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Archive for September, 2012

First Christmas gift purchased! Time to start the planned spending!

September 29th, 2012 at 11:01 pm


The holiday budget per each child is $180. Today I found a new pair of UGG boots for younger daughter, $200 down to $110. Smile Purchased and stashed!

Time to keep my eyes open for bargains on items that the kids would like!

Money Plan

September 25th, 2012 at 01:46 pm



Friday is payday/rent collection so here is the plan for the money:

INCOMING (net): $2,675
For 10/12 mortgage: -$875
Tuition payments: -$500
Living expenses: -$425
Utilities/Bills: -$425
Party Expenses: -$275
Extraneous: -$175
Remainder $0

We've got a party planned at the roller rink for the soon to be 8 year old, followed by a family party. Mostly small and low-key.

The Cub Scout calendar is filling up quickly. I doing fairly decent with boundaries and keeping things in the proper perspective. Type A personalities tend to make me shy away, but I've dealt with some things assertively, always being nice.

That is it for now.

Autumn is officially here -

September 21st, 2012 at 05:19 pm

Can anyone say Homecoming game tonight in 50 degree weather? I say that Fall is officially here for us!

The kids are all bringing friends and they thankfully get in free with some coupons available on line. Should be an awful lot of fun. We hosted an atypical midweek sleep over with older daughter's friend (whose father had surgery recently and her mother travels on business). Pleased to report it went well, they were in bed by 10:30 and up without grumbles by 6:00. And really, one additional person in our already chaotic household doesn't matter. Tonight is another sleep over for oldest son. I'm adjusting well to the whole concept of an open home, and I'm liking the fact that my kids are comfortable to bring their friends over. Smile

The dance is tomorrow night. The dress and shoes were purchased last weekend. DD is getting her hair and nails done tomorrow. I ordered the boutonnaire today. The date took care of the tickets. I'm borrowing my stepadad's awesome camera to take pictures tomorrow. I'm driving some of the kids from the house they're meeting at to the restaurant and then from the restaurant to the dance. I also picked up some snacks to contribute to the after party get together at her friend's house.

Money spent today:
$50 gas for minivan 1
$50 gas for minivan 2 (at $3.99 a gallon at Sam's it was a steal)
$96 at Sam's Club (including $12 for snacks, and $15 for gifts)
$22 at Walmart
$15 at Aldi's

Safe to say that spending is done with the exception of the boutonnaire tomorrow and photo developing.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday updates!

September 20th, 2012 at 02:59 pm


1) After writing yesterday's post about the difficulties with the best friend, she called and wanted to talk about things. She needs my support, etc. I told her point blank that I need boundaries (a first for me, since the conversations usually center around her and her drama and her anxiety-fraught life). I used my relationship with my brother as an example. I used to worry about him and his love life and things that aren't really my business (sadly, I think he takes after my father who is a womanizer and lacks any concept of fidelity and loyalty over the long-term). That said, I had him share infomation (phone numbers) with a single mother I know from school. I know they've gone out a few times, but other than that, I am not asking. I only hope to be invited to a wedding if there is one.

I told my friend that I thought it was best if for awhile we didn't talk about money or men. Or at least her drama associated to those. She wasn't really happy to hear that. She wants to be able to talk to me about anything. I said I didn't think that was a good idea for awhile. Her topsy-turvy life never quite leaves me with a clear understanding of where she is and what I can and cannot say. At this point, it is too energy consuming and too much work. Maybe in a few weeks I'll call her and see about going for coffee, but she pulled a "poor wounded pouty" whiny voice. I'm thinking some distance will be a good thing in the long-run. "Spaces in our togetherness" is definitely required.

2) Daughter has a date for Homecoming. She is very happy and pleased about this. He is apparently a good looking, smart, basketball player who was suprised to find out from her friend that she didn't already have a date. Not that it really does much to her preparations, but we did have to fact a buttonaire or boutonaire? or boutonnaire? (clueless how to spell). I'm happy for her, and I heard from younger daughter that the invitation ended with an awkward hug. Baby girl is growing up!

3) Tomorrow is a non-payday Friday, but we get our weekly standing Scipps/Manna order - $150 gift cards to Walmart/Sams. I'm still figuring out how to spend those - gas first? groceries at Sam's Club first? I am slowly drifting away from the coupon game, though I do still save the personal care products and cereal ones for Walmart.

4) Have to work on the budget for October. One son is having a birthday party at the roller rink and I estimate that to be $150? Hopefully everyhing else is paid for (Homecoming will be past, all fall classes will be paid up, and then it will be time for Christmas shopping and holiday spending!)

Knowing when to say "I give up"

September 19th, 2012 at 04:51 pm


In my mid, this really isn't a negative post, rather about reaching tht point when you realize the there isn't much more than you can say or do something about someone else' situation.

