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Archive for September, 2006

Goal Three

September 28th, 2006 at 11:38 am

Now that my youngest is in her senior year of college, we are seeing an end in sight (of tuition payments). We had made a promise to all three of them that undergraduate school would be paid for by us. Graduate school would have to be paid for by them. It was kind of rough in the beginning because we had two going to college at the same time (there was only 1 year age difference)we didn't have a savings account for this at the time and we didn't qualify for financial aid butwe managed. It was difficult, things were tight and gradually we got used to having and living on less. Now that the youngest has one more semester left we are looking ahead to a few things for ourselves.

We have property in PA and we would love to put a cabin on it. It has always been my husbands dream to have a fishing cabin.
I would love to have a decent sized townhouse in FL. for retirement. With regards to the FL.property I would like to purchase something soon and have it rented for the next ten to fifteen years until I'm ready to retire. This way it will kind of pay for itself. Anyway, saving for these two properties is my third goal. They are only dreams right now but maybe someday....

September 27,2006

September 27th, 2006 at 11:29 pm

Saved 63.00 in coupons between yesterday and today. Twenty dollars off at Office Max and saved $43.00 in CVS today. Made me quite happy.

On another note. My husband was given prescriptions for his Psoriasis the other day and we were both exasperated at the cost of the copayments. They were astronomical. One copayment was over 200.00. He needed four different creams. We checked out a website in Canada that sold the same medication and the total was 65.00. How is this possible? We are still debating on what creams we will purchase and which ones we will delay purchasing.

Bought my daughter two cute tops at Target today 23.00.

Goal Two

September 24th, 2006 at 11:42 pm

This October I am going to really start focusing in on my savings vehicles. Right now, I have an ING Annuity IRA which is really not performing well at all. I had to roll over a pension fund and a 403b from previous employers about 4 years ago. That is before I knew what I know now. Back then I didn't have any idea what a front end load was and I had know idea what they were saying when they were talking about 8 year hold or incur penalties. It wasn't until the end of last year that I began to read finance books and began to learn and realize what exactly I had gotten myself into. The woman that openned my account at the bank was very friendly and she seemed like she was knowledgeable. But as timed passed I began to realize that the only time this person ever showed me any interest was when she was trying to sell me a new product. Finally, I was on to her(Beware account advisor = salesperson,large commission). So, now I am stuck with a just barely breaking even retirement account. Pretty much the amount I have in the account is the money I have put in. I really have not made any interest or gains. I think the new savings rates would give me a better return on the money. So, this is what brings me to my new goal.
I am going to check over this account again in October and see if I can move things around inside the annuity and see if that makes a difference. Next I would like to open a Vanguard account, total stock index and just have that as a mutual fund, not another retirement vehicle. I would also like to look into the stock market and open a couple of DRIPS. Lastly, since the interest rates on short term CD's are looking pretty good I would like to open a few of those and ladder them. Hopefully with some of these changes I will actually see some of my money work for me.

Goal One

September 22nd, 2006 at 05:31 pm

My goals are as follows:
1. Keep my self healthy. This one without question is the most important to me. If you don't have your health then you don't have anything. Forget about saving and spending. Too often this simple goal is so over looked. Ever since I had a cancer scare(Thank God, it wasn't the Big C) a few years back, this thought was really driven home to me. I changed the way I ate and the way I exercised. I also make sure that I go for all my anual check ups. General MD, Gyn, and Mamography visits. Even the dentist. Recent studies have found links between dental health and heart disease. I know that I want to be around for a long time to enjoy my remaining goals and to set future goals.
So on that thread, the things that I think that I do right for my health and my pocket are as follows:
Regular checkup. Or if I think there is something wrong I immediately go to my doctor before a promblem becomes more than a problem.
I don't drink alcohol, although there is proof that a small amount may be good for you. I just don't because more often than not one usually becomes more than one. Saves big bucks at the restaurants too. For me I drink a glass of OJ in the AM, water and tea throuhout the day.
I don't smoke. Just could never get my head around the idea of inhaling smoke through my lungs and finding it enjoyable.
Don't do drugs, prescription or otherwise. Big money saver. I know quite a few people that think recreational use of drugs is okay. These are the same people that complain that they are broke all the time.
There are areas that I could and should do much better in, such as exercisng more and gaining more nutritional knowledge but I'm still a work in progress.

