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Happy Holiday to All!

December 25th, 2023 at 02:35 pm

Hello, everyone! I want to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  

Big Grin

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2023 at 09:24 pm

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all having a Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my friends, family, and coworkers.

I hate the IRS

June 20th, 2022 at 12:37 pm

When my husband and I file on February 11, we found out for the first time in forever for either us, that we owed the federal government. They said my income "went up." I think it went up about $1000, which I am not sure is enough to have to owe $400. Two days after that, something was eating at me that the return was not right, so I got out the paperwork and looked at it and it was wrong. The preparer counted my HSA distributions for qualifying medical expenses as income. I called a friend of mine who is a CFP and she confirmed that. So, we went back to the preparer the day after that to do an amended return. Then, the craziness started. We knew to expect it take longer to process an amended return. We waited about a month before checking the status online. It is now 18 weeks past that date and it still has not been processed, but I received a letter stating that we still owe for the original return. When I have called them, I always get a message that they are not available no matter what the time of day is. I did not even realize that today is a federal holiday until I called. But they are the ones who gave me the number to call. I don't know whether it is better to pay and hope that they FINALLY process the amended return or hope that I can call them. Oh, and did I mention that the payment due date is June 27? I hate the IRS.

Is it time to use our alternate site?

January 26th, 2020 at 03:25 am

Hi, everyone. With all of the problems with this site, is it time to use our alternate site? I think having communication with all of you is key to my success in paying off debt and saving money, so I would be sad if it were to end.

More Progress on Debt Payoff

October 29th, 2019 at 02:04 pm

Hi, everyone. I got a payment of $10.05 for surveys. I paid it directly to cc #1.

I also cashed out rebates of over $10.00. I will get that in a few days and send it also.

Friday is my next payday and I still have money in checking. Big Grin

I definitely feel blessed right now.

My Top Money Saving Tips

January 21st, 2019 at 12:52 am

1. Establish a budget in whatever format is useful to you. It should be portable enough for you to access when out shopping. I put my budget on a 4x6 index card with amounts for each category. When I exhaust a category, I line through it and write the date.

2. Pay yourself (put money into savings and retirement) and pay all bills before buying anything else.

3. Limit most purchases to what is needed.

4. Before doing regular grocery shopping, do an inventory of all cabinets, fridge, and freezer.

5. Use cash to pay for small purchases, such as snacks from a convenience store, etc.

6. Use any remaining cash to pay towards weekly grocery tab. Pay an equal amount towards savings or debt, if you have any debt.

7. Use grocery store loyalty card to get discounts. Pay an amount equal to the coupon savings to savings or debt, if you have any debt.

I will update this as I think of more things to write.

Update to 2019 Financial Plan

January 10th, 2019 at 05:59 pm

I have been having a hard time writing 2019. It does not seem like it should be 2019. Anyway, when I wrote my last entry with my 2019 Financial Plan, I put 2018. ha-ha! I have fixed it now.

2018 Financial Wins and Fails

December 28th, 2018 at 03:33 pm


1) I have kept emergency savings well over target figure for nearly a year. Woo-Hoo!

2) I have dutifully contributed to savings every payday.

3) I am close to having enough to buy a good used car.

4) I have saved money with coupons and grocery store sales, enabling me to put more into savings and pay more to credit cards.

5) The mortgage is significantly reduced.

6) I have been able to eat good, organic food for much of the year through growing some and buying some. This enables me to stay healthier.

7) I paid cash to replace a dishwasher this year. Update: I forgot that I also replaced a tv and computer monitor with cash this year.

8) I have been recommended for promotion. If that goes through, I will get a significant bump in pay.

9) I paid cash to attend a work related conference and make a presentation. I received a $100.00 award for my presentation. (WooHoo!!!) I was also reimbursed in full for my costs in the trip. I deposited my "loot" into my professional savings account for my next trip.


