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Archive for December, 2011


December 31st, 2011 at 09:51 pm

That was my total in the $20 challange. I am quite pleased with the amount. My goal was $17,000.00 and I surpassed that.
So, I am ready to start a new $20 challenge tomorrow. Tonight, we are going to a New Year's eve party at a friends house.

Happy New Year! Let's hope that 2012 is a great year for all of us!

I called about the taxes.

December 30th, 2011 at 09:48 pm

This is an expensive time of the year. I just paid my property (house) tax of about $3000 before Christmas. House insurance (over $1000) is due in Jan. with car tags ($750) due in February.

We have two more tax bills due for property we bought this year. One is for a one acre lot in North Carolina, about 20 miles away. I called the tax office about that lot today. I paid $28,900 for the lot and the tax appraiser has it appraised for $100,000. It is too late for this year, but next March I am going to appeal the bill. Property should not be appraised for more than you paid for it.

I had two no use gas days in a row ($4) the stock market went up yesterday ($1) and I got a $50 rewards check in the mail today. That is $55 to add to the challenge.

Prev. total $20,755.00
today 55.00
new total $20,810.00

2 more checks.

December 28th, 2011 at 08:33 pm

I got 2 more checks today. One is my $486 check deposited every 4th Wednesday for social security. The other is a $50 rewards check I got from my chase credit card. I am expecting another in a few days. We spent quite a bit at Home Depot on items for the spec house. I will add them to the challenge.

Anyone have any plans for new year's eve? We are invited to a big party at friends house. (One that we built) I always say, "we built".. However, I have never touched a hammer, but I do handle all the money as tho it was my own.

Prev. total $20,219.00
today 536.00
new total $20,755.00

Who stole the deer feeder??

December 27th, 2011 at 08:44 pm

was it Santa?? Did he need it for his reindeer? We have a lot of deer in our area, across the creek. My dh made two deer feeders and he puts corn in it every afternoon after work.
On Christmas eve, he discovered one of the deer feeders were missing. We wondered if maybe a bear might have dragged it off? I guess he will have to make another one.
I paid a few bills today and discovered that my electric bill was $40 under budget (even with all the christmas lights on every night), so i am adding that to the $20 challenge.

Prev. total $20,179.00
today 40.00
new total $20,219.00

Do you ever get mad at your grocery store?

December 26th, 2011 at 08:34 pm

I do! I get mad when they overcharge me and I think it happens a lot to other people.
For example, twice one week, I bought bread that my husband likes cause it was on sale 2/$5. But both times, when I got home, I found I was charged $2.97 a loaf. Now that is only 47 cents off, but it is MY 47cents and I want it back.

Today, I did my grocery shopping. I entered the store and saw a sign that read "All pointsettas $1.00, so I bought one. When I checked out, I was charged $3 cause the pointsettas were coded $3.
She called a manager when I brought it up, but he said the pointsetta's were maked $3. I left with my cart, but went over to the flower display to look at the sign again. It read "ALL pointsettas $1.00.
I took the sign back to the cashier and showed her. Sure enough, I got a refund and got my pointsetta for just $1.00

I also saved $3 using my Ingles card which I am adding to the challenge.

Prev. total $20,176.00
today 3.00
new total $20,179.00

Home Alone

December 24th, 2011 at 05:12 pm

for Christmas! This is the first year that I can remember NOT being home alone for Christmas. My dh and I have very little family. I have none; he has a very elderly father and a brother in another state.

This year we have been invited over to spend Christmas day with another couple and a few of their friends.

Almost everyone has extended families, but this couple are like us. She has no family and he has an elderly mother and brother up north.

I think it is so nice that we can spend the holiday together with them.

I went to the grocery store this morning. I discovered the box of candy (turtles) that I paid full price for, was now half price cause it is christmas eve. I am giving it dh cause he loves that candy. I picked up some more half price candy to give him. I also picked up a bottle of wine to take to the dinner tomorrow night.

I had a no use gas day yesterday and received a pinecone check in the mail, so another $5 to add to the challenge money.

Prev. total $20,171.00
today 5.00
new total $20,176.00

Merry Christmas everyone!

Happy first day of winter.

December 22nd, 2011 at 09:41 pm

The first day of winter started after midnight last night. Right now it is dark, gloomy and pouring rain. I have been running my heat since October, so it has seemed like winter to me for two months. We even had snow in November which is unusual.

I had two no use gas days in a row and the stock market went up 3 days in a row, according to the tv. so, that is $7 to add to my challenge money.

Prev. total $20,164.00
today 7.00
new total $20,171.00

Another small check.

December 21st, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I received another small check in the mail today. It was a dividend check from Wendy's. I use to reinvest all my dividends, but then Wendy's bought Tim Horton's. When the two companies split, I started getting dividend checks every 3 months. So, I just save them and put them in my $20 challenge.
In other news, my bank lowered the rate on my money market account. I use that account to keep the money that we need liquid to build homes or buy land. It is now paying a pitiful 3/10 of one percent. It was over 1%

Prev. total $20,153.00
today 11,00
new total $20,164.00

Fewer christmas cards this year?

December 18th, 2011 at 09:21 pm

Have you noticed receiving fewer Christmas cards this year? I have.
My dh is a licensed builder and we always got lots of cards from the places he does business with, building supply stores, plumbing stores, vinyl siding supplierss, truss companies, etc.
We have gotten exactly one card from one building supply store this year.

I saved a whopping $3 from Bi Lo this afternoon, so I am adding that to the challenge.

Prev. total $20,150.00
today 3.00
new total $20,153.00

$18 a month raise!

