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Archive for June, 2010

Update on Lunch Challenge

July 1st, 2010 at 02:19 am

Well, the numbers are in.

I had lunch out twice in the month of June. That's excellent for me, as I have been known to do it at least 3 times a week. I did spend an average of $2.50 per day on iced tea, soda, snacks, etc. I don't always remember to bring my own tea bags, so then I can't make my own tea. And don't even get me started on Pepsi. I know it's bad for me. It's probably not really good for anyone, but I do occasionally drink it. I think my challenge for next month will be to see how many days I can take my lunch to work AND also not drink any soda. Iced tea, hot tea, water, or anything else, is okay, but not Pepsi.

2010 Goals Progress

June 30th, 2010 at 12:30 am

I am following in creditcardfree's footsteps here. These are the Financial Goals I established and are posted in the left margin of my blog.

2010 Financial Goals
1. Pay Hospital Debt #1 Down to Under $400
2. Pay Hospital Debt #2 Down to $400
3. Establish $1000 Emergency Savings Balance by June and Maintain it

Goal #1 is well under control. I made some huge progress earlier in the year with our tax return and some survey payments that let me make higher than normal payments. The balance on Hospital Debt #1 is $357.58! Yeah!

Goal #2 is also under control. The balance is currently $652.60. If I continue to pay as normal, the balance will be $202.60 after the December payment. [Insert a big Dukes of Hazzard Yee-hah here!]

Goal #3 is not under control at all. I don't even really want to talk about and I am ashamed, but that's how it is. You win some and you lose some.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with my progress.

Anyone Else Having Trouble With Widgets Showing Up on Your Page?

June 26th, 2010 at 09:54 pm

I have been trying to view my page most of today. The top part on the left loads okay, but my blog entries don't show up and my networth iq widget and an animated graphic don't show up at all. Just wondering if it's just me.

New Payday, More Debt Paid, Flea Markets, & the Lunch Challenge

June 26th, 2010 at 06:46 pm

Well, I got paid again yesterday. I made another payment on Hospital Debt #1, bringing the balance to $357.58. I also put more in savings and retirement. I am only going to check my retirement balance quarterly from now on, though.

Hubby and I are still in negotiations to buy a house. It is getting down to the wire and I am excited and scared to death at the same time.

I have been trying to think of another way to make some extra money for paying off debt. My mind keeps coming back to selling my old Lenox and Belleek china. Although I like it, I have had it stuffed away in boxes for over 10 years and have never even displayed it. I talked to someone who is an ebay trading assistant about it. She couldn't stop talking about this fee and that fee, and reminding me that she can't guarantee whatever price it will sell for, etc. It made me think she wasn't interested. I also looked into selling it to one of those companies that buys and sells replacement china pieces, but they wanted me to ship it them at my expense without any guarantee of whether they will buy or the price. However, there is a local flea market type place where I could rent a shelf in a glass locked shelf for $7.50 per month and sell my stuff. The store gets a small amount, 10% I think, from each sale. Have any of you every done anything like that before? Are people buying stuff like antique china during this bad economy?

Well, here are my lunches for the next week:

Oscar Mayer turkey breast slices with bread for sandwiches, slices of tomato, slices of onion, mayo, apple, handful of nuts, 2 tea bags, bottle of filtered water from home

Progress on Lunch Challenge

June 25th, 2010 at 09:54 pm

Well, I did pretty good this week. I only spent around $2.00 each day on snacks and such and brought my lunch 3 days this week. I went out to lunch two days this week, but those are the only two days I have gone out to lunch so far this month.

On a more personal note, I am having some family issues. Some of you may remember that I had a major blowout with my mother about September 2007, I think. I have really spoken to her much since, and haven't spoken to her at all in almost a year. Because of not wanting to cause further trouble in the family, I had basically not spoken to most other family members. I did not want to get them in the middle of the dispute and make them feel like they were being pulled in both directions. My uncle found out how to get in touch with me and urged me to come visit. We originally had plans to visit on July 4th weekend. I just got an email from him saying mom told him and my aunt that if they remained in contact with me, she would refuse to speak to them. So, now she's not just messing with and trying to control me, but other people, too.

