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Archive for March, 2009

Good bye March!!

March 31st, 2009 at 10:39 am

I am glad to see this month end. It does not feel like spring at all. It has been very rainy all week (we need it) and still so darn cold. It is still in the low 30's in the morning, but we do have a few blooms on the trees.
I am having a cookout tomorrow and I was able to find ground chuck on sale today, so I saved a little over $3 which I will add to my challenge money.
Prev. total $5652.00
today 3.00
new total $5655.00

Saved $200

March 29th, 2009 at 11:20 am

We spent the morning at Home Depot this morning. We picked up all the plumbing fixtures for the big house that dh is finishing. (5 bathrooms, 2 kitchens) Luckily, I had gotten a 10% off coupon in the mail, so we were able to save $200!! I am excited about that.

I love getting unexpected checks in the mail.

March 28th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I just got my mail and I got a check from a local building supply place that gives us back a rebate.
We never know when we will get a check (or if now a days) but it is always nice to get one. I love adding it to my $20 challenge money!!
Prev. total $5580.00
today 72.00
new total $5652.00

Closet dressing!

March 27th, 2009 at 08:55 am

Yes, I dress in the closet. We have a large walk in closet. As with many of the houses dh designs and builds, all of the dresser drawers are built in the closet.
I wish you could see the closet he is building at the big house!! It is the size of a bedroom and has so much room. Shoe racks, purse racks, long hanging clothes, shorter hanging rods and 24 dresser drawers; it has it all! Even a place to sit down to tie your shoes.
My close is nice, 18 dresser drawers, but not as big as this one!
Any woman would drool!
So far, he has been working on the house for two days and has had lookers both days.
I didn't spend any money yesterday except for buying groceries. I managed to save $5 using my advantage card, so that will be added to the challenge.
Prev. total $5575.00
today 5.00
new total $5580.00

Rewards check

March 26th, 2009 at 02:47 pm

I just got another rewards check from my Chase master card. I normally earn $50 every month. I will add this to my challenge!
Prev. total $5525.00
today 50.00
new total $5575.00

Stormy day!

March 26th, 2009 at 06:50 am

Today is not a very nice weather day. It is rainy and very windy. A good day to stay home, but I just signed up for a bridge class and this afternoon is the first class. Plus, I need to go to the grocery store and the bank. So, out I will go. I won't melt for sure.
I found an extra $50 tucked away in one of my many envelopes, plus the stock market went up yesterday and I had a no use gas day, so $53 to be added to the $20 challenge!
Prev. total $5472.00
today 53.00
new total $5525.00

A good $20 challenge day!

March 25th, 2009 at 11:11 am

Today is the day I receive my regular monthly check for $583. That always goes into my challenge. I also earned $50 in interest in my business checking and had $60 left over in the budget from my electric bill. That is a total of $693 that I can add to the $20 challenge today.
Prev. total $4779.00
today 693.00
new total $5472.00

The power got turned back on!!

March 25th, 2009 at 07:09 am

My dh just called me to tell me that the power got turned back on, in the big house he is finishing!!
That means we will get a normal paycheck for about the next two months.
This week's paycheck had to come out of savings because he does not have much work to do.
He has been waiting to start back on the big house ever since he signed the contract last Thursday morning.
He took over all his tools yesterday as well as the appliances. He bought the wood to continue on with building the cabinets. But without power to run the saws he could't do much.
He decided to try and paint this morning even tho it is dark and rainy.
But before 10 am, he got power!!
So we are back in business for a while!!

Yeah, got rid of my chairs!!

March 24th, 2009 at 10:55 am

We bought two new reclining chairs for the sitting area in our bedroom. But now I am stuck with the two rockers with ottomans which are now sitting in the garage.
In florida, we would just put them out on the street with a sign that says FREE.
But we live on a dead end, with a private bridge, so we get little traffic.
I just asked my cleaning lady and she wants them. Now, we are both happy!!
She gets free chairs and I get a less full garage!

Got my taxes done

March 24th, 2009 at 06:44 am

I got my taxes done yesterday. I took the paperwork to H and R block yesterday and by the afternoon, the taxes were done. I knew I would owe money, but it was not as bad as I thought.
We had quite a bit in capital gains. Does anyone know how much you pay in capital gains for 2008?

