<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: January, 2012
 

Archive for January, 2012

Splurge.

January 30th, 2012 at 09:39 pm

I have been casually looking for a new bedside table lamp. Something pretty and inexpensive. Then I saw this lamp on Etsy..


I kept going back to look at it. I couldn't find anything I liked half as much for the same price.
I finally sent the seller a message and offered $35 less than her listed price. She accepted the offer. So I splurged. Embarrassment

Painting. Painting. Painting.

January 29th, 2012 at 05:21 pm

Yesterday DH took out the toilet and sink in the bathroom. Then he ripped up all the old floor.

Last night I washed the walls and primed them. It took almost two hours from start to finish.

This morning I worked in the bathroom for close to four hours. I washed the ceiling and then painted it with a fresh coat of ultra-pure white. After I finished that I cleaned up my brush and roller and painted the walls a silvery blue color called "Silver Strand". Then I cleaned everything up again.

Glad I am done. The fresh paint looks so nice!

And I finally found an upside to having a tiny bathroom. Wink


DH has started laying the new tile floor. Smile

Craig's List Blahs (rant)

January 28th, 2012 at 10:24 am

Let me start with saying I have had lots of good luck with CL. Maybe better than average. No flakes. Nice people. Quick sales.

This past week I posted two items to CL.

One is a sheet metal brake (a piece of equipment that bends sheet metal). Obviously this is a specific item that will need a specific buyer.
I have posted this on and off for several months.
We had one interested guy back in October (I think?) Our brake just wasn't the size he needed or he would have bought it.

And this week DH had a guy who sounded very, very interested. He set up a day and window of time to come see it, and then never called to confirm.
Ugh! Why be so rude?! If you're not interested anymore call and say so!

Anyhow, DH calls him and the guy says,
"Oh, gee, well the price seems high."
DH says "Do you know what this brake costs new?"
And the guy was like, "Well, uh, no, I haven't checked that out."
DH said, "Well, maybe you do that and then call me and make me an offer."

Grrrr... What a dumba$$!

The second item is a pair of Coach knee-high, leather boots with a small heel. I have had them in my closet for several years. I wore them three times I think. I bought them on clearance with a Macy's gift card I had been given for Christmas. If I worked in an office I would probably wear these often, but I don't. So why not sell them?
They've attracted two interested buyers. I have called the numbers they left and haven't gotten any calls back. Rolleyes

Why bother saying you're interested when you obviously are not. You waste my time and your time.
Blah!

The upside is that I may be able to get a good price on the boots at a local used clothing store. I am going to take them there next week if they don't sell.

Quick Check-In

January 26th, 2012 at 08:00 pm

Two more tax forms rolled in. Our mortgage statement and DH's W2. Now we are waiting for a 1099 and then I can file. Looking like a bit bigger refund than I was guessing. One thing was we maxed out our childcare credit this year; getting the full $1200.

*The* shower curtain arrived yesterday too. It's pretty. A bit more golden tone than brown, but I think I will be keeping it all the same. It looks good up against the tile.

Had the "Water Wise" house call Tuesday morning. The toilet in each bathroom qualifies for the rebate. I'm not surprised. Old water-hog toilets.

DH is going to order a new potty from one of the supply houses he uses. Wholesale pricing.

Going to do some painting in the bathroom this weekend. As well as tearing up the floor so DH can lay new tile. Our goal is to have the bathroom wrapped up by next weekend. All the major stuff anyway. I won't have the towel bars, hook, etc. or new door pulls for the vanity until after I get my AmEx Gold card rewards.

Still Added to the EF. Weather Here.

January 23rd, 2012 at 05:18 pm

Well...*sigh*...my 49ers lost last night. Frown

I did transfer $10 to the EF because we made it so far in the playoffs and the game last night stretched into overtime.
New EF balance: $2080.
------

It rained like crazy over the weekend, especially late last night. It really came down. I am glad, we really needed rain.

The weather has cleared now and we are supposed to have a week of clear, mild days.

We only had one *tiny* leak around the last old (yet to be replaced) window in the house. Phew!

The plan is to use the tax refund to get the new roof this spring/summer.
------

Oh, last night I ordered the shower curtain and liner. I used the gift card code from Plastic Jungle which worked out just fine. I was going to try a coupon code for 20% off, but I couldn't find anywhere on the checkout to enter it!?