1) I was not able to buy a good used car to replaced my current car this year. Good used cars under 100K miles that are affordable are hard to find. I think this will be resolved when I have added more funds from the next 4 paychecks and get my tax refund.

Anyone Know How to Delete a Page From a Blog?

March 26th, 2018 at 09:28 pm

Hi, everyone. I am doing a little maintenance on my blog today. Apparently, with a couple of my pages, I may have deleted the data, but the links still show up on the main page despite all attempts to delete them. Also, whenever I update anything lately, it seems to taking a lot of effort to do so, like saving it then at least two page refreshes to actually see it. Does anyone out there have any ideas about this?

Many Updates

February 10th, 2018 at 03:00 am

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. I have had so many things going on. Here's just a short list:

1) My nearly 20 year old car is in bad need of being replaced. I have spent several hundred dollars in the last 6 months just to keep it running.

2) The total amount of money I have gathered to replace the car is $2151.52.

3) I have some snowflakes arriving soon, $5.00 from epoll and $3.00 from Pinecone. That will add another $8.00 to the car fund.

4) The credit card #1 is down to $5753.94. Last March, when we had to replace the hvac, cc #1 went from approximately $2960 to about $7700 over night.

This last year has been REALLY hard, but I have gotten through that and I will get through this, too!

My Money Scripts

May 19th, 2016 at 01:34 am

I decided to take a cue from Dido and find out my money scripts. What do we have to lose, as we learn more about ourselves, right? Here are my money scripts. I am very surprised, as I did not expect to do as well as this.

To find out about your money scripts, take this test:

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Money Avoidance = 2.00

Your score on the money avoidance scale suggests that you do not exhibit significant money avoidance beliefs. In fact, research has shown that your score on this scale is similar to those who have been identified as wealthier, wiser, and more highly educated.

Money avoiders believe that money is bad or that they do not deserve it. They believe that wealthy people are greedy or corrupt, and that there is virtue in living with less money. Because of their negative associations with money and wealth, money avoiders may sabotage their financial success and/or give money away in an unconscious effort to have as little as possible. Research has shown that money avoidance scripts can be associated with ignoring bank statements, increased risk of overspending, enabling others financially, financial dependence, hoarding, and having difficulty sticking to a budget.

Money Worship = 3.14

Your money worship score suggests that you do not endorse significant levels of money worship beliefs.

At their core, money worshipers are convinced that the key to happiness and the solution to all of their problems is to have more money. At the same time, they believe that one can never have enough money. Individuals who score high on the in the area of money worship are more likely to have lower income, lower net worth, and credit card debt. They are also more likely to spend compulsively, hoard possessions, and put work ahead of family. They may give money to others even though they can’t afford it and are more likely to be financially dependent on others.

Money Status = 1.43

Your score on the money status scale shows that you do not hold money status beliefs.

Money status seekers see net-worth and self-worth as synonymous. They may pretend to have more money than they do, and as a result are at risk of overspending. They often believe that if they live a virtuous life, the universe will take care of their financial needs. They may have grown up in a household that prioritized the financial aspects of social standing. Research has shown that people with money status beliefs are at greater risk of overspending, gambling excessively, financial dependence on others, and hiding expenditures from their spouses.

*Money Vigilance = 4.00

Your money vigilance score indicates that you endorse money vigilance beliefs.

The money vigilant are alert, watchful, and concerned about their financial welfare. They believe it is important to save and for people to work for their money and not be given financial handouts. Research has found that higher money vigilance scores are positively associated with higher levels of financial health. The money vigilant are less likely to buy on credit. They also have a tendency to be somewhat anxious about their financial futures, inspiring them to save. While they have a tendency to be secretive about their financial status with others, they are less likely to keep financial secrets from their partners. While money vigilance encourages saving and frugality, excessive wariness or anxiety could keep someone from enjoying the benefits and sense of security that money can provide.

52 Week Challenge Progress

February 2nd, 2016 at 02:03 am

Hi, everybody.