A Productive Day

September 21st, 2006 at 10:36 pm

Today, was quite a busy day as was yesterday. Went to work in the AM. Mowed the grass. Took down the puppy's crate cleaned it and gave it back to my brother. Then cleanned the floors. I brought my older dog to PT. Made lunch for hubby and myself and then cooked two PotRoast dinners. One to have tomorrow night and the other one I froze to have at a later date.
Today was also payday, so off to the bank I went. There was only 5% left of my pay this week to put into savings. I had to pay school taxes on some property I have in PA. Next week it will be the same deal for the property I have in upstate New York. So for about two weeks I will have next to nothing to save. Kind of a bummer, but the way I see it ...it is a payment towards an investment.
Today also turned out to be a no spend day. A pretty good and productive daySmile

New Car, No Thanks

September 19th, 2006 at 10:10 pm

A friend of mine at work asked me when was I going to be getting a new car. I asked her why? She Said" Well isn't your car getting pretty old ". I then proceded to tell her, how much I loved my old car and all the benefits my old buddy provides for me.
1. No car payments. Haven't had one in about 6 years.
2. Decreased insurance premiums. Way cheaper to insure my old buddy then a new one.
3. All of the kinks are worked out. All my old buddy needs is regular oil changes and regular maintenance to keep her running smooth. My car still gets great gas mileage 23 around town and up to 30 mpg on the parkway.
4. Peace of mind...I never have to worry about where I park her,wheter someone is going to nick her or steal her(well maybe steal her). She's been bumped by plenty of shopping carts over the years.
I'm sure my list could be longer.
You see... I didn't even purchase my buddy new. She was somone else's beauty for two years before she became mine. I let someone else take the depreciation and then I scooped her up. I hope to have my buddy for at least ten more years. I sure do like not having to pay a car payment every month.
I don't think my friend will be asking me again,at least for a while about purchasing a new car.

A Little Slice of Heaven

September 17th, 2006 at 11:26 pm

I bought a townhouse back in the 90's in upstate New York. I bought it as a foreclosure. I thought that it would be a great place to have, especially for the kids. And the price was right. I knew when I purchased the place that I would have it paid off before the 15 year mark and I did just that. I had it paid off 5 years early. It wasn't a hardship, I would just put a little extra money towards the principle every month and before I knew it, that little extra was really making a difference. Now, for the past 6 years I have been enjoying my little slice of heaven free and clear. It's a wonderful feeling. This weekend I enjoyed my time up there. The weather was 80 during the afternoon and at night it would get cool. The leaves are already starting to change color. By next week the fall foliage should be in full swing. Even with the gas prices being what they are, I never regret buying my little get away. I know since buying my place that it's value has increased substantially. So, it also is a nice little asset. One in which I get to enjoy over and over again.

September 14, 2006

September 15th, 2006 at 12:39 am

My 2 year old Rotti finally had his 3 week post op visit. Good news, he is healing like a champ and will be able to start his physical therapy next week. The cost for this 138.00. His physical therapy will cost 330.00 for 6 treatments. Pretty Expensive! I'm just hoping that when all is said and done he will be able to walk and enjoy an active quality of life and go on walks.

I was able to place most of my pay into savings this week! I haven't been able to do that in about 3 weeks. Makes me very happy.

Ordered dinner in tonight(Italian)it was delicious. Wasn't too expensive and I have left overs for tomorrows lunch.

Why do I cut my own grass?

September 13th, 2006 at 08:47 pm

I know my neighbors and probably their kids think that I am cheap because I don't have one of the kazillion lawn care people taking care of my grass and yard.
It wasn't always the case. I used to have a lawn care company take care of the yard, in fact I went through three of them trying to find a company to do as I asked . Never happened. I got tired of throwing my money away and having my front lawn dug up by their heavy mowers. So, two years ago I bought an inexpensive lawn mower, weed wacker and a spreader and started to take care of the yard myself. I have to tell you that my grass has never looked better. On top of having a beautiful lawn, I also save a bundle,$50.00 per cutting. Not including fertilizing and seeding the grass, which is an additional savings. It really isn't difficult to do and it is not very time consuming either.

Today was another no spend day for me. Went to the library to check out Kiplinger's and Money magazine, had some good articles. I'm thinking of buying the two magazines, only if I can get a good price. Made lunch and dinner with stuff I already had in the house.

I was able to roll another $37.00 in coins today. That money will be deposited into my totally free checking account for me to tag at a later date.

