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Archive for May, 2015

Calling it a wash --

May 27th, 2015 at 05:36 pm


On my way into Walgreens, I was approached by a gentleman who appeared to be in need. His minivan was an older model, and we had made eye contact, I smiled and nodded. (My new thing is try to always be positive, I caught a glimpse of all the tired parents in the car line after dropping their kids off at high school and no one particularly pleasant - I'm trying hard at that).

His request was very specific - he was in need of some type of fluid for his car - I am bad with motors and I can't say that I'd know which fluid it was - his debit card had been turned down and he needed $6.10. It was broad daylight and I wasn't too weary or concerned because he seemed legitimately in need. I told him that I'd see what I could do.

In Walgreens I was buying items on sale and with coupons for maximum savings since my funds feel somewhat depleted. My coupon savings was $8.00. I had to take $10 cash out over my total (wouldn't allow me the $8 that I saved), so one my way out I handed it over to the gentleman. He was quite appreciative and we blessed each other.

He said he'd pay it forward. I'm thinking that small acts of kindness like that can make the difference.

Feeling happy with the outcome.

Calling it a wash --

May 27th, 2015 at 05:36 pm


On my way into Walgreens, I was approached by a gentleman who appeared to be in need. His minivan was an older model, and we had made eye contact, I smiled and nodded. (My new thing is try to always be positive, I caught a glimpse of all the tired parents in the car line after dropping their kids off at high school and no one particularly pleasant - I'm trying hard at that).

His request was very specific - he was in need of some type of fluid for his car - I am bad with motors and I can't say that I'd know which fluid it was - his debit card had been turned down and he needed $6.10. It was broad daylight and I wasn't too weary or concerned because he seemed legitimately in need. I told him that I'd see what I could do.

In Walgreens I was buying items on sale and with coupons for maximum savings since my funds feel somewhat depleted. My coupon savings was $8.00. I had to take $10 cash out over my total (wouldn't allow me the $8 that I saved), so one my way out I handed it over to the gentleman. He was quite appreciative and we blessed each other.

He said he'd pay it forward. I'm thinking that small acts of kindness like that can make the difference.

Feeling happy with the outcome.

Interesting observation:

May 26th, 2015 at 11:59 am


As the reality of having little to no extra funds until next payday (extraneous category was totally depleted and then some), my sudden whim for wants increases.

< in money, > in wants ?!

What is that about?

I'm rather disgusted with myself and should never meander around Sams during the early hours when they let Business Card holders in. I actually stopped at looked at $89 Coach sunglasses (?!) and a three-tier tray made of galvanize steel for $24.99 (?!) (One decorating blog I follow does sinfully delicious home vignette decorating in one of those - Why couldn't I?). And an orange yard stool (heavy glass maybe)down to $19 from $39 (but, it would match the colors in my neutral and drab family room!)

I really don't know what do say to myself. I am literally stretching my dollars and turning in my pennies for solvency (I could use credit cards or transfer from my savings in the event of a "real" emergency). Where is my fortitude?

Wow, I am feeling really off-kilter and out-of-whack.

Watching the dimes ...

May 24th, 2015 at 05:47 am


I tracked the spending - and while it has been within realistic realms - I added up the amount spent on snacks and trips to Wendy's after sports practices. And DH's obsession with premium beef jerky while filling up his car. That adds up quite quickly to a family meal out at Portillo's.

There is a soccer tournament going on this weekend (Sat/Sun) with at least ten most likely 12 games for three players. I did yesterday's run, DH is doing today's. I had to be there at 7:00 AM yesterday and DH's start time was 8:15 (its about a 45 min drive). Anyhow, I let everyone know that there is a family dinner out on the calendar to celebrate the last day of school for the last remaining student 5 (on 6/5). At Portillos, (their new favorite place) and that is where all the "snack" money is going.

This meant that I packed healthy snacks and drinks yesterday, and sent more snacks AND sandwiches today. My thrifty Boy Scout made a comment about those dimes will turn into dollars. That made me laugh.

DH and I are doing a raw food/green smoothie cleanse for 10 days. That wasn't as costly as I thought since it used frozen fruit and fresh greens. I did have to go to the health food store for ground flaxseed. I am hoping to lose 6-8# and am sticking just to walking, actual bike riding, and using the recumbent bike at the Y.

