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Archive for March, 2012

Spending on the Animals

March 31st, 2012 at 07:04 pm

Big ol' post about how much we spend here on our pets.


We have in our household two dogs, one cat, five hens and one duck. We also own two horses who have to live in our old hometown because it's waayy too expensive to board them anywhere near us. When we rented we had a place on three acres and we all lived together. I miss riding and taking care of them. Horses are wonderful mental therapy. Well, really all animals are. I don't understand how some people live without any pets. I know, personal preference and all, but I would not want to live without my furry family.

Course, we would save a ton of money... hmmm.. (Just Kidding) Wink

Seriously, along those lines we do want to try to find one of the horses a new home. We took her in in a sort of rescue situation and I think she would make a good friend to someone. The other, my Arabian gelding, I have had since I was 13 so I want to care for him until he passes. He is 22 now and is in great shape so that could easily be another 10 years.

Alright, this post is about spending so...

Each month it's $300 for board on the horses. (Compared to $550 and up in our area.)
This past month was our yearly vet check and vaccines. $120.
Both horses are barefoot and have great feet so only need trims 2-3 times per year (thankfully). Trims next month will be $30 each.

"Sasha", our sheltie, is still doing great even with the cancer diagnosis last October. Yay! We opted for the conservative chemo treatment. Luckily, because of where I work I can get all my animal's medication at cost. Her chemo pills are $223/50ct bottle. She takes one per day. I don't know how much it would be from a pharmacy. She also needs once monthly blood testing. I buy my boss lunch to cover the cost.

"Maxx", our nine-year-old Labrador, is very healthy, (knock on wood!) but I have noticed him slowing down a bit. A few weeks back I started Adequan injections. This is for joint support and rebuilding. $80 for the first month, then about $10 once monthly. I submitted for a $20 rebate and should be getting in in the next week or so. This treatment would normally cost about $150 to $300 in the first month.

"Munchie", our 12 year old kitty is going to get a blood test next week. I will get this for free! Smile (Average cost $150)

The hens and duck cost about $25 every six weeks, or so, to feed and buy pine shavings for their enclosure.

Another perk of my job - Free dog and cat food! That saves a bunch!

Speaking of work, I see what other people spend on pets so that does put my spending in perspective. More like I am very thankful I save so much by working for a veterinarian!

MegaMoney! Payday. Rain.

March 31st, 2012 at 05:23 pm

I did play MegaMillion$ yesterday. Like I've said before I buy tickets when the jackpot gets high. Usually anytime it's $150 million or more. Of course I understand that some people feel it's a waste of money.
"A tax on being poor" I've heard it called. I can totally see that when people are buying tickets for every drawing, every week. My thinkng is a few bucks once awhile for the chance to win multi millions is a pretty harmless fantasy. Last night I bought $20 in quick picks and I won a share of the money! ..... $12. Big Grin

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Last night I deposited paychecks and the check from the city for our toilet rebate. We went ahead and and replaced the toilet in our other bathroom with the same style as you all saw. We decided to do that now because I was getting 5% back on Amazon purchases and then I only had to submit the rebate paperwork once. Just get it all done at once. The rebate money ($300) goes straight to the card to payoff the toilet purchases.

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Rain, Rain, Rain today. Smile
Another very lazy weekend at home. I plan to have another cup of coffee and play a little on a computer game (Ranch Rush) I bought online from Big Fish Games for $3.

This Box of Produce

March 30th, 2012 at 12:09 am


Carrots, romaine lettuce, asparagus, apples, pears, tangelos, mango, cucumber, zucchini.

I went ahead and signed up for weekly produce delivery. $39/box.
I can cancel or reduce the service anytime I like. For now, while DH is on his "cleanse", we are eating more fresh food I figure this is a good way to go. I love it. It would be good if we kept up the extra healthy eating.

Getting the delivery is really a good way to eat more fruit and veggies. The box came yesterday and as soon as we opened it up we were munching on the carrots and the tangelos (so juicy we had to eat them over the sink!). I cooked one bunch of asparagus with last night's dinner. Tonight I am making homemade spaghetti sauce and I chopped up one of the zucchini and added it in.

Day Off.

March 27th, 2012 at 07:40 pm

Yeah, I have another Tuesday off. Just slow at work this afternoon. It's a good day to be home because it's raining out. I have several things I should be doing here at home, but I'll probably spend my time playing on the computer while DS takes his nap. Smile

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Last night DH called the fraud dept at the bank and everything is all straightened out. He was on the phone for maybe six minutes? The amount is credited back to our account as of this morning. Smile

I am going to wait a few days before I order diapers from Diapers. and I am going to use a cc from a different bank (the BoA maybe) so I don't create a problem. It probably doesn't matter, but just in case... I might even wait until I get the formal letter from the bank that everything is cleared up.

