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Archive for June, 2006

net worth addiction

June 30th, 2006 at 07:08 pm

This is the second time today I have refreshed my Yodlee account to see my net worth. The first it went down $20, but now it is up by $50. Not bad earnings for sitting on my butt all day Smile Of course, with the stock market the way it has been, it could be all gone (and more) soon. Wow, this is really addicting to watch! It was such a pain to keep track of before that I only did it once a month.
We had a nice evening here. My MIL and nephew came out tonight to celebrate DH's birthday. A nice cookout, cake and ice cream, a day by the pool...and we are all wiped out! TOmorrow and Sunday we have grad parties, next weekend is my future SIL's bridal shower, the weekend after is her bachelorette party - then two weeks until the big wedding. Busy time of year for us.
I don't even want to add up the costs for this wedding. It's not that I mind - I was totally thrilled to be asked to be in it. But it does get pricy. Dress ($150), shoes ($7.50), shower costs ($125), bachelorette party ($70), plus all the other costs like getting my hair done, gifts for the wedding and shower, etc. A funny story about the shoes - when we bought our dresses, nearly every other bridesmaid bought the dyed-to-match shoes. I just stood there looking at the $40 cheapest pair of shoes thinking that I could NOT justify the costs. Since it was still 6 months till the wedding, I decided to shop around to see if I could find a pair to match (the dress was celadon, a light green). I figured it was a long shot, but I could order dyeable shoes within two weeks, so I figured I had plenty of time. Last week, my diligence paid off. I found a beautiful (although uncomfortable, but they will come off after pictures) pair in the exact color I needed. $40 - discounted half price, with another final clearance discount of 50%, for a total of $7.50. HA! It pays to wait and shop around.
I might hit the garage sales tomorrow morning - missed them last week and am feeling the urge to get out there. I have less money in my account now than I have had in probably several years, but I still feel the need to do this. maybe the few dollars I spend without too much thought is what keeps me from ever feeling deprived, so I am willing to loosen the belt a bit for my garage sales Smile

I need more clients!

June 29th, 2006 at 07:34 pm

I finally sent out some letters to past clients...four of them. I had already sent out letters and thank you gifts to people who have bought or sold a house with me - this time, I wanted to send out letters to those people I had worked closely with, but never completed a sale. I only came up with four people! Maybe that says something good about me - I almost always complete my sales! Anyway, I am sending a short note to those people to let them know my new contact information and that they can call me if they have any real estate needs. hey, it was next to no work, and two of the people might actually be in the market again for a house. If it turns into a sale, it will be well worth the time.
Let's see...not sure what else I can do to find some new clients. I just don't have the cash for advertising. I have a friend who spent $15k in one month alone on advertising (in a very competitive, high-priced market). I'll have to think some more on this one. Maybe an ad in the paper or shopping guide???
I have been watching my net worth daily now that I have signed up for Yodlee. It was rather depressing at first...but today things were much, much better. Up about $700 due to stock increases alone. Now, if only it would stay there...

Sallie Mae- done

June 27th, 2006 at 08:13 pm

DH remembered to call and consolidate his student loans today - all by himself! So that's one thing checked off the list. Tomorrow I have to take care of some medical bills and send the lucky coin to someone else - I keep forgetting.
I'm starting to panic now that I realize just how little money is coming in every month - it's just my part-time income ($562 every two weeks, after insurance and taxes) for a family of four. It's enough to make ends meet, since we don't have a housing payment - but these is not much leftover at all to pay down debt. Sigh. I guess it will just take us a little longer than planned. I cannot wait for DH to finish school and start looking for a job.
I showed two more houses today - no go. Sometimes this is a very frustrating line of work - many hours spent with no return at all (or even a promise of future returns). But then again, sometimes the commission checks make it all worthwhile. I have done nothing recently to promote my business and try to get new clients - and now would be a good time to work on that to increase our income in the next few months. I need to get rolling with that again.
Tomorrow - off from work. Things need to get done around the house. Tomorrow is also Dh's birthday - 29!

Yodlee!

June 26th, 2006 at 07:54 pm

Lovin' this Yodlee so far. I have set up an acocunt through BOA. I just got everything registered and haven't even started to play around yet, though. I'm sure I will love it even more when I see what it can do!
I was only slightly depressed by the net worth - about $9k, thanks to $22k in student loans (and rising). I also do not have the car loan figured in there, since they do not have online accounts - so subtract about $1500 from that. But if you add in the value of our cars, net worth will rise by about $15k, which does make me feel a little bit better Smile
Dh still has not called Sallie Mae to consolidate his loans...grrr. I keep reminding him - maybe on Wednesday when I am not working I can dial the phone and put it to his ear for him Smile I don't want to wait until the 30th as I dont know how long it takes to process.
Spent $4.08 today on postage for the coupon train caboose - on it's way to flash. Also spent $.50 on a soda as we were having a movie training with popcorn - and who can eat popcorn without soda? No other money spent.

