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Archive for April, 2011

Weekend at home

April 30th, 2011 at 04:49 am

I've been feeling a bit under the weather, can't determine if it's a cold or allergies. Either way, I've been left stuffy and drowsy. But it's the weekend, and I've got some things I want to tackle around the house!

I've got some cleaning to do this weekend. I also plan on running 4 miles today to meet my running goal for the month. I also want to reorganize the kids' bedroom. Fortunately, it is beautiful outside so maybe we will grill out this evening. There's also a cool festival going on at the beach tomorrow that sounds like a ton of fun-free,too! Of course, come Monday morning I'm going to wish I spent some time just laying around, so I will have to squeeze that in,too!

I do not plan on eating out this weekend, I need to be more careful with my cash this pay period. So I have to plan out my meals this weekend so I eat when I'm at home, no excuse to eat out.

30 more days till the pool opens!

Change to savings plan

April 26th, 2011 at 02:01 am

I found out my student loan payments started up again when I had an automatic debit payment of $420 taken out of my checking account. Ugh. How did I let that slip by me??? In my head I thought payments would start up again in October, so I was totally unprepared for this. Yet when I checked my accounts online, sure enough, payments were scheduled to begin again this month. Luckily I did have cash in the same bank to cover the debit.
I restructured my savings plan to cover the student loan payment. On the 15th "savings" deposit will instead go to my student loan. I'll still be able to save from the paycheck on the first. This huge student loan is my only debt and will be with me for a while!
Besides that, we all enjoyed a fabulous Spring Break and Easter. We have lots to look forward to on our way to Summer.

Thrifty Wed

April 21st, 2011 at 03:22 am

Wednesday for Spring Break we spent the early afternoon at the beach and then headed home for a lunch of take-out pizza and breadsticks for under $10.
When we went to the thrift store to drop off a bag of donations, we browsed. I got a great looking Talbots sleeveless shirt for myself and a brand new spring dress(tags still on) for oldest DD, for a whopping $3.65!!!
Since girls will be with Dad for Easter, we decided to do our Easter Egg hunt that evening. Even though I didn't pick up much candy, it still ended up being a lot, lol.
In general, a pretty cheap, fun day!

Saved some money today!

April 19th, 2011 at 04:40 pm

I used my early wake up time to save myself some money. I priced around auto insurance and I'm saving $35/month switching providers! I paid the 6 month premium with a new credit card. With my first purchase on this card I get a $200 credit, so that covers my insurance purchase and some change! I also downgraded my internet service a notch. I'll save $14.50 a month. So that's $50 a month total I'm saving just by making a few inquiries, and a $200 credit to boot!

Day 2 of a beautiful Spring Break. Ran some miles, the running actually helped decongest me. Did some cleaning. Took the girls to the Aquarium, we all had so much fun! Since we had season passes we didn't have to pay anything for today. When we came home my SO grilled dinner, delicious. I guess the whole family needed a break, the girls have been in such good moods this week.

Spring Break!

April 19th, 2011 at 12:59 am

So we made it! Yesterday was just perfect. Started the day off painting the dog's nails blue, then the whole family went outside to play. I jogged and walked with the kids. After that we went to the zoo, I guess everyone else had the same idea. I've never had to stand in such a line to get in the zoo before! The kids had a ball taking pictures. Finished up with dance class that night, fun for all 3 of us. I ended up spending $50 Monday, for 4 tickets to the zoo and lunch at McDs after.

I got no sleep last night, I literally woke up every hour due to congestion. Gave up on sleep around 3:15am, took another decongestant and some motrin. I figure I will surf the internet until I feel good enough to go back to sleep. Thankfully we have the week off, I don't have to go to work on sporadic sleep! I'm hoping this is just due to allergies and not an actual cold.

Mid month review

April 13th, 2011 at 06:12 pm

April is just cruising on by me! Next week will be Spring Break. I'm looking forward to relaxing with my family at home. We are lucky to live in a coastal city with lots of little things to do to keep us busy. It all depends on the weather, really. If it is warm enough to "play outside" we will go to the beach, dog park, hiking trails. If not, we will hit some museums and historical places nearby. None of the activities planned should cost too much. The kids would be happy playing at the beach and then heading to Chuck E Cheese!

Initially we had discussed taking a trip to NYC or somewhere else on this coast, but I guess this is a prime time of year to travel. The costs were adding up to be quite outrageous. We decided we would rather save up that money for somewhere really great next year.

Some day I would like a job that entails travel to exotic places, where I would get paid to travel. I really want someone else to foot my travel bill! My family has been fortunate that we have been able to visit a great many places very economically due to my ex's work assignment overseas. By 2021 I want to have the career that takes my family and me to exotic places! (see long term goals on sidebar!)

Under budget for groceries!

April 11th, 2011 at 02:44 am

Only spent about $50 on groceries this week. I allot the family $320 on the 15th of every month for groceries for 4 weeks. SO and I realized we only had about $70 "left" for groceries till the 15th. That made shopping easy. Taking money from another account to cover groceries was not on option. We only purchased what was on our list, and it paid off at the checkout counter!

Struggling with grocery bill

April 6th, 2011 at 02:51 am

(Self-analysis of why our grocery bill is going up instead of down)
I wanted grocery bill to be under $70/week. The past couple months, though, it has been steadily around $100/week!
-we have reduced our eating out from a couple times a week to maybe 3-4 times a month, requiring more meals at home.
-we all take lunch to work and school.
-we buy a lot of produce that adds up each week.
-we buy plenty of disinfectant wipes, napkins, paper products weekly.
-we use coupons...

What am I willing to change in order to make my grocery expenses go down?
- STICK to the LIST. Even if we have a coupon for something else, unless it ends up being a stock-up steal, we can do without. While we have been saving a lot with coupons, I think they are encouraging extra spending on things we might have done without in the past.
-Find a cheaper way to get cleaning products. Does anyone have an at-home alternative to the disinfectant wipes? My roommate is squeamish about sponges and is hooked on those wipes, but there has to be an alternative to these things.

Ok, we'll see what happens Sat. after weekly shopping trip...

figuring out retirement

April 3rd, 2011 at 05:35 am

I checked my deferred compensation plan, I've passed the $5,000 mark, yippee! I started this plan less than 2 years ago, shortly after I began working full time. No company match, but I still enjoy the tax benefits. I am almost vested at work so I am eligible for a pension one day. I am also entitled to a portion of my exhusband's pension. So it's not like I'm starting from scratch. I just don't know how to quantify pensions because I won't receive a lump sum, only monthly amounts.

How do others determine net worth/retirement savings totals with a pension?