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Cutting Expenses to Pay Off CC'S

January 10th, 2009 at 07:59 am

I have been trying to cut expenses, so that I may save a little more money. My husband and I plan to retire with in the next ten years. We are hoping that the stock market recovers in that time and while we are hoping that happens we are still contributing in the market just not with the same gusto as before. We are trying very hard to pay down both of our mortgages before that time and build a bit of savings. As mentioned earlier I have been looking for ways to cut my expenses and a few of the ways I have been able to were to: cut phone service from a line that wasn't really used too often,cut the gym membership, cut paying for my daughters savings and IRA and also cutting the amount invested every month in my sharebuilder account. With the amount that is now left over from not paying these bills every month it is all going to my outstanding balances on my credit card accounts. Once I have hit 0 with the balances that money will then go to savings. I should have the credit cards paid off by April or May.

Hopping on the Frugal Train Again

July 4th, 2008 at 01:04 pm

I have to start being very frugal again starting this month until I get the credit cards paid off.
DH and I purchased a home in Florida and the start up cost is quite expensive. It should start to flatten out by December. It is taking a real rearrangement of the budget but it is doable. First we have stopped buying isolated stocks. I will continue with my sharebuilder account but I cut the amount in half, as to what I was contributing. Adding to savings will not happen until January. The wood flooring for the house has been put on hold. I am back to cooking dinner every night and making lunch and breakfast as well as clipping coupons. I am still selling books on half.com and retuning cans and bottles for the deposit money. I will have to start thinking more creatively again in other saving areas.

Starting from Zero Again

June 14th, 2008 at 06:21 am

My bank balance is at zero again. This is a good and not so good thing. Good b/c the money was spent wisely. Not so good b/c it took a long time to save and I have to start all over again.
The money was spent on a down payment for a home in Florida. Hubby and I figured while the prices were low that now would be a good time to buy. We also took into account the very low mortgage rates. We purchased a very nice home in an area that will greatly appreciate in the future. We don't plan on really living in it for about ten years. In that amount of time we hope to make extra payments on the mortgage, without penalty and have the house paid off in about 12 years. By that time my husband and I will be retired. We will spend 6 months in Fl and 6 months in NY. We should have our primary home paid off in about 5 years. That will give us some breathing room.

WE also have had to shell out about 5,000.00 to get our pool fixed. I have to say that was money well spent too. The pool has never looked better and already we have gotten so much use out of it.

My projects with the home improvements have been progressing but very slowly. Still waiting on the hard wood floors.

Starting July 1st I am going to put myself on a very strict financial budget and get myself back on track again with the savings. It's kind of weird, I'm so happy about the house but I also feel guilty about spending the money to get the house.

March Update

March 19th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Right now pretty much everything is on auto pilot. Savings, Stocks, Ira's etc.
I have been doing my best at continuing to use coupons and shopping for the best prices around. Still selling books on Half.com. Cooking more vs. eating out. I don't know if that will change when the nicer weather gets here. Still visiting the thrift shops for deals. I can see some of this(frugalness) is seeping into my daughter. She always looks for a coupon now, no matter what it is. She also likes to save her money and is also beginning to see what a real savings is vs. a big waste. DD is also more enclined to recycle these days than ever before. Hubby too.
I do have some large expenses lurking around in the near future. The first is to repair and istall the wood flooring in my home. Pool repair and some landscaping projects. I'm hoping to get a tax return and use it for these projects.
My doggies have been good, very healthy I haven't had them to the Vet in a while. That alone is quite a savings.
Oh, I was able to recycle and old cell phone to someone who needed a phone b/c they lost theirs and couldn't afford to replace theirs.
My Kiva loans are doing well. Two of the three loans I made are almost paid up. Once they are paid in full I am going to increase the amount I loan. Last year I loaned 300.00 this year I will increase it to 500.00. I feel very good about this. I am helping people by enabling them to help themselves.
On the down side, I have been watching my IRA dwindle down to about 15% of what it was, before the down cycle. I'm hoping that things will pick up again in the summer and around the presidential elections. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Things are Looking Up

September 21st, 2007 at 03:14 pm

Stock market is back up again and so are the funds. Just trying to play catch up with the bills since vacation. It ususally takes me a while. And for some reason September is always a big bill month.

