Ok, I know every year family members and friends who have children that are going to be graduating and I plan for that. What had gotten me this year is neighbors who we have a ok relationship with but not the kind I would expect it to be to get a graduation announcement. But now that we did get one, it's another $30.00 and a card. I'm happy for their child but really! What would you do?
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I got a part-time job and someone to watch my elderly mom while I work. I am paying a relative $100 a week to watch my mom for approx 24-28 hours each week. Mom doesn't need much help so it's a pretty easy gig. I love the job. It's for a non profit and the staff there is great. I will most likely only bring home about $500 a month after paying for mom's care but that $500 we did not have. I have been so positive lately I think I have attracted good things all around me. I think I'll keep it up.
If you did not graduate high school did you get your GED (general education diploma). I am coming out - I am 54 years old and did not complete my senior year, did not get my diploma and did not get my GED. Why am I telling everyone this? I have finally withe the support of my family started my testing to obtain my GED. I have been a office professional in the work force for over 30 years and made over $40k without it. Why now? It is somehthing I am going to do for me. My plans right now also including starting college after I obtain my GED. Wish me luck.
My DH has a childhood friend that we see every three our four years. This friend has lots of issues with (past) addictions. He called my DH last night and said he had been hurt and could DH loan him about $10.00. This is the first time he ever asked for any money. DH went by the place where friend is living and he said that friend seemed pretty wasted but he gave him money anyway $20.00. I think it is going to go for drugs but can't be sure. I know DH will not give him anymore but felt sorry for him last night. Friend is 50 years old and is never going to get it together. Torn between waiting to help but not enable.
on February 8th I purchased a container of tomatoes at a Sam's Warehouse Club near my home. When I went to use the tomatoes two days later they were all covered with mold. I did not want to take the rotted tomatoes back to the store with me so I took them out of the container, took color photos of them and also of the container and today went back to Sam's to get a refund or more tomatoes. Was told by the clerk that I needed to bring the rotten/molded tomatoes back to the store with me. I asked to see the manager who also explained that while the picture showed the problem and the picture of the container showed the bar code they still needed to have the tomatoes in the container so they could write the information down in their book as bad produce. I advised I was not in the habit of traveling around with "bad" produce and she did let me have more but was not real happy. Next time, I'll know to return the bad food and I will.
Today, I returned a couple of items to TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby. These were home items that I had changed my mind about. Normally when I go to return something, I end up buying something else. Today, thank goodness, I spent time browsing, picked up a couple of things but put them back and did not buy anything. I know I should just stay out of the stores unless I need something but it was still a victory for me just not to purchase while there.
Today was one of those days. One of the caregivers for my mom gave me four dollars from some items she had bought at a yard sale almost four months ago. I had forgot it. How nice that she remembered. Finally sold my mother's car for $300.00. It was a 1988 Oldsmobile that got her where she needed to go. Since I am now her caregiver and it is a given that she will not be driving anymore due to her health. I finally decided the tires were going to rot if it sat any longer. My BIL bought it a paid cash. I found four more dollars in a wallet I had forgotten about. I was looking at some very expensive car repairs yesterday when it turned out what was going to cost $500.00 only ended up costing 77 cents and the dealership did not charge for labor. Sounds like bragging but really I am so glad that things are working for us instead of against us.
Today I gathered up all the items from Christmas that did not fit or were unwanted and took them back to Wal-mart. The store was able to put $107.00 on a store gift card which was fine with me as Wal-mart is where we buy our groceries and gasoline so the card will get used. It was funny though to see people in line getting angry about items they wanted to return that either were not purchased from Wal-mart, had been used and I mean used quite a bit or just not returnable in general. I guess people think that after the holiday Wal-mart will take back anything and is not always the case. Anyway glad I had receipts or at least the price sticker still on the item so it was not a hassle for me.