Bathroom renovation cost so far: $868.

Shopping & Football

January 22nd, 2012 at 08:36 am

Last night I used Plastic Jungle and bought a $50 Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card for $45. That way in a roundabout way I will save on my shipping.
($7 to ship a shower curtain. Grrrr!)
Could not find any free shipping or %/off coupons that were valid online either.

Thanks mjrube94 for commenting about doing this. I have never done it this way before, but have thought how it would be a good way to save.
(Usually I think "I should have bought a discounted GC." after I make a purchase! Wink)

I don't have the gift card code yet. Plastic Jungle says it takes them about 24 hours to process. I have the curtain and liner all picked out.
Hope I love it.
------

Going to run over to the grocery store now. As predicted we need milk. We also need butter and eggs. I will try very hard to only pick up those things and no extra on sale items. Smile
------

More football playoffs today.

GO NINERS!!!

After they win today they'll be in the Super Bowl! Big Grin

Quicken. Payday. Taxes.

January 21st, 2012 at 11:25 am

I bought Quicken Deluxe at Costco Thursday. After the coupon it cost $20.

I was thinking I would get the Home/Business edition because I have a little dream of having a side business here at home someday. I figured I should just buy Quicken once and have all the options. But, Costco was out of that one. (I suppose I could order it from them online...)

Do you ever buy an upgraded product in anticipation of using a feature "someday"? Or do you just re-buy the upgraded product when you end up needing it?
------

Getting paid every Friday is pretty nice. DH gets paid every Friday too, so it makes for a large influx of cash weekly.

There has been some discussion about whether or not more taxes gets taken from your paycheck if you get paid weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. I don't know. Seems like it would all work out to the same amount in a year. Anybody know?
------

Speaking of taxes, I have the childcare total from DD's afterschool program. $1168. I plugged it into our return I'm working on at FreeTaxUSA.com. I also plugged in the 1099-G. I wish I could get the remaining info I need so I can complete and file. Just like to get rolling on our return. Smile

Rain! Big Online Purchase.

January 19th, 2012 at 06:21 pm

It's FINALLY raining! Yippee!
It's been so dry for so long I am so glad to see and hear the rain. Smile

Of course ask me how I like it after it's been raining for three weeks straight. I'll be feeling differently then.
------

Today I orderd the bathroom vanity, complete with countertop and sink, and a curved shower rod with cool little roller-ball curtain rings in oil-rubbed bronze.

I looked at a lot of vanities in person and online. The ones I saw in person were either cheap crap particleboard at the home improvement stores. Or high end soild wood at the nice kitchen & bath remodel stores. The place I ordered from online has excellent reviews so I am crossing my fingers.

It is solid wood and comes completely assembled. (Like a nice piece should.) None of that flat box, you assemble type thing. The set (vanity, granite top, backsplash and bowl sink) cost about as much (or less) as many of the vanity only options I saw elsewhere. If the quality is as good as it is described on the website I will be getting a great deal.

I have never made such a big purchase online, especially without seeing the product in person.

I also really hope that the granite color I picked looks like it does on the computer.

Used $400 in Visa gift cards that DH was given as a Christmas bonus to pay for most of the order. The remaining $323 came from a bit of DH's side work.

Reflecting on Today's Money Issues

January 18th, 2012 at 10:35 pm

We loaned $600 from our EF to MIL. I drove to her bank on my lunch to deposit a check into their account. She talked to DH, so I have no idea why they needed the money. I think it's just to get them through until the 1st. DH said we'd be paid back then. I don't really mind lending the money. She has asked before and always paid us back when she said. When we've needed a little money to get us through in the past MIL has always helped us.

Although, I think the last time was maybe seven years ago and she kind of kicked up a fuss about when she was going to get repaid... Rolleyes
(We always paid her back quickly BTW.)

Anyhow, for now the current EF balance is $2,070.
------

Got to call my bank and rattle a few cages. HeHe.
They had a little promo where if you tried the bill pay they would credit your account $10.
Okay, for $10 I tried it, but I hadn't gotten my credit. I called once about two weeks after I did the bill pay thing and the CS rep said to give them about 6 weeks. They had two months now, so it was time to call again.
No problem. Now I'm $10 richer. Smile
------

Oh, the cell phone company is charging us for two plans!

