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Archive for February, 2013

February Wrap Up

February 28th, 2013 at 04:58 pm

My cell phone case came today. It was $9.90 and had near perfect reviews. It is just what I have been wanting - not bulky and a simple blue glitter color. Even though it is thin I think it would have protected my phone if I had it when it fell last week.

I ordered my DH some work gloves at the same time so I could get free shipping. Then when I was checking out I saw I had $16 available Amazon credit on the Discover cc. I used that and paid $12 for both items. Smile

February seemed to fly by! The weather has been so mild for most of the month. This past weekend we took a drive to one of the neighboring towns to buy DD some beekeeping supplies. The drive was beautiful. Our area is very pastoral and with the sun shining, blue sky, green grass and trees blooming it's especially lovely. To be fair most of the year it is pretty here for one reason or another. My drive to and from work is highway driving, but alongside it are dairy cows in pastures and vineyards and great sunsets to look at.

We had a major *fail* in the grocery spending this month. $915. Plus another $120 in dining out.

The grocery spending was a lot of deals I didn't pass up on. We have a full pantry and freezer. I do not expect to buy much this weekend - I am going to stick strictly to my list. And I am going to work at being extra attentive to March spending.

The eating out was MIL's birthday visit, breakfast out when my mom came for a visit and a few fast food lunches (DH). It will be less this month by not having any birthday meals out.

Gas is now over $4/gal here. I paid $4.06/gal today when I filled up. Some stations have prices upwards of $4.30/gal. Ouch!

I spent $439 for gas this past month. Blah!

Well CRAP!

February 23rd, 2013 at 04:22 pm

Last night I dropped my purse upside down on the pavement in front of my house.

This morning I noticed I smashed the corner of my very nice phone when the purse fell. Now there is a crack across the upper right portion of the phone and the corner is a bit crushed. Sad Smiley 018

The phone and camera and all work totally fine. *Phew*

I just ordered a jelly skin for it on Amazon. It will cover the smushed part and hopefully prevent any further damage. Oh but I wish I would've done that sooner.

Good Roof News (I Hope)

February 21st, 2013 at 03:51 pm

Our roof needs to be replaced. It is original to the house which was built in 1955. We have gotten a few estimates and they have all averaged about $6500. We've had to limp our current roof along with patch jobs and last month a tarp across a particularly bad spot. I have focused our extra money on debt pay down and not making much of a plan for the roof. If DH had a large side job or two he could make enough to pay for it in cash, but he hasn't had any large jobs for awhile.

(Back story: About two years ago he had a big job and used the profit to buy a motorcycle. Made me so very angry that he chose that over the roof! Now he has been having to live with the results of that choice. At this point I hope he has learned from this. (I don't even want to talk about - sure way to start a fight.) When it comes to money he really needs to "grow-up". He has got to realize he can't buy every toy or thing he *wants*.)

I know because of these events surrounding the roof I am happy to *dump* the problem on DH and let him worry about it. I feel like I am saying "Yeah Honey it could've been done already, but you made your bed now lay in it." Without verbally saying anything.

Alright, on the real reason for the post.

About two weeks ago DH and I were talking about the plans for the "extra paycheck" months. He told me that he thinks he is just going to have to replace the roof himself. He has had offers from a few friends to help him do it. Some with prior experience and others just handy, so he wouldn't be doing it completely alone.

Then last weekend he was helping a buddy out with his furnace and the roof subject came up. This friend, B, replaced our windows a few years back and has general contracting experience. He told DH he has all the tools needed for roof replacement and has done it a few times. They discussed trading services; HVAC work for roofing work.

What this all boils down to is that we would buy materials and labor would cost us beer and pizza for 4 or 5 guys over a weekend or two.

This could be very good. Maybe it can all come together this summer.

Date Night

February 19th, 2013 at 08:35 am

Last night DH and I redeemed the $25 dinner coupon and free movie tickets. My mom had stayed with us for the long weekend so she watched the kids for us.

We went to an upscale Italian restaurant that we hadn't been to in about three years. It is very quaint and cozy located downtown within easy walking distance of the movie theater. We each had a drink (I had their champagne mojito), shared an appetizer (bruschetta w/roasted garlic), each a main course (I had the Chef's risotto) and a dessert (Tiramisu). We paid $60 including the tip.

Not quite as cheap as I was going for, but it was because we did splurge and went for everything.

We didn't spend anything at the movie theater where we finally saw "Django". Quite a movie! The acting was superb. It was long, but there weren't any slow spots and the story was very engaging. It didn't disappoint.

It was a nice evening out. And at $60 I'm not beating myself up about doing it either. Smile

My V-Day Gift - Taxes

February 14th, 2013 at 02:48 pm

My gift to myself and my DH was to finalize and e-file our taxes. Big Grin

Just finished..

This is my sixth return I have filed using FreeTaxUSA.com. It costs us $10.

The only trouble with our taxes was me. lol.
Last week I was wondering where the heck our forms from our mortgage were. Then I felt silly when I realized I just needed to go to the website and look at them right there. I think several months back they may have asked if I wanted them online vs. paper copy. SO that was easy.

DH's EMT class got us an American Opportunity credit that I was totally not expecting at all. Cool!

All in all we are getting a small refund.
I am fine anytime "small" and "taxes" are in the same sentence. Wink

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.
Tonight we'll celebrate with cupcakes!

