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Down in the dumps

April 19th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

After a few weeks of not recording all our expenses, I finally caught up again this weekend. And it stinks! I am very depressed about it all. With my forced job change, our income is not enough to cover our expenses. I thought we were keeping things under pretty tight control; instead, We've managed to spend all the extra money we came up with earlier in the month from some unusual windfalls. What are we going to do the rest of the months?!

I don't want to reveal too much of our personal details, but many of our expenses are farm-related, and it's not like we can really plan those. I mean, to some extent, we can average the expenses that we've had in the past, but with less income now, we can't set aside the money because we don't have it to set aside! The farm does not pay for itself in any way, shape or form. When things break down, they need to be fixed. DH isn't able to do a lot of what needs to be done, so we have employees hired. I think we need major adjustments but I don't think DH is ready to commit to those. He sort of jokingly asked today, "so what do you want to do, sell everything and start over and buy a house on the lake?" "Yes!!! I would love that. It would get us out of this money pit that we're in." But, it was just that - a joke to him. He wasn't serious. I am. I want to sell everything and reorganize our life to make it more jointly enjoyable, less stressful, and financially workable. And I don't care if it's by a lake or not.

I may try to bring this up again another time, but it's so tricky to do that. DH reads so much more into things like that than he should. He says things like "you hate it here" and "you're just sick of me". No, and no, but I am sick of all the stress that we have currently. He is too, but he wants to figure out something that will bring in more steady income from the farm. That would be great, but it requires spending money to make money and we don't have it to spend!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. This is one of my PMS-induced mood swings, I'm sure. As I reread the last paragraph, it's full of "buts", which will just come across as excuses. Maybe they are. Tomorrow, I'll be back at work, and will be able to push these blues back somewhere beneath the surface. We'll find a way to survive the finances, because something will sell and we have some money saved back. My problem is that I don't want to rely on those things to get thru each month.

This is part of the reason I never updated my goals on the sidebar. What would they say? #1 - work some magic. #2 - get old job back. #3 - pray. So, waaaahhh, I feel better actually after writing all this down. I still don't know exactly what we're going to do about it. We did, however, take one action step today, and filled out info on LendingTree to see if we can refinance our mortgage. That's a teeny amount of progress, I suppose.

A reason to bring lunch to work

March 27th, 2009 at 01:18 am

Has anyone heard the recent Qdoba commercials? The announcer talks about how you could bring your lunch to work, but "your briefcase will smell like lunchmeat" and "you'll eat alone" and "you'll be the office equivalent of the crazy cat lady"....or at least I think those are the claims.

Then, it goes on to push some lunch "special" that is just $6.99. JUST?! I know that's comparable to lunch prices at other places, but for $6.99 I could buy my lunches for the week at the grocery store. So, their ad isn't working for me. As a matter of fact, it's having the opposite effect. I'll make sure to bring my lunch! I don't carry a briefcase, I don't eat lunchmeat, and we have a fridge at work, so the only thing I have to worry about is eating alone. No worries! I don't mind it at all. I often eat while I read a book, or eat quickly and then go for a walk anyhow.

Please note: I'm not knocking Qdoba. As a matter of fact, I've never eaten there. Maybe for some special occasion I'll try it...if I come up with a coupon, that is Smile

Cheap entertainment

March 8th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

I spent a few hours this afternoon looking through an old, old house that was on a piece of property we bought last month. We'll eventually knock it down, but it was fun looking to see what had been left behind.

At some point, people stopped living in it, and others began using it as a storage/workshop. There are some old children's school desks, not really in great shape, but not all that bad either. There is a whole area full of old tires, another with plumbing fixtures that were ripped out of somewhere (but not this house, as it predates any indoor plumbing). I found an old Manhattan Coffee tin (never heard of it), and an old Nehi bottle. But the most interesting find was some records (33 1/3) to use for training on automotive service. I dragged them home, but haven't done any research to learn more about them.

