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Car Wreck and Christmas Gifts.

October 14th, 2008 at 08:48 am

DH was in a car accident yesterday. A lady decided to turn on green without a turn arrow right into DH's car. Don't ask me how that happend? I'm still trying to figure that out unless she was on her cell or something. She hit the driver side door and somehow drove down the side of it. There's door damage, damage on both the front side panel and back side panel (that black trim is only hanging), running bar is sagging, and if you notice the back tire, that's a spare. She knocked the tire off the rim and bent the rim so DH had to change it to be able to move it. Those doors don't even open anymore.

He's ok but we're having to deal with his car and the other insurance company. He wasn't at fault so I guess that's a good thing. We're waiting and seeing what they're going to decide to do in regards to fixing it. I really hope they will fix it...it's been such a good car. Arg! There's really never a dull moment here.

On the other end of the spectrum here...I have gone ahead and got some Christmas shopping out of the way. I always dread buying for DH's niece and nephews. There are 5 of them and it always gets to be a pain trying to find age appropriate toys...and affordable toys at that. Well, this year I decided to go the clothing route. This is because I'm concerned with the way the economy is going and I'd rather them be clothed than have more toys than they already have. So I surfed Walmart's website yesterday and was able to find each child a winter outfit. I may not be the "cool" aunt this Christmas but at least they'll be warm. Oh yeah, and the total was only $43 for all 5 kids. I only shopped clearance items. Suprisingly enough, they already had some of the winter stuff on clearance. I also did ship to the store for free shipping.

So while we wait and see about the car, at least I've got one thing out of the way.

Sorry I Haven't Been Around, But I Got A Promotion

September 22nd, 2008 at 07:01 am

Seems like these days it just work work work! Sorry I haven't really been around, but I can assure you I haven't fallen off the boat!

It's been 2 weeks now since I got my promotion. I was promoted to director of marketing. I work in real estate so I keep up with The Real Estate book, our advertising in the local paper, internet advertising, and marketing for individual houses. I also provide a "think tank" for agents who have lost their way in regards to advertising. It was somewhat of a lateral move, but I did get more money outta it. Plus, this is the position I want career wise.

I didn't get the raise that was initally purposed. However, first talks were before everything tanked. I am very surprised I even got much a raise at all. Heck, I'm surprised I even have a job at this point. Having that said, the market has really got me concerned. Aside from the housing market in general, it just seems to me like everything is in a downward sprial. Now don't get me wrong...I think the markets will recover it's just a question of when.

With that, DH and I sat down and spoke about this. We feel that paying down c.c's is a tremendous deal. Especially since it's going to be harder to get any type of credit from now on. However, being the scaredy cat I am, I really felt like we needed to have some type of EF just in case I do lose my job or God forbid a total market crash. So I have taken away some of the extra that we were putting towards c.c's and am now putting it into the EF. We've only saved a little over $1000 but we did it in a short time so I'm confident.

Like I stated prior, I haven't fallen off the boat. It seems as though this fall/winter season the 2 layered shirts (short sleeved on top of long sleeved)will be in style for the little boys. So I've gone to the flea market the past 2 weekends to look for winter stuff for him. I found a good bit of quality clothing for him. What I decided to do was to buy him a size bigger than what he wears. He's in a 2T. So I've been buying 3T. They aren't gapingly big but big enough to wear again. So I'm buying both the long sleeved and the short sleeved to wear together and then he'll be able to use the short sleeved again in the spring/summer and the long again the next fall/winter. He's getting better with the mess skills so we'll see.

Everything here seems to be scooting along, aside from the gas storage we've been experiencing since Ike.

Short Of Building An Ark

August 26th, 2008 at 07:55 am

My goodness...it has been raining for 3 consecutive days here in GA. I shouldn't complain too much as it is helping out our drought situation. I honestly can't remember the last time we've had so much rain.

There hasn't been a lot to report here thus lack of posts, but we're still hanging in there.


August 8th, 2008 at 10:43 am

It's been a couple of days since I posted last but I've just been so busy. My sister finally moved back to the US from Japan after 3 years and she moved in with us. Soooo I've been having to get her settled in and used to our frugal ways regarding the A/C and the turning off of the water heater. I must continue to remind myself it will take her a while to get used to that as I keep coming home to find the water heater on >:|. School for me has also been hectic with midterms and all.

DH had been reminding me about needing new tires for his SUV for probably about 3 months. He has those big tread truck tires which = expensive. I think it was going to be close to $600. I didn't want to have to buy those so I kept ignoring him. He sent me an email at work one day saying he'd worked out a "deal" with his friend who just became the regional manager of a tire place. $400 to get the tires and install them. Granted with the price of these tires, $400 was a deal but the fact of spending $400 still hurt my feelings.

I had been complaining to my dad about needing tires and it turned out he had found a real deal on some tires. The only catch was, they were used. Apparently, all used tires don't have a bad rap. As freak as it is, someone could've just gotten brand new tires and then gotten in a wreck totaling their car. Then the salvage shop would've just taken off the then used tires and they look perfectly new. Believe me, I voiced my concern of spending money only to fix the problem temporarily. It just made sense to go ahead and spend the $400 to get the whole life outta the tires instead of getting them cheap and only getting like 6 months.

