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Archive for August, 2010

Camp Trip (w/pics)

August 31st, 2010 at 10:47 am

Last weekend we went for a quick camp trip. It was our only one for the summer and we wanted to squeeze one in this year. We went to one of our favorite areas, McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. It is becoming a yearly family tradition to visit. My mom and dad met us again this year. The inlaws have gone with us too in the past.

Last year we stayed in one of their little cabins. (Which I didn't take a pic of, but here is one from the website)

We stayed in one this year too because it was so comfortable and with baby DS it made things much easier.

DS soaking up the morning sun with our dogs on the cabin porch.

Beautiful weather. Very mild, maybe 68F. The night wasn't cold either. The cabin had a little heater, but we didn't need it. Now I think I'm too spoiled to tent camp next year Big Grin

DD and our Labrador swimming in the lake.
She also picked tons of blackberries there on the lakeshore. We had them in our pancakes on Sunday morning.

The 129-foot high falls. (I love California!)

Food/Gas/Cabin $270.
Experience/Relaxation $"Priceless" Smile

Bought a Highchair

August 30th, 2010 at 10:48 am

Just bought a highchair. DS will be ready to try "real" food very soon. He has been watching us eat with great interest the past few weeks. I have been buying baby foods anytime they've been on sale plus using coupons. I've been getting good deals and will be using them soon enough.

I DID NOT buy the $200+ highchair. I bought a $55 chair. Very cute and functional. And it converts to a booster as he gets older. Excellent reviews also.

I just ordered thru Diapers.com and will get it and more diapers on my doorstep tomorrow! (I love getting packages Big Grin) Had a $10 referral credit and a promo code for the chair saved an additional $5.40. No tax and no shipping. So I spent $76 total.

I think I did pretty well. Smile

Property Tax

August 24th, 2010 at 11:37 am

A few entries back I wrote about how we were needing to pay more into our escrow account for our property tax. Well yesterday we received a letter from the county assessors' office that our home's assessed value has decreased. It's down by almost 100k! Interestingly the selling/asking prices have been going up in our neighborhood. I'm thinking the county is running a year or more behind in adjusting the values. Sooo I think we will be getting back all the extra money we're putting into escrow. Probably at some point after October. *Arg*
Recent expenses:
Childcare: $600
Grocery: $140, $31, $43
Target & KMart: $70
Debt Payments: $480

I can't wait for August to be over. And on the other hand I need more money before September starts. Big Grin Know what I mean? lol!

Back 2 School..Working. Working.

August 20th, 2010 at 11:47 am

Haven't had a chance to catch up here. So busy!

DD started fourth grade on Wednesday. So far she is really liking her class and teacher. Her school has an onsite childcare center for before/after school. It is VERY nice. The registration fee is $60 for the year if you want to take advantage of the lower contract price vs. the drop in rate ($0.50/hr more). $124 with registration and the August contract. Tonight the school has their ice cream social and you can buy t-shirts and pick up the LOADS of paperwork that needs to be filled out. Yay. Rolleyes

Not much back to school spending here. We're lucky that DD is so lucky to have family and friends buy her stuff. We bought a backpack $20 and new shoes. I wasn't going to buy shoes yet, but we found a cute pair of tennis shoes at WalMart $10. I never buy "cheap" shoes, but as hard as she is on shoes I'll be buying new ones in a few months anyway no matter the quality. From her grandmas: two pairs of jeans, really cute shirts (3), hoodie, glue, paper, pens, crayons, and more. From our friend/daycare lady (GB) a pair of Sketcher clogs, pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, etc.. Took her for a haircut at a local small business $21 including tip. Her last haircut was over a year ago!

Had a nice time with the kids and inlaws at the Giants game on Sunday. Weather was gorgeous, but the Giants lost. Frown Spent $25 which included the toll on the Golden Gate. Inlaws bought beer and hotdogs and parking. We also drove in their SUV, so gas too.

So far this month we've spent less than $200 on food! I will be going to the store tomorrow, but it's really just for the fresh stuff. Last month we really loaded the freezer with meat (2 tri tips, hamburger, chicken breasts) and frozen dinner ideas (lasagna, enchiladas, mac'n'cheese). I expect to spend $120 tomorrow.


