How fast a year goes!
Yesterday was the one year anniversary for my blog!
In the past year:
- Added baby DS to the family!
- Paid down a small amount of debt, about $1900. (This year I'd like that to be a whole lot more!)
- Established an EF, $3925 balance to date.
- Refi'd the house to 4.75% 30 year fixed
- Got a $2/hr raise!
- Paid my auto insurance for the whole year in one payment. (cool!)
- Visited Kentucky. Great time with my mom, sis and aunt.
- Lots of enjoyment blogging with you all.
In the coming year?
- More to savings.
- More debt payoff.
- Home improvement projects.
- More fun!
- More babies.
***Just kidding about the baby!***
Thanks everyone for the great comments you've left me. And for all the interesting posts you all create that I enjoy reading.
Archive for April, 2011
How fast a year goes!
Regarding my last post:
Q: What does it do for you to buy locally?
A: Supporting local business means keeping local people employed, sometimes people I know. They support the local economy by paying their mortgages, spending their money at places like where I work, etc, etc. Local businesses pay taxes and that keeps tax dollars in my town for services I can use (police/fire/parks etc.).
Anyone have other reasons?
Baby DS needs a new car seat. He's growing up and it's time to get a "big boy" car seat; no more infant car seat. I've been shopping and reading reviews and checking prices the past week plus. I know what I want and I've got a good deal going online at Diapers.com..
Thing is I want to support local business and economy and I feel a little bad about not buying local.
Does that happen to any of you?
Here's the story: I was checking all the seats online and narrowed it down to two. Same brand, two different models, $60 price difference, but online I couldn't tell any difference. SO, I stopped in at our cute, boutique-y baby store here in my town where they carry these Britax seats. I was immediately greeted by the sales lady; she was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. She showed me the two models in question and also told me I could "test drive" the floor samples if I wanted. As soon as I could see and feel the seats I knew which one would be right for us.
I felt guilty for the time I was in there because I KNEW I wouldn't buy the seat there. Not when I can save about $80 and get it in the fabric I want in 1-2 days vs. 5-7 days.
On the good side when I order this seat I will be saving a substantial amount because I shopped around and now I am 100% sure it's what I am looking for.
I am also in the market for some new workout/work sneakers. The brand and style I've been happy with for years has changed a bit I guess and my last pair started making my heel sore.
So again, it seems I might have to see/try some in the local shoe stores just to end up buying online. Can't beat the selection and pricing at Shoebuy or Zappos.
Let me start by saying I had a weak moment Friday evening at Costco.
I saw they had prime rib in for Easter and one jumped in my basket! Okay, it had a little help from me. We had one for Christmas and it was so delicious I couldn't pass it up for our Easter dinner.
My parents and sister came Saturday. So we had our big dinner Saturday and then a tasty breakfast Sunday. Total spent on food and Easter "things" was about $118.
Time with my family and not traveling was wonderful.
It's looking like all of our weekends in May are going to be full of activity. And money spending! Yipes!
This coming weekend will be a trip to my parents. Then my mom will drive all of us in her van to see my grandparents. We'll celebrate a late Easter (with a ham dinner this time!), early Mother's Day and an early birthday for baby. Hoping my cousin and her family will be able to join us as well as my BFF. It will be wonderful family time, but lots of car travel over a weekend. In fact I think I'll drive home from my parent's house early Monday morning. Too much car time Sunday coming home from the grandfolks to add on the two hours home. Cost? About $70. Gas only, but that is bad enough right?
Mother's Day weekend we'll host my FIL and MIL for a late Easter, birthday party for baby and Mother's day. Not sure what other activities for that weekend, but a car show is in town on Saturday and I heard DH say something about golfing with FIL. Cost? $20 to $100, depending on what my MIL pays for!
Weekend after is DH and DD's trip, with me and baby brother meeting up with them in Yosemite Sunday-Monday. Cost? $80ish. DH and DD have been saving $40/week for the trip, so I'm looking at my gas and the entry fee to the park.
Then Memorial weekend. DD is going to stay with my folks for a week. Cost? $30ish for gas to meet parents half way.
