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Feeling Better

March 27th, 2007 at 01:58 am

I woke up today and did not want to crawl back into bed for the first time in 11 weeks. My doctor prescribed some antibiotics last week that made me sick, and I am finally done with those, too. Its been tough with the exhaustion, nausea and food aversions, but I think I have finally crossed that bridge. I sat down and planned meals for the rest of the week without feeling sick, so that will mean less ordering out! Of course we will see what happens next week in Florida. I don't know what the In-Law's plans for meals are, but hopefully we won't be going out every day.

Ultrasound and Florida Update

March 13th, 2007 at 09:53 pm

He/She is so little (about the size of a grape at 9 weeks) and the little heart was beating so fast. It was so amazing! At my next appointment, in April, I will be able to listen to the heartbeat and the Doctor said we can schedule the C-Section! I won't be able to find out the gender until sometime in May...gosh that seems so far away...LOL.

FIL called DH today and said that he will take care of our airfare and car rental in Florida, so it won't cost us anything to go! He said he figures he "owes" us because he pays for 2 BILs to go to Nascar races 2-3 times per year and countless snowmobiling trips in Maine and Wyoming. FIL is a "millionaire's next door"...he sold his electronics company that he started 1995 in 2000 and made millions. DH and I ever ask for or expect anything at all from them, and it is a very nice surprise when they offer to do things for us.

Updates, $20 Challenge, Etc.

March 12th, 2007 at 11:32 pm

I've been slacking with my challenge updates lately....
Last week I received 2 payouts for $10 from survey companies and today I received 2 survey checks worth $8.50.

Old Total = $1362
New Total = $1380.50

I've been spending more money than usual grocery shopping, and have been eating out more than normal. Just like with my first pregnancy, I am having terrible food aversions. I will make a perfectly good meal, then the thought of it will make me sick....it's even worse with leftovers.
Hopefully, these aversions are only temporary......

A few weeks ago DH's parents invited us down to their vacation house in Florida in June...turns out that it is going to be rented in June, so we are going in April instead. They offered to pay for one of our plane tickets and we have to chip in for the rental car. It will probably cost us $450 (plus food, etc.), which isn't bad for a week on a beautiful golf course in Florida. I am soooo excited!!!!

New Carpet

February 27th, 2007 at 11:57 pm

DH and I decided back in October or November that we would spend our tax refund on carpets for the bedrooms. We went to 3 different stores to compare and Home Depot was the best. ($2,000 for 720 sq. ft of carpet). We held off on ordering for 2 weeks because it is difficult to get to the store together working opposite shifts. When they entered all the information in the computer, one of the salespeople remembered a meeting they had a few days before about a new promotion not yet being advertised....free padding and 10% off the carpet...brought the total to $1,300!!!! Sooooo glad we waited. Big Grin
They are coming Thursday and Friday to do the installation.

A Bit more for the Challenge

February 22nd, 2007 at 12:39 am

I got a $5 check from Pinecone today.

Old total = $1357
New total = $1362

Challenge Update

February 20th, 2007 at 10:25 pm

DH sold another bike for $600 last night, and when I got to work today I found out that I won the numbers pool for $60. Its all going to the challenge.

Old total = $697
New total = $1357

$20 for the Challenge

February 13th, 2007 at 11:21 pm

Received $20 payment from Lightspeed today.

Old total = $677
New total = $697

Stress & Challenge Update

February 12th, 2007 at 09:18 pm

Two more survey checks to add to the challenge.
$5 from Survey Spot
$5 from Your2Cents

Old Total = $667
New Total $677

I also received 2 coupons for a free item (up to $3.50) in the mail from Kraft/Nabisco because I sent them an email telling them about a package of Oreo cookies that I purchased were all broken. Not sure if I should all this to the challenge or not.

I've had a very hard time concentrating on anything for the past few days. My father is having bypass surgery on Wednesday...it is the last chance to save his leg, so we are all very worried about how it is going to turn out. This will be his 3rd bypass in 4 years. The last one was last November. I haven't seen him since DS's birtday in October because they live in MN. I really want to visit, but a crowded plane and a 16 month old who won't sit still for more than 5 minutes do not mix.

I don't know how other people travel with small children. A 30 minute car ride practically kills DS.

$20 Challenge

February 9th, 2007 at 08:21 pm

Another $5 check from Pinecone came in the mail yesterday. Adding it to the challenge.

Old Total = $662
New Total = $667

Stuffed Mail Box

February 6th, 2007 at 01:30 pm

Wow, did I have a good mail day!!

