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Archive for June, 2008

Garage Sale Over

July 1st, 2008 at 02:01 am

My garage sale was held on Saturday. After subtracting the cost of the ad, it cleared about $135. My personal take was about $75. I bought dinner for my helpers, which was about $28. So I made about $47. That was a lot of work for $47, and leaves me wondering if it is worth it to do it again. Granted, it was my choice to buy dinner, but still. Right now I feel like using Freecycle and donating to Goodwill is a better way to deal with extra stuff. Certainly less stressful.

I put the paper money I earned in savings, but the bank wouldn't accept my coins unless they were rolled. That surprised me -- I am used to a bank with a coin counter, like Coinstar. So rolling them will be tomorrow's project.

Dinner & a play -- free????

June 23rd, 2008 at 01:55 pm

Well, yesterday I reported that I was going to a dinner and a play. What I didn't know was that both were going to be paid for! I am both blown away and somewhat disquieted by my family's generosity. I am so used to struggling on my own that it takes me aback when someone pays my way. I wonder, how can I reciprocate? Do I now have an obligation to make a similar gesture? I know it probably sounds ungrateful, but I would rather go Dutch, so that all the rules and expectations are clear. Does anyone else struggle with these issues?

That said, we did have a wonderful time. The play was excellent, even though musical comedy is not my favorite. And dinner was at a very homey German restaurant, where we all got to sample the various dishes -- and they were all good!

Today I'm going to make a casserole for the cousin who did most of the treating. I also plan to do some work on the garage sale, which will be this Saturday. I have to put together a clothing rack (which has been sitting in the basement -- didn't buy it for the sale). I also need to take a final sweep through the house and then start putting labels on.

A nice weekend

June 22nd, 2008 at 03:21 pm

I went out for breakfast at Waffle House yesterday, spending only $7, including tip. And it was a pretty darn good breakfast.

Afterwards I went to an antique sidewalk sale downtown with my sister and a friend. Had a great time looking, but did not buy anything. Was not even really tempted.

Today a bunch of us are going to see "Meet Me in St. Louis" at a local playhouse, then perhaps go out to dinner, so there will be some cost there.

I got my bill from Urgent Care for a respiratory infection I had back in April. Only $27 -- my insurance is finally paying off.

Update and news on my urban children

June 20th, 2008 at 02:16 am

Went to Wal-Mart today and spent about $30 on vitamins, supplements, and personal items.

I upgraded my Netflix account to get one movie at a time, rather than 2 a month. They charged me $2.36 for the rest of this month, and it will be $7.99 from now on. Should be a better value, as I can go through movies fast!

My son has successfully bid on a condo in Chicago. He sent me beautiful pictures. I'm so happy for him! He and his wife and son have been living with my ex's family for about a year. He had been promoted and transferred from Kansas City to Chicago, but lost a chunk of money on a house they owned for only one year -- so moving in with Dad was a financial necessity. But he did what he needed to -- paid off his debts, saved for a down payment, and now they're on their way! My other son recently moved to the city, too, so they're going to have some fun. I'll be visiting them both next month.

I've been sick

June 17th, 2008 at 11:18 am

I've been out of action for a while, because I came down with bronchitis. I think I'm finally getting better, but it was a pretty rough bout. Still have a terrible cough.

Being sick does keep you out of trouble, spending-wise! All I've done financially in the last week is pay for my car insurance (I went with Allstate, $255 for six months).

I also started a little projection chart on my budget spreadsheet to give me a better handle on what's coming up. Next month I have a trip to Chicago on the agenda (to see my son's new apartment) and some medications will need to be refilled. The following month I will be due for a periodontal checkup and my cat will need to see the vet. I will also be getting company -- my brother's family, cousins from Texas, aunt & uncle from Florida -- but my cousin will shoulder most of the cost for that, while I do most of the work!

I'm rollin' in pj's now!

June 11th, 2008 at 02:53 pm

Yesterday I ventured out in the 90+ heat (so unusual for the mountains). I ran some errands for my cousin. The only spending I did for myself was $29 for three pairs of pajama bottoms, $8 for cat chow, and $2 for vitamins.

I noticed that when I HAVE to do a load of laundry, it is usually to get some clean pajama bottoms -- I just didn't have enough. So hopefully, this purchase will buy me three days of non-laundry! I paid more than I would like to, but I like to have elastic -- not drawstring waists -- and that was hard to find. Apparently drawstring is THE thing today!

I'm battling an ugly cold -- isn't it awful to have a cold when it's hot? Doesn't seem right.

