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Archive for November, 2005

Nov goals

November 30th, 2005 at 08:23 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

Spent $2.26 on postage for last half.com book

Goals for Nov were

1. Spend $100 on clothes. I need a new coat, and a hat to warm my ears and a smaller pair of jeans, but don't have to have the jeans right now, so unless I find a good deal on a coat and hat I probably won't get the jeans just yet.

Spent 204.21 way over, but it was things I need, just maybe not right this minute. Hard to pass up good buys when you know you need something soon. I got a new lambskin coat, a hat, a scarf, two pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of sweat pants and a sweat shirt.

2. Only spend $450 for monthly basics - groceries, gas, hbas etc

Over in this area too $456.73

Groceries $148.10
Fast Food $29.40
Restaurants $45.76
Nieces $39.74
Books/Newspapers $15.03
Gas $25.87
HBAs $56
Entertainment $10.50
Misc $86.33

3. Walk for at least 30 min a day for at least 20 days. Since the days are shorter there's not going to be enough time for my normal 55 min walk.

Made this one.

4. Save $1000 over my 401K investment

Made this one, but still waiting to use the money on my new shower whenever it gets installed.

5. Get my shower redone and paid for

This is delayed to Dec 9 because the materials didn't get here yet.

6. Put $100 more in my cash reserve fund.

Put $200 in the fund so this is done now.

7. Only eat at fast foods 4 times and only eat at restaurants 5 times this month.

At at fast foods 5 times and restaurants 5 times so missed by 1.

My networth increased by 5.91% in Nov, that's very nice, I'd like to see that again in Dec Smile

I also spent $217.35 on xmas gifts in Nov and $40 on stocking up on sales items from my $200 stockup budget. Most of my xmas shopping is done now. Just two more people to finish up, my grandma and youngest niece. I hope to finish both next week.

I put $50 a month in my xmas fund so I have $600 to spend. I buy 8 gifts for family and then also contribute to Silver Key, Toys for Tots and Care and Share from that budget.

I'm mad at myself because I had a $3 rebate for the Monopoly games I got to give to Toys for Tots. I took the games in to donate yesterday and went to fill out the rebate form today and realized I didn't write the UPC down. DOH! I'm going to try to remember to check if the grocery store has the games in stock and get a UPC from there this weekend. I might go to Media Play this weekend for their triple points days and I can check there too.

Free meal

November 29th, 2005 at 08:34 pm

First day back to work after a 5 day vacation. So hard to get up early to get to work on time. I've always been a night person and it's way too easy for me to get used to sleeping in. It was freezing this morning. The temp was 18 degrees. BRRR!

I went to Souper Salad on the way home from work I had a coupon for a $1.00 off the meal and when I was paying I saw they had gift cards that give a free meal with a $25 purchase. Meals are normally $5.99. That's almost a 25% savings and since I eat there pretty regularly I bought a card. This will come from my stock up money.

Total spent so far this month = $488.13


shopping

November 28th, 2005 at 07:16 pm

I had the day off today and mom and I went shopping.

My first stop was the post office to mail the latest half.com book. $1.42
When I got home tonight saw I had sold another book for $6. Since I have to go into the office tomorrow and won't have time to go to the post office my mom offered to take it for me. I'll leave it in the door for her to pick up tomorrow.

We hit a bunch of stores today. Here's the list.

Walmart - $49.48 ($21 for xmas gifts and $28.48 for 2 pairs sweat pants and sweat shirt for me. Mine are getting too big for me)
Kmart - $5.99 xmas gift
Ruby Tuesday's - $10.26
Foleys - $0
Hallmark - $2.18 xmas card for grandma.
Mervyn's - $0
Sears - $0
JC Penny's - $0
Christmas store - $0
Bed, Bath N Beyond - $8.58 xmas gift, 20% off coupon
Hobby Lobby - $0
Bank - deposited $13.95 in rebate checks and $15 in loose change
Oak Express - $0
Walgreens - $11.33 receipt says I saved $12.59

Total spent so far this month = $482.77 overbudget again Frown

Sunday

November 27th, 2005 at 07:28 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Thanks everyone for the congrats on paying off the car. This is the first new car I've ever owned. I always bought used before. I decided to go new this time for peace of mind. When I drive into town it's 15 miles of freeway with no place to walk to for help. And I don't have a cell phone. I wanted a car I felt comfortable with for reliability. I plan to keep it for a minimum of 7 years and hope for 10 years. I only put about 6000 miles a year on it so I shouldn't have a problem keeping it for a number of years.

As I hoped my headache left about midnight last night just about the time the storm finally got here. It was such a relief. It went really fast. I was lying in bed and all the sudden it was gone. I just gave a big sigh of relief and thought to myself, "Oh, that's so nice!" We only got a tiny bit of snow, but it was so cold while we were walking. It was 32 degrees but the wind was blowing like crazy, that always makes walking harder.