Four products to test (soup, shampoo, conditioner and body wash). I will get paid $5 when I complete one of the test, but the others are unpaid (I get to keep the products, though).

There was also a $5 check from Pinecone to be added to the Challenge!

Old total = $657
New total = $662

I Will Have to Change My SA Name.....

February 6th, 2007 at 12:56 am

It's official...DS will be a big brother in October!!!! I took an at home test at 5:30 a.m this morning so DH would know before he left for work!!!

I was almost 100% positive about two weeks ago when I took DS out of his crib and had to put him right back because I felt like I was going to pass out...team that with the total exhaustion and slight nausea I have felt for a week, and there you have it. Big Grin

DH and I are so excited...just as excited as we were when we found out about our first!! What an amazing blessing little ones are. Smile

Words of Wisdom?

February 1st, 2007 at 01:15 am

A couple of times a year I feel compelled to check my horiscope in the daily paper. Most of the it is just some generic comment (read: crap) about financial windfalls, relationships, etc.

I thought today was different, and since it coincides with the subtitle of my blog, I decided to post it here.

"Each task your perform, regardless of how small it may seem, is a step toward or away from your goal(s)."

At Least One of Us is Lucky...

January 30th, 2007 at 10:02 pm

DH's grandmother entered our DS in a 30 week lottery, and it turns out he won $200!

She took out the $30 for what she paid into it, and gave the rest to DS! As soon as she gives us the winnings I will put it in his Emigrant account.

I am going to add the $170 to my $20 Challenge.

Old total = $487
New total = $657

Big addition to the $20 Challenge

January 29th, 2007 at 08:49 pm

DH sold a dirtbike this weekend and 'gave me' $400 to put toward bills. I also have $11 in survey checks to add to the challenge.

Old total = $76
New Total = $487

Double Payment

January 23rd, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Whenever I get my small savings/slush account up to a few hundred dollars, I transfer $50 here and there to my home equity loan.

When I looked up my loan status the other day, it said that I didn't owe a payment until April.... GRRRRRR..... that means that I am prepaying the loan instead of applying the extra payments to the principle. I haven't been able to get to the bank to ask about it.

The normal payment date was approaching, so set up a transfer for regular payment amount from my checking account.

Guess what happened...the payment was automaticlly withdrawn from my checking account, so I ended up paying double. Since I have a budget worked out this month, I know how much I need to keep in my checking account at all times. Anything extra gets deposited in my ING account.

So I decreased the amount that I have scheduled to be paid on my 0% Discover card, and everything worked out fine. And my Home Equity Balance is that much lower too!

Adding to the Challenge

January 23rd, 2007 at 01:43 pm

I had $7 deposited into my Paypal account from MyView, so as LuxLiving says, "I'm taking it to the Challenge!"

Old Total = $69
New Total = $76

Job Interview--This could change everything

January 23rd, 2007 at 01:37 am

About a month ago, DH emailed his resume to a company that was looking for help. Today he got a call and set up an interview for Friday.

I know he really 'dislikes' his current job. I guess it has stopped being challenging for him, and he is bored most of the time. The job he is interviewing for is what he went to school for, and something he really enjoys doing so he is pretty excited. The pay is comparable (maybe a couple dollars more an hour) to what he is making now...not sure about benefits yet.

I know I should be happy for him.......The problem is, we work for the same company on opposite shifts. The flexibilty is great. They allow him (an hourly employee) to work a straight 8 hours, with a 15 minute paid lunch, so that he can leave when I start work. I bring DS to work with me, and DH takes him home.

If he takes this job we will have to find a part time daycare for DS. And if we have another baby this year, that will be 2 kids in daycare part time. The reason I started working 2nd shift is because I didn't want to use daycare. I could change my hours to go in a 2 hours later, but still don't know if he could get home that early...plus I don't want to get home at 1:00 a.m.!!!

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself a little bit...I know its only an interview. I feel terrible about hoping that he doesn't get the job when I know that it is something that he wants. Plus, I don't want him to walk away from what could be a great career move.

After the interview on Friday, I will see what he has to say. I will wait until then to discuss all of my concerns with him. Whatever happens, we will work it out.

$32 for the Challenge

January 22nd, 2007 at 01:07 am

I got a $32 check from Survey Spot yesterday.

Old total = $37
New Total = $69

Adding to the Challenge

January 18th, 2007 at 08:52 pm

I got a $10 survey check from Mindfield today so I will add that to my $20 challenge.

