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Archive for January, 2009: Dmontngrey's Personal Finance Blog
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Home > Archive: January, 2009

Archive for January, 2009

Good shopping day!

January 18th, 2009 at 08:17 pm

It was a good shopping day and I'm really getting the hang of this coupon stuff! Got most everything I went out for except the little mini ladybug purse my mom wanted at RiteAid. I got her one as a joke a few years ago and it is her favorite purse to haul around! Of course she wore it out. I'll have to check a couple more RiteAids. Oh, and my mother needed something for after surgery care and I couldn't find the deal I wanted. There are other deals around though - too much snow today to go for a longer drive!

Here are the deals I got:

Boston Globe (for the coupons) = 2.50
Two pack of deoderant = 4.99 (2.00 back in ECB)
Four 12 packs of Pepsi = 12.00 + 2.40 deposit
Three bags of Tostitos = 9.00 (10.00 ECB on 20.00 of pepsi/frito lay)
Two St. Ives facial scrubs = 5.98 - 4.00 in coupons = 1.98
Excedrin extra strength express gels 20 ct = 1.99 - 2.00 coupon = -.01
Excedrin migraine 24 ct = 1.99 - 2.00 coupon = -.01
Two CVS claritins 5 ct = 7.58 (free after ECB)

Subtotal = 40.43
Used 37.99 in ECBs

Total out of pocket = 2.44
Got back 19.58 in ECBs

Plus there is a rebate form to send in for $15 worth of Pepsi/Frito Lay coupons - I met the qualifications

Got the following Unilever products at the Grocery Store:
Two skippy roasted honey nut peanut butters = 3.34 - 1.00 coupon = 2.34
Three ragu pasta sauces = 5.00 - 1.00 coupon = 4.00
Eight lipton noodles = 8.00 - 1.00 coupon = 7.00
Two large Hellman mayos = 6.00 - 1.00 coupon = 5.00
Two Wishbone salad dressings = 3.34 - 1.00 coupon = 2.34

Total = 20.68
Plus I got back 17.00 in catalina coupons.
So the 20.68 I spent on the Unilever products will cost me 3.68 after the catalina coupons. What a help now that I know the catalina are triggered by the regular prices, not the sale prices. Smile


I do want to thank everyone again for their thoughts regarding my mother's situation. I need to have a chat with her, but it will have to wait until she has recovered from her upcoming surgery. I'll just do the best I can right now. I did her taxes yesterday and she's getting back $717 !! Um, yeah I neglected to tell her this though. She'll find out when the money hits her savings account. I DID already tell her I hope she hasn't "spent" her tax retun because she needs to put it aside for property taxes and anything else that may come up. One day at a time I guess.


Well we bought a pork roast for dinner - marked down because it was yesterday's meat. Mmmmmmm it sounds so good! I've never cooked a pork roast but it looks really easy. Gotta go prep it now. Smile

Frustrated with my mother

January 14th, 2009 at 07:06 pm

Oh boy, long rant. I'm just beyond frustrated at this point and I really don't know what to do!

So growing up, I always just knew my mom as having no money, not making much at work. She claimed not to make enough to live on. Last winter was the worst - constantly calling me crying, out of fuel and had no heat. Or telling me she couldn't afford gas/milk/bread/you name it. Well I jumped in and took "control" over her finances a little over a year ago. It really has taken a year for me to truly understand how things work in her budgeting life. Uh, they DON'T!!

Well let's start with most recent and work backwards. So my mom's checking account balance is currently -$0.26. Yes, negative. She gets paid every two weeks and was paid on Friday. Yesterday I logged in (to torture myself?) and saw that her available balance was $2.56. I sent her an email, as nice as I could, asking her if she realized she had spent $134.53 since 12/18 at the store she works at. Half came out of her checking account and half was put on the store charge card. I informed her that often folks have trouble seeing where there money is going and I was wondering if she was having problems with this. I also told her what her current balance was. Well today, lo and behold, a pending charge for $2.82 has done away with her balance and then some!

My mom didn't email me back and I'm not sure if she's mad at me or herself at this point! The really sad thing is: this is where the entitlement mentality kicks into overdrive with her. I don't know why, but she seems to think the world owes her something most of the time. I'll tell you the honest truth - she has plenty of money to pay ALL her bills, afford food/heat/fuel for the car. If she would just build up a fund for heating expenses and property taxes, there WOULD be money left over for fun purchases! I can't even get her to that point though.

