may be able to get some done today, and will finish up Monday and Tuesday night. I'm not stressed though, because I know where I need to go and what I need to get. That helps! I'm also cooking Christmas dinner, so I need to plan for that. I'll need to develop the menu tonight and get shopping Tuesday or Wednesday.

I got my year end bonus / raise. The raise was good considering the environment, but definitely lower than in years past. On the flipside the bonus was better than I thought. That's good news because it will allow me to get all of the Christmas bills paid in December and start the year fresh. I'm really going to try to move to an envelope-type system, so I don't get hit unprepared with something like a $1000 car repair bill in April, which always happens.

I'm starting to wind down the year as well, think about goals for 2010. Hmmm...

Getting Caught Up

December 15th, 2009 at 08:55 pm

The party on Sunday was a huge success and we have plenty of food (and beer!) left over. I used the last two days to get caught up a bit. My checkbook is now current, bills are paid, and my dryer was fixed this morning. So I have a load in the wash and a load in the dryer.

I filled out a CVS Advisor survey and will get a $5 ecb for it. I love it when I get those...nothing beats free money. I should actually count that toward my challenge.

I found $.07 over the last two days, including a nickel from a guy who dropped it, knew that he dropped it, and kept walking. Go figure! So I'm up to $.61 since I started looking in October.

I'm getting excited about planning my 2010 goals. I love the new year!

Laundry Woes

December 11th, 2009 at 08:31 pm

Last night I was all set to get a jump on my 7 loads of laundry. I got the first one in the dryer and the second one in the washer, with the other 5 lined up ready to go. Unfortunately the dryer broke (no hot air).

I haven't been to a laundromat in 15 years. The good news is that all 7 loads were washed, dried, and folded in 2 hours. (If I had to do it at my house it would take 2 weeks and they still wouldn't be done!). The bad news is that it cost me about $33! I was surprised to see $4.50/wash and $1.50/dry. Ouch! I did learn that I can do my comforter in the giant machine for $6/wash and probably $4/dry instead of the $35-$40 that the dry cleaner charges!

I went grocery shopping as well, in preparation for our annual Christmas party. Also took advantage of a few deals at CVS. And I did some more online Christmas shopping. I should have one trip to Target left to just about wrap things up. I also have to give hubby some ideas about what he can get me. The problem is that I sound like my mother ("all I want is a house full of good children"). There's really nothing else that I need, which is a pretty cool realization.

Tomorrow will be busy prepping for the party on Sunday. Both kids have basketball, and we're having dinner with friends tomorrow night. It's all good...

Not much new...

December 8th, 2009 at 08:40 pm

I'm waiting for the 15th to pay my bills, and the 18th or so to find out about my raise / bonus Smile. Until then, I'm pretty much on hold with everything else.

I received my Rite Aid rebate ($7), which will go to the challenge. I was bummed though, because I walked past a penny today and couldn't pick it up. I was coming out of the Path (subway) train and I was in the middle of a throng of people when I saw it lying on the ground. I actually thought about bending down for it, but I would have been crushed. It still hurt to pass it by.

I have a little more Christmas shopping to do. Other than that, I'm pretty much on cruise control for the next few weeks...

Credit on my gas bill :)

December 5th, 2009 at 10:29 am

Wow, this is a busy time of year. From Nov 1st through the end of the year we have both kids' birthdays, anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our annual Christmas party, and other gatherings with friends. It's all good, but it makes for a pretty busy schedule.

I had one great financial thing happen over the past few days. We're on the balance budget plan with our gas company. We ended the year with a $108 credit, which will be applied toward our December bill (the timing couldn't be better!). We haven't gotten our new amount yet, but I'm hoping this means that our monthly bill will be $9-10 lower.

One inconvenient financial happening: I sent in the form to get our rebates back from one of our credit cards. The amount was about $450. I had to submit paperwork with the form, and it was dated 4 months ago. So they sent me a letter saying I had to resend the package with paperwork from within the last 30 days. Totally inconvenient, and now my $450 will be delayed. Bah Humbug.

I did find a penny on the street on Thursday, bringing my total up to $.55. And I got an email from Rite Aid that my $7 rebate check is on the way. Woohoo.

Going to dad's for a bit today and a quiet day home tomorrow. I'll probably get my Christmas cards done. Gearing up to make a big dent in my shopping this week...