Well we went to the place my dad had found. The tires they'd found were practically brand new. They were white letter Bridgestones and the letters were surprisingly very white and the treads didn't look like they'd seen much road. Being a very critical person, I was much satisfied. Total cost for tires and installation: $170. Couldn't beat that price with a stick.

So We Went To The Vet

August 3rd, 2008 at 02:48 pm

This is Duke. He's an English Pointer. In my last post I talked about having to take him to the vet and the dreaded cost. Well, the visit ended up costing $77.07. It turns out he has an ear infection. We got some antibiotic ointment for his ear. We're hoping that it's just a random infection that will go away in a week. Otherwise, the vet says it may be due to food allergies and in that case we'll have to feed him a special dog food. I soooo hope it's not that because that food can get expensive.

We also ended up doing a heart worm test because he's kind of under weight. The vet said it could be because he went from spending almost 24 hrs in a crate in his old environment to now being able to run around our backyard whenever he pleases, but he just wanted to cover everything. The test did come back negative so we just need to work on making him eat more.

This is Puddin'. She is a Jack Russell/Pug mix. She came along too. She came for the Humane Society fundraiser. Both dogs were able to get their 3 year rabies vaccines for $10 ea. I thought that was a great deal! It turned out being a bit chaotic but in the end we got everything done. It was neat to see so many different breed dogs. DS absolutely enjoyed it. He got to pet so many dogs and it was nice to be around so many nice people.

Well, at least we've got this behind us and hopefully Duke's ear infection won't be related to food allergies.

Ahh....The Dreaded Vet Visit

August 2nd, 2008 at 05:11 am

I'm gonna have to take one of the dogs to the vet today. We just got him and have had him a short time now. I took him in from a divorce situation where he was being neglected. He's been having a problem with one of his ears. I thought he had ear mites so I called the vet and asked if the ear mite stuff at the store would work and they said it would help. Well I bought it and treated him. Well now, it seems that it's gotten worse. Touching the ear and him shaking his head apparently brings pain and he cries. I can't stand to see him like that so we're going to the vet today. I'm not exactly sure how much it's going to cost but I'm going to assume it's not going to be below $60. At least I have cash and won't need to use any c.c's.

On a frugal note though, the Humane Society is having a fundraiser today at local pet supply store where they are offering 3 year rabies vaccines for $10 and other discounted services like nail clipping and flea treatments ect.. The vet here charges about $15 for 1 year. Both of the dogs are due, so I'm going to take both after we make the vet visit. I'm also going to get the new dog a flea/tick treatment for $10. I thought that was a really good deal. Plus, since it's a fundraiser my purchase is considered a donation so I can write it off with my taxes.

The Power Bill

July 27th, 2008 at 02:47 pm

Today has been a no spend day. Actually it's been a very lazy day. Friday was my birthday so we got a sitter to watch DS and went out with some friends on Saturday. We stayed out kind of late so today was catch up on sleep day lol. I'm making shepard's pie for dinner tonight. Not really a summer meal, but it's cheap, easy, and makes for good leftovers for the week's lunches.

I got my power bill. I've actually been excited to receive it just to see how much we were going to save since cutting back. We have been limiting out power usage during peak times. We have been turning off the water heater while not using it. We run the dryer during non peak times and we use the dry towel in with it (it does speed the drying up) We installed a programmable thermostat keeping the AC turned off from 3am-4pm and then when it is on it's set to 76.

Our house is almost 1600 sq ft. Last month's power bill (not using methods listed above) was $185 and that was using 1774 kw over 29 days. This months power bill (using methods above) was $163 and that was using 1559 kw over 33 days. I was still upset that it was so high. I guess it's just because it's summer. I know they increase their prices then because we had a comparable month of usage back in February and the bill was only $123. Any other ideas where I can cut back??

Interesting Thought. What's Your Take?

July 21st, 2008 at 06:25 am

DH just sent me this email. Not that I am endorsing this or believe every forward I receive, but I thought it was interesting therefore bringing up. I am curious to know what your take on it would be:

Apparently, quite a few somebodies voted for 'change'?

The current president is to blame for our present circumstances. True, or not? After all, he has been in office for almost 8 years! Why is it that, only recently, so many economic woes have begun to surface? If we look back, could we find some related causes?

Do you think it might have something to do with what happened in the election of 2006?

Just before that election took place:
1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;
3) The unemployment rate was 4.5%.

4) The housing industry was booming

5) Home equity was at an all-time high

6) Stocks, mutual funds, and other investments were showing consistent gains.

In the election of 2006, Americans were unhappy with the president and the Republican controlled Congress . It was clear that they wanted a CHANGE, and they GOT IT! As a result, a Democratic Congress was voted in and has been in control of the government for almost two years.

Since then:

1) Consumer confidence has plummeted.
2) The cost of regular gasoline has risen to over $4.00 a gallon.

3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);
4) American households watched $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate.

5) Stocks, mutual funds and other investments have seen record losses;
5) Home equity has dropped by over $1.2 trillion dollars;
6) 1% of American homes are now in foreclosure.