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I received all my stuff from Victoria's S. One of the swimsuits is really a good fit, so I think it's "the one". Two out of three dresses fit very nicely, but I must limit myself to just one. I also ordered a bra and a nightie that I will keep.

Here is the swimsuit:

(BTW, it doesn't look this good on me. Wink )

I will still keep looking until we go to Hawaii in case I find something I like better. If I do I will still be able to return this suit.

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I have a big soup cookbook. I have made several recipes from it. I think of Monkey Mama when I do because it's published by Taste of Home. This afternoon I am going to make a lentil, rice and veggie soup for dinner. It has things DH is allowed to eat on his "purification diet". As of this morning he has lost 8lbs. Smile

I will have to stop at the store for a few little items. It won't add up to much, but I shudder at the thought of adding to the food spending for this month.

Not Quite That Easy

March 26th, 2012 at 09:26 pm

BlahArrggg!

Checked our checking account this morning and the fraudulent charge to Diapers was showing as a posted transaction!

I was finally able to call after we got finished with all our morning appointments and procedures. Ended up on the phone for 40 minutes. I didn't have the reference number for the claim from Thursday and the bank couldn't find it so they started a new claim. Oy! Then once I was transferred over to the fraud department for the second time she found the first claim. Rolleyes
That's about 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back!

One good thing about going thru this again was that the fraud advisor/rep lady called Diapers to try to find out names, addresses etc of the people who had ordered. Unfortunately, she didn't get any information that could help.

And I answered a list of the same questions with three different people only to be told that it didn't matter what I said because they need to speak to DH to finalize the claim. *pulling hair out!*

I will have him call the fraud department tonight. I want this matter resolved pronto.

Meanwhile, I want to place an order from Diapers., but I don't want any activity on my account with them for fear that it might mess up the fraud claim.

I am thankful we are only dealing with one charge. It could have been a much bigger mess.

Weekend Spending

March 25th, 2012 at 08:10 pm

DD had a friend sleepover Friday night. They "rented" a movie thru cable, but with the code I have it was free. (Another $5 to the EF)

On Saturday I took them to the movie theater and they chose to see "John Carter". $20 for the three of us. The girls spent their own money for popcorn and candy.

I didn't know what to expect with the movie, but I really enjoyed it. Entertaining and creative.

Afterwards we stopped at Whole Foods for a bite of lunch. $18. DD's friend is a super picky eater. Mostly, I think, because she isn't offered much variety. (She asked me what lasagna was. And said she's never had mac'n cheese or a burrito.) Her mom owns a Thai restaurant and that's what she eats all the time. It took maybe 20 minutes to get her to pick something out. My kids will eat almost anything and that makes life so much easier!

DD chose sushi, I had soup & salad and her friend had... rice. Rolleyes

Our food/grocery budget is so way over this month. Blah! Lots of extra spending with DH's detox diet. Which, btw, he is doing really great with. Today is day 6 and he's lost a few pounds already. The first part of the "purification" is 100% vegan diet.

If you all knew DH you'd be laughing - He's a big time carnivore! Least likely guy to be drinking veggie smoothies and coconut water.

FRAUD!

March 23rd, 2012 at 08:47 pm

Last night I logged on to our banking account (checking) and saw two pending transactions. Two transactions I knew we didn't do. Funny thing was one was for Diapers.com ($138) which I do use regularly and the other was for a nutritional company ($134).

First time our checking/debit cards have ever been compromised. And this type of thing really pisses me off!

I called our bank right off and the gal told me to contact the vendors and she gave me their phone numbers. I asked her which debit card was being used and it was DH's. A pretty unlikely card. But, he uses it at gas stations and convenience stores..so maybe it was "skimmed"?

I called Diapers first. They have excellent customer service and the CS rep found the transaction by the amount and the last four numbers on the card. What was cool is while I was on the phone he cancelled the order and flagged the package to be returned.
HAHA! Take that sucker! Devil Smiley 023

The second place was east coast time and was closed.

Then I got to thinking I really wanted to get that card number shut down! So I called our bank back and talked to a new lady and she was like "Oh, absolutely we need to close this card and file a fraud claim! I am so sorry the first lady didn't do that!" DH had to get on the phone and okay the process, but it was all very quick.