In other news our new employees just got a 2.00/ hr raise today. Needless to say they were very happy about that.

Extra payment was applied to the mortgage this month. New total=169,534.00.

So, all in all, things are looking up.


August 19th, 2007 at 03:49 pm

For me, the advice I would give is to do whatever you can do yourself and not pay someone to do it for you.Such as mow your own lawn, wash your own car, clean your own home, do your own garening,clean your own pool. Wash your own dogs. Grow your own veggies when you can. Mind your own money unless you absolutely can't. Always sign your own checks. Always make sure your are getting what you paid for. Pay your cc's off every month. Always try to find the best price on what ever it is you are purchasing. Try eating at home more. There are many others but these are the one's that came to mind right away.

A Saving Day

August 16th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Put money into my share builder account. Saved the rest in cash. Boy when you think the market can't get any worse, it does.
Cashed some bottles in today. 2.00 worth.
Picked some more fresh tomatoes. Made all meals at home. Gas is down around here 2.89/gallon.
DD leaves tomorrow to go to Chicago with her boyfriend. She got a great deal on her hotel. Right in the center of downtown Chicago, 89.00/night. She used travel ticker. I just hope her room is nice for that price. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Saved Money Today

August 14th, 2007 at 05:12 pm

Sold a total of 4 books on Half.com today. Mowed my own grass. Shopped for and made my own meals. Washed my own clothes and ironed them. And took my two nephews to the ocean. That's what I did today to save money. Oh! and went to work.

Fresh Tomatoes

August 8th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

As a money saving idea and b/c I was fed up with the high prices of tomatoes I decided to grow my own tomatoe plants this summer, along with green peppers and eggplant. I used a container garden for these plants. The tomatoes have been fantastic. I bought a starter pack of seedlings with 6 different plants in May. Now I have cherry, grape, Roma, beefsteak, early girl and I can't remember the last one. Everyday I have plenty to bring in the house and I am starting to have enough to start giving away. The peppers were a disappointment. But the eggplants are a suprise. I didn't think that they would grow. So long as the bugs don't get to them I think they wil do very well. The outlay for all these fresh veggies was about 20.00. I had to buy alot of potting soil at the start to fill the containers. It's funny b/c everyone is involved in taking care of them now. They love the fresh vegetables and it was fun watching them grow.

I started receiving repayments to my Kiva account. This makes me very happy!

Tonight, we are meeting our son in the city for dinner. He has been so busy we haven't seen him in a while. He wants us to try this restaurant near his house that he thinks is great. DD and I will be taking the train into Queens and meeting hubby and son at the train station. Should be fun.

A Good Savings Week

August 3rd, 2007 at 10:31 am

This week was a good savings week. Finally! Cooked most meals at home and didn't do any unnecessary spending. I really can't remeber going to any stores this week other than Walmart and Costco. And I didn't buy much while I was there. Just necessities.

The girls are on their best behavior at work . Hubby promised them if they keep up the good work he will give them a raise in 2 weeks time.

This past July our forbearance for our mortgage was swept into our principle. So, when I get the mortgage statement this month I should notice a significant drop in the balance. We pay our mortgage every 2 weeks instead of once a month.

We are going to the property this weekend to meet the contractor and to ask him to perc the land, from there we will drill for water and then site the house. If all goes well we should be getting our builders permit soon after.

My To Do List

July 22nd, 2007 at 03:56 pm

This has been a beautiful weekend. I didn't go anywhere just stayed around the house and visited my Mom and brothers. It was a pretty frugal weekend too. Thank goodness b/c as I have mentioned I really do have to get ahead again on the savings. I am hoping that this week I am able to save 100% of my salary. I am a few thousand dollars behind in my cash savings.
In this effort I took the Sunday paper and clipped coupons and then made a list of the items that were on sale at the supermarkets using the stores flyers. There were a few restaurant coupons that I clipped as well.