At whom should we be pointing the finger of blame? The average American doesn't realize that Congress makes the laws, and has ultimate control over the conditions that are present in this country----not the President. He gets to work with whomever "we the people" elect. Was voting for Change a good move? You decide.

Yeah, It Could've Been Done Sooner

July 20th, 2008 at 10:41 am

It's been a busy Sunday today. I am the biggest procrastinator! It's nothing new, I've always been that way....but somehow I always find the time to get it done.

I have already done my couponing through the paper today. I wasn't very impressed with anything that was in there, but there were a couple that I clipped. I also checked the grocery inserts. Turns out Ingles has white loaf bread on sale for 68 cents this week. I will be making a run probably tomorrow to pick up some to freeze. They are also having store brand ketchup on sale for 92 cents. That's great in comparison to the $2 we pay for Heniz. I told DH I was going to buy that this week and he got mad and demanded I not buy it...that he won't eat anything but Heniz. I can't taste the difference....it's just ketchup. I'm thinking I may just buy it and put it in the Heniz container we have. I doubt he'll notice.

My sister has lived in Japan for the past 3 years on an english teaching contract. Her contract is finally up and she will be coming home on the 28th. I know it will be weird for her to come back to the US after that long as essentially she has to totally start over. She will be living with me until she gets her bearings straight. So....I'm having to really clean the house, wash clothes, ect. Our new dog has a real bad shedding problem and she's allergic, so I'm trying to do something about that. We have the Bissel pet vac (best vac I've ever had) that grabs the hair so I'm using that too.

I am also baking some bread in the new bread maker. I made cinnamon rolls last night that ended up pretty good. DH loves them and always asks for me to buy them when I grocery shop. I'm glad I'm able to make these now to save some money. I'm going to keep making the bread even though I said I was going to buy some at Ingles this week. I'm not exactly sure what the cost is to bake a 1 lb loaf, but you can't pass up 68 cent bread. Heck, that's even cheaper than Aldi's.

On top of just standard stuff, I've got some homework and a test I need to do tonight for my online classes. I'm gonna have to wait for DS to go to bed for me to be able to do that.

On a lighter note, in my last post I stated I was disappointed I wasn't able to find some Express Editor Pants at Goodwill. Well, I was able to win an auction on Ebay today. I got 6 pairs of pants (Abercrombie, The Limited, Express) all for $14.82....AND this included the pair of editor pants I wanted. That breaks down to $2.47 a pair which is less than Goodwill.

Successful Trip To Goodwill

July 19th, 2008 at 10:08 am

I've been wanting to check out the Goodwill store we have in town for a while. Since DS was having a restless morning we decided to go. I would say it was a pretty successful trip. Well....they were kind of skimpy on DS' size (24mths-2T) so I was only able to find a pair of overalls for him to wear now, but I did find a pair of brand new shorts (retail tags still attached). They were 4T but they were a solid color so they won't go out of style and he'll grow into them.

I then went to look for clothes for DH. That man won't throw anything away not to mention he has no shame. He'll go to work in SUPER faded shirts. I can't stand it! He's a professional, he should look like one. So, when I buy him clothes, I throw out how ever many faded shirts to match. I was able to find him 2 Izod polo shirts and an Old Navy polo shirt all in great condition.
Since I have been losing weight, my pants I've got don't fit. I've slowly been putting them on Ebay. I was able to find two pairs of Tommy Hilfiger jeans, and 2 pairs of black pants for work (The Limited and Old Navy.) All were in great condition! I was hoping I'd be able to find a pair of Express Editor pants, but sadly I wasn't able to.

Everything I bought I felt was a great deal. Especially since I was able to get name brands, but I saved the best deal for last. I was able to find a 1lb bread maker for $6! Granted, it is a smaller one I was still stoked to find it. With only 2 adults and a toddler I think it should work. I brought it home, cleaned it, and then went online to find the manual. I was excited that I was able to find the manual and the recipes! Right now I'm making some cheesy bread to go with dinner!

All in all our trip was good. I was just kind of disappointed there wasn't a lot there for DS. I'm thinking I may go check out the Goodwill close to work and see if they have stuff for him.

Kind Of Slow

July 18th, 2008 at 09:39 am

It's been kind of slow here lately. Well, I wouldn't say slow, but slow on stuff to report. I am still just as busy with school and work.

While on a break at work today, I checked my email and was surprised to see a survey request from Pinecone. It's been a while since I've had one. I jumped on that as soon as I saw it. I recently just changed my payment method with them to Paypal instead of a check, so hopefully I'll have $3-$5 soon. That will go to the c.c's. I also hope they will send me the product to try.

We haven't gotten the power bill yet. I'm so anxious to get it so I can see how much we've saved. It's riduculious how much I'm excited to get a freakin' bill.

We've sold a couple of things on Ebay here lately but alas, no one has put an offer in on the dress yet. I do have 1 watching it, so here's hoping.