Odds and Ends on a Quiet Afternoon

February 13th, 2013 at 02:59 pm

It's a quiet afternoon here at the office. My coworker has left for the afternoon because it is so slow. My boss is out to lunch now.

The weather is beautiful and I would have been the one to leave early, but I need to take care of my cat sitting cats tonight. They live very close to my work and I live in a different town about 20 minutes away. Plus, as much as I'd rather be at home on the internet I might as well be here at work on the computer and getting paid for what I'd be doing at home anyway. Smile

Using some of the down time to check some little To Do's off.

The first was to log in and renew the library books my children have. In addition I paid the overdue fines that we seem to get just about every time we check something out. It is never a lot at one time, but $0.10 here $0.50 there and it accumulates. We (I) must get better about remembering the due dates.

Maybe writing them up on the white board we keep in the kitchen?
I literally had never thought of that until just now. Doh!

The fines were $10. I am happy I can pay it online with a cc and it takes about 60 seconds. Now it's done.


The second thing is tracking down the insurance payment for my root canal in December. If you read my post back then I was figuring I'd be due to get a $500 refund. Well I've been waiting for my claim's statement to show up in the mail. And waiting. And waiting. Today I created online access for my dental insurance company and searched my recent claims.

The only claim that showed for the last 90 days was my crown and that has been submitted and paid already. No pending or paid claim for my root canal.

Called the endodontists office and she was surprised that they hadn't been paid. According to her the claim had been submitted on the same day as treatment

She called the insurance company and resubmitted the claim.

And, yes I will be getting a check from the dentist for $502 once they receive the payment from insurance. Yay!


The third was transferring a $1 balance on a Starbucks gift card to the gift card I have registered. That was easy to do online.


DH and I opted to pass on DD's big school fundraising dinner this year. It would have been $70 for dinner and we would end up spending more if we wanted to bid on any auction items or buy raffle tickets. Just better to forgo completely. I did donate $25. I just put the check in the collection envelope the PTA sent home for the dinner ticket purchase. I felt very good about doing that. We saved and the school didn't lose out (much).

Didn't Close the AmEx

February 12th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I called AmEx to cancel the card and the CSR told me if I'd like to keep the card he was happy to waive (refund) the yearly membership fee.

I figured what the heck I'd go ahead and keep it. It is the only cc that we can use at Costco - where I fill up at the gas station at least weekly and shop in the warehouse about every six weeks. If I didn't use this card I would have to use our debit card and I wouldn't "earn" any reward points. We always pay this card in full every month so it is not costing us anything to keep it. Quite the opposite when I can redeem points for free dinner or clothes. Smile

Speaking of gas prices, they've been steadily climbing here. My last visit to the pump it was $3.82/gal. Many of the big name stations I pass each day are pushing $4/gal.
Diesel is well over $4/gal - $4.25/gal the last I looked?

Not liking this steady increase especially when we are still months away from the usual summer increase.

Sick this Weekend

February 9th, 2013 at 02:33 pm

It is a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day here.
I am sick and pretty much staying inside trying to rest up. I started coming down with it on Tuesday, it is not the flu or really bad, but I want to kick it as fast as possible.

This weekend I am going to finish updating my cc information with the last few auto-pay accounts. I am also going to call AmEx to cancel. I should call to see if two other cards can give me a better APR now that they have adjusted up from 0%.

DD has a friend staying over tonight. They are going to cook dinner for us (and maybe dessert too). Cheese stuffed turkey meatballs, tomato sauce, noodles, French bread. DH just left to run them to the store - needed breadcrumbs and pasta sauce for this dinner. Milk, bananas, tomatoes needed for the week and I wanted more ice cream. Smile

DH was instructed to keep it under $80 because I know he and DD will buy more than what was on the list I sent them with. This is fine because they need stuff for their lunches and what they pick out they will use up.

Flip the Page on the Ol' Calendar

February 1st, 2013 at 04:42 pm

Well, well, we find ourselves in February now.
Just flip a page and here we are 32 days past the New Year. Hu?!

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My main cc that I use for every auto pay/online billing account expired this month. I just looked at my email and I have about four or five "friendly reminders" to update my card information. There are a few others who haven't emailed me that I will also need to update.

I have the new card at home. I am just going to have to sit down and do it, but it feels like such a time suck when there are other things I'd much rather do online.

I say "Phooey!" What is the point of the expiration date anyway?

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Did a bit of socializing this past week, which was good. You tend, or at least I do, to forget how nice it is to catch up with friends. I'm thinking of hosting a potluck BBQ and invite as many people as we can manage. Just having it be a low-key deal and visit and such.

Last Friday we met with a couple we hadn't seen in 2+ years at a large chain restaurant. We offset the cost by using a gift card we had bought in December. The OOP for DH, myself and the kids after the gc was $35.

Saturday we saw my BFF and her DH and baby girl. We ate a home cooked meal at my parent's house. (That was budget friendly. Smile)

We did spend a few bucks ($80) going out without the kids to a casino and for beer tasting at a brewery. It was so fun to hang with the BFF, plus her hubby and my hubby get-a-long great too.

Tomorrow my inlaws are coming for a visit. My MIL's birthday is coming up and she wanted to see her grandkids. The plan is to go out for dinner and I am going to guess that we will split the check with FIL. They are staying overnight in a hotel and leaving Sunday morning.

Sunday we will be staying home. Watching the Superbowl and having homemade nachos complete with fresh made guacamole and salsa.
Go Niners!! Big Grin