I got another Pinecone deposit today, so I sent that $3.00 directly to cc #1. My husband also made his payment to cc #1 today.

Prior 52 Week Challenge Balance: $598.44

Pinecone Deposit $3.00
DH's payment to cc #1 $66.70

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $668.14

Great News Yesterday

October 20th, 2015 at 01:54 pm

Hi, everyone.

I just got some great news yesterday and I thought I would tell you all about it as a caution to be aware and ask questions. I recently had some lab work done. I have health insurance that comes with a "lab card" that is supposed to insure, in most cases, that I don't have to pay a bill. There were a large number of tests run, but I was still surprised to get a bill of $107.00. I called the lab testing company to inquire if they had a list of tests that are covered so that I would know in the future if a certain test was run, I would have to pay for it. The person said they do not have a list, but asked what the problem was. So, I told her about the lab work and my lab card, which she asked me to send to her, which I did. One clue is that the name of insurance company listed on the bill was not mine. That was forwarded to billing and they fixed it straight away and said they had gotten incorrect billing information from the collection facility. Anyway, this is just a note to all of you that if you get a bill that does not seem right, ask questions. Woo-Hoo! I feel fantastic.

Thrown for a Curveball

September 19th, 2015 at 01:04 am

Hi, everyone.

We have been waiting for awhile for a contractor to get back to us about 2 jobs we need him to do, installing a doorball and an outdoor light. We already had $300.00 set aside for paying for it. We got a curveball today when we realized our A/C was not working right and so had an A/C contractor come in to repair it. The repair cost $251.18 out of the $300.00 we had set aside. Arrgh!

Something Funny I Saw Posted Online

July 21st, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Hi, everyone. Here's an amusing typo in a headline from a news story I saw online:

Disappearing Blog Posts??

June 6th, 2015 at 12:46 am

I have written the same exact blog post two times and two times it has disappeared. Anyone know what's up?

Thanksgiving Humor

November 25th, 2014 at 02:44 am

Here's some humor as we head towards one our country's biggest and oldest holidays...

It's Payday Again!

October 10th, 2014 at 01:54 pm

Hi, everyone. It's all boring here. I got paid again. The only really exciting things are that 1) my raise finally came in and 2) we are having the rest of our windows measured on Monday for replacement.

I have lost count of my Challenge amount, so I won't count that here. Here are my numbers. Because my raise got delayed due to a contract negotiation issue, I got extra catch up money in my pay today.

$20.00 Deposit to slush fund
$40.00 Deposit to regular savings
$40.00 Deposit to car account
$40.00 Deposit to house account
$40.00 Deposit to professional account
$20.00 Deposit to aaa/tax savings account
$ 6.00 Deposit to escrow account

I will be making some payments to the cc's. I just have not decided how much yet. I am also getting an oil change this weekend and buying a new mop. That may not sound like a splurge to most, but I have needed one for awhile now and had no funds to spare. I have been putting so much into paying down debt and putting into savings.

We refi-ed our house last month, so we had no payment due for October. I am using the "extra" to 1) pay for the deposit on a new window and 2) pay down credit card debt. Here are the numbers so far on that.

$225.00 Set Aside for window deposit
$ 40.00 Payment to cc #1
$ 40.00 Payment to cc #2
$ 59.95 Set Aside for an Annual Expense
$ 82.46 Extra padding for checking account

That leaves $119.20 (I previouly typed $179.15. I have no idea where I got that number) for me to figure out what to do with. I think I will throw it all at cc #2.

Anyone Else Have Trouble With BOA?

