Sunday, December 28, 2008


Wow, I hadn't realized how long it's been since I stopped by here. A lot has been going on!

Where to start?

We found out we'll be getting about $9,000 in a lump sum payment. I'm not going to go into the gory details about it. I'll just celebrate. :) It may be a little less - we'll have to see what happens. We should have it in hand by the end of January. With another similar check in June! And summer school payment in August!

That means...we could be debt free except for the house & student loans (and some/much of the car) by the end of the summer. Plus be able to pay for new gutters in cash.

How cool is that?

We've been carefully planning how we're going to be spending this money. We did decide to buy me a cheapy laptop for school/work purposes. I'm doing a lot more freelancing for other schools and for the state, as well as taking classes as we can afford it. I also have a student teacher this spring and will not be able to access my work computer as much. This will be perfect. It was $400 at Best Buy on super sale.

I found some great deals on after-xmas sales. For now, no list, but it was awesome.

We had a terrific holiday. Time to relax, and had dinner with my sisters at my mom's house.


I have one more week off - we don't return until Jan 5th. I plan to spend some time in the basement getting things in order. It's such a disorganized mess down there!

We did make some sales on ebay - not a ton, but enough to help us get some traction during the holiday season. It would be so cool to have some extra money next Christmas. Not for presents, but for helping Mom out, donating. And after xmas sales. :)

Okay - enough for now. There's a ton of backstory on a lot of the points here, but I don't want to make this a giant entry. We're off to breakfast in a few minutes - an extravagance that puts an end to the holiday week. Have a terrific New Years!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What a week!

Well, a few things have happened - we got a snowstorm on Sunday night, over 7" of snow and we still had school on Monday! I called in - it was just too dangerous to drive, and it took us awhile to dig out.

That evening, though, I went to Kmart for super doubles and got two nice bags full of stuff for $4. I like that! lol They were out of the Gilette body wash, but I figured they would be. Our Kmart is not well-stocked under good circumstances, much less when they're doing this.

As I was leaving, though, I walked past electronics and didn't check the Wii games. Then, I realized I'd probably kick myself if I didn't look for a Wii Fit, even though there was no way they'd have them...but they DID! So I got one! (Mom paid for it as the rest of my xmas present from her) That thing is AWESOME! I'm so excited - it's fun to use, and I've lost 3 pounds since I started it on Monday. Go figure!

I did get the bills done, and we are left with...not much until payday (the 19th this month). We do have cash set aside for xmas, but we have about $135 in the checking account. Obviously, we will have to suck it up, and also borrow some from our EF to get through the month. I hate that. I told dh, I want to limit it to $25 a week if we can, which I know will be hard, but we have got to start following the budget. There is no way that two people should not be able to live on our income, even with the debt payments we have. It's very frustrating.

I'm about to head down to the office to work on getting some ebay auctions ready to go. I figure, I can get as many as possible set this weekend, but then it's just getting too close to Christmas. If I wait much longer, they won't ship in time to make it, and then people get crabby. I'm also a little chilly, so getting up and moving around would be a good idea.

But first...what should I have for lunch? Hmm...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snowy Sunday

What a week! It's hard to believe I've had off since Wed. I told dh yesterday - because I'm doing stuff, it's not like it's relaxing time off that I notice. Wed is get ready for Thursday day. Thursday is visit with family day. Friday is shopping day. Yesterday was get over it day (and my birthday!). Today is...holy cow, where did this week go day?

Anyway - my mom was sneaky and gave us an early xmas present. You got it - she bought us a Wii! We've been playing with that for the last few days. I got some really good deals on games on Friday with the money we've been saving up to buy a Wii. Nice! And, she said she'll buy me a Wii Fit as soon as we can find one for a non-xmas-inflated price. yay!

I didn't get much else at BF sales. Got my CVS deals, which was nice. And a couple razors at Walgreens. I did splurge with birthday money and got myself a new robe (sorely needed - mine was literally falling apart!) and some pretty jewelry. I don't even feel bad because I never buy things for myself.

Otherwise, not much. I finished the work for my online class (YAY!) and printed up last years' tax return so I can do the FAFSA for spring semester classes.

It's snowing...and not supposed to stop until well into tomorrow. We're supposed to end with about 8-9". So...I might be home tomorrow. That would be sa-weet, only because, like I said, I feel like I haven't even had time off. I know, I know...I'm lazy. :)

Have a nice rest of your weekend...the Packers lost :( and the evil Vikings and the evil Bears play tonight. I'm in trouble - I want them both to lose. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, we're off to my mom's in a couple of hours, so I took some time to hop in and say hi. My bronchitis is almost gone - still have coughing fits on occasion, loads of fun. :)

We've been overspending, as we usually do when I am sick. I've been physically exhausted trying to overcome this sicky spell...and I just get very ornery about doing simple things. Like making dinner. What a princess.

I'm working on getting us back on track. It doesn't help that I have Wii sickness. I want one. Badly. The Wii Fit to be precise.

But even looking at the Black Friday ads, which I ADORE - BF is one of my favorite days of the shopping year, second only to Dec 26th -- but there's not much in those ads that's worth getting up at 4:30 am and hitting the crowds. Seriously. I plan to hit CVS for their freebies (although I spent all my ECB's a few months ago and haven't really been hitting them, so I'll have to spend cash, which isn't cool...), and Walgreens had a few things that looked interesting. And Boston Store. And...that was it.

Three stores. In past years, I've easily hit 12. Disappointing.

Okay - I gotta go make some green bean casserole to take along. :) Have a marvelous Turkey Day!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Update

Great football weekend! The Badgers won in a great game yesterday, and the Packers won today against the Bears. Woo hoo!

Money - we've overspent this week due to my sickies. I just get so exhausted at the thought of little things making potatoes or something...and we went out way too much. I get into a 'screw it' kind of mood when I'm sick. I need to get over that.

I'm keeping the weekly groceries low because of that. HOpefully it will work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doctor & Ebay & Freebie

Well, I finally went to the doc today for this nasty cough I've had for 3 weeks. They upped my asthma meds and it seems to be helping. A lot. Also got pills for bronchitis. I can't keep missing work. Ick.

And I relisted a bunch of stuff on ebay. Keep fingers extra crossed that they sell this time. I lengthened the listing to 7 days (I usually do 5 days), and got one more new listing up there. Man, I hope they sell...I want to get Wells Fargo paid OFF!

I watched Oprah today, too. She had Peter Walsh on, and there's a freebie - a free 8x11 hardcover photo book! I'm totally going to do one for my mom for xmas. You have to pay shipping, but otherwise, it's a $30 value!

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Only one thing (out of 10) sold on ebay last night. :( It's just a bad time to be trying to get stuff out of the house...I'm hoping it will get better before Christmas.

I have about 10 boxes in the garage that need to come downstairs to the basement to be stored until flea market season next year. I want to go through them and get two boxes packed to take to my mom's on Thanksgiving for her to take to her antique booths. That means sorting and pricing. She said she will take them to one of her booths (she has three) as space permits. She lets me drop stuff in there without having to pay the overhead -- I tell her to take out the 6% commission that the antique malls charge, but she usually doesn't. So...that could get stuff out of the house as well as help us get Wells Fargo paid off by March.

I've started a new ticker for WF...maybe that will help keep me on track!

Also - thanks to jpkittie for the info & link to Cindy's Porch! Love the site! I'm so excited to find someone a little less...intense...than Flylady. (Love Flylady - just can't keep up) I'm looking forward to looking around the site a little more!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Happy Friday!

We've been doing really well on the not-eating-out. Really well. I'm very proud of us. We're actually marking it on the calendar, and even putting dollar amounts on the calendar when we're really tempted to go out, but stop ourselves. Dh caved earlier this week, but overall, we've eaten out once in the last 2-1/2 weeks. For us, that's terrific.

And for the times that we've wanted to go out but stopped ourselves, we've saved about $100! I can't believe we wanted to go out that much!

So...this is really helping us.

I told dh I'm really sick of spending money all the time. It seems that we can't even go to the grocery without dropping at least $30. That's very frustrating.

I did get 10 things posted on ebay, ending tonight...but it's not looking good for sales. :( Keeping fingers crossed that they'll go. I just want stuff OUT of the house, and I want to pay off Wells Fargo by March! That's a little over $ to do it, we need to sell things. Really.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November already!

Amazing how fast time goes by...just amazing.

Well, we did well at the salvage store - spent $36 and got a LOT of stuff.

The bad news is...we still are really struggling staying on a grocery budget. We think we're doing okay, and we justify a LOT. But...until dh agrees to switch over to cash, we just don't track it well.

I have done cash for groceries before, and it works, but we feel "deprived". I point out that once the crushing debts are gone, we'll be able to ease up a little, but we need to keep with the budget. It's very difficult.

So - we are trying something new. $50 a week + extra for dh to use the debit card (he usually just buys milk & eggs during the week if he runs to the store). Nothing else. We have so much in the house, this really shouldn't be a problem. We'll see how it ends up...

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Time has been flying by so quickly...I guess it's just that kind of school year. It's already the end of first quarter next week. Go figure.

Okay - money-wise. We've been doing pretty well in the budgeting category. We have not been overspending, which is nice. Dh did get a new watch (desperately needed - his was falling off his wrist as well as dying every few days even when we bought a new battery...twice...), and I got a second pair of work shoes so I don't have to wear the same ones every day, or, even worse, wear the ones that hurt my feet so badly. We haven't been going out to eat a lot. We've been behaving.

