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Archive for February, 2012

Lots 'o Checks Today.

February 25th, 2012 at 05:23 am

My pday check.
DH's pday check.
Cat sitting check from this past week.
Plastic Jungle check.
State tax refund check.
Big Grin

The cat sitting check and the refund check both went into the EF (for now).
The tax refunds have been earmarked for the new roof.
The cat sitting check was $245 and I think I'll split it between savings and an extra cc payment.

Medical Costs.

February 23rd, 2012 at 07:50 pm

DD had an eye exam on Tuesday and she is going to need glasses. Her eyesight is only slightly bad at 20/40. She is really upset about having to wear glasses. I remember being her age and not wanting to wear glasses either, but my eyesight was way worse so I *had* to wear them.

We do not have vision coverage, so we pay out of pocket. Which is really fine with me. Most vision plans don't really cover squat anyway.

Her visit was $160. Planning to purchase the glasses thru Costco.

She has a dental appointment next week. $25 co-pay.
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DH's visit to the doc last week will be costing us about $340 without the xrays. Haven't gotten a bill for those yet. His medical coverage is catastrophe type; $5000/yr deductible, so little check-up stuff is all out of pocket.

He called his doctor again yesterday because he has a really harsh, painful chest cold/cough. She didn't need to see him again. Just prescriptions for antibiotics and a new inhaler at Costco for $43.
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I have a dental cleaning next week, I think?
That will be a $25 co-pay.
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Have a $370 bill sitting at home that's from DS's last visit and vaccinations.

Geesh! I am trying to save money here!! Rolleyes

CC Payoff Update

February 21st, 2012 at 04:32 am

Last Friday I made payments to the credit cards.
Previous balance $20,204.
Current balance $19,408.

AmEx Rewards

February 20th, 2012 at 09:04 pm

I am at work today, but it is pretty quiet. I think many people just assume that everywhere is closed. DH has the day off and is doing the stay-at-home-dad thing today. I am happy about that. Lots of good one on one with the kids. Smile That and everyone is a bit sick, so it's good that they can all be at home resting.

So, last month I signed up for a Gold AmEx to earn 25,000 worth of points. My plan all along was to use this "free money" to help offset the bathroom remodel costs. AmEx has a feature where you can pay with points directly to Amazon. I also figured I could redeem for Home Depot cards as well.

Trouble is/was that I couldn't get the points posted to the account fast enought to help with any Home Depot spending. And the Amazon thing equals $1 to every 14.2 points. Which would mean that my 26,209 points would get me only $184.57.

I checked into using the points to book our rental car for Maui. Which would be a $1 = 10 points transaction. But, the rentals were thru a more expensive rental company so I really didn't feel like that was the best (highest yielding) option either.

Redeeming for a cash gift card would be $1 = 20 points. Even worse!

Here is what I ended up doing:
The Old Navy GC were a straight up conversion at $1 = 10 points. I bought five $50 cards and one $10 card. The $50 cards I sold to Plastic Jungle for $212. The $10 I will use myself in the store or give to DD as a special gift, or something like that.

The Chase card I'm using to purchase the items from Amazon is giving 5% back.

After all the calculations my "free money" works out like this:
$212 - cash from Plastic Jungle
$ 10 - gift card
$ 13 - 5% Chase reward
$235 total,
which is a "loss" of $25 if I could have just cashed out the 26,000 points to $260. But that's better than the $185 I would've gotten if I had just used the points directly for Amazon.

Loving the Friday Paydays!

February 19th, 2012 at 08:09 pm

Some of you may remember that my payday recently changed from bi-monthly to every Friday. My DH gets paid every Friday also. Well this new way is working out great! For whatever reason it's making budgeting and bill paying much easier. Smile

For example, last week I made payments to all the ccards at the same time on the same day. In the past I would have to stagger them out to match up with my pday or a Friday for DH's pday.

