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Archive for July, 2010

Updates. Hi all!

July 29th, 2010 at 06:55 am

Keeping busy here. Smile I've missed catching up on all the postings. Maybe later.

DNiece (15yo) is visiting. She is so helpful and sweet. Only get to see her about once a year now that she's moved to Maryland. Frown

Saturday: DD's bday party was a success! The pool cost $12. Food about $35 plus the cake. We made pizza with the girls who stayed for the slumber party. Yum! It had been so long since we made pizza at home. We'll be doing it again sooner rather than later. Trouble is it's more expensive to make it that to buy take and bake, which is sooo good too.

Sunday: a clean up and relax day.

Monday: grocery shopping. $195.

Tuesday: county fair opening day. $26. DD, DN, DS and me. Lovely weather. We built a scarecrow in a contest and won! The prize was free funnel cake. ($6) DS was such a good baby. He liked the fair. We looked at the exhibits and stage entertainment (Acrobatic Cats, hehe)

Wednesday: Costco $180. Other errands.

Today: Great America. Rides and water slides! $90 for tickets. I will also be paying $15 for "preferred parking". Closer to the entrance for packing in/out all our stuff and baby DS. I am thinking of having lunch at the car too. We'll take food and see how the day goes.

Weekend plans -
Friday: Relax and chores.
Saturday: The beach ? Ice skating ?
Sunday: Giants game.
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In other news... My cell phone is dead. Frown It was three years old. Really, they MUST make them only well enough to last for the two year contracts. lol. I have activated my old phone, which was DH's phone before that. So it's REALLY old, but still operational. Somewhat.. sometimes I can't hear the person on the other end of the line and have to use speaker..arrggg.. I won't be replacing with a fancy phone. Still looking at $80 for a phone and getting back into a contract.. *sigh* I guess it's not that bad, we hadn't been thinking of changing service anyway. This has got me looking at changing our plan. We could go for a low anytime minute (700) share plan with no frills, $79/month, and save about $30/month. I looked at our 12 month usage for "anytime" minutes. My average was about 200 and DH about 400. Totally worth trying it out.

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In-Laws coming to visit Friday PM thru Monday AM. (Please give me strength and patience Wink ) They will be watching the kids Sunday when DH and I go to the Giants game. And they will be taking DN with them when they leave.

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Going back to work Monday afternoon... *sigh* Love my job, but LOVE being at home..

Little Party

July 24th, 2010 at 09:50 am

Today we are having DD's birthday party. I've had five kids RSVP with a "YES" out of fourteen total invitees. That's a summer party. Everyone is busy busy. It's okay. Makes the party very manageable.
This will save money at the pool. Smile
And money on food too. However, I was out of town the past three days and I asked DH to pick up an ice cream cake. He is such a good helper and bought the largest size! $40. It is a good and bad thing; I really like ice cream cake!

We picked up DNiece last night and she will be staying with us for the week. Going to have some outings and that equals money spending. Aiming for small amounts and big fun. Picnic at the beach, rollerskating, swimming, ice skating...and???

Now I'm off to the grocery store.

Water Bill & Other Payments

July 20th, 2010 at 09:24 am

Arrg.. the website logged me off/kicked me out. Made me lose most of this post so now I've re-typed. I MUST remember to highlight and copy before I click the publish button!

Our water bill came yesterday. Our city is now billing once monthly instead of every other month. The good thing is they finally adjusted our sewer usage down to "Winter Average". That saves because the sewer charges are $7.04 per hundred cubic feet (hcf=748 gallons). Tier one water charges are $2.83 per hcf and go up from there. Then you have base service charges on both water and sewer.
Our bill $74. I am going to start having this bill automatically charged to the cc each month.
In regards to the water bill it seems that our new washer is saving lots of water and that means it's saving me lots of money both in and out (sewer). I'll post once I calculate. But even if it uses one hcf less per month that saves $10.
Recent payments:
Payment to Sears card $75. Much less than I had budgeted for, but spent in other areas. I'll do a second payment if I have a little extra at the end of the month.
PG&E $143.
Home phone/cell phones/DSL $156.
Cable $85.
Garbage/Recycle/Yard Waste $44 (three months)

