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Payday, Debt Payoff, and Lunch Challenge

March 19th, 2011 at 02:40 pm

Hello, everyone. I got paid again on Friday. More money went to savings and retirement. Speaking of which, I need to update those numbers. Done as of 5:11pm on 3-19-2011.

The repairs to the car should be complete on Wednesday and we can go pick it up. That will be a relief. Hubby and I agree we should immediately start saving for a replacement car. We thought seriously about getting a different car now, but everything we looked at was out of our price range and we did not want to go into debt for a car so shortly after buying a house. I also added more money to the Conference Challenge. I cashed in some survey points, which will get added to the Conference Challenge.

I also hit another major milestone. I PAID OFF HOSPITAL DEBT #2!! Woo-hoo!

This debt was close to $10,000 in 2006. My husband had no insurance and I had to take him to the ER. He has insurance now thanks to my pointing out it might have cost less than 1/2 that if he had had insurance.

In other news, the Lunch Challenge continues. Next week, it is Spring Break at the college I work at. I will be working Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday through Friday I will be on vacation. My progress so far this much is that I have eaten lunch out once on last Friday. I spent about $10.00. I also bought ice tea or soda several times, but I bring my own cup which makes it cheaper because they give a discount for that. Here are my lunches for next week:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - leaf lettuce salad, carrots, cucumbers, tuna in foil packet, oil and vinegar for dressing, orange or apple, water

Wednesday - Wednesday is the day we expect to pick up our car, so I think we may go out to lunch to celebrate

Friday - maybe an almond butter sandwich on gluten free bread, orange, apple, carrots, water

Another thing I have planned to do on Wednesday is to go to Home Depot and buy stuff to fix our toilet that runs frequently. Our last water bill is $60 and we only have 2 people living in our house. I think the water bill should be about 1/2 that much. Have any of you ever fixed a running toilet? Is it difficult?

Cashed in Survey and Beezag Points!

February 27th, 2011 at 05:42 pm

Hello, everyone. I am having a terrific day.

Earlier today, I cashed in survey points from one of my survey sites for $25.00 which I will received in a couple of weeks via paypal.

I also just cashed in points from Beezag for $8.00, which I will receive within 2 weeks via paypal.

Both payments are allocated for the Conference Challenge.

Saving Money Using Less Hot Water

January 15th, 2011 at 01:21 pm

When the hubster and I moved into our new-to-us house, there was only a bathtub in the bathroom. The bathroom is designed such that short of major redesign and renovation, putting in a shower is impossible. There is a wooden storage cabinet right above the bathtub faucet.

However, there was also a shower in the basement. It had no shower enclosure and only an extremely moldy shower curtain. The cement flower is sloped so that the water drains into a pipe that goes outside. It is the same pipe that is used by the sump pump. First, we got rid of the moldy shower curtain. Then, we had to buy a new curtain. There were already rings. Well, when we finally got it all put together, it was not how I would usually take a shower, but it does work. I feel pretty confident that because I take pretty short showers (about 7 minutes or so), that we will use substantially less water and gas that we were with taking tub baths.

I feel great about this. Any "extras" that I see we would have normally paid towards our water bill I will put towards our challenge.

Click here to see some pics of a vacation home. Of course, they are not pictures of our house, but the one of the shower looks very similar to ours. Ours is in the basement and the frame the curtain hangs on is made of pvc pipe.


Just to be clear, we don't plan on keeping it this way forever, but we need to pay off some other debts first and fix some other things on the house before we begin to remodel the bathroom. After we replace the ceiling fan/light, we will start saving up to replace the four windows on the back side of the house.