What's going on? ...someone might ask. Well, we've been lucky enough to have the desires to go buy on opposite days - when I'm being naughty, he's being strong, and vice versa. I say "lucky" because we haven't both been weak on the same day yet. :) :)

Last week I bought two extra cases of canned goods from Aldi for us to stock up, as well as three cases of canned goods + 2 packages of ramen to donate to the food pantry. Food pantries are in trouble around here - donations are down, and wants are up. Dh will hopefully take it over this week (they're only open on Wed afternoons).

This weekend I plan to work on organizing in the basement somewhat -- and getting back into ebay mode for this month before Christmas gets too weird.

We did get the $1000 award, and I got $625 for the work I did out in New Jersey last month, so I need to go do the bills for this month and see what we are able to send off to the bed. We owe just a little under $1000 on it, and I would dearly love to get it paid off. Soon. We need to put some of that money aside for Christmas (spent that money in the ickies of Sept), and for a doctor bill that insurance isn't paying. But hopefully we can send a chunk so we can get things moving.

We're planning to go visit a salvage foods store in Beloit today, too. It will get us out of the house, and I can see how much we could possibly save on stuff there. I love salvage foods places, and in the 10 years we've lived in WI, we have never been able to find one. There's a big one in KY where we go visit his family, and I'll usually pack the car up as much as I can with stuff from it, usually for about $20, we'll fill up the trunk. I'm so excited.

Yes, I'm weird...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A few good things...

One main good thing that's happened here with the markets being so crazy weird is that we've really cut back a lot. I'm sure the government wouldn't exactly be happy with that, but it has helped the stress level.

We've been out to eat once in the last two weeks, and that was because of an award I received with $1000 cash. We went out to celebrate with breakfast last Saturday. Otherwise, we've been really good about staying at home. This is BIG for us.

I'm also working on a stockup plan. I don't know what's going to happen, but I don't feel good about it. I honestly don't think we're going into Great Depression-like times, but I think it will be rougher than I've seen it as an adult. So dh and I talked it over, and we're going to get a few extra cases of veggies on Aldi trips, and I'm going to start going into the couponing sites a little more to see if anything catches my interest.

I do have some coupons on the way for: b1g1 free Neutra-air spray (dh loves this stuff, and it's double packaged at Walgreens for $2.50 this week, so I'd get 4 cans for the price of 1), skippy peanut butter $1/2 (also on sale at Walgreens this week with a 5 RR w/$15 purchase, assuming I can find that much peanut butter...but if not, P&S has them for a similar deal), and Gilette men's shampoo, $2 off any, and Walmart has the smaller size for $2 each, so FREE. 20 of each coupon, and I paid only $4 altogether. And I used ebay money that's still in paypal to pay for them. I like that.

I've also been drooling over organization systems: . What a cool site! I soooo want one of these systems!

I know, we can't afford it until we pay a lot more off, but wouldn't that be the coolest?

Okay. I'm weird. I know it.

I'm off to make dinner (homemade chili!) and watch Cavuto on Fox Business to see what he has to say about Dow drops today...again. Minus 700-some odd points, bay-bee...what's going on with that?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Dh and I were talking last night about the economy (it's a major topic in our household lately...comes from a politic-minded dh and an economics-minded me...). You know, we were one of them that shouldn't have gotten a mortgage. We had 0% down, and we had declared BK about 4 years earlier. There's no way we should have received a mortgage.

We did, thanks to VA loans and a mortgage broker who really wanted a sale. We looked very closely at interest rates and knew we'd pay more than the average bear, but worked to keep the payment where we could afford, even though it really limited us on what we looked at. We ended up getting a decent deal on our home with a payment that was about 30% of our takehome at the time (takehome pay has since risen, it's about 25% of pay now).

We may complain about our debt, but we are so lucky. Thank God, we can:
  • make our house payment without fear of losing our home every month...
  • keep food on the table - we're in no danger of starving...
  • pay our utilities...the electric is not in danger of being shut off...
  • buy reasonable clothing and keep ourselves covered, decent, and warm.

We can pay all our bills. We are not about to be thrown into the street. I am under contract and my pay will not change until Sept of '09, if then. I am not in danger of being laid off - if teachers start losing their jobs, the country is in worse shape than we've ever seen. We have a budget, even if we blow it more than I'd like to see.

We are blessed.

Even in these weird economic times, keeping things in perspective helps. Yes, I dearly wish our debt load was smaller, but we can pay the min's and work on paying them down. I plan to get working on the ebay stuff again soon, just to get more out of the house, although I'm not sure how great sales are right now with such weirdness going on. We'll see.

Kmart Super Double Coupons!

It was an exciting trip. I got 2 bags worth of stuff for $4 with the double coupons. All of it is downstairs in the "to be sorted" for the stockpile pile, but here's what I can remember:

  • One Dove conditioner
  • One hair gel that I use and really love
  • One package of pantiliners
  • One Febreze-type spray from Glade (I think they're called Fabric Refreshers - they work really well on pet smells...)
  • One hairspray
  • umm...

Okay. I give up. I guess I'll have to edit this when I go down to look in the bags. It felt great, because I haven't felt like there have been any really worth-my-time deals lately, and it was really FUN! lol

This week: hamburger for $1.89 a pound, apples 3# bag for $1.89, ice cream carton $1.89 at Piggly Wiggly.


Okay - I grabbed the bags. Here's what I got, for $4.36 (found the receipt, too!):

  • 12 oz Dove Extra Volume Conditioner
  • Suave 18 oz Fresh Berry Smoothie body wash
  • Suave 12 oz Cucumber Melon body wash
  • 12 oz Sunsilk Anti-flat conditioner
  • 7 oz Sunsilk plumping creme
  • 13.5 oz Pert Plus shampoo
  • 10 oz Endust
  • 2.6 oz Suave deod
  • 5.8 oz Colgate Total Advanced Clean toothpaste
  • 22 oz Glad Fabric and Air Pet odor eliminator
  • 18 count Kotex lightdays liners
  • 10 pack Schick disposable razors (2 of 'em)
  • Jergens Natural Glow face moisturizer, on clearance for $1.50 (bummer, no coupon...)

Not bad, hey? It felt GREAT! I hope they continue the double coupon days. That was cool...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Financial Stuff

It's been a busy couple of weeks - lots of work and I took a business trip out to New Jersey which was awesome. I've just been too tired to hop on the Internet!

I am absolutely furious and flabbergasted that the bailout bill passed Congress. The government took advantage of people's fears to push through a law that will do nothing. In fact, already this morning there was news that the banks are saying the $800 billion was not enough money and they want more. They'll be like baby birds now - they'll want more and more and more. Not to mention, where is the line drawn? When GM starts to go under, will the government step in to save them?

They use the "falling market" to scare people. All the stock market shows is consumer confidence, nothing more. People who learned (incorrectly) in high school that the stock market drop caused the Great Depression are scared crapless that when the Dow keeps dropping that it will kick us into a depression. In fact, economists have been saying for years that the late 1990's and early 2000's reflect the 1920's quite a bit - overuse and overextension of credit, huge decrease in savings, etc. They have been saying for quite awhile that unless the credit was brought under control, we were facing another depression. Welcome to the future.

The gov buying a trillion dollars worth of bad debt is not going to stop that from happening. The bailout bill (I refuse to call it any type of law that will help me, because it will NOT) helps big bankers who made loans to people who should not have gotten loans...and the banks knew it. Not to mention that the banks knew this was coming. It was not a surprise.

We are so screwed.

We are in for scary economic times, and I really hate the fact that we're going into them with so much debt. Our own fault, of course. I just wish we'd focused more. I will probably start to focus on Ebay a little more again. As tiring as it will be, we need to get stuff out, and the money will help.

(I really do hope I'm wrong...but I don't think I am. I'm just really glad that my job (teacher) is pretty recession-proof.)

On brighter notes, I am going to hit Kmart tomorrow for super double couponing. I'm very excited - I need to see what coupons I have available. I am giving myself $12 out of pocket from the grocery envelope. How much do you think I can get? :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Well, a few things are going on.

I officially ended up with over $700 on my ebay selling spree this summer. Exhausting! I'm really proud of myself for doing that. There's still more to go - I just need a break.

We changed insurance companies at work, and the decrease in spending on the premiums meant that our contract is higher. I'm getting just about $200 more a month after taxes - which was GREAT to see!

We are considering changing my student loans over so they qualify for the federal forgiveness program for teachers (not just low-income teachers - all teachers qualify - what a trip!). I need to find out a few things before we do so, but the worst that could happen is that our monthly bill will be a little less for the next 20 whatever years it would take to pay them off if we don't qualify for the loan forgiveness in 10 years.

And we might refinance next spring. Depends on what's going on with the financial markets (yikes!), interest rates, and if we have $2k sitting around for closing costs.

I'm rather burned out on the coupon front with some of the crap and excuses that have been going on with Walgreens and Shopko. After much shampoo do two people need? We donate a lot, and sold a bunch at the flea market this summer, but seriously...just kind of sick of the whole thing. I even cashed out our ECB's at CVS. Whoa!

