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Archive for November, 2006

Spending for 11/29/06

November 30th, 2006 at 09:51 am

We ended up not getting groceries last night as planned. I'll need to get them today. So since I hadn't planned on making dinner there was nothing defrosted so we took the money we would have used for our dinner out and instead got cheeseburgers and fries from the sub shop in town.

Dinner= $14.25


November 30th, 2006 at 01:08 am

After reading a bit about Vanguard's Target Retirement Funds I decided to roll over my SEP IRA to Vanguard's 2030 Fund. It's a lot more aggressive than the plan I have and I just haven't been happy with the way my plan has been performing. So I registered online, printed the papers and will get them finalized and in the mail in the next couple of days.

I also was able to add $5 to my challenge money today. As soon as I returned from my delivery trip I logged onto Emigrant's site and set up the transfer.

The balance in my change box is growing. I'm finally over $5!

I'm reading an excellent book right now (well, actually listening to it on CD as I travel). It's The Memory Keeper's Daugher by Kim Edwards. It's her first novel and it's excellent! I highly recommend it.

On the Road Again

November 29th, 2006 at 11:46 am

Exercise= 1 mile walk with weights

Today is another opportunity to earn $5 for my challenge. PB&J is already in my work bag along with some Combos. I'll add an apple and I should be all set for lunch and not need anything else. This delivery is the longest one on my rotation and the worst roads. I'm glad to get it done before the snow hits.

Tonight is also grocery shopping night. I need to figure out how much money we have for groceries. I'm finding that with putting it on the cash-back credit card it's making it harder to keep track of what we've spent. But I will figure that out before we go.

I called yesterday and answered some questions about DH's term insurance application, so hopefully that will speed them on to a decision soon so we can cash in the whole life policies.

11/28/06 Spending

November 29th, 2006 at 10:37 am

Spending for the day:

$242.23 for mortgage #2
$90.87 for new glass for the front of our coal stove. DH put it on the CC.

Made My First Deposit!

November 28th, 2006 at 06:52 pm

I made my first addition to my $20 Challenge today. I decided that it would be most motivating and least confusing to make each $5 deposit as I do each trip. So since I did a delivery yesterday and stuck to my plan to pack lunch and not buy it, I did a $5 transfer from my checking account to my Emigrant account this afternoon.

I'm finding this is working in more ways than one. Usually I dread my delivery days, just because I'm the indoors type and love to be in the office doing bookkeeping work rather than on the road delivering books.

Well, now that I know I get "paid" each time I do a delivery I'm looking forward to them! LOL! I get to do another tomorrow, so I'll be even richer!

First Challenge Payment

November 28th, 2006 at 10:30 am

Exercise= 1 mile walk

Tomorrow I should get my check from my bookkeeping job which will be the funding for the $20 Challenge. I owe myself $5 for my trip yesterday since I packed pb&j, chips, and an apple and did not buy my lunch while out delivering.

I'm still debating on what the best way to handle this will be. I need to have some cash in my purse for incidentals that might come up so I may give myself an allowance weekly while keeping the rest in the checking account and then transferring to Emigrant as the money is earned for the challenge.

Today I will pay mortgage #2 and it will take $27.34 off the balance. Not much when you're paying over $240! But at least it's a bit on the road to financial freedom!

Spending for 11/27/06

November 28th, 2006 at 10:16 am

Dollar General= $3.18 for new shower curtain liner
Phone bill= $48.66
Grocery Store= $6.36 for 2 6-packs of Dr. Pepper for my trips for work

Total= $58.20

A Very Heavy Heart

November 27th, 2006 at 11:24 am

I mentioned yesterday that it was going to be a hard day for DH and I. It really was. We came home from the almost 8-hour meeting and DH is very hurt. I don't know what to do to help him through this other than to show my support in any way I can. I am glad that today is a delivery day for me and that it is a long trip so I have time to process some things.

