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Archive for October, 2008

Going mystery shopping!

October 29th, 2008 at 11:33 am

Today after work I am doing some mystery shops. Two of them are for convenience stores with reimbursement up to $1 each for a food purchase and gas, plus a shopper fee. I need to take some digital pictures at each location, upload them and complete the online report. The other assignment is a department store purchase and return that pays a fee of $10.

So I will be making a few dollars today since I am planning on being in that town anyway for an appointment.

Have a great day!

Ing Direct $20 Bonus

October 28th, 2008 at 01:18 am

Today I got a postcard and an email with information regarding this new promotion with ING. If you have an Electric Orange Debit Card and use to for your next 5 purchases(in November) of at least $10 each,
ING will deposit $20 into your Electric Orange account in December. The link for more information is : http://ingdirect.com/spendwise

I hope this helps those of you with an Electric Orange Debit Card to earn a free $20!!

Ebay Sales Update

October 27th, 2008 at 12:43 am

I had a few auctions on Ebay end today. After fees and shipping my profits were $26.22, so that will get added to the CC debt. Certainly I didn't make much money on those items, but it is good feeling to reduce the amount of clutter in the house.

I'm not sure if I will list anything more for a few months. My sales haven't been that great lately...lots of watchers but not many bidders. I guess the effects of the economy have taken a toll on some Ebay sales. I don't know we will see what happens. Maybe sales would be a little better here in a few weeks with the holidays right around the corner...

Found $ at Rite Aid!!

October 26th, 2008 at 06:30 pm

Today I went to Rite Aid to shop for the FAR items and I found a dime on the floor by the checkout counter. I will add that to my CC savings.

I bought the following items:

Sally Hansen Lip Treatment $ 5.95
GE Power Strip Outlet 5.00
L'oreal Age Perfect Moist. 15.99
Axe Shower Gel 3.99
Adidas Anti-pers/deod 3.99
Citre Shine Aerosol Serum 5.99
Citre Shine High-Polish Pomade 3.99
CW Dream Thicken Spray 6.99
Denta Burst Cleaners 1.99
Oral B Toothbrush 2.49
Kotex Maxi Pads 3.00

The total was $59.37. I had $4 in manufacturers' coupons so including tax the grand total was $58.31. Since I will getting $59.37 in a rebate check back, I made a profit of $1.06!!

Saturday Update

October 25th, 2008 at 06:11 pm

Yesterday, I had the settlement at the law firm for the mortgage refinance. Everything went well (after about 50 signatures that is !!), and it looks like I will be decreasing my monthly payment about $77/month. In addition the new term will be 15 years instead of 30...so quite a savings in interest. So my first payment is due December 1. I think I may make a payment to principal only on the mortgage in November and maybe plan to do that once a year. Then I plan to add the $77 new found money to the principal on the car loan each month.

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I got sent home from my Saturday job due to a power outage in the area because of thunderstorms, heavy rain, wind, etc. I've only worked there since July so I'm not sure if we will get paid for today since it was beyond our control or not. I am actually surprised that the office doesn't have a backup generator.

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On the way home from work, I stopped at Kohl's to return a couple of items. I had a Kohl's cash coupon to use for $10. I bought 2 pairs of sterling silver earrings that were regularly $35, on sale for $10.49 (sign said 65% off). So using the Kohl's cash, I paid 52 cents including tax for 2 nice sets of earrings.

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I got a refund check in the mail for $3.59 so I will add that to next week's deposit to the CC savings account.

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Now I want to do laundry and perhaps make some soup. Then I will just relax with a cup of green tea and read or watch TV...it's a good day for that since it is so dreary and damp outside.


Have a nice weekend!

Adding to the CC Savings

October 24th, 2008 at 01:42 am

I sold an item on Ebay this week for $12.99. I have another couple of items on there that the auction will end in a couple of days with some watches on both of those items, so I'm hoping they sell.

On an online refunding site I traded some coupons with someone who pays a percentage of the face value on coupons that she specified she was interested in...so I made $14.02 for that.

Finally, I'm including the $4 for the Imsyt survey that I received in Paypal earlier this week.