This week I have to bring in one of my dogs to the vet for their rabbies vaccine. While I am there I have to remember to get their scripts so that I can order their medication from Petmeds. I am going to try the mail order for their heartworm and tick and flea medication. It seems like a pretty good deal as opposed to buying from the vet.
I have a few things on my to do list this week. I have to call the contractors to schedule a date to perc the land. I need to get a hold of the roofers to send us the certification of our new roof. I need to find a contractor to fix the water damage on the ceiling in the hallway from when my roof leaked. I still need to get estimates on putting down a hard wood floor in the family room this fall. I also need my brother to come over and replace the pole light that fell yesterday in my walkway. It never ends!

4th of July Plans

June 28th, 2007 at 02:10 pm

For the 4th of July hubby and I decided to go upstate again and try to speak to someone about the log cabin. This time we actually have an appointment on a Saturday afternoon. We will spend a few days up there and we also decided to take a quick trip to Montreal.

Montreal happens to be one of my favorite cities. The people are friendly and it is very clean and well cared for. Their public transportation system is excellent. My daughter also loves it there, she will be going in Sept. to see a concert and staying over night.

With regards to this trip, last night I was trying to find a good rate on a room. I didn't want to spend a lot of money since I really don't spend much time in the room(just to sleep). I tried Hotwire.com. It was kind of strange. This was my first time using this site. You select which grade of room you would be interested in and the price, without knowing the hotel name or it's exact location. They tell you the ammenties and its general location and that is all the information you get until you pay. After you pay they give you the name of the hotel, the address and then you are able to access the hotel's website directly. I was afraid to submit payment. I had my daughter telling me not to and my husband saying what the heck go ahead and try it out. After submitting payment, I found out that I was given the Omni hotel in downtown Montreal which is a 5 star hotel for 103.00/night plus tax. Wow I couldn't believe my good luck. Now I just have to wait and see the room. My daughter is still warning me. She said that they will be booking me in the broom closet. We will see. I will let you know how it worked out when I get back.

Today was pay day and I am happy to report that I was able to put most of it away into savings. Hubby and I picked our 2 DRIPS for the month.

Summer is moving along so fast...My tomatoe plants have sprouted tomatoes in the last two days(sooo cute). I sure hope they taste good.

This Weekend

June 22nd, 2007 at 05:34 am

Pay day was yesterday. I was able to save 100% of it.

Not doing too well in the weight department. Haven't lost an ounce. Very discouraging.

Still deciding which DRIP I will participate in this month. Most likely will be GE.

Will be going to Windham this weekend and then heading over to PA to check out the property and to find out infromation about purchasing a log cabin to place on the property. Hope we will be able to swing it.

Trying to be Green

June 20th, 2007 at 01:17 pm

Put $85.00 into the $20.00 challenge today. This money consisted of rolled coin(from returning bottles), a dividend check and some cash that wasn't spent from my pocket money. Today I am walking around with 0.00 in my wallet. Tomorrow is pay day. I feel that I am on track.

I went to Home Depot today to see if I could find some energy saving devices. They didn't have the CFL's I was looking for and they didn't have a low flow shower head either. I left there and went to Lowes and it was the same story there. Totally frustrated. My daughter had complained to my husband this morning that the toilet wasn't working, so he took the lid off and the both of them had this look on their face when they came out with the filled plastic bottle I had put there, the day before, to conserve water. I think they think that I am going too far with my conservation. I don't. There are so many things that can be changed in my house to make it much more efficient. My wish list is an attice fan, a programable thermostat and a new front door. Oh well with everything else in the works I guess I'll have to wait.

I got some great looking steaks on sale today. So guess what's for dinner. Steak, some onions and mushrooms, mashed potatoes and veggie.

