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Home > Archive: December, 2006

Archive for December, 2006

2006 -2007

December 31st, 2006 at 09:26 pm

Well, after entering all the numbers for 2006 we came up with a number pretty close to our gestimate. We did really well in the savings department and would even like to improve upon it for 2007.

When I make entries onto my blog I ususally just include my earnings and savings but at the end of the year my hubby and I add together our numbers. He is the bigger earner and pays most of the bills as well as the mortgage. We live primarly on his salary and I have a few designated bills. He is able to save some of his earnings while I am able to save most of mine. We combine both to get our yearly total.

Even though we are in a housing bubble it hasn't really effected the value of homes in our neck of the woods. Our house is holding its equity nicely. Which is a big boost to the bottom line.

For 2007 I will contribute 4,000.00 to my IRA. Put 1,000.00/month into the stock fund. Contribute as much as I can to the cash fund. Continue the 20.00 challenge into my WAMU account. In this account I will place the money I receive from Half.com, Ebay, rebates, bottle return money and rolled coins.

Well, I think that about covers it. Happy New Year to all!

Being Thankful

December 30th, 2006 at 02:51 pm

Christmas was fantastic. It was spent with my family. We had great food and great fun. The puppy couldn't stay away from the Chrsitmas tree. She nearly depleted my ornament collection, by the time Christmas day rolled around we had taken everything off the tree and had a naked Christmas tree. We got to meet DD's new boyfriend. He seems like a very nice person so I hope it works out for them. My son came to visit from the city and as always it was so good to see him.

Financially, We did not go over the top, too much, as in previous years. I do have a balance on my credit card but I hope to pay it off in two cycles. I have been selling items on Ebay and half.com in attempt to declutter my home and to earn a little cash. Things have been moving slowly but at least it's something. Work has been pretty busy this past week for which we are counting our blessings. I was able to save 100% of my pay, which is the last pay period of the year. I didn't have to do any food shopping, since we lived on leftovers this week and the monthly bills were paid with last weeks pay check.

Tomorrow hubby and I are going to sit down together and write out our personal and financial goals for the new year. I'm sort of excited about this. I always look forward to goals. This year has been very good to us and our family, for which I am extremely thankful.

Last night, I saw the movie Little Miss Sunshine. I really enjoyed it.

Holiday Wishes

December 23rd, 2006 at 12:17 am

To all of my blogging buddies and their families,
I wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season. May your goals for 2007 be obtainable and satisfying and may you always have a few coins in your pockets.


December 22nd, 2006 at 02:09 am

Today was payday and it is all gone. It is all for Christmas presents. Mostly cash gifts. My credit card has also been getting a good work out. I always get socked this time of year and it usually takes me until February to pay for everything and get back to normal I have to say that I don't think that I have spent as much as I have in previous years. I don't really keep track as I am spending it just gets me sad. I don't really feel to thrifty or frugal this time of year.

We put up our tree today. It is real. We purchased it from Home Depot. It makes the house smell wonderful. I am having a hard time keeping the puppy away from it. Tomorrow I will decorate it. I am having my parents over for Christmas. Which is a surprise. Since they never come to my house. So I went out today and made a catering order to one of my favorite Italian restaurants. It wasn't too expensive but there I go spending again. I think what the heck...I've come this far why not go out with a bang.

In the mix of all this spending I was able to put some frugality into the mix. I negotiated a better finance rate for my DD's CC. Just one phone call and I got her 20.4% down to 11%. Plus they will be sending her a new card that has rewards on it without a yearly fee. I received a small payment from the books I sold from Half.com.

Read two books by Marian Keyes, Watermelon amd Sushi for Beginners...cute.

Still feel like I have lots more to do.

Rambling About My Week

December 16th, 2006 at 12:44 am

Ended the week feeling pretty good about the savings I have accomplished. Although going to the city to see the show with DD was quite expensive, it isn't a frequent thing that we do. The last time I went with her to see a show was about 2 years ago. The rest of the week was pretty frugal. I saved $75.00 at the food store and I have basically made all three meals at home this week. I went to the thrift store and purchased some really nice childrens books for my nephews which I plan on giving them for Christmas along with their store bought gifts. The Childrens books are only .25 at the thrift store. I gave my brother $50.00 for his BDay and it was very much appreciated. I was also able to save about 90% of my paycheck. Next week is going to be a killer though. I will not be saving a dime. I am giving my parents cash for Christmas b/c they never like or use anything I pick out for them so I give them cash so that they can do as they please with it. I still have to get hubby a few more stocking stuffer gifts. I have to get the 2 girls I work with a little something and the mailman. Oh and my sons girlfriend.

On Dec. 31st hubby and I are going to go over the savings and spending plans for 2007 and review how we did this past year. I already know that we have done pretty well but that is vague.
When we review 2006 it will be spot on, so I am anxiuos to find out. I think this is a great way to celebrate the New Year.

Some Savings Today

December 12th, 2006 at 08:30 pm

Used a few coupons today. Hubby and I had lunch today and used a $2.00 coupon. Next we went to Staples, returned a used ink cartridge and received $3.00 off the new cartridge. On to Michaels where we had a 20% off coupon which we applied to some picture matting= 2.00.