Holy guacamole!

June 25th, 2006 at 07:17 pm

I continued my cooking streak today with a batch of guacamole - my first try. I tried guacamole on a high school trip to Mexico in 10th grade and thought it was awful. For years I had myself convinced that I hated the stuff - until my brother made some for us last year. It was GREAT. So I got his recipe and tried it out - yummy. The directions were a little complex - first coat the avocado and lime juice, pour the lime juice off and reserve, mash the avocado by hand, add this and then that. The heck with all that, I thought, and dumped the whole mess into the food processor. I don't have time for steps! Anyway, turned out great. I told my brother, who is the most anal cook in the entire world (he measures out the water to boil noodles in for mac and cheese because it says 6 cups on the box), and he gasped a little but didn't faint. But now...we are out of the good wheat tortilla chips - so what else do you use guacamole for??? (until I get more chips, anyway!)
I finally met a client today that I have been corresponding with for a few months via e-mail. He and his family just moved to NY from FL and need to find a house. I showed them one house today, but they didn't care for it. Hopefully I will be able to locate something for them and make another sale. I can't wait to get my hands on the commissions from the two deals I have going on now. We are living right now on my part-time income only, so anything extra will be great to go toward debt reduction. Otherwise, we won't be making any progress at all until DH gets a job (at least January). Which reminds me...
I have been hounding DH to get moving on his student loan consolidation - but he keeps forgetting. I will have to call home from work tomorrow to remind him. The bad part is that we will need to take out loans for the next two semesters (maybe only one if my commissions come thorough), which we will not be able to consolidate at the lower rates. Darn.

betty crocker, lookout

June 24th, 2006 at 09:05 pm

I am on a wild baking spree. Yesterday it was cookies, banana bread and muffins, today it was rhubarb cake and sausage bread (stromboli type bread filled with sausage, peppers, onions, and cheese - got rave reviews!). Of course, I have to pick the most inconvenient time to run the over - it's 90 degrees here. But at least we have the AC installed now Smile
This morning ds1 and I ran all over the place getting presents for DH's birthday and Father's Day (yeah, I know, I'm really late). We were able to get him a lot of nice things - total spent was about $66, plus $20 on a g.c. But some of the gifts were for my mom to give him (I usually do her shopping for him), so I will get $37 back. I didn't spend too much and I think he will be pleased.
I did splurge on lunch today at the mall - Chinese. Ds loved it. In fact, he ate most of it, so I had to get a snack when we got home. $4 spent. We drank water, both to save $ and because all they had was soda, which I don't give ds.
I also went grocery shopping today and spent $51 ($14 saved with coupons, Shopper's Club - I was disappointed that it was not more). I did have a few impulse buys though. That's $80 spent in the last two days alone. Time to stay out of the stores for a while.
Now that I have the time, I have to figure this out. I was going to purchase a value pack of hamburger for $1.99/lb ($16 total), so that was about 8 lbs. Instead, I purchased two smaller packs at $2.29/lb for about $9 (4 lbs. total). I did this because the packs each had $1 coupon if you bought a pack of taco shells. I also had a coupon for $1 off/2 packs, so I figured I would get $3 off and get the taco shells for close to free. So, 4 lbs of meat at the cheaper price would have been app. $8, plus the taco shells would have been $3.86 ($4.86-$1 coupon) = 11.86.
By buying the two packs, I spent $7.16 on meat ($9.16-$2 coupons), and still spent $3.86 on the tacos, for a total of $11.02. Huh. So I guess I did alright. I could not concentrate on this in the store as I had a very cranky toddler. The big question, though, should be whether I would have bought the tacos at all had I not seen the coupon on the beef? The taco shells will definitely be used, but it was an impulse buy. It is so hard to figure out these things when you are standing the aisle contemplating a purchase!
So anyway, ds and I came home and I cooked like a wildwoman all day. My father and DH are rerunning the plumbing pipes, so after I got all done, I had no water to wash the dishes - what a mess. We had company over tonight for a card match (luckily just my siblings and uncle as the house is a disaster) - and another free night of entertainment. Time for bed now - we might head off to a local pancake breakfast in the morning.