Back onTrack

June 16th, 2007 at 01:23 pm

All my changes to both my IRA and the set up of my sharebuilder account have gone through with out any problems. Hopefully, now I will see and improvement in my returns.
I was able to save all of my paycheck this week. Which is good b/c I haven't been able to save too much lately b/c of the repairs and bills. Anyway I hope that I am back on track.

Long Term Goals

May 26th, 2007 at 07:54 am

With all the projects going on around here, I still have been able to save some money. This obviously makes me very happy. We are pretty much putting the savings towards retirement. The only big purchases that we forsee in the future are to develope our land in PA. We would like to put a nice sized cabin on the property. My DH would also use a portion of the cabin as business space. He would like to set up a fly fishing office. He would take customers out on the Delaware River to fly fish, have fly tying lessons and casting lessons. He would also be writing his own books on his experiences on fly fishing the different enviroments he has fished in his many years as a fly fisherman. The property faces the Delaware river. We purchased it several years ago and have been waiting for the kids to finish college before we started to break ground.

The other purchase would be to buy a town house on Amelia Island in Jacksonville FL.. This area is so beautiful and the weather is so great. The only thing is that the real estate there is still so very expensive. I don't think that they are facing the same housing problems as the rest of the USA. Any way my thoughts on this are to buy something soon and to rent it out for the next 10 years or so. Until I am ready to live there on a part time basis. This way hopefully the mortgage will be paid.

My time frame for both of these projects are over the next 10-12 years. This is what is driving my frugal ways. It may turn out that I will never have the property in FL. but that is ok too. I have also considered the possiblity of renting when I'm ready for 6 months of the year.

So, getting the two properies and having enough money to live comfortably on are my driving forces. So when I see something that I want at the store I ask myself do I really want to waste my money on it or do I want to save it and get what I really want.

The Things That Are Making Me Happy Lately

May 25th, 2007 at 10:40 am

The deck is still a work in progress. I was hoping to have it finished for this weekend but it doesn't look like that is going to happen.

Work is getting better everyday. The new girls are working out just great! I was so afraid of the change but it turned out to be a really good thing for us. The girl that had quit, worked for us for a very long time and had taken advantage of that fact and of us. The whole situation is so much better for us now.

DD did fantastic in school this past semester and now has two jobs for the summer. Yipee! The other plus is that both jobs will look great on her resume when she applies to graduate school.

The weather is just gorgeous in my neck of the woods. We live about 5 minutes from the ocean and everyone that is off today is heading for the beaches.

I planted tomatoe,pepper and eggplant starters two weeks ago and they are really taking off. I hope that the bugs dont' get to them before I do. I'm really looking forward to my own tomatoes.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Roof Repair

May 12th, 2007 at 08:04 am

I had a very good experience with the roof being repaired. I have a 3800 sq. foot house and the roof and gutters were repaired in two days. The guys were neat and professional and worked their tails off the whole time they were here. So, now no more leaks. And I tick off two items on my to do list. Today I will be working on the deck in the back of my house with my two brothers. I hope that this will only be a weekend project. Sometimes with my brothers it can go on for quite some time before it is actually finished.

On the savings front, I was able to save 80% of my pay this week. Next week there will not be any savings b/c I want to pay off my CC balance in full.

My puppy is all better. She didn't have any repeat episodes of last week.

To all the moms out here, Happy Mothers Day!

Some Savings/Some Spending

May 6th, 2007 at 02:17 pm

Went food shopping yesterday and today. Saved 37.00 with in store savings and coupons. DD is finally getting the hang of making her own sandwiches and bringing them to school to save herself some money.

DD and I went out to dinner last night to an Argentinian rest. and then went to the movies. Total was 65.00 but we hadn't done that in a while and it was a lot of fun.

Yesterday, brought a lot of yard work. Planted some nice baskets and sanded and spray painted the lawn furniture. Filled in some wholes with some top soil that I purchased on sale. Sometimes my doggies are a real pain in the neck with their digging.

Tonight I plan on making some steaks that I purchased on sale yesterday, potatoe and salad.

