Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winterize Your Car

You are at work and outside you car is being snowed on. You are prepared because you have your boots and your ice scraper. It is starting to snow pretty heavy. Your employer releases the employees but the parking lot does not get plowed properly. You are stuck with a snowed in car. What should you do?
Well you forgot to put your mini snow shovel in the car b/c frankly you do not own one YET.
Readers, please share your thoughts on how to get out of this jam and what to pack in the future.
My suggestions would be have an ice scraper at your office, at your home and in your car. Sometimes you just can't get to the ice scraper that is in the car. Have a spare car key in the house in case you accidentally lock your keys in the car while warming up the car. Have a small fold up shovel or a child size shovel. It is a good investment.
Without a snow shovel in this scenario you either need to stamp down the snow around your car or start making snow men to remove the excess snow. Happy winterizing!! Oh and take an extra pair of socks. Trust me, someone will need them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fees Paid for Making Partial Payments

Does anyone have any issues with paying in installments for insurance and then getting charged a fee for paying in installments?
For example
Life insurance could be $150 per year but if you chose to pay monthly, quarterly or semi-annually you are penalized. The life insurance invoice does not state the obvious. There is a fee if you pay in installments.

Our auto insurance has a similar fee if you pay monthly rather than every six months. You are charged a set dollar amount with every installment payment that you make.

I would prefer that the extra charges were obvious. Always pays to do the math.
So if I am willing to pay for a full year of life insurance I could save up to 8%. 8% penalty or fee for monthly payments; 6% for quarterly payments and 4% for semi-annual payments.

Overdraft Protection

If you decide to use your debit card; make sure you set up overdraft protection. There might still be a fee for the use but it should be less than without the overdraft protection. Normally you would need the bank to link the account or accounts for the overdraft protection. If you have multiple accounts; you should be able to designate which account can be used first.
You make a debit transaction and then have the debit transaction reversed for an error and the transaction is re rung. If you are carrying a low balance you will actually need enough money in the account to cover both debit transactions before the credit is applied. If this is the case it would be better to use a different account or a credit card (without a balance) to re ring the transaction then to risk getting a non sufficient funds charge or to use overdraft protection if there is a fee associated with the overdraft protection use.
My hunch is this is the same with hotels. They put a hold on more money then will be needed. This might give you a negative balance also.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Mantra

I think it is time to revisit my mantra.

mission statement

If you teach a child to fish he will become a fisherman.
If you teach a child to read he will become a reader.
If you teach a child to be potty trained you save on diapers.
If you teach a child to tie shoes you can stop buying velcro.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Winter is upon us

Last weekend I spotted some hats and gloves in the center aisle. I thought I might as well get them now. Next I was hit by Christmas decorations. That makes sense but what I was surprised about was that the Thanksgiving merchandise was already priced at half off.
How do you prepare for winter? Do you buy hot chocolate, hats and gloves ahead of time or to you wait for the first snow flake to hit to find the boots?
Thinking about winter. One of the challenges is always to find snow worthy gloves. One of my friends said that only the first set of gloves need to match. After that you can have mismatched gloves. Wonder if that is the same for boots. (Just kidding.) Now back to planning for winter.
With five children, we are going to need to be prepared. Snow suits, snow gear oh boy.
What items are on your to buy list for winter?
Hats, gloves (multiple), coats, boots, rock salt, socks, slippers, pjs, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, winter stockings, dress shoes.
Things I bought this weekend were
Boys hats and gloves, pjs
Twins full body coats
Girls pjs

These were all impulse buys. Kudos to the store for actually having worth while impulse buys.
I enjoy seeing impulse buys but I realize that just because the item is on the end cap does not mean it is on sale.

Now I mentioned the to buy list. What about the find in your house list? If you start looking now, you might be able to cross one or two items off of your to buy list.

Now where do you store all of this stuff?
I was thinking about putting the items in reusable grocery bags. One for each child and adult. That could work for all the winter accessories.
Any winter thoughts?

How about books? Now is the time to start looking for the snowy type books. What is your favorite? The first Christmas or silent night?
That brings us to music. Do you have any Christmas / winter type music stored away? I am sure the stores will be willing to sell you some.

Christmas outfits. I was thinking that the zero to three Christmas outfits won't fit b/c they are already starting to wear 3-6 clothes. Then I got a brain storm. Take some Christmas pictures now.