DH doing well with his "allowance". This week he didn't get any cash at all and did fine. Big Grin

With the tainted egg troubles I am so glad all of our eggs come right from the back yard. Smile Talk about eating local! Keeping hens is pretty easy too. This site is good for more info if you're interested: http://www.ranchhaghens.com

My last post touched on my interest in other careers. I want to be clear, the driving factor for wanting a new job is to make more money. I really enjoy the work I do now and I'm very good at it. But at my current place there isn't any opportunity to "advance"; I already boss the boss. Smile (Which is cool.) I haven't had a raise in three years. The more I've thought about it the more I really think the problem is my boss' poor finances. He lets his family way overspend and the business suffers. Bounced checks, not being able to buy new equipment, not being able to order the supplies we need. Meanwhile, his wife and daughter are out shopping and getting massages! Arg!!! I am sure that is why I haven't had a raise. It gets so wearing on me and the other gals... I think we'd all have found new jobs if we didn't like each other so much. Our office is fun and laid back. No problem if you need to take time off for family or trips. Gotta leave early? Come in late? Take the day off? No problem. This is important to me. Can you put a price on that perk?
I would also enjoy the challenges and fun in learning new skills. Our junior college offers lots of online classes so I am thinking of signing up for some that would go toward fulfilling requirements for bookkeeping. It useful knowledge even if I never use it to make money. Last Saturday one of our clients who is a CPA came in and I was picking her brain about her job. She told me how much she enjoyed her job. Although she said the classes were soooo boring. Smile
I have looked at job offerings for my field of work. I could make more in other hospitals, but might not get 100% medical paid. But might get 401k. Some offices I would steer clear of because they have a high turnover. Or the doctor is crappy. Etc..
I really just want my boss to get his financial "poo" in order and give me my much deserved raise!

New Career?

August 11th, 2010 at 11:33 am

I am pondering a new career path. It comes down to money: I want to make more of it. Big Grin I also enjoy challenging myself by learning new things. I have an earlier post where I wrote about this a bit ("Missing My Job"/April 30). I feel like I could do most jobs. I learn quickly, can self task no problem and many other skills. I really love my job and co-workers, but...I think I need more.
Monkey Mama - CPA sounds intriguing, especially with the demand, and the salary would be considerably more than what I make now. What's your take on the CPA life? (If you don't mind.)

What sorts of careers do you all find interesting? Or rewarding? Do you have a job you love? What would you rather do?

What do you think? Timeshare Trouble.

August 9th, 2010 at 11:08 am

We have friends, a couple close to our age, who bought a timeshare. It is the kind where you own a piece of it, not the points type.

Anyhow, I was just talking to my friend (wife) and she was telling me how they didn't know what to do with it. I didn't quite know what advice to offer her. I thought about posting in the forum here, but I've never "been" there.

Here's the situation, as she told me:
They bought into this timeshare property, very nice, thought they'd use it a lot/often. Bought in May 08, have not used it once! $200/mo payments. Owe about $10,000. Having a harder time paying for it now given less work/less money. Would like to be out from under it, but how? She said they can't sell it unless it's paid off (??) Unable to pay it off. If they stop paying: down goes their credit scores.

Is there foreclosure on a timeshare? Short sale? Tax repercussions? What would you do?

Any advice I could pass on?


August 9th, 2010 at 10:26 am

Ugh..I forgot to pay Capital One last month.. I thought about it, but I didn't think a payment was due. And in all the busyness at the end of the month I never logged on to check. We don't carry a balance on the card; we have ONE automatic bill payed by the card. $25 per month. The charge is usually made about the 22nd or so each month and almost every month I pay it on/about the 25th. So it's not even on the card for more than a week. I guess in June I missed it so July it was due and I thought "no big deal I've got 30 days." Wrong. Now I'll have to call and ask if they will please remove the $15 late fee. Yesh, it's a whole eight days late on $25!
Really need to change the billing to another card. I would right now, but DH will need to do it; account is in his name only.