Took my pennies to coin star and received $15.28 in return which went into my new WAMU savings account. Cashed some bottles and cans received $16.00 which hubby kept to put into his coin account.

Last week we purchased new Verizon phones three of them. We had $50.00 rebates for each phone=$150.00. The total after rebates for the phones = $45.00.

Going into the city tonight to see a show with DD. I can tell you now it won't be cheap. I hope the show will be good. Going to see Damien Rice.

Just Another Day

December 12th, 2006 at 01:16 am

A very long day at work today. Very tired right now. Went to Chili's with DD for dinner, spent 19.00. I was too tired to cook tonight.

Posted a couple more books on half.com. The items aren't selling as I had hoped they would.

Finished reading Cross by James Patterson. It was suspenseful but kind of gorey and sad.

The Dollar Stretcher had some good articles posted for this week. Take a look.

Ho, Ho, Ho, Over The Web I Go...

December 9th, 2006 at 02:17 pm

This Christmas season I have done practically all of my shopping over the internet. I have to tell you ...I Love It. I hear the girls at work complaining about the lines they waited on and the pushing and shoving and line cutting they experienced and I think I'm so glad that's not me.

I have watched certain sites and have waited for them to discount further and then offer free shipping. Sometimes I don't get both, sometimes I do. Very important to internet shopping is to go looking for coupon codes before purchasing. I think for the most part I'm finished. I will be giving my parents cash since I don't know what they want and they never tell me when I ask. I know it's not as exciting as openning a gift but at the same time, it is always useful and appreciated. I have gone with gift cards in the past. They always tend to forget they have them or they lose them. So that's out for this year.

I got a $5.00 rebate check from the crock pot I purchased. Sold two more items on half.com. I hope to be able to put up a few more items today.

Dec. 7th 2006

December 7th, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Today is payday and I was able to save 100%. No bills this week. Went to the Bricks and mortar Wamu branch closest to my home and made a small deposit into my new savings account. Fortunately I didn't have any problems.

Brought my dog Teddy to the Vet for his shots $52.00. Hubby put it on his CC.

Dinner tonight Veal Parm and angel hair pasta.

More importantly today is Pearl Harbor Day and I just wanted to take a moment to acknowlege those lost.


December 6th, 2006 at 11:12 pm

I sold a book(Not my own. I don't write) on Half.com today. Only 17 more to go. I didn't make much but I did make something and I have reduced the clutter in my house by a smigeon. Every little bit helps. I got to thinking about where I should put this money as well as my bottle return money and my rolled coin money. I decided to open a Washington Mutual, free checking and savings combo. The checking is free and the savings account is currently earning 5% interest( doesn't require a minum balance at this time).
The minimum amount needed to open the account was $1.00. Since I am already a Wahington Mutual customer I was able to open both accounts in under 5 minutes. This was done over the internet. This offer is not available in the brick and mortar banks. Tomorrow is payday so I will go to the bank and make an additional small deposit to these accounts and see how it works out. I don't think I will have any bills to pay with this weeks check. Yipee!

Today I had to bring in my puppy to get her weighed for her heart worm medication she is a whopping 75lbs. and she is only 8 months old. Tomorrow I bring in my big boy Teddy to get his 2 shots. I also got his heat worm medication today. The medication alone came to over 100.00 for a six month supply.

Last night I rented The Pirates of the Carribean,Deadmans Chest. I am a Johnny Depp fan but I have to say that I didn't really care for the movie. I thought that it was pretty boring and I thought that the characters were a little scarey for a Disney movie. It's so hard to find something decent to watch.

Follow up to Saving for a Child

December 6th, 2006 at 12:48 pm

As a follow up, The Dollar Stretcher has a good article entitled Mutual Funds for The Little Guy. There is a link to the The Dollar Stretcher under sites I frequent.

Trying To Save For A Childs Future

December 6th, 2006 at 01:16 am

I have always wanted to give my daughter a good head start. Financially, hubby and I started getting stock for her when she was about 4.

When she was 16 we signed her up with her own checking and savings account as well as her first CC. The CC we signed her up for was set at a very low max(250). We taught her how to use credit responsibly. She had a job working at the local supermarket, making a decent salary for a 16 yo. After she had that CC for a while we had the max increase to 1000.00 and we also encourage her to get more CC cards. DD was able to get an Amex,Discover card and a Visa. All with pretty good credit limits.

I have also kept an eye on her FICO which is 785 and that is b/c she doesn't have longevity with credit. It should go higher when she is about 25. Right now, I think it is still pretty good for someone of her age(21).

Last January I had read a few articles in the financial journals stating that one of the best moves for a young person financially would be to get started with a Roth IRA at a very early age. I did some research and I found that T.Rowe Price would let you open an account with as little as 50.00 so long as you made it in automatic payments from a checking account. T. Rowe Price also has a very low expense ratio which also attracted me. The other option I had in mind was Vanguard but they wouldn't let you open with just 50.00. We put in 75.00 and she puts in 75.00 to total 150.00 every month. I have also set her up with an Emmigrant savings account 50.00 per month gets put in there and that hopefully will serve as her future emergency fund. She has another savings account that she saves her money in to buy herself things. I think I have covered pretty much everything that is in the works for her.Oh, one more thing, she has an insurance policy(SBLI) I got this for her when she was 2 or 3. I know this is the wrong kind of insurance, whole not term but she has had it for so long I am not going to get rid of it now. I hope this gives her a good start when she wonders out on her own.