I bought some old-fashioned oatmeal yesterday and fixed it in the microwave for breakfast. I forgot how much I liked oatmeal. I tend to get into habits with breakfast and lunches where I eat the same thing every day. I put some maple syrup on the oatmeal and it was yummy!

I finished re-reading my book A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton. Romance/Fairy. Excellent book. Fourth in the series.

I have one more day off before I have to go back to work. I'm going shopping tomorrow and hope to finish up most of my xmas shopping.

car is paid off

November 26th, 2005 at 07:39 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

I've had sinus headaches almost everyday this week and have another one today. So tired of it. We're supposed to have snow tonight and tomorrow, maybe after it blows through my headaches will go with it.

Went to the grocery store and spent $36.69 I try to check my receipt afterwards before leaving. I can't watch the register that closely. Lately it's wrong so often it's a major pain in the butt. I had to go the customer service to get $9.98 refunded. There were buy one get one free on 2 items I bought that didn't ring up right, they charged me the full price. Grocery sales go from Wednesday to Tuesday so the fact that it's Saturday and this item is still ringing up wrong, tells me the grocery store just doesn't care if they get it right or not. It's hard to believe no one in the state noticed this before today. Since the cash register is driven by computers and I imagine the sales prices are input in one place and downloaded to all the stores, it's hard to believe they couldn't know this is wrong 3 days into the sale. Just makes you feel ripped off even if you do get your money back.

Total spent so far this month = $431.58

On a more positive note I made my last car payment today. WOOHOO! I'm SO glad not to have that monthly bill even if it was 0% interest and I made money by not paying cash upfront. I just hated that bill every month, it felt like I was paying extra for the car since I'd been driving it for so long. This will free up $344 a month for savings.

BTW my car is a 2003 Saturn ION and it's been a really good car. Gets almost 30 miles per gallon and I haven't had any problems with it at all. It's only needed regular maintenance and I had to replace one of the tires when I ran over a nail. And I had one recall notice on a part that they replaced in about 45 minutes. That's it, very happy with it.

Sold another book at half.com for $3

Finished re-reading my book Seduced By Moonlight by Laurell K. Hamilton. Romancy/Fairies. Excellent book. This is probably the third time I've reread this book. I love this author and this series. I like her vampire series too, but I like this series about a modern american fairy princess the best.


chili and games

November 25th, 2005 at 09:32 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Sold another book at half.com for $2

I was planning to make a big batch of Wendy's chili today and since I know it makes so much I asked my mom if she wanted me to bring some over for supper tonight. She said that was fine so after our walk I went to Safeway to get two missing ingredients - Kidney beans and Fritos. I like Fritos with my chili. Spent $4.88

Total spent so far this month = $394.89

I went to the library and picked up a couple of books also. I've been doing some research on the Glycemic Index for controlling diabetes and weight loss. I found two books, so need to read them and see if it's something I want to try to follow.

Made the chili and put half of it in food storage containers before I took it to mom's. All of us had 1 and half bowls each and I left the rest for them to have for lunch this next week. We played games after that and had ice cream for dessert.

I finished reading my book Night Game by Christine Feehan. Romance. Excellent book. I love this author, she has so many great series going right now. She has the Carpathians (vampires), the seven sisters (witches) and the enhanced psychic abilities series, which this book belongs to. I like all of her series.

Walk the line

November 24th, 2005 at 09:19 pm

walked with mom for 50 min.

Bought a paper for .50 cents and looked through the adds. I'm looking for a computer, preferably a notebook, and there were some really fantastic deals. I tried to get online to Best Buy all day since the add said they had special online deals today, but I never got through, the site was down everytime I tried. Frown That's going to cause a lot of ill will from customers. I refuse to go to the stores tomorrow, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see if anyother good deal comes along.

My sister and I went to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving dinner. It was packed, it wasn't nearly that busy last year. I guess more people go out to eat on Thanksgiving than used to. Her husband takes the kids to Kansas to see his mom every year for Thanksgiving and she refuses to go with them, so we usually go to lunch and a movie on that day. We both had chicken fingers and I brought both of our leftovers home and had them for dinner tonight. Spent $11.50

Then we went to the Mall to see a movie. We were early for the movie and Kmart is right next to the theater so we went in there first. They had some really good unadvertised sales. The had a lot of board games on sale at buy one get one free, plus there are 2 or 3 rebates on a lot of the Milton Bradley games. I got two Monopoly games for the Toys for Tots drive. They were $12.00 for the two games but I get a $3.00 rebate. One of the items suggested for gifts for the Toys for Tots was board games, but after I bought them I started wondering how much kids play board games anymore. I know when I was a kid we played them all the time. My bother and I used to spend hours playing Monopoly after school. I also bought a scarf for myself for walking in the cold for $5 and I bought a package of 8 MM flavored chapsticks for my youngest niece. Total spent at Kmart = $27.85 of which $22.85 was for xmas gifts.