Sellin' On Ebay And Other Things

July 14th, 2008 at 09:48 am

I posted some of DS' clothes on Ebay last week. I only made a couple of bucks but it was either that or take them to Goodwill. Last night I posted a wedding dress I had purchased, only to realize at the last minute it would not fit. Talk about a scramble at David's Bridal when I found that out! I had to buy a totally new dress!! Anyways, I posted it with all the accessories I had with it. Sad it's brand new and never was worn, but I'm hoping someone will like it enough to get it. I felt a buy it now of $225 w/ free shipping was decent. We'll see.

Moving on, we finally made the switch over to DSL. Turns out the DSL company that was local to us offers a plan where you don't have to pay for a phone line. You're given one anyways, but you only get free inbound calls, 911, 800 #s. Other outgoing calls are .10 a min. Which was fine with me because we normally just use our cells anyways. The plan is $44.99 a month which is about $12 cheaper than the cable we had. The new dsl modem was $62.00 but you get a $50 rebate, so really only $12. Also, after much searching, I found the company offers a $5 discount a month for the first year when you switch from cable. So I submitted my cable bill for that. We'll see on the first bill. So for the same speed service, I think it was a smart idea.

DH and I have been doing well on turning off the hot water heater when not in use. We have also started using a dry towel in the dryer. I did notice less drying time with it. We have also been doing better about not running the AC so hard. (Turning it off at 3am until 4:30pm and then it's only between 78-76) this is probably the only month that I've really wanted the power bill to hurry up a come. I just want to see how much we've saved.

Aldi Reflecting Increased Costs

July 13th, 2008 at 08:55 am

I did my grocery shopping yesterday. DH and I went to Aldi. We like going there because for one it's cheaper and two, it's just so much quicker. You don't have all those choices to pick over and comparison shop.

While shopping, I started noticing price changes. The milk was up from $2.50 to $2.99. The pizzas were up from $1.99 to $2.50. Bread was up from $.75 to $.79....just to name a few. I was kind of disappointed, but I knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen.

So now, some things are the same price as you'd find at out local Ingles but then again, most things, especially their special sale items are cheaper. We're gonna continue to shop there because milk is currently $3.68 and bread is $1.28 at Ingles. I was just sad to see the increases knowing it's just going to continue to go up.

A Resolution In My Favor

July 12th, 2008 at 07:25 am

DH needed a new jacket for the winter so since it's the off season, I figured I'd look on Ebay to see what I could find. I found a North Face Denali jacket that I ended up winning for $58.99 (included sh). I was stoked because those jackets are $150+ in the store.
If you don't know about the Denali jackets and why they're so expensive, it's because North Face makes outdoor wear with water proof fleece. Also, they are thinner jackets which is less weight, but they provide the same amount of warmth....it's a very good brand.

ANYWAYS, I got an email from the seller after buying that it would be shipped from China when the auction stated they lived in NY. So I did some Googling and found out that they make counterfeit North Face. This blew my mind. I mean, I know they knock off Tiffany and Coach....but I never would've thought they'd knock off coats. I emailed then back and told them don't send it to me if it was fake and if they did I would report them. They emailed me back and said it wasn't.

Well DH went and picked up the jacket from the post office and when I got home, he kind of had a pout on with my North Face jacket in one hand and his in the other. Sadly he said "They don't look the same". Sure enough, I noticed his jacket had some flaws especially with the stitching. If no one saw the inside of the jacket, you'd never know it was fake....it had all the North Face logos on it....it was just the inside. I asked him if it fit and if it was warm, he confirmed this and said it was useable, he was just disappointed in the quality of the inside.

I went back to my computer and emailed them and said "I warned you in my last email now I am going to report you". I then filed a claim with Paypal asking for a full refund. Of course you know those things take a full month to decide on a side. So maybe 3 days later (yesterday) the seller emailed me back begging me not to report that they were sorry they didn't know and they thought that the company they bought them from was trying to take advantage of them...yada yada yada and would I reconsider. I said I would if they issued me the total back. Sure enough they did within an hour and told me to keep the jacket. I canceled my Paypal dispute. DH was then extremely happy with the jacket when he found out it was free.


July 9th, 2008 at 08:02 am

Yeah it's been a couple of days since my last post. I swear I haven't been slacking though. I started back school last week. I am taking 1 online class and 1 hybrid class. I really hate the concept of the hybrid class (1 day in class the rest of the week online) because it makes me drive about 45 mins away from work. School is only about 15 mins from my house but I work 30 mins away from home in the other direction so it causes me to have to leave work early. Not a big deal, I just take a shorter lunch...but the gas usage just sucks. That reminds me, I have class tonight....great.

We went to DH's parents for the holiday weekend. They live on the lake up in SC. We took DS fishing in the back yard. That was fun. He's only been fishing one other time and that was when he was a week old. LOL. We caught a whole mess of brim fish and had it for dinner Monday night. Quite good and only for the cost of bait...about $1.50 and we fed a family of 3. Too bad we don't live up there to take advantage of that....but then again I'd be concerned about mercury levels in the fish. Anyways, looking forward to DH's hunting season so we can get all that relatively free meat.

We're still turning off the hot water heater and keeping the AC from running all the time...I'm just waiting to see the power bill to see how much lower it is due to our efforts.