I know the title may be a bit misleading but the list I am making and checking twice is not a Christmas but my list of things to change for the New Year. In the past I have talked about changes I was going to make but I never really made a plan for the changes I wanted to make. Now, I know you can make changes at any time so why wait for the new year? I guess it just seems easier to plan a certain date and work from there. Doing better with my finances is certainly up near the top but in listing my plans I am finding that I must concentrate on some other things in my life before my finances can really fall into place. 1) My doc just told me if I don't lose 20 lbs in the next six months I am going to have to take meds for high cholesterol. Now the way I can tie this into my financial goal is that I must quit going out to eat at lunch time. Fast food is going to be out of the question. Another benefit is that I will be saving gas by not doing extra driving since I will be staying inside at my office during lunch. My finances would be effected if I have to start paying for a prescription for meds. 2) Make more meals at home - hum - ties into the number one goal. We do spend alot of money on going out to eat. No more bad food at high costs. 3) Exercise another financial positive - I will not be spending money on new clothes as our office recently went to a more casual dress and I now can wear jeans to work - just get the weight off and I have plenty to wear. As I look at all of the goals I wrote down - did not put them all here I can see how each one will relate in some way to becoming more secure with my finances. I wish everyone the best for the remainging 2007 and an even better 2008.
A call from sil two days ago and brother is dead. He shot himself in the garage of his home. He left behind a loving wife, 10 year old step daughter that was crazy about him, two 20 something daughters and three precious granddaughters. You may wonder how this belongs on a financial website.
He had recently lost his job and like many of us on this board was in debt for things and could not see a way out. Even with the support of his wife it was going to take selling many of the things that were important to a certain lifestyle. We are only talking about the middle class keeping up with the Joneses' but nevertheless it was due to feeling that he had to maintain a certain lifestyle or his brothers and mom might consider him a failure. While this is not how we would have felt at all that was his feeling. He will be missed by everyone who life he touched. He was not a old man by any means but going to be 50 on his next birthday.
How this as opened my eyes. After we return from the memorial we will be selling everything that we can - items of extravance, diamond rings, big screen tv's, home three times the size of what we need for two people. I cannot let his death be without any meaning and neither can my dh. Perhaps not the best reason to downsize but finally the slap in the face we need to make some serious changes.
Any one who reads this that may be having the same feelings of hopelessness that he did, please talk it over with some one. Your loved ones will not be
better off without you.
Make some serious changes now. Don't live to impress anyone.
Please say a prayer for our family as we try to heal.
It seems like I have no problem making clothing purchases or things for the home but recently and good friend and neighbor convinced me that I needed to do something just for me. My choice has been to have my hair done every six weeks this cost around $80.00 each time but does make me feel good. I also have started getting my nails done every two weeks with a pedicure every three weeks. I know there will be some imput as to what a foolish expense this is and I really can't agree with you more. I have found that this makes me feel better about myself so as long as I can work it into the budget I am going to continue. What do you do for yourself?
Yesterday was spent with the little darlings (grandsons). So DH did not play any golf and it was such a lovely day. He planned on playing today but guess what - it's has been raining all day. Our friend invited us to him home this afternoon so the ladies could visit and the guys could all play pool upstairs. We went to the grocery store and of course DH wanted to get a little somthing to take to the neighbor's home to snack on. He was going to buy two bags of chips (2 for $5.00) but when I pointed out that everyone would be bringing something to share and we did not need an extra bag of chips at home he agreed and got only the one bag. I am so proud of him that he is trying. H
I had a less than par meal at a fast food restaurant a few weeks ago and so I e-mailed the corporate office. I then heard back from the local restaurant manager who said he was going to mail me a $10.00 certificate for a free meal. He sounded so sincere that when I did not get it in the mail, I worked up the courage to stop by the restaurant and asked to speak with him. I get upset when anyone makes a promise and does not keep it. He was very nice and told it has been mailed out the same day that we spoke on the phone. When I told him that I had not gotten it, he actually right then and there gave me a gift card for the meal. Lesson learned: you never know until you ask.