My sister took everything to the car while I went to buy the tickets for the movie. I spent $10.50 on the tickets. I had expected her to pay me back, but she never did. Oh well, she drove so no big deal. We saw Walk the Line and it was a real good movie. I'm going to look for the soundtrack and see what's on it. There were a lot of good songs in the movie. I recently bought the Essential Johnny Cash CD which is 2 CDs and has aroung 36 songs on it. I think I've played it about 8 times now.

Total spent so far this month = $390.01

I have a 5 day weekend since I'm using up some of my vacation. Hope to have a very relaxing day tomorrow, yet also get some of my housecleaning done, and maybe try Best Buy online again.

First Pinecone check

November 23rd, 2005 at 08:54 pm

walked with mom for 55 min. Found a pair of sunglasses while we were walking today. They are perfectly good, so I guess I'll use them.

I had a half day off for comp time today from working Sat morning. I got in a quick nap, but I've had the nastiest headache the last two days. Finally got rid it of it by taking some sinus pills. I always start with Excedrin migraine pills because they work 80% of the time but every once in a while it's a sinus headache and I don't recognize it at first.

I bought $5250 worth of I-bonds today with the money from the EE bonds I sold a while ago.

The stock market is really doing great right now, hope the upward streak lasts the rest of the year.

I got my first $5 check from Pinecone today and had another survey to do when I checked my email. This is cool. It will be even better if they send me samples of the two items I surveyed so far. I got a Bertolli olive oil and pasta sauce sample in the mail today.

Finished reading The Hunting Wind by Steve Hamilton. Mystery. Ok. This is a new author for me, but the book wasn't interesting enough for me to read any more of his books.

Benefits

November 22nd, 2005 at 07:43 pm

walked with mom for 45 min. very cold

Went to dinner with parents at Village Inn. Spent $11 got a piece of pumpkin pie to have with lunch tomorrow. I love their pumpkin pie, it's a good thing they only have it for about two months out of the year Smile

Total spent this month = $362.51

Signed up for my 2006 benefits today. Most everything stayed the same except my Flex Health Care fund which I decreased since I have extra this year, which fortunately they changed the law and I can use until March next year. But that means I need even less in reserve for next year.

Half.com is depositing $48.56 in my account. That's a bunch for two weeks. I have some more books I need to list. Maybe this weekend.

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Lonely Men by Louis L'Amour. Western. Good

Finished reading my book Flashback by Cait London. Romance. Good but not as good as some of her other books. Lots of repetition, which I find boring. She tells the same story from two or three viewpoints.

Monday

November 21st, 2005 at 08:21 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

I sent in two rebates today. $11 from Longs and $10 from Del Monte.

Nothing else to share today.

Thanksgiving dinner

November 20th, 2005 at 09:06 pm

Went to bed last night at 10:00 and woke up at 8:30 this morning. Felt very good. Walked with mom for 55 min. Went to the grocery store and got some more gourmet foods for my brother's xmas along with my groceries. Spent $37.63 on my groceries and $22.88 on him. Bought him Jerky, sausage and speciality coffees and cocoa packages and a big box of chocolates. I still want to get him some crackers and cheese dip.

Had a real relaxing day. Cut up my veggies for the week and made tuna salad for lunches and read the paper. Then around 4:00 I went to my parents for Thanksgiving dinner. My mom usually fixes dinner for our immediate family the weekend before or after Thanksgiving since she goes to her sister's for Thanksgiving. Really good. But way too much food. I brought a piece of pumpkin pie home since I didn't have room to eat it there.

Got to talk to both my nieces for a while and asked the youngest what she wants for xmas. She tells me a Playstation PSP and says it costs about $500. I told her she wouldn't be getting it from me. Smile Maybe in a couple years when it comes down to a couple hundred mom and I can split it for her. She gave me some other ideas so at least I can start buying stuff for her.

Played several games of cards with my parents after everyone left. That's always fun.