letting go

June 23rd, 2006 at 08:19 pm

Why is it so hard to just let some things go?? I am writing in reference to all the PAPER around my house. I have puzzle magazines dating back to 1997 that I cannot get rid of the because there are still puzzles left undone. I have spent hours going through these books (I probably have 20 of them around) trying to finish the puzzles so I can throw them away. How STUPID is that? I am doing puzzles that I don't even enjoy! And then there are the magazines that I don't even subscribe to, but that my SIL gives me when she is done. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them - they are parenting magazines that I do occasionally get some good info out of. But I feel like I need to read every article in them, even the ones on older kids and teenagers - like I am going to remember that in 14 years when my kids are learning to drive? C'mon, someone tell me how ridiculous I am being so I can stop. Please.
Does anyone else have this problem? It's like I am afraid of what I am going to miss. Luckily I don't have this problem with the newspapers (we get two daily) or else I would never get anything done. Come to think of it...my mom has this problem too. We can't throw away any newspaper until she has read it cover to cover (we have piles all over the house). Darn, it's genetic. Maybe there's no hope after all.
Smile

well, pat myself on the back

June 23rd, 2006 at 08:13 pm

it's been a busy day! I switched my work day from Friday to Thursday, so now I have a three day weekend. It seems like I was able to get a lot accomplished - and I still have two more days before going back to work!
-finished weeding the garden
-took care of a two separate piles of paperwork that needed to be filed, thrown out, etc.
-handled half a dozen work related calls
-made two batches of cookies (with my mom - she's making all the cookies for my brother's rehearsal dinner) and banana bread & muffins
-did the dishes
-made dinner
-went grocery shopping ($31.37)
-went through the coupon train, added my coupons (this seemed to take forever, there were so many!)
Whew! Why am I not more tired??? And between this all, I played with the kids outside for a good chunk of the day. This is making me look forward to the future when we plan for me to stay home after DH gets a teaching job!

Yahooooooo

June 22nd, 2006 at 07:53 pm

Guess who finally refunded my $25 incorrect charge? Yahooooooo! I'm doing the happy dance here. I'll have to contact the BBB tomorrow to withdraw my complaint. I love how quickly things get done when they are involved Smile

lovin' the farmers markets

June 22nd, 2006 at 07:31 pm

I missed the local farmers market in town today...but happened to drive by a little mom and pop farm stand on my way to an appointment today. I got a huge bunch of rhubarb for $1.50 (I've seen it upwards of $5/lb in the grocery store), some cukes, zucchini, tomatoes, bananas, and sweet peas for $10. Yum. I can't wait though until the garden is ready to produce all this good stuff for us. This year we planted: yellow squash and zucchini, yellow and green beans, beets, spinach, mesclun mix lettuce, swiss chard, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes (cherry, grape, and regular), cucumbers, peppers (green, banana, and jalepeno) and herbs. I can't wait, I can't wait! We spent about an hour weeding it out tonight - what a mess. But it will pay for itself many times over.
No other money spent today. Thought I would have to pay to park when I went to an appointment downtown today, but I happened to pull into a spot that had nearly an hour left on the meter. Things like that make my day Smile

june 20

June 20th, 2006 at 07:56 pm

Quick entry - I'm tired. I now have to go to work at 7 am tomorrow for a visit. Luckily it's only 5 minutes from my house, and I get to come back home afterward since it's not my typical work day, but still. Who wants to work at all on their day off?
We got all the inspection sign-offs for the houses I am selling - yeah! Now just to get through the appraisals and get all the closing details worked out. Things are going almost too smoothly.
My parents took us all out for ice cream tonight. We stopped at the playground with the kids first. They had a ball, we had a ball, and it tired them out Smile My dad decided to give my ds and my niece an "ice cream cone" per week for the rest of the summer for their birthdays. A very sweet gesture - but then the won't let us pay either when we go too! They are very stubborn people, my parents. But very generous.
I finally finished the task of transferring all of my paperwork over into the file cabinet from my two overexpanded file folders. This will really help me to keep the bedroom clean as now the papers are where they should be - in the office.
Goals for tomorrow: Set up card match and mail out the scores from out last match. Finish sorting and filing all the miscellaneous paperwork I found while cleaning out our bedroom. Weed the garden.
(wow, not one mention of money in this entry...guess I need to stay on task a little more!)

three cheers for the BBB!

June 19th, 2006 at 07:24 pm

After chasing Yahoo for over a month to get a refund on a charge that I did not make, I gave up on them and e-mailed the Better Business Bureau. A week later and I had not heard anything from Yahoo or BBB...but then, in my e-mail tonight, a letter from Yahoo apologizing not only for the charge, but also for the time I had to spend rectifying it. And a promise, in writing, to have the refund back within 7-10 days.
I LOVE the BBB! This is two for two that they have come to the rescue. Hip hip hooray!
Oh, another good thing that I forgot to put in my original post - I have gotten through BOTH home inspections with no major problems. We have signed off an all contingencies and are moving full speed ahead with both transactions - even hoping to close by the end of next month. And I have three more houses to show tomorrow afternoon too, so maybe more sales will be coming my way. Smile

so far behind...