So I'm adding $31.01 to the savings account for these items.

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Tomorrow, I have settlement for the refinance on the house. It will be good to see what the monthly mortgage payment will be now since I lowered the interest rate 3.5% from my previous mortgage and am going with a 15 yr. term instead of the 30 yr. The mortgage officer gave me a ballpark figure a few weeks ago, which was less than my current payment!! Smile

Have a great evening!

$4

October 22nd, 2008 at 09:53 pm

I received $4 today in my Paypal account for a survey I completed back in September with Imyst, Inc. I will add that to the CC savings account for the week.

Have a great evening!

Today was a NSD!!

October 22nd, 2008 at 02:41 am

Today I didn't spend any money.

For lunch I had leftovers from yesterday's catered meal.

Gas prices are $2.69/gal in my area; went down 10 cents/gal from yesterday!

Free Lunch at the Office

October 21st, 2008 at 02:22 am

A few weeks ago our office was entered into a drawing by a specialist's office for a chance at winning Bath & Body Works items and a free lunch. Well, our office won the drawing so...

About a week or so ago some employees from the other office brought baskets of stuff from Bath & Body for everyone at our office to pick a few items of a variety of different scented candles, lotions, bubble bath, etc.

Today, we had lunch catered from a fine Italian restaurant compliments of the doctor's from the specialist's office. We had salad, rolls, meat lasagna, baked ziti, green tea, lemonade, and cookies. It was an excellent meal and best of all it was free!!

Most of the employees in our office didn't even know that one of the receptionists entered us into the drawing, so it was a true surprise to many of us when the basket arrived earlier this month!

Another trip to CVS...

October 19th, 2008 at 07:52 pm

Today I was running some errands and decided to stop at CVS. I bought the following items:

Dr. Pepper 2 liters (2)
Brach's Candy Corn (2)
Kleenex Facial Tissues (4)
CVS Toilet Tissue 12 pk
Powerade 32 oz.
Maxwell House Coffee (2)
Colgate Max Fresh
Excedrin Express Gels 20 ct
Garnier Nutrisse Hair color

My total was $34.77. After deducting $4 in manufacturer's coupons and $23.27 in EBs, my grand total was $7.50. Plus I have a mail-in rebate for the Excedrin for $1.99 + I earned another $6.27 in EBs for another shopping spree!!

BB & B Mystery Shop + CC #3 Savings

October 19th, 2008 at 01:42 am

Last night I did a mystery shop at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I could purchase anything over $8. I spent $11.58 on a organizing container. I will get reimbursed $8 + $5 for the shop fee for a total of $13.

I'm adding the following the my CC #3 savings account for the week:

$295.96 Saturday job income
$ .10 Found money
_______
$296.06 Total

Have a great weekend!

A little richer...

October 17th, 2008 at 05:30 pm

This morning as I was walking into the building where I work, I found a dime on the ground.

I will add $0.10 to the savings account for CC #3 for the week when I have the amount from my Saturday job to include for the week.

Paid off CC #2

October 16th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Today I am having $340.53 deducted from my checking account to pay off CC #2.

So, 2 down and 1 more to go. I think I need to get a little more aggressive saving $ towards CC #3. Since August 2008 I have been setting aside all of my Saturday job income, survey $, rebate checks, found money, etc. If that doesn't accumulate enough by January '09 when my last offer ends...I will just supplement any additional funds needed with $ from my regular savings account.

Have a great day!

McDonalds Mystery Shop, Sample, Surveys

October 15th, 2008 at 05:41 pm

This morning before work, I did a breakfast mystery shop at McDonalds. I got 2 sausage burrito meals for free after reimbursement. I don't go to fast food places much, so this was a nice, not-so-healthy treat!!

Also, I got a sample Schick Intuition razor in the mail that I requested a free weeks ago.

Last night I did several Global Test Market surveys. I have ~ 700 points accumulated. Only 300 more to go to request a check for $50!!

Yesterday was a NSD

October 14th, 2008 at 11:27 am

Monday was a NSD for me. It seems I don't have many of those lately.