Lunch Challenge for This Week

June 19th, 2010 at 05:08 pm

Monday - canned chicken salad sandwich with mayo, lemon pepper seasoning, tomato, and onion, packet of celery, apple, water, handful of nuts, and 2 tea bags

Tuesday - canned chicken salad sandwich with mayo, lemon pepper seasoning, tomato, and onion, packet of celery, water, handful of nuts, and 2 tea bags

Wednesday - canned chicken salad sandwich with mayo, lemon pepper seasoning, tomato, and onion, packet of celery, water, handful of nuts, and 2 tea bags

Thursday - peanut butter and honey sandwich, tomato, apple, water, handful of nuts, and 2 tea bags

Friday - lunch out somewhere on my payday

Another thing I recently came up with to save money was in making iced tea. When it is cooler, I usually have a cup of hot tea in the morning when I begin my day. Lately, it has been so hot that the thought of drinking hot tea just doesn't sound good. So, I make a cup of hot tea very strong, stir in stevia, and pour it into another cup with ice in it. Today, I am going to make some sun tea right on my back porch. This saves me money and insures I don't have to leave air conditioning to get my caffeine.

Suggestions For No Cook Dinners Anyone??

June 19th, 2010 at 01:18 am

Hello, everyone. I am in the midwest. Summer is starting to heat up and it's only going to get hotter. DH and I are talking about not doing any more cooking in the oven for the rest of the summer. So, I am sitting here with the beginnings of a shopping list trying to stuff to buy to make next week's meals. Here is what I have come up so far:

- Buy a rotisserie chicken and make chicken sandwiches with it (maybe 2 meals)
- Buy Some Already Cooked Beef at the Deli and Mix With BBQ sauce for sandwiches (1-2 meals)
- Egg Salad Sandwiches (1 meal)
- Peanut butter sandwiches (1 meal)

I just hate to eat sandwiches every single day, though. Any of have any good ideas for something besides sandwiches?? I should mention that DH hates what he calls rabbit food and he doesn't even want to cook pasta or hamburgers if we can get away with it. I just want to ask him if I have pointed ears and hop around on all fours.

For my lunches, I am thinking of possibly wraps with lunchmeat, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. along with a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.

Lunch Challenge and Pet Sitting

June 13th, 2010 at 08:35 pm

Hello, everyone. My Challenge last week was pretty successful. I brought my lunch every day and spent about $2.00 per day on extras. Here's what I have planned for this coming week.

Monday - 1 Lunchable, carrots, apple, water, handful of nuts

Tuesday - 1 Lunchable, brown rice, apple, water, nuts

Wednesday - 1 Lunchable, brown rice, apple, water, nuts

Thursday - 1 Lunchable, brown rice, apple, water, nuts

Friday - 1 Lunchable, brown rice, apple, water, nuts

I got the Lunchables on sale for $0.99 each way cheaper than the alternative boneless chicken breasts I was about to purchase. I already had a couple of apples, so I just bought 3 more. The apples I bought were on sale about $0.20 per pound off. The rice was both on sale and I had a coupon. I already had the nuts at home from a previous purchase. The carrots were leftover from last week and need to be eaten before they go bad. I calculate about $1.98 per day to feed myself lunch.

Sometime in the near future, hubby and I plan to visit family a few hours away. We don't want to kennel our cats. They hate being even in cat carriers during a ride to the vet clinic, so I am pretty sure they would a cat kennel. I know someone really well who has a couple of cats and might be amenable to feeding our cats in our home while we are out of town. I would need that person to come to our house twice a day and feed them, give them their cat treats, and play with them for about 30 minutes. For those of you who have hired pet sitters or actually done pet sitting, how much would be fair to offer a pet sitter?

New Payday - More Debt Paid Off and Money Saved

June 11th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Well, in addition to the little tantrum that my hubby was throwing about the situation I described earlier, I also got paid today. I made another payment on Hospital Debt #2. I believe I have estimated that if I continue to pay it off at this rate, it will be paid off next spring. More money is in savings and retirement also. More money has been paid to the credit card. On Monday, we have to pay $175 to a house inspector and $50 to a termite inspector.