June 19th, 2006 at 07:20 pm

...in my entries. Has it really been that long since I posted?? We had a busy, but very nice, weekend. Friday night we played pinochle (free entertainment!). Saturday we went to my niece's birthday party next door - it was SO hot that day. Everyone came over after presents to swim in our pool, a very refreshing 75 degrees. Watching a four year old open a mound of presents and pass over each one quickly to open the rest, without taking a pause to thank the giver, only strengthened my resolve to keep my son's birthday gift free (except for immediate family). In previous birthdays and holidays, ds1 has been so enamored with each gift, saying "Oohhhh", stopping to look at it and wanting to play with it immediately - that we have a hard time getting him to move on and open the rest of his presents. We finally gave up at Christmas and opened them for him, as he would be off in the next room playing. That is the appreciation that I want my children to show for the gifts that were picked out carefully by those who love them. Maybe this year will be different - maybe the wonder will wear off in the face of a pile of presents - but I hope not Smile
Sidetracked again...we got my niece a $50 savings bond, an outfit, and a book. She actually paused to look over the book, which made me very happy. She is a delightful little girl and I absolutely love her to pieces.
Saturday night my aunt came over and we played poker - I ended up winning almost $10 (not chump change when we all started with only $3). It was very fun.
Yesterday we traveled to my SIL's house in Owego, nearly two hours away. It's a very long trip with a 1 and a 2 year old - they only slept about a half hour on the way there and 45 minutes on the way back. But we had a wonderful time there and visited with all of DH's family. I wish they lived closer. We spent about $22 on gifts for Father's Day and food (ok, actually beer). We bought a pack of Guinness for DH's grandfather, gave a g.c. to Barnes and Nobles to his father, and I am going to give my dad a chocolate cake each week for the rest of the summer. A few years ago I gave him a "Dessert of the Month", but by the sixth or so month, I started to forget...I figure I can keep this up for two more months! Chocolate cake is his absolute favorite, so I know it will be appreciated.
I fell way behind on my 5-minute cleanings this weekend. I think I own 25 minutes now, counting tonight. I already did about 15 minutes today, so another 10 will catch me up. It's amazing how bad our room got in only four days - this will keep me motivated to not let it happen again.

wasted day

June 15th, 2006 at 08:10 pm

I had such a headache when I got home from work today I ditched the kids on my wonderful DH, who had already had them all day, and went to bed. I tried to get up after an hour, but ended up back in bed (with trips to the bathroom...ick) for several more hours. Headache, nausea, etc. Happens quite a bit - I guess you might call them migraines. Starts with a headache and if I don't get Tylenol and sleep, they morph into a full-body dysfunction. So anyway, at about 9 pm tonight, I started to feel better. I supposed I ought to get these headaches checked out at some point.
So consequently, I got absolutely nothing accomplished today. I did watch a lot of t.v. though. I rarely do that anymore. The worst part is that DH ordered dinner out tonight and I didn't even get to enjoy it because the smell of food was making me ill. I will get steak for lunch tomorrow now though Smile
Tomorrows goals: Deposit two checks in bank, take out some cash (not much, but I haven't had any in my wallet for over a week now). Finish transferring my paperwork over to the file cabinet.
Here's hoping tomorrow is healthy and happy for everyone!

Random, random stuff

June 14th, 2006 at 08:03 pm

How the heck did I just erase my entire post????? Life is frustrating.