Today, I need to stop on my way to work to fill up my gas tank. Yesterday, the price was $2.99/gal. I have grocery store rewards that will save me $.10/gal., so I hope to pay $2.89 or less!

Have a good day!

Quicken Online

October 13th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Today, I received an email that Quicken Online is free as of 10/13!! I had signed up for the 60 day free trial, then it was supposed to go to $2.99/month after that. I like the website and its' features; however, there are some glitches I think that still need to be addressed.

I am happy that it is now free because I probably would have canceled my account after the 60 days. I don't think it is even worth the $2.99/month since the site still needs some work done on it.

Finally I'm Refinancing the Mortgage

October 11th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

After 6 years, my divorce is finalized and I am able to move forward with a refinance since I am now listed as sole owner of the property on the deed. It has been a rough ride, but the outcome was worth it. That's not to say that with a little cooperation from the ex...it could have been accomplished many years ago...Oh well!

Anyhow, the rate on the current 30-yr FHA mortgage is 8.5%. I've paid 7 years on that mortgage. A few weeks ago, I met with the mortgage loan officer so that he could do some paperwork and a credit check on me. I was a bit upset to find out that my FICO score was only 719. But all in all, the rating must have been good enough to qualify me for a 5% rate. He told me that I should lock in that rate, just in case rates increase. I'm happy I did because rates haven't been that low since!

For a few years I was wondering if I could handle a 15 yr. mortgage or whether it would make money too tight. So I inquired about reducing the term to 15 years and after doing some calculations, he told me that my money payment would be less than with the 30 yr mortgage! I was so happy because really I will be going from the 22 years that I would have left on the previous mortgage to the new 15 yr. term
saving an additional 7 years, not to mention the interest savings!!
So settlement is scheduled for the end of October.

I will have some extra money each month once this new mortgage kicks in. I have a few ideas for this "found" money by paying towards the principal on the remaining loans I have which include:

Car loan 3.9% ~ $4900. balance
Student loan 3.0% ~ $12,687.43

What would you do? Maybe I should just add it to the principal on the mortgage, but at the same time I would like to pay off my car loan earlier. I don't have any CC debt except for the 0% offers listed in the sidebar.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and have a great evening!!

CVS Shopping

October 11th, 2008 at 07:10 pm

Earlier this week I went bargain shopping at CVS. I bought the following items:

Lady Speed Stick(4) $7.96
Bic Soleil Razor 5.99
Vitamin Water 2.29
Always Infinity 4.98
Colgate MaxFresh TP (2) 5.98
_____

Total (including tax)$ 27.34

After deducting manufacturer coupons of $7.00 and $8.99 in EBs, the final total was $11.35. On this shopping trip, I earned $19.27 in EBs + an addition $1 EB based on my summer spending...so $20.27 in EBs. I made $8.92 on this spree alone. I also got a $25 Gift card coupon on a new or transferred prescription that expires next month.

I love CVS. It is much easier to do these offers than say Walgreen's or Rite Aid's Single Check Rebates, provided that you don't forget to use your EBs by the expiration date!

$25.95 to CC Savings

October 10th, 2008 at 06:25 pm

I am adding extra income in the amount of $25.95 from this week to my CC #3 savings account:

20.46 Walgreen's Rebate Check
2.48 Spray n Wash Refund Check
.02 Found Money
2.00 Greenfield Surveys
.99 Tums Rebate Check
______
25.95

Have a great Friday!

ING among one of the first to lower rates again...

October 9th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

I remember a time about 5 years when ING had really competitive rates, and were at one time offering the highest interest rates for an online savings account. Not anymore...and as a matter of fact, not in the past couple of years.

When the fed lowers interest rates, ING Direct is one of the first to implement the changes immediately. It really just aggravates me!

I always liked ING for several reasons:

1. ease of navigation on the website
2. fairly rapid external transfers (1-2 days for my CU linked account)
3. Electric Orange checking account available
4. separate savings or subcategories
available

Anyway, a few months ago I moved most of my savings to Provident Direct Bank, another online bank, due to the difference in interest rates. I am fairly pleased with that bank. External transfers are equally as fast and the website is user-friendly. I just need to find out if I can open several savings accounts so that I can divide out my savings to earmark them for different bills. Do anyone know if that is possible with this online bank?