Total spent this month = $351.51

very, very, very long day

November 19th, 2005 at 07:55 pm

We had our fvo today where we put our softward product in production. It was scheduled to start at 2:00 am this morning. I generally don't sleep well when I know I have to get up in a few hours and it seems easier to me to stay awake than sleep a couple of hours and then wake up. So I didn't go to bed. I logged into work at 2:00 am and found they weren't ready for us to start yet, but everyone had to hang around until they were ready. Well I wasn't able to start till almost 5:00 am. I did my testing and dropped off the bridge at 6:30 then since I was hungry I went and cooked eggs for breakfast. Right when I'm done one of my co-workers calls and wants me to get back on the bridge to check something out. So I do that and tell her yes it is a problem. Then I get off again. It's my job to find breaks not fix them Smile

My parents had placed a SHARE order that needed to be picked up between 9 and 10:30 this morning and they couldn't go do it since they left home at 7:00 to drive to my grandpa's funeral. So I told them I would get it for them. Since I knew I had to leave in a couple of hours I didn't lie down. Instead I forced myself to stay awake and I drove over to the SHARE pickup at 9:20. It had snowed most of the night and the roads were really slick. I get to the SHARE place and the foods not there, they said come back after 10:00. Frown On the way back home I saw something I've never seen before. The Shell gas station had a sign out saying Gas Sale today. I looked and it was $2.09/gal it's selling for $2.19 everywhere else. So I stopped and filled up my tank. Spent $20.37

I drove back and got the SHARE food about 10:30. Then I went home and finally went to bed. But by that time the sun had come out and it was really bright and I just fell asleep when I got a phone call from Yellow Book with an automated message telling me they had delivered my phone book. Like I couldn't figure out what that big book on my front porch was. So then I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up and cleaned my kitchen and read a book.

My parents called on their way home from the funeral and I met them at the Village Inn for dinner. My dad paid as thank you for picking up their food for them. Afterwards they came to my house and got their food.

I finished reading the library book Crystal Gorge by David Eddings. Sci Fi. Very Good. Third in a series.

Now I'm extremely tired and hope I'm not so tired I won't fall asleep. Seems ridiculous but that happens to me sometimes.

Total spent so far this month = $313.88

new CC

November 18th, 2005 at 08:32 pm

The other day http://www.mymoneyblog.com/ had a post about a CITI CC that offered 3% back on restaurant, office supplies, auto rentals and gas stations and a $100 gift card when you sign up and make one purchase. I applied today and was accepted so I should get a new CC soon. I should be getting the $100 back from the Visa card I got a couple months ago. This new card will be good for me because I eat out quite a bit and at least I will get a little bit back. The site had another card for another $100 back, but I don't think I'll get that one. At least not yet Smile since I would only use it the once to get the $100. A free $100 is hard to turn down though, especially when I know it won't hurt my credit rating enough to matter.

Went to the Mountain Man store and bought a bag of hot peanuts for my brother's xmas and a bag of cinnammon bears for mom's bday. Spent $9.18

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Promise in a Kiss by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very Good.

Finished reading my book Sins of the Night. Romance. Very Good.

freak snow storm

November 17th, 2005 at 08:43 pm

walked with mom for 30 min today. The weather was supposed to be sunny instead a freak snow storm blew in right when we started walking. It was freezing and the snow pellets were blowing in our faces. But we finished the walk anyways. My new coat kept me pretty warm except for my face.

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Perfect Lover by Staphanie Laurens. Romance. Very good.

Can't wait for this week to end for some reason it seems like forever.

more xmas shopping

November 16th, 2005 at 08:02 pm

walked with mom for 35 min.

My sister was in World Market and got a lb of smoked salmon for me for $14.99 I give my brother smoked salmon for xmas every year. She dropped it off for me on her way home. That was nice, there's no World Market around here so I wouldn't have gotten it otherwise.

There's a Mountain Man store near here so I might stop there this weekend for nuts or something else to add to my brother's package and then he'll be done.

Finished reading the library book Undead and Unreturnable by Mary Janice Davidson. Vampire. OK. popcorn book.

freezing weather

November 15th, 2005 at 09:17 pm

It's 9 degrees right now, very, very cold all day. The roads were very icy this morning so even though we only got a couple inches of snow I didn't go in to the office today. They plowed and it melted a bit before lunch.

Sold two more half.com books for $2 and $3.50. Mailed them on my lunch hour, spent $3.26

Went to Taco Bell after and spent $6.47

Wrote a $50 check to the Boone Fire Department in memory of my grandpa. This comes out of my gift fund.

Total spent so far this month = $293.51

I got my first survey from Pinecone today. I'd forgotten I signed up for that.

I have 3 more xmas presents to get. One is for my youngest niece. I try to get all my gifts purchased before Dec because I hate shopping in Dec. But I need to take my niece shopping so she can point out things she wants. The funeral is this weekend and Thanksgiving is next weekend so don't think I'm going to make it before Dec. Not sure when I'll get to take her. The other two gifts are phone cards, grocery cards and gourment foods. They can be bought at the grocery store, so it's not like going into a retail store or heaven forbid a MALL! Smile In my early twenties I was shopping in a mall in December and had to leave because I started hyper-ventilating. Can't stand crowds and haven't been to a mall in December since.