Old total = $27
New total = $37

Another No Spend Day & Other Stuff

January 18th, 2007 at 12:37 am

It is soooo cold here in SE Mass today. In the single digits with the wind chill. BRRRRRRR. Those new windows we put in over the summer are definately helping out...the pellet stove is set on 3 (of 5) and the house is warm and toasty.

I had another no spend day today, which is good because it looks like the weekend is going to be expensive.
DH needs a haircut, the truck needs an inspection sticker, and Wicked is Saturday afternoon. I am so excited..I have wanted to see it since last year!! After the show we are going to a new Brazillian Restaurant which is $27/person, plus drinks, tip, etc. Fortunately MIL watches DS, so we don't have to pay for a babysitter. Smile

DH and I got our first paychecks with 6% (up from 5%) going to the 401k. The good thing is that we won't even notice it is missing.

I finally had some time yesterday to go to the out of the way Credit Union we used to open a savings account for DS. I honestly don't know what we were thinking by using that CU...it is soooo inconvenient and only pays 0.5% interest. I had some cash from his birthday (in October) sitting in my safe until 2 weeks ago when I decided to open an account with Emigrant. So yesterday I closed the account and added it to the Emigrant account. Check that one off my 'to-do' list.

I am on day 3 without chocolate. The first day was pretty rough, but I am doing ok now. Smile

Non-Financial Challenge--No Chocolate for A Week

January 16th, 2007 at 12:33 am

Ever since Thanksgiving I have been surrounded by chocolate...at home, at work...pretty much everywhere I go. I can't remember a day in recent history where I have not had a piece (or 5) of chocolate.
After reading my free Weight Watchers newsletter this morning, which suggested setting small weekly goals each week to achieve weight loss, I decided the chocolate habit has to go.
So, here I am...at work...sitting next to a candy dish full of dark chocolate that was thoughtfully provided by a favorite vendor as a Christmas gift to my boss and I. It has been quietly calling my name for a couple of hours now, and it is taking all of my willpower to ignore it. Sigh.
I tried to squash the craving by having a spoonful of peanut butter, but all I could think of was how good it would taste with a piece of that chocolate......



First Addition to the $20 Challenge & Saving by Not Spending

January 14th, 2007 at 05:45 pm

I got a $7 rebate from Scott's in the mail yesterday so that will go into my challenge.
New total = $27.00

Went grocery shopping last night, and walked away with a little over $10 worth of free items. Two cartons of Egg Creations (bzzagent coupons worth $2.99/each) and a Nestle Choclatier Baking Chocolate bar from a coupon I requested online (worth $4.29). All my groceries were paid for from a GC that my employer gave out as a Christmas bonus. YAY!

Friday morning DH called me from work to tell me that a coworker's brother is selling a 52" TV and stand for $1000. He is moving to South Carolina because he can no longer to afford to live in this area. We have wanted a big screen TV for a looong time so we came very close to buying it. Being the mature adults that we are, hehe, we decided we NEED a new refrigerator and we don't NEED a big screen TV. Hoping we don't regret it later. Smile

Last night we went to look for a 'big boy' bed for DS. We found a really awesome bunk bed with a desk on one end, a bookshelf on the other and a cabinet in the front. AND it matches the rest of the furniture in his bedroom too. We took measurements in his room this morning, and there isn't anywhere in his room to put it and have access to both ends. His room is HUGE but with 3 closets, 3 windows and built in drawers there just isn't enough wall space for a bed like that. So we 'saved' another $1000 on the bed and a mattress.

While we were there, I decided to try out a Serta Perfect Day mattress...It was heaven. Sigh. Truly the most comfortable mattress I have ever laid on. Cost = $3100!!!! DH really wants it though, so I think we will probably buy it when the store offers 5 years with no intrest..they do that a few times a year. It will cost about $50/month that way. Our old mattress is only about 7 years old, but we both toss and turn all night on it.

Amazing Asparagus

January 11th, 2007 at 09:32 pm

Taking BA up on his suggestion to discuss asparagus.




Snap off the ends and lay them flat on a cookie sheet. Spray with oil or butter, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Roast at 350 for 10 -15 minutes, and enjoy!

401k question

January 3rd, 2007 at 03:48 pm

I just found out from HR that I cannot increase my 401k contribution to 6% because I am at the max of 5% (?!?!?!?!).

I thought that the IRS allowed around $15k. Even with the employer match I am not even close to that amount.

Can employers set limits on contributions?

$20 Challenge

January 2nd, 2007 at 10:07 pm

I will start off the challenge with $20 that I received for Christmas.

While looking through my DVD collection this weekend for a movie to watch, I realized I have waaaay to many DVD's...most of which I will probably never watch again. I will use the $20 to pay for listing fees for eBay.