This morning as soon as I was up I called the second company on the east coast and notified them. Their CS rep said that they have to cross check the order name with card name and if they don't match they won't send the order. He checked our name and there wasn't any order pending. A bit less satisfied with that outcome. I wanted him to find the order and shut it down! Rolleyes

While I was on the phone I logged on to our checking account and our bank had already removed those transactions. I was very pleased with that - Quick service! Smile

I wish there was a way to track down these people. I mean they give address to get their deliveries sent to. Couldn't that lead somewhere?
Too bad I couldn't get the address and mail them a giant box of $h!t. Big Grin

Pays to Check the Junk Mail

March 21st, 2012 at 09:44 pm

As I was sorting through the mail pile on the table last night I looked at a mailer from our cable company (Comcast). The front of it was like "Thanks for being a customer" and it was a brochure-y type talking about the movies available to rent thru them. But the cool part was on the inside cover was three codes for me to use to "rent" three movies. I enter the code online and they credit my account up to $5.99 to cover each movie. Cool hu?

We "rent" movies occasionally (3 to 4/year), but the past two weekends we've rented one each Saturday. Now those are free! Big Grin

I am going to add that $10 to our EF.

Sold My Boots. Lottery.

March 21st, 2012 at 04:09 am

I sold my boots to my boss' daughter and added the cash to the EF. $150. New total $2975.

The Mega Millions jackpot is $241 million. I very rarely buy a lottery ticket unless it gets super high. I bought a $10 ticket.

I'm going to go check the numbers now and see if we've got a winner. **fingers crossed**

DS is better. Weekend Doings.

March 18th, 2012 at 05:47 pm

DS is feeling like his regular happy self again. No more fever, just a bit of a runny nose and a pesky cough. The pesky cough is worse when he lies down, but thankfully it only woke him up once last night.

Yesterday morning I went to the grocery store. $155.

I took a nap when we laid DS down for his. After three nights of getting up and interrupted sleep I was so crabby. I felt so much better after getting two hours of sleep.

We watched a SF Giants Spring Training game. They won. Smile

I made the traditional corned beef and cabbage for dinner. Yum! I was going to make soda bread too, but I was too lazy/unmotivated. Corned beef is so easy; great for a lazy day.

DD went to a girlfriend's house and then ended up staying for a sleepover. So it was just DH and I once DS was all tucked in. We shared a peach ale and rented "Harry Potter 2" thru cable. $5.

Today is blue sky and sunshine, but cold out. It's going to be another lazy, stay-at-home, Sunday.

CC Payoff Update

March 18th, 2012 at 03:12 am

Made the usual payments to the cards today. I also redeemed points to post as credits. $25 on BoA. $27 on Chase.

$19,408 - Previous balance
$18,872 - Current balance

Rain. Sick Baby.

March 16th, 2012 at 09:50 pm

Finally getting some more good rainstorms through here these past few days. This morning it was coming down pretty heavy. It has let up a bit, but supposed to dump again late this afternoon.

Little DS is sick. Frown
Running a fever the past two days. Little bit of a runny nose, so that leads to a little cough. The fever is about 102F and makes him feel crummy - Lethargic and not wanting to eat. Once I dose him with some ibuprofen he's back to almost normal. He plays, talks and eats as long as the meds supress his fever. Last night he felt too good to sleep after he had a dose and was up until 11pm. *groan* Then I was up and down with him all night because he just couldn't get comfortable. Add to that the rain and the time change and it was very difficult to get out of bed this morning.

DH took the day off to stay home with the little man. I think DS just needs to rest and we have to get him to drink lots of fluids. I would have taken the day off, but my co-worker is sick and she works Saturdays, so she took today off to try to get better.
Just *that* time of year I suppose.

I am going to leaving work early. 45 minutes or so more. Just need to discharge two dogs here for surgery and help the doctor with a cat visit.

Produce at the Front Door

March 15th, 2012 at 03:56 am



Box of organic produce delivered to our door today.

(4) Kiwis
a bunch (6) bananas
(4) pink lady apples
(4) navel oranges
(4) d'anjou pears
(1) grapefruit
a bunch (6) asparagus
a bunch (3) red beets w/greens
bag (18) white mushrooms
bunch green kale
head of red butter lettuce
(3) zucchini
(4) sweet potatoes

All very fresh. We had the asparagus with dinner tonight. We also ate two of the oranges and a pear.

Not sure yet if I'll sign up for regular delivery.

