Home > Archive: February, 2013

Archive for February, 2013

Gramma's heart is heavy tonight. :(

March 1st, 2013 at 05:16 am

My middle grandaughter, age 5, was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when she was 2. She has had three treatments that have all thankfully resulted in periods of remission. She has to be checked every 6 months.

Yesterday was her appointment, and the JA is back and has spread. This time in a spot right behind her Achilles tendon that will require weekly shots by mom or dad, indefinately, to keep her joint from fusing. She will also have to have her eyes checked every 3 months because this form of JA is also the form that affects eyesight. Frown She told me on the phone last night that she never wants to go to the doctor again, EVER. Bless her heart.

I wish Gramma could grant that wish. But this is one gramma can't fix. I can just ache for her and give encouragement that it will be okay.

Thankfully, I get to see her on our way down south tomorrow. Cant wait to give her a hug.

Are we there yet?

February 27th, 2013 at 09:49 pm

Are vacations worth it? I mean, all the work you do before you go to make sure things are covered while you are gone...followed by all the work waiting when you get back. Seriously, I know we will have a good time, but the before and after make me wonder if its all worth it. Two more days...I can do this.

Three full days of walking and standing at Disney had me nervous. My tennis shoes were a present from a friend, I wasnt there when she bought them and didnt try them on and they are not the most comfy fitting shoes.

So, yesterday I stopped by a local store that carries well made (ie expensive..) shoes. I told the guy there that I am a gramma about to spend three days at DL with two grandkids, and I needed to know my feet would survive. He had me try on a couple of options, and then put THE sandals on my feet that were IT. OMG- most comfortable pair of shoes ever. I have never spent $130 for a full years worth of shoes, perhaps even two...let alone on a single pair. But, I did yesterday. They are sooo comfy, that I do not have buyers remorse. The older I get, the more the comfort of my shoes matters. (I sound like my gramma...)

Other than the shoes, I have had a no spend week. All meals out of the dwindling cupboard and fridge. Tonight I am going to dinner with friends.

Not much else on the financial front to add. Tomorrow the hubs pay will show, and I can update some numbers then.

Well, crud!

February 25th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Careful planning and I still managed to goof up. I brought my lunch today...all the makings for a roast beef sandwich...cept I forgot the bread. Today is a 9 hour work day, so not a good day to forgo lunch.

Then, out of the blue, I received a message from a co-worker that she had brought something for me to try today. She is Filipino, and boy can she cook! Every once in a while she will bring a little something for me to try...and today was awesome timing. It was a recipe she created- like an enchilada only not with tortillas, but with..well, egg roll wraps? filled with spicy ground pork, bell pepper, onion and potato..Whatever it was, it was super yummy...and free...and much appreciated-

but it was also breakfast AND lunch because I ...also failed to bring the oatmeal. Must be Monday.

I am on hour 9 of my workday, because I didnt take a lunch hour...and I am planning to work another hour. So, my 15 minute mental break is reading some blogs and writing this post. Big Grin

I have to stop by the store on my way home to pick up a prescription...I have a prepaid medi the stop shouldnt interfere with another no spend day...but then again, I will be at the store and...

I guess time will tell.

Ok, back to work for me.

Exciting week ahead!

February 24th, 2013 at 04:42 pm

The week ahead is an exciting one.

The hub gets home at midnight on Thursday. Smile. However, I leave the next morning for the Cali/Disney trip for 7 days. The hub DOES NOT want to go with us and is looking forward to having some time to himself. Sleep is first on his agenda.

As mentioned above, Friday DD2 and I leave with her kiddos to go to Disneyland. I will also get to spend 3 nights with my BFF, who lives down there while DD2 takes the kids to go she her grandmother.

I am on vacation for a week...we will get home on the following Thursday night...and then I reserved the work condo for the hub and I for Friday and Sat night, which is free to us!


Today I am going to put in a few hours for work, then I will work 9 hour days Mon-Thur and take Friday as a comp day so we can get on the road a little sooner than planned.

For the long drive, we will take drinks and snacks in a cooler. I plan to freeze some water bottles to keep things cold and then provide drinking water when they melt. DD2 and I have been stocking up on Disney themed treats, stickers, activity books, etc to make gift bags for the kids to enjoy on the drive.

DD1 has a dual DVD player for the car that we are going to borrow and perhaps even some movies the kids could enjoy.

