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Archive for July, 2006

Good Mail/Spend Day

July 27th, 2006 at 05:44 pm

Yesterday I opened my mailbox to...a free pack of dentyne gum, free mints, a 50 cent coupon for dentyne gum which when doubled will be a free pack of gum and a coupon for a free Propel. Fun mail!

Then last night I went to Rite Aid and got some rebate things. THen to Target for another package of free oreos (they only had one left - go figure). I got some good deals. I will try to back off on the spending though until I start getting some rebate checks back.

It's official...I'm addicted

July 26th, 2006 at 01:45 am

So I've just started 'couponing' and yes, I'm a total novice. I can see this is turning into a full-fledged hobby. I scour everything I can. Today I got 2 free packs of cookies (thanks Flash!) from Target. I printed the coupon and went just to see if it really worked. Ummm, yes!!!! I just printed more coupons and will return for more free oreos. I mean can one REALLY have TOO MANY oreos? Free ones at that. Oh and it gets better. THe coupon was for $1 off and the oreos are only 89 cents. So they PAID ME to buy oreos. I AM IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They had the soap that I like on sale and I had a coupon so it was like getting an extra 22 cents off the soap. I am going back to buy as many oreos as I can and another pack of soap (I have another coupon) and will just bubble with glee. I can't explain the amount of joy this brings me. Am I going crazy? Yup, probably but it just doesn't get any better than this.

BTW, I also picked up the 'Try it free' Dual Action Spray n Wash. You buy it (2.99) and they send you back your $$. *giggles*

Productive Weekend

July 24th, 2006 at 05:43 pm

Woohoo! I got paid Friday - it had been 3 weeks since my last paycheck from my old job. I put some time into thinking why the budget wasn't really working out. Yes, I put together a budget. So a took a new approach. It's probably more psychological than anything but I'm calling it a Projected Cash Flow rather than a budget. Anyway, I worked it through the end of the year.

DH is out of town until Wed so I'll let him look it over then. I have it worked so we each get an allowance on payday that we can spend on whatever we want. He will have to manage it to make it to the next payday and if he wants something more costly he'll have to save for it. Gee, I feel like I'm dealing with a child! One incentive for him will be that whatever 'extra' money we have leftover in certain categories (groceries, household, misc) we will split between reg savings and his boat fund. Right now we are projected to have an 'extra' $1200 not including any savings along the way. So even if we didn't go over projected savings he will get $600 for his boat fund. If he helps drive that number up he will get more. The rest will go to funding our Roth IRAs.

I also moved to the envelope system. I took out the cash I needed and set everything up. I did some shopping over the weekend and it worked fine. DH may have a harder time with it because he seems to be a debit card addict. I did not pull out cash for gas, but for pretty much everything else.

I did some good shopping and didn't go over in any of the categories. But because of some stocking up I will need to watch any spending until it's replenishment. I got some great deals at Walgreens and Schnucks. Pasta waws BOGO at Schnucks for $1.09 and I had a $1 coupon. I didn't read the fine print though and you could only get one BOGO deal. BUT I still got 4 bags of pasta for 1.27 because I had 2 coupons. THe coupon expired that day and I had extra coupons so I left them with the product so someone else could benefit from it.

SOme decent yard sales. I got a turtle sandbox with lid for $5. Then I bought $10 worth of clothes and toys in an affluent neighborhood. It was more than an average yard sale would be but I don't think they really knew how much yard sale stuff goes for. I still got a lot of stuff for $10 but they weren't willing to bargain.

Little update

July 20th, 2006 at 05:44 pm

We got the check from the Schwab acct and we deposited it late last week. Because of the amount it will be held for what seems like forever. I think 9 business days. They did release a portion of it today. Unfortunately, the car payment, boat payment and student loan payment were all do before any of the money became available so I just had to make regular payments this month. As soon as the money is available I will start paying things off. The cc statements should be in soon so I will pay those off in full. THAT WILL FEEL SO GOOD!! Next will be the car and boat.