I guess I will try again. I was posting about a bunch of random things that happened today.
-Home inspection #1 done. I don't have the final results yet, but I do have word from the buyer's agent that there are no "major" issues - only a few small ones that I am sure we can work out. Plus the buyers are being very flexible on the closing date, even allowing my sellers to close on the house yet retain possession for a few weeks. Yeah for small victories Smile
-Busy day at home - got a lot done off my list, including weeding the garden, cleaning the litter box, emptying the garbages, and organizing all my paperwork from those expandable file folders (which are expanded to the max)into a file cabinet. I have had a free file cabinet from an old job for years, but I finally got an insert that will allow me to hang folders. Now all my paperwork is going in there. I can make each folder specific to the contents, have as many as I want, and put more in them than I could with the other system. I would have all my car, life, and health insurance crammed into one section before, or all the credit cards from different companies mixed together, so finding things was a nightmare. Now I have distinct folders for each separate car, credit card, insurance policy, student loan, etc. Things are getting more organized around here.
-I patted myself on the back tonight for making a quick, easy dinner. Cajun pork chops (rubbed with a mix of spices - found the recipe at recipezaar.com) - under 10 minutes to make and cook (they were very thin). Then I threw some leftover asparagus in with cooked elbow macaroni and Parmesan cheese for an easy side dish that I knew the kids would like (and they did), plus some leftover corn from the fridge. I have to be more conscious of using up fresh veggies and leftovers in the fridge. I just had to throw away three avocados that my aunt brought us from her farm in California - I had big plans for those avocados too (a delicious guacamole recipe from my brother). Who knew they got moldy so fast? i've never bought an avocado in my life! But I digress...oh, and dessert tonight. my SIL had leftover cake pieces from a shaped cake she made, so I threw those in with instant French vanilla pudding and fresh berries (free from a neighbor - we give her sweet corn later in the summer) for a parfait/trifle/call it what you will. Mmmmmm...the kids gobbled that one up too. Life is berrylicious tonight Smile

Life is good...

June 12th, 2006 at 07:24 pm

A rambling inspired by lrjohnson's popsicle post ("Life is very good")...it's the little things that make life good.

A fruit smoothie Smile
A puppy napping at my feet
My two boys snuggled in bed after a long day playing outside
Making something out of nothing
A kiss from DH before he leaves for school
Playgrounds
The way ds1 signs "I Love you" to me as I leave for work in the morning, and the way ds2 bounces with joy when I return.

Notice there is no big screen t.v., mansion, luxury SUV, desginer labels, etc. on my list. It's is so important to realize your priorities. Then what you thought was a big thing becomes nothing. And some of those little things, like enjoying a homemade popsicle, become everything Smile

A challenge - what makes life good for you? Feel free to share - I'd love to hear! -or make a private list - just know your priorities Smile

(lrjohnson, I hope you don't mind!)

blender mania!!! and a tribute to leftovers

June 12th, 2006 at 07:13 pm

All right, I have read enough about the joys of blenderhood to want to jump right in. I have forgotten how nice a smoothie can be, not to mention convenient for getting all my daily servings of fruit in one sitting.
Hungry tonight, I stumbled across Thrifty Rays and lrjohnson's discourse on the benefits of the mighty blender. Inspired, I did a quick overhaul of the fridge to reveal two half-eaten cartons of yogurt (strawberry and peach - courtesy of ds2 who never finishes anything), a half pint of blueberries, some half-rotten bananas stuck in the fridge to slow the browning enough to buy time for baking, some strawberries, and a cantaloupe. Then I fished out the blender, blew off the dust, and started throwing things in. Oops - no top. Hold a plate over it and hope for the best. WHIR. Good - the plate worked. No blender mess on the ceiling. Cleaned out the blender with a little dish soap - WHIR - and clean up is over! YUM.
Inspired - and wanting a little more of a treat - I combed over the rest of the kitchen and came up with half a blueberry muffin (again, courtesy of ds2) and a touch of guacamole and chips. A bit ecletic, but the combination was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth (fruit) and salty side (chips) without any effort at all and it used up several leftovers that would have been thrown out. Three cheers for leftovers! Now I just have to remember to look for them before they turn on me...

the house sold!!!!

June 11th, 2006 at 07:40 pm

We got not one, but two offers on the house I have for sale today - meaning the sellers can move forward with the purchase of their new home, which we have had a contingency offer on. Meaning...I will have two commissions coming, IF all goes well. We still have two home inspections to get through...but it has been a very exciting day.
Last night we had a lovely dinner with my in-laws and nephew to celebrate our anniversaries. We were treated by them - they would not even allow us to leave the tip! I was not surprised. Both his parents and mine hardly ever let us treat them. When we really insist, we have to catch the waitress and have her bring the bill directly to us, or else we haven't got a chance Smile Anyway, we stopped at a few stores after dinner. I had a $5 g.c. to Petco that I won in an instant win game several months ago. The nearest one is in Syracuse, which is where we were last night. We went in, looked around for about 15 minutes, and found a few little things for the puppy. However...we went to check out and - no card. DH was supposed to have it in his wallet, but left it at home. What a waste. But now he knows what to get and can run in there some day and be out in two minutes. Can't give up $5 in free doggie treats! We stopped at Barnes and Nobles after and purchased a book for my SIL's b-day. We paid $5 out of pocket after a g.c. wiht $11 remaining (side story here: we found an envelope full of gift cards in our rental car on our last vacation and tried to turn them in to the rental company - they wouldn't take them and said they had no way to contact the owner. When we got home, we tried to get in touch with the owner ourselves through the Barnes and Noble membership card that was in there - no response. So we ended up with about $50 in g.c. to McDonalds, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble, Moes, Panera Bread - what a find!). After that we spend $20 at Sears (paid for by a g.c.) for three girls' outfits, gifts for a niece, cousin, and co-workers new baby. All in all, $5 spent for a great night, a little time with family and time to ourselves, and four gifts to boot. Plus we found out that we still have $30 left on the Sears card, which I thought only had $5 on it!
I think I need to head to bed...back to the real world tomorrow Smile

the benfits of no opportunties...