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My ROTH is down $14. Not bad with the market jumping around right now. I need to check DH's, but he has forgotten his username and will need to call. Rolleyes

Housecleaners

July 20th, 2010 at 08:37 am

So I've been blessed to have had a cleaning service once monthly for the past four months. A gift. We have never had any "professional" help with house keeping. I am addicted! How did we ever do it on our own? We did, but not nearly as often as the house needs. And with me going back to work soon I really wonder if the dusting, shower scrubbing and mopping will get done, or put off to "next weekend". I've got one more cleaning, then if I want to continue it's $90 monthly.

*sigh*

Where's the scrubby sponges?

Jail for Debt

July 19th, 2010 at 02:48 pm

Just saw this online.
Look out...Wink

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/07/15/americas-new-debtor...

Home Values

July 19th, 2010 at 10:38 am

In the year and a half that we've lived on our street there have been four other houses that have sold just on our street. Of course there are others in the same neighborhood that have listed/sold. But in the interest of time I am only talking about our street. All of these homes have the same square footage and really the same floorplan. The lots are all close in size. All in all very comprable.
January 2009: $265,000 (our house)
December 2009: $302,000 (about 12 houses up)
March 2010:$339,000 (across the street and down a bit)
May 2010: $340,000 (other end of street)
July 2010: $285,000 (about 6 up - list price - in contract - so we'll see..)
Here is a picture that represents the houses on our street.


Currently Zillow estimates our home at $310,000.
I feel so lucky that our home is not underwater. So, So Lucky! Smile

Making Up for Friday

July 19th, 2010 at 09:52 am

Had a MUCH more frugal weekend. Phew!
NSD Saturday and a $16 Sunday.
Saturday my mom, DD, baby and I went to one of the California missions. A state park in Sonoma. Toured the misson and the general's home. It was very cool. They had lots of the original belongings from the family. My mom paid for the admission and lunch.
She and DD left to go traveling for the next several days. They are visiting several California Missions and other sights.

Sunday DH, baby and I helped our friend move. We also visited the new work building. I think it's going to be very nice. There is still a bunch of work to do on it and we're supposed to be in there by August! My boss was there too. So we had a quick visit. He seems very happy and excited about the move, and not worried about not being ready. He is a pretty positive person. Makes it easy to work with him.

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No bites on my CraigsList stuff. I will repost closer to the first of the month. Maybe when people have more money.

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Going to another Giants game on Sunday August 1st. Free tickets for a suite! With a suite you also get free snacks and non alcoholic beverages. I am thinking about taking baby with us. He already has a Giants outfit given to him as a gift!

Expensive Night Out

July 18th, 2010 at 08:25 am

DH and I had a night out to the Giants ballgame Friday. I have a client at work who is a season ticket holder and gives me a game each season. They are sweet people with two sweet beagles. Their seats are very good along the first base line at field level. My mom came to our house to babysit DD and baby DS. So free babysitting and free tickets, but....
$30 for parking
$6 Golden Gate toll
$41 Food, Soda & Hot Coco
$50 (2) T-shirts and a foam finger

Arrg..such a splurge! Next time we're bringing our own coco!! We like having coco in the 7th inning. We ate Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches and garlic fries and shared a Sprite. The shirts are really cool Giants Firefighter. One for DH and one as a Christmas gift for DH's boss. DH did get a free fireman themed bobblehead..very cute...and FREE!
The Giants won!
We think we're a lucky charm because we've never been to a game where they've lost. Always get to see winning games! Big Grin

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My work is moving after 20+ years in the same location. So when I go back we'll be in a new building. That will be so weird I think. The old buildings' owner wanted to raise the rent, now she's trying to sell. For my boss the new building will be less in rent. And he's getting to make improvements to it. So new paint colors and a pretty floor. The waiting room has a rock fireplace! So cozy!