Tons of movies coming out between now and the end of the year that I'd like to see. I'll probably only get time for one though. I'll probably wait to see the Harry Potter movie after xmas when it won't be quite so crowded.

snowing again

November 14th, 2005 at 09:07 pm

walked with mom for 30 min.

Went to the post office to mail the half.com book and pick up some discounted gift cards that they wouldn't deliver to my house. Spent $1.42

My Low Fuel light was blinking on the way home from walking with mom. I try to get gas in town when I go because it's cheaper. I was supposed to go in town yesterday and would have filled up then, but everything is messed up with my grandpa's death, so I didn't make it into town. I got $5 of gas here thinking I would get some when I go into work tomorrow, but now it's snowing and extremely icy so I probably won't go in. Maybe later in the week but I'll probably have to get some more gas first. Paid 2.35/gal for gas.

Total spent so far this month = $281.54

I sold another book on half.com this evening for $2.00

I finished reading the library book The Protector's War by S.M. Stirling. Adventure. Very Good. It's the sequel to the Dies the Fire book I read on Saturday. The book just sucks you in and takes you to another world.

Condolences

November 13th, 2005 at 07:55 pm

Thanks everyone for the condolences, I really appreciate them.

Walked with mom for 55 min. It was freezing! 33 degrees with a strong wind blowing. My new coat and hat worked well, but I need a scarf for around my neck. Even though it was cold it was a beautiful day. My mom spent most of the walk talking about my grandparents. I think she needs the stress relief.

This is the first person who was close to me who has died. I've been very lucky that way. Anyways i don't know what the customary thing to do for the survirvor is. I don't want to send flowers because I think they are a waste. My mom told me they are asking for donations to their church and to their local fire department since the fire department had to come help resusitate grandpa a couple times towards the end. So I think I will send money to the fire department in his name.

I went to the grocery store and spent $46.25. $11 of which was for a phone card for the Silver Key person.

Total spent so far this month = $275.12

my Grandpa died today

November 12th, 2005 at 09:25 pm

I got a call from my parents that my grandpa died this afternoon. All of my aunts, my mom and sister were all there when it happened. He was a good man and a good grandfather but I'm glad for his sake that his pain is over.

I went to the bank this morning and cashed in $5000 worth of series EE savings bonds. I plan to buy I-bonds with the money next week. I also got another $100 to put in my cash reserve fund.

Went to Media Play and sold 17 CDs for $39.16 then turned around and spent $36.03 on books. It was a triple point day. $21 of that was for a xmas gift for my friend. I like to share my books. I loan books to my friends and to my brother. I always enjoy finding out that someone likes the same books and authors that I like.

Went to Wendy's for lunch and spent $6.61

Total spent so far this month = $239.87

I sold another book at half.com today for $2.5

I read my book Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling. Adventure. Excellent book. This isn't a new author for me, but it is a new series. I like the other books by this guy too. I love finding new books that are totally absorbing and that make you wonder what if, and what would I do in this situation. This book is about starting a new civilization if all of our electrical power and guns were suddenly destroyed. It's a post apocalypse type story. The characters are great and the things people do to rebuild society when it's dropped back a thousand years is very interesting. I always like these type of stories. Lucifer's Hammer is one of my favorite books and this book is very similar to that. It makes me question, without technology what kinds of skills do I have that are valuable when brain-power is not the most important commodity but practical skills such as sewing, gardening, etc are much more valuable?

Goodwill

November 11th, 2005 at 08:59 pm

woke up with a lot of energy this morning. I have the day off as a vacation day, it's not a company holiday, I'm just gradually using up my vacation before the end of the year.

I store stuff that I don't want in an extra closet all year and then when it gets full I go through it and decide what to do with it. So that's what I tackled today. I pulled out things that I think people in my family could use. I put aside 26 CDs to take to Media Play tomorrow to sell. I put some videos and more books on half.com and then I made a list of the rest for my taxes and took a whole trunk full of boxes and bags to the Goodwill. Nice to get it all cleaned out.

Then I did two loads of laundry. By that time my energy level was dying down and I took a nap. Then I read for the rest of the day.

Finished reading the library book Gabriel's Angel by Nora Roberts. Romance. Good. Her books are always good.

Social Security

November 10th, 2005 at 08:03 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

We went to a new restaurant and split a pizza. Spent $6

Total spent so far this month = $218.23

I got my Social Security statement today. The one that tells you how much you made up to now and how much you've paid into the system. Each year when I get this I add up the total of what I've made. It's extremely mind-blowing. This is based on the book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominquez.

