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I've been away....and why

September 15th, 2006 at 02:40 pm

Man, I've missed this place!

Last week, my aunt had a VERY bad accident at work, which left all of our family scrambling while we awaited news of whether she would lose her leg or not. So far, it looks like not, the surgery went well, and they are hoping the leg will heal well. She will have LOTS and LOTS of physical therapy, and will more likely than not be disabled for the rest of her life. This is really bad, because her husband had an accident at work years ago which left him permanently disabled (he had 2K degree oil spilled on his entire leg). It's been a very stressful 2 weeks!

But, now I'm back, life is getting back on track, the wedding is in ACK 3 weeks! I need to find out train information and get that back on the rail (sorry all!), I have tons and tons of ebay stuff to list, and I need to unearth my house lol. Gas was a financial killer this last bit, but at least prices are finally coming down, it's hovering between 2.17 and 2.24 around here thank goodness!

Debt Balances

September 4th, 2006 at 05:30 pm

As those of you who follow my blog may realize, my fiancee and I have no credit card debt, thank god! LOL! BUT, we do have a couple of small-ish loans, and one car loan to conquer. Debt balances as of the end of August are as follows:

My parents: $4,555 (various loans after I had my youngest son via C-section with no health insurance)
DBF's grandmother: $2,600 (loan for house downpayment, was originally $3K in July)
DBF's dad: $750 (finally got us a truck! we bought his old one, a 96 Dodge Dakota that works great!)
Mortgage: $62,956.10
DBF's car: $4,700 (this is an estimate, I'll get exact figures next week. Seems high for a 95, but it was his dream car so I don't give him crap about it lol)

Total Debt: $75.561.10

Major thing first is to get his grandmother paid off, we send her $200 a month right now, but want to pay her off by January so we need to step that up quite a bit after the wedding. That would be $800 a month, and I don't know if that's doable, but we're gonna try!!!

Breakdown of repayment is as follows:
Mortgage: Payment is $534.XX a month, but I'm sending $550 at least. watching that large interest amount go down is a good thing!
My parents: $100 a month until other debts (excluding mortgage) are paid off.
His grandmother: discussed above
His dad: This one's not a priority at the moment, dad's attitude is whenever whatever, so we're looking at starting payments probably in November or December, and paying it off quickly due to small amount.
His car: right now payment is $131 every two weeks, this is an auto debit, and no interest is charged (or so DBF says, I need to check into that), so will need to look into getting that amount upped after other debts are lowered a bit.

Our weekend

August 19th, 2006 at 10:07 am

Well, the visit with my parents last night got cancelled due to moms medical issues (she has lupus, and all the problems that come with that, and is having a partial mastectomy next week), so I took the kids to them.

This morning DF and I went yardsaling for a little while, and spent $8 on ebay stock. He's at work now, then this evening we're going on a date night!!!

We havent been able to do this since we moved, due to not having a sitter for YDS, but our new neighbors daughter volunteered. She's 16 and pregnant, so not only will it be good experience for her, but she needs the money as well (let me add, she's great with the kids, and I know she'll be fine with the baby).

We're going to dinner, probably at our favorite local discovery restaurant, and using free movie tickets. If I'm lucky, afterwards we'll go play some pool. Ya!

Tomorrow will be spent at home, getting little projects done. I need to track down the people we bought the house from and see about the repairs.

Visits from my parents!

August 18th, 2006 at 12:15 pm

My parents are coming over for a sleepover tonight! We moved almost 3 months ago an hour south of where I'm from, so visits with my parents have been pretty limited.

My mom has alot of medical stuff going on right now, so I thought to help keep her mind off things, she could come stay the night. Well, dad wants to come to!

So, we're going to clip coupons, watch movies, and just hang out. The boys are SUPER excited, I am too, I miss my mom!!!

Reading my blog!

August 17th, 2006 at 06:46 pm

What? People actually read it???

LOL! I just noticed the statistics on the side, and it shows over 5 thousand visits to my blog. FIVE THOUSAND!!!!!!!

Well, not only am I honored anyone is interested enough in my boredom to come around, BUT, it tells me I need to start including more content than the size of my kids poop this morning. Ok, I've never done that, and I promise not too lol.