Helping a friend/co-worker move into a new little place today. So cute. A little cottage on a ranch. Much closer to work for her too.

EF Deposit

July 14th, 2010 at 09:40 am

Added $120 to the EF yesterday! Smile

Budgeted savings amount plus money I made taking care of a kitty.

I have posted three items on CraigsList so hopefully they'll sell and I can add that to the EF too!

DH and our Budget

July 14th, 2010 at 09:33 am

Most months I have a budget on a spreadsheet/budget template on the computer. I update as we spend and pay bills. (So like every other day! Wink) But up until last night DH had never looked at it. I'd just tell him, "We've xx amount set aside for this." Or, "It'll have to be a cheap dinner out. We have already spent our eating out amount." Etc.Etc.. This past weekend I typed my financial goals (like what I have in the sidebar) on a Word document and stored it on the desktop. I showed DH the "GOAL$" document and where to find the budget folder. I want him to look for himself.
Last night he was looking it over and was commenting on how he didn't realize this, and, wow - we spend that much on that?
Good!
Eye opening for him to SEE what I see daily. He doesn't have to take my word for it anymore. Always has, but I've seen the skeptical gleam in his eye when I say we don't have money for "it". In his parent's marriage there is a lot of money hiding. Like a cc and loan his mom has that his dad knows nothing about. I think that creates a lot of distrust. So this is good for me and I know he appreciates the full disclosure.

Party Time

July 13th, 2010 at 10:56 am

DD is going to horse camp all this week. This is my parents birthday gift to her. She attended the same camp last summer and this year she is going with two friends. It's good because us moms have split up the driving; it takes about 90 minutes round trip. I really don't mind the drive, but saves money on diesel. Smile

Planning her birthday party. Going to be very frugal. Swim party at the city pool $2 per kid. I think I'll buy their "Swim Pass" 12 swims for $20. We'll serve some finger foods, punch and icecream cake. $50. Then some of the girls will come back to our house for a slumber party. A movie and popcorn - we have both - $0. Pancakes for breakfast. $10. DH and I already gave DD her gift from us on Sunday. An inexpensive digital camera and a little case. $85. We gave it to her early so she could take pics at camp this week and on her trip with grandma next week.

Now I've got to email out more party invites.

Highchair

July 10th, 2010 at 06:09 pm

I guess I have an eye for quality?? Wink
I am always picking the most expensive items. lol.

$250 for a highchair! *Ouch*

Just looking around for a highchair for DS. We will need it before too long. And I think I really like the Stokke Tripp Trapp. I'd never seen it before, but gosh it seems like a good idea. All the reviews I've read are positive. Lasts for years, easy to clean, comfortable etc..

http://www.diapers.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?productId=...

I am going to check CraigsList. Maybe I'll get lucky. Not that we need this.

Shopping Success

July 9th, 2010 at 08:53 pm

I am patting myself on the back.

I bought a very cute pair of chocolate brown capris at Kohl's. Suggested retail $40. I paid $3.45!
I returned a gift item for credit, shopped during their "Power Hours" (such a ploy, whatever!) and used a 15% off coupon.

Next, I had a gift certificate for Partylight candles. I have a friend who sells them. I do think they are the best candles, but are a bit spendy. I ordered online thru my friend's website and spent $0.35. 'Grapefruit Fresh' jar candle and votives shipped to my door; a special gift for me!!Smile

DD needed a gift for a friend's birthday. WalMart! Returned some unused Newborn outfits from DS. $26 in store credit. That bought the gift, a card, laundry soap, coffee and Gatorade. So $0.10 spent there!

Ordered again from Diapers.com. Had a $10 referral credit and used a coupon code they had posted. Plus no sales tax and free shipping. I can also mail in manufacturer coupons to be credited to my account. Spent $24. Would have cost almost twice that if I had purchased in a store!