One room had an old dresser in it, but it looks too far gone to be any good. There were some buzzards flying around, and they appear to have been roosting in the house since there are no windows any more in it.

So...I didn't get anything useful accomplished that I really NEEDED to do today, but it was cheap entertainment and sometimes I just enjoy doing stuff like that.

In money-related news, I called a friend and mentioned I'd seen her husband's name in the paper in a list of people with unclaimed funds from the utility company. Good thing I called, as the copy of the newspaper she received hadn't had part of the listing in it - the part with their name. I don't know how much the unclaimed money is, just that it's less than $50. She was thrilled to hear it, so I've done my good deed for the day!

How could I forget?

February 26th, 2009 at 02:03 am

I picked up a few essentials at Walmart tonight - peanut butter, cough drops, bananas, toilet paper and cookies. I specifically bought Halls cough drops because I had a BOGO (buy one get one free) coupon. Walmart isn't the cheapest place to get them but I was already there, and sick, and didn't want to stop somewhere else.

At the register I remember my coupon on the tp, and I had a $1 off produce coupon, but I forgot to give them the cough drops coupon. Doh! I could have saved $1.67. Blame it on my head cold. My nose is running so fast I think it got away from me! My brain sure did.

Not sure what to blame the cookies on, but I'm still thinking of an excuse...

When you go to have your taxes done...

February 18th, 2009 at 03:58 am

Don't lean over and kiss your girlfriend or fiancee on the cheek every few minutes while I'm working on your taxes.

Don't text people while I'm trying to explain things to you. You might not care about anything but the bottom line amount, but I find it to be more than a little rude.

Don't bring your young children with you, let them all go to the bathroom with the older one "in charge" so that they can plug the toilet with too much paper.

Ditto above, but now they spray enough air freshener for the entire county in our one little bathroom.

Don't, in a loud voice, tell your wife or s/o to "shut up, I didn't ask for input!" How embarrassing....for you.

Don't scream into the phone about a problem with your "lover's" tax return. I don't really need to know that you are lovers or what you are; the fact is that I can't discuss any tax return with you except your own.

Don't call and insist that no one explained to you that your 1-2 day loan to get your tax refund early might be denied by the bank. I'm sorry you need your money right away, but it was all explained to you. That paperwork you signed stated "LOAN" on it in big red letters.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest!

I sound really annoyed, but for most of this stuff, I actually found it mildly amusing!

Just a tad too much

February 15th, 2009 at 01:14 am

Well, I didn't keep to my $6 goal on groceries today, but almost! (Yesterday I blogged that I wanted to keep my total for the week under $100.) I ended up spending just under $102 total. Milk was $2.98 + tax at one store, and then at the other store I was just going to get some reduced bread and a free 2 liter bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper with this coupon, www.freedietdrpepper.com

That would have been it, but they had some bakery goodies reduced to 99c, and I thought it would be cute to bring home & share with my sweetie Smile Plus, they had some 10 pound bags of potatoes reduced to $2 and a 1 pound bag of baby carrots reduced to 50 cents. I thought they were good-enough deals to go overboard with, and my weekly average is now $103.57.

In other news, we have a new dog that we neither want or need. He was either dumped or he's lost. I saw a flyer at the vet for someone that lost a beagle, but the guy came and looked, and the dog isn't his. I really had my hopes up! So, now we have to figure out what to do with him, which is such a pain! I love dogs, but we have plenty intentionally and don't need another extra. I really think there is a sign somewhere down the road that points in our direction, saying "dog lover with free food THIS way ==>!" Strays ALWAYS end up here.

Humor among the dust bunnies

February 7th, 2009 at 06:49 pm

I cleaned house yesterday. It was long overdue and I finally had the time to do it. I don't know whether the living room was worse than our bedroom but they were both pretty disorganized and needed the cleaning.

