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Archive for November, 2009

Found $.16

November 29th, 2009 at 08:52 pm

I found $.11 yesterday and $.05 today, both on the playground. That brings my total to $.54. Not too shabby.

My brother and his family are here until tomorrow morning. We've had a great time, and brother was a HUGE help cleaning the gutters and getting our outside Christmas lights up. Good thing, too, because it's supposed to rain during the week and be cold next weekend.

I didn't do any in-store shopping, but managed to get a few things taken care of on-line. I have some more things to get, either tonight or tomorrow night.

I also need to finish all of my month-end finances tomorrow. I think I'll leave my list there and make it doable...

Scored big at CVS

November 28th, 2009 at 02:11 am

I made out great at CVS today. I think this was one of my best shopping trips ever! Here's what I spent:

Snickers King Size: $1.59
Hersheys Resses Cup: $.89
Vaseline Sheer Infusion: $7.99
Degree for Women: $4.00
Shick Quattro Titanium 4-pk: $9.99
Bic Soleil Razor: $6.99
Herbal Essence (3): $8.97
St. Ives Body Wash: $3.99
Colgate Total Toothpaste: $2.88
Mylanta (2): $13.58
Crest: $3.89
CVS Vitamins: $6.99
Saline Solution(2): $17.98

Total spent: $89.73
ECB: $71.48
Coupons: $10.00

Net spent: $8.25

Wow, that's good. I came home and showed SIL right away I was so excited. Then tonight, I was telling my brother and he couldn't believe it! More deals to come tomorrow if I get to Rite Aid and Walgreens.

I ordered a few Christmas gifts online today. Scoped out some good deals, and hope to take care of a few more tomorrow. I hate shopping in stores, so the more I can do online the better.

Also managed to get to the dry cleaner and bank today as well. DD and I took SIL to see New Moon (again!) and had a great time. I'm really enjoying their visit!

Finally, I have to scope out today's ING deal in the next few hours. Hadn't really been thinking of that, but it sounds like a great deal!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 26th, 2009 at 03:11 pm

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm thankful to Lux for getting me back to blogging regularly. It's so helpful!

I took care of 3 of the to-dos from Tuesday. The other 4 will wait until tomorrow. More importantly, I got the house ready for my brother and his family, who arrived at 2:00am Wed morning.

I received $33.75 from Powells for the last book order. That brings the Challenge up to $143.62!

Have a great day everyone!

To-Do List

November 24th, 2009 at 04:15 am

So this is going to be Tuesday's to-do, considering it's 11:00 now and nothing is getting done tonight! Not sure that I'll get it all done tomorrow either, but I'm going to put it all down and see what happens.

1) Book DS's birthday party
2) Return CD to library
3) Deposit check at Dad's bank
4) Deposit checks at my bank
5) Mail paperback swap books at post office
6) Fill out and mail rebate form
7) Fill out voucher for Nets tickets (one them at the fundraiser Friday night)
8) Update checkbook
9) Mail documentation for cc rewards

In addition to all of that, I need to change the sheets, clean the house, and go grocery shopping in advance of my brother's visit (they'll arrive around midnight tomorrow). Hmmmm.

I hit Rite Aid yesterday to get some things for Dad. Got a $3/$15 coupon and combined it with some of their monthly rebates. Spent $29, and saved $13 in rebates and coupons that will go to my challenge when it comes in. In addition, Rite Aid is doing their holiday savings program, (spend $100/get $20 back) between now and the end of December, so the $29 spent will count toward that. One of my to-dos is to fill out the Caregiver Marketplace rebate (should be $10.75) so that will go to the challenge too.

I haven't even thought about Christmas yet. I need to check out the black friday deals. Because my brother will be here, I probably won't be out shopping, but I'll check anyway in case anybody has good online deals.


November 23rd, 2009 at 04:38 am

I had a crazy busy weekend but it was great! We saw New Moon on Friday, then went out to a Casino Night fundraiser for the school. DD had a soccer game on Saturday, then I went to see Jimmy Buffet with sister. (Always a good time. You can't be sad when listening to Jimmy Buffet!). Then this morning DD had her LAST soccer game of the season (so ready for that), and I went down to Dad's for dinner. So PHEW I'm beat, but I had a great time. It's sad when you need to go back to work to recover from your weekend! LOL!