I used to sit here on this blog, though I think it was several versions ago, and type away bemoaning how I was the only one in the proverbial money boat, having a husband who analyzed financials for major corporations and had 0 interest in our money life. Of course it took us to attend our parish's financial money class which taught us to communiate about things and understand where the othe person is coming from based their experiences growing up and strengths and weaknesses. Had I not acted on signing us up and had DH been unwilling to go, we'd be in the same boat. Thankfully we're not at all in the same place.

We're preparing for DH to return to school for a career change (life in ministry), and we still have lots of kids to get through school, and we have retirements, plus the same budget woes as before, but we make wise choices about our money based what we have and what we need, and list our wants priority wise.

Best friend has resurfaced in a back slided way. Now that summer is over and my life is hectic and she has returned to work full time in the schools, I speak to her once a week, maybe twice, which is a great decrease in the constant handholding.

I had my weekly call with her yesterdy, and things are bad again. She is back to stalking the guy that broke her heart in August, on twitter (not sure how to phrase that if any grammarians catch the awkwardness) This is the one that she said "Never ever talk to me again, I'm deleting your numbers" and she is giving his advice via Twitte comments about the other woman that he co-liked as the time as her.

And she's off eating lunch out every day, according to her list of where she ate last week and her search for a new place. Then there was the comment about how expensive kayaking is. She has every right to do all that she is doing. And then I asked how the Dave Ramsey FPU class was going, last I though it started early September. And then the gun with both barrels was turned onto him, and let's just say she took me out with few zingers: not my life, not my money, not my interest in a man who broke my heart. All true.

So I managed to share that I was seeing some major inconsistencies in what she was saying and what she was doing, in both her love life and her money life. Then I had the reaization that I'm not her therapist, and she doesn't need to hear me say this.

I'm guessing this has to do with bipolar, and at that is she is probably undiagnosed despite being on some anti depressants and some anti-anxiety meds. I took the wimpy way out and calld myself with my cell phone which I've never done before.

I give up. Not sure what else to do.

But other than this, everything is continuing on a nice keel, we seem to have settled into a nice routine that is sort of busy. We've had nice morning being on time and homework hasn't been that muh of an issue.

On a money note (to justify this post) I did have to transfer $150 back to the checking account and have decided to make a $1,350. I missed that I needed to pay $15 for T-shirt for 8th grader, $20 for 8th grader's Cultural Event Day, and $30 for DH's registraton for a 5K.

Nice day yesterday, quiet day today

September 18th, 2012 at 01:26 pm


Yesterday was one of those blissful days when all the moons align and everything is better than fine. The type A cubmaster for the boys' Cub Scout Pack was complimentary on my evite (and the idea of the evite) for tracking RSVPs to the fall cook out. And an even further "thank you" all in caps when I let her know I'm meeting with the new Tiger leader for the 1st graders. The head cubmaster scared the new Tiger leader so badly, which is sad because it really isn't all that bad to accomplish the requirements, so I'm hoping I can alleviate some of her concern by sharing all that DH did last year and to infuse some fun into it. Volunteering without fun isn't worth it, or at least receiving some intangible personal reward.

My children were all in good moods and polite and while we had one playdate planned, I ended up with older daughter's latchkey friend who spent all weekend with us (father just had surgery and mother travels on buines). So for 1.5 hours of the playdate, the kids all sat around the dining room table playing Apples to Apples. And then latchkey friend stayed for dinner, complimenting everythings, and she and daughter did homework. Academically-challeged son voluntarily did all of his vocab and spelling. My list of little things goes on and on ...

Anyhow, I spent $37 on a trip to Aldi's to supplement the $147 at Sam's Club. This is will be necessary to get the regular items that I need to pull dinners together, and I'm still working out the budget (every changing). The price of gas is crazy here ($4.09-$4.29 a gallon). Might need to up the gas and groceries allotment again! Also spent $76 for a dance class for younger daughter, I knew it was coming up but I thought I had two more weeks before the new session started. Not! So I am sitting on my $1,500 credit card payment until closer to next payday, should still be able to make it, fund-wise.

Have a child home today, he has a bruise on his upper thigh and is limping. I suppose that is the consequence of rip sticks and motorized scooters and the combination of the two. Anyhow, I was going to send him, but there are several flights of stairs and I rethought the decision seeing him going down our carpeted stairs on his butt. So, I've got myself a friend, and kid TV all day. Smile

2nd Generation Bargain Shopper and Dismissing the Dissers

September 17th, 2012 at 01:27 pm


Homecoming is this weekend for my highschooler: Friday nights is the game, and Saturday night is the dance. This is my alma mater, and when I was there the reality was you only went to the dance if you had a date. I fell into that odd place of "middle" uncoolest of the cool, of coolest of the uncool, and I regularly had dates to all the dances. Nowadays, the dance is open to all, and they go as a group. My daughter was asked by a football player is she wanted to "wear his jersey"? and that implied a date. She politely declined, and then later told me that she'd rather be with her friends that evening rather than someone who she's never spent time with.