My sister is planning to attend a flea market in early October, so I might join her. We'll see how tired I am - I'm flying out to NJ on business next weekend, so I might be too tired. Then again, it might just be nice to get some of the stuff out of here again. :)

Umm...I think that might be it on the finances front. We're still plugging away. I really wish we didn't have so much debt that we were sitting on while we head into such weird economic times. But...c'est la vie. We keep plugging.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Credit Karma

In my wanderings, I found the site Credit Karma ( ) - and got my credit score for free - they didn't require a cc number or anything. Looks like they "personalize" credit applications based on your credit score there, and that's how they make their money.

I was surprised - they had my score at 696, which I think is the highest it's been in over 10 years. Well, I guess it would have to be - the BK is over 10 years old this year. Go figure.

This falls into the "good credit" category. Huh. I'm surprised.

So...why can't I get any 0% interest offers? ;)

j/k - I know why. I just wish we could get more...

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Well, I think I've hit the end of my summer blitz on ebay. I'm just too tired to deal with it anymore! I did sell a LOT of stuff, and I have a pile downstairs just waiting to be listed, but I'm not anxious to get them all on there right now. Maybe by the end of Sept, I don't know. Just tired.

Sometimes it's discouraging to see how little I made from all of this work, but I have to think about all the junk getting out of the house and some extra money. Unfortunately, most of it went to unexpected expenses and us just being lazy at the end of the summer, but at least we didn't have to use the cc, and we were able to send some to the WF cc. Not as much as I'd have liked, but some.

I'll update the ticker as soon as I get all my payments and take out the fees. I'm still waiting on a few people.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Auction successes!

I've had some success with the auctions that have been going on - still waiting for some payments, but I think some people are still bidding on auctions that haven't ended yet.

Even if I don't get another single bid, I'll be able to increase my little ticker down there by another $150 or so.

And - I'm planning to hit the flea market on Sunday for one more try! I may make that $1000 yet!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Auction Mania!

I've gotten into a groove - to get listings on ebay. Since we have decided not to do the Labor Day flea market, I need to work a little more on getting auctions listed and stuff outta here!

I thoroughly went through the sewing studio and culled a lot of material. Nothing huge in the whole scheme of things, but a great start to get things back to normal (aka: useable).

The fabric listings go quickly once I get started, because I can reuse a the earlier listing. Auctiva ( makes it SO much easier, it's not even funny. They remember all that stuff you have to type into each listing. Sa-weet!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pert Plus find!

I get so excited with the couponing sometimes...I got the $3 off any Pert Plus Botanicals, and went off to Woodman's, where I had seen it before. It wasn't on sale for $1.99 anymore, but regular price there was $2.59, so I was hoping for $.40 overage on each one ...

And got it! I still have 12 coupons left - almost $5 worth of overage.

Now...should I order more to use before the end of the month...?

(these all go in the sale pile for the flea market or the rummage next June)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Here I go!

Alrighty -

I'm not going to let the 11 auctions that ended last night with ZERO bids get me down. Nope. It was annoying, I'll survive.

(Although it sucks that I paid $.35 for each of those and saw NOTHING out of it...)

But -

Here I go -----

Tonight, I'm taking pics from the sewing studio.

I'm going to get ready to list about a hundred yards of fleece (different colors and cuts), about 50 yards of flannel (different colors and cuts) and about 30 yards of satin and velvet.

This is the time of year to do it, so that's promising. I was worried about the weight, but lots of fleece is selling, so I'm hopeful.

And I'm starting it dirt-cheap. I got most of the fleece and flannel for $1 a yard, so if I get my money back on it, I'll be delighted.

And ALL of it can go towards paying down the bed (our current target, just over $1000 at the moment), which is cool. Soon, we'll have enough paid down that I'll actually be able to work on the cc's that are actually on the pie chart on the sidebar!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Well, a few things to report on!

Dh and I went to the State Fair on Friday, and I went again with my sister yesterday. Loads of fun, but stayed totally within budget, which was awesome. Gotta love it.

Got 10 bottles of Pert Plus botanicals from Kmart for free. There is a coupon for $3/1, and Kmart regular price is $2.99. Not even a sale! So I stocked up on those. It cost me $3 for the coupons + tax. So about $.35 a bottle after all that. I have 20 more coupons coming, and those will come to about $.26 a bottle after the cost of coupons and tax. And we were at Woodman's today - they have these same bottles for $1.99 - but I'm not sure if Woodman's will give overage. It sure would be cool if they did!!

Also got 6 bottles of Vive Pro from Shopko for free. They have a buy one get one free sale, and I have a buy one get one free coupon. All free! These will come out a little higher after the cost of the coupons, though - about $.39 each. Still worth it. And I still have a few coupons left for when they restock before next Saturday when the sale ends.

I start jury duty tomorrow and hope to get caught up on some reading. They pay $32 a day plus mileage, which should come to about $38 a day. If I'm there a few days, that will allow me to get caught up with my prof journals plus get a little chunk to send off to the bed debt. Not bad. Hopefully it won't be 10 days of sitting there bored out of my skull and no trial.

And we made about $25 on ebay sales. Not terrific, but not terrible. I have a bunch relisted and a few new ones, too.

Otherwise, I worked on getting laundry caught up, getting the kitchen back to normal, and trying to get the living room cleaned up. How exciting!

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I really wasn't moping this long, but you guys are very sweet for your notes. :) We left to drive to KY on Friday morning, and I just ran out of time! Our "vacation" was hectic and frazzled (everyone wants to see dh and there's only so many days), but we ended it with a day at Natural Bridge State Park in KY and it was wonderful.

And, we paid cash.

And, we didn't go over budget.

So that was just cool.

I was able to get 17 auctions ready to post while we were gone, and they're ending tonight. Not a ton of bids, but with any luck they will go higher before they're done, and there are a lot of watchers, so that's good.

Not much else going on. I'm still tired from the trip, and it's kind of hard to get my rest. I just completed some training to work with the state, which will give me another $200 to put towards...probably paying off the bed. And I plan to work on getting some more stuff ready for flea markets and ebay. So -- it's all good.

I really don't like looking at the whole debt picture because it just brings me down. I need to take smaller steps. Or, like they say - how do you eat an elephant?

One piece at a time.

I need to focus on that. I do much better that way.

Odd. That works better for me with weight loss, too. Hmm...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A smaller number...

...and not in a good way. I updated my chart through NCN, and my percentage of debt paid is smaller. In other words, we increased our debt load.

I could give all kinds of excuses. I know no one wants to hear them. I will say a chunk of it will be reimbursed. just feel like a failure. A phony.

'nuff said. I'm off to mope.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A few things on my mind...part 3 of 3...

I think I'll be dividing this up into three parts - just 3 very different things to talk about regarding money. This is part 3.

The other thing I'm worried about and seem to be thinking constantly about is the shape of the economy and our debt. It looks like we're headed into a time period of high(er) inflation and not-so-great GDP...possibly stagflation like in the 1970's. That would suck.

If you look at inflation numbers and really see what they're saying, we're looking at 10-13% inflation on many goods over the course of the last 12 months. That's scary.

I really don't like going into this with so much consumer debt. It bothers me. And yet, there's little we can do about it that we aren't already doing. We're on a budget. We're working on paying it all off as soon as we can. We aren't adding to the debt.

I'm returning to school in January, which will change things somewhat. It will put my student loans in deferral, opening up another $220 to send to the cc's. It will also open up more money coming in as I move across the salary schedule. My lane will change in January for more pay because I'm taking an online class this fall (teacherspeak for: about another $100 a month or so come January).

We're also (and this moves away from those of you who are ardent, totally follow-the-line Dave Ramsey...) taking out more student loans for me to work on my PhD. We talked long and hard on this, thought it over, and then talked some more. The overdraw on the student loan will allow us to pay off the consumer debt faster, at a lower interest rate which is deductible. I realize this is not terrific, but it will allow us to get the cc's gone faster, as well as the car loan. It will increase our overall student loan debt to a LOT more than what I'd like, but that's the choice we're making. The interest rate is at 2%, it's all one payment, and it's tax deductible.

It will probably put our student loan over $100,000. It will allow us to move through things a little differently, and a little more quickly.

We will probably move this to the BS while paying on the house. Again, not necessarily totally DR-esque, but that's our choice. If we could get the cc's paid off and not use them anymore, we'd be in a lot better shape than many.

Yes, it sounds as if we're justifying. I'm not posting this info on the message board, because I know what will happen. I've always been a believer in taking the plan and making it work for your family, in your situation. This works for us.

Maybe I won't feel like I'm drowning anymore. Maybe it will get worse - after all, we'll owe more on the student loans than on the house. Crazy!

And we'll still sell and send extra - just have more breathing room. And if the cc's are paid off but there's still offers for overage on the student loans, we don't have to take it. We probably will, but we do have the option.

Ugh. Debt depresses me. It's so hard to see a way out.

A few things on my mind...part 2 of 3

I think I'll be dividing this up into three parts - just 3 very different things to talk about regarding money. This is part 2.

I got a great deal at Walgreens on Saturday. I also got in a huge argument with the assistant manager, but I won. I'm sure my photo is now on a back wall in the employee break room somewhere with a warning sign on it.

They had Vive Pro shampoos and conditioners as a buy one get one free for the month of July (expiring Saturday). I had b1g1 free coupons, which makes for nice, free shampoo. BUT - starting Friday, they also had the new Walgreens coupons out, which had a $1 off any Vive Pro purchase. You can use Walgreens coupons with manufacturers coupons at Walgreens, so this was a GREAT deal.