According to the statement I started paying Social Security in 1979. I had a few jobs before then but they were for cash so I guess Social Security wasn't taken out. I've earned more than $789,000. WOW! Where did all that money go? I then compare that to my savings/investments and I realize I have about 30% of that money in assets. That's pretty good. I recommend you try this experiment when you get your Social Security Statement. It really makes you think.

I finished reading the library book Back to the Bedroom by Janet Evanovich. Romance. Ok, popcorn book, not as good as her Stephanie Plum series.

Silver Key

November 9th, 2005 at 08:19 pm

walked for 30 min at lunch with mom

Got up early so I could go to the post office before work to send off the McGuffey reader books. I asked for Media Mail but the clerk told me that for heavy books using something she called Bound Printed Material rate was cheaper. It saved me almost .60 cents over the Media Mail rate so I used that instead. My package weighed 5 1b 2.20 oz.

Spent $2.86; then when I got home I logged onto my computer and saw I had sold another book. DOH! Glad I sold another book, but it's difficult to get to the post office between 8 and 5. Forunately I have a flexible work situation so I stopped at the post office again after I walked with mom and spent another $1.42 on postage.

My dad came over this afternoon to replace the pipes under my two bathroom sinks which are leaking. He bought the stuff at Home Depot and I paid him back the $20. He replaced all of them since they are the metal pipes which always corrode and leak. He replaced them with flexible plastic pipes which last a lot longer.

Total spent so far this month = $212.23

I forgot to post yesterday about my work hosting a Silver Key tree for xmas this year. Silver Key is an organization that helps older people. At work you can pick an ornament and on the back of the ornament is a gift that a senior wants. I picked out two yesterday when I walked in without looking at them. When I got to my desk I saw that one was for a DVD player. I haven't even bought myself a DVD player yet, I thought that was a bit expensive to buy so I put it back and got another ornament before I left for the day. One gift was a baseball cap and one was for a pre-paid long distance phone card. My dad had a brand new baseball cap that he's never used and he gave me that, so if there are any ornaments left I'll pick up another one next week when I'm in the office. I'll get a prepaid phone card somewhere before the first of December.

I'll have to find a new place that's sponsering Toys for Tots this year. I usually take my nieces shopping and we pick out two gifts for Toys for Tots. My work used to sponser that, but I'm sure someone else will sponser it. I like to give tangible gifts instead of money.

I spent some time moving my money around today. So now my allocations are pretty close to where I want them. You can never make it exact. I know intellectually that this forces me to sell high and buy low, but I still have to force myself to do it. It's hard to sell things that have made you money and put that money in things that have either not made you money or maybe even lost money.

I finished reading my book A Fine Passion by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very Good.

sleepless night

November 8th, 2005 at 07:30 pm

hurried home from work today so I could sneak in a 30 min walk before dark.

Went to Taco Bell for supper and spent $6.17

Total spent so far this month = $187.95

I sold a brand new set of McGuffey readers on half.com for $25 today. I'm not even sure why I own these books except for the fact that I expressed some curiosity about them one time and the next thing I knew my mom bought me the set for xmas one year. Smile

I couldn't sleep last night, my brain was going a 100 mph regarding work. Whenever I run into a problem it just loops in my head trying to think of solutions. I keep a pad of paper and pencil by my bed and write the ideas down for solving the problem down just so I can get them out of my head. I was so tired today. I got up an hour early and went into work early. There's no sense fighting it. I just wish I could find the off button when I have those kinds of night

My grandfather is very ill right now. He's 87 years old and has been ill all year. They called hospice in today so you know it's close to the end. He's in so much pain and he really doesn't know anyone right now, it would be a blessing for him to go. Everyone is reconciled to the fact that he will die soon and while it's not our wish it's what's best for him.

When people get terminally ill you always hear talk about their quality of life deteriorating, what people don't realize is that it's not just the quality of life of the ill person that deteriorates, it's the quality of life of their family members also. No one in the family regrets the amount of time or money it's taking to take care of him, but it is a fact that it's a strain on their families. There are 5 sisters and they take turns taking care of him, naturally the ones who live closest spend the largest amount of time looking after both of my grandparents. This causes guilt for the other sisters because they feel that they aren't doing their share. It's just bad for everyone and causes a lot of stress.



Asset Allocation

November 7th, 2005 at 08:23 pm

walked with mom for 30 min today

This time of year I reallocate my investments so they meet my asset allocation goals. The goal for this year was:

10% cash/bonds
90% stocks

Currently my cash/bonds assets are 10.11%
and the stocks are 89.89%

The stocks are divided into the following categories

Asset Goal Actual
Health fund 5% 13.4%
REIT fund 5% 5.4%
US small caps fund 25% 15.7%
Foreign fund 15% 20%
Emerging Markets fund 10% 10%
US Lg Cap - Value fund 20% 23%
US Lg Cap - Growth fund 20% 22%

I'll spend the next few weeks moving the stock assets around to get my percentages more in line with where I want them.