In other news, my DH met with an independent cell phone dealer last week. He found her through a local business group that his work is a member of. She works with all the carriers and has discounts on the phones. So the phone that I wanted that was $80 online thru our carrier was $50 with her. The $29 car charger was $10 thru her. He also changed our plan to the lower shared minutes plan for $70 per month, plus the taxes etc. so I'm thinking it'll be like $76/mo. Yay! Saving money feels so good!
A note about my last post where I wrote about going over budget. My DH had an "extra" paycheck last month (with the five Fridays)that's what covered the overage. I was really trying to forget about that "extra" check, but in the end I kept thinking I can pay this/that with the "extra" check. Boy do I WISH I had an "extra" check this month too! Big time childcare costs with both DD and DS going for the first two weeks this month. It won't be as bad once DD is back in school. She will have just a few hours each afternoon once school starts.

Three Months

August 7th, 2010 at 09:38 am

As promised, Baby DS at three months. Big Grin

Back to School Shopping Ads

August 5th, 2010 at 05:07 pm

Driving home this afternoon DD was looking at the newspaper insert ads. I think it was a JC Penney or Kohls ad when she said, "Look at these cute shoes mama." They were cute little pink plaid ballet flats. But, uh, $28!! Not for my nine year old who wears holes in her shoes before she even outgrows them! (If they were everyday shoes - okay, I'd buy them.)

I said, "Honey, wow, those shoes are kinda pricey."

"But mama, look the regular price is $39."

Ahh, a "teachable moment"...

"Well sweetie, that's how the stores get you to buy something like that. They make you think you're getting a good deal. Sometimes you are. But not on those shoes." I said.

She thought about that and was like, "Okay, maybe we can find some like these for a lot less, then we could buy them."

"Maybe." (universal parent answer. Wink )

She does need a new backpack and lunch sack for school. I usually wait until fall, Oct/Nov, to buy clothes and new shoes. So far she has always been fine with wearing "old" clothes to the start of school. Sure hope that doesn't change anytime soon.

Gosh, she'll be back to school on August 18th! Fourth grade! *WOW*

Today baby DS is three months old. I will have to take/post a picture soon. Such a cutie!

Grocery shopping yesterday. $108. Dinners for the next week easy, plus milk, bread and cereal. Tonight it's Sloppy Joes, broccoli, and homemade fried french fries. Yum!

Overspent last month *sigh* Over budget by $900. Money I would have LOVED to put toward bills or savings. My excuse - long month and we did a lot and had several one time/occasional expenses (car registration, medical/dental etc..)
This month it'll be childcare and increased fuel usage.

Crunching numbers now.

Back to Work

August 3rd, 2010 at 11:31 am

I started back to work yesterday. Part time for now. It was still hard leaving baby DS even though it was five hours and I knew he was in good hands. Worked until 6 pm, picked up the kids, had to stop for gas, $60, was home just before 7 pm.

Going back will really limit the time I have to play with the kids, be online with you all, get housework done, etc..etc.. Frown

Work is so inconvenient. Wink

Yesterday was also the first day in the new office building. Trying to unpack boxes and organize supplies and equipment. In the new place it seems we have storage in all the wrong places. The fax machine isn't working yet, no internet yet, something funny going on with the phone lines AND we're out of coffee! Of course my boss in his infinite wisdom started seeing appointments yesterday afternoon! It was almost laughable because nothing is easy to find and everything took three times longer to do. This new building is shaped like an L. Our old building was a square. For proper "flow" you really need the square shape. The new building means a lot more walking until we get stuff stocked at both "ends" of the L.

It will be very nice, and much prettier, once we get everything done. I am thinking that will be a few weeks to put things away and even longer to get really comfortable.


Had a very nice visit with DNiece and even with the inlaws too. Everyone left yesterday morning. Now I have to work on getting my August budget put together and balance the checkbook. I am about 10 days behind with all my financial keeping because of all the busy days and company.


DH and I had a good time at the Giants game Sunday. Beautiful weather and they won! We have tickets for a Sunday day game in two weeks. Going with the inlaws, DD and baby DS.