October 5th, 2010 at 05:47 pm

Well, I did finally get a paypal payment from cash4books.net for a book I sold them. I put it into the Spare Change/Conference Challenge. I am seeking other sources of possible books. It's kind of hard right now, though, to do anything with this. Last week, my hubby went to a nearby town to take our car tax and registration payment to be applied. Normally, I mail it, because we never normally go there and it would have been late if we had not have taken it there. Anyway, on the way back, the car died on the highgway, but he was able to get it off the road and call AAA for a tow. Anyway, I took off work a little early on Friday anyway. Because of having no car, I knew I would need to get groceries on Friday, because the city bus does not run on weekends. I live in a small town and it is a miracle we even have a bus. So, because of my car dying and needing an $800 repair, my hopes of shopping yard sales for books to sell are shot out of the water. Apparently, I am not the only one with car and other mechanical problems, though. I was talking with a couple of friends today who were telling me of similar problems. Must be something in the air. Anyway, I told the hubby that until we get hospital bills #1 and #2 paid off, we are going to occasionally have little problems like this because we don't have a lot of wiggle room. He said that it sounds like we need to pay them off with the tax return, but I told him by the time the tax return gets here, #2 will probably be paid off. #1 will have a couple of hundred left on it. I think with whatever is left, we should put 1/2 into the regular savings and 1/2 into the house savings. After living in our house for a year, we can also get level payment plan on the gas and electric, so then gas and electric won't be such a problem.

cash4books.net and other news . . .

September 22nd, 2010 at 08:36 pm

Well, I sold one book already, on Monday I think. I mailed it off (shipping is free). I am supposed to get payment within 3 days. I am already looking at frequently a local ongoing book sale, buying books that cash4books will buy, and selling them. I looked some up to see what types will sell well. It's a little bit of everything. I am putting the loot into my Spare Change/Conference Challenge.

Oh, and I got good news on the Conference Challenge. I have applied for additional funding at work to attend the conference based on doing a presentation there. If the funding is approved, they can pay for my conference registration as a loan out of the reimbursement I would be expected to get.

More new on the gluten free front also. I finally found a bread I can eat that does not have any wheat, barley, rye, oats, or dairy in it. It is definitely different than regular bread, but it is quite tasty.


September 19th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Hi, everyone. Cash4books.net is my effort to boost the household income by selling books that we no longer need. I am going to the put the proceeds in my Professional memberships/conferences account. In some ways, it is better than ebay, because you don't have to wait for the bidding war. You know immediately if they will buy the book and they pay for the shipping of the books to them. I have already sold one book and will put it in the mail tomorrow.

I need to raise about $1300 by next spring to attend a conference in June.

I don't really want to, but I am changing the direction of the Spare Change Challenge funds to my conference. To try to do both the debt payoff and the conference account makes it very difficult to accomplish anything.


April 2nd, 2010 at 09:03 pm

Well, today I got paid again. I have paid the electric bill, trash bill, water/sewer bill, and internet bill. I also made a payment on the credit card. I will have an extra payday this month because I get paid every 2 weeks rather than twice a month. Yippee for me! So I am allocating $100 of that second paycheck for my Conference Challenge to attend a major professional conference in 2011. I will allocate another $50 of it to paying off a hunk of hospital debt #1 in addition to my regular $20 payment. Life is good. As Walter Krontkite used to say, "And that's the news."

I added $20.00 to my Professional Account to attend a major national conference in June 2011, bringing my balance to $21.00.

Spending, Savings, Retirement, and Other Stuff

June 27th, 2009 at 01:45 pm

Well, I feel much more relaxed and at ease with my financial situation. I don't know why, but it seems like things have eased up a little bit lately. I did not get the amount of reimbursement for my work trip that I was hoping for, but I did not let that stop me from making huge progress. I had to replace my portable dishwasher (we have to have a portable because we don't own our house), which took $461.38. I took $400.00 and put it into savings, bringing my balance to $975.89. Almost $1000. Wow. I am using the rest to get some work done on my car. With all the "extra" money I had been pumping into the Conference Challenge, I am going to use to pay off the credit card and medical debt. I don't know exactly how long it will take me, but if apply the same intensity I did with the Conference Challenge, I would say 1.5 years.

My Conference

June 13th, 2009 at 01:29 pm

As you can see on the left side of the screen, I have a new profile photo. It was taken at a resort called Crest Mountain outside Asheville, N.C. I had a great time and it wasn't as expensive as what I thought it would be. I am still trying to figure out the specifics, but when I get figured out exactly how much I have left, I will immediately pay it to the credit card.

So, that's the end of the Conference Challenge and the beginning of the Debt Payoff Challenge. I am going to use survey money, coupon savings, as well as half of my work reimbursement, etc. to increase the amount I have in savings. I already have a survey check coming from Opinion Outpost and another from Lightspeed Panel. Then, I will start hitting my debt really hard.

Savings and Challenge

April 10th, 2009 at 07:55 pm

Well, I had to dip into my savings recently to do repairs on my car. I was so glad that I had the money there. It brought my savings balance way down, but I will replenish it eventually.