Not much on the financial front this weekend, other than a bit of loose spending at some of these events. I need to get a rebate form out tomorrow and get to the bank. I'll make a to-do list tomorrow. I've got a feeling it's going to be a big one!

Challenge Update

November 19th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I received 2 of the payments from Powells. Unfortunately it was $6.25 less than I thought (didn't meet the conditions, my bad), but it did total $22.75, which will be added to my challenge along with the $.03 I found on the street Smile.

I also went to the post office and mailed the box of books for the third Powells order, so I should see that in about 2 weeks.

I've amassed 29 credits on Paperback Swap, and 2 more on the way. I think the next step in my challenge will be to check out high value books for sale on cash 4 books and see if I can get any of them through paperback swap. It's a bit of a risk in that the paperback swap books take about 2 weeks to get here, and the prices on cash 4 books changes, but given that I'll have no money out of pocket it may be a risk worth taking.

My challenge is now up to $109.87, so my other next step is to open up a bank account with a sign-up bonus. I have an offer at Chase for $100, but before I sign up I'll check out a few others to see if there's anything better. I'll use this new account as my "Freedom Account" that Mary Hunt talks about.

All in all, a good day...

$1000 error - crazy credit card story

November 19th, 2009 at 04:05 am

I made a HUGE mistake paying one of my credit cards last month. The balance was about $3000 (we charge everything and pay off each month). I tried to make an on-line payment, but I have a new computer from work, and they won't let me install the ActiveX thing (I'm no techie), so the Citibank page doesn't show up correctly. I tried to make the payment for $3k anyway.

When I went back to take a look at the account (on the day it was due) it didn't look like that payment hit. I assumed it was because of the whole ActiveX thing, so I called customer service in a panic and did a phone order (they waived the $15 fee). However, they told me I could only do a phone order for $1000, because it was the first time I was ever doing it. The rep told me I could pay the remainder of the bill the next day at a branch, and she'd put a note in my file not to charge me a late fee. So the next day I paid the other $2,000.

Well, turns out the original online payment for $3k did hit, then the $1000 phone order hit. The bank denied the $2000 payment because that would have left me overdrawn. So now I have a $1000 credit on my credit card (which will be used up by next month). Even though it will all balance out by next month, I'm short this month by $1000.

What really makes me mad is that my ineptness at handling my finances is so out of character. I'm a professional, well-educated business woman (a finance major, to boot!), I raise two children who seem relatively well-adjusted. How come I can't get my financial act together? It's really frustrating!

I did all of the things on my to-do list except return the books to the library. They were due on Sunday, so I'm going to have a fine when I return them tomorrow. No excuse. Ugh.

I'm getting ready for an incredible weekend. Friday, we have tix to see New Moon, followed by a school fundraiser (both sets of tickets already paid). Saturday, I'm going to see Jimmy Buffett with my sister (always a great time), and Sunday is DD's last soccer game. Then it's down to Dad's, and back home to clean up the house in prep for my brother and his family coming Tuesday. They're staying for a week. Can't wait!

Just updated my sidebar. Psyched that my debt is almost under $215k. And we're now adding $250/month to the Emergency Fund, so that's going in the right direction too. It's all good...

Busy Weekend

November 17th, 2009 at 04:34 am

Wow, did I have a busy weekend! Friday night we had an impromptu get-together at a friend's house. I sprung for the pizza (~$25) and had a great time. Saturday we had a friend's son's confirmation, then a soccer game on Sunday. I was beat, but had a great time.

I now have to get focused again on the finances. I got paid on Friday, which means I have all of the mid-month bills to pay. I received 2 rebate checks that need to be deposited, as well as the check for $12.75 from Caregivers Marketplace that will be added to the challenge.

I also need to get back to my to-do list so I can get some stuff done. Here's Tuesday's list:
1) Return books to library
2) Deposit / cash checks
3) Drop off gift card
4) Pay mid-month bills
5) Get caught up on work

That's pretty aggressive, especially that last one. Hoping I can get it all done.