My Husband, the Incredibly Stubborn Man

June 11th, 2010 at 08:15 pm

Hubby and I decided to begin looking at buying a house a few months back. He is a vet and so qualifies for a VA loan. We looked at hundreds of houses, driving by them and saying "no way" and many others we looked at. We finally found one that we were willing to place a bid on. We filled reams of paperwork with the real estate agent and the lender. Many of you have bought homes, so you know about having to tell them social security numbers, addresses, debts owed and to whom, and also having to give them identification like a social security card and driver's license or the like. I recognize the reasons why they need this information and appreciate it. However, I am also cautious about who gets my personal information and why. My doctors and health insurance company don't have my ssn, for example. My hubby is very particular to the extreme about this subject. He refuses to give the lender any identification except his passport, an expired passport. This lender is questioning whether this id is valid. Not knowing much about passports, I probably would, too. Would a lender really refuse to lend us money over this?

Anyone Know Anything About Moleskin Notebooks?

June 7th, 2010 at 12:54 am

Hello, everyone. For several months now, I have been carrying around a small Mead spiral notebook with me in my purse to help me keep a better handle on my budget. I keep a running balance of budget categories (in pencil) so that I know what I need to leave room for. My problem is that it is not big enough. I need something small enough that it will fit easily into my Ameribag purse (medium size, I think), but large enough to contain information about my budget which is 25 lines on an Excel sheet. Would a Moleskin notebook, maybe the one with gridlines that is about 3x5, do the trick? Wait a minute. Hold the phone. I just measured the spiral notebook I already have and it is almost 3x5, so I am going to have to get something bigger. I will check at a store tomorrow, but can't spend the money until Friday or Saturday. I ask because I have only seen them on the internet, but I think I could probably pick up one at the campus bookstore or Hastings.

My other choices include a small Mead Five Star notebook in either 3x5 or 5x7 sizes or just a plain lined journal like I have seen at Walgreens, etc.

Anyone have any ideas?

Update About the Lunch Challenge

June 6th, 2010 at 03:25 am

Well, I did pretty good this past week. I took my lunch to work every day. I spent between $1.60 and $2.50 per day on snacks. I feel very good about that. I am continuing my challenge into the next week. Because I incorrectly calculated on the amount of food I had, I had some food left over, including a baked chicken breast and raw carrots. I have purchased a BPA free plastic bottle to take filtered water with me each day. This means I don't have to spend money on bottled water.

Monday - leftover chicken breast, raw carrots, raw organic apple, bottle of water

Tuesday - beef strip stir fry with onions, tomatoes, and carrots, organic apple, bottle of water

Wednesday - beef strip stir fry with onions, tomatoes, and carrots, organic apple, bottle of water

Thursday - Starkist tuna packet, 2 slices of bread, raw carrots, organic apple, bottle of water

Friday - my payday - I am treating myself to lunch out.

More Survey Money Coming In! More Debt to Be Paid!

June 2nd, 2010 at 02:11 am

Here is a list of money I have coming in or already have.

$ 6.00 spare change
$ 6.00 check from survey company 1
$ 20.00 regular payment on Hospital Debt #1
$ 28.00 difference in car insurance
$ 5.00 check from survey company 2
$ 10.00 check from survey company 3
$ 10.00 check from survey company 4

$ 85.00

The amount for Survey Company 3 has not happened yet. I have to have $10.00 to be paid and right now, I have $9.00. As soon as I have $10.00, they will pay right away. The car insurance is the difference between what I used to pay for insurance before I sold my truck and now when I am only paying renter's and car insurance. All of the others will be arriving shortly.

Total to Be Paid on Hospital Debt #1 on June 11th is $85.00

Holy Cow! How Did I Do That? How Do I Make it Happen Again?

My hubby told me last night that as a result of our selling our truck, we had to turn in the license plate. We will be getting a partial refund on the license fees for the year. I have no idea how much, but anything is great! I am so grateful for my abundance.