I also plan on adding any money that I receive for taking online surveys to the challenge, because that is above and beyond the income that I earn at my full time job.

I will not count any coupons that I use, because I already use them whenever I can. I will, however, count any mail in rebates, because I don't usually use those.

I will keep thinking of other ways to add money to the challenge.

Good luck to everyone participating in the 2007 $20 Challenge!
-----------------------------------------
Challenge total - $20

Mortgage Going Up.....Blasted Taxes!!!

December 13th, 2006 at 03:40 pm

I just got my year end mortgage statement, and because taxes in my town have gone up, yet again, the mortgage will be increasing by $61/month. Since we bought the house in 2004 the payment has increased by $100. GRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!
If I want to pay the 'escrow cushion' of $167 it will lower the new mortgage payment by $13 or so....big deal.
The good news is that my principle balance went down by $3075, so the new balance is $197,378.84.
I have never made an additional principle payment on the mortgage, because I have always had too much other debt. But I wonder if it would be worth it to allocate some of the extra money (maybe $25 - $50) that I would have put toward the truck payment to the mortgage....what does everyone think?

Trying to stay on track

December 12th, 2006 at 12:30 am

I remember when I first made the decision to be more frugal. I challenged myself everyday to seek out new ways to save money. I reduced the grocery bill, miscellaneous expenses, lowered the cable bill, the electricity bill, the list goes on.
The hardest part for me was to stop shopping for the sake of shopping. I love to shop. I love to buy clothes and jewelry and shoes, etc. And for the past few months I have done well...very well.
Enter Christmas shopping. I have been forced to shop and look around in stores that I love. I have seen what I have been missing and it is HARD!!!!
For the most part I have been good. I have bought 2 shirts for myself (for a good price) and today I walmart while waiting in line I saw some new Aquafina lip hydration oil that I threw into the cart without even thinking about it.
I know these are not huge expenditures, but it got me thinking about how easy it can be to slip back into old habits.
I love the holidays, but now I can't wait for them to be over so I can stay away from the stores. I need to get back into the Frugal State of Mind!!!

Goals for 2007

December 6th, 2006 at 09:34 pm

I have been giving a lot of thought to what I would like to accomplish in 2007, and came up with the following goals.

My main priorities are 1) Writing a Will and 2) researching and purchasing life insurance.

I have almost panicked at the thought of what would happen to DS if something were t happen to DH and/or I . Doing these 2 things will help me sleep easier at night.

After the above items are taken care of, I plan to invest in some mutual funds. Before I found this site, I did not feel I knew enough about investing. Now I am much more comfortable with the idea.

And, of course, I will continue with my frugal-ish lifestyle to pay off debt and increase savings.

My list of 20

November 17th, 2006 at 01:26 am

1.I skipped school a lot during my senior year. I still have dreams that I have to take a test for a class that I haven’t been to in a month. ( I am not proud of this)

2.I still got excellent grades even though I skipped school a lot.

3.I originally wanted to be an accountant. But changed my mind when I was 20 and decided to be a chemical engineer.

4.I started my first savings account on my 17th birthday with $100. I had $3000 by the time I graduated high school a year later.

5.I have been working for the same company since I graduated high school.

6.The same company paid for almost 100% of my college education.

7.I bought my first house when I was 19 for $80,000.

8.I went to Disney World on my honeymoon.

9.My favorite movie(s) of all time are the Back to the Future Trilogy.

10. I cannot parallel park or back into parking spaces.

11. When people read my first name, they mispronounce it 90% of the time. I have only met one other person in my life who has the same first name as me.

12.Because of this I will give my children 'traditional' names.

13.I have never broken a bone.

14.The first time I stayed in a hospital was after giving birth to my son via C-section (……..after 16 hours of labor)

15.I want to have another baby within the next year.

16.This is weird, but I cannot sleep barefoot.

17. Besides my mother I am the biggest chicken I know.

18.I am very shy…people often mistake it for b*tchy.

19.I used to be a cheerleader, and once won a state competition.

20.I love to read.

Inspiration!

November 14th, 2006 at 12:57 am

I have been stressing out about what to buy people for Christmas. It seems that everyone I know buys whatever they want, whenever they want...but never know what they want for Christmas when you ask them. GRRRRRR
This weekend I spent a little bit of time thinking...and voila! I came up with some super gift ideas(within my budget, even!) for 5 people on my list. It was a really great feeling.
I went to the mall to buy 2 of the gifts today, and bought another 2 gifts online. I got FREE shipping and some free samples for me!!!


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