When DH bought his iPhone the guy changed his plan, but left my phone on the old plan. The past two billing cycles they've charged us for both family plans. I told DH about this after I saw the first "new" bill at the end of December. He is the one who is the account holder of the cell phone account. I love my hubby, but dealing with things like this is his weak point. He still hasn't contacted them. Now we've gotten the second bill. I haven't paid either bill and I'm not going to until they fix the account.

I figured when they turned off his phone he'd hop to taking care of things. We'll that plan backfired a little today - They turned off my phone! His phone still kept working totally fine! Well my phone getting turned off did jump him into action. He called and was on the phone for close to an hour. I was surprised he really had to fight to get things straightened out. I overheard part of the conversation and it was getting pretty heated. He had to ask for a supervisor like three times.

I figured it would be simple.
Call. Explain situation. Charges removed. The end.
I mean who carries two share plans in the same family, but doesn't share them?

It seems DH has won the battle. The old plan was removed and credited back. And, he asked for his "upgrade fee" be credited back and I believe he got that too in the end.

I want to see all the credits post to our account before I pay.
------

I have been searching for a bathroom vanity, shower rod and shower curtain. I have narrowed down what vanity and rod I want, but not a curtain yet. I think I have looked at 500 shower curtains.
Why am I so picky?!

There is one at B, B and Beyond that I like, but I can only buy it online and they want to charge $6 S&H. Phooey!

I'll keep looking.

Cold Day. Fall Picture.

January 17th, 2012 at 10:47 am

This morning was the coldest morning of the year for our area. It was 22F. There was only a little covering of frost because it's been so very dry here. We are way below normal for rainfall and it's just been day after day of beautiful sunshine. I was almost ready to water my lawn! Thankfully it looks like the rain is coming starting Thursday.
I am happy to see the rain coming our way! (As long as our roof can hold up for us one more season!)

I picked up my year-end statement from DS's daycare lady last night. $7,430 for the year.
No wonder I can't max out the ROTHs! Wink

Nah, he is worth every penny. Big Grin

I am chomping at the bit to get all our tax paperwork and get to working on our return. I entered in my W-2 this morning along with DS's childcare amount and if that was all there was I would get $6k back.
Too bad that's not what's going to happen. LOL.
Still have to enter DH's income (W-2 and 1099's), mortgage statement, DD's childcare and misc. receipts.

For the past several years I have used FreeTaxUSA.com to do our taxes. Very user friendly and has been great for us. It costs us $10.
------

This is a picture I took a few months back to share. Then I forgot I had it on the memory card. Embarrassment

This is a tree next to my work just before it dropped the last of it's leaves.

Sunday Stuff & Pic of New Tub Handles.

January 15th, 2012 at 11:42 am

The 49ers won!
The game was uber exciting yesterday. I think it will end up being the most exciting post-season game this year. What a nail-biter!

Transferred $20 to the EF.
Current balance $2670

Today I'm watching the other two playoff games. Not really rooting for anyone in particular. I do like Green Bay, but am hoping that New York will win so SF can play next weekend at home.
------

DH and DD are working together on replacing a furnace for my boss today.

DS and I went grocery shopping this morning. $142. We should be all set for two weeks. The only thing we might need before then will be milk.

I also need to pack away the Christmas stuff. Of course everything is down. But it's all piled up and needs to be organized into the storage totes and then packed into the garage loft. I expect that will take me about an hour.

I have some laundry to wash and fold today too.
------

Friday I was finally was able to set up the "Water Wise House call" with the city water company. This is the first step in order to qualify for the $150 toilet rebate.
That would mean a new toilet for FREE! Smile
------

Thinking about buying Quicken. Costco has a $20 off coupon for it every year at this time. I was thinking the Home & Business edition because it has the most features. With the coupon it would be $45. Advice?
------

Here is the new tub/shower trim set. I hope we can find a way to make them easier to turn.

Saturday Stuff

January 14th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This morning we went out for breakfast at our favorite hole-in-the-wall cafe. $46.
DH loves their ham and cheese omelets. They have the best Eggs Benedict out of all the places I've been. Their coffee is very good also and the service is excellent.
It was a great way to start the weekend. Smile
------

I just applied, and was approved, for another credit card. This is the AmEx that is offering $250 in gift cards after $1k of spending in three months. I am hoping I can find enough places that I routinely use that will take the AmEx. Costco will, hopefully Safeway too. Just couldn't pass up $250 reward.

