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Archive for January, 2009

Free Seasonal Teas from Amazon

January 30th, 2009 at 02:35 pm

I have some money accumulated on Amazon gift certificates from doing various surveys. I really wanted to use some for a carpet shampooer, but do not have enough $ in my Amazon account to even cover half the cost of it. I don't want to spend a couple hundred dollars right now on a shampooer.

Anyway, I've been looking for some of my favorite seasonal teas from Bigelow at the local supermarket but haven't had any luck. Earlier this week, I decided to browse on Amazon and found 2 varieties that are much less expensive than buying them in the grocery store. The tea arrived today. I bought 1 case of 6 boxes each of Ginger Snappish and Eggnogg'n Tea. Each case was $14.77. Since the total was $29.54, the order qualified for FREE shipping (over $25)!! I used $29.54 from my Amazon GC balance so I received 12 boxes of tea with a "best used by date" of 2011 and 2012! So I think I have an ample supply for a couple of years. But I drink so much hot tea that I may need to replenish my supply sooner than that!

I received another refund check for $1.98 to add to the extra income fund.

Have a great evening!!

No eating out for lunch=another NSD!!

January 29th, 2009 at 03:49 pm

Even though I brought my lunch to work today, I really had a craving for the Chinese buffet. None of my co-workers wanted to go there. Instead they invited me to go along to a fast-food restaurant. I don't particularly like fast food. So I declined, and I wasn't about to go to the Chinese restaurant by myself. I saved about $8 by eating what I packed for lunch instead of going out! Yea!! I rarely go out anyhow...maybe twice/month.

Some of these co-workers will be complaining in a few days that they don't have money for their mortgage or groceries, yet they constantly go out for lunch. I guess I don't get it! But they don't want to get me started about finances. I would tell them exactly why they don't have money left for the basic essentials, based on conversations they have with me (which is none of my business, but they try to drag me into it).

Anyway, sorry about the rant.

So today was another NSD for me! Yea!!

NSD and Refund Check

January 29th, 2009 at 07:01 am

Yesterday was a NSD for me. The children did not have school, although I went to work.

I also received a refund check from Chapstick for $1.99, so that will go to the extra income fund.

Savings Deposit-Extra Income

January 27th, 2009 at 04:26 am

I'm depositing the following funds for the last week or so since my last update in the extra income account:

Mystery shop fee (oil change)...$008.00
Microsoft rebate................$181.25
Misc. refund checks.............$020.30
Found money.....................$000.01
Saturday job....................$140.26


The total deposited is $349.82.


Sunday Update

January 25th, 2009 at 07:15 am

Yesterday after work I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some fresh fruit/veggies. I think I got some pretty good deals on most items:

Baby carrots 2 lb. $2.00 each
Avocados (4) $0.68 each
Radishes 2 lb. $2.00 each
Pears $1.00/lb.
Apples $1.00/lb.
Cucumbers (2) $0.68 each
Pineapple (1) $2.84
Tomatoes $1.58/lb.


DD has been on a health kick lately. I never have bought much in the way of junk food (chips, ice cream, etc.) Maybe once every couple of months. I can easily do without that. Another thing I don't eat much of is meat. It seems most days I eat fruits/veggies, cheese, nuts, yogurt, etc. (especially for lunches & snacks) and I am satisfied with that. I also got some turkey burgers, ground beef, eggs, and a few other items. I spent $40 for groceries.

I also stopped at the car wash to remove the salt from my car. Spent $8 there.

I filled my car with gas where I commute to work on Saturdays since it is less expensive there--$1.73/gal. It is $1.85 where I live. So a savings there of $0.12/gal. Filled the tank for $16.25.

++++

I got another rebate check in the mail today from Zantac for $5, which will go towards savings.

Have a nice Sunday!

Found a penny

January 23rd, 2009 at 07:48 pm

Today when I took DD to work, I found a penny in the parking lot. I will add that to my weekly deposit.

Not much else new here. I need to get some rest because I am working tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone!

More Refund Checks

January 22nd, 2009 at 07:11 pm

I received 2 more refund checks in the mail today. One was from Hunt's Ketchup and the other from Excedrin. The total amount was $4.46, which will go to the extra income fund.

NSD and Car Payment

January 21st, 2009 at 08:29 pm

I didn't know if my full car payment amount would be debited from my checking account yesterday. Since I had paid earlier this month a separate check towards the principal, it caused great problems. Luckily, the correct amount was debited from the account. So everything is working out well there. I just have to mail my principal checks to a separate address now in the future to alleviate any additional issues/mix-ups for the financing company.

On another note, today was a NSD for me. Felt great not to part with any money today!