I got $1.00 for a survey recently. That went straight to my Challenge. I also got a $10.00 Starbucks card by cashing in some survey points. This brings my Challenge balance is up to $1735.03. Woo-Hoo!

Conference Challenge Addition

March 23rd, 2009 at 05:14 pm

Well, my Challenge is currently at $1700.14. Several weeks ago, I blogged about the Dollar General GE Lightbulb rebate. I mailed in my rebate and today I received my check for $4.00! Hooray! After I cash the check tomorrow, this goes straight to the Challenge.

Spring Cleaning

March 22nd, 2009 at 06:34 pm

Well, recently I came up with another way to scrape some more money together initially for my Challenge. I realized when I went into a spare room that I have a lot of fine china packed away in boxes just gathering dust. If I sold it, I could use the money towards my Challenge. One of my coworkers has a booth in a flea market in a nearby town, so I asked her if she would be willing to sell the stuff for me in exchange for 10% of whatever it sells for. She said her booth is basically open shelving, so she could not do that without risking breakage. She suggested I come to that town in a couple of weeks for the town's city wide garage sale and bring my stuff over to sell it. Even if I did not want to come for the sale, she could sell it for me and said she would be willing to do so without payment. She said that the more stuff available at the sale, the more stuff sells. So, Saturday, I picked up price labels. Today, I went through my boxes of stuff and marked everything with price labels. I even went through my closets and drawers looking for clothes that are too small, etc. and found a pair of jeans and some other stuff I can't use any more. It's been really bugging me that this stuff has been sitting in boxes for 10 years because I don't have anywhere to display it. So this seems like a good idea. After I get back from the conference and receive the reimbursement, I will enough of it into savings to bring the balance to $1000. The rest I will wipe out at least 1 debt with.

Just Catching Up On Stuff

March 21st, 2009 at 11:41 am

Well, I got paid again yesterday. Here's the good news:

1) Hospital Debt #1 is down to $838.58.

2) Savings is up to $697.35.

3) Retirement is up to $13,816.57.

4) The conference challenge is up to $1699.49.

5) The doctor has encouraged hubby and I to eat less red meat and eat tuna and turkey instead. The good news is that turkey is a little cheaper than ground beef and we should not notice any difference in taste.

The bad news is that I had to go to the chiropractor yesterday (scheduled visit) in a nearby town. I was out of several of my health supplements that I take and had replenish. I had only anticipated spending $50-$60, but it was $113.08. Anyway, I have to pay my rent at the end of the month. Other than that, I have $104.38 to get me through until April 3rd, my next payday. I don't do a lot of driving and don't drive to work, so gas for the next 2 weeks is not a problem. I have already bought groceries next week. My only expenses are rent ($465) and food (~$70.00). I am determined to remain within this budget and not use the credit card.

Hubby was doing the laundry and found $0.65 in the pocket of my pants. I have added it to the Conference Challenge and broken the $1700 mark, bringing my balance to $1700.14.

Conference Challenge Addition

March 15th, 2009 at 01:47 pm

Hello, everyone. I just added some leftover pocket change that I didn't know existed to my Conference Challenge. This brings my balance to $1618.16. My next payday, which is Friday, will enable me to add $80 more, bringing it to $1698.16. Maybe I can find $2.00 somewhere and break the $1700 mark. I am expecting a Starbucks coffee card in the mail this week. I plan to take it with me when I leave for my conference so I can get some good tea for free.

Like Sherlock Holmes, here, I am off in search of clues, specifically clues leading me to additional funds for my Challenge.

This coming week is going to be a "super-frugal" week, as I have only $12.00 in my checking account. I am determined not to use the credit card and to stay within my budget. I have food that I can take with me to work, so that's not a problem. It's just that I sometimes like to buy something and this week I can't.

Conference Challenge Addition

March 13th, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Howdy, partners. I have just made an addition to my Conference Challenge of $35.20. I had pocket change in my purse, my coat, and just all over the place. Plus I had some lunch money left over from this week. This brings my total to $1617.74.

Lots of Stuff Going On

March 7th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Well, as of late, I feel kind of like a chicken missing its own head. At my work, carpet is being laid in my area beginning March 13th. It will take about 1 week to do the entire floor. I have to finish up some projects I am working on and also take everything off the tops of my file cabinets, my desk, and my credenza. Oh well, that's almost done, but the nasty part where they stir up a lot of dust has yet to begin.

