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

Archive for October, 2009


October 30th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Yes, that is correct! I just sent the payoff for Student Loan 1! "WHAT?" you ask? Yeah, me too. Where did that money come from? My only guess is: the money you "can't save" from couponing. I'll be keeping quite the interesting watch on things now, while I tackle that balance transfer. I still need to go downstairs and tell DH! Hee hee.... The payment should clear at the beginning of the week and then I'll be down to just my student loan consolidation. Yes, that one is intimidating.

The giant box arrived at its destination Wednesday as planned, and she picked it up yesterday. Oh boy - I would have like to see her face when she got it! Big Grin
Glad I warned her about the size of the box. I wasn't exactly thinking in that respect - she's just a petite thing. The friend that lugged it halfway across campus for her scored some cereal and some chex mix. Grateful college students! I'll send her another, perhaps smaller, box in the spring.

One goal this weekend will be to kill off the $63 in catalina I have left for the grocery store. They expire 11/2 - 11/5. We found lots of "fun" things on sale that we'd like to buy as a treat. I think we'll do ok spending the catalina. I was worried at first since we sure don't NEED anything. Giving so much food away didn't make a noticable dent.

Well, I think a celebratory glass of wine is in order - on top of the one I already had! Smile

I'll leave you with the view from my desk last weekend. This is the pond on the other side of the apartments next door. I see just a small portion of it, but it sure is pretty this time of year.

Care package

October 24th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Oh, I have been having way too much fun lately! Too much fun at the grocery store with catalina deals and too much fun at Walgreens with register rewards (RR).

This is what I ended up with on my little catalina binge:

Quantity Item
3 Clorox Wipes
1 Diet 7-up
6 Hartz Crunch N Clean biscuits
2 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Penne
7 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Rotini
10 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Spaghetti
13 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Thin Spaghetti
2 Ronzoni Smart Taste - Penne
19 Ronzoni Smart Taste - Rotini
11 Ronzoni Smart Taste - Spaghetti
10 Fiber One cereal
8 Chex Mix
13 Nature Valley granola bars
4 Warm Delights Mini
4 Fiber One yogurt
2 Milkbone dog biscuits
2 Yo+ yogurt
6 Cinnamon Toast Crunch
12 Cascadian Farms granola cereal
7 Gold Medal flour
11 Cheerios
4 Golden Grahams
18 Pillsbury crescent rolls
15 Progresso Soup
16 Pillsbury cinnamon buns
8 Pillsbury Grands
5 Total whole grain cereal
5 Betty crocker fruit snacks

I spent 48.55 and still have 77.00 in catalina. This gives me a 28.45 "profit".

I also got:
4 Nestea for 0.04 profit!
18 Shaws solid white albacore tuna for 4.50.
9 Healthy choice frozen meals for 0.09 profit!

I catalog all my coupon shopping on my facebook page and I get a lot of questions. A young lady I know, who is a freshman in college, commented that I should send her some stuff since she gets hungry studying. I know she was just joking, but I called her out on it. I had her go through the "catalog" and pick out some stuff. She made a nice selection of healthier items and mentioned a couple of things she would like but didn't see pictured: index cards and Pepperidge Farm goldfish.

Oh boy, I ran right out and rolled my Walgreens RR into money maker deals over the past two days. Even with buying 8 bags of goldfish, 3 packs of index cards, several Puffs Plus tissues, and a diecast car for DH - I STILL came out ahead! Between yesterday and today I'm ahead by 5.78. I still can't believe my head hasn't exploded yet!!

Well, this is what I've got so far:

Wont this be a FUN box to get?!?

I've never actually met this girl in person though. We know of each other due to some unfortunate circumstances, and are just "friends" on social networking sites. We come from the same town and know a lot of the same people. I know a lot about her past and she comes from a tough life. Bright kid though - did high school in three years and plans to do college the same. I also remember what it was like going off to college. I bet she'll have no trouble sharing this stash of goodies! There are a lot of things on the lower layer that you can't see: 6 boxes of Puff tissues, 3 boxes of microwave popcorn, 2 bottles of listerine, + more. I'm not posting this on facebook because I want it to be a surprise!

I can ship this to her via UPS using my company's account (for a discount) and paying by credit card. It should cost me around $15 to ship it ground and she'll get it Wednesday. Big Grin

All this couponing stuff really is like having a part time job - I need a vacation!