So, DD was lined up for a high-paying marathon babysitting gig on Friday and she had planned on using those funds to pay for her shopping trip on Saturday. The mom broke her foot, so there was no babysitting gig. My mom gave my daughter $20 and I gave her a $100 American Express gift card from my vacation stash. I also let her go shopping with her friend to find a dress. I didn't feel compelled to go, my daughter is classy and knows how to put together a nice outfit. She knows what clothes she looks best in. She has a good fashion sense. Anyhow, the only advice I gave was stick to a size 1 and make sure that it fits because its another busy week and I didn't want to have to factor in a trip to the tailor.

Well, ex-friend (judgmental drama mama of younger daughters ex- best friend) has a way of turning up or finding things out about me and then commenting away to others. Apparently she ran into my daughter at the mall. She said how interesting her hair was: the last inch or so of her very long hair was dip-dyed in purple Kool-aid this summer and still has a dark maroon tint to the edges. Then she asked why my daughter was at the mall, and raised her eyebrows that I would let my daughter shop for a dress without me (something to the effect of saying to her daughter - "Don't let this give you any ideas about shopping for a Homecoming dress without me!")

Anyhow, my daughter found a very nice dress in a size 3 that fits her frame, a very nice silvery shimmery strapless dress that fits her wonderfully and she looks beautiful in. Dress was $58 prior to 25% off at Carsons and came to $47. She bought earrings for $8.50 at American Eagle, and has enough left on the card to get her hair done in an updo. She's going to buy her own ticket ($15).

I am grateful that my daughter was a wise shopper and that she felt bad for ex-friend's daughter who appeared very embarrassed my her mother's actions. I am glad that my daughter was more amused by ex-friends behavior, which wasn't really adult-like.

I suppose that next year younger daughter won't be shopping with ex-best friend for Homecoming dresses.

Blah and nothingness

September 12th, 2012 at 05:26 pm


It is one of those days when the busyiness of the schedule and the lack of sleep has taken it's toll. There really isn't much to do, and I don't feel like doing anything at all. I'm not feeling like I want to read (which I do have books from the library) and it is too hot to really do much of a walk with my dog (who is an old girl herself). Yesterday was nothing but "run run here, run run there" and I have concluded that the best use of my time traveling around picking kids up is an audio book, but those voices tend to put me to sleep or I associate them with bedtime.

I must get myself back into the saddle and a proper nap would probably help. Thankfully there is only one appointment on the calendar for tonight and I'm hopeful that a leisurely pace of homework and dinner will atone for yesterday's frenzy. I'm concluding that some things will have to go from the schedule to return to a nice and happy atmosphere.

I have $11 left in the checking account (to be replenished with Friday's incoming fund - see previous post on how those funds will be outgoing). I did manage to find some coupons for free McFlurry's from McDonald's to supplement Braces Girl's diet. She has decided that she likes French toast, so my $8 will have to buy another dozen of eggs, a trash sticker, and a gallon of gas. Had to rework my money plan and on the extraneous line, I added the $80 Cub Scout fee and dropped the car registration to next pay period on 9/28 - and I'm still a month ahead of its due date.

That's it.

Remember Merch and "plan the work, work the plan"?

September 11th, 2012 at 01:31 pm


Anyone remember merch from a few years ago? I really liked following his blog (and boy, was I money mess back then!) The one thing I took away from his wisdom/advise/comments was the mantra "plan the work, work the plan."

With that said, I sat down and planned the work for Friday's payday/rent collection. It looks like this:

Total income (post tax and health stuff): $2,573

Living Expenses (gas/grocer): ($425)

Utilities: ($425)
Includes: Rental prop insurance $68.55
Life insurance premium $26.08
Water (2 mos) $83.65
Electric $150
Gas $55
Student Loan $38.05

Credit card debt ($1,500)

Extraneous ($348) * This includes $125 in category
Includes DH's 4-month personal training $255
License plate sticker renewal $99

There you go, the nitty and gritty of my money life Smile


Where did the weekend go, and how did I blow my budget?

September 10th, 2012 at 01:16 pm

This weekend was the busiest that we've had in awhile: Saturday went something like: 8 AM appointment for braces to go on older daughter, 9:30 evaluations for the 5th grader who will be playing basketball, 10:00 soccer game for the 2nd grader. And then I somehow managed to have a house full of children that weren't mine: six elementary school boys, plus younger daughter's friend who has a difficult home life (she was here from Friday night on). Anyhow, lunch on Saturday was Little Cesar's party pack for $15.09.

