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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.

Text is http://www.keylife.com/vacation/homes/275/ and Link is

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.