I've been asked recently to teach a coupon class to a local woman whose husband is being caught in the layoffs at Ford and they have 3 children she homeschools, and a 6 month old baby. Also, she has a friend with 3 children who is in the middle of divorce who wants to learn couponing, etc. and asked if I would be so kind as to help her learn too. I am so honored. I have been her friend, I was a single mom of 3 for 4 years, much of it as a full time student.

So I'm going to TRY and post as many tips and tricks here as I can in the hopes that others can learn and help their families. If even one tip is used by one person then that will make this worthwhile for me. I am quite frugal by nature, I've always had to be, but I am also quite spacey by nature, so I tend to forget to write here. I go in spurts, 3 posts in one day then nothing for a week.

Well fellow blogsters and lurkers..fear no more! Mika is here!!! I promise at least one post a day, whether it be a tip, a rant, a question, a trick, a hot deal, or just some general ramblings.

Oh and anytime anyone wants any information or has questions, just email me!!!!!!

Walmart is stealing my money!!!!!!!!!

August 10th, 2006 at 07:03 pm

I have had an ongoing saga with Walmart connect for THREE YEARS now. Back in March of 2003, I called to cancel the dialup service I had with them, was told it was cancelled. No big deal right? Well, you'd think.

In April, I was charged the $9.94 charge. I was confused, I called and they said my account in fact had NOT been cancelled, but they would cancel it for me at that point, and refund the money.

Same thing every month for THREE YEARS now! So you figure:

9.94 x 12 = $119.28
119.28 x 3 = $357.84

That's almost $400 that Walmart has charged me for a service I haven't used since March of '03, and have been trying to cancel since then. I repeatedly ask to speak to a manager, and am told the situation has been resolved. NOTHING. Charges and charges and charges month after month.

After speaking with someone tonight who said that in fact, he could not even PULL UP my account because I don't have the account number.

**Sidenote: Now what the hell kind of jack ass system can't pull up an account by a person's name, etc. (Excuse my french).

Anyways, I will be calling an attorney in the morning, and seeing what my options are on this one. As well as writing out a letter to the president of Walmart and any media that will grab it.

Anyone have any suggestions for me on how to handle this? I'm sick of them stealing my money!!!!

Reasons not to blog after midnight

August 2nd, 2006 at 08:33 am

So I was blogging along last night since I was up with a cranky baby, just goin along. After I went to bed I realized my post didn't make alot of sense! LOL!

I was reading on the boards how most people probably don't blog about their splurges, so I was going to talk about mine, but got off track talking about school starting.

Last night we took the kids to Pizza King (I think it's only in Indiana). They adore trains, and this one has your drinks delivered by an electric train. My kids about died!!! They thought it was the coolest thing ever. We spent $38 for dinner for 5 of us, plus enough leftovers for lunch today. So really not too bad, but we do that about once a month dinner out for all of us. So that's my splurge!

Starting school for the kids, and musings

August 1st, 2006 at 09:13 pm

I decided to wait to go to the store until DBF got home from work, so we could go out for a family night. I try and be frugal, really I do, but sometimes I just want to treat the family! We don't have a house payment this month, just the $200 to his grandmother as repayment on the loan. So that went out today. Leaves me with $700 of my child support. I've budgeted $200 for school supplies, clothes, etc. for the kids, but when we registered them for school they gave us backpacks (new), with all the school supplies inside they'll need to start the year off. I had already bought a few things at the cheapo back to school sales, so those items went into storage for later in the year. Also, went through the boys' dressers and discovered they really dont NEED any clothing for school. My middle son got a pair of new shoes (not really needed, as the child doesn't grow I swear lol) on clearance for $7, that he ADORES, and seeing how he's starting kindergarten, how could I say no? My oldest does probably need a pair of shoes, he grows like a weed, and is hard on shoes. He has to have wide width shoes, so those will probably be about $40, plus we agreed to get them one new outfit a piece, then buy as the need arises or the sale arises. They each picked out a shirt while at Target tonight, each was under $6, and we have $30 in credit for Kmart which I'll use to buy them each a pair of pants. When we spend that credit on Levi's we'll get another $10 GC for later use. The $30 was from buying my engagement rings, so that's found money, and rolling it over into another $10 GC is just yet another bonus!! My personal question...who thought up buying a whole new wardrobe to start school with anyway???? I think it's ridiculous, but to each his own right?