After the Halloween party one year, I noticed the teacher took out a bin with her Thanksgiving items. It would be good to have one bin year after year just designed for the winter accessories. Books, music and winter coloring books could even squeeze in.

I guess we need lots of things for the winter season. But most of all we need to remember the spirit of the season.
Happy winterizing!! (Oh does that bring up getting the car ready?) Ice scrapers etc.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Missing Sock Pairs

I discovered the mystery of the missing socks that come out of the wash.
You need both socks to go into the washer in the same load to get an entire pair to come out!

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Challenge: Can we spend less than $X,000 per month?

For example:
$7,000 -Yes
$6,000 -Maybe
$5,000 -No

Lawn Care
Decor Items
Pest Control

Cell Phone Plans
Cable Modem for Internet
Sewer / Trash Pickup

Car Payments

Gym Uniforms
Class Pictures
Class Trips
Holiday Parties (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, St. Patty's
Day, Easter, End of the year parties)
Technology Fee
Supply Fee
Fund Raisers
School Supplies (backpacks, lunch bags, stationary)
Presents for Teachers

Medical Plans
Flexible Spending Plans
Medical Products
Hospital Co-Pays

HOLIDAYS (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter)
Holiday Cards

Party Games
Birthday celebrations outside the home



Burp Cloths
Formula (1st Year)
Car Seats

Dining Out
Take Out
Fast Food

Bathing Suits

Hair Cuts
Personal Care products


Vacation Pet Care

Hotel /Accommodations

Computer upgrades






Registration Fees
Snacks for teams
Tuition Fees

Seasonal Supplies

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How Do You Mentally Prepare For 4 Weeks Without A Paycheck

--Due to taking four weeks of family leave this issue is upon us.

Prepare ahead of time
1) Take the rest of the paychecks and make up the difference. For example $26,000 per year becomes $24,000 per year. During the weeks without a paycheck you need to draw from previous paychecks. If you normally live on $500 per week you need to live on less, approximately 7 or 8% less. For every thousand dollars you make you need to save $80 or 8%.
2) Assuming you do not know ahead of time regarding the non paid leave or you are not prepared you need to draw from a separate source of funds. You need to repay that source within a set amount of time. Use the money to pay expenses. Return a set amount each paycheck to the borrowed upon source. This method would work best if you have some type of savings or emergency fund. A key is to pay back the source so your source of extra funds is not depleted next time you need to use the funds.

Cut down on expenses.
If you need to fund certain weeks with other weeks paychecks try to cut down expenses. Do you regularly donate to charities? Obviously you can't contribute without the necessary funds. But if the transfers and payments are automatic withdrawals you need to consider changing these before the transfers and withdrawals are set up for payment.
In our case this would mean revisiting saving accounts and retirement account transfers. In addition, charities and church donations need to be evaluated. Due to our family leave situation, we would not want to make any or as large a donation or transfer in the weeks where the paychecks were not present.
Now that a few weeks of no paychecks is looming upon us the time to prepare ahead of time is past.
We decided to take the unique opportunity of having both parents at home while caring for our newborn twins and their three siblings.

Financial Makeover

It is always good to revisit your finances when changes in your life occur. In our case, we need to adjust for additions to the family, paycheck changes and school tuition increases.

Snowball Payments
Recently we bought a new house and set up snowball payments. Should these weekly payments be stopped because of a lack of paycheck? This dilemma is greater because this will affect when our home is paid off. My gut reaction is to definitely make the snowball payments because more interest accrues without the payments being made. Snowball payments are certainly voluntary but they are a form of debt reduction and still considered important to pay on a regular basis to pay off our house early.

Church Donations
If we regularly contribute a portion of our income (ex. 10%) to our church; what should we do during the weeks without a paycheck? Do we not make payments at all or do we reduce our payments by a percentage because our total income for the year has decreased? Our options are
A) No payments for 4 weeks
B) Reduced payments for the rest of the year
C) Combination of A and B

My instincts say that B is the best option. This way the church maintains a steady stream of income and there are no additional decisions to make such as when to start making the payments again.

Savings Transfers
We make 2 savings transfers each week. $40 for a savings account and $120 for future tuition payments, pool membership and funding a retirement account. Since the bills are going to be the same (no reduction); these transfers need to remain the same. The $120 amount needs to be revisited because this weekly amount was based on a lower tuition amount. Now we need to adjust the amount based on the higher tuition rates and based on additional students in school.