My house looks new!!

March 23rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm

DH worked really hard this weekend. He got the house all pressured washed. Then we washed all of the (over 50) windows inside and out, taking off the grills too. He then replaced the trim work around all the outside lights. It was a hard job cause we have a large two story house, so much of the work was done on a ladder.
But the house looks brand new!
I had a no use gas day yesterday and won 2 games of mah jong, so I am adding $4 to my challenge money.

Mr. Clean !!

March 22nd, 2009 at 08:26 am

My husband has not had much work to do lately. His house is finished and he has to wait til the lights and water are turned on at the house he was hired to finish.
So, He has been cleaning this place up. Yesterday he pressure washed the house all day long and cleaned all the windows outside. Today, he has cleaned all the windows on the inside.
He has headed off to Home depot to pick up some trim on some outside lights that have rusted. I get tired just watching that man work!!
I did managed to get some bookwork done and worked on my taxes. I always have to pay, so I am never in a hurry.
Yesterday was a no use gas day ($2) and I won 2 games of mah jong ($2) I have $30 in my aarp envelope, so I have $34 to add to the challenge.
Prev. total $4741.00
today 34.00
new total $4775.00

Where are all the $20 challenge people?

March 21st, 2009 at 08:02 am

Who else is in the $20 challenge with me? I have started on my 3rd year doing this $20 challenge. I find it a fun way to save a few dollars every day and keep a running total.
Oh, I always saved money out of paychecks before, but I never kept track of the small sums I am saving. Now, when I use a coupon on get a sale using my advantage card, I put the cash into my $20 challenge. The same goes for not using any gas that day, doing surveys, unexpected checks in the mail, rebates, discounts, the stock market going up and even when the braves win a game.
Small sums do add up. I know I have saved an additional $20,000 plus for each year I have been doing the challenge.
I know that is not possible for many of you, but anything extra saved is good.
Come on, I challenge you. It is the first full day of spring. Spring into the $20 challenge with me!!

A small check in the mail

March 21st, 2009 at 06:04 am

I got another small check in the mail to add to the $20 challenge. It was from Tim Horton stock. Normally, I reinvest all my dividends, but I never bought the Tim Horton stock, I got it when Wendy's spun off the stock.
I was checking on the interest I earned last month (February) compared to the interest earned in January. It was $350 less in February.
That is because I had too large C.D.'s come due the end of January and I had to roll them over into C.D.'s paying less interest.
My goal in life is to some day live off of my interest on C.D.'s.
Dh has never worked anywhere to get a pension; he has always been self employed. I never worked anywhere to get a pension either.
We do have IRA's but they are not worth much any more.
I can see where a big drop in interest from one month to another would really hurt. It would be hard to get by without that $350 for the month.

Of course, I am not using that interest money to live on yet. Nor am I using the big $580 in social security I get every month. I am still saving the money. But I know that someday, I will have to live on that money.

$20 challenge

Prev. total $4728.00
today 13.00
new total $4741.00

Happy first day of spring!

March 20th, 2009 at 05:50 am

Today is the first day of spring, my favorite time of the year.
Dh has not worked much this week, so I took him grocery shopping with me yesterday. Big Mistake. I spent twice as much as usual. However, I did save $6 using my advantage card, so I will add that to my $20 challenge.
Prev. total $4722.00
today 6.00
new total $4728.00

Dance of joy!

March 19th, 2009 at 07:17 am

Last year, my husband worked on a large house for the better part of the year. It was his dream house. He designed the house and drew the plans.
Sadly, the owners ran out of money and the bank foreclosed. Dh had to pack up his tools and leave.
About a month ago, the bank asked several builders to put in bids to finish the house and my husband put in a bid.
We got the call yesterday that he was chosen to finish the house. We just went and signed the contract today.
It is only 2 months of work, but he will get to finish his dream house!

Lots of deer last night.

March 18th, 2009 at 08:59 am

My husband built two big deer feeders which we fill with corn every night. Last night, we counted 15 deer at the feeders. He had to go refill the feeders after they ate all the corn. It is so neat to watch them running around the yard.
As for the $20 challenge, I saved $2 on ground beef yesterday, the stock market went up and I won 4 games of mah jong.
Prev. total $4715.00
today 7.00
new total $4722.00

The wearing of the green!!