Fruits & Veggies

March 13th, 2012 at 06:19 pm

Last night I signed up to have organic fruit and veggies delivered to our house. There are several companies in our area that provide this service. I have never tried it before.

This will be a trial box. If I like the service I can sign up for once monthly,
bi-monthly or weekly delivery. The mix of produce changes and you can change the items in your box by adding more of something and less of another.

For the family sized box (which is the largest option) it's $39.

I'm curious to see the produce. The box will be delivered tomorrow.

I'm Not KEEPING Everything!

March 12th, 2012 at 11:09 pm

The trouble with clothes shopping online is that you can't feel it and you can't try it on. We all agree with that right?

Well I'm looking for a swimsuit for the Hawaii trip and I went to Macy's and tried like six suits on and didn't like any of them. Yesterday I was looking at Victoria's Secret. Naturally all the suits look good on the models, but how will they look on me?

Now, with VS you can't just run to the store to try anything on because the stores just carry the undergarment side of things.

They "forced" me to buy several suits in different sizes just so I can try them on at home and then send back what I don't want.

Yeah, that's what I did yesterday. And I ordered a few dresses to try on as well.

Like I said, I'm not KEEPING everything, so I really am not SPENDING what the total came to. Embarrassment

Lazy 'Spring-Forward' Day

March 11th, 2012 at 09:35 pm

Pretty much a lazy weekend at our house. Doing a lot of movie watching.

Last night I went over to a girlfriend's house and had mimosas and watched "The Help". I brought the champagne which was left over from a few weekends back. We were out of OJ so I stopped at a convenience store on the way over. Ugh, $2 for a little bottle. That's what I get; paying for the quick convenience. At any rate it was a cheap girl's night because that was all I had to pay for. Friend bought carrot cake and the movie. We had fun and the movie was good. Funny and sad. I think I want to read the book now.

While I was out DH and DD had movie night at our house and rented "Puss 'n Boots" thru our cable for $5.

This morning we watched "Puss'n Boots" again and then "Zookeeper" which was free.

Just going to run a few loads of laundry this afternoon and window shop online. I have chicken breasts defrosting for dinner. A pretty quick dish that bakes in the oven and I serve over rice.
I like lazy, kickback Sundays. Smile

Quicken Update

March 10th, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I *heart* Quicken. Big Grin

I have used it for a little over a month now. I bought it from Costco when they had a coupon for it.

I love it. SO great for putting everything together in one place and makes tracking SO easy.
I feel like, "Why didn't I do this sooner?!"

Click. And the accounts update via the net. Smile

Click. And a lovely pie chart. Smile

Click. And get a nifty bar graph budget. Smile

It was very easy to set up. I spent about 90 minutes on it the first day getting the accounts set up and playing around with the features.

Really makes financial tracking super easy and quick. SO worth $20.

Weight Loss

March 9th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I am excited because in the last two weeks I've lost a few pounds and haven't really been trying. Smile

Mostly much healthier cooking at home since DH's doctor's visit and blood test showing elevated cholesterol. Frown

I want to lose at least five more before Hawaii. I feel like that is doable.

Yesterday DH met with a nutritionist and today he "buying in" on their three week detox/cleanse plan. $385. Yes, ouch, I know, but he wants to commit to this and I am going to support that 100%.
I am looking forward to it too because it's loads of fresh fruits and veggies which I love.

He'll get supplements, a week of meal plans, a food log and a once a week hour check in with the nutritionist to keep him motivated and accountable.

EF Balance

March 8th, 2012 at 06:53 pm

Our EF is looking fat right now because we've deposited our refund checks into it.

We have earmarked those checks for the new roof, but gosh I am so tempted to leave the money in savings and try to limp the old roof along one more winter. Although, I don't think that would be wise....

EF balance (including tomorrow's auto transfer) is $7530

CC Rewards.

March 7th, 2012 at 04:53 am

Signed DH up for a BofA card with a $100 bonus a couple weeks back. Will get that redeemed as soon as the card closes. Then I'll cancel that card.
Told him he can use that as spending money in Hawaii!

I was offered a $15 gift card for Starbucks if I used my visa card to pay at least one utility bill before April 31. I'm in! Two clicks to sign up.
What an easy way to get a few free treats! Smile

Cashed in $26 from Chase.

Another Adjustment

March 5th, 2012 at 07:12 pm

Forgot that we sold the old pedestal sink and light fixture on C.List.
$1170
-$ 35
-------
$1135 OOP bathroom renovation cost Smile

And that OOP cost was covered by extra side income. No deductions to the savings account or additions to the cc balance.