I have tried everything. More control for her, less control for her, everything in between. Now we're to the point I don't give her a say in anything. Oh boy I'm in trouble if I let her have any input! Many many times I've asked her to schedule a payment for something - and she doesn't. She still owes me $350 from last winter's heating fiasco. Yes I know I wont see that, along with the THOUSANDS of dollars I've paid off for her over the years. Debt *I* am still paying off! Oh yes, we had a payment schedule set up for this as well.

She has charged off a few credit cards, including a charge card at the store she works at. WTF was this store thinking giving her a new account last year?? She was so happy - her credit was good! My mother does NOT understand credit - not even one tiny bit. She thinks "Well I'll just put it on my card and pay it off later!" Uh, with what money?

She spends twice what I do at the grocery store - one of her and two of us!

I sent her to Walgreens the other day to pick up $6.00 worth of stuff with coupons. She spent almost $25.00 - on what?

I just don't want the stress and responsibility of her finances anymore, but if I don't do this - she'll instantly drown. She is NOT responsible enough to do this on her own. She has public records on her credit reports from non-payment of property taxes, been taken to court for non-payment of services to a local contractor, charged off a few credit cards, written bad checks at local stores, been sent to collections for various other items not paid, etc...

I don't know what to do short of opening another bank account for her that she doesn't have access to!!!

Changes to XM and cable

January 10th, 2009 at 06:04 pm

Wow it's been a while! Been so busy around here I don't usually know what day it is. I think today is the first day I've been able to sit down and tie up some loose ends. It's almost 1 pm and I have gotten so much done today - without injuring myself! Last Saturday I killed my back mopping the floor. Guess I don't use those muscles often enough. Had me out of commission the rest of the weekend and then some. So far so good today!

We've talked for months about "canceling" cable and the last straw was last night. DH has ADD and I just CAN'T compete with the tv anymore!! Between stresses at work and dealing with my mother, sometime's I'd like to have a conversation with my husband!! The price went up last month and is going up AGAIN next month. More and more channels are being moved to the digital lineup and is there really anything worth watching anyways? I sure don't watch it. It's on mostly for background noise and I know I'd enjoy music better. DH happily flips through channels for hours, but he finally realized it just not worth the money we pay for it. We're not getting rid of the internet though. So it would cost us $39.95 + tax to drop all cable - or $39.65 + tax to have internet plus basic cable. HUH??? Well, done deal and billing stops as of today. I do have to pay a $13.95 fee (#!@@$#) for them to send a tech out to make this change. That should be on the 26th and the tech can pick up the box then. Good, saves us a trip. Well this will cut our bill in half and seems like the best we can do with what we are willing to give up. This is being done for sanity reasons more than anything else...

As for the XM. My car I got in June came with an XM radio. I wanted to try it out, so I found a code online for free activation and three free months. It is GREAT to have when we travel to visit family! Other than that, just not thrilled with the service. It's more distracting than anything when I'm in rush hour traffic. Plus I can't believe how much the DJs talk over the music!! Why would I pay for this? Well I opted to keep the service for one paid month so we could have it while travelling for Thanksgiving. Then I've been so busy lately that I haven't been able to call in to cancel! Well, since they REALLY don't want to lose me as a customer - they're giving me 3 free months to reconsider my decision. That ends April 11th so I'll have to spend another 15 minutes on the phone to cancel again. Ok, that's worth it!

In other news:

- It was great to see my brother for Christmas. Didn't get to spend much time with him, but that's ok. He got to spend time with his wife and two step-daughters. They've never really had a lot of time together since he got married while stationed in Afghanistan. He's back in Iraq now and should be home this summer.

- My mom has to have more surgery - unrelated to the breast cancer. She had just gone back to work in December (after radiation) when she found out she needs to have a hysterectomy. Surgery is scheduled for mid February and I am taking a few days off work to go up there. Neither of us has any idea what this surgery will be like for her and what sort of care she'll need afterwards. Need to see what I can learn about this before then.

Ok, enough for now! I still need to go over my finances and do more housecleaning. Snow tonight may ruin my plans for later. Frown