2 Days worth of stuff

November 12th, 2009 at 11:15 pm


Felt well enough to run a bunch of errands including:
1) Went to library to pay for lost cd ($20-grrr). I've searched high and low, but if I'll try again because if I find it within 30 days I'll get $15 back.

2) Went to Staples and bought some stuff for hubby using a Staples Rewards check (no out of pocket).

Also finished helping DD with her Social Studies project. I hate projects. Can't they just sit at the desks and do reading, writing, and arithmetic?!

And I did spend money. Bought tickets for the opening night of New Moon for the family and Grandma. We can't wait for it to hit the second run theater!

Feeling 95% back to normal. One more good night sleep ought to do it. Great challenge day!
1) Found $.34 ($.01 in Hoboken and $.33 all at once in NYC). That makes $.35 so far. I'll start tracking this on the side separately, but it will also be added in the challenge.
2) Mailed the last round of books to Powells and sold another $34.25 that I need to box up and get out in the mail tomorrow or Saturday. I am tickled pink with the way this is going!

I also got my $10 Kelloggs rebate. Won't go to my challenge, but will go to my checking acct Smile.

I saw a great Dave Ramsey show yesterday. I don't usually watch him, but the topic was unique things people were doing to make extra money (not just the 2nd job in retail kind of thing). The ideas were great, and so creative, ranging from giving drum lessons, donating plasma, driving around to look at foreclosed homes for insurance companies ($8/house!). I started watching halfway through...I wish I taped it. I didn't hear anything that I could do myself, but it sure gets the creative juices flowing.

And if nothing else good came of my being sick, I am FINALLY, FINALLY caught up on my laundry! My goal is to keep from getting so behind on that again.

Challenge Update

November 10th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Feeling a little perkier today. Still tired, but was able to get up and around. Went to dad's house for a few hours to go through his mail, pay the bills, etc.

On the way home I stopped by the library to return the video we borrowed. While I was there, I inventoried the used books for sale. Took about 45 minutes, and I was able to find 6 books to sell for $6.50 (cost to me - $2). A net of $4.50 is not great, but I'll take it and add it to my challenge.

I also received a notice from Paypal that I received my Cash4Books payment of $16.61, so that brings my challenge to $74 and counting.

Down and Out

November 10th, 2009 at 03:17 am

I caught DD's bronchitis this weekend and have been knocked out. Sunday and today I barely had energy to get out of bed. Thank goodness for the great deal on the box of tea last week, because I've been drinking about 5 cups/day!

We rented a dvd from a local library on Saturday. I thought they only had book sales once/month, but they had a few racks of books for sale in the lobby. I didn't have time to look through them on Saturday, but will make the time when I return the dvd (hopefully Wed if I'm up to it).

Not much else to report now.


November 6th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I FINALLY got out of the house today and got something accomplished!

I went back to the library to pick up the rest of those books from the book sale. The bad news is that of the 18 I was looking for, I could only find 13, and in the week and a half that passed since I initially priced them, Powell is no longer accepting 2 of them.

The good news is that I was still able to pick up 11 books which I can sell for $22.50 (cost to me = $5.75).

The other good news is that the reason I couldn't find the rest is that it seems like they got a boatload of new books in for the sale, so I'll have to stop back when I get more time and go through the new ones.

I completed a rebate for laundry detergent that will go out in the mail tomorrow.

I also scored huge on A&P doubling $1 coupons last week. Bought shaving gel for hubby for $.37, a box of Celestial Seasons tea for $.50, and a jar of Smart Balance peanut butter for $.99. If only I could always find deals this good...

We're having our first fire of the season tonight. It was in the high 40s all day, but felt so much colder! Our tradition in the winter is to light a fire on Friday nights and play board games with the kids (and a glass or two of wine!). It's a great way to kick off the weekend.

Lost week / Good read

November 5th, 2009 at 04:13 am

Not a lost week financially, but health wise. I had both kids home Monday with what I thought was strep. Turns out only DS had strep. Doctor said DD's strep test came back negative, and it's just a cough. So DD went to school yesterday, and was home today after being up from 1-5am (with me, rubbing her back), because she felt so bad. Kept her home from school today, and she feels worse. Totally run down (maybe from being up all night?), low-grade fever, sore throat, etc. So now I'm thinking flu, because that's all over the school. I'm taking her back to the doctor tomorrow.