Weekend musings

July 23rd, 2006 at 10:11 am

I was laying in bed last night, berating myself for yet again forgetting to update my blog, and I was thinking that I need to make use of those nifty categories, and break my postings up into smaller areas. I'm going to add a category for wedding on the cheap, our goal of saving for a truck and a van, and add to the rest of them on a regular basis. promise!

Where the heck have I been?

July 19th, 2006 at 10:51 am

Things have been CRAZY around here for awhile...so sit back, relax, grab some coffee or water, and I'll do a big ole update.

We "closed" on our house last night. we borrowed $3,000 from my fiancee's grandmother for the downpayment, which we will pay back $200 a month. Add that to the new house payment, and we're paying $11 a month more than we were in rent, but actually BUYING our house. It wont take us long to pay off the loan anyway, and at no interest being charged, seemed like a no brainer.

Also, we set a wedding date!!! October 7th of this year. This is my 2nd marriage and his THIRD, so it will be very low key and cozy. We are getting married at my parents house, so no rental fees there. I need to make phone calls to find out how much renting a large tent and tables and chairs will be. Also, a cake and clothing for the 5 of us. But all in all, not very expensive.

We put my wedding set in layaway last weekend, found a gorgeous set 75% off at Kmart. Its beautiful and I'm so excited!

Another change is..I'm not working anymore. We sat down last night and figured out my paycheck vs. daycare, parking, etc. and found I was only bringing home $100 a week. Not worth it. We decided I'll stay home during the day which will result in less eating out since I'll cook more, more things being done with the house since I'll have more time, happier kids cuz they'll be with mommy!, plus more time to spend doing coupons/rebates and internet paid to do stuff programs. Also, I will pick up a part time job in the evenings which I'm sure will make up the $100 a week!

Also, he's wanting to start up a lawn care business, so we ordered business cards for that. Doing that has placed buying a truck over buying a van on the priority list, but I'm ok with that since I wont be driving as much anymore.

I'm excited to be doing this stay at home mom thing again, but I'm going to try my hardest to not spend money unless necessary and make our money work for us as best as we can. Any cheap wedding ideas are more than welcome!!!

No Spend Day!

June 25th, 2006 at 03:58 pm

For me, but not B. I stayed home today to catch up on work due to sick kid most of last week. So I actually will get paid for today lol. Going to transfer 26.92 over to ING for our $20 challenge, plus a little more for coupon savinfs, etc. Been apretty unexciting weekend, although I did buy some plants and stuff yesterday for our late start garden.

Boring boring me today lol/

A new day, another dollar

June 23rd, 2006 at 06:27 am

Ok, so to get over yesterdays financial cuss-fest...I called the gym back and finally got to speak to the manager. I told him my issues, and he agreed to refund me $40, this months memebership + 1 to help cover the cost of the bank fees. Not the ideal solution, but a good compromise to reach instead of wasting another $10 on cell phone minutes right?

B and I had our first argument about money last night, we joined our bank accounts and he freaked out a bit. Previous relationship issues yes, but we have never fought about money before and we're working on buying a house together!!! I was pretty floored at the whole thing, but we're better now and back on the same track. We're making our first contribution tonight to the $20 challenge, so thats good.

Trying to avoid the $4 coffee as I sit freezing at my desk........

ARGH! Two steps back

June 22nd, 2006 at 08:16 am

I made a MAJOR screwup today. I have been trying to call and cancel my gym membership for weeks now, and getting run around after run around. I live an hour away, so I cant just stop in or anything. Well, today they took their payment out of my account. Wouldnt be a big deal, but the $12 check I wrote for a dresser for my son was deposited yesterday (a week late), so I was $10 short in my account. (Insert lots of cussing here). So now my account is $59 overdrawn Frown. And that will eat up the overtime pay on my check tomorrow. I am so mad at myself, plus the gym for being uncooperative. I was trying!!! So today has NOT been a no-spend day unfortunately. CRAP..I'm gonna have to tell B about it too cuz he was going to deposit money today to cover bill checks that mailed out this morning. CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!!!

