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Archive for March, 2007

Pretty percents March

March 29th, 2007 at 11:50 am

Pretty Percents:

46% Need
28% Debt payment (extra car)
13% Wants
11% Savings

Looks kinda cool due to the extra weeks income! (BTW the remaining 3% is sitting in the bank as cushion still)

Lessons learned this month:

1. Yes I can put back things when I am over budget, even if the money is in the account should I feel like using it, just not enough things ...working on it.

2. Forgetting a phone and failing to call for a grocery list may result in spending less money (I cook he shops...under budget on food by 80$)

3. Lowering the heat may not result in low enough gas bills, that hot shower may have to be shortened...next winter.

4. Yes we can stay out of stores if I plan well....and are willing to suffer through lima beans and spinach for almost a week!


Next month:
Plan even better on groceries, and stay under budget for 'misc.'.

Expected 'Misc'....umm....none....so why do we always spend so much!

Though I do foresee some trouble with food as it is my sons birthday and Easter.

Lunch off the floor

March 27th, 2007 at 07:06 pm

Today for lunch we had, as usual, leftovers to nuke.

After hands were washed, kids were seated and oh so patiently waiting, I opened the door of the microwave and pulled out the container... and then watched it fall to the floor. OOPS

As noodles and broccoli crashed to the floor covering 3 square feet in a saucy sticky mess, I actually thought, cool.

No not that the leftovers were that bad, actually they were good. But it is cool that we can afford to replace the meal. I simply scraped the food up into a pile, and put it aside while talking to the kids about replacements.

We had alternatives, from waiting 20 minutes for mac N cheese, to nuking those easy macs the Grandparents sent, to whipping up a batch of spaghetti or beans, we had options.

Given the state of hunger we went with super fast nuking a veggie and making PBnoJ. But isn't it amazing, I didn't have to feed them food from the floor to prevent starvation, and we am not looking at starvation later in the week to make up for a lost meal. We just had a couple sniffles over the lost food, and a wonderful discussion over how blessed we are to afford enough food to make up for a clumsy momma, and moved on.....

We learned a wonderful lesson from our lunch off the floor, but I don't plan on repeating it anytime soon!

retirement

March 24th, 2007 at 10:09 pm

http://www.dinkytown.com/java/RetirementPlan.html

This nifty calculator says we will be fine If we up our 401K by just a bit and...if Social security holds out...

I don't really want to rely on that.

But we do plan on upping the 401K contribution next year, so if we do that each year, and then pass the current need we aught to be ok...except for that social security thing....

But regardless it is a far cry from the last http://princessperky.savingadvice.com/2007/01/23/139-retirem...

I actually have hope of not needing my kids to support us, or of having to work at age 90 Smile (though in case I haven't mentioned it when the kids leave, I plan on getting a part time job teaching or something..because I would be so bored without!)

Date :)

March 24th, 2007 at 07:03 pm

We had our date! we spent ALL the date money..we splurged, we were not frugal...and it felt wonderful to know I was not spending milk money, though I do admit a twinge of conscience that I aught to save some of it to pay off the car..but..only a twinge Smile

Not planning on spending that much again, but we are planning on going out again, maybe in a month or two.

I did spend a few minutes thinking how amazingly different this year is from last. Last year at this time I also received gift money for my birthday...But we did not go out and splurge, we spent a little bit and the rest went to extra groceries.. This year we had leftover Christmas money, that wasn't needed for groceries, combined with my birthday I had enough money to spend a wonderful evening and no I didn't drink water! I do like water, (no ice with lemon please) but sometimes I like something different, (glass of wine) and in general I feel I cannot spend the money on wine, when I could get it at home for 5$ a bottle vs 5$ a glass (yeah cheap wine, really I can be a pretty cheap date)

Last night, I felt free to spend every last penny (that was budgeted), on the wine in the fancy glass that I didn't have to wash..and the water kept being refilled again no glass to wash (I dirtied two glasses!)

Anyway, just grateful for the wonderful change in finances, and grateful for the chance to know need so I can delight in plenty....I know that seems weird, but if I started rich I wouldn't be so grateful! (Nor would I think 35K a year was rich Smile.)

pictures

March 22nd, 2007 at 05:26 pm

Just placing pictures

on a side note..can you see my page? (on right says 'bio'

thats where the pictures went btw (one of each kid)

Garage is done!