As we go further into this discussion, another item comes to mind. The reality of the downturn of the economy is that everything cost more. Many of us have broken the rule of spending less than we make. During this overall financial transformation we need to keep in mind that for the last year we have been regularly supplementing our income with our savings. Rather than waiting for the breaking point, lets prepare now for the ultimate goal.
Spend less than we make ALWAYS!


A couple years back, Americans were afraid to open their retirement savings statements for fear of knowing how much they lost. Was that true? Wouldn't you want to know if your statement said zero? Is now the time to revisit those statements and try to pick up the pieces? Many people reported that their retirement accounts were not as much as they anticipated and they would need to work for a longer amount of time.
How can we learn from the turmoil of the last few years? Are we ready for more risky investments or should we stay with small but practically guaranteed returns? Should we continue to be risk averse?
Normally it is a good time to buy when markets are down if there is going to be an upswing in the near future. Has the economy rebounded enough to start investing again?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brother John

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping
Brother John? Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing
Ding, dong, ding. Ding, dong, ding!

We all love baby, yes we do. Yes we do.
We all love baby, yes we do. Yes we do.
Baby is going to sleep now.
Baby is going to sleep now.
His belly's full. His belly's full.
His diaper's clean. His diaper's clean.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our 3 cribs

1st -over 15 years old
2nd -less than 10
3rd -unknown, 2nd hand

*all pass the soda can test for the bars

When you have three children under 3 more cribs become essential but how many do you actually need? Our two year old rolled over at a month in a half making her bassinet unsafe for her.

With our 1st child we had 1 crib and 1 bassinet. He slept overnight in the bassinet and took naps in his crib. The problem was where to put him during the day. Son 2 rec. his own crib which he stayed in until age three. Even though we had a convertible crib, he rec. a plastic toddler bed similar to his brother. That left an extra crib. Good thing that crib did not get purged since we are now in the market for a third crib.

Now we are the happy owners of 3 cribs, 1 of which is a convertible crib. I would estimate that we spent about $550 for all 3 cribs realizing that the 1st was passed down.

Conversion beds are helpful but not always practical. I doubt many children will want to admit that their college dorm bed has the bars from their crib as the headboard. I can see using a crib as a toddler bed but beyond that I think the child probably needs an upgrade.

Next step is to find some mattresses. One of the allergist's questions for my son was how old was his mattress. So I guess that is an item that is worth buying new or fairly new.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Switching to a Cash System

1) Spend existing dollars
2) Save more because you see the dollars leaving your hands
3) Do not need to worry about interest rates and finance charges increasing
4) Some stores offer discounts for paying with cash

Downsides for a cash system
1) Harder to track because a person needs to make an effort to track cash
2) Don't have the credit card warranties
3) Can't use cash for internet transactions
4) Need to visit the bank to obtain the cash

Compromise -Debit card for your bank
1) Most establishments accept debit cards
2) Should be easy to track the transactions
3) Same benefits as the cash system # 1 and 3

Downsides for using a debit card
1) Not recommended for internet transactions
2) Hotels put a hold on a significant amount of funds if you use at registration
3) Some point of purchase sales do not have the ability to put in a pin number
4) Using at a restaurant looks questionable because your pin # might need to be disclosed

Any tips on using debit cards?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back to Square 1

Our new mortgage needs to have a snowball payment otherwise we will not have our house paid off until 2038. Ouch! Ideally we could pay off our current mortgage in 10 years.
Here are the different choices.

This needs to be a substantial enough goal that we will be willing to make the payment each month. I found with our previous mortgage that the best way to do the snowball payment was automatic transfers in weekly installments for 52 weeks each year. This way there is no monthly decisions to make each month.

In the past, we have not been in favor of refinances. Closing costs were too substantial. I would rather see a large chunk of money like that go to pay down the principal.

The other item to look at to boast moral is how much interest will be saved by paying off early. Let's assume that 2026 would be the longest we would consider going on this loan.

Our amortization schedule from the mortgage company has the finance charge for a 30 year loan at $340,000.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Power of Technology

Many changes in technology affects communication. Teleconferences, web conferences, smaller and smaller cell phones, email, voice recognition, live video from around the world and from outer space. The internet brought the world to our fingertips. You can purchase or sell anything without leaving your home.