Weekend after that, Giants game for DH and me to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Cost? $60ish for ferry tickets and dinner afterwards. Tickets for the game are already bought and paid for.
It's all going to be fun. But...Whew! I feel broke already! lol!
I've had so many thoughts I have wanted to post, but no time for any of it! This afternoon is quiet here at work so I'll make the most of a few moments.
Giants won their game on Tuesday; lost on Wednesday; didn't play yesterday. Added $2 to the EF. Balance now at $3919.
They play the Braves tonight..
I've been doing well with my working out and despite all the sweets here at the office (we're talking POUNDS of candy and sweet treats) I've lost a total of 7lbs in the past 6'ish weeks. Would've loved more, but very happy to see progress! Yay!
We are staying home for the Easter weekend and having the family drive to us.
Although, I'm not sure we'll save much in the end since now we'll be doing the meal.
My mom and dad will be coming Saturday and my sister on Saturday night. The plan is a nice ham dinner Saturday and then using the leftover ham I'll make the breakfast quiche for Sunday. Tonight on the way home from work I'll stop at Costco for a few items. Then tomorrow morning early I'll make a run to Safeway and DH can spend a little time cleaning house and mowing the lawn. DD is at a sleepover tonight so we'll dye eggs tomorrow evening too.
I've also been shopping for new shoes and a new carseat, but that's another post.
If I'm not back by Monday....
Happy Easter weekend everyone.
In my earlier post I had mentioned we met with the inlaws on Saturday. Well two comments were made about my vehicle that kinda tickled my funny bone.
First, my FIL commented to DH about how nice the car looked. "How much had we spent to have it detailed?" DH said it was a free wash with the oil & transmission fluid change. FIL told DH he didn't think there was anyway that I didn't pay for the wash because it looked so good. I had the receipt to prove it was a free wash. hehehe.
Second, one of FIL's friends we had met during dinner walked over to our car as we were loading up for home. He asked me what make/model it was and that he thought it was a very nice looking SUV. I told him it's a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder and we've been more than happy with it. Even better, I told him, we own it outright and the insurance for the year is paid in full. I was sitting in the driver seat so I showed him that it has close to a 178,000 miles on it. He couldn't believe it was that "old" and had "so many" miles.
I luv u car!
Quiet morning here at work so I've a moment to post, and catch up on reading other's posts.
Last week we had the truck that picks up charitable donations come around our neighborhood. DD purged a large, black trash bag worth of clothes that didn't fit anymore and set them out on the sidewalk. Such an easy way to donate stuff; the convienince of living in town.
Does anyone use this type of donation as a tax write-off? How do you figure a value?
And we are slowly gathering things together for a yardsale come summertime. I also need to get back to posting a few nice items to Craigslist.
Saturday my inlaws were in the area for a spring motorcycle ride with a group they belong to. After the ride there was a large group dinner at the Hilton. $40 per plate! I had told DH we wouldn't eat with them for that price. We'd visit with them, maybe do breakfast the next day, but no way do $40/person. Not when that would get us a gourmet meal and not just cookie-cutter banquet food. Anyhow, the inlaws wanted us to have dinner, so they bought. Which was fine I guess. The food was better than average fare for that sort of thing, but we all could have eaten much, much better for the price. Oh well..
The Giants won on Saturday night. $2 to the EF. Total is $3917.
Giants won last night. $2 to the EF. Balance now $3915.
I am taking care of my kitty-sitting client this weekend. I went early this morning and was paid with a $100 bill! $25 more than expected.
I've already put it to the cc debt.
I went grocery shopping this morning afterwards and spent $135. I bought a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies. Oranges, apples, pears, bananas, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, a sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, mushrooms. Also milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, bread, ground turkey, cereal, and on and on. Gatorade was on a good sale; $0.79/32oz bottle.
There was a photography company with a display inside the grocery store this morning. They were running a special deal on Sepia/old fashioned style photos. $5 sitting fee and one 11X13 for $10, additional prints and packages at regular prices. I signed up for DS and DD to have a photo together. Total price of $15. The hard part will be for me to ONLY buy the one specially priced photo and no others!
I just realized I hadn't posted our past two weeks of the $175/wk spending.