And speaking of's my chance to add money to my $20 challenge. I intend to pack a pb&j and see what else I can take along with me to eat so that I won't buy my lunch. My main challenge today is to find a beverage to take though. If I drink water while traveling, I need to take too many bathroom breaks, and where I go there isn't always that opportunity. If I drink soft drinks I do not have that problem because they tend to dehydrate me.

Maybe the solution is to stop at a store and buy soft drinks in a pack and then challenge myself to keep them at work and only drink them on my trips. That sounds like a pretty good plan, actually!

I see that my class software is finally working again. I guess that means that for the next 2 nights I'll be spending my evenings trying to get the homework done on time. How frustrating to have had the past 4 days to work on it and not be able to!

11/26/06 Spending

November 27th, 2006 at 11:16 am

Spending for Sunday amounted to:

$43.98 for some things that DD needed on her way back to college

$18.66 to fill up the car


November 26th, 2006 at 02:21 pm

I decided to take my $20 Challenge money and open an EmigrantDirect account. I will fund this account with any money that I save on this challenge. I don't know if I'll deposit weekly or monthly. It probably depends on how many deliveries I get done and they quite often depend on the weather and how busy we are at the office.

Now I'll be looking forward to my deliveries since I know they'll be earning me extra money!

Back to Normal

November 26th, 2006 at 12:47 pm

The 2 college kids go back to campus today. It will seem empty for a few days with only the other 3 left. But they'll be back in a few weeks for winter break. DS#1 will be home almost a month so he'll go back to work at his grocery store job. DD#1 only has a week off. She still has not been able to find a job, so isn't sure how next semester will be financed.

Don't want to go into details, but today is going to be a very hard day for DH and I. Nothing to do with the kids. This is concerning our church. I don't know what the outcome will be, but I'm not looking forward to it at all.

This morning I set up our electric bill for online paying. So now I can keep the $151 in my checking for a few more days. If I were to pay it by mail I would be mailing it out on Monday, but now I'll wait until 5 days before it's due to pay it on-line. So I edited the bill in Quicken to remind me again in 5 days that it's due.

I am trying to set each of our utility bills up to pay on-line. Some are easier to do than others.

Spending for 11/25/06

November 26th, 2006 at 12:19 pm

Dollar General: $35.31

Needed some basic essentials and a few food items.

My $20 Challenge

November 25th, 2006 at 08:28 pm

I know, I'm really late at starting the $20 Challenge as it's almost the end of the year. But, I was thinking today of ways that I can save extra money that is spent on things that are trivial.

So my challenge to myself is to save the money that I would spend each time I do a delivery for my job on lunch. I will try to pack my lunch more and not stop along the way and buy things. This is going to be challenging because it will probably mean a lot of pb&j. I do 17 deliveries every quarter so if I pay myself $5 for every trip that will be $340 a year.

I have set a goal of saving $500 by the end of next year.


November 25th, 2006 at 12:47 pm

It's going to be a very expensive winter break for us. 3 of the kids will need eye exams for glasses. Both of the college kids need new glasses desperately and DS#3 thinks he will need to begin wearing them.

I really would like to get DS#1 glasses soon because he needs them the most. He'll be home for almost a month starting the middle of December, so that shouldn't be a problem. I just hate to make him wait until then. I had thought of taking him to the Walmart here and seeing if they could have the glasses shipped out to the Walmart near his college, but that seems like it would be complicated and prone to problems. I guess he's gone this long without them, that another few weeks won't make a big difference.

This is all going to shoot my medical budget to pieces.

Accounting Class frustrations

November 25th, 2006 at 12:35 pm

I had all day yesterday to work on my accounting 2 homework. It's due on Wednesday and it would have been great to get it done early. Went to the homework site and it wouldn't log me in! I tried off and on all day and then tried on my parents' computer, thinking maybe it was a problem with mine. Nope.

I haven't tried it yet today, but I sure hope it's up and running. I still have almost half of it to do and I'm not the type that waits until the last minute. The sooner I can get it done, the better.