Insurance Savings

July 8th, 2010 at 03:17 pm

Changed the coverage on our two vehicles. F-250 diesel truck and Pathfinder. Will be saving about $55 per month. Might be a little more, I'll know when I get my declaration page and billing statement.

Ford Commercial

July 7th, 2010 at 11:29 am

I don't know if anyone else has seen this commercial on TV, so far I've only seen it once, but OMGosh..
DH and I were watching TV several nights back and this Ford commercial comes on. It's a woman who is saying she lost her job/laid off (?). But, Ford has such a great deal going she couldn't afford to pass it up and so she bought a new car!
I asked DH if I heard that right. He said he heard the same thing. Then we laughed about how crazy the commercial was. Yeah, she "couldn't afford" to pass that up!!!

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Baby DS had his two month doctor appointment and vaccinations this morning. He did okay - poor sweetie - one minute he's talking and smiling at the nurse and then she's poking him with needles! Frown
He weighs 12 lbs. 3 oz. now.

Nice Weekend

July 6th, 2010 at 11:15 am

We had a nice fourth of July weekend. DS seemed interested, not frightened, in the fireworks going off on our street. DD was lighting fireworks this year! (DH helping) DH had a good friend come to town. We hadn't seen him in two and a half years. He brought his new (dating for over a year) girlfriend, so we got to meet her. She was very nice. Course with his visit we spent money that I didn't think we'd spend for the weekend. Saturday DH had drinks out with his buddy. $60. Sunday they contributed to our BBQ dinner, so no added cost there. DH and DD bought some fireworks. $48. Monday we met for breakfast out, split the check. $40. Sooo a $100 more....Still, it was good to see our friend.
Hope you all enjoyed your weekend.

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DH is going to Alaska for a week the first part of September. His boss owns property in Sitka. He is an avid fly fisherman and is building four little cabins that they will rent to vacationers. They have one cabin built already. I've seen pictures and it's so cute and cozy. Anyhow, my DH's boss is taking DH and two of the other guys from work up there to go fishing The boss is providing the round trip flight and accommodations. His boss is very generous so I wouldn't be surprised if he pays for other little treats too. The four of them will split the cost of their fishing guide and food. DH has a furnace and AC install job that he will use the profits from to pay for his part. So "extra" money not budgeted income. I am happy that he goes, but I'd rather save the money.

Little Things & Budget

July 2nd, 2010 at 02:45 pm

Getting a couple To Do things crossed off my list today. Ah.. it feels so good. Smile

Grocery shopping this morning, about 8am. It was good because the crowds hadn't showed up yet to shop for the weekend. Bought a coffee and cruised the store with DS. Total $149. They had buy two 12 packs of soda get four Free! That much soda will probably last us until the end of the year.

Paid a medical bill. $130.

Mailed a box of gifts and such to BFF. $8.

Called my car insurance agent to discuss some changes to my policy. Left a message. Dropping collision, keeping comprehensive, probably. I'll put the savings into a "new car fund".

Vehicle registration on Pathfinder. Paid online. So easy! $124 for one year.

Still need to pick up chicken feed and pine shavings, deposit DH's paychecks and....Oh I forget!

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Basic look at our July (& most other months) budget.

Mortgage $2064
Savings
& ROTHs $200
CC#3 $400
Sears $275
Childcare $0 -for now
Horses/Pets $300
Auto Insur. $115
Utilities $250
Food $600
Gas $125 + reg. $124
Gym $150
misc/cash $400
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$5003
All I can think of off the top of my head. I've got a more detailed budget on a works spreadsheet.

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If I don't post again before the weekend -
Have a Wonderful 4th Everyone!
We're going to have a relaxing weekend hanging around home. No plans to go anywhere; can see our city fireworks from our house.
Big Grin

Baby Pic

July 1st, 2010 at 10:59 am

DS was eight weeks old yesterday.
Smile