Won't Rob Peter to Pay Paul

June 9th, 2008 at 01:51 pm

In an earlier post, I lamented that I would have to take my car insurance premium out of my medical premium fund. However, I talked to the Allstate agent. I can charge my premium. This is good news to me. I have no credit card debt, but I charge just about everything and pay if off each month. That means I won't have to touch my savings.

However, I haven't been able to add to it lately. Still have that whoppin' big $44 to go toward my crowns! If I ever get my garage sale organized, that will help.

Yesterday & Today

June 8th, 2008 at 02:03 pm

Yesterday --

I resisted going shopping at Linens & Things with my cousins, so no money spent.

I made a Swiss cheese & bacon quiche, which will serve for a few breakfasts and lunches.

I told my cousin I would not be interested in a job unless it was part-time.

I talked to my son, who has finally (almost) completed his move to Chicago.

Today --

I hard-boiled eggs and made six cups of oatmeal. The oatmeal we didn't eat for breakfast will be saved for the dogs.

Anyone remember the Carolina wrens nesting on our deck? Well, this morning one of them was IN the sunroom. (The door was propped open for the dogs to come in and out.) I opened the door more and left the room. When I checked back later he was gone. Hope that experience doesn't scare them off. They haven't laid eggs yet.

A job????

June 7th, 2008 at 01:16 am

My cousin (not the one I live with) offered me a job today. Well, she didn't really offer it to me, but she recommended me to her boss when asked if she knew someone who would be good in the position.

I'm mulling it over. Truthfully, I would rather not work. I'm retired, and I've gotten used to the leisurely pace. And I moved here to be of aid to my cousin who has NCS -- if I worked, I would be leaving her alone all day, which might not be a good thing.

But I sure would have more money! Less freedom -- more money. I can't decide, so I'll sleep on it.

Today I shopped on the internet -- bought some undies (why am I always, always, buying underwear and still don't have enough?) and I bought a a gift certificate for my DIL's birthday. $102 all together.

I've decided I will probably switch my insurance to Allstate. They weren't the lowest offer, but they were the lowest one with a AA rating.

Getting Insurance Quotes

June 5th, 2008 at 08:19 pm

MyPoints led me to a site where I would get points for getting car insurance quotes. Since mine is due again on July 3, I went ahead and filled out the form. I'm getting quite a few quotes that are less than what I'm paying.

The lowest quote is from a company called Erie. I don't know anything about them, but I would save about $200 a year with them. I'll have to do a little more research about them, and make sure I'll be getting the same coverage.

Sadly, I will probably have to take the premium out of my medical premium fund. Now that my medical/dental fund is dry, and the emergency fund just about, it's the only one left. I don't think I'll be able to eke it out of my cash flow.

If things get much worse, I'll have to get a job!

Free Entertainment

June 4th, 2008 at 04:37 pm

This morning we discovered a pair of Carolina wrens building a nest in a hanging basket on our deck. We can sit in the sunroom and watch them fly back forth, bringing twigs and leaves. The nest is really coming along fast!

This will slow down plans to powerwash and paint the deck. Now we'll have to wait till the young'uns leave the nest -- probably about a month from now. Till then, we have free entertainment.

Yesterday I installed an insert for my bedroom window that has a kitty door. I am training my cats to use that and not the one that goes to the patio -- if they go out on the patio, my cousin's dog is ready to "attack." (I put it in quotes because he is all noise and no action.) If they use the window, they go out into the side yard where the dogs have no access.

So far they are not thrilled with the new scheme. Firstly, I think, because it's not familiar, but also, it requires them to be a bit more athletic. I guess even cats avoid exercise if they can!

May Spending

June 2nd, 2008 at 05:35 pm

May was a somewhat unusual spending month for me. My biggest expense was:

Gifts - $278 - Two graduations and a check to my son to help with his moving expenses. I also bought a wireless mouse for my cousin.

I spent $217 on equipment -- mostly computer repair and a USB card.

I spent $214 on medical/health -- had a tooth filled, and visited the doc.

I spent $190 on vet/pet supplies -- Frontline Plus, kitty litter, new cat pan, cool padded cat house, cat food etc.

$104 on vacation -- mostly food, and the one tank of gas I used to go from Indiana to Chicago.

$56 -- car repair/maintenance. Oil change and a fancy car wash.

$42 -- gas

$35 -- clothing. Bras and shoes.

$26 -- fees/services. Mostly for AAA.

$18 -- entertainment. Netflix, art supplies.

$3 -- eating out. Just one run to McDonald's.

$2 -- miscellaneous.

Grand total -- $1206

I have started out June by paying that $645 bill for the colonoscopy. I talked to the insurance company (twice) and the GE Center, but neither will agree to a reduction. I guess I can console myself that I won't have to do it again for ten more years!