Home > Archive: May, 2009

Archive for May, 2009

Updates du jour

May 30th, 2009 at 05:06 am

I added $10 to my rebate total on the sidebar. Love those high-dollar rebates!

Dreaded credit cards have also been reduced. We dropped under $29K this month, which makes me very happy, but I'm afraid that money is getting so tight that we might not be able to pay off the full balance on the card we use for gas, parts, internet purchases, etc. It's been faithfully paid every month in full since I set the money aside as we charge to it, but this month we ran short enough that I had to use that money that was set aside for other expenses. Ugh! Something's gotta give! I don't want to see that credit card balance going back up, no matter what!

I glanced at a few blouses today at the big box store. I really need a few more summer tops for work. I didn't like anything I saw on the clearance racks, and since I've been shopping at the thrift store lately, even the clearance prices on the cheap clothes seemed high! I've found much better, nicer items for just a dollar or two at the thrift store, so I guess I'll be going back there instead.

The only drawback is that I might not be wearing up-to-date styles, but since I don't pay that much attention to the "current look", it doesn't phase me much. One thing I think I think I did miss in fashion, though, is the idea of ladies having pants/slacks so long that they touch the ground. I've noticed several women at work with dress pants and high heels, and their pants are absolutely dragging the ground. (I'm constantly amazed that they don't catch their heel in the hem and fall down.) Is this really the style? Or do we just have a lot of ladies at our company that don't know how to hem their pants?

Dear customer

May 29th, 2009 at 01:52 am

I opened my mail Tuesday to find this notice from one of my credit card companies.

Dear Customer,
Your xxxx Business Card account is funded by an independent trust which owns the balances you owe on your account and provides funding for new transactions. We expect the trust to stop funding activity on our accounts. The trust also restricts our flexibility to fund activity on your account. Unfortunately, as a result, effective May 30th all xxxx Business Credit Card accounts, including your account, will be closed.

This means that you will not be able to use your card or account for new transactions, including purchases, checks, and balance transfers beginning on May 30th. We understand that you may have written checks on your account before May 30th and we will make every effort to honor those checks that are presented to us for payment by June 3rd. If you use your card to make automatic recurring bill payments, you will need to make alternative arrangements for those payment promptly.

It's not a big deal on the surface for me since I have just one recurring bill charged to this account, and I was able to catch it (just barely) and switch it to another card. It was for a business that I have more or less shut down anyhow, so it doesn't really have an impact in that regard. They are honoring the cash back balance that has accumulated, which is minor for me. But, how bad will the elimination of the $12,500 credit limit hurt me?!

Plus, all I can think of is the what ifs. What if I had just set the letter aside for a week or so? (Something I do often when it's a "notice about your credit card", since it's usually just a privacy notice or something minor) What if I had been out of town for the week? I'm sure some people are. It sure wasn't much notice!

In other news, I planted a little more in the garden tonight - turnips. Yuck for me but DH loves them raw. Radishes and lettuce are starting to poke thru the ground also. That was quick! We just planted them last Saturday.

I found a penny at the auto parts store. It was about 6" back under a movable display rack. I'm ashamed to say I moved the rack to get it, but I really thought it was a nickel when I did it. LOL!

Weird coincidence

May 28th, 2009 at 04:32 am

I picked up a few items at Walmart yesterday. Finances are running short, but I had to have the 3 things I bought since we were out. Two of the items were grocery, and the third was in a different category. I quickly added up the grocery and decided it would be somewhere between $3.66 and $3.70, so I could probably use a gift card with $3.68 left on it. I had a nickel in cash if needed to make it come out right so I could use up the gift card and toss it. Lo and behold, the total was exactly $3.68. What a weird coincidence!

I shipped out 3 things today that I sold on eBay. One was from an auction that ended Monday, and 2 were fixed price sales that I listed on Monday for 30 days. One sold within an hour!! Literally! I couldn't believe it. The other took just a day. They were odd items too, things that I thought might never sell at auction but would need the 30 day exposure just for enough different people to see them, so that one would actually buy. Imagine my surprise!

I got a free plant at work today too. I'm not sure where they came from but they were in the breakroom with a FREE sign on them. I grabbed a spike plant. It will go nice in the big pot on our front porch that has petunias in it now. There is room in the middle so I'll just stick it in there. I like free Smile

I'm loving this long weekend!

May 25th, 2009 at 04:05 am

We've got our garden about 1/2 planted this weekend, in between rain showers. Lettuce, radishes, spinach, onions, pole beans, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, peppers and cantaloupe so far. Still need to do cucumbers, watermelon, and turnips. I'm not sure what else. There is still a lot of room left! I think the area DH designated as the garden area is too big, but maybe he'll come up with something to put there.