I also have some presentations to put together for conferences I am going to. I am going to one conference in April in a nearby town and big one in June. I have to put together presentations for both of them. I have registered for the first conference, but still have to do hotel reservations. I have arranged to share a hotel room for that conference, cutting my hotel costs in half. For the second conference, I have not made any travel arrangements yet, but I will have 2 roommates for that one. My boss is happy about that one, as my hotel costs will be cut from about $1200 to around $400. My pocketbook is happy too and the pressure to get together $2000 is not so heavy, but I am still scrambling to round up spare change, survey money, and rebate money. I am not desperate, but I don't want to be without, either. I do not want to use the credit card. My head is spinning.

Well, the early Christmas present I blogged about recently was a mistake, apparently the result of an absent minded data entry. The bill we received that indicated the bill was $150.00 lower than we thought it should was incorrect. Oh well, we will live and we will pay off the rest of the debt. I haven't written the check for this month's payment, but I will later.

I have added more money to the Conference Challenge recently, bringing the balance to $1581.94.

I also got paid yesterday. More money went to my savings. We also received our federal tax refund recently. We bought a PS3 with part of it (not my idea - it was dh) and also got some work done on the cart with part of it. At this point, I took control and insisted that we put the rest into savings, bringing the balance to $597.35. Today, we got our state tax refund and I took charge. I put it in my checking. As soon as I can make it so, it will be making its way to the credit card company. Apparently, I need to take charge once in awhile to make serious headway with finances.

More money was also added to my retirement, bringing the balance to $13,301.98.

I also went grocery shopping today. I used coupons, my own bags, and bought sale items at the grocery store which gave me $3.84 off my bill. I also went to Walgreens and bought Nature Made vitamins for buy one get one free. I had a $1.00 off coupon for each bottle. I also bought a small plastic bottle to use for cleanser on my trip in June (my skin is sensitive, so I can't use hotel soap) and had a coupon for 99 cents to buy the bottle. I also bought a package of quart size zip top bags for 99 cents with a Walgreens coupon. As I was checking out, I noticed I saved $11.79 and spent $9.23. Woo-hoo!

At Dollar General, I bought a few things. I bought two CFL bulbs. They had tear off rebate forms for GE lightbulbs. After rebate, you basically get one lightbulb free. So, if you are in the need for CFL bulbs, check out Dollar General. I bought two 60 watt CFL bulbs for $8.00, but I will get $4.00 back.

Early Christmas Present?, Payday, and Other Stuff

February 21st, 2009 at 11:50 am

Well, I have had a very interesting week. We received a new billing statement for Hospital Debt #2 which stated that the amount due was $1777.60, not $1927.60. This was certainly news to us, as we were prepared to continued paying until all $1927.60 was paid off, but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I do remember that when I had to take DH to the hospital, we made a claim to the VA for that visit. Maybe they are finally paying something on that. I don't know, but I am not going to call and ask. To me, it's just a blessing.

In addition, I sent another $75.00 payment on Hospital Debt #2, bringing the balance to $1702.60.

I also sent a $20.00 payment to Hospital Debt #1, bringing the balance to $858.58.

I paid the water and phone bills and will have to pay rent later this month.

I went shopping for groceries. At Big Lots, I bought chicken broth, tomato paste, pasta, trail mix, crushed red peppers, and bread for $12.66.

At Dollar General, I bought shampoo, ketchup, crackers, a Chinese food dinner, peanut butter, an LED nightlight, toilet paper, and dishwasher powder. I used $0.85 in coupons and spent $18.20.

At my regular grocery store, I used $7.26 in coupons and sales, and used my own bags. I spent $50.06.

I was also paid yesterday. More money went into my retirement, bring the balance to $13,492.37. I also automatically deposited money to my savings, bringing the balance to $100.00.

As an addendum, I wanted to say that I forgot to update my Conference Challenge. Due to dumping some spare change into it recently, it has jumped to $1504.82. As soon as I get something straightened out with my debit card, I will dump $80.00 more into it.

Conference Challenge Addition

February 18th, 2009 at 06:11 pm

Well, I had some extra cash laying around, so I put it into my Conference Challenge, bringing my balance to $1492.69. Yea!