They also had a deal for buy one get one free Dove hair stuff. I had a $1.50 off one coupon, plus a coupon I found on a tearpad somewhere - buy one shampoo + one conditioner, get a hair styler free (like mousse or hairspray). Not bad - 4 Doves for $3.50. Not terrific, but okay. I don't always get great deals on hairspray type things, so I took it (plus, the overage from the Vive deal helped).

I got a few other things to fill in.

The cashier was new.

It all went well until the Dove coupon for the free styler. She didn't just put in the $4.99 - she scanned it. I told her she had already scanned it, and she assured me she'd taken it off already.

Of course, she hadn't. The bill came to $18 something. That didn't sound right, but people were waiting, so I paid. Then I went out to the car to try to figure out what had happened. I finally figured out that she had not only NOT taken the $5 off for the coupon, but she had added another $5 onto my bill - so it was $10 more than it should have been.

Went back in. To cosmetics. Call manager. He starts to look at the receipt and freaks out over the Vive Pro.

So much for trying to fly under the radar. He tells me this shouldn't have happened. I said all the girl did was scan the coupons for the Vive and the register took it off. He said no way. I said my concern was the overcharge for the Dove. Explained again. He said the Vive shouldn't have worked that way.


Finally, I said, "Walgreens allows Walgreens coupons and manufacturers coupons to be used on the same item. You will get your money back from the coupons." He told me it was fraud. I said if the machine took it, it's not fraud. He said the girl had to enter the amount for the free Vive, and she should not have entered $4.99. I asked him to show me on the receipt where I didn't pay $4.99. He couldn't, but still insisted it shouldn't have worked. I said it has in the past, and he said "It won't in the future."

This is where I got really angry. I said, "Really. So, if I go over there right now and do the same exact thing, it won't happen?" He got all red and flustered and said it probably would. I pointed out that this was not the problem.

After all, the problem was the $10 overcharge for the Dove. He started in on the Vive again. I gave him a moment.

Then I said, "If I have to return the Dove to get my money, I will."

"Oh, no, ma'am, that won't be necessary." But he still will not do the adjustment.

"Do I have to return...everything? Because I guarantee, you'll be paying me a lot more than the $10 you owe me right now."

Fluster, fluster, red face. "No, ma'am. I'm just trying to figure out -"

By now, I was very annoyed. I actually said to him, "Do it on your own time. If you want to go make a copy of my receipt, go ahead. I can't help it if I know your coupon policy better than you do. Stop wasting my time."

And he put it through. I even got tax on the $10, which I shouldn't have. He pointed that out. I said I'll consider it payment for the attitude and the time he wasted.

I'm so proud of myself.

But I'll bet I'm on file somewhere in that store. (sigh) And I usually do try very hard to fly under the radar...

A few things on my mind... 1 of 3

I think I'll be dividing this up into three parts - just 3 very different things to talk about regarding money. This is part 1.

I didn't do much this weekend in terms of the making money from stuff we have. My back has been acting up. I will say that I got a great deal at Walgreens (that's another post) and will be putting that stuff in the to-be-sold pile.

I also got the garage (full of rummage stuff) organized enough that we were able to get the riding mower in the garage without having to take stuff downstairs. I got all the crap out of there and that really helped - it filled half the truck bed, just getting the junk out. Then, I organized the garden stuff area, which allowed us to move the tables over there (upright), and moved some boxes around. We still have some furniture to go to Goodwill, but we were able to get the mower in there before we leave for KY, so I'm very happy about that.

I got the paperwork off for the big flea market on Labor Day weekend. I haven't heard back from them yet, though, so I might have to call them.

And I did get the pics ready for ebaying, I just haven't gone down to get the listings done. I am still hoping I can get a few ready to go for while we're on vacation. A lot are similar, and once I write one, the rest will be pretty easy, just to change the pattern number (a lot of vintage patterns).

I might have another rummage sale after we get back, since we didn't have to take the stuff and tables downstairs. Not sure. I am sure that we'll go over to the Sunday flea market at least once more this summer. I'm still positive that we'll make the $1000 by Labor Day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Well, I got pics ready for ebay - I just need to get some auctions written up. Took about 40 some odd pics and got them all sized, prettied up, etc. Hopefully I can get some going tonight, so they'll end before we leave on vacation on the 1st.

I got the bills updated last night, too - always a depressing time. It's not uplifting to me at all. Ugh.

We did get all the junk to Goodwill - the back of the truck was full. I might do the flea market on Sunday again. Not sure, but it sure would be nice to get more money in for the stuff I have!

Not much else - but I did get our money paid back for shipping, so I know how much closer I am to my goal of $1000 sold out of the basement by Labor Day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Well, things are a bust for the moment! I'm trying to reconnoiter (what a great word!).

My sister has gone up north to hit the flea market circuit. I can't join her because I'm still teaching summer school, so that stinks. No rummage sale this weekend, no flea market this weekend. Two days ago we were going to go, but ended up not because it was supposed to rain. So...

I'm hoping I can talk dh into going out to the flea market this weekend - we'll see.

BUT -- I did get a bunch of photos taken for ebay stuff. Almost 50, although a lot of them were for the same auction. So my plan for today after work is to resize and upload them, then get at least 3 auctions started. I can handle that.

I also need to update our money stuff so that I can repay ourselves for postage on auctions that ended last week. Then, I'll be able to update my ticker!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More changes!

Long story short - we can't have the second rummage sale on the 25th & 26th, either! They are resurfacing our road and have signs all over the place that there will be no parking on the road until after July 27th.

This means I have to do some moving around. We're leaving for KY to visit in-laws on Aug 1st, and we need to be able to get the riding lawnmower back into the garage (no room now with all the rummage junk). So I need to sort, donate, and tote back downstairs until we have room for it to fit. Ugh.

And then, of course, tote it all back upstairs at the end of August to take to the big flea market we have planned for Labor Day weekend...

My sister is planning to go back to the flea market again this Sunday, so I might join her, although it's supposed to rain, so I'm not 100% sure if I will. It would be nice to sell more of it, and the drive was not as bad as I thought it would be, but the rain does not appeal to me at all...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Well, we pushed the rummage sale back from this coming weekend because we're supposed to have thunderstorms Fri - Sun. I'm glad we did, because I left the house this morning to come to work to find that there are signs all the way down the road saying that they will be resurfacing this week - meaning that no one can park on the road for a week. That would have been horrible!

So - a rummage sale on the 25th & 26th (our anniversary!), then I have to sort. We're going to a flea market over Labor Day weekend, so I'll keep the flea market-y stuff, but some of it is rummage junk and really won't do well. That, I'll need to decide whether I want to store until next year's city-wide sale in June (ugh) or just take to Goodwill (much more likely).

It needs to all come back downstairs because we haven't been able to get the riding mower in the garage with all the crap, and there's no way it can sit outside while we go down to KY to see dh's family. So unfortunately, we'll have to tote it downstairs to bring back up for the Labor Day flea market.

And I'd also like to get some sewing done for that flea market. Once summer school is over, I'm boycotting work for 4 weeks, so hopefully I can get some of it done then.

I have sold some stuff on ebay, but I need to update my little ticker down below after I pay the ebay fees. much to do on my summer to-do list...lots done at work, very little done at home other than the sales...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Flea Market Sunday

So...I left the house at 5am, planning to get to the flea market by 6am. When my sister told me it opened. I did get there by 5:50 (no one on the roads! Very little construction!)...but they don't open to sellers at 6am. They open to everyone at 6:30am. So there I sat, practically falling asleep!

Anyway, sold 2 boxes worth of stuff and made $72.50. I don't have huge amounts on my stuff, so unfortunately I don't get a lot for 2 boxes of stuff! :) But - that's less to have to go into the garage, and more into my goal.

My sister did show up, and she did really, really well - sold $50 within about the first hour or so! She has bigger things, with higher prices. She really knows her antiques, too.

The real question of the day is...was it worth it? It's nice to get the stuff out, it's nice to have the was a half hour drive there and half hour back in the truck (gas hog), plus $10 for the spot (the $72 is after the $10 is already out of my profits), plus getting up at 4:20 am...I'm not sure. I was home by 1:20, which surprised me, but it hit 11am and everyone just started packing up!

This week's plan: rummage on Friday, and my sister wants to go to a different flea market this weekend. I'm not sure if we will - I need to decide soon, though!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The sale went pretty well today - not as much as we would have gotten if we had put our stuff out during the city-wide in early June (just more people around then!), but okay. We ended up with $250.50 after taking out the money I need to pay my sister - my mom brought down a bunch of vintage jewelry and told me I could keep half of what they sold for, but needed to give my sister half, too. Nice mom. :)

I have so much left - there were 6 boxes that I couldn't even get out there because I was out of room, and at least 6 left in the basement that I couldn't get to (timewise). So, we packed it up and will open again next weekend. My sister says she will come down. Hopefully, she'll show up this time.

I also packed some of the stuff into the truck to take to a flea market tomorrow. It's going to take about an hour to get there (back roads - the highways still have some water on them, but there's also construction at the main turn I needed to take...figures...). We'll see how that goes. My sister is supposed to meet me there, and she better darn well show, because dh isn't coming along and I'll need company. And someone to watch my stuff while I go to the bathroom. :)

Okay - I'm just pooped, so I'm heading off to bed. I updated my ticker...cuz it's just cool. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rummage Sale!