New Debt Reduction Plan

November 24th, 2006 at 02:07 pm

I redid my Quicken debt planner the other day and took out the mortgages so that I could see how long it would take us to be debt-free minus the mortgage. I thought if I broke it all down into a smaller goal that would help keep me on track since it would be a shorter time frame.

The results were:

- all bills but mortgages paid off in Feb. 2010
- $4,125.98 saved in interest
- CC#1 paid off in Feb. 2007
- CC#2 paid off in Sept. 2008
- furniture paid off in March 2009
- car paid for in Feb. 2010 (2 years and 1 month ahead of payment schedule)

Hopefully, it won't take as long since I didn't add in the extra money that I know will be coming in that I plan on using to make extra payments. And in January I'll be adding more to the payments out of my raise also.

Bills for Today

November 24th, 2006 at 02:00 pm

Just paid the bills for the day. They were:

Water & sewage: $46.50
Cable & internet: $54.58

I'm hoping the rest of the day is a no-spend day.

It Pays to Clean!

November 23rd, 2006 at 03:01 pm

I noticed this morning that it was pretty dusty behind the freezer so I moved it out to clean and was rewarded with 15 cents to add to my change box!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23rd, 2006 at 01:03 pm

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We are going to my parents' house. My brother, his wife, and daughter are here from Indiana. We usually only get to see them at Thanksgiving time.

They adopted their daugher from Estonia a few years ago. She is an only child and really enjoys getting together with her 7 cousins. I think she was so used to being in an orphange and surrounded by other children that she gets lonely. So I'm sure that she'll enjoy the full house today.

11/22/06 Spending

November 23rd, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Spending for the day:

Tithe: $80
Angel Food for next month: $41.00
Life Insurance: $58.75

We haven't gotten a final decision on our term insurance yet, so I have to keep paying the whole life. I got a notice saying that my paperwork had all been received. My husband got a call from the paramedic that he needed to sign another form and they met at work last week and did that. So until the final policies are in my hands, I keep paying the whole life.

I also spent about $3.00 for lunch yesterday while traveling for my job. I sure wish a monthly food allowance was available. That's what most of my pocket money goes toward unless I take a pb&j with me 3 or 4 times a week.

Oh, the Laundry!

November 22nd, 2006 at 11:39 am

I now wish I had taken a vacation day for today just so I could get the laundry done that college DS and DD brought home! My tiny little bathroom is flooded with piles of it at the moment. I did 2 loads when we got home last night but I'll bet there are at least 5 (probably more) loads still to do! You can barely walk through to get to the washer.

So I know what my evening will be spent doing. Not that I mind much. Since we got the new washer it's been heaven to put the clothes in and then not have to go sit on it every time it spins. Of course I don't get as much reading done now either though. LOL!

Spending for 11/21/06

November 22nd, 2006 at 11:28 am

Well, the trip didn't cost us too much yesterday. We filled up at BJ's on the way out and on the way back and had dinner at the Country Buffet before leaving Erie.

Total cost:


I just hate paying for a buffet because I never eat my money's worth of food.

Bringing Home the Kids!

November 21st, 2006 at 10:31 am

We're leaving at noon today to pick up our son and daughter from their colleges. DD#1 is only about an hour away while DS#1 is a little over 2. Thank goodness they're in the same general direction though! When DS#2 goes in a couple of years, he'll be in the opposite direction if he goes where he's looking now.

So this will mean spending money. I need to fill the car up at BJ's on our way out. Then we will be having dinner before we head back home also. I'm hoping that will be the extent of the spending for today though.

Of course, it will mean more laundry being done this weekend and more mouths to feed too!

Another Act of Kindness

November 20th, 2006 at 11:57 pm

My librarian friend received another gift today. I just happened to be going by her library today so I stopped and dropped it off and she had tears in her eyes.

She told me that she has been weepy at the thought of the kindness of those who probably will never meet her. She told me to pass along to you all her sincere thanks and gratitude.

You all have made her holiday seasons much brighter. I don't think she can even express how much this means to her. Or to me also for that matter.

What a great group of people here!