June 9th, 2006 at 06:59 pm

I was just thinking about this today as DH and I were trying to find dinner - we have one benefit working for us in the fight against spending money. We live in the middle of freakin' nowhere. By choice, mind you. I would not trade it for anything. But really, we have a mom and pop store 5 minutes away, but it's 15 minutes to the nearest chain restaurant, fast food, grocery store, movie theater. Granted, that's not very far, but it is enough to stop us from jumping in the car and going, which we did a lot more when we lived in the city. Don't feel like cooking? Run to McD's on the corner (it literally was on our corner!). Bored? Run to the mall five minutes away.
Now if we are hungry we have to find something to make. We only have one place that will even deliver food to us out here (not that we ever even utilize it). If we are bored, I take the kids for a walk down our quiet road, go out to tend my garden, read a book, etc. I do not shop now without a purpose, even though I still do enjoy an occasional pleasure shop - it's not something I jump in the car to do to fill my time.
So how does this apply to anyone else? Well...is there any way to make it harder to get out? Make it less convenient. Freeze your cc. Don't shower (tee hee). Hide your car keys. Find an alternative. You might just surprise yourself with what you can come up with Smile

BBB to the rescue (I hope)

June 9th, 2006 at 06:52 pm

There, I've done it again. I decided not to waste my time contacting Yahoo a third time and instead submitted a complaint to the BBB. I hope that gets a response. Hmph.
Busy day - out of the house at 8 and back at 6. DH and I were wandering around the kitchen trying to locate something for dinner and ended up with four plates of various leftovers - not too shabby, and now there will be less wasted food. Total prep time: 5 minutes. Pots dirtied: 0. And leftovers for dessert too - chocolate cake with rasberry jam between the layers. A favorite of mine Smile
Tomorrow we are meeting Dh's parents out for dinner, minus the kids. We both have anniversaries in June (ours is tomorrow- 6 years already?) so we celebrate together. Should be a good time!
Money spent: $4.08 on two gallons of milk (we drink about a gallon per day with four adults and two kids). $21.38 on two g.c. from Dunkin Donuts for ds1's preschool teachers, plus a little extra for Dh to get something while he was there! $2 on coffee this morning with my client.
I got half of my goals for today accomplished - the $9.88 refund from the grocery store. I ran out of the house this morning without the checks I was supposed to deposit, so that will have to wait until Monday (I won't be near an ATM until then). Rats.
Goal for tomorrow: Sell a house! Just kidding - although it would be nice. I do have one showing. But realistically - ah, the heck with it. My goal for tomorrow is to enjoy my anniversary, even though DH will be gone all day taking tests to get his teacher certification!

another trip to the grocery store...

June 8th, 2006 at 07:00 pm

for an ingredient for dinner - a total of $7.50 spent, about $2.50 saved with the shopper's club and a coupon. I tried to get DH's money back from when he forgot to use the shoppers club card, but I didn't have his cc with me, so I have to go back. No other money spent today. And DH never left the house, so I am fairly sure he didn't spend any either Smile
Still no charge reversal from Yahoo - they charged my bank account $25 about a month ago. Two phone calls and two promises later, I am still waiting for the refund that was supposed to take "4 days". I think it's time to bring in the BBB...worked for me last time!
Busy day tomorrow - some money to spend, though, as I am taking a client out for coffee again. This time she said she wanted to treat, but I really do not feel right about it. We'll see.
Got a lead on selling a $200k house - I have to do a market analysis. Tough situation though -a very nasty divorce. The wife says she wants me to sell the place, but I don't know what the husband wants. Wish me luck Smile Meanwhile, we have a bite on the house I currently have listed - an interested couple coming back for a second look. Please please please sell!
Goal for tomorrow: deposit checks in the bank. Stop at Wegman's to get shoppers club refund.
Side note: I'm keeping up my five minute per night rule - started on another room now as our bedroom is in order. It's working out very well.