Well, the sale is Saturday. Unfortunately, it's supposed to rain. All morning.


I have so much crap going into this sale, it's not even funny. Boxes and boxes and boxes. If we sell even half, it will be awesome. My basement looks so much better when it's not busting at the seams. Dh asked, since it's supposed to rain, if he needs to bring all the stuff upstairs still. Ah...yeah. If it stops raining, or if they're wrong, I spent $20-some odd on ads and we're going to open up! (Let's see...$22 for the "free" paper, and $8 for the local paper - $31 for ads. That sucks.)

And I didn't even put a rain date in the ads. Lesson learned - use an extra line and put a rain date in the ad.

So - in a worst case scenario and it doesn't stop raining until noon. We plan to pack up the truck and go to the flea market about a half hour away, and then plan the rummage for next week. A little bitty ad will mean another $10 or so in ads, but I'm sure we wouldn't get much traffic without ads. :(

Okay - off I go to work on some stuff. More boxes, more boxes!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday, Monday...

Well, I was able to get a lot done over the long weekend to get ready for the rummage sale. I also have about 15 auctions on ebay that will be ending this week - cross fingers that I have some decent sales! Right now bids are at about $35, with quite a few still open with no bids.

I went through all the material and sewing stuff in the studio and found 4 totes full of stuff & another box to go in the sale. Someone who sews will get some great deals at this sale, that's for sure.

I also went through the stockpile to donate and sell...and another dozen boxes or so. There's still a ton of stuff in the back of the basement that need to be priced.

Dh will be getting me some room in the garage soon, and then I can get some of this stuff upstairs. It's supposed to be warm & humid on Saturday, which isn't great but I can handle it as long as it doesn't rain.

So - no update on the ticker yet, but I will be able to by the end of the week!

Friday, July 04, 2008


Well, I got so much done yesterday, I could just bust! It was great, and I was even able to cross two things off my summer to-do list.

Not much of it has to do with money stuff, so I won't go into huge detail, but I did get the ad in the free paper for the rummage sale next Saturday, returned a purse I had bought, and got to the bank.

I also stopped by the antique mall in town where my mom has a case and found an open case closer to the checkout, so I moved all our stuff to that one. Mom was REALLY happy.

I sorted and packed NINE boxes worth of stuff for the rummage sale! That was amazing. Went through the stockpile for donation and sales...poor thing looks so small now...

Wendy mentioned the SecondSpin website - I had seen that link on LLNOE, and put all our DVD's in there to see how much they'd offer. They came back with a little under $2 per movie on average ($47 for 24 movies I had in that pile still). We decided to try the $4 each or 3/$10 at the rummage sale and see what happens. If there's any left after the sale and the flea market, I'll try them again. Some of the movies, they would only pay a quarter for! For that, I'll try the rummage sale. But thanks for the idea! :)

Okay - gotta go plan my 4th of July. Our little town has the nicest parade I've ever seen - the whole place goes all-out and the parade is about an hour and a half long. I also want to get through more boxes and get the material ready for the sale!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


So...dh agreed to go through the DVD's we have to see what we'd be willing to sell. We can't even use our DVD player right now because it's broken, but I don't really miss it all that much...

Well, we found about 30 DVD's that are going in the sell pile. We haven't agreed on a price at the rummage sale for them yet (I'm leaning towards $4 each or 3/$10), but I told him I'd check online to see if we could sell any for more.

So I went through all of them and found a few that are worth it to list on ebay, they should sell for $10 - $15 each. But the BIG surprise for the evening:

The Great Waldo Pepper (with Robert Redford, from the early 1970's) is selling on ebay for over $40!!

Holy buckets!

I am so excited - dh is agreeing to sell it, too. So tomorrow, off it goes onto ebay! Woo hoo!

I gave myself permission...

well, last night, I broke down. I gave myself permission to use the CC at Walmart. I have no good excuse. I was feeling crappy, I was tired, hungry, and very much in "princess" mode.

The good news is...that I didn't do it. I couldn't find anything I wanted to buy enough to use the cc.

I think that's amazing progress. Don't you?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A few things...

Well, a few things have been going on.

First - found a rug shampooer for $15 at an auction. Relatively new, and seems to work okay. This is GREAT news because we were going to buy one with the summer school check - at about $200 at Walmart. So - a SUPER deal.

Second - I've been working really hard on getting stuff sorted and ready for the rummage sale, ebay or the flea market. I have many boxes ready to go for the rummage sale (already priced, even), and have listed 7 things so far on ebay in the last week and a half or so. Not many bites, but that should improve. I also have gone through the stockpile to see what will be donated to flood victims around here and what will just go into the rummage/flea market pile.

Third - I've been brainstorming business ideas. Some revolve around the web page and etsy, some around flea market sales. Still working on those.

Fourth - I've submitted a few more things to Associated Content, which doesn't bring a ton, but if it only takes a half hour to throw an article together, it all works out. there a fifth? Umm... not really. Or at least, not that I can think of right now. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Woot woot!

Best Buy is GONE! BB has left the building!

We paid off BB tonight. We needed to make a decision on it, because the 0% interest for x months was up on the 26th. So we took what cash we could and finished it off to avoid the accrued (not to mention the continued) interest on it. I feel so good - it's gone!

I was also able to go through a few more boxes tonight to sort - either ebay/rummage sale/flea market. After sorting, they were priced and packed.

We decided to sign up for a flea market a few miles away from here over Labor Day weekend.

And...I had a huge brainstorming session with myself on sewing business stuff and what I could take to the flea markets. Great ideas, if I do say so myself!

On top of all that, I did a summer to-do list, which is ages and miles long, but it gets it out of my head and onto the paper, which really helps. I took one page in my mini-notebook for each area of the house and listed anything I could think of.

It all feels GREAT!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Newspaper Route?

On Friday nights, we usually get the classified section of the Sunday paper in early delivery. I was just scanning through it, and in great big letters it said they needed a rural route carrier (by car) for this paper in our little city. $900/2 weeks.

Holy crap! $1800 a month?

I showed it to dh and he called to get info - left a message. I'm hoping that he's one of the first messages when this guy gets back on Monday.

If it's in the car, and if it doesn't involve having to put the papers in plastic baggies (it said "tube delivery", which I'm hoping means that the paper goes in the little plastic newspaper box next to the mailbox) -- dh could do this. With minimal pain.

It would mean so much to have a job for him. It's a long story, but he is disabled and hasn't been able to work outside the home, and doesn't get soc sec disability because we were stupid about the laws (some 9 months in court to find that out...). The $1800/month is before expenses...but jeez. I'd be delighted with half of that if it got him out of the house and feeling better about things.

And think of what that could do for our snowball...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The $1000 Selling Challenge

Okay - I've challenged myself.

Between now (mid-June) and Labor Day (when my students return to school), I am going to do all I can to sell $1000 worth of crap out of my house.

This could include: Ebay,, taking stuff to my mom's antique booth, rummage sales, or sewing commissions.

I think I can do this. I need to find a nifty ticker, though, just for kicks.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oh no! is down for a few days!

What am I going to do?

Isn't it funny how you get so used to certain things, you use them a lot and they're your support and accountability....

What happens when they're gone for awhile?


Well, I finally updated the bills, and found out where we were at. It wasn't pretty, but it was necessary, of course. I always feel better when I know.

We weren't able to send extra to the dryer. We weren't able to put money aside for the city assessment. We were able to pay all the bills and get the BEF back to $1000, so that's a plus.

I'm starting to feel better from throwing my back out, though, and I'm ready to start getting my rummage sale stuff together, so hopefully we can have one of those in a few weeks. I'm also going to do some summer curriculum which can help throw something at the debt.

We had some water in the basement from the terrible rains we've been getting. Long story short, there's a lot of mildew-y stuff in the basement now, that I'm trying to run through the washer. Frugal tip - a great mildew remover from fabric is ammonia. Dump a cup in the wash with detergent and it really gets rid of the bacteria and smell. It's worked great, and the clothes don't come out smelling like ammonia, so don't worry about that.

Our area is flooding, and there are flash flood warnings out for the unknown future time period. The Rock River has overflowed its' banks, and Lake Delton in the WI Dells has disappeared down the Wisconsin River (really - it's gone). We're kind of stuck here - no matter which direction we go, there are flooded roads. Stops us from driving around, I guess.

Okay - I need to go check this load of wash. I'm on load #4, with at least 3 more to go to get all caught up with the stuff that got stuck in the basement flood, as well as 2 weeks worth of laundry (couldn't do more than 1 load last weekend because of standing water under the washer and dryer).

More money stuff later - I need to get back on track with things. I have off this week before summer school starts, and I have plans for rummage organization, getting some stuff to the antique booth, and ebay sales.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Stupid Tax & More

I had to pay a rush fee to get a bill in on time. That just makes me mad. Chalk it up to Stupid Tax, but still...

And I missed an appointment today. I thought it was tomorrow. I am so pissed at myself for that, because it messes up some pretty big plans. If I can't get the surgery in Dec, it must wait until Jan. If it waits until January, I really don't want to start grad school again so soon after this surgery. If I don't start school up again, I can't put my student loans in deferral. If I don't put my student loans in deferral, January starts an additional $135 payment on top of what we're already paying for our min payment for st loans (it's been 5 years since I got my Master's already!). And where will we get that money? I'm sure it's not going to fall out of the sky or climb out of my...nose.