April 1 to April 7: We went over by $88.
April 8 to April 14: We went over by $48.
After shopping today we have $5 left for the rest of the week. Hmm..I still need to buy formula.
What would you pay for a Senior Prom dress?
My boss is buying a $550 for his DD! (Yes, I am sucking in breath as I type that) And, yeah you all remember he's the one with money troubles and upcoming bankrupcy. I guess to be fair it's not up to him; his wife and DD made the decision.
My co-worker and I think that is a crazy amount. Especialy when you search prom dresses online and can find really cute ones for $40-$100.
I can rememeber shopping for formal dresses at discount or outlet shops. I had beautiful dresses always for less than $100. I never felt deprived.
Thank you to my Mom for never over induldging me and teaching me where to shop!
I wonder what sort of lesson will their DD learn from this?
The Giants won their last two games. Yay!
+$4 to the EF. Total now $3913.
I bought gas at Costco this afternoon on my way home. It's now $4.12/gal. YUCK!!
It has increased by $0.10 per week for the past four or more weeks!
Where will it end????
Our auto transfer to the EF posted yesterday and the Giants won Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately not on Sunday or Monday.
+ $25 Savings Transfer
+ $4 Two Giants Wins
$3909 EF balance
Our weekend at the inlaws was very low key. DH cut down these two tree/bush Junipers they had in the front yard and was paid $150 - his motorcycle payment for next month.
We spent $80 in gas..**choke**
Went for a lovely walk this morning with a girl friend, her baby, daughter and my DS. The weather is sunny and about 58F. Very nice for walking. I picked up a Starbucks for free using a Free Drink coupon given to me by a client.
It's super nice having clients who appreciate us!
However it's a double edge sword. Yesterday we were given about 6lbs of See's Candy from two separate clients.
Ugh..How can I lose weight around all that?!
Friday one of our other clients will be bringing us creampuffs. She owns a restaurant and bakery and we're always getting pies, cookies and now creampuffs from her.
What a problem to have, hu?
I have a quiet minute here at work. We'll be busy again in about 20 minutes.
I just dropped my Pathfinder off for an oil change, transmission fluid change and a FREE carwash. I'll pick it back up when I get off work tonight. It's going to cost about $90.
Bought gas this morning at Costco. It's now $4.02/gal here.
To top it all off we're heading to my inlaws tonight fo a weekend visit. Blah..I'd much rather stay home. Save the gas money and get some laundry washed!
The Giants won their last game, so I added $2 to the EF. It's now at $3,880.
All the beautiful weather has me thinking about being outside with the wind in my hair.
Would you rather be a racecar driver OR racehorse rider?
CeeJay asked about best gifts awhile back. (Sorry CeeJay I'm soo slow!)
I've been thinking about this and I have had a lot of wonderful gifts. Last year my DD gave me a set of notecards with matching envelopes that she had decorated with paints. They are beautiful and I haven't been able to bring myself to use them. My DH has surprised me with special dinners out and even an overnight getaway that I had no clue about. My mom gave me an antique cameo pin on my 30th bday that she was given from her dad on her 30th bday.
I do like speed, but I love riding horses, so I'll say racehorse jockey. Of course cars are going to be super fast, but the races are much, much longer and it gets hot in those cars. If any of you have ever full out galloped on a horse you know what a flying type feeling that is. It's Awesome.
Paid our PG & E bill yesterday. $200. We have the new 'SmartMeters' on our electric and gas meters. They installed them a few months back. I know there have been studies to show they are accurate, but it does seem that our bill has trended up the past few months. I am trying to be fair and compare usage with last year and it is very close, but it is still slightly more. Hmmm.. Of course we could be using that extra; colder so more heat, Christmas lights, etc..
You can be sure I'll be keeping an eye on the usage in the coming months.
Free meals this week!
Yesterday my boss treated me and my co-worker to lunch out.
Tomorrow night my co-worker and I are having dinner with a friend/client, her treat.
Thursday I'm having lunch with my laid-off co-
worker. She's going to treat because I'm doing her a big favor. :
The drawback is all this yummy food is not helping my weight loss goals.