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Archive for February, 2008

Update on 2008 Goals and Other Stuff

February 29th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

While I had the day off today to handle some family business, I got a phone call from my doctor's office. It seems the remaining $149.19 on my bill is being written off. While I tried to tell the woman that I have every intention of paying for the bill in full, she told me to stop sending payments. The only thing that rubs me the wrong way is being seen as some kind of charity case. I hope it doesn't show up on my credit report with a black mark next to it. Oh well, instead of looking at it that way though, I will look at it as someone having done something nice for me and I will "pay it forward" to someone else when I have the chance. I may have the chance to do that sooner than I originally thought. My stepdaughter has lost custody of her two month old daughter to the social services people in my state. This was due to my stepdaughter's complete inability to learn how to be a good mom to a special needs child despite weeks of "tutoring" by nurses and other specialists who truly wanted to help her learn to be a good mom. Well, my husband and I went to a hearing today to make our wishes known that we would like be the baby's foster parents, but all the judge did was assign a lawyer to the parents and order a continuance. I see this as a true blessing for the child and for my stepdaughter.

As far as the debt goes, I feel like celebrating. One more down and three more to go!

Economic Stimulus Package

February 28th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

Well, as I wrote in my previous blog earlier today, I have already spent the tax return. My hubby and I have been throwing around ideas on what to do with our $1200. We were discussing what are the problems that result in major holes in the checkbook. Well, our debt makes a big impact, of course, but I could pay that off without a big deal if we had less basic monthly expenses. We have been talking about finding a different house to rent closer to my work. If it was within 1/2 a mile of my work, I could walk to work without a problem. This would accomplish a number of things: less money spent on gas, not having to buy a parking pass, and an easy way to get to work if the weather is bad. As it is, I live 3 miles from work, which doesn't sound like a lot, but I have asthma. While I can ride a bike or walk, I come to work exhausted and sweat - not a good idea because I work in a library where I am supposed to look professional. So, when we get our $1200, we plan to start looking for a different house to rent. If we can't find something right away, we will just keep that money in a separate savings account and basically forget it exists.

2008 Tax Refund

February 28th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Well, the tax refund thing didn't turn out exactly the way I hoped. Our tv (imagine 27" tube tv that is so heavy it requires at least two people to carry it) was about to croak. It has increasingly had lines on the screen as well as color problems for awhile now. Our tv is virtually our only source of entertainment. We rent dvds from Netflix, but we do not have cable or satellite. We had both done some research online and had a good idea of what we could afford and what we wanted. We went to Best Buy and wound up buying a floor model, which netted us about $150.00 off of the sale price. The original, before-sale price was around about $200 more. After we brought the tv home, I quickly determined we had around $41.00 leftover. I added that $41.00 to $5.00 cash I deposited to the checking account. Before I could spend it on anything, I wrote a check and sent it to my doctor's office to pay off a good hunk of my doctor's bill. Around March 7th or so, I should get a GlobalTestmarket check for $50.00, which I will use to pay off more of that debt.

Update on 2008 Goals

February 10th, 2008 at 03:30 am

I guess you all have probably heard about the impending "economic stimulus package." Well, I know that The Shrub is hoping that we all go out and spend it all on high-priced stereos and bottles of Coca-Cola. I don't know about you all, but I have a fairly specific plan on what to do with the combination of my tax return and tax rebate. Based on what my hubby has told me, we can expect at least $800 for a tax return, so here is my plan.

Assuming my tax return arrives around May, I will still owe about $135 on one doctor bill. First, I will call the doctor's office up and confirm that amount and send them a check right away.

Secondly, I want to pay off a large hunk of credit card debt, about $600.

Assuming we actually get an $800 tax return, that will leave about $65.00.

When the tax rebate check arrives ($1200 for me and the hubby and no kids), we need to replace our tv. I also consider this to be kind of a treat for paying off debt last year. It was old when we bought it at a thrift store more than 6 years ago and could not afford to buy anything else. The color is way off on the monitor and the whole thing needs to be replaced. My hubby wants an lcd tv. I saw a 26" lcd tv on for $600.00. That sounds like a pretty good deal, because we don't need a real big one. In fact, I could easily go a lot smaller and have no problems at all. Anyone have any recommendations or advice on ones to not buy?

Anything that is leftover, which should be around $600 (and I plan to closely monitor this) will be sent at lightening speed to the credit card company.

Update to Medical Debt

February 10th, 2008 at 03:03 am

Howdy, folks. I just updated my numbers on my medical debt. The numbers went up, but not because the actual debt increased. I found out I had either miscalculated or just entered it wrong. I decided that to avoid confusion, I would start keeping track of the medical debts separately rather than as a group.

Anyway, there it is.

The Best Ways to. . . Save Money

February 10th, 2008 at 02:15 am

1. Avoid unncessary temptation to spend money. If you know you are having a "lean" month due to exceptionally high utility bills or other reasons, avoid unnecessary temptation. Avoid shopping malls, catalog, internet or email ads, movie theatres, and the candy aisle at the grocery store, etc. Oh, and don't take other people with you to the grocery store. They will only add stuff to the cart you don't need.

2. Once a week, get some "mad money" from the atm or your bank. This money could be for the occasional snack, coffee, etc. I do this and it helps to avoid those mystery debits that I forget to write down in my check register. Best of all, when it's all gone, it's gone until I go to the atm again on Saturday.

3. Improve your health. I have decided to gradually give up drinking colas both for my health and my pocketbook. This amounts to probably around $2.00 or so a day, but added up over a whole year, it amounts to a lot of money I could use to pay off debt or save for the future. So far, I am down to drinking about 12 oz. of soda a day. I bought myself a mug today so that I can drink tea or water at work. Besides the dollar or two this costs us daily, I figure there are other hidden costs too, like being sick more.

4. If you know you want to do something that will cost money that you cannot come up with right away, first figure out what you want to do and when you want to do it. Find out how much you think it will cost and then create a plan for doing it. I did this last year when I wanted to go to a conference for work. Instead of adding to credit card debt, I set aside money for the trip for months and also cashed in survey points for check and gift cards for food. I also do this with property taxes. I have a Christmas Club account to which I add a certain amount every month. When the taxes come due, I just transfer the money and write the check. No sweat.

5. is my friend. Anytime I want to order something online, I check this website to see if the company is listed there or if there is another company there that has the product I need. Signing into and then clicking on the company website frequently nets me a rebate or coupon code I did not know about. Once your rebates build up to a certain amount (I think it's $25.00), you can request a check.

6. If (above) does not work, I go to Google and type in the name of the product and coupon code. If a coupon code is available, usually I will get a few websites that tell me what it is. This has saved me hundreds of dollars at least.

7. I do lots of surveys, which net me $5.00 to $10.00 here and there. When I get a survey check in the mail or by Paypal, I look around and see if there any bills that need to be paid and pay them with it. If not, it goes right to the credit card. When it gets paid off, it will go to savings.

Oh, and I really love this quote by Michael J. Fox.

Expected Monies

February 6th, 2008 at 04:21 am

I recently submitted a tip to and it was published. Yippee! Whenever you submit a tip to Daytipper and it is publisher, they pay you $3.00. I should get my payment soon.

I also recently cashed in my points at Global Test Market, a survey company. Now, please understand that I do a lot of survey for different companies, which do occasionally pay with a $5.00 check here and there. I am supposed to get $50.00. Wow. I don't think I have ever gotten that much from a survey company before.

Not to worry, my savingadvice buddies. My loot will not be spent on shinies or bottles of Coca Cola. Both will go directly to the checking account and as soon as the deposit clears, they will be sent lightening fast to the credit card company.