Let's just say I'm in a down mood right now.

So - I could take a class this fall. Three credits would increase my income starting with the Jan check by about $80 a month. Woo hoo. I'm so excited - pay $1200 for a class that will increase my income by $80 a month.

Or. I could still start grad school in Jan as planned and put the surgery off until March or so. Woo hoo. Another year of being overweight and tortured by my body. (Please don't tell me to eat less and exercise more...I have a mirror, and if that worked, I'd do it)

Or. I could sit here and feel very sorry for myself.

Right now, I'm looking at #3 and it looks really good.

Sorry for being so's been a bad day. I guess it balances out the good day last week. But missing that doc appointment really screwed me over. I feel like feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Woo hoo!

Imagine my surprise when I checked my mailbox at work and found that she had put the curriculum hours through - and my check was there and waiting!

$1400, bay-beeee!

I almost did a happy jig, but that may have hurt my back. I did email her and tell her that I felt like driving over to her office and giving her a big wet sloppy kiss. :)

That means - that we can get the BEF back to where it needs to be - we can pay OFF the dryer - we can buy some much-needed clothes - we can get the dog and insurance funds up to where they need to be - and I think we'll still be able to set some, if not all, of the money aside for the curb & gutter assessment.

I am sooo excited about this.

I was able to get some clothes today - dh is picky about certain clothes, not to a real big extent, but wants Hanes and certain colors, etc. I ran all over town today - to find what I want at the Kmart. Go figure. I was able to get 2 packages of underwear, 9 t-shirts, 2 pair of jeans for him, a pair of capris and a shirt for me for work this summer, a pair of shorts for me, and a purse (mine is literally falling apart) for just over $100. Even better - I'm probably going to be returning 2 of the shirts and one package of underwear - they were bought at Target & weren't really what he wanted, but I figured they were close enough, and then I found them at Kmart. That means about...umm...$16 + tax returned. Not terrific, but not bad, either.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Da book!

Amazingly, I broke down...and purchased our own copy of "Total Money Makeover".

I had borrowed it from the library three times, but when I went to go re-read it, it was marked as "lost" and "pending charges". In other one was going to be replacing it any time soon.

Last weekend, Dave Ramsey had a $10 sale on his books, but I found one on ebay for a similar price, and I could use paypal (past ebay sales) to pay for it instead of the evil cc's or having to get it out of the monthly budget.

And it arrived within 2 days! So, I'm about 3 chapters into it. I got the "updated" 2007 version, which I haven't read yet, so it's a little different.

(But I still haven't done the bills yet...I'm kind of scared to see how much we've spent since my back went out...on a brighter note, the physical therapy seems to be helping me, so that's nice!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dum da dum dum DAAAAAAAA

Who did it?

Well, I did.

I threw my back out two weeks ago (2 weeks tonight, we went to the ER for it!) - diagnosis: extreme sciatica issues, bulging disc in lower back, "narrowing" channel for the spinal cord, and cysts on my spinal cord.

I haven't felt my toes on my left foot in 2 weeks. Fun, fun.

Needless to say, I haven't been doing much. I had to take a week off work (possibly the worst possible timing, but I don't want to go into huge detail for fear of real-live-people reading this in real life...), and have been pretty much eating crap and eating out a lot as I'm hurting too much to do much of anything at all. Except sleep.

So, it's time to get a plan going.

After tomorrow, I should be done with the massive year-long curriculum work (yay!), which will net a nice amount. Depending on how the meeting tomorrow goes, I'll be putting in for a minimum of 95 hours of curriculum time, possibly more if we decide more needs to be done. That's 95 hours @ $23 an hour = ...well, a lot. Almost $1800 after taxes, etc, if I'm doing mental math right. 100 hours would be $2300 before taxes, so...yeah. Close enough.

And this, the VA can't seize, either. Yay! So - that would mean we can pay off the dryer, get the money saved up for the assessment, and pay down (off?) the smallest cc.

  • I won't be putting a garden in this year because of my back, so no garden expenses.
  • I wont' be doing a rummage sale any time soon, but possibly in August when the roadwork is done.
  • We might be taking a car load of crap - er, rummage items - to a flea market about a 1/2 hour away. Every Sat, $10 for a space, and we have a shade that we can borrow from my sister. I'm excited about that.
  • And, I need to get some more stuff going on ebay as soon as I can get out from under this crushing weight of school work. Thank God this year is almost over. I'm so ready. It's been a horrible semester.

So...keep fingers crossed that my back behaves. I have an appointment for physical therapy next week Wed, and an appointment with the bariatric surgeon next week Tuesday. Insurance says I have to be on a MD supervised diet for 6 months before they'll approve the Lapband surgery, and I have an appointment to see my doc on 6/12 to start that. So, Dec, I could have the surgery. That would ROCK!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I <3 Walgreens

I've had such a fun time this week with the Walgreens P&G deal, and didn't even go over our budget (we used a sinking fund for the dog, but won't need the amount we took out until she needs her shots in Dec). We are kind of tight this month due to stupidity, but we'll be fine. Frustrated, but fine.

So...what did I end up with from Walgreens? Glad you asked:
  • 17 tubes of toothpaste
  • 9 bottles of dh's favorite body wash (Old Spice Pure Sport)
  • 3 pretty new colors of nail polish (dh says they're "teeny bopper" colors - I told him they were for my toes, not my fingers, and he sighed in relief)
  • 1 lipslicks (fun)
  • 1 blush (backup)
  • 2 eyeliners (backup)
  • and...something else that I'm forgetting.

I also ended up with $60 in RR's to use in the next two weeks. So far, here's what I'm looking at to use them on:

  • Generic H&S (we didn't use "the deal" to buy H&S because it was just too expensive - but we have no problem using the generic version),
  • Breathe Right strips are on sale next week for $1 for 18! We usually pay $10 for 30 of them, and they REALLY help me stay asleep and feel more rested.
  • Miracle Whip 2/$5, 4 of these should last us through into fall
  • Batteries.
  • Oh, and 1 Gillette 2-n-1 body wash, which comes with a RR for a free one. I've seen on HCW that some people are able to roll these, which would be cool, but I'm not counting on it.

At least, that's my plan right now. I've looked at the sales coming up and there's not much to roll these RR's in to. I passed on the razors, etc this time.

Love these was almost as fun as the P&G thing at Kmart last summer! Now THAT was a rollin' fun deal! lol

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Well, VA did it!

The rebate finally posted to our account yesterday. Instead of $1200, we received $227.51, because VA seized the rest of it.

I am...okay with it. I am glad that the VA bill will be down below $1000 again (it should be about $500 or so now), but will we get through the month?

Sometimes, it takes me longer to learn the lessons I need to learn. I'm a big girl now, you'd think this wouldn't be so tough!

Okay - here's the plan.
  • Pay the cable bill.
  • Pay the cell phone bill.
  • Call the cell phone people to switch to pay-as-you-go, which I was supposed to do FOUR freaking months ago. (Another..'why the hell do I do this to myself?' thing...)
  • Transfer the $50 or so that's in paypal.
  • Figure out where we're at. I will NOT fall behind on bills again. We can cut groceries a LOT - we're not anywhere near starving.
  • Give my boss the hours sheet for the curriculum work I've been doing. That's $23 an hour, and if I got the check with the May paycheck, that should be close to $800 or so. Then, we could pay off the dryer and get started on paying off the bed.
  • Get off my doof and get some things posted on ebay.
  • Get off my doof and go through the rummage pile to see what I could take to a flea market in town the weekend of the city-wide rummage sale (which I can't take part in because of the construction on our street this summer).

Okay. That's a plan. I can do that.

(It doesn't help that work has been so stressful lately. That will ease in about 3 weeks. My bp should drop back to normal levels after that. And that's also the #1 reason I haven't been posting much well as the #1 reason we fell off the wagon with eating out. Ugh.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bragged too soon...

This month has been crazy. And it's only the 30th - only 10 days since payday. We have $150 to last us through until payday (May 20th). And I haven't paid the cable bill or the cell phone bill.

See, we get money from other sources. And then, instead of taking care of things right away, we justify things - "oh, we can go out to eat, we have that money!" , or "Oh, the dog needs shots, but we have that money!" or 10 billion other things.

And then, of course - that money is gone. Even though it was supposed to go to paying off the dryer.

But not only is it gone, we spent MORE than that amount, so we're screwed.


Here's to hoping that the tax rebate comes very soon. Like, tomorrow would be nice. We are scheduled for May 2, so hopefully we'll see it this week. (I say hopefully because we owe the VA some money, and they tend to seize parts of our refunds. I'm hoping that they don't take it all...)

Good news, though - I did a balance transfer to the new cc. 0% interest until the end of September, and then 14% afterwards. High, but it's half of what we pay in interest now (30%). This is a good thing - it will help us focus a little more on actually getting it paid down, and allow more of our money to go to the debt repayment. I'm hoping it will be a good motivator to get it gone. We weren't able to transfer all of it, we still have about $1200 left on the smaller card and still $10,000 on the bigger card, but now $2300 is on this 0% interest to be snowballed second.

So...that was good. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008


We have 5 days to payday (once a month payday) and we still have...(drum roll, please)...just over $70 in envelopes to get us through! AND - we have mucho food in the house, just need to make sure we have fruits, etc and milk. AND - we have gas in the car.

