Sunday shopping got a free Zone bar at grocery store. Reciept says saved $30.48 and spent $39.30 saved 44%. Mostly because I stocked up on TP. $12 worth.
Went to Walgreens and got 2 full size Lady's Speed Stick deodorants for taxes. .15 cents.
Finished reading my book An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James. Romance. Very good.
Archive for April, 2008
Sunday shopping got a free Zone bar at grocery store. Reciept says saved $30.48 and spent $39.30 saved 44%. Mostly because I stocked up on TP. $12 worth.
I went to Staples for ink today. I got 2 of each color, black, red, blue and yellow. I had a coupon for 12% off the entire purchase for customer appreciation week. So I saved $15 there. I also signed up for their reward program which will save another $11.
Walked with mom outside and it was freezing. It started out about 39 degrees but by the time we finished walking it was snowing. Then later on today it got warmer again and blue skies. Weird Colorado weather.
When did the meaning of the word retirement change? My dad was talking to someone the other day and they asked what he did. He said he was retired. Then they asked him if he worked part time. Well no, then he would be working, not retired. I get that question a lot when I tell people I plan to retire. They always ask if I will be working part time or if I will get another job. So when did the meaning of the word retire change from not working to working part time?
I finished reading the library book Mona Lisa Craving by Sunny. Supernatural/Romance. Very good.
I bought $5000 in Treasury I bonds today.
You can read about why at this link
Basically they are an inflation hedge and I'm using money that I don't forsee needing for at least a year and probably not for many years.
I will make 4.28 between now and Oct after which I will make 6.06%. No taxes until I cash them in and no State taxes ever.
Lot's of articles on food rationing and inflation in the news right now. People are doomed to repeat the past. This is the same cycle from the 70's. We all made it thru then, we'll make it this time too. I know gloom and doom sell, but we need some perspective. We get regressions every few years, then we get good times. If you only pay attention to the news you would think we are constantly in a state of crises. That the world as we know it is going to end.
Yeah it is, just look at your own life. The world is completely different than it was in the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s. So what? It didn't end, it's just different you adjust and move on. Some things are better, some things not. A lot depends on your attitude. I want to be prudent and save money, food etc for bad times. But I don't want to go overboard and become a hoarder or be constantly depressed because - hey! the world's going to end
Finished reading my book Dawn's Awakening by Lora Leigh. Romance. Very good.
My dad finally called King Soopers/Kroger to check on senior discounts associated with their card. They told him that's a rumor that's been going around and is not true. But they also told him that the rumor about getting 10% more if you buy grocery gift cards with your stimulus rebate check is true. So when you get your check if you use it to buy their grocery gift cards they will give you 10% more. Up to $120 for a couple who get $600 each. Good deal. If you planned to save your rebate check then every week you use the gift card to buy groceries, put that money in savings.
Finished reading my book The Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing. Back to the Land. Very good.
We had our FVO this weekend which is when we put our code out to the public. Normally this is supposed to take 1 - 2 hours. It took 7 1/2 hours. My part only took the expected 1 hour but because I'm the so called 'expert' I had to stay on and work everyone else's issues. The biggest problem was the idiot we had doing the installs. We all knew he couldn't do this after 6 months of doing it 3 or 4 times a week and failing everytime. But management is still making excuses for him. Anyways he didn't install half the code and made typo's in the other half and it took time to figure out all the problems. I sat here for 7 1/2 hours with one bathroom break - no lunch and no dinner. When we were finally done I stood up and almost fell over. I was so stiff from sitting here all day. Not good. I still feel like someone beat me today.
Yesterday there was a local Antique show at the high school. $5 admittance and $5 for an appraisal of one item. Mom and I went and the show was one of the best we've seen in a long time. Real antiques, not just collector crap from the last 30 years. Unfortunately the jewelry appraiser didn't show so I wasn't able to get my grandma's old jewelry set of necklace, bracelets and screw on earrings appraised. I did find a crystal sugar shaker for my mom for mother's day for $18.50.
Finished reading the library book Green Living by the editors of E magazine. Good.
I also finished 2 of my books. Predatory Game by Christine Feehan and Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole. Supernatural/Romance. Both were excellent.
had to walk at Walmart on Wednesday because of snow. Found 4 boxes of Pop Weaver microwave popcorn for .75 cents each. Each box has 4 bags. That's a good price.
My mom met a woman the other day who had quit working for my company recently. Mom said she was telling the exact same stories I tell. I didn't know her but it's interesting to hear other people are frustrated by the same things you are. One of the people in my group is working on her resume. So I expect several people to leave in the next year or so.