Daughter who is now in braces has required daily trips to either McDonald's or Burger King for fruit smoothies. I'm totally fine with this because I don't need her to lose the five pounds she gained in the last year (for whatever reason 5'7" and 95 pounds looks healthier than 5'6" and 90 pounds). She has also eaten 2# of strawberries and 6 Danimal Smoothies, plus she's attempted ramen noodles that have been broken into 1/8" pieces. I've never had braces so I'm not sure what else to do. She requested a watermelon, so I'll go pick one of those up today.

This is what my week looks like:

Today: pom dance class for younger daughter, babysitting gig for older daughter
Tuesday: dance for both girls, Cub Scout registration for all boys
Wednesday: soccer practice
Thursday: dance for both girls
Friday: babysitting gig for older daughter
Saturday: Scout class 9-11; soccer game 11; basketball evals for younger daughter 12-2; 2nd grader attends party from 3:45-6; oldest son and DH have sleepover at leader's house.

Spending for the week should be minimal; I am trucking through my small balance with the $3 and $4 purchases here and there. I will need to buy seam seeler for the tent, crickets for the bearded dragon, a trash sticker $3.37. I predict we will remain solvent for the next four days. Smile

Mutiny ... mutiny ...

September 4th, 2012 at 02:34 pm


Oh, how fast we reverted to the summer mode, sleeping late, going to bed late, watching things that we shouldn't (the remake of "Planet of the Apes" with Mark Wahlberg scared everyone in my house aged 11 and under). Got to admit, they were a bit freaky.

It was a nice weekend, with nothing looming large on the horizon. We spent time doing homework and studying, DH took the boys to the Y to swim and work out, the girls were able to spend time with friends and grandparents, we went to Mass and out to lunch at Panera's (using a gift card for over 1/2 of it), and our last hurrah at the pool.

Result: no one wanted to get up this morning; the youngest fell asleep three times in various places (one actually under a pile of pillows on the couch), the complaints included a burning head, tired eyes, sour stomach. I have a bridge of hypochondriacs on my hands! Despite this, all left on time fed, clothed, and appropriately outfitted with gym clothes and lunches and projects. Smile The only advantage to such tired folks is they'll all be in bed early today. Smile

Anyhow, money-wise:

(1) Spent $34.15 on three pairs of shoes at Payless (used a $10 off of $35, older daughter found fun shoes for Homecoming for $16.99, there was a pair of school shoes too $15, and younger daughter got a pair of flip flops on sale $9.)

(2) It is all on auto-pilot, bills and savings.

(3) I did redeem $200 in American Express gift cards from the account and am $1,000 short of another $50. Daughter's braces go on Saturday, so that charge will put me up and over the amount required.

(4) Considering opening an account with B of A (checking) to earn $150. Not too much work required for that amount of money. Just need to do it by 10/1.


September, welcome ...

September 1st, 2012 at 01:48 pm


My household is really in need of this three-day weekend; the transition to school and schedule has been difficult. We've also had a few minor attitude adjustments to snap back into place Smile (with more sleep, less idle time and a general reminder of niceness).
We've concluded all the Curriculum Nights and now move onto Cub Scouts. I missed registration for soccer for the 2nd grader (which happened to be back in June when my life was nothing but paper registrations for the summer programs at my parish. Anyhow, happy ending, the admin agreed to put my son on the team after an email from the coach. And we've added a pom class for the younger daughter. All good, just more to do and more to go to.

Resurrecting the line: "We're the 10% who do 90% of the work." DH and I are pretty much entrenched into our parish in major volunteer capacities. DH had to turn down a request that he be on the Parish Board simply because we don't have a lot of time free, and what is there is for the kids. I got tired of hearing myself say the above catch-phrase when asked to do more. The email came today (well, late last night) about getting together to draw straws to see who will be the Committee Chair (Cubmaster) for the Pack. I've already turned down the position for myself and my husband. Now my response is simply: "Please take our names out of the list. We are operating at full capacity right now. Thank you." Ugh!

Payday and rent collection day was yesterday. Haven't done much with the funds yet; I'll pay the mortgage and then we'll purchase the bunk beds.

High school football started last night and my house was very quiet for several hours when they all (minus one daughter) went. Our team lost. And they're State Champs.

We got a call from the tenant that there was a leak in the roof. The roofers who put the new one on (five years ago and then repaired the front last summer after the tornado) came out and found the problem. And fixed it. A flashing started to come up and it was re-siliconed. No cost to us. Smile

Enjoy your weekend!