The Wii is finally here!!!

December 4th, 2006 at 05:56 pm

My daughter was finally able to get a hold of one of those Nintedo Wii's. Yesterday she waited outside of Target from 6 am until 8am. They only had 27 units delivered to the store. There were other people waiting since 2am. At 7:10 am personel from the store started handing out tickets for the item. DD was number 21 of 27. She was so thrilled that she got the golden ticket for her Nintendo. Before she had left I gave her a 10.00 off coupon to use on any purchase of 100.00 or more. I wasn't sure if she would be able to use it towards her purchase but she was. So, other than waking up early on a Sunday morning and standing outin the bitter cold for two hours,she said it was well worth the effort. This experience has shown me that if my DD wants something bad enough, she is determined to get it. I find this a very admirable trait.

Saving on Primping

December 3rd, 2006 at 11:34 pm

I'm one of those gals that hate going to the salon to have their hair done. I mean I actually get palpitations and sweaty palms as soon as I walk in the door.
I think it stems from my childhood. I would always ask my Mom to keep my hair long and sure enough just when my hair got to the point that I thought it looked a little long, she would have it cut. I mean short. DA short. I would get so upset that I would not talk to her even under the threat of getting whacked. Back then it was acceptable to give your kids a whack and my Mom would never hesitate. My cousin Rose always had such beautiful long hair and I was always so jealous of the fact. On top of which everyone would tell me, I looked like a little boy. I think when I turned 10 or 12, I got to keep my hair whatever lenght I wanted b/c I was able to take care of it on my own(you know,no knots). So I guess this childhood trauma is always lurking in the back of my mind. I am always afraid that the beautician will cut it too short or make it look bizarre. And any time I find someone I think has done a good job they usually wind up quitting and then I have to find someone else.

Well, recently I have been going to a salon that is pretty far from me. I go there b/c they really do a decent job but their prices are really expensive. So what I try to do, is get my hair colored by them every other month for $55.00 and on the off month I color my own hair for $5.00. I will only get my hair cut if it really needs it. My hair grows really slow so sometimes I can go for about 12 weeks. Then I pay $55.00 for the cut. I tried cutting my own hair a couple of times and boy what a mess. So I don't even attempt it anymore.

Today was the day I colored my hair and if I may say so, it came out looking pretty good. I went a little darker than usual. I like when I do my hair it comes out so shiny. I use semi permanent. I'm not up to the permanent stage yet. Soon though! Todays coloring cost me $3.00. The brand I use normally sells for 5.00 but I had a $2.00 coupon. I also gave myself a much needed manicure today. I sometimes will go to the manicure place and pay 20.00 for a mani and pedi but it's winter and my feet are either covered by shoes or slippers. So I don't bother unless I have to go to an affair. I don't bother with the fake nails or tips. They are very nice but not for me. I can usually grow mine to a decent lenght and then I shape them. They never come out as good as when you have them done but I think they came out good enough. I painted them a pretty mauve color and put plenty of top coat on to keep them looking nice for a while. If I don't put top coat on they start chipping right away.

Today was a no spend day for me. I did try to get rid of some books that have been cluttering my home. I posted about 20 books on Half.com. I will see how that goes. First time posting on that site. I have purchased from them and found it was pretty easy and a good deal as well.

Emergency Fund, I call it My Stash

December 1st, 2006 at 06:14 pm

Received the car repair bill,$1,049.00. I knew it would be expensive but I didn't think it would be that much. Luckily, I do have an emergency fund to be able to pay for this expense.

Ever since I started working at the age of 12, I always had a special spot where I would keep some additional "just in case money". My grandmother taught me to do that. She didn't have any formal training with money but was very good with it. She could follow her expenses and savings down to the last penny. She always believed that a women needed a little stash. She lost her husband very early in her marriage and had to raise two sons in the post depression era. She had to get a job to keep the roof over their heads and food on the table. My grandmother continued to work after her sons were adults and when she became older she would babysit just to keep her stash going. Even though my grandmother isn't with us anymore her life lesons still inspire me.

Talking about inspiration...Yesterday I had lunch at Wendy's(.99 menu)and while I was there I met this friendly and energetic older women who was an employee of that Wendy's. She was cleanning tables and greeting the customers. I had over heard her saying that she would be 84 in March and that she loves to come to work b/c it gets her out of the house and gives her something to do. I was in awe of her. I was also in admiration of the Wendy's company for hiring someone of her age. I don't think there are too many institutions out there that would take the risk in hiring that frisky older women. Thank you Wendy's.

With that in mind I think of all the people who cry about not having any money and in the same breath will tell you that working at a place like Wendy's is beneath them. I don't know, let me see... laying on the couch zero dollars...working at Wendy's minimum wage at least and health benefits if you are full time. Hmmm....