Basically the issue is too much work and not enough time. On top of that the company has a policy to outsource 50% of the jobs. But they don't hire people who have the skills to do the work. So not only do you have a serious language barrier, and not only do you have to train them on the product, you also have to train them on test skills. The company doesn't expect these people to be productive for 3 years. Insane. No American would be allowed 3 years to come up to speed on a job. And then to make the situation even worse they decided offshore people are limited in they types of work they can do so the difficult stuff is left to assign to a smaller and smaller group of onshore staff. And to make matters even harder they added about 3 times as much overhead to the job thru metrics reporting to management and added twice the number of releases to complete during the year, even though we had trouble completing the 3 releases we had previously. Basically they've made it impossible to succeed at your job. You can do a passable, cover the basics job, but you can't do a good job.
I have to put the product out to the field this weekend so basically working several hours tomorrow. But the good news is this is probably the last time I will have to do this. I hope to be retired before the next one
I finished reading the library book Unto the Breach by John Ringo. Adventure. Good
I also finished A Deeper Blue by John Ringo. Adventure. Also good
To me one of the weirdest questions I get ask when I talk about early retirement is "What will you do?" There are so many hundreds of things to do I can't imagine not having something to do. My parents say they are busier in retirement than they ever were while working.
Here's a list of some of the things I plan to do.
I love to read and there is never enough time to read all the books I would like. The last few years I've read mostly fiction since I have a hard time concentrating on harder stuff with work junk constantly going thru my mind. So along with reading more fiction I want to go back to some of my other interests. I used to read a lot of biographies, history, how to, archaology and nature books.
I want to learn how to cook better and more heatly. My health is going to be a major focus for me in retirement. I want to do more reading/learning about it. I want to eat better, shop better, exercize more. Take charge and try to eliminate some of my health problems. Many of which are caused by constant stress.
I would like to learn to container garden. I've made a couple of experiments with this, but plan to do much more.
One of my hobbies is creating miniature rooms. I plan to spend much more time on that.
I like to do jigsaw puzzles.
I want to go to farmer's markets, garage sales and thrift stores. Things I can do now, but don't very often because of lack of time.
I plan to spend much more time with family and friends.
I plan to spend a lot time relaxing and paying more attention to my life.
I may go back to school and take classes in subjects that interest me.
I plan to spend more time on the internet, learning/researching.
I plan to do whatever interests me.
I've been reading my book First Course in Home Making. This is classroom book on Home Ec written in 1941. Very interestng. For example they have a family food budget.
If the Salary is from $1200.00 to $1800.00 a year and the family size is 5 the average to spend per day is .35 cents apiece. Per month is $52.50 for the whole family
If the family size is 2 for the same salary then you can spend .50 cents a day per person.
They have a family budget based on an income of $150 a month and 5 people
Savings is first - $10
Food - $55
Shelter - $35
Clothing - $25
Operating - $15
Advancement - $10
I didn't notice I had 500 blogs until someone commented on it - thanks.
Since I stocked up on groceries last week, this week only spent $6.53. Got 2 64 oz bottles of Welches Grape juice for free with coupons. Milk went up from $2.00 per half gallon to $2.29 - 15% increase.
I got my haircut at Great Clips they had a coupon for $6.99. Normal price is $12 so a very good coupon.
I'm starting to count the weeks till retirement. My estimate is I will retire Aug 8 unless someone really ticks me off, in which case i might leave earlier So 16 more weeks.
Finihsed reading my book Simple Prosperity by David Wann. Anti-Consumerism. Overall this was good and had some good information. I agree we Americans are wasteful and complacent and could be more efficient with our resources. I just don't like the knee-jerk liberal phrases and anti-americanism so many of these books spout. Europe does everything better than us. We are too religious as a country, blah-blah-blah. Humans are the root of all evil and white men are the most egregious of them all.
Finished the library book Kildar by John Ringo. Adventure. Good.
Since I won't have DirectTV any longer I will need a converter box as of February 2009 to recieve Network stations. I went to www.dtv2009.gov and applied for two $40 coupons off a Converter Box. Hopefully some stores will start having sales for these so it's free or very cheap. Suppoed to cost between $40 and $70. At least I won't have to pay the full cost. I only have one TV so will give the second coupon to my brother. You can apply for two coupons.
Finished reading my book On the Loose by Tara Janzen. Romance. Good. Not as good as some of others but still good.
This was an excellent week to stock up at King Soopers. I spent #37.67 and saved $63.73.
1 lb hamburger $1 - got 5 lbs
Fresh Express salad - BOGO
Radishes - BOGO
Nature Sweet cocktail tomatoes - BOGO
Baby carrots 50% off cost $1 plus had coupon for .65 cents off so only .35 cents
3 lb bag of apples - BOGO 6 lbs for $4.00 so about .66 cents a lb.
15 oz Country Crock spread .98 cents each. got 3 - normally $2.59 plus I had a coupon for $1.50 off dairy products, so only 1.44 for 3 or .48 cents
Free Zone bar $1 - $1 coupon
4 pack Cottonelle TP on sale $1 - .25 cent coupon doubled. price = .50 cents - purchased 2 packages
3 single serve Stouffer's lasagna at $2.43 each - $1.00 stouffer's coupon and - $1.50 coupon off frozen foods = $4.97 or $1.66 each.