Did a bunch of laundry today and a whole lot of ironing. Vacuumed and washed the floors. Time to relax now. Have to rest up for work tomorrow.

May 5th-A Week in Review

May 5th, 2007 at 06:02 am

I received my state refund yesterday. This money will be earmarked for my 2007 IRA contribution. It will sit in my WAMU account earning 5% until next year and then April 2008 it will go to the IRA. This refund will not be added to the 20.00 savings since it is already earmarked but I will put the interest earned after the year is up into the 20.00 challenge. I saved 100% of my paycheck this week. I am doing fairly well in reaching my goals. I hope to be right on target by the end of this year. The only place I did not put any money into was the savings bonds. I don't think I will until they offer a better return. I ususally by I bonds but I do have some EE bonds. Right now the savings account is at %5 and I am happy with that. There is an online bank which I read in a post by my money that is offering 6%. I don't have that much money held in my savings for one extra percentage to make any difference to me. If I have mega bucks then it would.

I have only one CC right now that is carrying a balance at 0% for 875.00. I didn't even list it on the side b/c I will being paying it off in full by the end of this month.

I bought a bike yesterday. It is my attempt at decreasing the amount of fuel I use going to the local stores to pick up things on a daily basis. I plan on putting several baskets on the bike so that I may ride up to the local food stores and CVS. I could also ride into town which is only a few miles away. The gas prices are up to 3.25 and the summer is only a few weeks away. I do beleive that gas will be 4.00 by June or towards the end of June. Not only am I attempting to save on fuel but also help the enviroment and my health.

I had to bring my dog into the vet on Tuesday. She was vomitting alot and on the last episode she vomitted blood . I really got scared and rushed her to the vet.. They didn't know what was wrong with her so they sent me over to the emergency center, where they examined her and took blood from her. They didn't have a diagnosis for her and told me to take her home and observe her and if she continued to vomit to bring her back and they would do an ultra sound on her. She didn't vomit again. Thankfully, I didn't have to bring her back. I got the bill from both vets. yesterday, 500.00. I couldn't believe how expensive it was. I am so happy nothing is wrong with her and that she is back to her old self. But WOW it costs more to take care of the dog than myself???

Mind Boggling

April 30th, 2007 at 10:34 am

The new girls are here and they seem very nice. I hope that they like their new jobs and stay with us for a while. They are young and energetic. They are grasping things pretty quickly, already. Which is a very good sign.

I will be at work all day today. No spender today. I can't believe from Friday to today gas went up another .10/gallon. We are up to $3.15/gal. I really do believe that we will be seeing $4.00 by the summer. This is very sad especially given that there is a surplus of fuel. I just don't understand. It bogles my mind. I make a decent living, bring home good money and I am pretty good at saving(always room for improvement) I just don't know how some people are going to survive with prices like these. How will they maintain any standard of living????

The Replacements Have Arrived

April 27th, 2007 at 04:44 pm

Well, we found two new people to work for us. YIPEE! We did about 30 interviews this week. The new girls start this Monday. I just hope they like their new positions and that they stay awhile.

On the money front I received my federal return, which will all go towards the new roof. I can't wait for it to be fixed. I'm tired of garbage pails in my front hall every time it rains. Not very attractive looking. On top of which every time I would open the front door it would be like someone pouring a bucket of water over my head when I walked through the door. I worked all day so no money spent here. In fact it has been a pretty good week for not spending.

Looking to Tomorrow

April 26th, 2007 at 11:47 am

It's not looking very promising for new help at the office. I hope tomorrow will bring someone wonderful. With this new help will also come a drop in income due to training and not having as busy a schedule. Things will be tight, at least for a month.

Good thing that I was able to save all of my pay this week and hopefully next week.

Yesterday, I divided up the 5lbs of chop meat into...meatballs, taco filling, hamburgers and Gyro meat. I put everything into the frezzer when it cooled. Now I will have dinner on hand for a few nights.
I also accomplihed a few things in the back yard. Mowing, poop patrol, fertilizing and weed control. It still looks like it needs a lot of fixing up but it is a little cold today so I will focus my cleanning on the indoor stuff.