Tuesday Update

January 20th, 2009 at 07:00 pm

Today I took my car for state inspection. It was due by the end of the month and I don't like waiting until the last minute because it is often difficult to get an appointment. Anyway the cost for that was $23.31...it passed inspection without needing anything!! In fact I haven't done anything to my Honda yet (other than oil changes) and it is 4 years old. The technician said it is in great shape; however, the tire tread is near the borderline of not passing but for now it is fine. They gave me a quote for 4 new tires which is valid for 30 days. This shop currently has a promotion B3G1F, but still I'm not sure if it is a good deal until I do a little homework and shop around. Did I mention that I love my Honda much better than my Ford vehicle??? It is undeniably much more reliable and very well built. On the other hand, over the years...mostly every time I get the Ford inspected it needs something replaced in order for it to pass inspection. This Honda is my first ever, non-domestic vehicle and it has served me very well thus far. It has 64K miles on it. I don't think I'll buy another domestic car, IMO they are poorly manufactured and always in need of something. Once the Ford dies, my top choices for a vehicle would definitely be a Honda or Toyota!

++++

Our boss took us out to Chili's last night for dinner. I ordered my usual--Southwestern Cobb Salad. In fact, I don't think I've ever ordered anything different when I go there. It was very good. I had leftovers for lunch today. So a free dinner and lunch!

++++

I got 2 rebate checks in the mail today for a total of $6.08, which will be deposited into the extra income fund at the end of the week.

Have a great evening!

$181.25 Rebate

January 19th, 2009 at 10:21 am

I bought an electronics item as a Christmas gift for my daughter from Ebay which had a 25% rebate payable within 6-8 weeks from Microsoft.

It was just deposited into my Paypal account last night. Since I have already paid the full amount by CC for the item, I will add the $181.25 to my extra income fund for the week.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Extra Income Fund Deposit Update

January 18th, 2009 at 04:57 pm

I am adding the following funds for this week to my extra income savings:

$280.00 Working interview income
$ 10.24 Coupons sold on refunding site
$ .01 Found money
$ 1.00 Greenfield online survey
$ 4.00 ACOP survey
________
$295.25


Have a great evening!

Found a penny!

January 18th, 2009 at 01:00 pm

I stopped in at Sheetz today while running a few errands. In the parking lot, I found a penny! More to the extra income fund!

Sadly, yesterday at Walmart I left a dime lying on the pedestrian walkway between the store and the parking lot. I didn't see it soon enough and there was so much traffic. I don't think it would have been appreciated for me to stop and pick it up!

Working Interview

January 18th, 2009 at 07:28 am

Yesterday I had working interview for a possible Saturday position. It seemed to go well. I was comfortable in the new work environment. The employer said that he was very impressed with my performance and interactions with patients.

One thing that does concern me is that I think this office has a bit of a high turnover rate. One of the patients mentioned to him that she really liked how I treated her, but that she gets a different clinician every time she has a Saturday appointment. In addition, the employer expressed to me that he was currently in the process of hiring a receptionist. So I don't know...sounds like there are some staffing issues. If I had to put up with it only 2 Saturdays a month (which is what the position is for), I think I could do that.

Anyway, he said two other candidates are scheduled to do working interviews as well in the next week or so. He told me I should hear back from him by the beginning of February, so we will see. At least I got paid for my time yesterday.

Car Payment Update!

January 13th, 2009 at 03:44 am

Yesterday I called the car finance company again in an effort to get this principal payment that I made applied correctly. According to the notes in the computer, the CSR stated that everything was in place, it just needed approved by a supervisor. Fine. She asked if I wanted a follow-up call when everything went through. Of course, that would be nice!

Now this morning I check online and everything was applied correctly; however, the automatic debit scheduled to come out of my checking account reflects the $70 I paid towards the principal, not the full amount! I'm beginning to wonder if this is even worth all the bother! What's so difficult about leaving the monthly payment amount the same as it has always been?!?? Ugh!!

NSD & $1 Survey Income

January 12th, 2009 at 11:29 am

Yesterday was a NSD for me. Stayed home most of the day except to go pick up DD from a friend's house.

Today I got $1 from Greenfield online surveys deposited into my Paypal account. So a little extra income there!

Adding $$ to savings for the week!

January 11th, 2009 at 02:30 pm

I have the following funds to add to the extra income account:

$221.64 Saturday job
$ 2.54 Refund check
_______
$224.18 Total

I didn't deplete the whole amount in this account since I am using the same one that I used to save to pay off the last CC. So I have $8.39 in there.

I've updated my sidebar with some information and am going to try to meet my goal of $8,000 for 2009 for this type of income.