In other financial news:
I fired off a $450 payment to Student Loan 1. HA! Take that!! I'll update next week after that payment hits. Not too much longer on this loan. Smile

I'm still slowly watching my mother spiral downwards. There's nothing I can do since she's "just having fun!!" This is what I hear from her. I hardly hear from her anymore - she's too busy with her "new boyfriend". I can't be bothered with her childishness. There's no way to avoid the pain of watching her spiral downward. I hate seeing my mother do this to herself, but she does NOT want to be responsible for anything it seems. Plus - of course I'm still bitter about her spending when she owes so many people money. Yeah, I don't go out of my way to make an effort with her either. I have no choice but to distance myself. Frown

Well, DH brought home a leftover kielbasa dish and is downstairs heating it up. Not sure if I'll like it - but I certainly have learned to be grateful for what's in front of me! Smile

If my brain doesn't explode...

October 17th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

It will be a miracle! My head hurts looking at all these catalina scenarios. I've gone a bit overboard the last few days. Just waiting for DH to put his foot down! Ah well, he "happily" goes along and buys what I tell him to. We spent so much time at the grocery store this morning - I had to take him to BK afterwards to get him to stop pouting! LOL! It was my first trip for this sale and I'm just not that organized on the first trip. I'll have my butt in gear from here on in. I need to check with my mother and brother and put together boxes for them. Then I should plan a trip to a food pantry. I still wont be in danger of starving. However, I need to learn how to get creative with pasta!!

Basically I've spent 30.88 OOP and I have 40.00 remaining in catalina. I'm 9.12 ahead of the game here!! I post pics and details on my facebook page and I get a lot of questions! Can't really get anyone to join me though...

My haul so far:

Quantity Item
3 Clorox Wipes
1 Diet 7-up
6 Hartz Crunch N Clean biscuits
2 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Penne
7 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Rotini
10 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Spaghetti
13 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest - Thin Spaghetti
2 Ronzoni Smart Taste - Penne
19 Ronzoni Smart Taste - Rotini
11 Ronzoni Smart Taste - Spaghetti
6 Fiber One cereal
4 Chex Mix
5 Nature Valley granola bars
2 Warm Delights Mini
4 Fiber One yogurt
2 Milkbone dog biscuits
2 Yo+ yogurt
2 Nestea
2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch
2 Cascadian Farms granola cereal
2 Gold Medal flour

This is absolutely exhausting!

In other news: I'm already flipping that dead printer I grabbed from the trash at work. A little over a month ago, I bought a wireless printer for around $20 (after HP trade-in) just because I had a dead printer begging to be traded in. The retail price on this printer is 179.00. It was "worth" $100 to me if I didn't use it: 50.00 to sell the ink and 50.00 to flip as another trade. I decided it might be worth us having a wireless printer though, so I put it in use. Next thing I know, I have three coworkers asking me to find them a deal like this! Well, one coworker can't be bothered with a trade. This one and another both thought I was crazy when I found the printer for 40.00 after trade and said that wasn't good enough. Smile Well lo and behold, yesterday a deal pops up to get this same printer for under 25.00 after trade. I ordered one just for the ink! One coworker ordered one for herself and the other one told me to keep the ink and she'd buy the printer off of me. Yup, no kidding! I wont be out anything with this deal, I get a set of ink cartridges, AND I'll come out ahead when I trade in the dead cartridges for Staples credit. Three very happy people! The other coworker was out for the day and missed out on this deal.

Well it's getting late and I still don't have more store trips planned out for tomorrow. Plus I need dinner! Pasta it is...

Quite a shock!

October 14th, 2009 at 01:11 am

I was ready to come home and get caught up on tidbits from the last few days... only to come home to find news that a classmate had passed away unexpectedly! I remember her as a healthy, energetic person. I can't comprehend her complaining of a headache and chest pains for a few days, and then being found unconscious at her home. We weren't really friends, but my class was relatively small and everyone knew each other. Word spread like wildfire on Facebook. Facebook is funny in that respect, and it IS nice that we can all grieve together if we'd like to. I still have tears in my eyes. To my knowledge, we hadn't lost a classmate yet.

I cleaned a turtle tank to try and get my mind off the news.

I haven't been feeling too good myself the last few days. Sunday, just before dinner, my stomach started bothering me. No clue why. Dinner didn't go over well with an upset tummy. Yesterday and today it just feels like someone punched me in the stomach. Just pain, that's all. Last night I had one of my favorite comfort foods: Campbell's cream of chicken soup. It didn't help like I had hoped. Tonight, another comfort food: Burger King Tendercrisp sandwich. DELICIOUS! I splurged on it for myself. I had to! Tummy still hurts and I still don't feel good. Frown I don't regret getting it though. Worth a shot.