It's busy, busy coming up these next two weeks with my own school work, kids' final projects, DH's work schedule. Etc. My first inclination is to run to the prepared foods (i.e., packaged and processed) but I'm not doing it. I'm making home-made mac and cheese plus something in the crock pot, and I've got ingredients on hand for homemade cookies. I also have a recipe for no bake energy bites which I can finally make since I have the ground flaxseed.

Hope everyone has a restful weekend. And if you know a veteran, say "thank you."

I know that several of our SA family are military families, so I thank you for supporting your loved one as they make this country as great and safe as it is. Smile

Meet Flo, my new best friend

May 20th, 2015 at 05:28 am


The renewal of the insurance policy on the rental property went up to $1,042. That was roughly $120 increase across the board.

I happened to get a flyer from Progressive. After a quick (HA, not really, rather longish) phone call Flo, I was "outsourced" to another provider who deals with rental properties.

My replacement coverage was raised to $220K for the dwelling and my policy dropped to an overall cost of $795 annually. I paid the $130.34 for the policy to go into effect on 7/19. I will then make ten payments starting 8/19 for $65.67.

I'm pretty pleased about that. Once I have my other paperwork for policies in front of me, I'll call back for a quote on the primary/cars.

Small (positive) money blips

May 19th, 2015 at 09:42 am

1) Opening a savings account in DH's name with Discover. Minimum required to open account is $25, with $50 bonus credited.

2) Opening a checking account in my names with Citibank. Will maintain the minimum and make one bill pay for two consecutive months for $125 bonus.

3) Being much more diligent with spending and couponing. I managed to save 50% of items we use regularly by matching up CVS coupons and manufacturer coupons. Definitely spending smarter.

4) Will have enough money left at month's end to throw some crumbs into my IRA. At least $100, hopefully $125.

5) Volunteering to work the used book sale at younger daughter's high school. I will first dibs on her books for next year, plus a discount!

6) $5 free dollars at Old Navy will be used to purchase a new uniform polo for my son. The light blue color just doesn't allow any survival rate as do the older grade's dark blue.

7) Also decided on adding a specific item to my wardrobe. I will be replace two or three different old and faded items. The cost is $34.95 at American Eagle. If I wait until the 24th, there is $10 off of $40. I can always through a pair of socks onto the purchase to get the discount.

Totally stealing CB's thunder with this quote: these are all bricks to building my financial empire. Smile

How the other half shops ...

May 15th, 2015 at 09:57 am


DH took the day off to watch the boys' Spring Sing at school. We then had a $25 gift card to spend at the upscale grocery store (foodie organic Heaven, apparently).

I understand the importance of making wise food decisions for one's family; I'm embracing some small changes this week forward.

We wandered aimlessly before deciding the funds must be spent because we wouldn't be returning (we've had the gift card at least several years).


We looked for ginger and ground flaxseed- no luck on either of those. Frown Here is what we spent:

$10.99 for take and bake organic pizza
$2.99 x 2 Lentil soup mixes
$6.99 on honey roasted peanuts
$2.50 for a protein bar

OOP was $1.51.

What I am doing this week for healthier living:
1) smoothies x 3 mornings breakfast
2) home made no-bake energy bites
3) salads x 3 lunch/dinner
4) making homemade air freshner w/essential oil
5) only 1 2L of soda to go with pizza.

Passing the buck ... rather keeping the buck ...

May 13th, 2015 at 06:10 am


Every year my kids' school (elementary) has the VIP Show - complete with each grade singing a song and then the spectacular finale at the end with a school-wide sing. I've been at these for nine years now, so I'm nostalgic, but no longer so gung-ho.

I actually recall perseverating about "the" right outfit for each child for several years running. We were always outshined by the one mother with seamstress talents who could sew specific items. I stopped competing and it got to be a bit more fun.

The school then did the "VIP logo-themed t-shirt" a few years back - an art contest with the winners work onto a t-shirt ... available for purchase at $12/each. I did that one year and spent $40 (they were $10 three years ago). No one every wore the t-shirts again, saying they were itchy, ugly, etc.

Since then I stopped buying those, and simply put the kids in a solid-colored t-shirt coordinating with their grade's color. Saving my money. Worst case scenario, I have spent $3.50 on a T shirt at Michaels (and that's before using a 40% off coupon).

Tomorrow is the VIP show. We've got all the required-color T's, and this year I've saved myself $36.

Oh, if I had only been wiser back then ... live and learn ... and keep your bucks ...