I am loving this system. I was spending so much money on going out to eat and snacking. We were trying to save but could have done better. I set up the envelope saving system on excel and have been tracking everything and also set up out budget on it. Husband has gotton on board by staying within the spending limit. Instead of gassing up our vehicles to full we are both only spending $30.00 each time we are on empty. Better way o keep expenses in line. We have also alloted money for each catagory which I had tried to do before but had really not kept track. My DH just goes along with whatever I want to do so that is great help. I started eating breakfast at holme a homemade muffin and glass of milk instead of buying my usual breakfast at Hardee's and a large coke. It feels good to know I am no longer wasting money. We also have a category for for gifts and entertainment, liquor, you name it, any money that we are spending now goes in a category. Now I can really track our non-food items which were a killer. Wish us luck.
Ok, I know we need to be saving money but I bought this product for my grandson who just had his 4th birthday. I got it at Target on sale for $59.00 and it is the best gift ever. It is very sturdy, easy for him to use and he has been taking pictures of everything. I have never seen a child so excited. It is a digital camera that will hold 60+ photos and they can be uploaded to your computer also. If this is the only gift you can afford to give your child or grandchild for birthdays or Christmas it is well worth it. All my coworkers and friends who have seen this camera are in the process of buying it. Guaranteed to be one of the "hot" gift items.
I am actually excited to be working on budget this month. My son and daughter-in-law have been working on their debt by using the envelope system. While I have a lot of automatic payments I am using a envelope based system with my Excel program. I did not fill up the car with gas but only put in $30.00 which is what I had alloted for gas using this system. Normally, I would just fill the tank and not even think about the cost. It nice to see where our paychecks will be going instead of the ramdom spending we normally do.
I am a pretty good saver until it comes to my little darlings. The older grandson just turned four years old and we are having him a party in three days. Target has been seeing me alot. I just have the hardest time not buying him things. He is always so appreciative just full of thank you's It sure makes it easy to buy for him. State taxes are due in October along with car tags and yearly golf cart fees. I just thoughtAugust was a hectic month. Of course, I felt like I had to to buy a small gift for the one year old. Is love going to keep me in debt?
Ok, so here goes. I did a second mortgage to pay off some bills. One of those being Capital One. It was paid off on 7/28 and when I got my statement it showed that I had a credit of $79.00 due to the early payoff. Well, since it is so hard to get any money owed you from credit companies, I was ordering my grandbaby some new bedding so I just put it on the Capital One card to use up the balance owed to me - to clear it out. Well now when I check my statement the $79.00 credit had disappeard and in it's place was interest fee of $63.00. Go figure. It will now take no telling how many phone calls to get it all straightened out. I truly hate credit cards and will not use them any more after this has been taken care of.
Yesterday was a real spend day. Mom's 78th birthday was yesterday and so we hosted a party for her at our home. It was a cookout and just for family but still it costs for burgers, cake, gifts, etc. While she has most everything this year we bought her a blood pressure monitor that will be very easy for her to use. She just found out about six months that she had high blood pressure. One thing that came from the party last night is that while "playing" with the blood pressure monitor found that mother-in-law had extremely high blood pressure. She does not go to the doctor unless she gets sick and has not been sick in a couple of years so it was a surprise. She is 80 and very stubborn so next challenge is to get her to go to the doctor for a complete check up. August is such a busy month with someones birthday every weekend, mom, grandmother, son and grandbaby so we now just have to get thru this month and then can start saving more.
Spent the day searching for a dress to wear to a friend's evening wedding next weekend. Found three all on sale and shoes to match. Made sure that the ones that I did not want could be returned to the store. Brought all three home and tried them on for my DH - I really value his opinion on what flatters me. In addition to trying on the three new ones I also tried on a dress that had been hanging in my closet for two years. My DH choose the one that had been in the closet. He said he had always liked the way it looked on me. So final saving will be $200.00 the total cost of all the items I purchased that I will return. No new shoes needed as I slready had some to match the "closet" dress. Lesson learned: shop from my closet first.