The funny thing is we usually don't lack for any veges during the summer. Between family members and our neighbor, we've always had all we needed given to us, at least of most things. But, we decided it was time to do our own (again), and maybe we'll have things to trade. My legs are killing me from all the up & down action. I guess I don't use some of those muscles very often!

I found another penny on Saturday. It was in my car, but I don't remember dropping it, so I counted it in my Found on the Ground tally.

I also (finally) finished updating my grocery spending and my total is now up to date on the side bar. $1,078+ saved with coupons for the year! I thought some of my big coupon-filled trips lately would bring my savings percent up some, but it actually dropped down 1% to just 31%. I'm not complaining, though!

The average spent per week is back down to $113.45, and that's after a HUGE total this past week of over $217. I can't imagine that we should need to spend ANY money the next few weeks on groceries, but there are always the basics that we don't stock up on like milk & bread. If I can keep the spending way down, I should be able to inch the weekly average down little by little.

I'm loving that this is a 3-day weekend for me. Usually by this time on Sunday, I'm so bummed thinking of all the things I didn't get done over the weekend, and I have another whole day to get them done this time! Yippee!!

If I sound giddy over all these little things, it's because I'm trying desperately to find things to be happy about and take my mind off big worries. We keep having to dip into savings to keep up with bills and payroll. When I say "dip", I don't really mean little dips, either. We HAVE to find some way to increase income, and soon. I'm considering a part-time job, even though I know it would wipe me out physically. Hubby and I talked quite a bit about the state of things today, but didn't really resolve anything. I'm trying not to get sick to my stomach just thinking about it all. I hope to list a few things on eBay or CL tomorrow. They sure won't bail us out of the mess, but at least we'll be making an effort.


May 23rd, 2009 at 05:24 am

One of my local grocery stores was having some pretty good deals this week, and there are a lot of good coupons out there in cyberspace these days, so I gathered my coupons and made my list using the sale flyer, and stocked up before the weekend. I sort of put the grocery spending goal to the side this week, because I didn't want to limit myself to a certain dollar amount and end up buying the stuff I passed up today in a few weeks for a lot more money.

Here is the haul, all for $35.79!!

Plus, I should be able to submit my receipts for a $6.99 rebate on the quesadillas, and possibly a free grocery tote bag from a Rachel Ray promotion, if I bought the right products. Even the cashier (a young man) was thoroughly impressed with my coupon savings of just under $28. So impressed, in fact, that he handed me a $1.50 off your next order coupon that a prior customer had left behind! What a sweetie!!

I just realized some of the stuff is hard to see. That's 10 ears of corn in the back. (We had some tonight, and it was delicious!) There are 2 Crystal Light boxes behind the tea, so that's 5 Crystal Lights total. One tea is missing, since I drank it on the way home. (gulp!) There are 4 packages of Kraft sliced cheese, 5 packages of hot dogs, 2 packages of Kraft shredded cheese, and 5 of the frozen boxed meals. Some of the coupons were for free things, or when doubled they wiped out the cost of the items. The ketchup, tea, 3 of the Crystal Lights, and the corn were all free with my coupons.

I have one other store to go to on Tuesday evening with equally as fantastic deals. I don't think I'll be spending as much, but I should end up with quite a few more free things from that trip.

I sold two things today on Craigslist, and turned around & spent the money on graveside decorations for Memorial Day. It was nice timing.

Enjoy the holiday weekend all! I have so many plans to catch up on things around here, but I'm not starting the weekend off right by staying up so late! I won't be ready to hop out of bed first thing in the morning.

A penny saved....trivia

May 22nd, 2009 at 03:48 am

I found another penny today, so that puts my total for 2 weeks at 50 cents. At that rate (not likely), at the end of one year, I'll have $13 I didn't have before.

And here's the trivia:

Who said "A penny saved is a penny earned"?
a) Abraham Lincoln
b) Benjamin Franklin
c) Bernard Madoff
d) Donald Trump

LOL! I couldn't resist.

Updates & deals

May 19th, 2009 at 04:12 am

I found a penny on Saturday and another one today, so I'm up to 49 cents since I started tracking found money!

I also updated my year-to-date coupon savings thru April 24th. I'm up to $902+ saved, or 32% of our purchases.

Today's rebate in the mail was a pair of work gloves received as a rebate from some oil we purchase a few months ago. Freebies! (since we needed the oil anyhow).

The best deal of all came at Petsmart. I had a raincheck from when their dog chow was on sale for $17.49. I bought 8 bags, and for each one had a $7 coupon (really a check sent from Purina for weight circles I submit). Then, I had $6 from calling in after prior purchases to do a survey, but since I didn't give it to them before they took off the checks they couldn't do it. I was going to use them the next time, but then realized I wouldn't have the benefit of the rain check price, so I bought another bag as a separate purchase, used the last of my $7 checks, plus the $6 survey coupon. Total for almost 400 pounds of dog chow - just under $100!!! If my calculations are right, that should last us 3 weeks. Oh, and there was a small bird toy for under $2 in there too. I can't wait until I have time to finish updating the coupon savings to include this purchase. That will really bump up the dollar and percent savings for the year.