Woo hoo! My most recent payments hit the student loan and the balance is now 1115.65. Soon, very soon. Smile
I think I confused them though. I don't really understand why they recalculated my payment. It was: 80.85 for 11 months, 79.29 for 12 months, 77.86 for 12 months. It's now 53.82, then 52.79, then 51.83. Aw, how nice of them to allow me to pay this off over the next three years. Uh, NO.

Just taking it easy the rest of the evening. I ran a load of laundry for DH earlier. Dishes DESPERATELY need to get done, but that might have to wait. I'm too tired. Work has been really tough the last two days - no boss and no assistant. Just ME! Ah well.

Stocked up on goodies!

October 11th, 2009 at 06:52 pm

It was a good day at RiteAid today - almost like a treasure hunt. I didn't realize how many goodies they had free after SCRs until we got to the store. We didn't even buy all of them! We ran this up in two transactions and we'll put the 2nd rebate info under my mom's account. The way I see it, it's the equivalent of me just sending the money to my mother - indirectly. Here's what we bought:

Total spent: 55.41
Rebates pending: 63.14
Profit of 7.73 !!
This is the stuff that makes me laugh!

Yes, I realize I don't need Polygrip - but that product alone was a 1.99 money maker. I'll find someone to donate it to.

The best part? I thanked DH for going with me and he said it was FUN! I questioned his reasoning and he said it was fun as long as we were making money. Yippee! Nice having him on board. Well, he's not stupid. He understands that making money on this stuff means 1) We never have to buy it since we have it on hand and 2) It frees up money for other things. Big Grin

Well, other than that it's been a rather laid back day. So much stuff I SHOULD be doing, but I'm not. I'm on my third load of bedding to be tossed in the dryer, which means the bed has clean bedding on it. Yay! I need to fold and put away laundry, run the vac, get the A/Cs out of the window (A MUST!), and go pull all the tomatoes off the bush. It's supposed to get quite cold tonight last I heard. I'll double check before I go pull them off. Also need to do the dishes and test the water in one of my tanks. Never run out of things to do around here!

I TALKED to my mother earlier - yes, TALKED! She wanted to know the network key for her wireless network, so I had to walk her through finding that on her computer. This would have been a lot easier if I had written it down. Then one more call later to see if I could help get her friend's laptop online. Nope. He'll have to call tech support for that. Laptops can be so fickle. The network is fine since DH and I can both connect when we're there. Eh, life as usual with her and we did NOT discuss our disagreement. This shall be how life goes on. She expressed a few things that I have issue with and I got the canned "I'm having FUN!" reply. Just not my problem anymore. Nope. But we did hold down a conversation just fine.

I think I will go check the weather forecast, then head out to take a pic of the garden spider I saw outside earlier. As long as his web didn't blow away!

At least the toilet works!!

October 10th, 2009 at 09:37 pm

It wasn't working last night! You know, it's one of those things you just use so often. As soon as it doesn't sound right - you KNOW. It wasn't filling up with water all of a sudden. Faulty fill valve. Off to the store we went this morning to buy a new one. We could get a basic one for $7.48 or a "water saving" one for $11.48. DH opted to go for the more expensive one in the hopes it would save water over time. We'll see. I wasn't upset AT ALL over the cost. Sure beats hiring a plumber and I am not afraid to try. Who fixed it? ME!!!!! Smile
I still need to figure out the water adjustments, but at least the tank fills now. Standing on your head under the toilet really is not as much fun as it sounds. Wink

We've had a really good day so far. I'm just sitting here with a huge grin on my face. I've been laughing a lot lately, just happy about a lot of things and my frugal ways really make me laugh. I'm listening to some new music I got at a yard sale and I'm VERY happy with my purchase. We spent $5.75 and got: 6 cds (3 each), a diecast car for DH, a Nascar license plate frame for DH, and a new harness for the beagle. The harness was a steal! She's had hers for over 5 years now and it's getting really ratty. It's almost not even blue anymore. We paid $1.00 for this one, it looks brand new, same size, same brand - everything! I think we paid at least $12 for hers when we got it. We got our money's worth for it and it's nice to know this one should last just as long. Still not ready to swap it out, but we have it now.

Went to BK for lunch and got our usual: value fry, value drink, free whopper with coupon on receipt. $2.15 for me, more for DH since he opted for cheese. We had a good laugh over the guy in front of us: dressed in a business suit, punching away on his little electronic toy, making a loud fuss over not having enough money in THAT account to pay for his food. He marched off with his large drink and large meal - after having his buddy pay. We were more than happy with our food purchase and didn't pay anywhere near as much as he did. Oh, and didn't have a problem paying either. I KNOW where my money is.

