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Archive for May, 2008

Stamp out Hunger

May 10th, 2008 at 09:29 am

Today is the annual Stamp out Hunger drive put on by the post office. You are supposed to put non-perishable food out by your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick it up for donation to a local food pantry.

I live in a condo with around 40 condos (it was built in two phases and I'm not sure how many are in the 2nd phase). For the second year in row, we're the only condo to put food out by the mailboxes!! This really bothers me. I know the economy is tough right now and affecting a lot of people, but isn't that enough to drive you to dig through your cupboards and find a can of soup or veggies that you could donate to someone more needy?

I never feel I do enough to help hungry people and that bothers me. I think this would be a charity I would most like to donate to and I should make a bigger effort to do so on a regular basis. I'm a frugal shopper and LOVE the challenge of finding a good deal. It's such a thrill for me. Maybe I should turn this thrill into something really beneficial. I need to find out where my local food bank is though!!

I think I'm fortunate. I have a roof over my head and I can pay my bills and buy food. Yeah, I have credit card debt that I'm slowly plugging away at and savings I'm slowly trying to build. It just kills me to know there are people nearby that really honestly can't even afford food.

Buh-bye overdraft balance!

May 9th, 2008 at 09:33 am

Well, my mom hit a milestone today and the bank took the final $22.00 payment on her overdraft balance. When I took over her finances in November, it didn't seem like this would EVER get paid off. YAY!

We had a little chat yesterday about where her money is going and how she doesn't check in with me anymore after meeting her gentleman friend! I am happy for her about this change in her life as it has been around 20 years since my parents split up. My mom never dated at all! But... now I feel like I have an irresponsible teenager that I'm in charge of! I think I'm realizing that the direct approach is working better with her. Now instead of asking her opinion of things, I tell her how things will be done. I really wanted her to have more control over her money than this, but that just does NOT work.

She got her $600 stimulus payment on April 28th - one of the first to go out! I had her pay the $339.00 she owed to the fuel company and I "took" $200.00 and put it in savings. She still owes me $350.00 and if she can keep her spending down, I can get this paid back to me by the middle of June. I lent it to her the end of February. I'm now sending $100 every two weeks to her savings acct (starting 05/16) and I don't want to touch that. She will need to pay her property taxes soon plus save for heat next year. She NEEDS to learn I am not bailing her out next year!!! It was really tough taking over in the middle of winter heating season. She HAS to plan now. I just don't want her gentleman friend to bail her out ever....

Easy money

May 4th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Got a letter in the mail with a $15 GC to Circuit City that I could have activated if I signed up for Chase Fraud Detector. Just called to activate that and I'll call again in a few weeks to cancel. Nothing but a little time spent on my part. Just sent DH out the door to Circuit City to FINALLY pick up the 2nd nunchuk we need for the Wii. I've been a bit disappointed at how expensive this thing has been just to make it 2 player friendly! We got a good deal on the 2nd Wiimote and we've just been waiting for a good deal for the nunchuk. $15 free to use towards it is perfect! I'll pick up the balance out of my allowance.

We went to Shaws this morning to take advantage of the great deal they have on General Mills products this week. 10 items for $20 minus $10 coupon on $20 worth of products. Got 8 boxes of cereal and 2 boxes of granola bars. Stacked this deal with 5 $1 off 2 coupons and got these items all for a total of $5. Hmmm... I just realized the $1 off coupons might have only been meant for the cereal, but the machine accepted it anyways. We originally were going to buy 10 boxes of cereal, but changed our mind last minute for the granola bars. Absolutely everything on our list was on sale! We're not having a problem at all with rising food prices. Just being a bit more creative!

Got $15 this week cashing in points from one survey site. Also got a $5 pinecone check. I was going to use this towards the nunchuk until we got the Circuit City GC.

It's been a miserable dreary weather weekend, but we still managed to hit some indoor charity yard sales yesterday. DH bought a "new" office chair for $5. It's leather (pleather?) and actually adjusts up and down. His old one didn't. I was excited to find two Wilton candy molds in the shape of little bugs! I get excited over silly stuff like this even though I have no use for chocolate bugs. Might be fun to leave in the kitchen at work!! Well, a coworker and I will have a good laugh over chocolate bugs at the very least. Not sure what I paid for these as we bought a box full of stuff for $8. Included a Philips Senseo coffee maker for my MIL, 2 porcelain angels for my MIL, a cute planter for me and a cute planter for my mom. We felt we got great deals and it all benefited the boy scouts.

Went to a church yard sale a little later and bought a vintage tupperware storage container - I love these! Spent 50 cents but we came out ahead as they handed us religious literature on the way in that had $1 in it. Also had a 1 million dollar bill that will be a fun gift to give someone. Might also be fun to frame our "first million"!

Unfortunately money goes out as easily as it comes in. My next task is to pay a parking ticket DH got in Boston when he went out last friday. Sure hope he enjoyed the evening!! He was hiding it from me but I found it in his car when I was looking for something. I just shrugged my shoulders cuz it's not my problem anymore. $40 gone so fast from his allowance! This is great - I'm not angry at all! Smile

Got my car back

May 2nd, 2008 at 09:17 am

Got my car back yesterday - it runs and the A/C works! They said $850 and $850 it was. Actually, I got the work order back with a note and cash clipped to it. The note said: "sorry, I slipped a finger and charged you $852. here is the $2" Couldn't help but laugh over that! I really like this shop.

It was good to drive my car this morning! Curiously, my check engine light is gone. Not sure what that had to do with my A/C as it's throwing a fuel emissions code. I fully expect it to be back on by Sunday. There's nothing wrong with my car in this respect. The computer is just slightly confused.
Oh, my floor mat was also upside down - spiky side up. Can't figure out how you screw that up!

Glad not to have to carpool anymore. It wasn't so bad overall, but there are some "issues" at home and we both need some space. Four days of carpooling don't help that. It also doesn't help to feel trapped at home with no car. Although my only option if I want to get out of the house is to go shopping! That wont help either!

I requested some info to be mailed to me regarding a local support group that I feel might help me right now. I'm really nervous about that (not so great socially, though I'm not shy) but took the first step. Guess I wont think about it til the info arrives.
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In other news, my mother got paid today and now I have to convince her to hold back on spending for the next 2 weeks. She's still not seeing the whole picture and doesn't understand how spending now impacts things months from now. She still owes the fuel company $339 for her last fill up and owes me $350 for the one before that! Last time I asked her when she was going to pay me back she told me to stop crying about it. I think she was joking, but I couldn't really tell. Right now it's looking like she can pay me back in AUGUST if she cuts back her spending. Maybe sooner with her stimulus payment, but I fully expect whining about it. She only got $600 and that doesn't even cover these two debts. At the moment, it's sitting in her old checking account that isn't as easily accessible.

Well, I think I should go enjoy the rest of my lunch break!