Snake eyes!

May 15th, 2009 at 03:19 am

I found 11 cents today between Dollar General and the grocery store. That's what I'm calling "snake eyes" (like when you roll two 1's on a pair of dice).

Yesterday at work I found 11 cents also. Some contractors had been assembling cubicles and I guess when one of them was laying on the floor, the change fell out of his pocket. He was gone when I found it, so I guess it's mine now!

Since I found a quarter on Saturday also, I decided I should start keeping track of money I find, so I've updated my sidebar to include "Found on the Ground". I don't have an accurate count of all the money I've found for the year, but 47 cents in the past 6 days isn't bad.

While I was updating, I thought I'd show my rebates year to date, and coupon savings year to date. I'm about a month behind on the coupon tally, but maybe seeing it right there in black & white (or purple!) will nag at me to keep it updated more frequently.

The total are rather impressive, if I do say so myself. $480+ in rebates so far (with another $75 outstanding)!! And coupon savings of $885 for the year. If only I was able to actually apply this money to credit cards instead of just putting it toward everyday bills...

Ebay & Craigslist

May 13th, 2009 at 01:02 am

I listed 4 items on Ebay & 2 items on Craigslist that I've tried on Ebay multiple times and never get bids on. Both of the Craigslist items had some interest, but then neither sold. Two of the Ebay items did though! It's not a big profit, but it puts my Paypal account very close to $100. Once it gets to $100, I usually transfer it into my checking, and then my savings account.

I read in my email today from Ebay this news: Starting June 16:
Every 30 days, your first 5 Auction-style listings will have NO Insertion Fees when you list with eBay's Sell Your Item form or Simple listing form--regardless of your start price.
Sounds like good news to me!

I mailed off some rebates yesterday & today. If all are processed, it will be $13.49 back in my pocket, although $5 of that will be in the form of coupons.

I got a pair of work gloves today in the mail from a rebate I'd mailed back in February. Three months is a little long to take to process! Actually, I sent in enough for 2 rebates, so where is my other pair of gloves?!?!?

Thankful it was just the shingles that blew away!

May 9th, 2009 at 04:04 am

We had some wild, wild weather here this morning! Our house is now minus several shingles in one section, and we have some tree damage in the yard, but I'm thankful it wasn't worse!!

Our neighbor's garage/shed is gone, POOF!, like it never existed. Fortunately for him it was just used for storage, since he's got a double garage attached to the house and parks his truck and 4 wheeler in there.

Over a mile or so further, someone we know had lots of tree damage, a cattle trailer had rolled over & over (dented on all sides), and another flat bed trailer was sitting upside-down. I don't think they had any damage to their house, but there might have been other vehicles that got hit too.

I believe it was all straight line wind damage rather than a tornado, since it's not a certain path of destruction - just spots here and there. Our power has been out since 10am, but we've got the generator going so we can carry on just like normal. After several days without power back 3 or 4 years ago with bad winter storms, we now have a generator for these situations.

A feel-good story

May 5th, 2009 at 03:34 am

I just remembered something that happened about a month ago that was just so sweet. I was hanging out in McDonalds taking advantage of their free wifi. An elderly lady sat down at the next table over and was eating her lunch or snack or coffee or whatever she had.

There were a few tables of young people here & there. (Young = late teens/early twenties.) One of the young ladies got up from her table and passed by to go up to the counter to get something, but she took the time to stop by the elderly lady's table and comment how she liked her blouse, with its pretty colors. I thought that was just so sweet.

Not only did she brighten the woman's day, she brightened mine as well just because I witnessed it. And here I am a month later remembering it again. It's amazing what kind words can do !!

Repurposing items

May 3rd, 2009 at 03:42 am

I haven't had much to add this week. Most of it was spent in a big funk, partially weather related I think, since it's been so darn rainy and gloomy.

I took advantage of a free skin cancer screening today, and nothing of interest was noted by the dermatologist. I didn't think there was anything, but it never hurts to check.

Totally off topic of anything related to my finances, I saw this web site today and spent awhile goofing around looking at fascinating pictures of recycled items - from beverage containers to housing made from storage containers to this one, art made from recycled cardboard.

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I am nowhere near that clever. I tried to repurpose my stepson's belt into a dog collar, not noticing that in addition to it being worn, the buckle was also broken. It lasted 10 seconds. I did braid another dog collar out of twine from our hay bales and stick it on one of the dogs that we've (temporarily) adopted. It lasted about a month! I just noticed it's gone today. I hope I find it somewhere so I can make another one, but use the same buckle. Also, so I don't "find" the buckle with the lawnmower. I guess it's light enough that it wouldn't do any damage, so I probably don't need to worry too much.