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Archive for October, 2009

$10 rebate and other tidbits

October 31st, 2009 at 04:14 am

I love getting rebates in big chunks. The mail today brought a $10 rebate. I think I sent it in less than a month ago, so it was fast too!

We are muddy, muddy, muddy around here. Yesterday brought 3-4 inches of rain, and it was already muddy before that. There is still standing water in our yard in some places, so that mud is just delayed.

I had some nice savings on dog food at Petsmart with coupons they emailed to me for $15 off a $50 purchase. The limit was 2 coupons, so I split my 5 large bags of food plus a few other items into 2 purchases. I had a few coupons too, and then some Purina rebate checks to use. All in all, I spent $53 for $125 worth of food. With 2 bags I bought yesterday before I had the $15/$50 coupons, that should last us 3 weeks.

I've decided to cut way back on my diet drink purchases. Today is day #2 without them, and also without caffeine. I don't know about this. I was dead tired at work today, but I don't know that I can blame it on a lack of caffeine. I've been that tired other days while I was steadily drinking diet coke. We'll see how the weekend goes. I have heard and read that you should drink half your weight in ounces of water every day. So, for example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 oz. of water. That's more than the "8 glasses a day" that I'd always heard, assuming they were talking about 8 oz. glasses. That is A LOT of water!! I think I'd be spending my life in the bathroom if I drank that much every day.

I'm yawning a lot tonight, so I think I'll drop into bed and do some light reading....I'll bet I can't even keep my eyes open for one page!

Bank overdraft charge

October 28th, 2009 at 03:02 pm

We hit a new low, and were overdrawn in our checking account yesterday. $30 in charges. Yuck! Fortunately, hubby happened to check before he went somewhere and wrote a check because we were expecting his social security deposit to go thru around the 23rd to 25th, like it always does. Nope! It just went in there last night. He added some cash to get us back in the black, but it was a sick moment. We haven't had money run that close in a long time.

It made me feel extra guilty because I am on a short mini-vacation visiting friends and family. My only cost out of pocket for this trip has been a few dinners out and gas for which I scrimped together cash from my change collected over the past few months and some rebate checks. It's a well-deserved cheap vacation, but it kind of puts a damper on things when you know you're blowing money that really could have been put to better use. I was even ok with the dinner money spent, but mortified at the $14 it cost me to park in a parking garage for 4 hours. I'm sure I could have found a cheaper alternative if I had done a little research ahead of time.

Reading Jennifer's post on the value of "only" $40 got me thinking that for this short vacation I really have gotten a lot of value for the money I spent, so I have to go forward with no regrets and not beat myself up over it. I can't change the past but I can change the future, and the big challenge is figuring out how to proceed to do that. All my ideas are small. Maybe I could cut diet soda and impulse snacks from my grocery list altogether, and possibly save $10 a week. Maybe I could really go on a diet and lose weight, which would make me feel better, which would make me feel more like excercising, which would improve my energy level and my self-esteem and my heart and countless other things. I can't possibly think how that would bring in more money or help cut expenses, but maybe just having more energy will give me the oomph to get selling on ebay again. The possibilities are endless, and I know I just have to take those baby steps.

Thank you all for your kindness

October 24th, 2009 at 04:31 pm

You guys really are the best! I was pretty down in my last post, and you are all so nice, luring me back in.

I'm traveling and visiting relatives this week, and stuck with a s-l-o-w dial-up connection. My connection at home isn't lightning fast, but it seems like it now!
While I'm away, I hope to get some rest and get some motivation to change some things. At the least, I've brought some "homework" with me. We're supposedly close to refinancing, but need to come up with a few more items for the lender. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one - we need it very much. Also, just before I left, I asked my current bank for a printout of our loan payments, showing the amount applied to principal & interest each month. What prompted it is I had come up with an amortization schedule by plugging the amount, interest rate & number of years into some online amortization calculator. When I asked the bank what the current balance was, they differed from the calculation I had by over $1,000. Mine might not be 100% accurate because I had to fudge some things to come up with the monthly payment the bank says. So, that's one question - why the difference. But I have never seen anything like their printout. The amount applied to principle is all over the place, not a steadily increasing amount applied to principal. One month it'll be $200+, then up to $300+, then $20+, then $100+, then $500+. I don't understand it at all, so while I'm away I'm going to call and ask them to explain it to me, even if it takes hours! It's crazy!!

So, I'm going to try to be back here more. I really do miss it when I'm not posting. I find it helps me to clear my head and think things out when I do post. One step at a time....

3 weeks since I posted

October 19th, 2009 at 12:47 am

I don't know what happened. I'm almost at my 1 year anniversary for blogging, and I just haven't been in the mood. Ok, even after I wrote that I "don't know what happened", I realized that wasn't exactly the truth. I really DO know what's happened. Our finances are a mess right now, and I am so depressed about it that I have no urge to document anything. I guess I've been hiding my head in the sand.

We're not able to pay extra on anything, and I know we are still spending more than we bring in. I haven't updated the sidebar debt because it's too ugly.

On the bright side, I did manage to finally catch up on documenting our spending and coupon savings and all that, hoping it would provide something positive to write about. The summary is:
Found on the ground - added a penny! woohoo!
Rebates & coupon savings came out quite nice. Since I had last updated those months ago, I was worried that we might have fallen off the track on the goal of keeping the grocery/household/dog food spending around $100 per week ($60 for dog food, $40 for food, etc). While we're above the $100 mark, the average per week has actually gone down from just over $110. That's some tiny progress, at least.

Also, I think I remember getting some Purina rebate coupons in the mail yesterday, but now I can't find them. I hope I didn't really lose them! It's 10 $7 coupons. They're really checks but they are used like coupons. That would be a really bad move on my part if I actually did lose them!

I haven't been doing as much with coupons as I used to. I had to get brake pads for my car today, so I stopped in the grocery store and flipped thru the coupons in the Sunday paper. There were some dog food ones, so I could make my money back on the paper plus some extra, but I just didn't see anything else that thrilled me. I didn't buy it, and I probably won't tomorrow either. I find myself doing that a lot lately. I just don't want to be bothered clipping.

I've got $20 in rebates to mail in on some antifreeze we bought, and I'll be trying to get that in the mail this week. I've had quite a few bigger rebates like that lately. When they are $5 or $10 each, they add up fast.

I've also been trying for weeks to list things on eBay & CL. It never becomes important enough for me to set aside time to get it done. DH gets mad already at the amount of time I spend on the computer, most of which is checking my emails, printing coupons from various sites, and reading some blogs. The minute I open up eBay or CL, he wants me to look up some obscure things for him or read him some of the items in the categories. Within 30 minutes, I'm about to fall asleep from the monotony of it, and I never get around to the SELLING!

~~~

After reading back thru this, it fits how I've been feeling lately. Up, down, up, down. There is no logical flow of thoughts, and it seems like things are very disjointed. I can focus on small details and spend hours tracking dollars & cents, and then feel like I accomplished something. But in the grand scheme of our life, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. We have bigger things to resolve, and can't seem to come up with a real plan for solving them. Ugh!

I think I'll quit for now before I become a whiner. Oh....too late? Sorry!!!!