Pictures comparing DS from first fishing trip to last fishing trip:

Credit Card Math

June 29th, 2008 at 04:42 pm

Today was just a plain ol' Sunday. It was also a NSD and a no gas day. While DS was down for a nap I sat down with each of the credit cards and wrote down minimum payments and finance charges just to see what actually went to the balance. It wasn't surprising to me how little actually goes to it, but I just wanted to have an idea. So far on my debt ticker, all of those payments posted have been additional. Anyways, I made a spreadsheet of each credit card, the balance, the minimum payment, and how much the finance charge is. This should help us in figuring out how much extra payment we can afford and how much it will help. I know the finance charges will change, but as long as I have them at the highest point possible(because we aren't using them anymore) it will keep us making higher payments thus more going towards the actual balance. Hopefully we'll be able to get this knocked out soon.

Well I better get off here....looks like we're finally going to get some needed rain. What it looks like at my house:


June 28th, 2008 at 08:07 am

So in my last post I was debating the whole taking DS (2 yrs) to the movies for the first time. I ended up deciding against it. Maybe we'll just wait till something good comes to the $1 movie to try that out. Instead....DS woke up early this morning so we took him to go pick blueberries. I figured it would be fun, cheap, plus we'd have something to show for it afterwards. It was $11 for a gallon of blueberries and a good time. Plus, the farm is only about 10 minutes from the house. DS really enjoyed himself and it was fun to watch him. He'd just keep running screaming "BWUE-BERWEES!!"We ended up having to have a discussion about which berries to pick since they weren't all blue....but he got a hang of it. I'm not complaining....I've got 2 cookie sheets in the freezer full of blueberries. I thought it was money well spent.

Below are some pictures. Pardon DS I just haven't gotten the nerve to cut his hair yet. It took so long to grow it in...I'm scared to cut it for the first time.

It's All About Money

June 27th, 2008 at 09:43 am

I looked over my ING savings account the other day and noticed every month they had reduced my interest rate. I knew from the get-go that they said interest rates would vary...but I didn't think it'd be a stairstep like that. Anyways, I switched to Wamu. Wamu was offering 3.30% plus I still have a checking account open with them so it made it very easy to sign up. I'm sure there might be higher paying ones but this one seemed the easiest. Also, since I have a checking account there too it's easy to transfer money back and forth and it's immediate. I really don't use the checking anymore since switching to Suntrust but I do still use it for Paypal transfers after my Ebay sales. It keeps me from spending it until I can figure it out. Also, I added my Suntrust as an external account so I can transfer money without any ATM fees or having to go to 2 banks or whatever.

I checked on my 401K I have self funded with ING....it has dropped every month since October. I just have the generic strategic growth allocation fund. I picked that because I'm so young. I know absolutely nothing about investing and I know the horrible market has hinder it's growth. I just don't know what to think. I don't know if I should keep it there or roll it over somewhere else or what.

I made a payment of 25.56 (squishy cash payment + random $)to the Chase card today. I should have another $80 to add on Monday. I feel that if I just go ahead and schedule the c.c payments as I find money, I won't be able to spend it on useless crap.

I think we're gonna take DS to his first cinematic adventure tomorrow afternoon. We're gonna take him to go see Wall-E. Normally we would just wait until DVD but I think it's been hard on DS with both of us working so much. Not only that, but with all the cut backs we don't really go to a lot of places anymore. He doesn't have any siblings and we don't have any friends with kids....well I take that back...we have one set that have a 6 month old....but at 2 yrs old a 6 month old really isn't that fun. I've been playing with him outside and allowing him to help me with the garden, but I think he just needs a treat and some good family time. I really don't want to spend the money, but we are going to a 12pm show so it will be cheaper...but still. I'm torn.

A Nice Surprise

June 25th, 2008 at 11:03 am

I got my $50 Visa gift card from Suntrust yesterday. I got it for opening our checking account. That was nice...I needed gas today and it fit nicely.

I also just checked my email. I just got $20.75 from Squishy Cash. I guess I cashed out last month and forgot about it. That's going straight to the c.c's.

Woo Hoo!

June 24th, 2008 at 06:04 am

Well I'm excited for my good news, but I also have bad news too.

Good news: DH's computer upgrade c.c's payment posted today so now it's paid off! In addition to that, the lady who came by to see DS's bed we posted on Craigslist ended up buying it for $80! That's all I paid for it so I was happy. I just scheduled a payment for our Chase card for $101.36 ($80 for the bed + $21.36 refund from Hobby Lobby). Slowly but surely we're gonna get that crap knocked out. DH doesn't seem to think so though. He said we'd be paying it the rest of our lives. He's such a pessimist. I called him out on that and he said he was a realist. Either way you wanna call it, I still think it's a bad attitude to have. Good thing I'm the one paying the bills. My goal is 2 years but I think with our tax rebate the next go around and the fact that our escrow will be over paid and we'll get a refund in June next year, we should get it done faster. The deal with the escow is the fact I filed our homeowner's exemption late so we had to pay the normal tax amount last year however they're still accounting for that amount, not the discounted amount we'll receive this year. They won't let me change it, but that's ok with me...I just look at it as forced savings. In addition all the difference on everything we're cutting back on is going to the c.c's and we've stopped using them. So here's hoping anyways.