Car Payment

January 11th, 2009 at 09:13 am

About a week ago I sent $70 to the car financing company to be applied to the principal on my loan. So I go online to make sure that it was posted correctly to the principal and not as a partial payment. Well, of course, it was not! I wasn't too surprised because I've dealt with this before with various other financing companies. I sent a note with my payment precisely stating that it was to be applied to the principal plus I put it in the memo section on the check, along with my account number.

So on Friday I called and spoke with a CSR at the financing company, explaining the situation I just mentioned. Now since I have my monthly payment automatically debited from my checking account, this causes some issues. She told me that the $70 I sent was applied towards my monthly payment of $297, bringing the amount that will be debited on the 20th of this month to $227. She told me that she would take care of the problem and allocate the funds towards the principal. In the future she said that if I want to make payments towards the principal on the loan, I must sent them to a different address in a completely different state. Ugh! There is no way I would have known this because the only payment address on the statement, of course, is the one that I mailed the check to!

This morning I go online to check to make sure everything was updated like the CSR promised me, and lo and behold it is not. So I guess I will be making yet another call tomorrow in an attempt to get this resolved. I just get so discouraged that I have to continually follow-up on business like this in virtually every aspect of my finances because of employees giving less than average customer service...it frustrates me!!

Have a good Sunday!

Health Insurance Premium Increase Letter

January 10th, 2009 at 04:21 pm

Today I got a notice in the mail that the health insurance I purchase for my children will increase beginning 03/01/09. Currently, I am paying $215.01 and the new rate will be $282.36...an increase of 31.32%. This is really an excellent health care plan. I definitely need this one, or one equally as good coverage-wise for DD because she has several medical issues. DS so far doesn't frequent a medical office very often *fingers crossed*, and hopefully it stays that way.

I don't know for sure what to do. I am covered 100% by my employer. I looked into adding them on that plan, but it is about the same rate with higher copays for each category. So that isn't really a better, more cost-effective option.

I looked into the state CHIP health coverage in which all children are covered with no household income limits. I don't qualify for any reduced rates there and the full-cost premium PER child is $163/month. So that one is more expensive also, but does have a SLIGHT reduction of copay amounts.

I'm thinking about shopping around and maybe purchase coverage for DS with a small deductible, say $1200 w/ 100% copay (after the deductible is paid). I'm just not sure yet.

Anyway, it figures I'm saving roughly $70/month by refinancing my mortgage and was planning to allocate that to the principal each month on the car loan (which I most definitely still plan on doing), and now the health insurance premiums increase ~$70/month!

It sure would be thoughtful of my children's father to come forward and pay at least SOMETHING each month towards their care and to support them financially, but I don't know when that will ever happen. I'm just really pessimistic about him not taking any responsibility for his children!! (sorry to rant)

So I have some homework to do here in the next month or so to decide what I should do about their health insurance.

Have a great evening everyone!!

Mystery Shop $

January 7th, 2009 at 05:06 pm

I did a mystery shop a little over a week ago for an oil change at a car dealership. Today I noticed that the reimbursement of $38.64 was deposited into my account. I still am waiting on the shopper's fee. This mystery shopping company pays them separately for whatever reason.

I think this is the quickest I have gotten reimbursed from this company, so it was a nice surprise.

I will add this amount to my weekly deposit for extra income savings account. I need to make a section in my sidebar to keep track of this account now that the CC debt is over with!

Paid off Home Depot CC Today!

January 6th, 2009 at 04:00 pm

Today I finally paid off this last CC! I paid the balance of $6,560.

I was able to use extra sources of income such as surveys, Ebay/Amazon sales, found $, mystery shopping, refund checks, and Saturday job income solely to come up with $4,067.97 since September 2008. I even surprised myself that I was able to save all of that aside from my full-time job income to apply to this CC.

Anyway, I had to supplement $2,492.03 from my regular savings to come up with the rest of the money to pay this thing off! Not too bad I guess, but now I have to replenish those funds.

I think I am just going to keep a separate savings account for extra income funds like I have been using to save for this CC debt. I will post the amounts and update my sidebar, just like I have been since Sept. That way I will have an extra cushion in addition to my regular savings that is funded with my full-time job income, in case I need it.

Have a great evening everyone!

Final deposit to CC Savings!

January 6th, 2009 at 06:23 am

I'm adding the amount of $103.93 in extra income to my account from the following sources:

$50.00 Continuing Ed Course reimburse
$ 6.16 Amazon book sale profit
$15.38 Rebate checks
$ 3.00 Pinecone survey
$ 1.01 Found money
$ 8.38 December interest on CC savings
$20.00 Discover Cashback


Now I have a grand total of $4067.97 from extra sources of income to apply to the Home Depot CC!

More money to CC debt!