The other exciting part about getting two checks rolling in every Friday is the five Friday months. Next month, March, has five Fridays. That means we will have $1300-$1700 more income than a "regular" month! WhooHoo! Big Grin

Hawaii Planning

February 19th, 2012 at 01:49 am

Doing some preliminary planning for the Hawaii trip.
I still am kind of in disbelief about the whole idea of going on vaca in six-ish weeks.

Checked rental car prices thru Costco and we could get one for as low as $219. Or $370 for a Mustang convertible (DH's preference).

DH also wants to go out sport fishing. Average cost $170/pp/for an 8 hour day.

We both would like to go snorkeling. And it looks like there are plenty of options for that. Maybe just set something up one we're there?

It also looks like we won't be spending as much to eat. DH was told that because this is a "work" related trip his regional sales rep will be treating us to a nice dinner. There is also a cocktail reception on the first night. All breakfasts are included in the hotel package. Smile

I started browsing the web for a sundress, and maybe a new swimsuit? Yikes - think I'll need a spray tan before I go. I am a very white girl! lol!

I plan to use paid vacation time for while I'm gone, so no loss in income. Actually, because we'll have family staying and watching the kids/pets/house we will be saving money on childcare. Big Grin

Free(ish) Trip to Hawaii!

February 17th, 2012 at 10:33 pm

OMGosh DH called me about an hour ago and I could tell he had something up his sleeve...
His bosses are passing a trip to Hawaii on to us!

Neither DH or I have ever been.

The trip is paid for by a corporation that they buy their HVAC equipment from. This is a trip they give to their higher grossing clients (something along those lines). Well, DH's bosses (hubby & wife) already have a big trip to Hawaii planned for two weeks after this trip so instead of going twice they asked DH if we'd like to go in thier place. Big Grin

Five nights in Maui. Hotel and airfare for $0.
We will need to pay for food and maybe a rental car. Everyone says it's good to have a car to drive around.

Wow! I am SO excited!

Toilet In

February 17th, 2012 at 05:35 am

The new potty came yesterday and DH set it up last night. Big Grin

Works well thus far and is nice and quiet. I am really happy about that since the bathroom is right off our bedroom.

Pics of the complete remodel coming soon. Just waiting for the towel bar, TP holder etc. and it will be 100%.

Yesterday.

February 15th, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Yesterday I ended up having the day off because it was so slow at work. I was glad because Monday I started feeling not-so-hot. Scratchy throat, headache, that sort of thing. Anyhow, I thought "Great! I'll spend Tuesday resting and try to kick this bug."

Well DH calls me while I'm out for my Tuesday morning walk with some girlfriends and tells me he's having like chest pain. (I wasn't too worried, but I was concerned.) As quick as I can walk I get back to my friend's house where my car is. Then I drive over to hubby's work and run him to our family doctor.

DS and I waited for a bit over an hour while the doctor did an EKG. Everything was fine with his heart. *Phew*
Then over to the lab for some blood work.
Then to get chest xrays about 10 miles up the road. Which was about two miles from my work. (So much for not having to drive my usual commute.)

His blood tests were fine. His chest films were normal. Doctor thinks he was having a bad bout of heartburn/acid reflux. Thankful for that news. Smile Not surprised that everything was normal, but thankful all the same.

I joked with him that because it was Valentines Day his heart was full of love it felt like it was going to burst. Big Grin

We stopped at Costco on the way home and picked up the acid reducer his doctor recommended, a few other items and filled up with fuel. $3.59/gal.

Finally ended up back at home about 2:30pm.

To celebrate V-Day we exchanged cards and each got a card for DD. I also bought peanut butter hearts for DH and DD at $3.50/each and their cards were $1.99/each.

DH made dinner. Fettuccini w/homemade Alfredo, breadsticks, roasted mushrooms, steak for him, lobster for me and DD. (DS got surf & turf. Lucky toddler!) A little champagne. Éclairs for dessert.
It was wonderful. Smile
$61 for everything and we have two steaks leftover that he'll BBQ tonight.

