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Archive for January, 2011

I spent $2500 on propane

January 29th, 2011 at 01:16 pm

I just got my bill in the mail. I filled up my tank in late August. The bill was for $1100. I had to fill it again last week and this bill was for $1400.
I have spent $2500 on propane this winter. (I have a 1000 gallon tank.)

Gosh, I keep the house on 64 degrees and wear 2 sweaters all the time. It has just been such a cold long winter and we still have 50 days to go until the first day of spring.

I did buy steak on sale today, so I have $4 to add to the $20 challenge.

Prev. total $1199.00
today 4.00
new total $1203.00

C.D. came due today!

January 28th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I had a c.d. come due today. I remembered how disappointed I was last year that it only paid 1.99 interest. Today they were offering .0065.!
I checked all of the local banks and the highest was a money market account offering .009. So, I opened a new money market account at my old bank. I will have 3 more c.d.'s coming due in February, so I guess I will put that money in the new money market. ING is paying .011, so I will transfer some money back to them. Boy, that 3-5% interest sure had me spoiled. I want the good old days back!

My electric bill

January 27th, 2011 at 01:06 pm

i paid my electric bill today. The bill is much higher in the winter time than it use to be. A few months ago, they raised all the rates.
The bill was still under what I budget for it, so I always add those few extra dollars to the $20 challenge. Today,I have $45 to add to the challenge.

Prev. total $1154.00
today 45.00
new total $1199.00

Where's George??

January 26th, 2011 at 11:52 am

I got one of those "Where's George" one dollar bills yesterday. Ever get one? I went to the website and discovered that my george had not traveled very far. It has been in Blairsville, Ga. for over 15 months!
Later, while doing a deposit I discovered another one, but this was on a $20 bill. This bill was last reported in alabama a year ago.

I am adding my where'sgeorge $1 bill to my usual check that comes the 4th Wednesday of ever month, for a total of $487 to the challenge.

Prev. total $667.00
today 486.00
new total $1154.00

More snow's a coming!

January 25th, 2011 at 11:50 am

We had snow yesterday morning. Lucky for us, it warmed up and it melted. Today it is raining, but they are calling for more snow tonight. The snow melted in time for us to play bridge yesterday and today I stocked up on groceries.
I have some cash to add to my $20 challenge. $1 for the stock market going up yesterday, $7 for using my Ingles advantage card and $38 for turning in all my change to the bank. A nice $46 to add to the challenge.

Prev. total $621.00
today 46.00
new total $667.00

It snowed again!

January 24th, 2011 at 07:56 am

I am certainly getting sick of winter. I have never seen in snow so many times in Georgia. Fortunately, it is warming up, so the roads are clearing and it looks like we will be able to play bridge today, here at my house.
Today will be a no use gas day, so I will add $2 to the $20 challenge.

Prev. total $619.00
today 2.00
new total $621.00

Molly looks beautiful!

January 21st, 2011 at 01:39 pm

I got Molly, my malta-poo, groomed today and she looks beautiful. I try to get her groomed every 6 weeks so that she does not get too matted.
I had an appointment to get her groomed the first week in December and the groomer got sick.
Then it was the first week in January and the groomer is sick again.
The next appointment was last week and we all got snowed in.
Finally today, she got done. I had to pay $65 because this groomer comes to your house in a special equipped van and does it inside the van.
Dogs can be so expensive but I love them to pieces!

Finally, a clean car!!

January 15th, 2011 at 02:42 pm

My dh is a stickler for clean cars. I figured that out right after I met him. He asked if he could wash his car at my house before we went out on a date.
He used a pound of clean towels. They have to be washed after every use. He wants to make sure that they have no dirt or sand in them that might "scratch" the car.
WE have had snow on and off for the past 20 days, and my car was filthy from all the salt on the road.
He is out there washing both corvettes right now. Looks like I won't be able to go out for a while. We still have a lot of snow here and I will get the car dirty again. Maybe, if he goes to work, I will sneak out and use his clean car! It is a thought!
I saved $4 at the grocery store today using coupons, so that is added to the challenge.

Prev. total $615.00
today 4.00
new total $619.00

Free at last!