Next year I plan to change the allocation to 15% cash/bonds and 85% stocks.
And the following year I plan to change to 20% cash/bonds and 80% stocks.
Since I'm getting within a few years of retirement I need more money in safer investments.

Corpse Bride

November 6th, 2005 at 06:55 pm

Got the newspaper this morning and spent $1. Lots of good coupons this week. Was planning to get another paper, but got too tired and didn't go back.

I spent the day with my oldest niece. Our first stop was Ross, which is one of her favorite stores. She picked out 4 shirts for xmas. Spent $34.33

Next we met my parents at Red Lobster. Both of us love Red Lobster and we usually both order the same thing - popcorn shrimp. YUMMMMM. Spent $15.05 Had a $2 off coupon and discounted gift cards.

Next stop was Kohl's where she picked out a black pair of pants and a jean jacket for xmas. Spent $40.37 I don't mind her knowing what she's getting for xmas. I would rather get her something I know she likes than guessing. Plus with clothes, the things I think are cute she may or may not like. Teens are very picky about their clothes.

We met my friend at the theater and saw Corpse Bride. Spent $10.50 for the tickets and $3 for a drink for her.
The movie was ok, but it wasn't that special. But the time doing something with her was the point so it was fine.
Plus I got to spend some time catching up with my friend too.

After that we all went to Target and wandered around. My niece was buying xmas presents for her family and friends. I spent $36 on misc stuff.

Afterwards my niece and I ate at Wendy's and I spent $10.29

Then I took her home. I love spending time with her, but I'm very, very tired now.

Total spent so far this month = $181.78
Spent on xmas = $77.70

I finished reading the library book Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning. Romance. Very Good.

Saturday

November 5th, 2005 at 06:53 pm

it snowed a little bit this morning, just enough to cover the ground.

I got groceries this afternoon at King Soopers. Spent $32.65 the receipt says I saved 40%

Total spent so far this month = $105.94

I got my Walgreens rebate in the mail for $11.52

Read the libary book School Days by Robert Parker. Mystery. Very Good. I love the Spencer books, funny, good dialog.

rethinking mortgage prepay

November 4th, 2005 at 08:37 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

Went to the post office before work this morning and spent $1.84 to ship the half.com book.

Total spent so far this month = $73.29

I saw I got the $20 bonus for the Virtual Bank account I opened. Added that money to my extra fund. Made $100 on bank bonuses so far this year.

I was reading about the new tax proposals. I guess one of the proposals would limit the amount you deduct for your mortgage payments. So far I haven't been prepaying my mortgage because I have a really low rate for 5 years. 4.5% I know I can do make more by investing in the stock market. But I'm rethinking that position for a variety of reasons.

1. if the deduction is not as good, there's less incentive to keep the debt and invest elsewhere.
2. Mortgage rates are going up as the fed keeps raising interest rates, who knows where it will be in 5 years where my mortgage converts to 1 year ARM.
3. The more pre-payments I make now in the early years of the loan while the interest cost is high the more money I save long term. Right now my mortgage is $704 a month and about $200 of that goes to principle. So if I make a $200 principle payment I save $500 in interest payments, plus all my future payments would pay more toward principle. And that's a tax free investment. If I invest $200 at 5% for 29 years I would have more than $800 before taxes and I could probably average more than 5% a year. So on paper it's still better to invest, but because I want my house paid off before I retire it might be better to put the money towards the house.

I always make myself nuts over this decision. I keep going back and forth. My emotions say pay off the house and my head says invest instead. I make my next year financial goals in December and I think instead of diverting so much of my investment money to stocks I'll put it towards pre-paying the mortgage. Maybe I'll split it, 1/2 toward pre-pay and 1/2 towards investing. Definitely need to think about it some more.

Finished reading my book Private Demon by Lynn Viehl. Vampire. Ok, kind of hard to stay interested. New author, probably won't get any more of her books.

going broke saving money

November 3rd, 2005 at 08:24 pm

It was a very long day. I left for work at 7:15 and got home at 6:30. We had hurrican force winds today. 84 mph. I fought my car all the way in on the freeway, the wind was really pushing it. I saw signs on two 4 x 4 posts where the posts had broken off and the signs were down. I saw about 20 semi's parked on the side of the freeway. My car was getting pounded by flying stuff. Several trees fell down and several areas of town have no power. At least we didn't have the rain that comes with a real hurricane.

I got my 8.95 rebate for shipping and handling charges from Sears today. That came really fast.

Spent $4.79 for lunch at work, didn't feel like making anything last night.