This cat is not one of my furbabies, but the look on his face is just priceless.

Conference Challenge Addition

February 14th, 2009 at 02:09 pm

I added a few bucks to my Challenge today, bring my balance to $1490.01. I sometimes feel like this guy, Sisyphus, eternally pushing the bolder uphill only to have it roll back down again. I have to continually remind myself that my bolder will get lighter and lighter and eventually I will not have to push it uphill anymore.


As an addendum, I logged into my e-poll survey site account last week. I found that I had enough for a $10.00 Starbucks card. As soon as it comes, I will set it aside for attending my conference and add it into my total funds. Getting several of these will help me to substantially reduce my food costs while there.

Conference Challenge Addition

February 10th, 2009 at 07:16 pm

Well, I had some change left in my pocket today and decided to add it to the Conference Challenge, bringing my total to $1476.01.

Tomorrow may be a somewhat spendy day. I have to go to the dentist in the morning for a routine cleaning and checkup. My dental insurance pays for routine cleaning and checkup every 6 months, so no problem there.

I am planning on taking the rest of the day off and going to a nearby town for a trip to the health food store. I need flaxseeds, vitamin C, MSM, etc. I live in a tiny little town where stuff like that is hard to find.


I don't know how it happened, but somehow the update my panel at the left was showing my savings at $0.00. It has been corrected now to $80.00. Slip 'o the finger?

Spending and Saving

January 31st, 2009 at 03:39 pm

Well, today was a spending and saving day. I have my checking and savings accounts at different places (for good reason), so I went to an atm and got $80 out ($20 for my mad money, $40 for set aside for my conference in June, and $20 for savings). I went to the credit union and deposited the $20 to my savings, bringing the balance to $60. Yes, I have $60 in my savings!

At Dollar Tree, I bought 3 quarts of broth and 1 package of bubble mailers for $4.29. This is a really good deal on this stuff, as broth at my grocery store is about $3.00 for just 1 quart. This is the cheapest for buying bubble mailers also.

At Dollar General, I bought Electrasol, mayonaisse, crackers, tuna fish in foil packets, and an LED nightlight for $14.22. I used $0.75 in coupons here.

At Big Lots, I bought cat food, a canister of raisins, and an 8 oz measuring cup for $8.05. The only thing I don't like about this store is that you can't use coupons, but they have very good deals on stuff.

At my regular grocery store, I used 4 coupons which were all doubled, used my own bags, and bought as much as I could on sale. My savings was $12.40 and I spent $46.67.

For the most part, the coupons are courtesy of some very nice coupon trading partners at Thriftyfun.com. I have not drastically reduced my spending as a result, but I have reduced it and it has allowed me to weather the budget storms a little more easily.

At Walgreens, I bought some Duracell batteries which were on sale $2.00 off. I also had a $0.75 coupon and the capability of sending in a $3.00 rebate, bringing the cost of the batteries from $11.99 down to about $6.24. Woo-hoo!

Money Surplus?

January 30th, 2009 at 06:36 pm

Wow. This is weird. This has not happened to me in a long time. It is now Friday and next Friday is my next payday. I just paid the rent for February and made a credit card payment. I still have $334 in my checking account. The only thing I have to do in the next seven days is set aside money for my conference trip ($40) and buy groceries (~$80). Because we haven't been driving much, our gas tanks are nearly full. I think I will put $20 into my savings "just because." This is nice. Big Grin

Got Paid Yesterday, Savings Deposit, Coupon Savings, and More Debt Paid

January 24th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Well, I got paid again yesterday and went shopping today. My savings deposits automatically come out of my pay and into the savings account at a credit union. My savings balance is now $40.00. That doesn't sound like much, but I haven't had that much in savings in months. (Yeah!)

I went to Walgreens and bought Qtips, Bic shavors, Band-aids, Blue Diamond Almonds, Walgreens brand liquid hand soap, Crest Glide Floss, a birthday card, and Oil of Olay fash wash. Three of the items were on sale and everything except the birthday card I had a manufacturer coupon for. For the almonds, I also had a Walgreens coupon for Buy one get one free. I saved over $10.65. Woo-hoo!

At Dillons, I bought quite a few things, too numerous to mention here, and had several coupons amounting to $3.45. Two of them were doubled, several things were on sale, and I took my own bags. Total savings amounted to $8.53.