So on to the bad news. DH has to go back to the dr. today for his allergy test. He already paid out the $250 deductable last visit so this visit is 20%. I'm guessing it's probably going to be another $200 visit. Then after this visit he will start allergy shots. The co-pay does not cover this so again it's 20% on a weekly basis. I don't even know how much that's going to cost, but with DH's lung capacity being so low, we have no choice. Health is more important than the bills, but I'm sure we'll make it, we always do.

Getting Back Some Money

June 23rd, 2008 at 11:10 am

In addition to working today....I figured it'd be a good day to take care of some stuff I'd been putting off. On my lunch, I went to Hobby Lobby to return some stuff. After disputing with the cashier that it had not been 60 days since my purchase (Yes...I had to pull the calendar out) I got my $21.36 back. I was fairly irriated with that one. Seriously, she was arguing with me. After I left there, I went and canceled my tanning bed membership. I know....I know it's bad for you....I just was never able to tan in the sun until a couple of weeks ago. Strange how that worked out. That was $24.95 a month.

I also logged on to my power companies website who offered a break down of my monthly power bill...how much I was spending on cooling, lights, ect. It was just a guestimate but it put things into perspective for me. Ima was sure on the button about turning off the water heater. That sucker costs about $38.46 a month!!! Good thing I flipped it off on my way out the door this morning. I'm going to check the temp on it when I get home.

DS has stopped sleeping in his race car bed I bought used for him a couple of months ago. He's a horizontal sleeper so he prefers a queen size bed. We just moved the one out of our guest room into his. I posted his race car bed on Craigslist last night and I've got a lady coming to see it tonight. I hope she gets it. I priced it at $85 just to get back what I put into it since he really didn't use it.

I'm still working on ways to cut back the bills.

Saving On Bills

June 22nd, 2008 at 02:23 pm

Alas, I am still trying to find ways to cut back on our bills. I looked into our car insurance at raising the deductible for both collision and comprehensive. If I raised both up to $1000 on both of our cars it would only end up saving us $11.83 a month. That didn't really seem worth it to me. Right now at this point in our lives since we're paying off c.c's it would be easier for me to come out $11.83 a month rather than coming up with a lump sum of $1000 for a deductible. I don't think I'll be changing that. Once DH's last speeding ticket hits 3 yrs in Sept. we're gonna get a quote from Farm Bureau and see if it would be lower since we just switched our homeowner's insurance and it was a significant savings....hopefully the car insurance will be too.

I still cannot decide about changing the internet. DSL would save us $12.95 a month but it is significantly slower than the cable plus it would be $40 to hook it up. However, we would be getting 2 services (telephone and internet). Currently we don't have home phone, we have cells. So I just don't know.

Trying To Cut Back Costs

June 19th, 2008 at 08:01 am

In order to be able to apply more to the C.C.s I've decided we need to cut back more. At this point I've found it hard to cut back because we are pretty much at the basics. Power, gas, water, ect.

* I went yesterday and cut back the homeowner's insurance...that's going to save us $30 a month....depending on how fast our mortgage company honors our request to re-evaluate our escrow.

* I'm debating about our internet. Currently we pay $57.95 for cable internet. (Note, we don't have cable tv so that's why it's high). I'm debating switching to DSL for a lower speed for $45 (includes all taxes) or just getting rid of internet all together. The only reason I'm hesistant is due to our Ebay sales, it would delay communication till the next work day when we have internet at work.

* I introduced a new rule to the house that says you must wash your dishes as soon as you're done with them in the sink. This will hopefully solve two problems. One, our dishes have been piling up at the sink due to our busy lives and not getting done....and two, hopefully it will bring the power and water bill down not using the dishwasher.

* I think I'm going to purchase something to hang jeans and other heavy clothing items on to dry so that the dryer won't have to work so hard.

* We aren't doing a lot of driving on the weekends anymore so I'm hoping that will free up some money too.

* I might try turning the hot water heater off during the day to see if that has any effect on the power bill.

What are some things you find yourself doing or cutting back on?

My Dramatic Homeowner's Insurance Savings

June 18th, 2008 at 06:03 pm

So I went and saw the people over at Farm Bureau today about insurance. I had already made plans to change my homeowner's insurance because I felt like I was paying too much. I'd heard good things about them too. I was paying $633 yr with State Farm. So when I got there, I had brought the new bill from State Farm so I could show the guy all my coverage. Well while waiting for him, I opened the bill just to look over things. Boy did my jaw drop. It had gone all the way up to $744 a yr!! When I finally got back to the guy's office I showed him and he was like "Wow...this is terrible....well...good for me because I've so totally got them beat". You can say that again! His quote with an extra $10K on dwelling coverage was only $375 a year! Needless to say I'm totally happy. I signed up for it and I've even requested for an escrow re-evaluation to get my house payment lower. That's a savings of $30.75 a month!