What should appear with the dust bunnies when I vacuumed under the dresser in the bedroom but a paperback book that had fallen down underneath...the title? "Confessions of an Organized Homemaker". LMAO!!! I remember browsing through the book, but it obviously has not helped me one bit!

Found another 5!

February 5th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

I found another 5 today, but this time it was just 5 cents. LOL Smile

It wasn't quite as exciting as my $5 find, but aparently 5 is my lucky number lately. Last week I wrote that I discovered $5 on a Walmart gift card that I thought had been spent already. If I was a daily lottery buyer, I'd pick 5-5-5.

I had a gift from the dentist today also. I went for a cleaning and they said I was due for x-rays. I asked if I could delay x-rays until the next trip, since I was hoping to have a job with dental insurance by then. Now, keep in mind that I haven't had dental insurance for years, and have always paid the $100 or so fee for cleaning. They said no problem to wait, but they also took $20 off the cleaning bill without me even asking!!! I thought that was just wonderful. I could have put off the entire trip due to our tight finances, but I always worry that delaying things like that will just lead to more problems later if there are any problems that need to be addressed, so I went ahead. I have one filling that may be failing, but "no cavities, Mom!"

Cheap, frugal, or green?

January 14th, 2009 at 03:58 pm

I washed out some quart size ziploc bags for the first time this morning, and I can't decide if that makes me cheap, frugal, or green! I don't normally buy this sized bag, and I didn't buy these either. People had given us baked goods after a luncheon and there were 4 packages in ziploc bags. They were relatively clean, so I thought "why not"? I'm re-using something, so that helps me stay GREENer. I'm not buying something I don't need, so that makes me FRUGAL. But washing and reusing a ziploc just seems like maybe I'm being CHEAP!

What do you think?

I posted this yesterday but then it disappeared. I was interested in what people thought, so I'll post it again.

Cheap, frugal, or green?

January 13th, 2009 at 05:03 pm

I washed out some quart size ziploc bags for the first time this morning, and I can't decide if that makes me cheap, frugal, or green! I don't normally buy this sized bag, and I didn't buy these either. People had given us baked goods after a luncheon and there were 4 packages in ziploc bags. They were relatively clean, so I thought "why not"? I'm re-using something, so that helps me stay GREENer. I'm not buying something I don't need, so that makes me FRUGAL. But washing and reusing a ziploc just seems like maybe I'm being CHEAP!

What do you think?

Days are flying by

January 8th, 2009 at 03:38 am

I can't believe it's been 3 days since I had something to report. I've been busy, I guess. I'm still trying to find a block of time to finish and close out "the books" for 2008, run some reports, analyze the numbers, and figure out goals for 2009.

On the job front, I'm just waiting for the company I interviewed with last week to call to schedule another interview. This is a little more than wishful thinking, since they emailed to say they'd be calling to set something up.

If I get this job, I believe it will be a huge pay cut from my last position, but at least we will not be paying close to $1000 per month for health insurance. There are other benefits as well. The budget will need serious overhaul, though, to accommodate the change in income. If I DON'T get this job, there will be no "budget", since we'll just be in survival mode. I suppose no budget sounds like a dumb idea, but I don't even know how I'd work out a budget, since we'll be tapping into savings quite heavily. Ack! I can't even think about it!!

Lost wallet

December 15th, 2008 at 06:19 am

DH, SS and I went to run errands this evening in the pickup. It just has one bench seat, and SS put his movies and wallet up on the dash since there wasn't much room to put them anywhere else. SS then opened his window a little bit and I jokingly said "you'd better watch that wallet so it doesn't go flying out the window when we go around a corner."

Well, it didn't go out the window, but everything did fall off the dash before we got very far. He was able to pick up the movies, but couldn't quite grab the wallet as there wasn't much room to reach to the floor.

Twenty minutes later at town, we stopped at the tobacco store, Dollar General, the movie store and then Walmart. Apparently Walmart was the first place he needed to use the wallet because he realized it was no longer on the floor of the pickup!! DH and SS retraced the errands and looked in the parking lots and asked about a recovered wallet, but no one had it. I guess he forgot all about it, and kicked it out when he got out one of the first places. $80 gone in a flash.