December 17th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I got a letter from Uncle Sam today. I am getting an $18 a month raise starting next month. Yay! I can almost buy 5 gallons of gas with that.
Actually, I am very grateful to be getting anything at all.
I also got a $24 check from Tim Horton, Inc. today. I love unexpected checks in the mail. It will be added to the challenge.

Prev. total $20,126.00
today 24.00
new total $20,150.00

Gift bags are saving me money!

December 15th, 2011 at 07:45 pm

About 4 years ago, I purchased a quantity of gift bags and tissue papaer from QVC.
I find that they are saving me a great deal of money that I use to spend on wrapping paper and bows.
My dh and I have no family, so we only buy for each other.
Thus, we can reuse those gift bags over and over each year. I guess it is not as much as ripping the paper off, but I always hated doing the wrapping.
I stopped at Ingles yesterday to pick up 4 items and saved $2 using my advantage card. Add to the chaallenge.

Prev. total $20,124.00
today 2.00
new total $20,126.00

searching for faucets

December 13th, 2011 at 08:02 pm

I have spent the past several hours searching for a roman tub faucet. The master bathroom in the house we are building has two sinks, a shower and a jetted tub. We can find faucets for the sinks and shower, but cannot get the matching roman tub faucet. Every place we try, is out of stock.
The guy at home depot said I could order one from their website, but when I go there, it says "out of stock, pick up one at the store." They don't have any at the store!
Do people still use jetted tubs? I love mine. I don't use it much, but it really looks neat in my big bathroom.
I did my grocery shopping yesterday before bridge, so I aved $8 with my Ingles advantage card.
I am really looking forward to eating out tonight. Now, since we go so seldom, it is a real treat.

Prev. total $20,124.00
today 8.00
new total $20,132.00

Fidelity Magellan

December 11th, 2011 at 04:22 pm

I started investin in mutual funds in the 1980's. I wish I had started sooner, but I did not know much about financial things. There were NO financial books in our tiny library here. I finally subscribed to Money magazines and that is how I started learning about finances.

All of the mutual funds I started were no load funds, except one, Fidelity Magellan. The manager of that fund was so good, I decided to pay the load fee of 3%. (His name was Peter Lynch)
So, I sent off my $1000 to open the fund and paid a fee of $30. For the next 10 years, my $970 grew to over $5200.

I never never added a penny to the fund and now, after 22 years, my balance stands at just over $5200. Not too much progress over the past 12 years; as a matter of fact, no progress at all! It looks like the 90's were much better for mutual funds than the 00's of this century.

Well, the stock market went up Friday; I had a no use gas day and I got a $3 check from Pinecone. That is $6 to add to the challenge.

Prev. total $20,118.00
today 6.00
new total $20,124.00

cooking out!

December 9th, 2011 at 07:07 pm

We are cooking out on the grill tonight. It doesn't matter how cold it gets, we always enjoy cooking (and eating) food out on the grill. Even when it snows, we still cook out. (At least my dh does)
I have not keep up with the stock market lately, but I do know that the market went up on Wednesday and I had a no use gas day. That means $3 will be added to the challenge money.

Prev. total $20,115.00
today 3.00
new total $20,118.00

Christmas decorations are up.

December 5th, 2011 at 10:00 pm

My hear husband got all the Christma decorations up this past weekend. He had most of them up since Thanksgiving, but added a few more yesterday. The outside looks really nice when all the lights are on.

I putout a small tree and put the presents out. I am really trying to cut back on gifts this year. There is really nothing that we need. Dh did show me a few things from Home Depot that he wants.

I did my grocery shopping this afternoon (no bridge) and I saved $8 using my Ingles advantage card. To the $20 challenge it goes.

Prev. total $20,107.00
today 8.00
new total $20,115.00

Another Chase check

December 5th, 2011 at 03:31 pm

This is one check we get as often as once a month. We have a Chase rewards card and it pay 3% back in the home improvement department. Since my husband is a builder, he buys a lot of stuff at home depot, so we almost always get a $50 rebate check every month. Of course, this is added to the $20 challenge.

Prev. total $20,057.00
today 50.00
new total $20,107.00

I hit the $20,000 mark!

December 4th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Yesterday, I hit the $20,000 mark in my $20 challenge. I had set my goal this year for $17,000 cause the economy is doing so poorly. This is the first year in 27 years of living here, that my husband did not get a custom house to build. Instead, he built a spec house and luckily, he sold it to the first couple that looked at it.
I am very happy to reach this goal and beyond plus, I still have 26 days to add to it!

Rates drop again!

December 4th, 2011 at 04:27 pm

The rates at ING have dropped again. Both the savings account and the electric orange checking have dropped to below 1%. I had always planned to live on the interest on my savings someday. I couldn't do that at today's rates. They paid higher interest rates than this in the 1920's. Heck, I have an amortization book and the rates START at 3%.

Thank you Chase sapphire!

December 3rd, 2011 at 04:48 pm

I got my bonus check in the mail today. It was the credit card offer that monkey mama told us about. I opened accounts in my name and dh's name too. Last month, I got a check in dh's name.
Today, I got a check for $530 for spending $3000 in tow months. ( I paid off dh's hospital bill)
Thank you Monkey Mama too!
I am adding this to the $20 challenge.

Prev. total $19,527.00
today 530.00
new total $20,057.00

ING interest

December 2nd, 2011 at 07:11 pm

ING posted the interest to our account yesterday. Like everybody else, their interest rates are going down. I will add the amount to my challenge money.

Prev. total $19,392.00
today 135.00
new total $19,527.00