March 22nd, 2007 at 05:15 pm

Well sorta, all my work is done, two trips to the recycle center, one more in line and room to walk around the car when parked. Not the passenger side, but the driver side is no longer an athletic feat to get in...I think, car is not in the garage right now. But it looks better.

Of course all spring cleaning in my house comes with a need to purchase 'stuff'

In this case an S hook for two bikes (bitty bikes, so cute and short!) plus some brackets to hang shelves (we have the shelves) plus some looooong nails to make a 'table' to hold the lawn mower out of the way...weird to say that, but we have a ledge around the garage, if the mower is on the ledge the car fits, if not....it doesn't, so we have to get it a bit up off the floor...with a handy dandy plywood found in a dump while they were building a house (sticking out the top, no workers lunch or anything yucking it up..)

umm, oh yeah and some hooks for the bike helmets....

I think that is it...And well there is this guy who does home stuff we know who gave us wall paper...I wonder if he ever has odd hooks laying around he wants to get rid of too? I have to figure out how to ask without sounding like I am err asking for stuff...yeah that'll work.

Oh yeah! and we are NOT going to PA, update on father in law he is doing better, and home so we figure he needs rest without rug rats still open to going later if need be, but not tonight (nor tomorrow, date is still on!). Thanks for all the well wishes!

Who signed us up for this anyway?

March 22nd, 2007 at 09:41 am

We are doing a new book in Sunday school, or planning on it anyway, the book plus workbook costs $13 or you can get the book used and buy the workbook for 3$, personally I would rather neither, but then I am cheap.

So we found the book used and offered to help others find it that way to, we agreed to go buy 5 copies. Now the chances of finding a copy of most books online used and cheap is good, the chances of finding 5? not so great.

So far we have 4 coming and one with 'some writing' we figure we will take that one and hope it is a person who took good notes. My husband did all the work and reminded me that we go to a church full of people making double triple or even quadruple our 35K salary..each...and most of them are dual income families...for the most part they think $13 is a fine price for a book.....I am not sure they want a used book...but they did agree to try it.

Either we will make a convert or two or we will convince them never to touch a used book again.

And btw this means I do not have to write the book down as 'bought new' Smile Or those other 4 books we had to get while we were there....(what your k, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grader needs to know - got tired of renewing them from the library, and the 2nd and 3rd grade book will be used for all 3 kids, the others for 2, seemed reasonable)

Hah! I am not the only one doing it!

March 21st, 2007 at 07:35 pm

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/4647608.html

Though I am not obsessed..course it isn't my exact name (my last name is shared by an author who wrote a book about a character with my first name)

Now my user name..the hits it gets ... that irritates me Smile silly I know, but can't help it Smile My only saving grace is some are actually me Smile ain't I special....Smile

Possible trip to PA....

March 21st, 2007 at 09:51 am

My father in law is in the hospital again and we may go to pa to visit, will use the date money for it..so no big financial hit, but...no date.

Planning on packing english muffins, some treats that were given to us, and some fruit/nuts. that plus water and some peanut butter should keep the food costs to about what I have saved for our date. I also am figuring on baking before we leave some muffins, maybe cookies (for him) and cheap eating out.

Now gas isn't cheap, so I am not sure if that will come in under budget, plus we plan on paying our babysitter at least half her fee since she reserved the night for us...could be out making money (and better money, we are cheap) if she wasn't on hold for us. Not fair to give her nothing.

Waiting on more news from the in laws before we pack, but either way, it sure is nice to know we can go if need be. No cancellations, husband already worked his 40 hours, so not missing work, no meetings or important work that must be done...and my kids wont miss any education at all Smile. (not to mention will gain a great deal of insight what kinds of things we do for family)

Oh and btw my father is better, came to visit and everything, not too sure on the details, but glad he is healthy again.

Calories and work outs, and diets oh my, or why you need the net to lose weight.

March 20th, 2007 at 06:25 pm

So in my recent attempt to lose weight without the benefit of nursing I discovered lots off odd facts.

1. I eat a lot..ok I knew that, but really I eat a lot! (over 2000 calories when I am being healthy)

2. the 1500 calorie rule of thumb is HARD! and I am having no luck at it at all, not even a smidgen.

3. It takes 3500 calories burned to lose one pound! http://www.stevenscreek.com/goodies/calories.cgi

4. I burn 2202 - 2500 calories in a normal day (now today was not a normal day I was burning way more!) (info from same site)

Now to take that information and figure out how to lose weight without feeling super deprived....