At Dollar Tree, I only bought puffy shipping envelopes. It's silly, I know, but it is the best place in town to buy them. The post office charges highway robbery rates for them.

At Big Lots, I paid $15.02 for several things I needed.

Recently, I discovered it is possible to use coupons at Dollar General, my favorite place to buy peanut butter, Hellman's mayonnaise, and cat food. I used $2.00 in coupons here.

Some of the items I bought today were stock up items using coupons that would expire soon. But I feel really good about it.

I also put some money into the Conference Challenge, bring my total to $1343.76.


Oh, as an update, I will add that I made another payment on Hospital Debt #1, bringing the balance to $878.58.

I also filled a customer satisfaction survey for Walgreens. I know that some people say those things are nonsense, but one time I did actually win a $5.00 gift card. This month, the prize is $1,000. I could definitely have that. Big Grin

Spending Today and Conference Challenge

January 17th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Today, I went grocery shopping. My money for shopping was limited due to an out of town trip I had to make for work yesterday. I will be reimbursed for the mileage on that trip, but I won't get it until the end of the month. The bad thing is that I would have like to have done some stock-up shopping like I did last weekend, because there were some things which were on sale that I also had coupons for.

At Dollar General, I bought trash bags, mayonaisse, and tuna fish in foil packs for $11.64. I figure I saved at least $5.00 here, because all of this stuff is a lot higher at my regular grocery store.

At Walgreens, I had a raincheck from last week for Hunt's Tomato Sauce at 3 for $1.00 with a store coupon. The store is completely out last week, so I got a rain check. Total cost $2.12 and saving 66%.

At Dillons, ground chuck was on sale for 30% off, which amounted to $2.44 a pound. That's cheaper than regular ground beef at Aldi's. I also bought some Chicken of the Sea tuna salad in little cups that I think will make awesome lunch when combined with some bread, an apple, and some trail mix. Apples in the produce aisle were 10 pounds for $10.00. Wow. I also used my own bags. All this amount to $5.96 off.

The total amount I budgeted for groceries was $60.00 and total spent was $55.25. I didn't use any coupons, but didn't have any that were for what I needed to buy, but I will need to buy a lot of other things next week for which I do have coupons. I am so happy that I'm almost dancing.


As an update, I am happy to report my Conference Challenge amount is up to $1256.90. I am aiming for $2000 to insure that I don't have to use the credit card. In addition, I posted a message on a discussion board for the conference requesting a roommate. Another person in Illinois has responded and we are getting to details worked out. We need to make hotel reservations at the conference hotel or another nearby hotel.

Conference Challenge Addition and Walgreens Shopping

January 10th, 2009 at 04:44 pm

My hubby gave me excess, loose pocket change today. Who am I to turn it down? It is found money and therefore goes to the challenge, bringing my total to $1254.97.

I had great success at Walgreens today. I bought about $32.00 worth of merchandise for $16.01. For everything I bought, I had coupons (except the shampoo) and they were on sale. (I should add here that I planned out my shopping list extensively on paper and did not buy anything that I want rather than need.)

Palmolive detergent 10 oz (Qty=2) - I had a $0.50 manufacturer coupon plus a Walgrees coupon for $1.00 for each bottle, plus it was on sale for $1.79. If I tallied it up correctly ($2.58 - $2.00 - $0.50), it came to $0.08 I spent on it. I have never used this brand, but I thought why not?

Tom's of Maine toothpaste 6 oz (Qty=2) - I always buy this brand of toothpaste and have, until recently, been able to get it at Big Lots for $2.50. It was on sale for $3.99 and I had coupons for $1.00 for each tube.

White Rain Shampoo $1.00 (Qty=1) - This shampoo was on sale for $1.00 for 18 oz. I didn't need shampoo right now, but this is the brand I buy and I have been wanting to do a stock-up of certain things as a type of savings account.

Nature Made B Complex vitamins (Qty=2) - These vitamins were on sale buy one get one free. I also had coupons I downloaded from the manufacturer website for $1.00 each, bringing the total to $3.24 each.

I did pretty good with my other shopping too. I saved $0.50 at Dollar General because Cottonelle toilet paper was on sale. I also saved $5.37 at Dillons with coupons, sales, and using my own bags. This feels good. I like this game.