If I can I will get gift cards for Home Depot, Macy's or Amazon. That way I can use the "free" money for stuff for the bathroom. Towels, towel bars, sink faucet, etc..
------

The new shower hardware came yesterday. Fast shipping! It only took three days! DH put it all in this morning and it does look very nice. However, we aren't sure how well the handles are going to work out. You have to turn them off very tightly, otherwise it drips water. Really tightly; like it hurts my hand to try to turn them. Frown

Disappointed about that.

DH is going to call a plumber friend and find out what our options are to correct that.

Such a pain that we didn't know that we should have changed the valves to a single control before we closed up the wall and tiled. Blah!

There is a two handled Kohler set I REALLY like.
Unfortunately -
1. It does not come in oil rubbed bronze.
2. It's about $450.
------

The 49ers play the Saints today in about an hour. The afternoon will be spent watching football. Smile
When the 49ers win I will add $20 to the EF.

Go niners!

EF Addition

January 11th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Added $25 to the EF.
New total: $2649

Paid $300 toward the cc debt today also.

Still trying to get an appointment with the city water company so we can get rolling on the toilet rebate. In the past seven days I've left two voice mails and an email. What will it take for an appointment??

Bathroom Renovation Spending

January 10th, 2012 at 09:08 pm

Just purchased a tub/shower faucet kit on Amazon. Boy, it was next to impossible to find something for an older style two handled shower. Almost everything is the big one-handle style. Today I found out that is because it is now illegal to build a house with separate hot/cold handles for the shower. The government doesn't want you to scald yourself I guess.

Oil rubbed bronze spout, two handles, shower head and flange, overflow cover and drain cover. $133 total.
Used a $5 gift code I had and the Chase card that will give 5% back on Amazon purchases in Q1.

Bathroom remodel cost thus far: $493

Wonderful Weekend (with Pictures)

January 10th, 2012 at 02:06 pm

I have today off again. Nothing much going on at the office. Tomorrow there is a bunch of appointments and several surgical procedures. Then the boss is going to be gone Thursday and Friday. I will work a nice quiet half day on Thursday and have Friday off. Nice for me, but not so great for my paycheck.
That is the other news; I am going to be getting paid weekly starting this week. The boss wants to try a weekly pay schedule. I don't have much opinion about it either way. We'll see how it goes.
------

Anyhow, about this past weekend....

Friday afternoon my mom came down. She brought a huge, delicious veggie lasagna for dinner. It was all ready to eat as soon as I walked in the door from work.

On Saturday my family, along with my sister, her boyfriend and my mom, spent the day in San Francisco. We live about one hour from the city. We rode the ferry so we didn't have to drive and park.

DH and I had bought six round-trip ferry passes at DD's school fundraiser awhile back. We bought them in a silent auction and paid $25. Each ferry ride costs $8.75/one-way. We were thrilled to be able to use them and save so much money for everyone. Smile

The Saturday farmer's market was in full swing at the Ferry Building when we got there. It was fun to check that out. Several of the booths had vendors from our town. I would have bought some produce or cheese, but we would have had to pack it around all day, so I had to pass.
The Ferry Building. Pier 1.


My DH did the ventalation work on this restaurant inside the Ferry Building. (see the huge hood on the left and a round duct across the upper part of the pic.)



We walked up the Embarcadero to Pier 39. The weather was beautiful. Blue skies and sunshine. Not typical SF weather. Smile

DD and DS rode the carousel on the pier. $5.


At 1:30pm we all went to Alcatraz.
I had pre-purchased the tickets for DH and I (DS was free and my sister paid for DD) on-line for $26/pp. $52 total.


I had gone about 14 years ago; no one else had ever been to Alcatraz before. It was interesting and more of the island was open on this trip. DS was wonderful. We let him out of the stroller to walk along the parade grounds and paths.
Beautiful views of the city and bay.

The Golden Gate from Alcatraz Island.

Our group split up and DH, DS and I walked back down the Embarcadero to catch the earlier ferry so we could get DS home close to his regular bedtime. The sun was setting as we walked. It was lovely.

The Bay Bridge from the Ferry Building.