$9.88 coming back and DH is forgiven

June 7th, 2006 at 06:27 pm

Thanks to LuckyRobin's suggestion, I called the store Dh went to yesterday and asked if they would refund the difference if I brought in my shopper's club card - they will! I am going to stop out there tomorrow with the receipt. I would have never thought to ask this if it hadn't been suggested - thanks!
So that's $9.88 in...but $1473 out today. DH finally got around to paying his tuition. Our last bill was for $1443, so I think they must have tacked on a late charge. Grrr....I gave him a dirty look after that one, and he gave me a sheepish look back. Funny thing about that hubby, he knows when I am right Wink
He was awfully proud of himself for buying a 6-pack of tea at the store for $4 rather than buying one every night at school for $1 or more. It's a start...but eventually I want to have him making his tea at home for pennies. I will say this, though - he has come a long way. I don't think he ever knew financial security growing up, as his parents were terrible with their cash. I think he has seen the alternative and is loving it. Sure, we could have more cash in the bank, or less debt, but we have enough to feel comfortable, to allow him to return to school without having to work, to spend time with the kids, to go out every once in a while...life is good. Life is very good Smile

Coke coupons

June 6th, 2006 at 07:17 pm

Oh, I should mention too (since I have heard others having problems with these) that DH redeemed our Coke coupons today at Wegmans (NY/Penn. store). The cashier had to call a manager over, but ultimately they took it without any issues.
I really wish I had played the Coke game more, as I only won one coupon...

oh, he tries...

June 6th, 2006 at 07:07 pm

DH went shopping today and got everything we needed. He even used COUPONS! ($12 worth). I am so proud of him. Then I looked at the reciept and saw that he did not use the shoppers club card! A loss of $9.88. I'm still working on him Smile
I ate lunch out today - so I'm done for the week. McDonald's - yum. I even splurged for something that wasn't on the dollar menu! $3.77 total. Also during my lunch I dropped off some donations to the Salvation Army and returned something to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, for $10.79 back in my pocket, so I actually felt somewhat productive today. Tonight I took ds1 to the playground - a nice, free treat for us both. Tomorrow I am off from work and do not have anything planned Smile Smile Smile
I love that as I get more organized, it gets harder to find chores that need doing!

Sunday

June 4th, 2006 at 08:04 pm

What a nice day. Nothing happened at all of any importance. We got the house in order, had a pizza for dinner (which we did not pay for), and hosted a pinochle match this evening (which we won). DH and I made two delicious pies (I did the crust, he made the from-scratch killer chocolate filling). Both the boys were in good moods and went to bed without the tiniest bit of fussing. This is why I love Sundays.
Money spent today: $14.32 at the grocery store. Would have been less, but DH got tired of waiting for me to finish lunch to run to the store, so he went himself. Grrr...if he had told me he was going instead of taking off, I would have made sure he had the two coupons I had set aside for what we needed to get. Grrr.
I got a call Friday about someone wanting to put in an offer on the house I just listed - but then the weekend passed with no offer. I called yesterday to see what the deal was and their agent told me they were trying to decide between two houses, my listing being one of them. Since I have not heard back, I guess they probably went with the other. I do have a showing myself tomorrow. I would nothing more than to get this house SOLD! Since all of my salary will now be going toward the everyday expenses, commissions are going to be the only chances we have of getting debt paid down until DH finishes school and gets a job.
Back to work tomorrow. I have tried to make the mornings a little easier by taking a shower tonight and packing my lunch already. Every little bit helps!

May goals recap

June 3rd, 2006 at 08:17 pm

May goals:
Real estate:
-Send letters to past clients with new contact information
-Look into joining women's professional organization in nearby town for networking opportunities
Neither of these got done - they were put on the back burner because I have been pretty busy showing houses - an action with more immediate benefits!

Money:
-Pay DH's tuition without using a cc - not done and we will have to put some of it on a cc Frown
-Work on building saving's account back up to level I want it to be (needs app. $800, which we won't be able to do this month, but maybe we can get a start on it) - deposit $100 this month - not done - no extra cash this month Frown

Health:
-Maintain 140 weight - DONE!

Sorting/simplification goal:
-Donate at least 40 items -> I estimate the amount was closer to 100 items!!
-Sort out three upstairs rooms full of stuff, persuade my parents to donate too, since it is mostly their stuff! -> largely done, still a work in progress. I did get my parents to let go of a few things...

June goals are going to be very similar to May goals:
Real estate:
-Send letters to past clients with new contact information
-Look into joining women's professional organization in nearby town for networking opportunities

Money:
-Pay DH's tuition without loans
-Pay off all credit cards accounts (3 with small balances)

Health:
-Maintain 140 weight
-Get back on track with eating right. It's been a bad week as far as junk food goes...