April 25th, 2007 at 10:30 am

It has been a very busy two days. We are in the process of hiring two new people and working short handed. We did receive many applications but so many were not right for the job. Or they were asking too much money to start. I hope by Friday we find somebody that is easy to work with and reliable.

On the financial side of things, it seems to be going pretty well. Other than food shopping, there hasn't been any real money being spent. No new purchases other than the roof.

I bought a bunch of food yesterday to make ahead for the rest of the week. I have to get started on this afternoon. I have Salmon and about 5lbs of chopmeat that need to be divided and then cooked or put into the freezer.

I also have to get started on the backyard. The front yard looks great! The back needs alot of attention. Better sign off now so I can get to it!

Great to be Outdoors

April 22nd, 2007 at 04:56 pm

The weather was so great today. I didn't want to waste a second. I was very busy with yard work. I sanded and stained my outdoor bench and my light post as well as my wooden door mat. I put down weed killer in all the nooks and crannies. Then I mowed the front yard. It took quite a while to accomplish these tasks but it was so gorgeous outside I didn't mind. Next weekend or maybe one day during the week when I have some free time I would like to sand and clear coat the backyard furniture. Today's work only cost, some elbow grease and money for the stain, paint brush and weed killer. Being outside on a gorgeous day ...Priceless.

I had my brother's do some work for me this past week. One brother cut down a few trees in the yard. The other brother did some repair work at the office. I paid them 150.00 a piece. They didn't want to take any money from me but I thought to myself if I had to hire a stranger it would have cost me a lot more. So, I was happy to pay them. Besides they could certainly use the money.

Tomorrow, it's back to work. I hope to get some respomses to the help wanted ads I posted. I have two people coming in this week for interviews. I just hope by the end of this week I end up hiring two reliable people. Please wish me luck!

My Week

April 5th, 2007 at 03:20 pm

Oh, I am so glad that the layout the other day was just an April Fools Day joke. I got scared b/c the colors were making my eyes bug out and I couldn't read it.

On the financial's, everything is pretty much status quo. I have been buying little of anything... except for food shopping. This weekend may change all that. I have to buy a few things for the house to help with the spring cleanning. I just had to lay out a bundle for my car again. The mechanics tell me my car should last a life time now. I don't believe them. I just hope she lasts a few more years. I have two people coming to give me roof estimates this week. I hope that their prices are reasonable.

My accountant is finished with my taxes for this past year and will be submitting this week. I will be getting something back not sure exactly how much. Doesn't really matter since it will be going towards the improvements that I have to make to the house.

I was able to save about 30% of my pay this week, the rest went to the usual bills.

I will be hosting Easter Sunday at my house and I am looking forward to this. I hope everyone has a very Happy Easter.

A Week in Review

March 30th, 2007 at 10:39 am

I haven't posted in a while b/c nothing new has really been happening around here. The weather is great so I am getting out more. Started my yard work the other day. I got a few people coming for the roof estimate. I had a major break down with my car and it cost a bundle to fix. It was at the service station all week. I just got it back today. They tell me my car should last me a life time now. I hope! I filed my taxes last Friday. I don't know yet if I will have to pay or not. Again, I am keeping my fingers crossed. If I do get something back, it will be placed in savings for my 2007 IRA contribution.

My 20.00 savings for this month is as follows:
Half.com 3.25
Ebay 41.73
Rolled coin 26.50
Interest on savings 41.73

My daughter's birthday was yesterday and hubby and I went overboard as usual. Her birthday is always a major expense. She is a good kid. Never has given us any trouble. So rather than bailing her out of jail and paying for rehabs. like other people we know, I feel greatful to be using that money on really nice birthday gifts. Which are really appreciated.
This weekend she will be leaving for Mexico and will be getting certified as a SCUBA diver. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed on that one.