When the internet first starting coming into our homes I saw it as a threat to have misinformation too readily available and it stealing time from individuals. People need to be disciplined not let computer use overwhelm and take over their lives.

Can you get thru a church service, a meal or a trip to the grocery store without your cell phone ringing. Some people complain that their spouse is not really on vacation if the pager, cell phone and laptop are along for the trip.

Technology is a tool to improve our lives. We just need to balance this part of our life with everything else we need to do in our daily lives. Parents limit their children's tv usage to create well rounded children. Do we limit our technology use so we can help show the next generation that there is more to life than the internet and cell phones?

The Expansion of Pawn Shops

A pawn shop used to be a place where people put their items into hock and hoped that they would be able to redeem the items prior to a customer acquiring the items for themselves. People are foregoing the pawn shops and selling items on their own either thru yard sales, internet sales, trading items or bartering for good and services.

Buying 2nd hand is what the car industry calls pre owned. How many things in your home including your home are pre owned? For years we have had hand me down dining room tables and chairs. If it were a good set that would be considered an heirloom. In our home we have purchased a little furniture. The same pieces keep traveling around with us whether they fit in the space or not. My living room holds an O'Sullivan type entertainment center that has followed me to every home that I have lived in. Is it hard to say good bye to the pieces or is there some underlying memory such as my father put it together for me?

Do we hang onto things because of nostalgia or because of the person that gave us the items? If we sell or pawn items when they are newer we have a better chance at getting a higher value for the items. Does your child want a 6 year old bike or does he want his own? There is a toss up between buying new and buying slightly used.

Donating is a great alternative to selling items. Your items will get a 2nd life and you are helping someone else that needs the items.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Expectations vs. Reality of Selling a Home in a Recovering Economy

Approximately 10 houses in our neighborhood are for sale. The average price of the homes can be found on a few websites,,, and Unfortunately they do not show the true sales prices b/c sellers concessions are not deducted on these sites. Property tax documents can also show the most recent sales price.

history of the average sale price of homes on our street
end of 1970's 40K
mid 1980's 70K
end of 1980's 90K
mid 1990's 105K
2003 130K
2004 180K
2007/8 200K

The uptrend of these houses was significant. One real estate agent was surprised that I realized that I would not be able to sell for the 2007 prices. Inflated home prices take a toll on families' life styles when the homes are no longer worth the same or higher amounts. Was 2007 the peak of the real estate boom? What does that mean for families who bought on the upswing and are trying to sell now?
When we purchased our most recent home, the seller's agent mentioned that he has sellers that are bringing money to settlement. Sort of frightening. The home owners are paying money to be let out of their housing commitments.
Could the housing market slump have been predicted?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So How Do You Impulse Buy a Bedroom Set and Still Get a Good Deal?

1. Wake up in the morning and realize the air mattress isn't cutting it anymore.

2. See signs on the road advertising 50% off sale of mattresses.

3. See more signs on the return trip advertising a mattress sale.

4. Visit an empty showroom -void of customers.

5. Ask for discounts.
a) returned, unopened bed.
b) % off the frame.
c) Free delivery.

6. Sign on the dotted line.

7. Review the purchase.
a) Didn't pay full price.
b) Mattress was a need.
c) Wasted 1 hour tops.
d) Not free delivery but next day.
e) % off the frame.

8. Problems
a) Low expectation of keeping with original mental price for the bed.
b) Price shopping didn't happen.
c) Two people sleep on the bed; only one person shopping.

Last mattress shopping trip was 10 plus years ago. Recall paying $400 for a queen mattress, box spring and delivery. Expectations for a king was around $500. Paid just under $1000.

Interesting approach by a salesman when a couple was not ready to buy. It sounded more like a sales pitch for a car than a mattress. I think he even asked what was the reason for their financial restraints on the purchase.

Now back to the original problem. Signs were indicating 50% off mattresses. The selected mattresses that were for sale were too expensive even on sale.

I think my husband should go to another mattress store and try to get the best offer possible. Then we can compare and see if I got the best deal. In reality, this is a waste of time because the purchase is already made. Move on with life. This particular store has a price match plus 10% so it might be helpful.