Well we finally took out a second mortgage. Hated to do it but the stress was making me physically ill. I know some of what we did was stupid - such as taking a couple of bills with a low interest rate and rolling them with all the other into a higher interest rate but if things work out the way I plan we can be debt free in 5 or less years with some savings to boot. Will see our monthly payments drop by $300+ dollars that will be put into saving/investments and what I call keeping our head about water money. My husband was amazed when I showed him the total money that we owed. We had things to show for all of it but still when you owe it you can wish you had never gotton some things. A 10 thousand diamond ring that I did not have to have at all. My DH wears his plan original wedding band. A car that I'm upside in that I can wait to get paid off and then get rid of it for something more practical. Wish us luck, we are going to do it.
Today was a great day at the mail box. My free pair of Hanes underwear arrived but the best was the doggie breath treat for our great dog Bogey. When I got out of the car with the mail, Bogey was there to meet me. She was excited when I told her that she had mail addressed to her. Yes, I know she is a dog but she still gets excited when she gets mail. It's nice to get a little end of the day treat expecially on a Monday.
This morning Mom and I got started on her clothes closet's. There were three and they were all full. She was astounded when we were done. She was very good about getting rid of things. Found a few surprises such as a nice London Fog coat and a very nice leather coat that she had forgotten about. At this time my car is full, trunk and seat with clothes that I brought home from her house. These clothes will be shared with out local homeless shelter, some will go through a yard sale and some on e-bay. Mom still kept some things that I think she will part with in the next few months. 22 pair of jeans and she wants to get those pared down even more.
We also cleaned up her ceilng fans and other light fixtures. I have been very negligent in helping my mom with her house cleaning chores choosing to just let things stay the way they were since it was comfortable for her. I find that now she is happy that we are doing some real cleaning. It makes me feel better also. Tomorrow is a stay at home day for me to get my own house in order. We will work more on mom's house after that.
Ok, I finally bit the bullet and paid the POA dues. We were holding off on paying them because they simply increased them to pay for the people that were not paying. DH said this was not a fair way to treat those that were paying so we filed a protest. The dues are $150.00 per year which really is not that bad. The POA is now trying to do a better job. I have been really looking at the things we can use what money we have to go ahead a pay off. Will report on that later.
A couple of days ago, I took a day off from work to take care of the grandbabies. I was really looking forward to spending the day with them but woke up with a horrible headache and being sick to my stomach. I did not want to cancel so I kept them anyway. Thank goodness they are both such sweeties so we made it ok. After DH and I took them to meet their parents, DH and I went out to eat. We went to the Red Robin and split and meal and had just one soft drink o was able to spend less than $12.00 for dinner. Yesterday, I did have a co-worker pick me up a boneless stuffed chicken that was $18.00 but it is going to make us several meals so it was not too bad. Today, DH was able to find two paid of shoes on a great sale. One paid was Rockports that only cost him $20.00 and they are new just being replaced by a even newer version. Also got DH to agree to drop the lawn service that we have been paying $50.00 per month for. Every little bit helps.
Ok,so now I am desperate. I have decided to try out this experiment. I know it will sound crazy but I am very interested to see how it works.
Here's my plan: I am going to ask everyone I meet to give (not loan) me one dollar. For those that do, I am going to take their name and enter their name along with why they gave me a dollar into my blog.
This should open some interesting dialogue. Would you give someone a dollar just because they asked for it? Would you want to know what they needed it for? Would you be willing to part with a dollar when you are trying to get yourself out of debt.
If asked why I need the dollar my response will be - that I am conducting a social experiment and seeing how willing people are to give a handout for no particular reason.
How important is that one dollar to you.
Ok, maybe being broke has made me lose me mind.