March 22nd, 2007 at 04:55 pm

This week I allocated the 15,000.00 in the following way.
$4,000.00 went into my IRA for my 2006 contribution,$4,000.00 went into two seperate energy fund stocks. Now hopefully the stock market will behave itself.

I will add the amount for this month's 20.00 challenge at the end of the month once I talley up the loose ends.

Saving and Recycling Ramblings

March 15th, 2007 at 11:22 am

Yesterday was a great super market savings day for me. I was able to save over 34.00 with my coupons,the stores 10.00 off if you spend 50.00 coupon and shopping the stores loss leaders that are advertised on the front of the circular. Corn beef was on sale for St. Patty's Day, so I stocked up. I'll use one on Sat. and then I will freeze one for later use. Cabbage was sooo cheap so I bought some of that too. I didn't want to buy too much of that b/c it gets very stinky if it isn't used righ away.

I made a small sale at Half.com today.

I am getting better at conservation and recycling. Our bulk garage amount has gone down substantially. Hubby is the one that takes the garbage to the curb and he can't get over the reduction. This makes me extremely happy but hubby thinks that I go too far at times. The other thing that I was able to do was not fill up the car for 2 weeks. I don't think that it will happen again for quite awhile. I know that it was b/c of the weather that I was able to conserve the gas.

I am still deciding on how I will allocate the 15,000.00. I'm pretty sure that I will contribute 4,000.00 to my IRA for 2006. Possibly another 4,000.00 will go into the DRIP Fund. The 4,000.00 will be divided between two energy stocks. I think with the remaining balance I will write a check once a month to the DRIPS until the end of the year. Anyway I think that is the plan for now, unless something unexpected happens.

AlwaysCheck Your Receipts

March 10th, 2007 at 06:41 am

I went food shopping on Wed. and purchased a good amount of food. I had quite a few coupons with me and had to make sure that the cashier took them off. I did this while I was bagging the groceries. I thought that I had done pretty well for myself with the coupon savings of 10.00 and change. That was until I got home and realized that I was charged twice for the same item that was priced at 7.59. I was really annoyed at this b/c I should have reviewed my receipt while I was in the store, instead of at home. It's just that the store was so crowded and people just want to get out of the store after their purchase (you can't really just hold up traffic to review the receipt in the store). I didn't think that the store would return my money once I had left the premises. I figured that I would call the store's customer service dept. anyway to see if they could shed some light on the situation. I was glad that I did. The person told me that she would write down that I had called and what the problem was and to bring my receipt back the following day and they would refund the money. Sure enough, the store did refund the 7.59. It really pays to review your receipts!

Yesterday, I had to cancel my AT&T service to the phone line in my vacation condo. It was getting expensive to have the service and there wasn't a point to keeping it b/c my cellphone can make the long distance calls. Well, let me tell you the customer service rep. tried to sell me everything but the Brookly Bridge during the phone conversation. She also told me something of interest which I did not know. She said that after I discontinued the long distance service that I would then have to call my regular phone carrier that maintains the line and tell them that the AT&T service was disconnected and that the phone service would have to send AT&T a letter letting them know that I actually did call them and made the request b/c w/o it they wouldn't disconnect service. I thought wow that is pretty nervy, why can't they do what I ask? The answer is...If anyone goes to use the phone to make a long distance phone call unknowingly and AT&T doesn't receive the letter they can actually stay attached to the phone line and charge really hefty fees for any calls made. This I didn't know. I hope this helps anyone that is disconnecting from a service.

Today, I have to sit down with hubby and allocate my 2006 contribution to my IRA. I wish I knew when I purchased my IRA that I was getting into an annuity instead of a straight forth IRA. I have to say, I have learned so much over the last four years. "I wish I knew then what I know now." I guess I shouldn't really think that way...I should be grateful that I have a savings at all. I just wished that I had been smarter. My parents were not savers and not good with money. I never had a solid foundation from them. This is why I so believe in teaching children from a young age about money. I think it should be one of the building blocks of eduation such as reading, writing, math and science.

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