I started a new job July 5. I will finally get a paycheck tomorrow. I have gone 3 weeks without a paycheck because of the differing pay schedules between jobs. They pay current here thought so it will be a bigger paycheck than normal because it will be from when I started. The bad news is that even though I'm eligible for the 401K in another week it won't start until Oct1 (beg of new quarter). I think I will set 10% of my paycheck aside to put into a Roth IRA. Because I had only worked at my last job for 3 months I never got to contribute anything there either. And I didn't save anything, the extra $$ went toward bills. Anyway, now that we're more comfortable I want to make sure I put SOMETHING away for retirement. I know diehards will say put it all toward the debt but I have a good plan and I can afford to put it away. WOOHOO debt free except the mortgage in just over a year or less!!!

I've been doing really well with eating lunch in. I slipped yesterday because DH and ds came to see my new office and we went out. But other than that I've been packing sandwiches or leftovers. DH is still spending more than I'd like at the store but we have cut way back (comparatively). We hardly ever eat out anymore either. I think back to just 2 months ago and how much we were spending to eat out and I just can't believe it! I only started this plan mid-month in June so this month will be the first full month to see a real difference. With so many quirky things going on financially it's hard to guage how much better off we are.

It seems I've signed up for a boatload of free samples and haven't seen much coming in. Though I think it typically says anywhere from 4-8 weeks so maybe it hasn't been long enough. I did get a small packet of Nivea lotion yesterday. Oh and full size bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner (just came yesterday). I signed up to try the product and do a survey. I didn't expect the big bottles. Woohoo free stuff! And for the first time ever I shopped at Walgreens to get FAR stuff. I already sent in for my rebate. I am going to Rite Aid after work today to get some stuff from there. They also have some good sales on school supplies that I will buy to donate to the school supply drive they are having at work.

Oh...yard sales. This past weekend I spent a total of $3.50 and got
2 muffin pans for 25 cents each
1 brand new organizer notebook thing for 50 cents
AND all for only $1.50
Clothes for my son: 1 brand new Old Navy jacket, 3 pairs of blanket/footie pajamas, 2 tshirts and 1 long sleeved shirt. What a bargain! I bought the tshirts to save them for next year but one looked small so he's actually wearing it a little big now.

I am going to be BUSY this fall. On top of my regular job I'm going to be teaching 2 face-to-face classes for a local community college - assuming both classes get enough to participation to hold them. And it looks like I'm starting the training process to teach online. So this fall I could be teaching 3 classes on top of my regular job. Since my whole goal is to teach full-time in 2 years I'm just going to suck it up and get all the experience I can. And if it's too much I can cut back in the Spring. The extra $$ will be nice too!

I guess that's it for me. I've last track of my $20 challenge so I may just forget about that. I know I'm doing well (except the exercise part). It'll be interesting to see how July expenses shape up.

Paying down the debt

July 11th, 2006 at 02:33 am

Our check from our Schwab account came today. It will go in the bank tomorrow. $32,700. Wow, that seems like a big number. $2700 will go into savings for our roof/ceiling repair. $30K will go toward paying everything down. First will be our cc debt (about $6,400), then the boat (about $10,350) and the rest will go toward the truck. We owe around $16K on that. When I get my signing bonus my first paycheck in August I will pay the remainder of the truck. That will leave only DH's student loan for his MBA (around $15,300) and our mortgage. My very ambitious goal is to have the student loan paid off in 1 year. Then we will sock away everything we can for the next year. That will leave us in a really good position for me to make my career change.

Honestly, it was hard to reduce our nest egg by so much but I know it was the right thing to do. It was easy to convince DH, too! He still hasn't jumped on the frugal bandwagon but we are eating in ALOT more so we'll just take it one step at a time!

Haven't added it up lately

July 11th, 2006 at 02:28 am

39.42 beginning
+19 for dinners/lunches eaten in for the past 11 days (ate out 3 times within 2 days over the weekend)
+3 for exercise (slacking on that one)
=61.42