March 17th, 2009 at 09:14 am

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I am wearing my green shamrock today!
I am irish and my grandparents were born in Ireland. I don't know much about them. Sadly, my grandfather died before I was born and my grandmother died the same week as my father, when I was almost 10 years old.
I don't know when they were born. My father was born in 1899, so I suspect my grandparents were born in the 1870's
I do know that my grandmother was named Julie and I was named after her.

Anyway, wear your green so you don't get pinched today!!
I got a small $4 check in the mail yesterday and I won 3 games of mah jong, so I have $7 to add to my $20 challenge.
Prev. total $4708.00
today 7.00
newe total $4715.00

Just call me Wimpy!!

March 16th, 2009 at 09:29 am

Do you remember Popeye's friend, Wimpy? He loved hamburgers. Well, so do I. That is why I am such a cheap date. I get a hamburger usually, when we go out to eat.
We got invited out to a friend's house for dinner last night. She served hamburgers, yum!! We had a really nice time too.
I stopped by the store this morning after cashing dh's paycheck. Bi Lo had BOGO sprite and my favorite cheese at about half price. I also got a free can of dog food. So, I saved $5 plus had a no use gas day yesterday. That is $7 more dollars for the $20 challenge.
Prev. total $4701.00
today 7.00
new total $4708.00

A frugal week!

March 15th, 2009 at 10:49 am

This week I had a very frugal week. As most of you know, my dh and I eat dinner out a lot. We go to a place we enjoy, brown bag it (drinks free) and usually spend less than $20 for dinner. Plus we take home leftovers for lunch the next day.
This week, we stayed home five nights, straight, from Sunday thru Thursday.
I had several no spend days as well plus a couple of no use gas days. The stock market went up the past two days, so I am contributing $10 to my $20 challenge cause I have not keep track of it for about 3 days.
Prev. total $4691.00
today 10.00
new total $4701.00

p.s. The $20 for dinner is for both of us.

Furniture sales are up!

March 14th, 2009 at 11:15 am

On the CNN news yesterday, they mentioned that the sale of furniture was up in the U.S. I wonder if I helped a little.
We got two new reclining chairs for the sitting area in our bedroom and dh brought them home Thursday. He also ordered a new table and four chairs for our breakfast room. He picked out the furniture all by himself too.
I am happy with the chairs, he did a good job. Now, I hope I like the breakfast room set too. When we moved into our house 12 years ago, we bought all new furniture. The sitting room chairs and the breakfast room set are the furniture that we seem to use the most. It is nice to have new stuff once in a while. (also glad that dh and I have the same taste. He is working in N.C. now, so that is where he bought the furniture)
He also scored a 20% discount!!

It's hard to save when.........

March 13th, 2009 at 10:05 am

It is hard to save money when your spouse or SO is not on the same page as you are.
I have always saved 10% of my pay right off the top. Granted, that was not much because I never made very much money.
I got married at age 20. (He was 27) We did not agree on money at all. He wanted to spend, spend, spend and did not have a dime saved when we got married. I had to use my money for our first rental.
He was always into going to the dog track and playing poker. I have nothing against gambling IF you can afford it, but we really couldn't.
I was an abused wife. The first time he ever hit me, it was because I said, we can't afford it when someone asked him to go to the dog track. Of course, he went anyway.
It was not a happy marriage.
Now, I am married to a man who is a hard worker and lets me manage all of our finances.
I hope you all have spouses that are "on the same page as you are" when it comes to finances. It sure makes life easier!

Just unplug!!

March 12th, 2009 at 07:25 am

I was not able to use my computer all day yesterday. When I tried, all I got was "cannot find server" I turned it off and would wait a few minutes, but I could never get on the internet. Boy, what a boring day!!
Today, it was the same, so I called customer service at Windstream. I got a recording and it told me to unplug my computer and wait for 2 minutes. It worked! (You can tell I know nothing about computers at all)
The stock market did go up 2 days in a row, I won two games of mah jong on Tuesday and I save $6 using coupons on my grocery shopping yesterday, so that is $10 more to add to my challenge.
Prev. total $4681.00
today 10.00
new total $4691.00

Last normal paycheck??