The really sad part is both sS and I got out at the tobacco store and DH drove over to Dollar General in the same plaza. When I came out of the store, I was more focused on seeing where DH had parked than I was looking at the ground, which is what I usually do just out of habit. (Yesterday, I found a nice shiny penny somewhere.) To think that I might have spotted the wallet if I hadn't been looking across the way just kills me! The other sad thing is that I thought of the wallet when we got to the stores, but I didn't say out loud "be sure to get your wallet". I never dreamed he wouldn't remember it was on the floor!

Too much to do! Minor ranting.

December 11th, 2008 at 08:10 pm

My list of things to do today keeps growing. Between work and class tonight, I need to:
* go to the bank & deposit money from one a/c to another. Can't do it automated because one is a bus a/c and the other is personal. Tax id number doesn't match ssn, so they won't allow it. They are both just DH & me on the account, but still can't allow it!
* go to Dept of Revenue to get license on a car that has been sitting for over a year with engine problems. Glad it's fixed, but not thrilled with this trip!
* go to auto parts store to get new battery & windshield wipers for same car, plus ignition switch and I forgot what else for one of our pickups.
* go to Petsmart for dog food. I have some coupons to save $10 off $20 purchase, and they expire tomorrow. It's just down the road from class so I want to make SURE to get there.

By my calculations, these errands should take me over an hour, possibly 1.25 hours. I'm an hour drive from class, so if I need to be at class by 6pm, I need to leave here by 3:45 at the very latest and pray there isn't a line at the license bureau. I usually leave work early on the nights I have class, but not that early. The other thing that annoys me is that I know we don't need these parts TODAY, since I'll be right back in the same area TOMORROW running other errands. But DH is insisting we have to have them here tomorrow morning, and I KNOW better! I don't need to drive the car that needs the license any sooner than Saturday, and neither does he. Chances are that the parts for the pickup will sit on the table until next week too! But, to keep the peace, I agreed to go. And, I always do "give in", because I'd rather live in harmony rather than fight over stupid stuff. The sad part is that the Petmart trip is the one closest to my class, so if I run out of time, I'll miss out on the big savings, which is what we need the worst out of all of this.