No Spend Day!

June 21st, 2006 at 06:04 pm

I had my first no spend day today since joining this forum. I had to go to work, so I guess TECHNICALLY I spent money for gas, but since my commute has been cut from over an hour to less than 10 minutes, I can take that. I skipped my $4 coffee weakness, but mostly that was because my son was sick so I had to leave work early. lol

I spent the day unpacking some more, and organizing my coupons. My binder is FULL, I need to find some more of the baseball card sheets I use, I know I have some around here SOMEWHERE. I joined a new rewards program today too, so that will help.

I am always looking for referrals to good, reliable paying reward and survey sites, so if you know of any, drop me a line. I'm looking forward to grocery shopping this weekend and seeing how I can do coupon wise. The store here doubles coupons up to .75 every day WOOHOO!

I talked to B about doing the $1 trial offers for GC's and he said it was cool as long as I remember to cancel them. So I'll do them from work where I have Outlook and can set the reminders to cancel. I also remembered to mail in my computer rebates today. I'm on track and still feeling good about this!

OK..I can start Friday right??

June 20th, 2006 at 04:03 pm

I broke down today..bought my $4 cup of coffee. OUCH! My office is kept FREEZING cold (note to self: bring a jacket!!!), and the free coffee seriously tastes like it has a substance in it that should never pass human lips. I told myself I would stop spending $4 a day on coffee, but today I broke down. I can start that whole no $4 coffee thing Friday right???

Had a great mail day yesterday..got my Bzzzkit for Aquapods which included 2 bottles of the water ( so cool for kids, 11 oz of Ice Mountain water in a bubble shaped bottle), a coupon for a free 8 pack and .50 coupons for me to pass out to others..also got a free full sized tube of Jergens Daily Glow facial moisturizer from a contest and a few other things. Today I got my Netflix movie and the free 5x7 picture I won in a Kodak contest. It's the little things right?

Taking inspiration from a few other blogs I've read, I wrote to Reynolds today about their Slow Cooker liners, I had gotten some ridiculously cheap with coupons, and since I use my slow cooker so much I finally used one last night. Well, the thing leaked!!! Kinda defeats the purpose doesnt it? So we'll see what happens with that one.

Talked to B last night about the $20 challenge, and he said it was a great idea so we're going to start on Friday when we get paid since we dont have $20 to our name at the moment.

Also today I finally remembered to print out the rebate forms for my new computer, so I'll get those sent in tomorrow. That will be $100 for our challenge account when those come in. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and its pretty!!!! LOL!

Thanks for the inspiration everyone..I'm off to read The Tightwad Gazette!

Broke as a joke

June 19th, 2006 at 04:46 am

I figure thats about accurate for now. We just moved a few weeks ago, and used all of our meager savings to do so. BTW, deposits SUCK! We are both working now, which is definitely a good thing, but trying to get on our feet is rough. I started re-reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette (again), and that just got me all motivated. We want to buy the house we are currently living in, and are contracted to do so, with a downpayment of $3,000 being due September 1st. My fiancee isnt real serious about the saving money thing, he is in spirit, but the reality isnt quite there. He says, I want to get this, and this, and this, and this...and I'm like..wait! we dont need to buy that now!!! He will listen to an extent, but I'm trying to get him to read that book, and the forums with me, to try and get his head in the right place.

Ok, so anyway, right now we have $56 in checking, $5 in savings. I opened an ING account this weekend so I can start putting money away there. I've been tracking all of my coupon savings, and after talking it over with B (my fiancee), we decided that 10% of all coupon savings, all rebate checks, etc. will be deposited in this account, along with whatever else we can do. I'm cruising the site, trying to figure out how to navigate, as well as what the heck the $20 challenge is, and I'm learning alot along the way.

I'm 26 years old, and I'm finally learning how to become an adult financially. YA ME!!!!!