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New Semester

January 18th, 2011 at 04:48 pm

Books, books and more books. If you need books for college you can rent them from Chegg.com. Free shipping to you and when you return the books back to Chegg. With two kids in college we saved hundreds of dollars this year. For books that are unavailable to rent you can also buy them and sell back on Amazon or half.com

3rd day

October 21st, 2010 at 04:49 pm

Not one penny spent in three days -- haven't paid for the lottery ticket yet -- funny the balance in both bank accounts hasn't moved either. I like it!

No Spend Days

October 20th, 2010 at 04:06 pm

This is the second day in a row that I spent absolutely nothing. Tempted, yes, but held on. It's not that easy when you are out of the house all day. I packed breakfast and lunch for the last two days and it really makes a difference. Spent my lunch hour at the park instead of the grocery store or pharmacy. My co-worker asked if I wanted to play the lottery today. I actually said no because I had not a nickel in my wallet. I think she put the buck in for me so I'll end my nsd streak tomorrow when I pay her back.

My slush fund is melting away :(

May 5th, 2010 at 03:01 pm

$300 - bathroom building supplies (building shower/toilet in basement).

$200 - rooftop cargo container for car. Going to buy tonight so we can bring DD home from college on Saturday. Otherwise we have to take two cars.

$500 in one day...

I'm still reeling over those DMV bills :<

TAFN

Fixed, Variable and Non-recurring

May 3rd, 2010 at 12:49 pm

As I go through this process everyday of planning and budgeting I can see so clearly now why having a slush fund is so important. If I didn’t keep money in a separate account for non-recurring items, they would have been put on the credit card without a thought. The fixed and variable expenses were not a problem in the past but the non-recurring is what ran up the cards. I can imagine that it would be hard to build one up if a budget is already tight. I’m lucky that I was able to start this slush account with a couple thousand dollars of our refinancing funds in January. Then I put all our tax refunds in it as well as a bonus check from work. I try to put as much as possible in every month as well after all bills have been paid, but as you can see, some months you just can’t do it when non-recurring items sneak in.

SON1 makes good money at his part time job so I rarely spend any money on him. But in months to come the following will be coming out of the slush fund in honor of his high school graduation:

$250 – Senior Prom Tickets
$160 – Decline his monthly payment for car insurance and phone service which I will add to my budget this month. Just to be a nice mom!
$160 – Fee for orientation at the University he will attend in the fall.
$200 – Dinner for the family at our favorite local restaurant after graduation ceremonies on the 26th.
$1,500 – A college send-off party for him in July. We have a big family and he has a lot of friends.

Total - $2,270.
Ouch!! :O

90 again

May 2nd, 2010 at 10:06 am

It's ninety degrees again today but it's also muggy so its worse than yesterday.

DH and I had our breakfast out: $23 w/tip and that's all I've spent the whole weekend. No test drive at Ford as we've been too busy around the house. I'm cooking dinner now, yes because of the weather but also because I'm tired or busy in the late afternoon and just like knowing dinner is finished. SON2 hasn't gotten up yet and didn't require $ this weekend so the American Eagle rewards card is still in my wallet. Will save grocery shopping for tomorrow -- at the A&P.

A thrifty weeked indeed!

I'm Cooking Dinner at 8:00 a.m.

May 1st, 2010 at 05:59 am

The news this morning said it is going to be 90 degrees today! You know what my first thought was? The beach?--no. Dinner. Why? We no longer have AC downstairs and we were certainly not prepared to have purchased one so soon in the season. Therefore, it will be unbearably hot at 5:00 p.m. in my kitchen. To avoid the quick fix of picking up dinner out, I decided to cook now and then just heat it up later. If I didn't lay out a plan for weekend spending yesterday I probably would not have given it a second thought. This blog makes me feel more accountable for some reason -- more so than just my budget.

There was a time when we rarely ate out. Mainly because to feed a family of 5 would be expensive. But last summer things changed. My boys were out of the house most of the time and my daughter left for college in August. I would come home from work and feel like I didn't have to worry about dinner so much anymore. And when I did cook, I found that no one ate leftovers and food was getting wasted. Maybe I cooked 3 times a week instead of 6. Became a habit quickly. But eating out gets old after awhile and you realize that what you cook at home really is so much healthier and with a little effort tastes better. DH is a great cook so with a little assistance from him I will strive to eat at home much more regularly.

AMAZON

April 29th, 2010 at 06:40 am

Last month I ordered a walkman from Amazon late in the afternoon on a Friday and it was delivered the very next morning. I was so amazed. I live close to NYC and it was shipped from New Hampshire. How is that possible?

SON2 called me at work on Monday afternoon and asked me to stop at Barnes and Noble to pick up AP study guides on my way home. I don't know about you, but I try to avoid stopping anywhere on my way home from work, especially since I knew he wouldn't even look at them until at least the weekend. So I figured I would buy them online. Amazon had them for roughly $12 each plus an overnight shipping cost of only $7. Now 7 bucks is cheap for overnight and I fully believed that they would arrive the next day just like my walkman. It was not to be; they arrived yesterday—a day late. If I wanted to complain about the late delivery, to whom would I do so and is it really worth it? My rationale for forgetting about it – if I went to Barnes and Noble instead of ordering online the price for the guides would have been $13.45 x 2 = $26.90 plus $2.28 for tax = $29.18. Account for the aggravation of stopping on the way home from work and the real possibility of buying other items that I don’t need like a magazine, a book I won’t read until summer vacation or a candy bar placed prominently at the register and I figure in the long run I saved a lot of money so it’s not worth complaining about. Would you bother complaining?

Was i sleeping?

April 28th, 2010 at 02:56 pm

I logged into my online bank account last week and saw an ad on the page for Thank You points. I navigated my way around the site and to my surprise I had accumulated around 7,000 Thank You points. I didn't do anything special to earn them, I just did my normal bill paying and transfering cash from one account to another. They offered and I chose a $50 gift card to American Eagle for SON2 -- FREE. It came in the mail today and makes me smile Smile

Turns out my other online bank offers rewards as well and I've built up a nice balance there too. But I didn't have the proper password to access the cashing in function so I'll have to call them tomorrow to fix that up. You need more points at this bank for the same $ value of the reward of the 1st bank. Who cares; it's free!

Car show freebie

April 26th, 2010 at 06:35 pm

My husband and I went to to the International Car Show in NYC a couple weeks ago. We gave our email address to a Ford representative who sent us a coupon to test drive a Ford vehicle. Best part? We get $50 each if we do the test drive before June 30th. Amazing, no? I know JC (husband) will test the F150 pickup. Not sure which one I'll choose. I just bought a Honda Insight last year (cash for clunker deal) so I'm not in the market for a car; but I am in the market for free money. YAY!