January 14th, 2011 at 02:55 pm

I finally got out of the house today for the first time since Sunday. We stocked up again at the grocery store and I bought my first bottle of wine from Ingles! I am so glad that they don't ID you like they do at WalMart. If you look over 40, you should NOT have to show your ID.
I saved $6 using my advantage card and I am adding that to my $20 challenge.

Prev. total $609.00
today 6.00
new total $615.00

49 states have snow!!

January 12th, 2011 at 01:50 pm

I heard this on the news today. The only state that does not have snow somewhere is Florida.
We certainly still have it and are snowed in for day 3. Tomorrow does not look good either since it is not going to get above 30 tomorrow.
Of course this led to another no use gas day ($2) and the stock market went up yesterday. That's $3 more to the $20 challenge.

Prev. total $606.00
today 3.00
new total $609.00

01-11-11

January 11th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Day two of still snowed in! I have discovered that I need some boots. Tennis shoes are not good to walk in 8 inches of snow! Maybe if I buy some boots, it will never snow this much again.
I think I will order more propane this week. I have no idea how much it now costs per gallon. I filled my 1000 gallon tank in August and I now have about 40% left. It has been a really cold winter.

Ona good note, the mail lady made it thru today. She did not come yesterday. The first time the mail has not been delivered in the 15 years we have lived in this house.

Of course, I had a no use gas day yesterday, so I will add that to my challenge money.

Prev. total $604.00
today 2.00
new total $606.00

Snowed in too!!

January 10th, 2011 at 01:08 pm

This has been a bad winter. We have been snowed in about 4 times already. Hey, I don't live in Maine, I live in Gerogia. It is supposed to snow again tomorrow and Wednesday, so I don't think we can get out until this Friday.
Poor dh. He has been trying to get a spec house started since middle of October. He hired a framing crew but they only got in a day and a half of work last week.
He is inside today, repainting some walls. He even had to go outside and shovel snow to make an area for the dogs to go pottie. The snow is 8 inches deep and my little poodle is only 9 inches tall.
Well, I had a no use gas day on Saturday and I have 3 one dollar bills to add to the challenge, for a total of $5.

Prev. total $599,00
today 5.00
new total $604.00

Happy Birthday to the King !!

January 8th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I heard someone say on the radio yesterday that America has had 44 presidents but only one king. Today is Elvis' birthday, the King of rock and roll.
I have the xm radio on my new car and it has an Elvis only station.
People always know my car. It is a red corvette with and Elvis throw in the hatch and an elvis statue standing on the throw blanket. When you turn on the radio, you hear Elvis singing.
I also have an Elvis bedroom. I saw him in concert on Feb. 15th, 1977. I still have my ticket stub!

I am adding my extra ones to my challenge money, $2.

Prev. total $$597.00
today 2.00
new total $599.00

How I started investing.

January 7th, 2011 at 07:46 am

I was never taught anything about investing when I was younger. When we moved up here to the mountains from Florida, we lived in travel trailer for almost a year. My husband spent the year building our house completely by himself.
I looked for a job, but I was not a local, so no one would hire me in this small town.
The only job I could get was as a waitress, making $2.01 an hour. Tips were few and far between because the locals did not tip. On a good day, you might make $20 a day.
For a year, we lived on our savings. By then, I was interested in learning how to invest our money in something other than a bank.
I went to the library to look for books on investing. Back then, the library had NO books on the subject.

So, I started buying and reading money magazine. The magazine had lots of articles on mutual funds. After about 6 months of reading, I decided on my first mutual fund. It was a Twentieth Century fund called Heritage. I chose it because it was a no low fund and it had no minimum investment. (The name was changed to American Century Heritage)

Every night, I would come home from work and put at least 10% of all my tips in a small wooden box on my desk. When I accumulated some cash, I would send it off to my Heritage mutual funds. I eventually opened other mutual funds and then took the plunge to actually buy stocks.

Many of my other funds are at Vanguard cause I like there low expenses, but I still have my original Heritage fund. It has grown from $6800 (amount I put in it) to $48,667. The average annual return is 10.73%

I saved $5 using my bi lo card yesterday, so I am adding that to the $20 challenge.

Prev. total $592.00
today 5.00
new total $597.00 p.s. I meant no load fund.