I was talking to the hubby tonight about our finances. I gave him an update on the amount left to pay on our medical debts. He asked if he thought we should use the tax refund to pay off mine, the lesser of the two. I said absolutely, but that it will still a little over $100 that we have to pay. After I go to my conference next June, I will get a $1500 reimbursement check towards the end of June. I can use that to pay the rest of my medical debt and a good hunk of his. He proposed this whole payoff strategy. I was very surprised to say the least. Usually, he wants to blow part of the tax refund on shineys. Things are looking good, as his attitude is changing. I think it is because he wants to buy a house and I don't feel comfortable doing so until the medical debt is paid off, which will free up our budget somewhat. Big Grin

Payday, More Debt Paid Off, and Other Stuff

January 9th, 2009 at 08:34 pm

Well, today was payday, so I have updated my totals at the right.

1) Hospital Debt #2 paid $75.00 on it, bringing it down to $1927.60

2) Paid $66.00 to cc - must get total and update it later

3) deposited $20.00 to savings, bringing my total to $20.00. I had to deposit $5.00 just to open the account and that was all I had at the time.

4) was supposed to set aside $80.00 for the conference challenge, but something went kafluey with my order at Sonic today and it wound up being only $68.00. I will get more money tomorrow to bring the total to $1264.46.

My net worth is going up a little. Cool. I plan to shop at Walgreens and other stores tomorrow and use the coupons I cut from the walgreens circular, the Sunday paper, and ones that other people sent to me. I must go now and make my shopping list. Big Grin

Conference Challenge Addition

January 8th, 2009 at 04:36 pm

Well, I don't know exactly when, or how, it happened, but apparently, I added to my Conference Challenge Fund. But I forgot to update my total here. Silly me. I must have been having what my friends say is a "senior moment" but I am not a senior. Oh well, my total is up to $1184.46. Tomorrow, I will add $80.00 more in, bring it to $1264.46. Woo-hoo!

Failure and Success

January 3rd, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Well, I have a little bit about failure today and little bit about success.

I got a survey check in the mail from Opinion Outpost, which was designated for the Conference Challenge. However, my checking account only had about $8.00 left in it after doing the grocery shopping, so I deposited it to checking for regular spending.

My success has to do with decreasing the amount spent on groceries. I have in the past usually spent around $80-90 per week on groceries for two adults and two cats. This week I got it down to $52.94. Woo-hoo! It does seem to go up and down depending on whether I need to buy toilet paper, detergent, cat litter, etc. I look for coupons, but I never seem to find any for Arm and Hammer Cat Litter and a box is around $8.00. I think that's a lot, but we have tried cheaper brands, but they don't seem to work as well. I know I don't really need to buy certain brands, like Hellman's mayo or Starkist tuna, for example, but my husband doesn't like other kinds.

Aldi $7.84
Dollar General
Dollar Tree $2.15
Big Lots $6.65
Dillons $27.39

Hellman's Mayo $4.00
Tuna Fish in Foil Pouch $1.10 (2)
Filtered water $0.45 (3 of these)
Tomato sauce $0.75 (4 of these)
Starkist Tuna $0.82 (2 of these)
Ground beef $2.49/lb (6 pounds)
Beef jerky $3.69
Chicken broth $1.00 (to make soup - already have chicken)
Pencil holder $1.00
Whole wheat bread $1.79 (2 of these)
Egg noodles $0.99
Canned beans for chili $0.55 (3 of these)
Eggs $1.29
Diced canned tomatoes $0.90 (3 of these)
Trail mix $1.00
Macaroni $1.33
Spaghetti noodles $0.70
Quart freezer bags $1.00
Snack zip bags $1.00
Tomato puree $0.60

Total $52.94


Oh, I just located a place to get Arm and Hammer cat litter coupons.


Conference Challenge Addition

January 2nd, 2009 at 10:56 am

I got a survey in the mail today and they sent me $1.00 to complete it. It's going directly to my Conference Chalenge, bringing my cash available total $1134.00. The total funds available total $2009. I need to actually have about $2000 in cash, though, as I will not be able to get the $875 until I get back from the conference. That means more surveys to answer, points to redeem, and coins to cash in for paper money.

Conference Challenge Addition

December 26th, 2008 at 05:51 pm

I realized I had $10.00 cash in my purse that I had not used. My rule is that any money left at the end of the week must go in my Conference Challenge.

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