It just seems like ING Direct doesn't want to try to compete with other online banks anymore. I usually now keep only about $50 in that account, but still have the majority of my bills deducted from the checking account--Electric Orange--at ING. I just transfer money from Provident Bank close to the due dates for my bills a couple of times each month. I don't let money sitting in that account either since the interest rates are so poor.

Walgreen's Check and Found $

October 9th, 2008 at 04:22 pm

I got a rebate check from Walgreen's today for $20.46.
Another check for Tum's Quik Pak for $.99.

Also, I found 2 cents at work in the locker room on the floor.

I will add all of this to my CC #3 savings account.

Survey $ and Rebate Check

October 7th, 2008 at 05:46 pm

I received $2 from Greenfield via paypal for a survey I completed a few weeks ago. Not as fast as Pinecone, but at least quicker than waiting for a check!

In the mail today I got a rebate check for Spray n Wash in the amount of $2.48.

I will add both of these to my CC savings account.

Kohl's, Victoria's Secret Mystery Shops

October 5th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

I did 2 more mystery shops yesterday. The requirement was to purchase at least $25 in merchandise at each of these stores and pay for it with a major credit card. The employees at the stores were supposed to suggest opening a store credit account. That was the main point the companies were evaluating with these particular mystery shops. The cashier at Victoria's Secret invited me to open a store credit card, but I declined the offer. Not one employee at Kohl's mentioned the offer to me. Anyway, I will be earning $15 shopper's fee for each shop, so a total of $30. I got some moisturizers and body sprays at Victoria's Secret. At Kohl's I purchased some food storage containers and an egg slicer (both of which I was in need of).

The guidelines stated that the shopper could return the merchandise for a refund (after a copy of the receipt was made to scan and upload online) if they didn't want to incur any expenses. The cost after the fee of $30 was minimal, so I am keeping the items. Smile.

Have a great evening!

Savings Update for CC Debt

October 5th, 2008 at 03:42 am

I'm adding the following money from extra income I received this week:

$ 336.76 Saturday job income (2 weeks)
8.00 Just for Men refund check
.01 Found at gas station
_________
$ 344.77 Total

The side bar is updated with the new savings information.

Paid off CC

October 4th, 2008 at 12:54 am

Yesterday, I paid off a department store CC that had a 0% offer. It was for some furniture I bought last year. The balance was $1,096.09. I'm glad that one is behind me now!

Have a great evening!

Grocery Bargains, Library, etc.

October 3rd, 2008 at 02:41 am

After work today, I stopped at the grocery store near my house where many produce items were on sale. I bought bananas, cabbage, red grapes, apples, acorn squash, broccoli, baby carrots, and plum tomatoes. I also got 8 containers of Yoplait yogurt and 2 boxes of Hot Pocket Paninis. I used $1.90 in manufacturer coupons that are doubled...so I saved $3.80 there. In addition, I had a coupon on my receipt from a previous shopping trip at that store for $3 off a $15 produce purchase. I ended up spending $21.75. So now I am stocked up for lunches and snacks for next week.

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I also went to the library today and checked out 2 DVDs for DS. This is a small library and not much to choose from, but occasionally they get some new titles.

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I found another penny at the convenience store where I stopped last night to get some gas. For some reason, I've been able to locate much more change on the ground than I have in the past. Maybe I'm more on the lookout for it than I was in the past. Anyway, I will add that to my CC #3 fund.

$3.41

October 2nd, 2008 at 02:52 am

I'm adding $3.41 in interest to update the CC #3 savings account info on the side bar. This is the amount of interest that I earned for September in that account.

Free Breakfast/Lunch at work today!!

October 1st, 2008 at 03:20 pm

There is a representative at work today to demonstrate how to use a new piece of equipment. This morning she brought us bagels and pastries from Panera Bread. At lunch time we can choose whatever we would like from a deli cafe in the building.

So nice of her to offer us all free meals!

Have a great day!