Interest for the year 2010

January 6th, 2011 at 08:38 am

I kept track of how much interest I made last year on cash sitting in the banks and in C.D's. I made $13,788.61. That sounds pretty good, but last year I made $21,824 and that was on the same amount of money. It is obvious that the rates keep going down, down, down.
Dh and I have never had a pension plan. He has always been self employed and I have worked for small businesses. I had hoped someday to earn enough interest to support us, but unless rates go way, way up, that probably will never happen.
The $21,824 was for the year 2009 and in 2008, we made almost $26,000. So actually this year (2010) we made about half what we made in 2008. Rates have really dropped.

Checks in the mail!

January 5th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Last year I made 3 personal loans to some friends of ours. One was made in May, one in June and the last, biggest one was made last month, in December.
I receive monthly checks for these loans and I am counting all the interest that I make on them in my $20 challenge.

Yesterday, I received payment on the 3 loans. I made $481 in interest for just one month. I am charging them 4%, but that is better than they could get at the bank. (plus, no closing costs)

So my $20 challenge looks like this:

Prev. total $111.00
today 481.00
new total $592.00

I found 50 cents!!

January 5th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Like all of you, I get excited when I find money. Yesterday, I found 2 quarters! I didn't do very well last year. I found a grand total of 52 cents, 2 quarters and 2 pennies) (although I did find some folding money in my dryer which belonged to dh and I kept it)
dh is always so different, when I tell him I have found money. He thinks I should not take or pick up the money. He thinks I should leave it there for someone more unfortunate than myself to get it. Well, how about if I make a donation to our local humane society if/when I find money?? That would be a much nicer deed than just leaving the money. That is what I will start doing.
I did my grocery shopping yesterday and saved $3 using my Ingles card and that will get added to my $20 challenge!

Prev. total $108.00
today 3.00
new total $111.00

Missing woman's body found!

January 4th, 2011 at 11:05 am

In August of 2009, a young women went missing in this area. She was outside, near her own home, talking a walk and talking on her cell phone.
Her boyfriend, who was on the phone with her, heard her scream and the phone went dead. The police was called immediately but she had disappeared. They found her cell phone several miles away.
This was very big news for our small community since this area is considered very safe and crime free.
Kristie Cornwell's story has made nation wide news several times.
Her family has never quit looking for her. Her brother came down from Tennessee every weekend to look for her.
On Saturday, her body was found out in the woods about 9 miles from where she disappeared. Her brother found the body. He never gave up. Dental records proved that it was Kristie.
I am sorry that this had such a sad ending, but at least her family has closure now and she can have a proper burial.

They do think that they know who the killer was. The police were after him for kidnapping and raping his step daughter. Wwhen they tried to arrest him, he killed himself. His phone records traced him to this area on the day Kristie was kidnapped. The cell tower was located just 2 miles from the body. I am glad that this evil person is no longer in this world.
RIP, Kristie.

Free money!

January 3rd, 2011 at 02:57 pm

I got two checks in the mail today. One was a rewards check for using our Chase master card and it was for $50. the other one was for $4 and had something to do with an antitrust litigation. I have no idea what they are talking about, but hey, it is free money and I will take it.
I stayed home all day playing bridge, so I will add another $2 to my account for a no use gas day.

Prev. total $ 52.00
today 56.00
new total $108.00

Net worth update

January 2nd, 2011 at 01:11 pm

Well, just like most of you on here, I keep track of my net worth on a monthly basis.
I was expecting my net worth to go down last month. My dh finished up building a house in mid October. Since then, he has not had a steady paycheck so I have been taking money out of our savings every month.

I was very pleased to find out that although our emergency fund has gone down, our mutual funds have gone up, so our net worth has increased. I don't know how long this will last, but I am happy so far.

I thought I would be real nervous about going so long without a paycheck, but it makes me feel much better to have a large savings account. We are also building a spec house with our savings. Work has been real slow because of all this freezing weather we have had in December! We hope to start framing on the house this week.

I had a no use gas day yesterday, so I will add $2 to my new 2011 challenge.

Prev. total $50.00
today 2.00
new total $52.00


Happy New Year 1-01-11

January 1st, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Happ New year everyone. I got off to a good start. I paid my electric bill this morning and I was $50 under budget.
They (the electric company) raised the rates last summer, so I have been over budget a few times. However, since we have gas heat, my bill is lower in the winter time.
So, I am ready to start off my new 2011 $20 challenge with this $50.

Prev. total $ 0.00
today 50.00
new total $ 50.00