Woo hooooo! I am so happy - we made it through, following the budget, not going over, not having to use the cc' We really watched the groceries and the eating out, and it paid off.

I feel terrific!

Not to mention - we also have $135 in envelopes for oil changes, dog care, clothing and quarterly insurance payments. We didn't touch that money at all!

I'm going to go do a little happy dance to celebrate, and find something for breakfast. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008


It's such a Saturday. I am seriously contemplating going back to bed - it's so gloomy/sleety/rainy outside, it just sounds perfect to go back into the nice warm bed and snuggle in with my dh and the pup.

The jerk who bought our bed finally showed up to pick it up and pay the rest of what he owed us. We had listed it for $250 and agreed to $175. He shows up wtih no one to help him load it, so dh helps. The guy pulls out $20 bills (he still owed us $115) and counts them out, then holds the last one and says, "You have change for a $20? All I need is a $5 back." We don't. He takes a $10 and shoves it in dh's hand and says, "Thanks for the discount!" and jumps in his car and takes off. Dh was so pissed - it really ruined the night. I said we should just consider it good riddance - it's out of our garage, we have another $170 to go to paying off the dryer, and lesson learned.

What is the lesson learned? We both hate dealing with Craigslist.

We also found out we're having road work done starting next week, not to finish until August. Roads dug up, new sewer, new water lines, trees cut down, new curb line, new sidewalks...bad news there is that I was planning to have a rummage sale the first Sat in June when our citywide is planned. I'm really bummed - we could have it in August when it's all done, but there are so many people in the city for the citywide, it's always better. I was really hoping that could help pay off the bed.

I don't remember if I mentioned our good news - we were approved for a partial balance transfer! I was very excited. Our credit is much better than it has been, and every 6 months or so, I try for another cc just for the balance transfer part of it. I tried again, and we were approved for $2300 at 0% interest for 6 months, then 14%. Now, not terrific, but SOOOooo much better than what we have now (30% on one card, 24% on the other), that I'm very excited about it. We're going to transfer as much of the larger percentage/smaller balance card that we can, and then work really hard to get the rest paid off that one. That will feel so great - to actually look like we're making headway!

okay - enough. I think it may be time for bed. :) Have a nice weekend - hope it isn't as gloomy by you as it is by me.


I've been tagged by Wendy at Debt Freedom Fighters to list 7 random and/or weird things about myself. Just a warning - I am terrible at coming up with these things:

1. I love all types of music - the only thing I really can't stand listening to is rap/hip hop. I am such a music nerd - I remember really odd things about groups and artists, and have strange obsessions with musicians as if they are my personal friends. I listen to these on a regular basis: Rod McKuen, Trace Adkins, Harry Chapin, Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton, Alanis Morrisette, Rush, Kenny Chesney, David Bowie...well, you can see, it's an odd combination. Imagine how my mp3 player looks. :)

2. I met my husband online. We had a marvelous 3 month relationship, met in person and moved in together within a week. We met online in Oct of '96, met in person in late Jan of '97, moved in together in Feb of '97, and married in July of '97. He is still my best friend in the world, and I cannot imagine having not met him.

3. I am one of those broke finance professors Dave Ramsey talks about. I have taught Economics to high school students for over 10 years. I love economics and know that the world is just viewed differently from an economic perspective. I know personal finance, I just have a really hard time applying it to my own life.

4. Although I still feel twinges for children, I know dh and I will not have any. I have very little patience for small children, and I have come to accept that about myself. Yeah, everyone says, "It's different when they're yours." No one is willing to offer me a guarantee, or the money to raise the little rugrats. As far as I can tell, it's not going to happen. Plus, the "twinges" I mention are for things that seem very selfish and no reason at all to have a child - who will I pass down stories of my family to? Who will I give treasured possessions to? Who will get the family pictures? Who will take care of me when I'm old and decrepit? That's no reason to have a kid.

5. I am a voracious reader. It's not uncommon for me to have 3 books going at the same time. I check out an average of...oh, I'll guess about 5 books a week from the library. Yes, I read them all.

6. Umm... I am the only person I know that does not like coffee. I love the smell of fresh ground coffee beans, but really REALLY hate the taste. Hot, cold, doesn't matter. It's gross.

7. I love Kraft American cheese slices. How much more random can you get? I do live in Wisconsin, after all. :)

I tag: Well, I am really such a baby at these, I tag...whoever reads and wants to be tagged. ;) Actually, most of the people I read and know have already been tagged! lol If you want to, here you go:

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog. Some random, some weird.
3. Tag up to 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


The bed sold tonight. We got $175 for it, and the guy is going to come by the end of the weekend to pick it up. He was a little annoyed we insisted on a down payment to hold it for him.

BUT - this will get us closer to paying off the dryer sometime soon. :) :)

Still nothing on the wedding dress. :(

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just about the end of Break...

Okay - here was my financial "to do" list for this week, and what I was actually able to accomplish:

~post the bed on Craigslist and get it out of our garage - 1/2 done - it's posted, but not gone yet (did this Friday).
~post at least the three DVD's we have of TV series on ebay - posted, and already have 2 bids (also on Friday).
~organize the stuff from my mom that is going in the rummage pile - and it would probably be really smart to price it before then, too... Well, I got it out of the car and down into the basement. It's not organized yet. And not priced. I really should do that.
~update Quicken - finally finished, Saturday night.
~get to the bank to deposit the "extra" check and our coins (piggy's full!) - did this pretty early in the week, on Monday.
~balance the checking account - part of updating Quicken - just finished tonight (Saturday).
~get the bill pay info for the car payment - showed up in the mail, it's all filled out, just need to write a letter with it making sure they don't change the due date.
~change/cancel the cable - we need to downgrade
~call the cellphone company to change our plan
~I need to go in to work at least one day (probably tomorrow) to work on some curriculum stuff I've been putting off. That should be, after it's all done, about 15 hours @ $23 an hour. Nice!
- went in Wed and Thurs to get some stuff done. Great to have things mostly caught up. :)
~get some sewing stuff listed on etsy
~update my business webpage. I'm getting some hits with the christening gowns, but I really need to get a shopping cart, etc on there with actual stock that's completed and could be sent out immediately. Most of my business is make-as-you-go (better put as "custom made"), but there are definitely a few things that I could have constantly made up and able to ship out. Plus I know Google hits get better the more you update your page. I need to do something there.

So, overall, I did okay. I will call the cable and cell phone companies tomorrow - I need dh nearby because he is the authorized user on the cell account, and I never knew that I wasn't added on as an AU!

I also posted one story to Associated Content (actually, it was my post below on credit scores) and plan to do that a little more often to boost things a little bit.

We kind of fell off the wagon with the "concentrate on cc debt" wagon - we bought the dryer on credit, thinking we'd pay it off with the tax return, and that just didn't happen. Then, the car. Then, the bed, thinking we'd pay it off with summer school money. We soooo need to stop that. Draw the line in the sand and all that good stuff. I want to get back on track with paying down the CC! I miss seeing my pie over there get smaller!

I need something to kick this logjam.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I did it! Finally!

Okay - I got two things listed on Craigslist - keep your fingers crossed that they will sell.

I finally got the bed listed - couldn't list the sheets, etc because of their rules, but got the bed & frame listed.

And I listed a wedding dress for a friend. The wedding never went through, and she just wanted to get rid of the dress, so she gave it to me (she knows I make the christening gowns with wedding dresses and figured I could use it - she wanted nothing in return). I thought it would be fun to sell and just give her a bunch o' dough. She and her new guy are planning a weekend away and it just tickles me to think I could help by doing this.

Anyway - I was very excited to actually get off my duff and do it! I've been able to get a lot of stuff crossed off my list this week, and that's been really nice. Also took a bunch to the food pantry and to the humane society - got a lot out of the house! Sa-weeet!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Credit Reports

I got our copies of our annual free credit reports today - and I am pleased to say that with the ones I was able to see online, there is NOTHING that we have to contest or contact them about! I was very excited - the last few times I've done this, it was a pile of pain for having to go and contact them to take inaccurate info off.

I was able to get 2 of mine and 2 of dh's. The other one of mine and his I'll have to get through the mail - not sure why it wouldn't let me access them (and different agencies, too!), but hey...I was able to see most of it. All accounts pretty and in order, no lates, no wrong addresses, no accounts marked incorrectly. All of the old icky accounts have fallen off, and the bankruptcy is scheduled to come off next summer (10 years). That will be a cool day!

If you haven't checked yours lately - it is totally common for them to be full of incorrect info, and they will not care until you start bugging them about it. Go to (don't fall for the TV commercial scams - that's signing you up for crappy expensive credit reporting stuff where they make even MORE money off of you) and get your reports!

Some people suggest that you space them out, get one now, a different agency in 4 months, the third agency 4 months after that...and so on. I do them all at once - mostly because I just don't remember which one I got, etc. And I get mine and dh's at the same time.

You are entitled to one free report per agency per 12 months, by federal law. That's a good thing. When you get it, check for:
  • All accounts are as they should be. Check balances, monthly payments, and probably most importantly, are they marking it as paid when it's supposed to be. If there are "lates" and you know you weren't, contest it.
  • Are your credit limits what they are supposed to be? This has bearing on your credit score, if that matters to you.
  • If you have any delinquint accounts, are they at least accurate? If you closed them, make sure it says "closed by consumer". (I'm not into the "prove to me that it really was mine because if you can't you must take it off" crap - if it's mine, I'll take the responsibility, but it will be accurate)
  • Check all past addresses and employers to make sure they are accurate.