Good-Bye Cho Brothers

November 20th, 2006 at 12:17 pm

Aww...a sad night on Amazing Race. The Cho brothers were eliminated. I have been rooting for them from the beginning. Just a nice couple of guys who possess manners, loyalty and respect. Sad to see them go.

Now who the heck do I root for???

Paying the Gas Bill

November 20th, 2006 at 10:17 am

First off, exercise: 1 mile walk. Didn't get to exercise on Thursday or Friday. DS#3 had early morning basketball practice and I had to get him up at 4:45 both mornings. I hope that doesn't happen too often.

Quicken tells me that the gas bill needs to be sent out today. So $83 will be going to that. This is our first month back on the budget plan. Could be much worse. Before we had the wood pellet stove we were paying $189 a month, all year long! And that was back before the price for natural gas skyrocketed! This is a big house and since most of it had no insulation back then it was very hard to heat.

The kitchen addition still isn't done, so the coal stove hasn't been started yet to keep that heated. But we can already feel a difference in that room with just having those 2 walls insulated. The kitchen has always been the coldest room in the house.

Today's other spending will probably be for lunch. Today is a day on the road for me. I have to meet with the Workman's Comp auditor at 9 so he can audit the books of the library that I do the bookkeeping for. Then I have to take our Jeep we use for work to the garage so it can get the rear axle shafts replaced. That is just unbelievable to me. This is a brand new Jeep Liberty with 2,000 miles on it and it needs the rear axle shafts replaced already???

Spending for Sunday 11/19/06:

November 19th, 2006 at 09:12 pm

Today's spending was just an online order for my meds. Copay for 3 months worth of blood pressure and thyroid medicine came to $57.34.

My Thoughts on Angel Food Ministries

November 18th, 2006 at 08:52 pm

My son and I went and picked up the food we had paid for through the Angel Food Ministries today. I'm fairly happy with what we received. There was no line to stand in at all. We were in and out in 2 minutes tops. It was a 10 minute drive, so all in all I think it was well worth it.

We got quite a variety of groceries and it really helped fill up our freezer, which had gotten pretty bare. They really do give you quite a bit of frozen food.

At first, the amounts you get looked little to me but then I had to remind myself that I was used to shopping at BJ's and also shopping for 7. For a smaller family or couple this would look normal.

I had held off paying to get next month's food but now I think I will go ahead and order it.

Spending for 11/18/06

November 18th, 2006 at 08:48 pm

My spending today consisted of things to treat my medical problem:

Dollar General= $2.12
IGA= $3.92

Reply to Joe W

November 18th, 2006 at 04:57 pm

Quote from a comment on my blog entry thanking those that helped my friend:

"Why not forego your tithing of $130 a month to your church and give it directly to your friend in need? I always thought you tithed to your church so that money could be used to help those less fortunate in the flock or yourself if you came down on hard times."

I am a bit offended by this. Maybe I'm reading it the wrong way, but I feel the commenter is judging me.

Let me tell you why I tithe to my church. Our church is a very small church, average of about 30 adults right now. It is going through hard times and we are just barely keeping the doors open. If I didn't tithe to the church they wouldn't be able to pay the bills on time. Also, as an elder's wife, what kind of an example would it be for me not to support my own church?

The church does have a benevolent fund with which we help out those in our own church and community who are in need. Just last month we supplied a family with groceries whose husband is not able to work because of health problems. My librarian friend is not in our community, but in another town. I did not ask the church to dip into what is left of the benevolent fund because of that. I have talked to individuals in the church who are willing to help her, but have not approached the church itself.

I did not post about my friend here with the thought that anyone here would offer to help. I posted about her in hopes that it would make each of us aware of how greatly we are blessed, even though we take it for granted. I was more than shocked when people wanted to send things to help her out. After all, I was pretty new here myself, and no one had any idea if I was trustworthy or not.

I don't usually take offense easily, and certainly don't usually stand up for myself. But I guess the judgmental and accusatory tone I read in the comment just set me off. I'm sorry if I have misread your intention.

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