March 2nd, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Hi, everybody. My dh and I bought a house in 2010. Our mortgage was sold to BOA before the ink was even dry on the documents. We knew it was possible that it could be sold to another bank, but did not know it could happen right away and did not know how to opt out by not signing a certain document. Anyway, with all the bad stuff going on at BOA with them foreclosing on properties that should not be foreclosed on, we have been extra careful with making payments in person, getting a receipt with a time/date stamp on it, and keeping all paperwork organized. We don't want to be out of town one day and come home to our stuff on the front lawn and pets missing. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we found out that the local BOA branch is becoming Arvest, but our mortgage is staying BOA. The closest other branch that is not going to become a BOA branch any time soon that we know of is over an hour away. We intentionally don't do automatic payment or any electronic payments with them. We don't trust them and want to deal with real people, in person, about our mortgage. Credit cards don't really matter from my point of view, but if someone doesn't do their job and records a payment wrong, you could lose your house due to no fault of your own. Our only choice, other than driving over an hour every month to the nearest branch, is to mail in payments. I feel really unsure about this, any way you look at it. We could look into refinancing with one of two credit unions, but do not have the money for closing costs, inspections, etc. Does mailing in payments to BOA work well? Do you have problems with BOA mortgage services?

Anyone Know What's Happening?

December 30th, 2012 at 03:46 pm

My "About Me" section of my blog is not visible. When I log in and go to the Control Panel, I can see it, though. Weird...

What's With All the Spam?

November 19th, 2012 at 03:32 pm

I have noticed on my blog, and on others on this site, that there are spam messages being posted. I deleted the one on mine, but I thought it's strange that it seems to be happening all of a sudden.

Happy Veterans Day to All Military Veterans

November 11th, 2012 at 06:41 pm

I just want to give a salute to all military veterans out there, including my father who died in 1981, my husband, my brothers, and my uncles. No matter where you served in war or peacetime, thank you for serving. Regardless of how we feel about war, these guys (and gals, too!) work hard every day to protect us and protect democracy.

Mailbox Destroyed - For the Second Time in 3 Months!

October 11th, 2011 at 12:39 am

Hey, everyone. It has a been a bit of a crappy day here in my house. It was the beginning of a great deal until I grabbed my purse and lunch and was ready to leave for work. When I looked out the front door, I saw that the mailbox was not on the post where it should be but on the ground. I immediately said an expletive. Not characteristic of me, but I was so frustrated since we just replaced the mailbox post barely 3 months ago. This time they bashed in the mailbox, too. My husband, who was half asleep at the time said heard me and asked what's wrong. I told him and he immediately came running to verify it. He grabbed his cell phone to call the cops. I had to leave for work, so I let him handle the cops. Tonight, we went to Home Depot to buy a better mailbox. When we talked to the folks at Home Depot, they recommended the following mailbox and also a heavy duty steel post:

Text is{keyword}&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googleads-_-pla-_-100064357&ci_gpa=pla&locStoreNum=3902 and Link is

How Do You Respond?

October 9th, 2011 at 04:16 am

How do you respond when you go to a store (Best Buy, JC Penney) and they tell you they need your phone number, zip code, address, email address, etc. for a "survey"? Now, keep in mind I am not talking about information for if you are buying an extended warranty, applying for a credit card, or other service. I am talking about just going into the store to buy something and someone demands your phone number and/or zip code.

I personally decline and tell them if such information is required for a sale, they can either call a manager or lose a sale, because that information is not required to do a sale. They generally do give in, but I have had to get store management involved a couple of times.

I just get really uptight whenever people ask for my phone number, social security number, address, etc. for no good reason. I won't even give my social security number to a doctor's office, because even the insurance company does not have it. Obviously, the doctor needs my phone number and address, though. I must be in the minority on this issue because most of the time, they look at me like I have just grown three heads.

Why won't I give out such innocuous information as a zip code or phone number when it is not really needed, you might ask? Well, it's a privacy issue. I come into a store usually to buy a specific thing, not to apply for a home loan or credit card. And I don't need to be told whatever "wonderful" products they have, so I don't need spam or junk mail. I am an adult capable of dialing a phone or getting on the internet to find out what they do have, but they don't seem to understand that.

I think the only thing that I hate worse is when I go into a store and they want to sell me a credit card to save me some money. Yea, right, a 25% interest credit card is going to "save" me money.