Sometimes impulse buys work but you never know for sure if there was a better deal around the corner. You just need to be satisfied that it was the best deal that you could make at the time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Credit Card Spending

How Does Credit Card Spending Get Out of Hand?

1) Spend more than you make each month.
A. Don't spend more than you are able to pay off each month.

2) Credit cards allow you to pre spend your future paychecks.
A. Set a cap on your credit card spending each month.

3) High limits allow us to charge more than we should spend.
A. Be disciplined and set your own limits that you do not want to go above. Some banks have high spending emails for your credit cards that you can set up through your on line bank account.

4) Store credit cards normally have a higher interest rate than non-store credit cards.
A. Try not to use the store credit card if there is a possibility that you will not pay it off by the due date.

5) Carrying a balance.
A. Do not charge on a credit card if a past due amount is on the credit card.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reduce, Reduce, Reduce

When we are younger, we have small bank accounts and small areas to store things. When we get older, our bank accounts hopefully grow and our storage areas increase.

Our need to have possessions unfortunately can overwhelm us. Our computers are maxed out of space, our credit cards could be maxed out and our homes are maxed out. Did you ever feel calmer in a hotel room rather than your own home? Look around the hotel room. You have no work to do and no clutter to clean.

Now imagine your home / room how you want it. What do you need to accomplish that goal? If your stuff = headache, get rid of the stuff. What is your weakness? Retaining books, gifts received but not used, stationary, computer equipment or toys. If you went to the store, would you rebuy the items you have now?

As you reach the end of spring, take the time to let some things go. Whether it is the picture frame that needs repairing, the tv that is outdated or your favorite pillow that you already replaced.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Buyers Remorse

I don't have a lot of buyers remorse for items that I purchase. Upon cleaning out most of my receipts in my wallet I realized that part of my family and myself walked into or went to the drive thru at over 22 restaurants in February, March and April. How is that possible? Most were probably when we were out and needed to get something to eat.

I thought of another approach to cure the hungers or munchies. Rather than visit the restaurant, why not visit the grocery store. For $22, I purchased snacks for 16 people. The items were juice boxes, packages of peanut butter crackers and apple slices. You can also brown bag these items so the children feel like they are getting fast food.

Restaurants are expensive. Not to mention paying 15 to 20% on top of the already expensive meals. With a little planning and possibly research you can go to kids eat free places on the correct days and have bagged lunches ready to go for the entire family.

Incase any one is wondering the receipts for the restaurants totaled $300!

Effective Way to Prevent an Impulse Buy

Let's assume you were going to a department store for a certain list of items. You thought about what was in the store and composed your list. Something catches your eye. You resist. Something else catches your eye. Obviously we can't put blinders on in the store but that item is a need. You just did not know that you needed it prior to entering the store. That is the key. The item that you did not need prior to entering the store now you suddenly need.

Sometimes you will make the purchase and sometimes you won't. The rational that even though this item appears to be a need; you had no idea that you needed it prior to entering the store. "It is probably a want." Maybe you could adjust your list to fit it by not buying another item. If you do that you might not have really needed the other item if you were so ready to give up purchasing a listed item. So cross off that item and skip the want posing as a need.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saving for Something

If you are saving for something; do you tend to spend less?

Back in May 2005, we financed / leased two new automobiles. We were told to pay these off within 3 years (lease) and within 5 years (purchase). Soon after I found an article on doing snow ball payments. The idea was that within 7 1/2 years you could pay off all of your debts including your mortgage. We tightened our belt straps and started on our journey.

By applying 10% of our take home income per month to our shortest debt we paid off the lease portion on one car. Then we applied the extra 10% to our financed auto, plus the payment that we used to make to the lease company. By March 2007, we paid off our auto and rec. our title.

In most circles we would be considered debt free but I "still" consider a mortgage a debt. Our next step was to apply the 10%, lease payment and the car finance payment to the house.

May 2008 we needed to make another auto buying decision. The result was a used car and no financing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Needs vs. Wants vs. Emergencies

A lot of times we buy replacement items but how often do we actually buy an item before it is needed? A printer could be showing some signs of wear and it will soon find itself out at the curb. An air mattress could spring a leak and see a similar fate. Would you need to replace a printer and an air mattress right away? Possibly.

Does that turn a purchase into an emergency purchase? What happens when your purchase becomes an emergency? You may pay top dollar and you might not get the exact item that you want.