January 5th, 2009 at 06:25 pm

In the mail today I got 2 refund checks in the amount of $10.19 total.

++++

Also, several weeks ago I gave my employer a receipt for a continuing education course that I attended back in October. Usually he conveniently or perhaps legitimately forgets to write a check out to reimburse the costs. I do know that some employees just let it go and don't question it if they don't get paid. Since it is considered a benefit, you better believe it that I'm going to go after anything that is due to me!

I figured I can put this money to my CC debt since I need to pay it by tomorrow. So I went to my employer and inquired about it (guess he misplaced the receipt I had given him) and he wrote me out a check on the spot for the $50 that I had spent on the course! Yay!

Found $1

January 5th, 2009 at 03:21 pm

At work we have a laundry service that washes our scrubs and jackets. To my surprise, I found a one dollar bill in the pant pocket when I was putting them on. The scrubs are not personalized, so I had no way of knowing who it belonged to.

I'm just adding it to my CC debt!

Discover Cashback

January 5th, 2009 at 11:23 am

I earned enough money to request an electronic transfer to my bank account. I will be able to add another $20 from Discover cashback to my CC debt that I plan on paying off tomorrow!

Are healthcare jobs really recession-proof?

January 4th, 2009 at 08:12 am

I'm not really sure about that. Even though all of the sites I have visited such as Yahoo Hot Jobs, Kiplingers, etc. include health care careers on their listings, I still have doubts. In fact is ANY job really recession-proof??

According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the country's fastest-growing careers are those in the health care field...but do these positions actually weather the storm??

Up until yesterday (at my Saturday job) I wasn't too concerned about my job...I felt secure. Just two weeks ago I worked, and since then there has been much news there. Two receptionist/clerical workers have been laid off, the office manager was fired, and one of the doctors is leaving the practice. I don't know any details other than that. I really don't think that any of the items I mentioned other than the first one is related to the economy. I'm speculating that the doctor who is leaving may be going solo or to another group practice.

I feel somewhat better knowing that none of the clinical staff (of which I am one) has been laid off....yet. It is a large practice. The problem is that I was one of the last employees hired and I only work Saturdays.

I would be extremely worried if this whole scenario were the case at my full-time job. But based on previous experiences...the financial status there hasn't been in such good standing long before the problems surfaced with the US economy. The "doctor" owner here has had problems managing his money for years. So far though...no lay-offs. I just hope it stays that way.

I still have a busy schedule at both offices, so hopefully I will be able to hang on to both my full and part time jobs.

Found a penny today!

January 3rd, 2009 at 04:15 pm

Today after getting some fresh fruit at the grocery store, I found a penny on the ground in the vestibule area! I've got to put that towards my CC debt!

NSD

January 1st, 2009 at 04:40 pm

Today I didn't spend any money or use any gas! I stayed home all day. It was relaxing...didn't do too much. In fact I wasn't feeling that well. I think it may have been from the shrimp we ate last night. No one else in the family got sick, but I was really nauseous.

++++

I'm sending $70 towards the principal on my car loan tomorrow, since that is the amount I am saving since refinancing my mortgage. I will continue to send that every month to help eliminate that debt a little quicker.

I have to review my expenses/income a little closer for the last few months. I think I may be able to save more money per month than I currently do. Lately, it seems like the only money I have saved is income from extra sources besides my full-time job income.

Besides it seems like I don't have any goals for 2009 other than eliminating CC #3 and my car loan. I will then most likely begin tackling my student loan, but I don't think I will be able to pay it off in '09 (the balance is over $12,000).

If I don't continue to save any extra income (from Saturday jobs, Ebay, surveys, etc.) and keep it separate from my regular income, I'm concerned that I may be tempted to spend it. I think I should have a savings for both types of income because then if I sign up for a 0% CC promotion offer again, I may not have such a difficult time accumulating the funds at the end of the offer.

I'm open to any ideas that anyone may have to send my way!

Have a great evening!

Happy New Year Greetings!

January 1st, 2009 at 06:16 am

I wish everyone a prosperous, healthy new year and one in which you reach your goals.

I finally sold a paperback textbook that I had listed on Amazon. I have never listed items on Amazon before and didn't really know how to price the item. I actually didn't expect that it would sell since it is about 8 years old. I wanted to price it so that it would sell and I would be rid of it. I sold it for $10, but after selling fees I made a profit of $6.16...not a lot but at least someone wanted it!

I have 2 other textbooks listed on there that hopefully I will be lucky enough to have someone interested in so that I can make a little $ and declutter my house a bit. We will see what happens.

I earned $8.38 interest for December in the savings account for CC #3, so I will add that to the deposit for the week.

Have a Happy New Year!!