Sorting/simplification goal:
-Get rid off all unnecessary paperwork that is floating around.
-Find a good, used desk for cheap. DH needs it for schoolwork, I could use it for organization.
-Continue my "5 minutes per night" rule for getting my bedroom/upstairs in order.

Monthly goals

June 3rd, 2006 at 08:09 pm

Now to tally up the expenditure categories and compare to what I budgeted...
Groceries: 275 -> 300.27
Household/Cell: 635 -> 574.51
Car: 200 -> 368.41 (wow - did I make a mistake here???)
Medical: 40 -> 23
Clothes: 20 -> 12.24
Loans: 300.36 -> 300.36
Entertainment: 100 -> 382.67 (only 59.67 if I don't count the cabin reservation for our vacation in August)
Gifts: 50 -> 102
Miscellaneous: 100 -> 513.88 (counting the $200 I paid in advance toward my future SIL's bachelorette party - a lot of which will be paid back to me)
Real estate: 50 -> 0
School: 1493 -> 107.70
Investment: 100 -> 100

Total expenses: $3363.36 -> 2785.04
Estimated income: $3150 -> 3275.44
Well, we made more than we spent...but not really, because we have not paid DH's tuition yet (some of which will be going on the cc...). Ick.

Now for next month's projections:
Groceries: 275
Household/Cell: 240
Car: 275 (had to raise this due to gas prices and DH's return to school 30 miles away)
Medical: 40
Clothes: 20
Loans: 300.36
Entertainment: 100
Gifts: 160 (busy, busy month)
Miscellaneous: 100
Real estate: 50
School: 1493
Investment: 100

Total expenses: $3153.36
Estimated take-home income: $1700
I guess this month will be even worse than last one! Luckily we have about $800-1000 in our checking account earmarked for DH's tuition, so it will make up most of the difference here.

awful, awful month

June 3rd, 2006 at 07:52 pm

Yuck. I kinda wish I had not done the budget this month Smile Overall net worth went down about $1624, but considering the value of our investments went down nearly $1700, I guess we did okay in other areas. However, we have not yet paid DH's tuition...so that is still another $1443 to worry about. It will have to go on this month's budget.
Current debt: $1704 car loan (started at about $12k in Jan 2005) - payment of $184/month
$15143 in DH's student loan debt, with about $6k more to be added before he is done - payments in deferment
$6600 in my student loan debt - payment of $100/month

And the worst - we ended up putting money back on the ccs this month! Part of the reason was that I had a myseterious charge to my debit card and had to cancel it, so I had to use the cc if I didn't have cash (which I tend not to carry). We also started to put some of our gas charges on the cc for the 5% cash back. Total cc charges this month: about $500. Already paid off $100, and the rest will be paid off before any finance charges come due. As I mentioned in a previous post, our camping vacation this summer was the big unplanned expense ($323).

The next six months are going to be rough. Dh was receiving some benefits as part of a program that allowed him to return to school without having to work. These have just ended, so it's like losing one (albeit small) salary. For the next six months (since it will be hard for him to get a job while student teachng), it will be just my PT salary (about $18k pre-tax) and whatever I can make in real estate commissions. However...if he can land a decent job after finishing school, then we would be making upwards of $50k combined with no housing payment and would be able to plug away at those student loans!!!! When those are gone, goodbye job, and hello FT momhood Smile Maybe...then again, I might want to hold on to my job to get out of the house...
Smile

no monthly totals yet...

June 1st, 2006 at 07:14 pm

and I probably won't get to them tomorrow either. Bummer. I really look forward to adding up everything at the end of the month so I can remind myself that we are doing okay (or sometimes to give me a little motivation for the next month!).
Trying something new this month...I have been meaning to do it for the past few months, but I always forget until several days have elapsed, then I just decide to wait until the next month. I want to track ALL expenses, every day. I have started already for today - what a bad day to start! I trekked all over town looking for a thrift store desk for DH and ended up buying myself four shirts! (desperately needed summer shirts, though, so no guilt here). They were all thrift store finds, from $2-4 each. Then we went out for dinner again with my extended family to meet an aunt who is in town for a few days from California. Well worth the money, but still, another $20 gone. Plus I spent another $20 at Big Lots - I stopped there to see if they had any Kashi cereal ($2 per box compared to $3-$3.50 in the store). Jackpot - I picked up four boxes. Found some seed packets there too, for $.20 to $1 per packet. Now if I can just find rhubarb somewhere, I'll have everything I want.
Tomorrow I have a secret shop scheduled. Nothing big, only $6, but every bit helps. Looking forward to a quiet weekend...