King Soopers had a Mega Deal sale where you purchase 10 partipating items and they give you $5.00 back. I got the following.
3 jars French's mustard $1.00 each - $.50 cent coupons doubled = all 3 free
2 packages Betty Crocker sugar cookies mix. $1.50 - .50 cent coupons doubled = .50 cents each.
1 package Keebler fudge cookies - $1.50 - .50 cent coupon doubled = .50 cents
1 package Texas Toast - $2.00 - minus $1.00 coupon = $1.00
3 bottles 64 oz Welches grape juice - $2.50 - minus $1.00 coupons = $1.50 each
1 package Eggo Waffles - $2.00 minus .50 cents doubled = $1.00
Total spent for the 10 items = $8 - $5 for mega deal = $3 after coupons
After that great deal I went to Walgreens where I needed to use up $7 in Register Rewards before they expired. They had Kleenex on sale .89 centse each and I had .50 cent coupon when buy 3, so 3 boxes of Kleenex for .73 cents each. I still needed to use up the RRs and I didn't need anything else from Walgreens so i got a $10 Border's gift card that I will be sure to use in the future.
Went to Red Lobster for lunch with parents and used a $4 coupon.
All in all a very good shopping day and my freezer and cupboards are stocked up.
Finished reading my book The Labyrinth Gate by Alis A. Rasmussen. Sci/Fi - OK
Finally got the 2 dwarf apple trees I ordered and planted them today. They look like sticks and it will probably be a least 5 years before I get my money back in apples produced. But it was an experiment I wanted to try.
Got two samples in the mail Garnier Nutriste wrinkle cream and Glad ForceFlex bag.
I read somewhere that if you have a King Soopers/Kroger card and call the number on the back you can get senior citizen discounts everytime you use the card. Have to be over 55. It said in Texas the discounts were 10%. That's a good deal, if true. I told my parents, but they haven't called yet.
Finished reading the library book The Bountiful Container by Rose McGee and Maggie Stuckey. Gardening. Very good
I read the library book The River Devil by Diane Whiteside. Romance. Good. Not as good as the Irish Devil.
I also finished the library book The contrary farmer's invitation to gardening by Gene Logsden. Gardening. Very good.
And I finished listening to the library book on tape Night Game by Christine Feehan. Romance. Excellent.
It was very cold last night so walked at WalMart. They had 1 lb wild caught salmon on sale for $3.98. Unfortunately when I got to the register it was ringing up as $6.34. I caught it and made them change it. My mom went thru before me and paid full price and had to go to customer service to get her money back. Yesterday was Tuesday and the sale was Sunday, which means they charged people full price at least 2 days and are probably still doing so. This is a very good price for salmon around here. My usual buy price is $5.99. I got 3 lbs. Each package contains 4 pieces. At 1 a week this is 3 months worth for me.
Before being ready to retire I created a cushion account. This account is cash in a MMA and it's purpose is to handle emergencies and known big-ticket items that might occur prior to me turning 59 1/2. One of the biggest things to consider for early retirement is the phases of retirement and how to best maximize your income to pay the least amount of taxes.
My budget of $1500 - 1750 is only for basic monthly/yearly expenses and is not meant to cover emergencies or big ticket items. The reason the cushion is designed to last only till I am 59 1/2 is because after that I have unlimited access to my Roth IRA. I expect to use the money in that fund for any big ticket items after I turn 59 1/2 because there will be no tax consequences when I withdraw that money. Since it will be growing tax free for the next 12 years it should be pretty big by then.
So the following are the categories in my cushion account.
Health - meant to cover large deductibles.
Maintenance/Repair/Replace - $5000 - meant for applicace replacement/repair, car repairs, big ticket items. I own a townhome so don't have to worry about roofs or exterior paint.
Vacations - I usually take a nice vacation about every 3 years
New Carpet - My carpet is getting old and I know it will need to be replaced sometime before I am 59 1/2
New Car - I bought my car new in 2007 and I have had no problems with it. I drive it around $6000 miles a year and may want to replace it sometime in the next 12 years. So I've put the money aside to do that
College - I originally saved $10,000 for each of my nieces college, (total $20,000) but my sister recieved an inheritance that will let her pay for them now. So I'm only putting $3,000 away for each of them now. I may supplement living expenses or something. If I don't use the money before they graduate I will absorb it back in to my retirement.
I have the following amounts saved for each area
Health - $5,000
Maintenance/Repair/Replace - $5,000
Vacations - $8,000
New Carpet - $3,000
New Car - $18,000
College - $6,000
Total - $45,000
I finished reading the library book Wealth on Minimal Wage by James Steamer. Finance. Pretty good. The philosophy is good, most of the ideas are known to me. Overall worth reading.
I finished reading my book Choosers of the Slain by John Ringo. Adventure. Good. This is a man's book though, lots of sex and violence, but the storyline is good.