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Archive for August, 2007

I passed!

August 28th, 2007 at 04:21 pm

I passed my driver's test with no mistakes this time. Whew! Spent $20 for the license, then $30 for vehicle inspection. I think I'm official now.

I also spent $10 on lithium batteries while I was shopping with my cousin. She, in comparison, bought three lamps and four sets of blinds. In all fairness, though, one of the lamps was for my area of the house. She insisted! She is very generous. Yesterday some handymen came and put up a split rail fence around the driveway. They charged $300 and she gave them $325. That's just the way she is. Sometimes I wish I had the money to be that way, but I have to settle for watching my pennies!

I'm a flunkee

August 26th, 2007 at 07:58 am

Well, on Friday I decided to take care of the last step in getting Carolina-ized. I went to get my driver's license and license plates.

It turns out that, unlike Indiana, you have to go to two separate locations -- and, in fact, a private subcontractor actually supplies the plates! I went there first, and paid $223, most of which were one-time fees. I had to pay $5 of it in cash for the notary, which caught me off-guard. I did have $5 in cash, just barely, but had to pay most of it in change! Glad I had a lot of it!

With plate in hand, I then set out to find the driver's license bureau. Luckily, I made a stop at Mickey D's first ($4.85) because I sat at the bureau for two and a half hours! I actually had to put my name on a list to wait to GET A NUMBER! It was so overcrowded and over-regimented that I couldn't even ask anyone what I needed to do. Turns out I had to take a "written" test (on computer), which I FLUNKED because I didn't have the book to study! I know very well how to drive, but I don't know the little ins and outs of NC laws, so I missed 6 questions. Had I missed only 5 I would have passed. So I get to go back and take the test again on Monday. I will be there at 8 a.m. this time, and I hope they let me go straight to the test-taking!

This is so annoying! I kept telling everyone I was really good at Jeopardy, but no one seemed amused.

Back from vacation

August 20th, 2007 at 10:35 am

I'm back from my swing through the Midwest. My sister and I went to a family reunion in Michigan; then after she went home I visited my son, grandson and friends in Indiana. I was gone about 10 days and overall had a great time. Looks like it cost about $410, which includes food, gas and some hotel stays.

Now it's time to buckle down on finances! I'm going to try to get through the rest of the month on as little as possible. Should be not too hard, as there are only 11 days left in the month!

Errand Day

August 6th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Now that I'm retired, Monday is my new errand day. So much less stressful than Saturday!

I went to the post office and bought stamps ($8.20), went to the library and checked out four books (one of which is John Middleton's "Detox Your Finances" -- which I'll review for you guys), went to Animal Supply House and bought cat food ($14.10), and got gas ($10.05).

My only "deal" was using a $2 coupon on the cat food. Also, I am topping off the tank whenever gas prices are lower than the last time I filled up -- so I bought gas even though I was only a quarter down. Gas was $2.72 a gallon. I hope it goes lower yet.

On Thursday I am heading out on another trip, this time to Michigan for a family reunion. I'll be driving with my sister, and her son has already offered to pay our hotel bill as an early Christmas present! Woo-hoo!

In other news, my son sold his house in Kansas City, so they are now in packing mode. I feel for them! Just having moved myself, I know what a hassle it is. But I'm so glad they'll be in Chicago -- they will be much more centrally located in terms of family.

July Recap

August 3rd, 2007 at 03:55 pm

July was quite a month for me. My move was completed in June, but July brought many transition expenses.

After paying off all my credit cards in June, I still had bills trickling in for final payments, which totaled $98. Likewise, last utility payments came to $138.

Vet bills came to $555, and included microchipping my cat, getting his teeth worked on, and a big supply of Rimadyl for my dog's arthritis.

I bought a new headboard for my bed, and many small items such as a laundry sorter, shoe rack, and drawer organizers. I also ended up buying a new TV/DVD player and a stand. All told, I spent $488 on furniture & equipment.

My really big bill was for health/medical. I spent $2352, most of which was my insurance premium for the rest of the year. I also filled a prescription for about $25.

I took a vacation in Kansas City with my kids. It was $448 for airfare and food.

I paid $526 to settle up my homeowner's insurance, which had been bundled with my mortgage payment.

My other expenses were pretty normal. $70 for gifts, $26 for eating out, $26 for gas, $58 for household supplies & miscellaneous, $17 for a haircut and personal items, $32 for entertainment (Netflix, a movie, books), $31 to get my oil changed.

All told I spent $4865! Way more than usual, and my income is less! But this month will be more normal and I'll get a more realistic picture.

Oh, and I had a grand total of 3 no-spend days. That will change this month, too.

I am proud to report that I spent only $315 of my cousin's $$ for groceries. My goal was to come in less than $400. She was previously spending $5-600 just on herself. I hope she isn't feeling too deprived -- in my opinion we have had some wonderful meals, but I'm sure my frugal ways have been a shock to her. She was pleased with the cost, though!