I was just wondering how many other people there are out there like me.

Need a New Toilet

September 14th, 2011 at 07:31 pm

For those of you who saw an earlier entry I wrote, we were having trouble with the toilet running all the time. We replaced the black bubble thing with the copper tubing on the end. Sorry, I don't know the correct term, but that's what we were told was causing the problem. It sort of helped, but the toilet still runs to some extent. We think we need a new toilet and the hubster thinks we should be able to get a decent one with some water saving ability for around $100 or thereabouts. Upon looking at for just a guesstimate on this, the cheapest ones I could find were around $200 and go up to nearly $600. Ouch! For those of you who have bought new toilets, is this normal?

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.

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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.

Netflix Problems

June 20th, 2011 at 02:07 am

Anyone know what's happening with Netflix? We cannot log into our account or watch instant movies.

Thank You to the Men and Women in Blue and Green

May 30th, 2011 at 02:23 pm

I just wanted to give a salute out to the all the brave men and women out there who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces and thank them for defending our country and the Constitution of the United States of America.

This is a really awesome video by a young, up and coming artist. I hope to see more of her.

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Food Challenge and Weird Ways to Save Money

May 22nd, 2011 at 06:48 pm

The Food Challenge is still going great guns and I am enjoying coming up with new recipes and stuff to eat when I see something on sale for a really good price. Like, this past Saturday, I had already planned on buying some kind of rice, as it is one of my gluten free substitute standbys for pasta. I also occasionally buy gluten free pasta. I digress. A box of rice was on sale for $2.00 and it had one of the sticky coupons attached to the box for $1.00 off. You can bet I made a b-line for that box. Wow. I had actually worried a little bit about how I was going to make the grocery dollars stretch this week, as the amount left in our checking was a little skinny. But because of this and other fabulous on stuff I was going to buy anyway, it's all good and I actually spent about 1/2 of what I normally do without a lot of effort! Woo-hoo! So, now I ask myself, why am I worrying about it? It always seems to work out somehow.

Here are my meals for the coming week:

3 meals of gluten free pasta salad with gluten free/preservative free/msg free ham, black olives, fresh tomatoes, 1/2 of a yellow onion, and mayo

6 breakfast meals of oatmeal with cinnamon, honey, almond milk, and flaxseeds

2 meals of gluten free/preservative free ham sandwiches on gluten free bread

3 meals of leftover ham and bean soup

This is going to be great week!

I saw this article about creative ways to save money on the Smart Spending Blog at I find that I save a lot of money by keeping an insulated mug at work that I make tea in every day. And I take my own tea bags and stevia to sweeten my tea. Those two things alone keeps me from going to one of the campus eateries every day to buy a Coke or cup of tea. Also, if I did buy anything (I try to stick to cash for my purchases of iced tea, etc.), I put the change into a special box for the purpose. Once a week or so, I take the box to the Coinstar and cash in my coins and deposit them to a savings account. At different times, I have different goals I am savings for, but I deposit it somewhere for a later use and it adds up so fast! It's really cool and it feels great knowing that my money is going to buying future windows for my house or help me to weather some sort of unforeseen emergency.

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In July, after I get my pay raise, I am going to increase the amount of money automatically deposited monthly to my savings and retirement. I will also open up a Roth IRA.

Insurance Question . . .

October 30th, 2010 at 12:12 am

Well, if you have been following my blogs in the last couple of weeks, you know that my car is dead and we are planning to get rid of it. However, we cannot get another car right away. We refuse to go into debt for a car. (What a refreshing viewpoint for my hubby to have!) I had been putting aside money to replace the car when it came time, but there is not very much in it, barely enough to pay for the tag fees. What I need to know is if sell my car right now, whether to the salvage yard or someone else, does the insurance company find out if I don't tell them? I do not want them to cancel my policy. I have had insurance with them since 1992 and have discounts for longevity and clean driving record. I also have a multi-line discount, because my home owner's insurance is with them.

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