Then we headed off to Walgreens to kill off the rest of the RR that were expiring tomorrow. A couple weeks ago we spent $31.82 at Walgreens and got back $35.00 in RR. I've been working hard to get these spent but it's HARD! I got 4 boxes of tampons, 1 box of kleenex, 8 candy bars (fillers), vaseline lotion, + some other stuff - and I still have $25.00 in new RR!! I just don't remember picking up this:

After that we stopped at a local church's pumkin patch and picked out two smallish pumpkins. Spent $8 - more than we would have spent at the place we usually buy them. This supported a church though, and I'm always in favor of doing so. Odd, since I'm not religious, but I do still believe in supporting churches. Maybe I'll bake one tomorrow - then time for the annual fight with the beagle for the pumpkin carcass! We're getting that on video this year, that's for sure.

I just updated my sidebar with the new total for Student Loan 1. Looks like interest hit along with all my payments last week. I just made $475.00 in payments for this week and I'll update my sidebar when those payments hit. It would have been more, but I realized my water bill is due around now and I haven't seen it yet. Odd. The water bill is twice a year. I opted to save some money for that bill for now.

We have nothing planned for the rest of the evening and that is just fine. Dinner is even in the crock pot - pork ribs soaking in BBQ sauce. It smells AMAZING!!

Off to just relax the rest of the night - hopefully. Smile

Feel the burn!

October 9th, 2009 at 12:26 am

It feels kinda good. Smile
I finally got the courage up to try my EA Sports Active for the Wii again. I bought this at the end of June with high expectations. It looked like it was just what I needed to get active, as strange as that may sound. I don't feel comfortable going to the gym, or running/walking outside even. It's a little weird jogging in place while the "you" on the screen is running around a track, but you get used to it. Anyways, I read that this kicks your butt and they weren't kidding! I loved it! JUST what I expected - well, almost...
I didn't realize my feet were so screwed up, so the fourth time using it I promptly destroyed both feet. Posterior tibial tendinitis - OWIE!!!!!!! Yes, BOTH. I could barely walk and they were swollen like you wouldn't believe. Yup, of course the left was worse than the right and I drive a 5-speed! It took almost a month before I sheepishly hauled myself to the doctor to find out what was wrong. Nothing I could do but sit still really. Yeah, not possible. So today was the first day trying again. I did a nice little cardio boxing/light running workout. I feel slight pain, but it's not bad. At least now I know what the problem is, and I can stretch/rest as needed. I also know exactly which exercise I injured myself with and I wont do that again - ever.

I had to gas up my car today and pick up a few things from the grocery store. There was a catalina deal where if you bought $20 worth of participating items, you'd get a $5 coupon for your next shopping trip. DH needed coffee and I wanted to pick up some flour. Naturally, they were out of flour! He just told me he was almost out of coffee, otherwise I would have picked this stuff up the first day of the sale. Well, it's based on pre-sale prices, so I got two huge canisters of coffee and two cake mixes. I spent $13.98 and got back a $5 catalina. Not too bad. I sure didn't need any more cake mixes though! I'll have to find someone to donate them to. DH will be very pleased with the coffee purchase. Hey, at least he mentioned this before he ran out of coffee and before the sale was over. Smile

I took a Pinecone survey yesterday and got the $3 in my paypal account today. It should transfer to my bank in a couple of days. I've been getting the $3 survey payments every 7-10 days lately. Not bad.

Lastly, guess what arrived in the mail today!

The message on the back of the envelope said "Hope it was a great day! Sorry I forgot to turn the page to October!" Even though we haven't spoken, I do feel a little better now that the card arrived. It's just NOT like her at all to not send a card. I will send a brief email thanking her for the card and telling her about our anniversary dinner and the harbor cruise. Nothing more for now. I think that's best.

One person's trash....

October 8th, 2009 at 12:25 am

is MY treasure! I scored a "dead" HP inkjet printer destined for the trash today. Well, if it wasn't dead before, it is now. We broke it trying to get the two ink cartridges out. Hey - those are worth $3 each in Staples rewards! The printer can be worth $50 towards an HP trade-in. Our IT guy put it in the trash because he was cleaning out his office. I agonized over it all day. I didn't feel comfortable just asking for "trash" and couldn't sneak it out of there. All of a sudden I had an idea!! I went up to him and said "Hey, instead of throwing the printer in the trash - mind if I haul it away for recycling?" Well, I really will be recycling it as a trade-in and the cartridges get recycled at Staples. I wasn't lying!! Smile

Sunday we went into Boston and did a sunset harbor cruise. This is regular $22 a person, but I bought "groupons" a while back for $12 each. First time redeeming a groupon and it was nice and easy. The cruise was GREAT!!! It was very cold out on the water though. They take you out by Old Ironsides as she fires her cannon at sunset! The Queen Mary II was docked in Boston. Uh, large just doesn't describe that boat! It was rather intimidating!