March 10th, 2009 at 08:50 am

I write my husband's paycheck out on Mondays because he usually works on the weekends. Yesterday might have been his last normal paycheck for a while.
He has never been without work in the 32 years that we have been married.
However, he is almost finished with the house he has been building and he has no other houses lined up to build.
We could build a spec house, but there are hundreds of new houses in this area, just sitting, waiting to sell.
So, we will just wait, hoping that the economy will pick up.
I won 4 games of mah jong yesterday, so I will add that to my challenge money.
Prev. total $4677.00
today 4.00
new total $4681.00

Wearing shorts on March 9th!

March 9th, 2009 at 01:58 pm

Yes, that is what I am doing. Today was bridge day and the other ladies can't stand the cold like I can. I keep my house about 63, but when they come over, I turn it up to 68.
So, I got the house up to 68. Next time I looked, it was 70 in here. When I came upstairs, it was even hotter. So, now I am sitting here in shorts so I won't have to turn on the A/C. This is really nice!
I had a no use gas day yesterday and won 5 games of mah jong, so I have $7 to add to my challenge money.
Prev. total $4670.00
today 7.00
new total $4677.00

Drove the hot rod last night!

March 8th, 2009 at 06:51 am

We drove the hot rod for the first time in months last night. It does NOT have heat, so we don't drive it much in the winter. Yesterday, it warmed up to 72, even tho it was snowing a week ago.
So, we put on sweaters and drove the car out to dinner, then we cruised the town. The hot rod is a 1933 Ford victoria.
I did my grocery shopping yesterday too and saved $10 using my advantage card and some coupons. I will add that to my challenge.
Prev. total $4660.00
today 10.00
new total $4670.00

Final vet bill and the dog is well!!

March 6th, 2009 at 10:43 am

My dog is well now according to the vet today. When I took her a month ago, my bill was $400, ten days later it was $200 and today it was $115. But she is certainly worth the money. She had infected ears and a bladder infection too. I made an appointment to have her groomed next week.
With all the medicine we have been putting in her ears, she looks a little ragged. I have been calling her mud flap, cause that is what her ears look like.
So, I am glad that expense is over and I can get back to saving. I won 6 games of mah jong yesterday, so I will add that to my $20 challenge.
Prev. total $4654.00
today 6.00
new total $4660.00

Don't have a mortgage when you are 60!

March 4th, 2009 at 06:56 am

Things are really getting tough in this area. We are a mountain town and have grown a lot in the past 20 years. Most work here is involved with building and it has just stopped.
I have had two friends in their early 60's who have lost their homes in the past few months.
Yesterday, really hit home. I have worked with the head bookkeeper at the local building supply place for at least 15 years. I have paid my bills to her, she makes me copies, she does my notary work, etc. I was so upset when she was laid off last summer because things were slowing down, building wise.
We saw them at a picnic last summer. Our husbands had just gotten their building licenses for Georgia and we were all so proud. Her husband was working on a house and so was mine.


About 2 years ago they bought 10 acres and built a new house.
Now, her husband has finished the house he was building and she cannot find work. I heard yesterday that they cannot make the payments on their house, so they are being foreclosed on. I feel so badly for them. He is in his early 60's.

I have been critized a lot for paying off my home early instead of investing in stocks and mutual funds.
To be trueful, when I was young, I knew nothing about stocks and mutual funds. IRA's had not been invented yet. So, I paid off my house.

I can't tell you how good it feels to have my home paid for and know that I am not in danger of losing it. My dh is almost out of work too, he finishes his last house next week, but we will be ok.

I just reccommend that no one has a mortgage to pay when they turn 60!

March came in like a lion!!

March 1st, 2009 at 02:54 pm

Let's hope she goes out like a lamb. We had windy blowing snow all day long. Fortunately for us, it has not stuck to the ground yet; it was too warm. Our biggest danger of the power going out is the wind right now.
My dh actually worked outside in this crummy weather all day long.
I got a rebate check for $50 from my chase reward card yesterday. That makes $800 I have gotten back on this card in little over a year.
Prev. total $4604.00
today 50.00
new total $4654.00