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Archive for April, 2015

Final cost for prom (Temporary picture included)

April 27th, 2015 at 08:28 am

My daughter purchased her own ticket ($100 - included dinner at a local upscale suburban events place, transportation by luxury coach to and from the boat in Chicago, 3.5 hours on the luxury cruise liner that went up and down the lakeshore). She also gave $30 for her dress, paid for her own French manicure ($19) and some bracelets and fancy flip-flop gladiator sandals ($20).

I paid for balance of dress $39xx (but ended up with a $10 coupon for JCP). $25xx for slip, undies, and mascara. $75 for hair/make up. (The $75 was under what we would have paid at a salon, and a fellow seminarians wife did a wonderful job for that 2 hours worth or work)

Picture will self destruct in a bit.

Dreading the numbers ...

April 19th, 2015 at 06:32 am

And not the numbers you think!

Calories. I'm in the middle of trying to cook for someone who needs to gain weight (daughter has 6 weeks before a nurse check to see that she has gained 2.5 pounds) and who needs to lose weight (husband just had physical and his doctor told him at the rate he is gaining, he will 300 pounds in 5 years - he is a stress eater and clearly has lived a stressed life lately).

Scored some deals this week: Nutella for daughter was only $6.xx at Sam's. She also eats the full-fat mac and cheese from Trader Joes which is $2.98/serving but yields 600+ calories. Jewel has vegetables (frozen in bags) for $.88. So I'll be back to stock up on those for husband.

The rest of us are sort of blobbing along with our regular menu. And we're now back to running in 18 different directions most nights, so the crockpot needs to kicking into high gear.

Breakfast: I am doing better with having muffins vs. Poptarts. We also froze some waffles left over from a dinner. We still go through tons of yogurt and fiber bars. I should try to find a recipe for the fiber bars online and make myself, but time is really short here. (Insert excuse: School is way harder this time around).

Ok, off to catch up on the bogs. Have a wonderful and restful day!

Nudging along in the right direction

April 17th, 2015 at 02:31 pm

Slowly, but surely.

We neglected our retirement contributions while we were in flux wondering about the stability of my husband's job situation, etc.

He received a 2% pay raise, and today I raised his percentage from 6% to 10%. I also sent $1,250 to my 2014 IRA on Wednesday.

I keep thinking "If only I did this in smaller dribs and drabs, it wouldn't be so painful." So not only have I paid the saving account first, but I have small goals for the May and June as far as throwing bits of money to retirement.

I do feel very good about upping from 6% to 10%. That will be significant in the long-run.

So, slowly creeping along in the correct direction.

Prom dress shopping = Done

April 15th, 2015 at 05:29 am

I had a 20% off coupon that expired yesterday for a purchase at JC Penney's.

Older daughter purchased her own prom ticket ($100) so DH and I agreed to buy her dress and shoes.

All of her friends got dresses from Penneys, so we headed there. She tried on every single size 1 we could find - long, short, in between, sheath dresses, cupcake dresses, etc.

She ended up between two: the classic pale pink lace, strapless, long, with bead embellishments in a heart-shape on the bodice AND the other was a very elegant black lace number, reminiscent of something from the Roaring 20s flapper, open back with beading. She ended up with the first one because it screamed "prom".

I am not sure of the fate of the dress, whether she will keep it or exchange it. But the particulars of the purchase:

Original price: $138
Less 40%: - $54.01
Less 20%: - $16.00
Tax: $ 5.28
Total $69.27

My daughter contributed $30
My OOP $39.27

Also earned $10 off my next purchase due to their in-store rewards club.

Bringing my outlay to: $29.27

Pictures to follow.

Prom Time

April 14th, 2015 at 06:21 am

My older daughter asked me for a check for $100 this morning for her prom ticket. I was a bit surprised because she had mentioned in passing she was going to go with a group of girl friends, it is at a local banquet hall and then they take a party bus to a boat ride on the Chicago River.

Before I could say anything, she added, "I left two $50s by your keys. It is probably easier just to pay by check. Thanks."

She is a good kid. She then let me know she'd like to look at the resale shop for a dress or see if there are coupons for Penney's because a friend got a dress there for a reasonable price.

DH and I agreed we'd cover the dress. All I remember about my prom, when I was a junior at the same high school eons ago, my dress cost $40.

Anyone remember incidentals from their prom?

Color Experiment

April 10th, 2015 at 05:44 am

Hypothesis: If green is the color that you want to maintain, how long will you be able to avoid red?

I have a bad habit. I end-load my desired payments to whatever the day of payday. Essentially, if I spend more than what I am planning, the end-load payment is obviously decreased. Makes sense?

This two week period I've front-loaded the payment and am "Paying ourselves first."

And I was amazed at how my spending habits/patterns changed when we were down to our last cash this week after time away. We made it with $.30 to spare. The cupboards are a bit barer and we ate cereal for dinner last night.

Today I am taking my cash for the week out of the ATM. No debit card usage this go around. I am hoping to be pretty accurate on how much I target to spend.

So this week it is all GREEN. Inconvenience will be going into the gas station to prepay for gas. And that really isn't an inconvenience.

This week to save money I:

- Bought cereal on sale at Walgreens and using a coupon paid less that $1.50 per box. This is an area I'd like to improve on - boxes of sugary crap cereal should really be gone.
- Bought one of the required text books for my class and have requested the remainder through inter-library loan.
- Requested generic Flonase through the Pharmacy instead of paying 3x as much OTC

Hoped for outcome of this week:

Spending in the $150 to $175 range and putting an additional $200 toward retirement.

Synchronizing those winding down with those winding up

April 9th, 2015 at 05:46 am

1) We started college visits this past Spring break with older daughter. Only seen a few, but she has a top contender that we both like which will be hard to beat. Small liberal arts close to home. She's opting to not live on campus and work from a Chicago-based agency, so I am hopeful all goes well for her.

2) I am back in school today, officially a graduate student of the establishment I have attended as a SAL. A bit excited by it all, a very interesting track I am on. But also wondering since we've got lots of unknowns.

3) DH moves to the new location tomorrow in Itasca. He's serious about working remotely on the days he has classes (he starts in August). Sounds like a wise move on his part. I've made suggestions in the past, but he wasn't really ready to listen, so it is nice that he has a plan of his own.

4) We meet tomorrow with the person who may be able to advise us on pursuing an adoption from the country we are interested in. From here it is essentially a private international adoption and those plans were quashed right away, but this has the Church involved and the help of someone pretty high up. We remain cautiously hopeful and have decided to tell everyone what is going on so we have plenty of prayers covering us.

5) We went away for a few days over Spring break to an indoor water park in Utica, IL. Only an hour a way with tons of hiking options and plenty of indoor fun. We spent more than usual on a room, but it was a suite and there was enough room for everyone to sleep comfortably. Well worth the price.

6) We are officially down to our last $2.50. Payday is tomorrow and we paid for everything cash for our time away. Really nice to do that, first time possibly ever. But definitely making strides.