Fortunately the kids are off from school tomorrow and Friday, so we can have a pretty quiet weekend. I'm looking to lay low and recover, because we're all just knocked out. I could sleep for a day!

I did manage to read a great book - one of Mary Hunt's cheapskate books. It's the first one I've read and I really liked it. I've read a lot of these types of books and usually I'll find a nugget or two, but otherwise blow through it pretty quickly, but not this time. She suggests using an envelope-type system for irregular expenses, but instead of putting the money in envelopes you keep in the house (which I would raid every time I go to the bar with the ladies), you open a separate account and direct deposit the money in there. That I could definitely do.

So I prepared our 2010 spending plan using this method and I think it will work well. I explained it to hubby and he was on board too. At least I got something done this week!

Successful Day

November 3rd, 2009 at 03:36 am

Today was successful because I had both kids home sick and still managed to be productive!

Took DD to the doctor and he said her strep test came back negative - it's just a cold. They told DS the same thing before the overnight strep test came back positive, so we're waiting to see if we get a call tomorrow. Either way, she's not in terrible shape, and DS seems to be on the mend. Lux, I'm going to stock up on the Sambucol for next time (because there WILL be a next time).

Fortunately hubby was home for most of the day, so I was able to make a big dent in my to-do list. Did pretty much everything except:

1) Go to library to pick up the rest of the books to sell (Tues/Wed)
2) Call Verizon Wireless - I dropped a service last month and it's still showing up on my bill (Tues)

I also am almost caught up on my mound of laundry. At least what's left is all in baskets instead of covering the floor of my closet!

I made out great at the grocery store today. A&P had 4 "super coupons" where they'd double $1 coupons to $2 (normally they only double to $.99). I got Smart Balance butter spread, Smart Balance butter sticks, Danimals, and 2 Friendship sour creams for free, after using the coupons. I also had a coupon for a free Ronzoni pasta and a free roll of Marcal paper towels. I bought a bottle of laundry detergent that will be free after rebate and, as an unexpected bonus, I got a catalina coupon for $3 oyno from the detergent company. So I'll count that $3 toward my challenge. When all was said and done, I bought about $97 worth of groceries for $57. Not bad. I have 2 more sets of 4, so I'll have to get back there by Wednesday.

DS's birthday is Friday, so I need to do some shopping for him. Our anniversary is Thursday, but we went away in August to celebrate, so that should be low key. I need to start thinking about Christmas so it doesn't sneak up on me the way everything else has this year!

ETA: I had $4 left over from my allowance last week, so I put that toward my challenge. I'm up to $65.14 now.

Now it's strep

November 2nd, 2009 at 05:16 am

DS's doctor called this morning. They gave him a quick strep test in the office on Friday and it came back negative. She called today to say the "real strep test" (when they send it out to the lab) came back positive, and she called in an antibiotic (only $5). The good news is that he has none of the typical symptoms of strep (no fever, sore throat). The bad news is that DD had a cough all day today, and has already had strep 3 times this year. She doesn't have a fever or anything yet, and I'm praying that it's just a sore throat and will pass. I'm just happy that it's not the flu (yet).

Hubby was very supportive of my book selling today. He saved a few boxes from the recycle bin that he thought would be perfect for boxing up the books. I told him my "frugal friends" would be proud. Then he asked me how much I made doing this. I told him that the library sale last week will net me $38 and he rolled his eyes. Hubby, frugal friends will NOT be proud of you scoffing at $38!

HUGE list of errands tomorrow. I'm going to do my best:
1) Go to Post Office
2) Go to Fed Ex office
3) Go to Bank to deposit check
4) Drop off gift cards
5) Go to library to pick up the rest of the books to sell
6) Balance checkbook
7) Pay pool closing bill
8) Pay Heating/AC company bill
9) Call Verizon Wireless - I dropped a service last month and it's still showing up on my bill
10) Send in a rebate
11) Go grocery shopping

Phew, I'm tired already!