Ok... I Feel A Little Better

June 17th, 2008 at 05:56 am

In regards to my previous posts, I just checked out my online banking and saw my check finally posted. It just sucks I had to do all of that though. However I am glad it didn't take that long.

DH finally went to the Dr. yesterday. I just went ahead and sent him to an allergist instead of our general because I already knew it had to be that and I didn't wanna pay 2 co-pays. We have a PPO so I was able to do that. Turns out he may have allergy induced asthma. They did a breathing test on him and he doesn't have full lung capacity. The test was computer animated and you have to blow into a tube. On the screen was the 3 little pigs' houses (this dr sees both children and adults). You were suppose to blow as hard as you could do blow them down. He didn't blow any down so the dr just looked at him and said "yeah.....we've got some work to do". When making his appt. I had mentioned he used to do allergy shots about 15 yrs ago but got careless and stopped. So they're saying they're probably going to make him start doing them again. Which is fine with me if I could just get some peace around the house. His coughing is just horrible. They gave him an emergency inhaler and a maintnence inhaler but it doesn't seem to help the cough any. Maybe with time it will. They won't allow him to take any allergy medication (i.e. antihistmines) until he comes back next week for his skin test. They're doing sputum tests this week. Hopefully we'll get this nipped in the bud. It did suck though that he had to go ahead and pay out his deductable yesterday since he'll be seeing them on a weekly basis. It was $250. I asked DH how much it would be after that and he said 20% of the visit....but we have a $30 specialist co-pay. So I don't know if what he's telling me is true or if we'll being paying the co-pay....but even then I thought once you covered your deductable they covered 100% of preventive care. I hope it's the latter because I've googled the cost of allergy shots just to get a ballpark and they said $1000 weekly. So 20% is $200. We can't afford $200 weekly and I don't know anyone who really could. We have BC/BS PPO and this dr. is in network...surely it'd have to be better than that. I guess we'll see.

On a lighter note. On Saturday I made some little newspaper seed starter pots and started some flower seeds while I'm waiting for my veggy seeds to come in. I did some Zinnias, Poppies, basil, and oregano. I walked out yesterday and saw my Zinnias were already sprouting. I was soooo stoked. Normally I just kill stuff but now I'm growing it. Hopefully I won't mess it up.

Update: Where's My Money

June 16th, 2008 at 01:18 pm

So after not hearing from the lady I spoke to at the bank....I called her back. Once I called her, she told me she did show record of me making a deposit (duh!) however she was not able to find the check. Somehow it got misplaced from the teller to the proofing department. She told me that she had to place a research request that would take a day to locate it then when they did they would credit me. Now personally, I think if someone has their own proof of deposit and the bank shows a record of deposit, they should just go ahead and give that credit immediately and worry about locating it on their end in their own time. I mean, it is their fault. Anyways, she told me it'd be a day. Well I proceeded to tell her that I was concerned things may bounce...I mean after all it was my paycheck. She told me she'd put a "watch" on my account. Well all I have to say is that if things bounce, I better not be held responsible for those overdraft charges. I'm so annoyed. I mean if I misplaced their money for my car loan, they wouldn't care....they'd charge me out the wazoo in fees.

Where's My Money?!

June 16th, 2008 at 09:36 am

Both DH and I got paid on Friday. We both deposited our checks about 12pm....he deposited his at a different branch than I. His check finally showed up on Sat while mine still has yet to. I called the bank maybe about an hour ago and a woman who didn't sound that thrilled to be speaking to me took my information and said she'd look into it and call me back. I was terribly nice to her....even did my yes m'ams. Grrrr! Let me note that DH's check that already cleared in a day was larger than mine (almost double mine). We haven't ever had our payroll checks held before I've got my deposit slip so if I have to fight it, I've got it. I'm so irritated though. We just changed to Suntrust from WAMU in April. We were originally with WAMU before we moved now since we moved, I'm not close to a branch but DH's office is so he'd have to deposit my check the next day. I didn't like that delay so we switched to a bank that was close to both of our offices....Suntrust. I really hope she calls me back soon because if I have to take off from work tomorrow to go over there it's not going to be pretty. What ever happend to customer service??

Productive Day

June 14th, 2008 at 06:59 pm

Whew! Am I tired! I just got the baby to bed and soon I will follow. I got a lot done today. More than any other weekends here lately. We were suppose to go up to SC this weekend for father's day however DH is sick. Now he's been working on this for 2 weeks now. Horrible cough. I've been at him to go to the Dr. but he's refused....until today. He says he'll go on Monday I just hope he'll be able to get in. It is driving me nuts. Plus he's just acting totally helpless. Along with what I had to do today, I had to find a way to incorporate the baby into the activities. Seriously though, it has been very difficult to have sympathy for DH.
So what did I do today? Well I woke up early and went to Home Depot to get some soil, peat moss, and turf builder. I made some little newspaper starter pots and filled them for some little flower seeds I had. I went around to my flower beds and laid the peat moss to see if I can get those back viable. The lawn has been looking horrible here for a while now. Our lawn is bermuda. So I found this anytime turf builder that said it would strengthen and green within 72 hours. That sounded good to me. So I went out an spread it. Now upon spreading I notice I may have an erosion problem. As I stated, I have very sandy soil here. Well my house is on top of a very steep hill.