Coupons, I Love Them

September 12th, 2006 at 11:49 pm

Went to Costco today and used their manufacturers coupons and saved a bundle ($35.75) on things that I use everyday. While I saved there I had a big expense to make up for it. I had to get my female puppy spayed today $160.00. I knew that I had to have it done since she was born so I had the money ready for it. Poor baby is so out of it right now. The anesthesia knocked her for a loop.

Made Hubby his sandwiches for work tomorrow, rather than have him buy them at the deli. Made him 2 sandwiches and two apples and a bottled water for $4.oo. At the Deli it would have been 7.50 for the sandwich and $1.00 a piece for the apples. I try to do this every Wednesday when he has to go to the city.

Today I brought the rolled change to the bank. Only 30 of the 60 dollars, not to upset the teller. And to my surprise she gladly accepted it. So next week I will bring in the rest.


September 11th, 2006 at 11:36 pm

Very sad day today...911 memorial service.I couldn't help but cry along with the ones that lost so much. It amazes me that they still haven't erected a memorial for all the lost souls. The mourners only had a hole in the ground to look at today. What a shame!

I had a no spend day today...because I had to work all day! No chance to spend.

Tomorrow is Costco day. Looking foward to it! I received a coupon booket with a bunch of great coupons in it.

Spare Change

September 10th, 2006 at 10:48 pm

Today was beautiful outside. Had alot to do around the house. Laundry the floors, etc.
Went to go and visit Mom today. Still doesn't look and sound that well. She is recovering from walking pneumonia. I told her to call her Doc. tomorrow but she said that she will wait until her scheduled appointment on Thursday. You know you can lead a horse Blah, blah blah...I just hope she is okay.
I was happily surprised to find that I was able to roll $60.00 in chage today. Now I only hope that my bank doesn't give me a hard time taking the rolled coin.

A Very Nice Day

September 9th, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Today was a very nice day. Went hiking in a state park with my daughter. Hiked about 5 miles and then had a nice picnic lunch. The weather was really beautiful... a great day to be outside.
I paid of my balance on my Capital One card today. I'm hoping not to use it again for a very long time. I do have to say that I really like that card. It is at 6.9% and they offer a longer grace period than my other cards. So the only other card I have outstanding right now is my Washington Mutual card with it's promotional interest rate of 0.0%, until January. Which I will have the entire balance paid off by November. That will be a relief. I am going to try and not use them for a while and see how it goes. I'm really pretty good with the cards but I know I can do better.
I thought that I would have to buy new sneakers this weekend. The pair I was wearing was getting kind of ratty looking, so I thought, let me put them in the washer and see how they come out. I hadn't much success with this in the past. The insides would normally fall out and then they would be very uncomfortable to wear. But today they came out looking brand new. I put a little Clorox two on them and scrubbed the outsides with a brush and then through them in the machine with a little detergent on the gentle cycle and then I let them air dry. They really came out great. They actually look brand new and I didn't mess up the insides. Saved about 50.00 dollars.
Got to get ready to watch The Suze Orman Show.


September 8th, 2006 at 07:59 pm

Went to the gym today. Only to find that my ID card was denied. So I was not allowed access to the gym. I had a sneaky suspicion that it had to do with updating my credit card info. Which by the way I had personally gone down to the gym's registration desk two weeks ago and brought them my card so that they could update my account. So when I told this to the front desk person today,she told me that they had no new information on file. I pointed to the person that had helped me two weeks previous but she didn't even acknowledge me. Her response to me was just go home and phone in the information. No sorry, for wasting my time or anything. I was fuming because I had wasted time on something that was so simple.

I finally got an appointment for my dog Teddy to have a belated post op visit for his cruciate surgery(knee)September 14th. My dog was referred to the University of Penn. to have his surgery, back in August. I have been trying to get him a 3 week follow up appointment but it looks like it is going to be more like 6 weeks. What worries me is that he was suppose to start under water hydro therapy 3 weeks post- op. Now everything has been delayed. I just hope that his knee will be okay given the delay in treatment. The poor fella went through alot of pain and suffering the first two weeks after surgery. He is a big guy 120lbs.. On top of which, the bill topped out at about 3,500.00. Which for a teaching institution I thought was pretty steep. Follow up care will be additonal but he is worth every cent.

Finished reading Judge and Jury. A James Patterson novel. A page turner. Quick easy reading. Better than TV.

Spent 0.00 dollars today. Wish I could do that everyday.

New Blogger

September 8th, 2006 at 06:29 pm

Just wanted to say hi to all you savvy savers. I have been reading the blogs for a while and didn't have enough time to set up my own, until now. New experience for me. I sure hope I do this right.