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest. I feel better already just ranting into cyberspace.

~~~~~
I decided I should edit this to add on that this is a small to do list compared to most of them I end up with, it's just that it's all coming on a day when I have little time to spare. I don't want anyone laughing at me whining over this little amount of stuff to do, when their list is huge. Mine is too, but it's just trying to cram it all it to a short block of time that gets me riled. I plan my time well, but when someone else tries to throw more into the pile it gets annoying.

Another one bites the dust!

December 10th, 2008 at 08:29 pm

I refilled a prescription yesterday, but not at the old independently-owned pharmacy that I used to go to. Why? Because they closed last month and all the staff is working at a new Walgreens pharmacy in our town. Still the same nice people, but not the same nice price. Instead of $17.57, I paid $25.99. This is an out of pocket price, with a discount Rx card. I don't have insurance for prescriptions, and this isn't one that could be a $4 generic at Walmart. I thought it might be a little higher just because it was Walgreens, but that's quite a price hike.

I did get a $25 gift card for transferring the prescription, even if it wasn't my choice to transfer. So that makes me feel a little better. I guess they decided there was too much at stake to try to compete against Wags, so if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. With higher prices, I don't think they would have had much to worry about!

So...a lesson for all. Don't assume a national chain can beat an independent store's pricing.

Tangerines and FFA

December 4th, 2008 at 04:36 pm

My 10 lb box of Tangerines came in yesterday. I bought them for a school FFA fundraiser, for $15. Expensive! But pretty and tasty. I was running a little low in the fruit department, so I guess I know now what I'll be eating for the next several weeks. All that vitamin C will be good during cold and flu season too!



I'll share the load with my MIL and a good friend, so maybe they won't ruin before their time (the fruit, not the people!)

Bling! Went the Strings of my Heart

November 30th, 2008 at 02:44 am

That was the title on one of the pages in a samsclub.com ad in Oprah's magazine. The ad spread over several pages and included a lot of gorgeous jewelry ranging from hundreds of dollars to...drum roll please...$157,984! That is not a typo.

SNAP!!! That's what the strings of my heart would do if DH ever even THOUGHT about spending a fraction of that on jewelry! SNAP, CRACKLE and POP - I would have a coronary!!!

I think if you were considering a samsclub membership, the $25 fee would make sense if you are in the market for an item like this. (in reference to Diolla's post about membership fees) But, if you're in the market for an item like this, are you really shopping for it at Sam's club? That's not the market I thought they usually targeted, but maybe I'm wrong.

Would you buy it and just walk out of the store with it, and not be really, really nervous?! Oh, reading the fine print, I see it's only available online.

Clean house!

November 28th, 2008 at 02:47 am

I'm enjoying my nice clean house today! I spent a few hours while things were cooking doing a more thorough job cleaning than I've had time to do lately. I wish it would stay like this on its own. Everything is put away. Glass surfaces have all been polished. Cobwebs and dust bunnies have been banished. And I feel good about it.

It wasn't like I had a houseful of company coming either, just BIL and SS who could really have cared less as long as there was food. But I'm so glad I got it out of the way, and don't need to spend as much time this weekend cleaning.

Black Friday - New printer?

November 25th, 2008 at 04:35 am

A week or two ago, I was really wanting to get a new color laser printer. I had decided on the Samsung CLP-315, but didn't get it because I ran out of time and energy in my weekend shopping to get it. Well, I see it again on Staples black Friday ad, and it's tempting me again...

I'm confused, though. My sneak preview email says: "Get a sneak peek at these hot, limited-time offers now. In store and online." When I click on the link, it takes me to a weekly ad that says "Offer valid Nov 28 - Nov 29". On the top of page 1, in a little Christmas ornament decoration, it says "Friday, 6am to 10am, Offers valid in store only". But that's at the TOP of the page, and the printer is one of the items shown at the BOTTOM of the page. Huh?!? Which is it? In-store only? in-store AND online? 6am to 10am only? or Nov 28 - Nov 29?

Since I don't "do" Black Friday shopping, and since I have to work Friday, I guess I have two options. I can either call ahead for clarification, in which case I'm sure the answer will depend on somebody else's unofficial interpretation of the ad. Or, I can just wait until Friday, and attempt to order the printer online and see what happens. If it's really on sale online, I buy it. If not, I cancel. (I suppose a 3rd option would be to try to force a "truth in advertising" claim by printing what I see when I look at the ad regarding the 2 day sale, and then force them to honor the price if it doesn't automatically ring up that way. I honestly don't think I'd be up to pulling that, though.)

$1.51...and I got paid early

November 23rd, 2008 at 04:44 pm

...is what I paid for gas last night. Woohoo! I love that it keeps getting cheaper, but hope that it doesn't take the focus off finding alternative energy sources.

I was checking my email when I got home and found my paycheck had come early this time. Normally, it hits my account around the 25th or so, and with the holiday coming up, I was really expecting that they would process it on the 25th to go into the account on the 26th, and I'd have to wait until the 28th to really have access to it. Of course, now my next check won't come for 3 weeks, so that will seem like forever! The only real benefit to me is that I can get some early-December bill paying out of the way before the end of this month, since my December is going to be crazy-busy. I have a class several nights a week after work for the first 2.5 weeks of the month, then I have a trip for work for the next 5 days, and then Christmas will be here. Ack! Somewhere in there I have to work on finding a job and shopping for gifts, although our gift-giving will be very sparse this year.


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