And DH is feeling fine today and I feel better than I did Monday. Smile

Our Sunday Morning. New Lamp Pic.

February 12th, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Quiet morning here.
Woke up to some heavy fog so we all slept in a little because it was so dim outside. The fog burned off quickly to a pretty, sunny morning.

We went to a fancy champagne brunch at 10:30am. Stuffed myself on shrimp, chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne. Stick Out Tongue

Used a 2-for-1 coupon and gift cards from Christmas. Our total ended up at $0.06! Big Grin
DH left a $10 to cover the bill and tip.
$72 brunch for $10.
This is EXACTLLY how I like to do things! Big Grin

Afterward, we walked to a park across the street and the kids played for about 30 minutes. Lovely sunshine-y day. As I sat on the bench I reflected on how much I like the city we live in. It really feels more like a cozy small town, but has so many city conveniences. Smile

In a few hours I am going to run over to Safeway to use my $10 reward coupon. Today is the last day to use it. Not sure what to buy with it because we don't "need" anything right now.
Boy, that's a nice problem to have, isn't it?
Probably buy fresh veggies.


Here's the lamp I splurged on from Etsy. Perfect next to my bedside. Smile



Still No Toilet

February 11th, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Still no new toilet for the bathroom! Ugh!!!
Sharing one potty is stating to get old...

It seems the supply house that DH ordered the toilet thru didn't order the toilet. Angry
Come on - How hard is it to order ONE toilet?!

Anyhow, I had seen the toilet on Amazon.. yeah, really.. and so we told the supply house "Nevermind."

No sales tax or shipping thru Amazon. Plus, I'll get 5% back from using the Chase card. Big Grin So, that is actually a better deal.

Should have a new toilet by next weekend. *fingers crossed*

EF Bump

February 7th, 2012 at 07:24 pm

CraigsList came thru for us on Friday. We sold a little jet ski we had been given several years back. It needed some carburetor work, but otherwise was in good shape. It's just been sitting and didn't look like it was going to get fixed anytime soon. I posted it to CL for $100 and within about 10 minutes we had five buyers! The first guy who called picked it up Friday night and was thrilled.

I like that everybody goes home happy; he got a deal and we got rid of it. Smile
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MIL sent us a check for the $600 she borrowed. They received their tax refund.

Yeah, and they bought a new car. Not that they needed one. Both of their other cars were running fine. (They did sell one.)
Rolleyes
No savings, but let's take on a car payment.
Good lesson on how NOT to be....
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In two days we have our auto transfer so I'm adding that in now.

Current EF balance: $2825

Vanity. Toilet. Towels.

February 7th, 2012 at 06:18 am

Vanity:
Last week (Tuesday) the vanity set I ordered online arrived. Well packed. No damage.

It is beautiful!
The granite top is really beautiful!

I am so happy I found it. Much better quality than anything I saw at the home improvement stores. Much less expensive than anything at the specialty remodel stores. Smile

This is a pic from the website. Mine has a different granite top and faucet.

Toilet:
Last Tuesday DH ordered the toilet I picked out. He would have had it within two days, but it is on backorder. Frown
Hopefully we get it this week.
We will pay more than the water rebate of $150. This model cost $220.

Towels:
I have been looking at buying a new set of towels to complete the "new" bathroom. Last time I bought towels was about eight years ago. So I was looking at Macy's, Kohl’s, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target etc.. etc.. My friend (ex coworker) works at Macy's so I could get her discount. I was looking at spending between $50 and $70 for a six piece set (pair of towels, washcloths and hand towels).

Then I went to Costco for a few things and *blam* towels.
Never paid much notice to the towels at Costco, but I bought a set with two washcloths and two hand towels for $9.99 and two bath towels at $6.99/ea.
Yay! Six piece set for $24. Big Grin