This picture was taken after the house was built so my lawn doesn't look like this anymore. Think more brown and stiff. It should give you an idea of the hill. Anyways, while I was walking the lawn I was seeing a lot of sand and what looked like washed water marks. Also at the foot of the hill around the mail box there really isn't a lot of grass anymore just a lot of sand. I'm thinking when it rains it washes the sand down the hill. Either I've got an erosion problem or all my grass is dying or a little of both. I'm hoping the turf builder will help. We'll see. I laid it down right before a pop up storm blew through so it helped since we're in a drought and I can't water the lawn. I'm trying to blame the dead grass on the drought but everyone else in the neighborhood still has green bermuda. So I don't know.

I then came in, cooked fajitas, picked up and cleaned the kitchen. I just felt the floor was so dirty. We have ceramic tile in the kitchen and the tile has that texture to it so dirt gets in all those little crevices. It ended up being me on my knees scrubbing the floor. It does look cleaner and I'm satisfied with it....I'm just tired. Oh mind you I'm doing this while DH is just "dying" on the couch flipping through channels. *Sigh*

I think we're gonna go to Aldi's tomorrow for a couple of groceries. We're out of milk and eggs and a couple of other things.

I Think I'm Going To Take On A Garden

June 13th, 2008 at 01:15 pm

Let me start by saying I have absolutely no clue about gardening. I thought when I bought my house I'd automatically grow a green thumb. No, actually it's dead along with several other things in my yard. It doesn't help that we're enduring a horrible drought here that's been goin' on a couple of years now.

My neighbor on the other hand, is a goddess of gardening. She works 2 jobs and is hardly ever home yet her yard looks soooo green and wonderful. Her plants are always so pretty. I was finally able to corner her the other day when I was pulling up from work. She had the day off from her 2nd job and was cutting the grass. I asked her how she kept her yard so pretty being in a drought. Her reply "Oh I really don't know how they're surviving. I don't water them...heck I really don't do anything but cut the grass." Yeah that was a big eye roller. Me over here struggling to keep something alive and she's over here just throwing her hair back thinking "Yeah I'm just that good". She continued to tell me she pays someone to come fert. her lawn and that she had prepped her flower beds with peat moss. Now as lame as I'm about to sound here, I'd never heard of peat moss.....I made a mental note to google that later. I had her come over to my yard to tell me what I had growing in my flower bed. I thought it was something I'd planted long ago trying to come up.....no just rag weed. Yeah, see...I told you.

So upon my googling of peat moss, I discovered this bad boy holds on to 20 times it's weight in water and that it releases the water as the soil needs it. BINGO. This is how her flowers look so good. Soooo....I'm figuring I need to go buy this and put it in my flower beds and give it a good watering.

Anyways, I came across some real cheap veggy seeds (corn, spinich, lettuce, rasberry, green beans, tomatos, green peppers), blueberry plants, and strawberry plants. I'm thinking I want to see if I can grow some food. I know I'm getting a late start but here in my area of GA we really don't start cooling down until about the begining of Nov. and even then it's not really frost worthy. I've been reading up on it all today and apparently this goes beyond digging a hole in the ground and putting something in it. Here in GA we had a lot of red clay but my yard seems to be more sandy. From what I read this may be a good thing. For those gardeners, I know I would till up an area, but would you suggest just keeping it sand and use fertilizer or adding some black soil into it? I was thinking with the peat moss, since we're in the drought, to put that on top. What do you think? Also, any other tips would be greatly appreciated as well.

I Put DH To Work

June 12th, 2008 at 10:38 am

In regards to my last post, I think I will place an order with AFM. I might just buy the inital box to see how much I'm going to like it.

Anyways, at my house we have been having the on going battle with the AC since it's just gotten so daggum hot out here. We fought about it last summer too. I'm the last one to leave the house in the morning, so what I do is turn off the AC. I don't really feel like the house needs to be cooled while we're not there. Plus, I would like to get the power bill lower. We are gone from about 7:45-5:30 M-F. Last summer I did notice a difference with doing this. However, DH comes home and gets super irritated that it's soooo hot. I don't mind it so much but that could be because I grew up in the same area with no AC. I think he's just being a spoiled brat. He tells me he doesn't work his butt off everyday (mind you, he sits behind a desk and talks to Tawian, Mexico, China all day) to come home to a hot house. I told him until our financial situation changes, we will not being turning the AC on while we're gone. I said "you don't just go and turn on your truck and leave it running while you work to cool it down before you leave work do you?" He wasn't amused. So I reminded him "Uh, we do have that programmable thermostat I bought back in January out in the garage that you haven't installed yet. If you have such a problem why don't you install it." So he did. Today is the first day using it so we'll see how it goes. I think he programmed it to turn off the AC at 3am and not turn back on again until about 8am but only to 88 degrees and then turn down to 74 degrees about 3:30pm. I still wonder if this will make a difference in the power bill since the AC will be turned off during non-peak usage hours. We'll see. Now I just need to get him doin' the dishes.

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