A friend's parents evaluated how long items were supposed to last and started shopping / researching before "the emergency" occurred.

Can you live without a printer, an air mattress or even a lamp until you have time to get the best deal? PREPARE before the emergency occurs.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How To Prevent Impulse Buys

1) stay at home
2) shop on a full stomach
3) bring a list
a) pair down the list prior to going into the store
4) write down all purchases when putting into a cart if going in for a couple of items (such as at a drug store)
5) write down the prices and add them up prior to going to the cash register
6) You have heard of trigger foods ... Do you have any trigger stores or malls where "stuff" just pops into your cart
7) price items at two or three places prior to making a significant purchase
8)set a dollar amount that you want to spend at the store or stores and reduce that by 5 or 10%
9) allow for a certain amount of impulse buys per trip
10)keep a list of things that you need; evaluate at a later date to see if you still need the items, add new items to the list and cross out items that you can do without
11) imagine a place in your house for the item
12) Do you really need the item or just want it?

Vacation Savings

While at an amusement park how can you save $ when you want to eat?
While at Marine Land in Canada, we bought our lunch from Wawa, 5 hot dogs, very large bottles of water and a snack. Then we ate at the picnic tables outside the park prior to going into the park.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Home Management / Division of Labor

I have heard that raising children is a labor of love. How would you define taking care of a home? There are many jobs that are involved with raising a family and taking care of a home. If we break the jobs down, define the tasks and put time estimates down will it make us more efficient or will we really see that yes we do need more than 24 hours in a day.

In an attempt to understand why our to do lists are still to do lists rather than completed tasks a breakdown of jobs may be helpful.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Savings Bonds That Have Matured

Caution Regarding Savings Bonds That Have Matured

EE and I savings bonds earn interest for 30 years. HH savings bonds earn interest for 20 years.
Please check prior to cashing in your savings bonds. Click on the get started link. You can also check when the next accrual period is on the bonds. You still may decide to cash the savings bonds in but try waiting until the next accrual period has passed.
An EE bond issued in 1984 for $50 (face value)would be worth over $90. The bond still accrues interest after the maturity date.

Blogs That I Read Has Been Updated

Hopefully I will be able to reconnect with Anjali's and The Life You Choose's new blogs. New blog added is Uncommon Threads.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ways to Obtain Money

1) Collect outstanding money
a) referral money on contracts such as home heating oil

2) Seek reimbursement from employer
a) professional fees
b) travel expenses

3) Check your safety deposit box
a) savings bonds that have matured

4) Bonuses
a) save the money for a rainy day rather than splurging

5) Credit Card Rewards Programs
a) opt for the statement credit rather than the product or gift card


7) Return items by the return date that you don’t want, can’t use or have buyer’s remorse

8) Sell used items to a 2nd hand store
a) books, toys, clothes, computer and audio equipment, dvds, cds

9) Cash in coins that you have been keeping

10) Find a way to bring in extra income
a) additional employment
b) trade services with people

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pet Peeves

1) H not reading emails that I send
2) Kids do not do housework
3) Don't have a chef
4) Snow exists on sidewalks, porchs and driveways
5) They do not make diapers backwards for the child that insists on lying on their stomach during diaper changes.
6) Home heating oil is expensive

Sunday, February 15, 2009

$50 Day

Plans for the Day

Lots of people plan the events of a day but do we really plan the $ cost of the day. Yesterday, I left the house with an event plan but not a spending plan.

-snacks for three $3

Library (free)
-ordered books, rented 3 DVDs, 2 games and 5 books

-fast food for three $12


So everything was spent on fuel (gasoline and food).

Happy V day!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

2nd Look at Monthly Expenses

Storage Unit $60

Savings for Tuition / Pool $120 a week (needs to increase)
Babysitting $200
Credit Cards $1900 (no financing) 2nd card $320 average
Church Donations $560
Mortgage $1200, $2000, $300 (interest and some principal)

Savings $40 a week (160)
Auto Insurance $200
Groceries $600
Electric / Gas -not clear on average yet

Cleaning (not currently)
Snowball payment
Water (in the process) -well water

ATM withdrawals $20

Pink or Blue Times 2!

God has blessed us with identical TWINS!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Food for Daughter

Today daughter ate cantaloupe, hard boiled egg with mustard and maynaise, raisins and crackers. Interesting breakfast!