I got a lot of really good bargains today. I went to Walgreens 3 times today. All on my route. I stopped at one before work and stopped at the same one on the way home and then stopped at another one closer to my home. I got 6 18 oz jars of extra crunchy Jif PB for $1.00 apiece. I got 18 9"x12" bubble mailers for $6, 33 cents each. I got 2 large boxes of Cheeries for $1.50 each and a rain check for 4 more boxes at $2 each. Plus I got 3 boxes of Puffs tissue for $1 each and a heating pad at 25% off and an 18 oz bottle of lotion that will be free after rebate. Total spent was $46.47 according to the reciepts I saved $56.88, plus I'll get $3.29 back in rebates.

I also went to Longs after work and got 24 cans of Chicken Broth at .25 cents each. I also got 8 AAA Duracell batteries for $1.50 and I bought two free after rebate items that I had $3 in coupons for so I will actually make money on those two items when I get the rebate. Total spent $16.63 $10.00 of which will be rebated.

Went to the bank and deposited 3 rebate checks and a roll of quarters, which adds $45.79 to my extra fund.

Then I went to Kmart and started going broke saving money. I only recently heard that expression and it certainly fits today. But I don't regret it at all. I bought two pair of pants that are the kind I always get. Normal price is $16 and they were on sale for $12 so that's 25% off. I bought one pair in my current size and one pair in a smaller size so that when I eventually walk another size off, they will be available. I also got a knit hat to wear walking when it's cold out for $5. But where I really splurged was on a black lambskin coat. Very nice and I liked it a lot. $129.99, which is a very good price, but I hadn't really planned to spend that much for a coat. Oh well, like I said I don't regret it. I got something I like and will wear alot. My last coat is 9 years old, so I tend to wear my coats out and get a lot of value on a per wear basis. Total spent $170.74. I did have almost $100 in discounted gift cards with me so I got a little bit more off the total price.

Total spent so far this month = 71.45
Total spent on clothes = 170.74 - was only supposed to be $100 - blew that Smile
Total spent on stock up bargains = 15.00

tax increase and stocking up

November 2nd, 2005 at 08:36 pm

walked with mom for 55 min today.

Colorado passed a tax increase bill yesterday, so my State taxes will go up between $300-400 a year for the next 5 years. Between tax increases, gas increases, grocery increases, utility increases and just general increases even if I do get a raise next March it will all already be spent by the increases. Fortunately I don't have credit card debt or that would be another increase.

I sold another book at half.com for 6.50

I was looking through the ads for this week since I will be going in town tomorrow. I have a ton of errands to do both before and after work. Every year around this time until the end of the year a lot of things that I use frequently go to their lowest prices. And every year I think I should stock up more in Nov and Dec, but I don't always have the money put aside. I've decided that next year I'm going to budget $5 a week to put aside to spend on bargains in Nov and Dec next year. For this year I think I'll take $200 out of my extra fund and use it for stocking up on items I will use during the rest of the year. I'll track what I spend here.

A lot of times I see really good gift card bargains around now, like buy a card for $20 to give to someone else and get a $5 one for yourself. I should stock up on some of those, especially at restaurants I eat at a lot. I see that Longs has 15 oz cans of chicken and beef stock at 4 for $1. I think I'll buy a case, you can't beat that price. Stock always goes on sale this time of year as well as spices and baking goods. I don't do much baking, but I plan to stock up on spices and stock.

Nov Goals

November 1st, 2005 at 09:40 pm

Still had a funky stomach today. Too much fiber I think. That's what happens when you try to eat right, your system rebels Smile

Goals for Nov are

1. Spend $100 on clothes. I need a new coat, and a hat to warm my ears and a smaller pair of jeans, but don't have to have the jeans right now, so unless I find a good deal on a coat and hat I probably won't get the jeans just yet.

2. Only spend $450 for monthly basics - groceries, gas, hbas etc

3. Walk for at least 30 min a day for at least 20 days. Since the days are shorter there's not going to be enough time for my normal 55 min walk.

4. Save $1000 over my 401K investment

5. Get my shower redone and paid for

6. Put $100 more in my cash reserve fund.

7. Only eat at fast foods 4 times and only eat at restaurants 5 times this month.

My networth decreased by 1.33% in Oct even though I added to my 401K. But there's still two months left in which to meet my yearly goal so there's still hope the stock market will tick up and help me out before the end of the year.

My mom went in town today and was exhausted when she got home, my dad was at a friends house so she called to see if I would go to dinner with her. Since I hadn't started dinner yet, I said yes. We went to Rosie's Diner and had a hamburger. Spent $7.00

Total spent so far this month = $7.00

Finished reading the library book The Return of Nightfall by Mickey Zucker Reichert. Sci Fi. Pretty Good.

I refunded half the purchase price to the woman who bought the book with the swear words inked out. Still don't understand why my mom would do that, but at least it ended ok.