Taking 3500cal/7 =500 less per day to lose one lb a week.

average 2200 and 2500 = 2350

take 2350 - 500 = 1850

So if I do nothing more than my housework I can eat up to 1850 and still expect to lose a pound a week....if I do something really strenuous and burn at least 150 calories I can eat up to 2000 and still lose weight.

That I can manage, I think.
See the internet is a wonderful resource!

How much a day???????

March 19th, 2007 at 07:47 pm

In general we eat cheap, but healthy, and I like it that way, for one thing I don't feel bad about ruining cheap food (never said I was a good cook) and for another thing, well even lousy tasting food at least has that 'it is good for you' line to help you force it down.

so after reading http://hungryforamonth.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_archive.html (thanks lux for the link)
I decided to see just how much we are spending on food a day...

Suppose I spent my whole budget:

$500/month * 12months = $6000 (year)
$6000/365days = $16.44/day
$16.44/day/5 people=$3.29/day/person

hmmm I am not sure what that means, other than we are rich compared to a whole lot of the world........

I searched to find the average cost to feed a family and while I discovered America http://dieoff.org/page40.htm
and that you can make a small batch of [url=http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2007/03/iron-chef-moms-ch... (small batch because there is no way that would feed my family!)

It took much longer to find the http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodPlansCostofFood-CostOfFoodA...

And for that my family should spend $685.70.....(for a low cost plan)....which is $4.50 a day. (thrifty is $4.09 a day)

And begs the question..just how does the USDA come up with those numbers? And why does it say women cost less to feed? Am I the only girl who eats just as much as my man? And why does it say a 2 year old costs less than a one year old? And just how much does it really cost to feed a family healthy? There is no way I would feed myself or my kids on white pasta and white rice....and not much else.

Quickies

March 18th, 2007 at 05:38 pm

* Apparently I need to make sure my house has eves to save money http://www.startribune.com/417/story/1056684.html

*Boy scouts of America is price gouging! They have to be to charge 54$ for a shirt you only wear once in a blue moon! No we didn't buy one, but our oldest is going to be a Tiger scout and we will not be buying one! The club leader on the other hand bought one. and wasn't to happy with the price.

* Only 5 more days till our date!

* I recommend avoiding the AAA driving school here in Charlotte, we passed a car today with the nice 'student driver' sign and a smoking cell phone talking driver...not the example I want for my teen!

life altering loot

March 17th, 2007 at 09:35 pm

While I really don't know how much it would take I do know that I would use some of a large sum for a house..not my house, my dream house.

Wanna see it? as of march 17th 2007:

The first floor:


The legend in case you can't tell what my goofy stuff means.


The second floor


Not perfect, and I got lazy on windows, but there it is, the house I would like to own.....

Net worth

March 17th, 2007 at 06:29 pm

On the forums they posted a link to Scott burns article on Dallas morning news about net worth, I decided to see how we stack up.

net worth assets minus debts..well the debt is the house and the car, and that is worth more than the amount owed..so the total has to be positive right?
I wouldn't know where to start on the rest of the 'stuff' so I will rest content in knowing so long as I borrow no more, and keep said house and car it is positive.

To see how it changed I would have to look for old CC bills for last year, how about I be content that had to go up, as last year started negative. (owned less house, owed more CC)

categories...there is the 401K (how grown up of us Smile.)and the mini EF, and the house plus stuff, ....Umm yeah, rough guess of 15% stuff..not so terrible, but higher stuff than financial (10%).

home equity percentage....75% house....yeah not anywhere close to his 40% recommendation.....

Debt up or down...guess it has to be lower.

consumer interestumm I projected the interest for the car for 2007...if I am doing it right...1K in interest...which is 3% interest...so less than his 4% recommendation. Finally we got one right!

Now I know, and knowing is half the battle Smile

Course what to do about too much house...well nothing right now, we want to pay off the car first (etpo* end of 2008), then we want to pay off the house (etpo...2030 in time for the merge with Canada**), then and only then will I aggressively work on net worth.

*Estimated Time of Pay Off
** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadowrun_timeline "# Oct 15: Act of Union signed in Washington D.C., Canada and the US merge into the UCAS." yeah sorry the date stuck in my head from the teen years..had to google it when I realized the etpo for the house