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Archive for July, 2011

Trying to Improve My C+ Finances to an A+

July 23rd, 2011 at 01:46 am

Well, howdy everyone. I got paid again today. Still no raise, but I am still plugging right along with my goals. I increased my regular savings (emergency, although I don't really like to say that) to $708.02. I am increasing my car savings by $20.00. I wish I could do more, but we had to have work done on our car's air conditioner that cost $150 and I did not want to go into debt over that. I got a $5.00 survey check. As soon as I got it, I deposited it and paid the cc by the same amount. No survey money does not waste time lingering in my checking account or it would get spent on something when I want to spend it gaining financial freedom. I also paid extra to the cc today, bringing the balance to probably about $1797.06. I will pay more later when I scrounge up some other funds.

I am going to Coinstar tomorrow and will deposit the funds into my car account. It will probably be around $2 to $3. Update: I had $3.00 in change, bringing my car account to $296.49.

We got our latest mortgage statement. It is no surprise to us that it is going down, because we pay every time on time. It feels great to know we are building equity.

I am going thrift store shopping tomorrow for 2 pairs of slacks (1 preferably black and then other khaki). I also need some new socks. I will check Big Lots for those.

How Healthy Are Your Finances?

July 15th, 2011 at 08:33 pm

Just saw this link referenced on a listserv. I thought you all might like to see it, too.

http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/financialhealth/index.html

I only got a C+, so it's looks like I have a lot of work to do!

Mailboxes, Ants, and Other Nonsense

July 14th, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Well, the latest in our household is that last weekend, our mailbox was vandalized. We called the police and they filled out a report on it. We knew that since the mailbox only cost about $50.00, that we could not file insurance on it. So, we set about trying to figure out what our options are. We don't want to have to buy a new mailbox and/or post every 6 months, so we were willing to buy something a little more sturdy. My hubby talked to a few friends online who made some suggestions. We also did some online shopping on the Home Depot website. We even investigated the possibility of moving the mailbox to where it was originally located about 1/2 way between the street and the house. No go on that one by the way, as the post offices nationwide are trying to move everyone's mailboxes to the street for safety and limitation of liability. After talking with the postmaster, they came up with an idea the post office is happy with and will also hopefully eliminate future vandalism issues. It involves: 1) mountaing the mailbox on a new post where the box is screwed into a hard metal plate, 2) setting the post in quik crete, and building a sort of cage made of rebar around the mailbox. It is bound to be the most unusual and ugly mailboxes in our town, but if it will keep people from knocking it over, I am all for it. Will post more on this later.

The second issue we are dealing with is ants. Ants by our microwave, in our kitchen cabinets, by the stove, and on the floor. We have been trying for weeks to stave them off by keeping the counters meticulously clean, washing all dishes as soon as we are done with them, and sweeping and mopping the floor often. That has not been working, as they seem to come back anyway. Well, today we decided we had had enough. I did some searching online for anything we could do that did not involve calling an exterminator or spraying awful chemicals into the air.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4744027_kill-ants-household-remedies...

We went out and bought the boric acid and I put it where the online instructions said. Then, my husband went out and looked around the house. He said he found hundreds of ants in our yard and so he put some of the boric acid on them. Hopefully, this will do the trick.

There is other stuff in our house we definitely want to change. Here is a picture of the closet doors in our bedroom. Yes, they are actually an icky color somewhere between pink and lavender. Yuck.



Here is a picture of the bathroom looking towards the bathtub and a small cabinet Notice the weird colors? Yes, we have a harvest gold bathtub and tiles, but that lavender/pink paint on the inside of the cabinet above the bathtub on the wall. I think whoever painted must have been color blind!



We also want to install some kind of insulation in the attic. Some I know was commenting how they had recently installed radiant barrier in their attic and that it made a huge difference. They described it as looking kind of like big pieces of aluminum foil. I am not sure if it is considered a replacement or a complement to regular insulation. Have any of you heard of it or used it?

I knew that home ownership would be different than renting, but this has not been much fun. It certainly hasn't been boring, though.

Got Paid Today

July 8th, 2011 at 04:49 pm

Well, I got paid again today, so there's more money in savings and retirement. I have already set aside car insurance and 1/2 of the mortgage payment for August.

I work at a university and have a contract. The union has ratified the contract for this year, but it has to go to the Board of Regents in the state for approval. In the meantime, the salary increase I was supposed to get beginning today, I will not get til the Board of Regents approves it. When will that be? It's anyone's guess.

I really wanted to go to HR today and increase my amount going to retirement and savings, but don't want to until the raise comes through.

Don't get me wrong. I count myself lucky I have a job and a salaried job at that. Some people in my field are unemployed and have been for a couple of years. Others are underpayed. I am doing alright salary wise, but I have been promoted and want to be recognized for that in my salary. I worked hard for it for the last 6 years at my current job and 15 years overall in my field.

More Progress on Dispersal of My Reimbursement

July 4th, 2011 at 07:18 pm

Here is the dispersal of my reimbursement as it stands now:

$1241.38 (total of reimbursement)
-$200.00 (payment to credit card)
- $90.00 (balance payment on lawn mower)
-$200.00 (deposit to car savings account for eventual replacement of car)
- $33.93 (ordering health supplements)
- $56.25 (ordering new water filter cartridge 7/4/2011)
- $50.00 (second payment to credit card 7/4/2011)
-$325.64 (replacing dying PS3)
-------------------
$285.29 balance as of 7/4/2011

I would have sent a larger portion to the credit card, but the bank balance is a little wonky right now and I need to clear that up before sending more. Our PS3 is our primary source of entertainment, as we do not have cable tv or satellite. My husband plays some of the PS3 games and we both watch tv episodes and movies on Netflix instant viewing. So, that's why we wanted to replace our dying PS3. After I get the bank balance straightened out, I will likely make another payment to the credit card and put more in regular and car savings.

Oh, and if you need to order any health supplements and certain health food stuff, try http://www.vitacost.com. They are having a 4th of July sale today with a lot of things heavily discounted and no shipping charge on any order over $49.00.