We had to totally clean up our reports about 5 years ago because of HUGE mistakes and inaccurate info. If you have to contact the credit agencies, make sure you send EVERYTHING return receipt requested, and never ever send them personal information like bank account numbers, etc. I was even told it was illegal for them to request our BK papers from us, although I did send them a copy of the official sheet. And of course, NEVER send them the originals. Keep a copy of the letter you send to them and the receipt for the postage - if they don't prove to you that it is fixed or confirmed within 30 days of their receipt, they must, by federal law, take it OFF of your report.

Wow. I guess I've learned a lot about it. The hard way. But sometimes, that seems to be the only way I learn. Hard head and all...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Break Financial To-Do's

Okay - I'm on Spring Break this week, and the meds seem to be kicking in, which rocks. I haven't been around much to catch up with other people, so hopefully I'll have somet time to drop by. :) This seems to be a bigger-than-normal update...I need to get in here more often so these don't end up so long...

Here's part of my "to-do" list for this week - the stuff that applies to our finances, at least:

~post the bed on Craigslist and get it out of our garage
~post at least the three DVD's we have of TV series on ebay
~organize the stuff from my mom that is going in the rummage pile - and it would probably be really smart to price it before then, too...
~update Quicken
~get to the bank to deposit the "extra" check and our coins (piggy's full!)
~balance the checking account
~get the bill pay info for the car payment
~change/cancel the cable - we need to downgrade
~call the cellphone company to change our plan
~I need to go in to work at least one day (probably tomorrow) to work on some curriculum stuff I've been putting off. That should be, after it's all done, about 15 hours @ $23 an hour. Nice!
~get some sewing stuff listed on etsy
~update my business webpage. I'm getting some hits with the christening gowns, but I really need to get a shopping cart, etc on there with actual stock that's completed and could be sent out immediately. Most of my business is make-as-you-go (better put as "custom made"), but there are definitely a few things that I could have constantly made up and able to ship out. Plus I know Google hits get better the more you update your page. I need to do something there.

I think that covers most of my finance stuff. There's more on the list, but it's mostly home improvement stuff - we need to do some work in the bathroom, take down the outside Christmas lights (it's almost embarrassing, but we've had an exceptionally harsh winter this year, and there's still snow on the ground), etc.

Oh, and for my (few) Wisconsin friends out there - in case you didn't know, Stark Candy Company is closing, and it's entirely possible that their parent company will no longer produce candy raisins. I know no one outside of WI really knows what they are, but this is TERRIBLE! lol So go to to sign the petition. :) :)

Hope you had a nice Easter - we went to my mom's and had a nice time. Lots of leftovers, which is always nice.

I need to get a haircut today (with coupon, of course), and I really need to dye my hair, too...grays and roots are showing...ugh. Always nice when I have some of my free with coupon dye, though.

Got a great deal on a ham, too - Piggly Wiggly had a coupon for $5 off any Cook's ham with a $10 purchase. Got a 7.5 pound ham for about $5 - and the $10 we spent was on groceries we were going to buy, anyway, and they were on sale. Love that!

Okay - off I go to see what I can cross off my list today!

Friday, March 21, 2008 came back...

Work has been so hectic, with me out for a week - and then the antibiotics ran out and it came back! I called the doc right away and said I REALLY didn't want to get that sick again. She has me on another round of antibiotics. Hopefully it will work this time.

I got an extra $250 check with my paycheck this month, for curriculum work I did. We're in discussions at the moment - whether to send it right to the Best Buy card, or whether to keep it as a cushion as we get used to the new budget with the car payment. Part of me says that if we keep it as a cushion, we will spend differently because we know it's there. Another part says "what if we run out?". I hate that.

So...I'm on Spring Break, which is nice. No work until 4/2, although I will probably go in to finish up some stuff that's on my desk. And I'll get paid curriculum time for 2 projects I need to finish, too. Nice.

I need my Spring Break list, which I haven't made yet. Up on top will be to post a few things on ebay, and get the mattress on Craigslist and out of our garage. I think we're going to go for $250 and see what happens. I'm tempted to even start at $300 - we can always go down. After all, it's the bed, frame, dust ruffle, Memory Foam, and 4 sets of sheets (2 flannel, 2 regular). Even at $300, I think it's a great deal. would be nice to have all the crap gone (rummage sale is in June) and the house somewhat back to normal. And have a few things paid off. And a vacation.

Hey. While I'm wishing, I might as well go large. ;)

Sunday, March 09, 2008


I've been really sick for the last week - sicker than I've been since dh and I have been together (11 years now). Man, what a week! I missed 4-1/2 days of work. I shudder to think what my students are going to be like tomorrow. I still can't do a lot - I get tired very easily and the coughing is just horrible. My kids are just going to have to understand that I'm going to have to take breaks.

My sister decided she didn't want the bed, so I'm going to list it on Craigslist. Dh and I have not decided on a price yet. I'm selling it all - queen sized head and baseboard and frame (about 20+ years old, a little scuffed but still in good condition), Sealy mattress & box spring about 5 years old (we paid about $700), Memory Foam topper about 3 years old (we paid $100 for that), four sets of sheets (2 flannel sets less than a year old, 2 percale sets a little older), and a bedskirt, unknown age that we bought at a rummage sale. (We bought a king sized bed)

So - I'm taking opinions. Dh and I agreed to a base price, but I'm thinking of starting a little higher, because we can always go down. This is a complete bed - I mean, take it home and set it up. If it were me, I'd wash the sheets again after I bought it (not because they're dirty or stained, of course, but because that's what I do), but otherwise, someone could literally be sleeping on the bed that night, not needing to purchase anything else.

Ideas on a price?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Alrighty then...I need to get back in the habit of jumping on here more often. I usually say to myself, "but nothing's changed with the debt, so why bother?". But it really helps me stay on track, and that's good.

We got the BEF back to $1000. I feel so much better when we do that! It's amazing how your mindset changes. Up until last summer, we were lucky to have a couple hundred in savings, and it was usually there just in case we needed more grocery money, etc for the month. Now, that security gland goes into overdrive when we aren't up there at 1k. This is a good thing. :)

We are using envelopes this month for groceries and blow money. We already ate out, and our budget really only allows for that once per paycheck, which for normal people is nice, but we are used to going out more, so that's been a struggle. We are also not used to using cash with groceries. Dh ran to Walmart and came back with 2 bags and this big ole frown on his face, saying "that $20 you gave me doesn't last long...". This week, I thought we had really minimal things to buy, but it was just under $50 at the checkout. We have about $60 to last us through 3/20. Keep fingers crossed. We can do this - we just have to work it out.

We haven't had any exciting breakthroughs. We do have almost $400 that is sitting in the checking account - dh wants to make sure we "make it" through with a budget this month before we send it to the cc's. I can live with that. Sometimes, we need that cushion, and it's no surprise that I'm a little more involved in this than he is. So it can sit there until payday - no problem.

I'm planning my rummage sale for early June on the city wide rummage sale day. If we don't sell the queen bed before then, we'll have that, and we plan to put out the couch and the crappy recliner dh has had in the computer room for years. We have a smaller house and want to buy a recliner for the living room, since neither of us can sit comfortably on the couch without killing our backs. We also have a papasan chair from my mom that she wants to get rid of, and an atrocious exercise machine that I thought I had seen the last of, but she is giving back to me. All of that will be our "big stuff". Then, there is a lot of vintage and collectibles from auctions last summer, and of course, the junk that you find at all rummage sales. I'm hoping for a couple hundred dollars. Enough to buy the recliner would be sweet.

And I'm finding more to ebay - right now I have some Easter collectibles from auctions last summer, some old "Ideals" magazines for Easter and springtime, and a few DVD sets - season one of House, season one of Little House on the Prairie, and one season of Bob Ross painting. All are selling well - we should get about $90 or so for those three DVD sets together. NICE!

Okay, I guess I did have more to say than I thought. More proof that I need to stop by more often. :)

Have a nifty weekend -

Sunday, February 24, 2008


It's been a rough couple of weeks. A co-worker died three weeks ago very suddenly, and it's been crazy hectic at work. I'm the dept chair, so a lot of that stuff fell on me to figure out (how we're going to get through the semester, etc).

Anyway - during that time, our refund from the state was deposited. While we didn't go wild, we did spend way too much of it on eating out and other stuff. I finally sat down today to get going on the updates in Quicken and found that we are able to refund the BEF, but after all is said and done, we have about $300 left. Dh wants it to sit until the end of the payday month (the 20th) and then if there's anything left, send it to the dryer.

I'm okay with that, because...we are officially on budget! It's been on paper for months but we struggle with actually following it. Now, I have cash out for groceries. We are keeping the gas money in the checking account because it's really a pain to not use the debit card at the gas station. But everything else is paid, and that's where we're at.

I'm proud of us for not using the cc while this was all going on, and I'm relieved to have the BEF back to $1000. I'm annoyed that we didn't have a plan - we both know better. But...we survived.

I've also learned that I need to continue to check in MUCH more often to make sure I stay on track. Makes it much easier.

I'll be jumping around later to say hi to everyone - and wonder of wonders...we're expecting another 8" of SNOW tomorrow! Just in time for me to drive home from work!