*The* Bathroom Post

March 4th, 2012 at 07:52 pm

Rounded up all my receipts for the bathroom.

Receipts
$ 70 - drywall, Hardibacker, screws, tax (Home Depot)
$276 - Tile for shower (Home Depot)
$101 - Grout, thinset, spacers, sealer, tax for above (Home Depot)
$133 - showerhead, tub spout, handles, drain (Amazon)
$ 59 - shower curtain & liner (Bed, Bath & Beyond)
$ 89 - curved curtain rod, rollerball curtain hooks (Signature Hardware)
$ 42 - paint, primer, paint tray, roller, tax (Home Depot)
$126 - Tile for floor (Home Depot)
$ 84 - Hardibacker, more thinset, tax (Home Depot)
$ 68 - caulk, tile drillbit, tax (Home Depot)
$634 - Vanity cabinet, granite top, backsplash, sidesplash, sink (Signature Hardware)
$140 - faucet and drain set (Signature Hardware)
$221 - toilet (Amazon)
$ 40 - toilet seat (Amazon)
$ 23 - misc. supplies (wax ring, plastic pipe, razor blades, etc..) tax
(OSH/ Home Depot)
$ 49 - light fixture, bulbs, tax (Lowe's)
$ 15 - Oil Rubbed Bronze knobs (Amazon)
$127 - towel bar, towel ring, tp holder, robe hook (Amazon)
$ 16 - Lather/Rinse and Clean/Fun prints (Amazon)
$ 41 - frames and mats, tax (Aaron Brothers)
$ 26 - Two each bath towels, hand towels, wash clothes, tax (Costco)
$ 16 - memory foam bathmat, tax (Costco)
$ 0 - labor Smile
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$2337 - Total


Adjustments
-$400 - Visa gift cards Christmas gift from DH's bosses.
-$200 - Home Depot g.c.Christmas gift from MIL
-$ 75 - Home Depot gift card
-$ 25 - Home Depot gift card
-$ 31 - Returns
-$ 40 - Returns
-$ 5 - saved by using discount gift card from Plastic Jungle
-$213 - CC reward gift cards sold to Plastic Jungle
-$ 28 - 5% cash back on Amazon purchases
-$150 - city water rebate for HE toilet
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$1170 Actual OOP cost

I was aiming for $1k which I think is pretty frugal for a bathroom overhaul. By having a smaller bathroom we saved a bit on floor tile and only having space for a 24" vanity, but pretty much the other costs would have been the same.

PICTURES!

**Before**


**After**

Working this AM. Spending $. Getting a 1099 now?

March 3rd, 2012 at 05:16 pm

My co-worker wanted the day off, so I am working for her. That bathroom reno post will have to wait a few more hours.. Smile

I had the day off on Thursday, which is a half day, so working today will give back those hours. I like that. Thursday was a lot of running around and spending money. Pharmacy: $10. Grocery: $190. KMart: $32. TraderJoe's: $38. Re-ordered checks: $23. DD's school band is playing at a SF Giants game. Tickets for her and DH for the game: $60.

Last night I stopped at Costco and really stocked up esp. on meat, fruit and spices. $240.

And I bought gas. $4.19/gal! $73! Frown

Yesterday we received our federal refund. (We received our state refund last week.) Both checks went straight into savings because they are earmarked for the new roof.

So here is what really bugs me - we got a 1099 in the mail Thursday! It was postmarked Feb. 27. Isn't that wrong? Don't you have to have all your tax stuff sent out by Feb. 1?

This is the 1099 I was waiting and waiting for and just ended up filing on Feb. 12 when we never got it. Now I'm going to have to file an amendment. *Grrr*

Hello March!

March 1st, 2012 at 09:44 pm

March?!? Wow! Smile

This past week just flew by.
I had my BFF and her hubby come for an overnight visit last weekend. Then just busy the past days with work and family.

Today I have the day off because of a scheduled power outage on the street where our office is. It actually doesn't feel much like a day off because of all the little chores I have listed for myself. I want to be able to get my list all checked off.
It took me 45 minutes this morning to get my prescription refilled - Ugh! That was a big time set back. Then I went grocery shopping. Came home and got everything put away. Now DS is napping before we have to run over and pick up DD. Then the music store, the post office, band practice, Costco, start dinner, stop at the bank, and more...

The other big news: our bathroom is done! Smile
A big post with pics and costs is on my to do list for today also, but that might have to wait until Saturday.