This Is going to be a very long blog since I have been busy the last couple of days. Friday night was our regular date date. We went out for pizza and actually did pretty well. We normally order a large pizza with multiple toppings for the two of us so we can have “leftovers” we also both order either a beer or a soft drink. Well this time we ordered a medium pizza with only two toppings and both had water to drink. We did get one order of garlic bread to share. We got out of there spending only $16.93 that included the tip and we usually spend about $28.00 when we go there. Felt pretty good about that. Even Saturday was not too bad. The pool at our development has been opened and so spent most of the day at the pool while hubby played golf. Nice thing about the pool is that you can get a soft drink from the grille area with free refills and that was nice can also get free ice water. However, I did get hungry and so paid $3.00 for a hot dog. Not real happy with that. Will take my own food/snacks in the future or just run back to my house which is only a couple of blocks down the street. Sunday was a different story, the cupboards were also bare so grocery shopping cost me a whopping $163.00 for two people. I had several coupons for free and two for one items but still overspent. They were purchases for the grandbabies, needed little swimmers for the 8 month old and a couple of toys and new clothes to stay at nana’s house for their visits. Did get some pool toys but that was at the Dollar Store so smart purchase there. I really did not make a grocery list – no time, but I did not using coupons and purchased as many store brands as I could so should have enough groceries for a few weeks. DH did some yard work for his mom and she paid him $100.00 he worked so hard I told him to keep this money – this is his for whatever he needs or wants. He is the saver in our home and I am the spender. He will probably have most of the $100 several weeks from now. Today is a new day and a new start on keeping on financial shape. Going to cancel the lawn service and have the house appraised to get rid of our PMI.
Finally Friday has arrived. My DH has been on vacation all this week so he has been getting some well needed home time. We often forget that way of the ways to take care of ourselves is to have some time carved out just for us to do nothing but want we enjoy doing. It's also nice that he looks forward to me coming home from work. Today since it has been slow at work, I have been putting all our known expenses for the month on the calendar. Good news is together we have a great income. Bad news is we still spend way over what we make. We are trying to do much better. I am cutting everywhere that I possibly can. One positive thing is I have eaten lunch at work every day this week. I used to eat out every day. I have a really good feeling about that. I also called and cut our cable down to just the basic channels. Now if we can just do more about our gas consumption.
It never fails to happen. I had lost my clip on sunglasses that came with my prescription glasses. They were made to go with the glasses so were a bit expensive. After tearing the house and the car(I thought) apart. I finally bit the bullet and got another pair from my eye doc. $50.00 I would have rather not spent. On the way home from work today creeping out from the passenger seat there they were, the original pair. I had convinced myself they were a part of the Disappearing Object Theory. Guess it was instead a part of the not putting them when they belonged when I used them the last time. Oh well, now I have two pair. Hopefully I can take better care of my things and won't have to replace anything else like that. Feel like that $50.00 just flew bye bye.
Ouch – cancelled those extended channels
I am not as brave as some on the boards. I did not think I could go without cable cold turkey so instead; I just called and requested that the extended channels be removed from our bill. This will be a $30.00 per month savings. I hope we can survive not having the extended cable. I don’t mean to whine but we are a family of channels surfers. I guess with a lot of reruns now it the time to be without them.
I left the high speed internet alone but may drop it down to a lesser speed internet and save another $10.00 but right now I really like the fast speed because I am online quite a bit.
I just sold another item on E-bay so more to add to my savings. I am trying a new way of thinking and as I get the money I hope to pay it on a bill. I feel that will keep me more motivated if I used the money to pay something immediately instead of just saving it. I think that will keep me wanting to sell more on e-bay and not practice daily spending.
Yesterday I was talking to a neighbor who is a stay at home mom. She recycles everything and was taking about taking her cans in once a month and getting $5.00 for them. Some of the ladies in our group were laughing but I was very proud of her. She just has a bag she keeps in the garage and that is where she puts all her cans so it makes it pretty easy. I think I am going to try this. 5 bucks is 5 bucks.
I am really working on more no spend days also.
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