The rest of the group went to dinner on pier 39. DH, DD and I stopped at a local brewpub/restaurant on the drive home for dinner. DH loves their Kilt Lifter ale. I had a Pomegranate wheat. $60 for dinner, dessert, beers, tip.

On Sunday evening DH and I went for dinner and a movie. My mom stayed an extra night so we could go out. We used gift cards for the restaurant. Paid the tip with cash. We used two of the free passes I had for Sherlock Holmes 2. We both enjoyed the movie.

It was really nice to go out as a couple for a "date night". It was doubly nice to go out and only spend about $20!

A great weekend from start to finish. Big Grin

Auto Correct Gone Wrong

January 5th, 2012 at 03:50 pm

A very funny email I received! I thought I'd pass it along if you'd like a good laugh.

------
"Hi Everyone...I usually don't send these types of messages but had to because I was laughing so hard I was crying! Some of it is a little raunchy so I hope I do not offend anyone. If you have a minute it is worth reading."

http://likeandshare.blogspot.com/2011/12/15-funniest-autocor...

Bathroom Tile Pictures

January 5th, 2012 at 07:49 am

Before:




After:






We spent about $70 in prep supplies like cement board, drywall, mortar, special screws etc.

We paid OOP $188 for the tile and supplies (grout, spacers, etc). The rest was paid with a gift card and money from MIL. (The tile was my Christmas gift and I couldn't be happier about that! Smile)

Free labor from DH and FIL! Smile

DH needs to finish trimming out the window with a new sill. I need to buy a shower curtain and rod.
At some point we will replace the fixtures - the shiny cheap chrome stuff does not match AT ALL! Smile

Bathroom reno cost thus far: $360

Goals

January 4th, 2012 at 05:00 pm

I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions, but setting some goals and tracking progress is a great idea. So here goes....

2012 Goals

*Pay down credit card debt to under 13k.
Starting balance: $20,434

*Grow EF to $7k.
Starting balance $2,624

*Replace roof.

Those are the biggies. Then I have several other items I'll post in my sidebar.

*Weight loss. Baby will be TWO years old this year. Time to get some of that baby weight off. Smile
*Consult on Lasik for my horrible eyesight.
*Is this the year for braces for DD??
*Get a trust set up.
*Life insurance.
*Re-home one of the horses to save money.
It's very hard for me to do this, but it needs to be done. We're not riding or enjoying them like we should. Finding her a new home would save us $150/month for board, plus the extra in vet visits, wormer etc.. Not an easy decision, but a financially wise thing to do.

Long Term....

*Pre-payments to mortgage.
*Save for preschool.
*Save for an extended family vacation.

Day Off

January 3rd, 2012 at 01:57 pm

I have the afternoon off today. Right now I just finished watching a movie with DD. DS is napping. Going to get some To Do stuff done today. So far I've...

- I cleared the cash out of my purse and deposited $40 to the EF.

- I added DH as a second card holder to my Wells Fargo CC. By doing that I am hoping I'll be able to transfer the points he earned with his debit card to the credit card's point total. They discontinued the points program for the debit card about August and he has enough points to redeem for about $40 worth of gift cards, but there will be points left over. I would really like to combine the two point balances so we don't lose out on any points.

- Cancelled HBO. Our special deal ended. Not paying $10/mo to keep it. I will try to get another deal on it in a few months when "Game of Thrones" season starts.

- Paid mortgage. $1776.

Still need to...

- Buy some TP! Yikes, we're out!
- Donate some pet food I have to the animal shelter.
- Donate two bags of DD's old clothes and my old plate set.
- Un-decorate the tree and remove from the house.
- Call the city water department and set up a "water audit" thing. First step in qualifying for a $150 credit for a new toilet.
- Dishes.
- Wash all the new clothes DS got for Christmas.
- Take a picture of the new tile for you all to see.
Smile

Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2012 at 03:07 pm

Happy 2012 everyone! Big Grin
May we all accomplish what we need to this year. I'll be cheering us all on.
------

I am at work today, although it is not very busy, I would much rather be at home. I might get to stay home tomorrow because so far there is only one appointment and my boss is leaving early. It would be nice to get a few "To Do" things crossed off my list tomorrow.
------

The 49ers won their game on Sunday!
I will need to add $10 to the EF. They won 13 games this season. That was $130 to the EF!
Now let's see what they can do in the play-offs.