Old Ironsides

Sunset over the Zakim Bridge

On the way home, we stopped at T.G.I. Friday's to use our free burger coupons (Facebook promo). We each ordered a beer and burgers and were out of there for under $20 including tip. The burgers were really good, but I'm not sure if I'd order it again.

Yesterday was our 8th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it's been that long already. We went out to T.G.I. Friday's, but DH's jaw (sinus infection) was bothering him so he didn't want to use a free burger coupon. I had the free chicken sandwich this time. I liked the chicken more than the burger. Not something I normally would order, but it was really good! I had three more coupons left, so I gave two to a coworker. I saved one so DH could try the chicken sandwich before the promo ends.

I'm feeling kinda bummed today because things are still not resolved with my mother. I still don't feel I did anything wrong. I just didn't agree with her car purchase, so I told her so. Honestly, I'm not sure who's not speaking to who!! I just know it's been almost three weeks since I sent her that email telling her I couldn't manage her finances anymore. Nothing since then. Oh, the reason I'm bummed? My mom ALWAYS sends us an anniversary card. Nothing so far. Frown

The payments hit my student loan, but I'll update that info on Saturday when I go over the finances.

Finally, I know this post has a lot in it, but I just HAVE to share this pic I took while I was writing my last blog entry!! My pain in the butt mutt again!!

Normal Saturday stuff

October 3rd, 2009 at 04:20 pm

Ah, nice rainy Saturday morning to do my normal finance stuff and do some cleaning around the house. I don't mind the rain on days like this.

So I should be sitting in my comfy office chair, but instead I'm stuck with a folding chair. I'm not moving this!

Not a lot going on finance-wise this morning. Everything is running smoothly.

The current balance on Student Loan 1 is 2192.05.
I am sending the following payments from three different accounts:
Total: 609.00
Whoa. I don't see this loan in my future for much longer!!

Not much else to report. I need to make my shopping lists for tomorrow. Later today we're going to check out a new Goodwill store that opened nearby. DH desperately needs "new" clothes.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!

Had a good evening

October 2nd, 2009 at 01:08 am

Another LONG day at work! Thank you TD Bank for making my day just that much more frustrating. People never want to believe their bank is holding up their direct deposit. It HAS to be the payroll department, right? I actually read about the problem here in the blogs while I was at lunch. It explained a lot of phone calls I got today.

Anyways, stopped at Target on the way home to use up another set of coupons for 49 cent Purina One cat food. I have one more set for 49 cents and one for 99 cents that DH and I will use tomorrow. I also got a free 3.75 oz bag of Chex mix (that I just polished off!) with a $1.00 Target printable. I ended up spending a total of $16.40 on the cat food, Chex mix, a polo for DH, a tshirt for me, 6 pairs of dress socks for me, a cami for me. More than I planned on spending, but not bad at all!! I think DH will be thrilled with his $3.00 polo shirt. Smile

I got home to find my $30 Staples ink rewards and a free $40 visa gift card! The gc was for signing up for a free trial of something that I canceled in the first 30 days. EASY gift card! I'm thinking I'd like to spend the Staples rewards towards a new computer monitor. I have six weeks or so before they expire, so plenty of time to wait for the right deal.

So I sat and chuckled over how nice the evening turned out, scarfed down the chex mix, and smiled. Smile

I'm getting antsy to go over the finances this week now that DH's car is paid off! My raise went into effect and I got three weeks retro pay. I want to see how much I can throw towards Student Loan 1. Eh, maybe not tonight. I usually go over this stuff Saturday morning anyways. Just getting antsy!!

Oh, everything worked out ok Wednesday with my brother and the car. It passed inspection - no problem! I paid the $29 for the inspection, topped off the gas tank for about $10, and sent him and his friend back north. It buys him a little more time with the car. Decision time comes again when the insurance renews at the end of December. For now, the car is on loan.

Now I'm just doing some laundry and trying to sit back and relax for a few minutes. Don't get that often!!

I'll leave you with a pic of the two brats sharing a sun spot recently. They hate, hate, HATE each other - so this was unusual.