I bought some potting soil yesterday to start my rosemary and basil plants- the two herbs I buy fresh regularly. I thought growing my own would be a little less expensive and much more convenient. I have been harvesting my own green onions in a glass of water on the window sill for about a month, and that is working GREAT!

My food plan for the week:
Oatmeal for breakfast
some sort of chicken for dinner..its defrosting, not sure what I will make yet
leftovers for lunch or pb&j

I am going to dinner on Wednesday with friends.

No big money news this weekend. I did double check the cc#2, which is now showing PIF. Big Grin It is nice to pay, but feels awesome once it shows on the account balance.

The hub has been working some very long days- so Friday's paycheck should be much higher than budgeted.

Today will be busy packing, working, shopping for the things we need for the trip, getting ready for the week ahead and getting the house uber clean for the hubs home alone time.

Lots to do, better get busy!

Buh-bye cc#2 (and good-riddance!)

February 22nd, 2013 at 08:34 pm

Today was payday for the hub and I. I decided to move money from ING.... *ugh* I mean Capital One, to go ahead and payoff CC#2 today. I will transfer that money back to Capital One on the 8th and save whatever interest would have accumulated on the debt. I updated the sidebar. Total debt payoff in Feb is an all time one-month record for us... $11,264!!

I am eager to see what all of this does to our credit scores!

Now, on to cc#3!

The investment counselor gave me a to-do list before our meeting. I need to get the hubs most recent pension projection, our social security statements, current 401k information and investment options, and an idea of what our tax advisor suggests for Roth vs Traditional as far as tax bracket calcs.

The hub will be going to see our accountant while he is home to get our taxes done. Last year, we received a good sized refund- I anticipate that being the case again- potentially even more, since the hub was in Alaska more than half time and may not have to pay Oregon taxes??? Not sure, but I am eager to find out. I didnt calculate a refund into the debt payments, so whatever we get will go towards cc#3.

Tonight is my date night with my oldest GS (8). He is my carnivore who will want steak for today will not be a no-spender.

A week from today we leave for our Cali/Disney trip. So much to do between now and then!!!

401k...time to make some changes

February 22nd, 2013 at 02:33 am

One of my (long?) term BHAG actually... is to retire at 60, if not sooner.

I currently contribute 8% to my 401k, which is the max that my job matches. (I love that they contribute this much, so nice!) I plan to raise my contribution amount once debt is paid off...In the meantime, I am embarrassed to admit that I set my investment options up years ago and have never changed them. This is primarily because I dont understand them. However, our job allows each employee a few hours a year to talk to an investment counselor for this very purpose. I have just never taken advantage of it.

So today, I emailed my investment profile to the counselor and set up an appointment for next month to get a solid plan in place. He briefly looked over my current investments and let me know that they need updating... since they currently conflict with each other. At least he didnt laugh. Smile

He asked a few questions and pointed out that with the hubs pension (he is fully vested from the union job he left to go to the slope), what I currently have invested plus an additional 8 years of 15-20 years left for the hub to work and invest (the hub is 7 years younger than me), we are in a good position to meet our goals. (yay!)

So, debts are being paid and I am getting the financial house in order to achieve the retirement goal. 8 years feels like a long time, but I know it will go quicker than I expect...and I very much want to be prepared.

Feels good to face the financial details head on and learn that it very well could work as planned. Smile

BHAG = Big hairy a$$ goal...Big Grin

The ironing board arrived! Yippee!...I need a life.

February 21st, 2013 at 03:37 am

Today was a no spend day. Actually, the last several days have been no spenders with the exception of Monday when I ordered the ironing board, which arrived this afternoon! How bad is it that you get excited about an ironging board--but I have gone without one for so long that it feels like a real treat to have one again.

I spent my lunch hour today working on our budget for the rest of the year. Because I am salary, my paychecks are the same every other week.

I budget the lowest amount that the hub has brought home each week to calculate his pay. The tough part is making sure I add the correct number of paychecks for the month, because he works 4/2 in the winter and 3/3 the rest of the year...which means every month is different.

I keep our budget on an excel spreadsheet with a different tab for each montn. Until today, I had projected through August, but now I have it through the end of the year. It is reassuring to see the budget for the whole year and to know the ebbs and flows for those months depending on how many weeks he actually gets a paycheck.

As I was working through it, I realized that I messed up in March and we will actually get a week of pay I hadnt budgeted for. That one week will pay for 3 of his airline tickets. Those tickets would have slowed down repayment of CC#3, but now that money will go there instead.

I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, but dinner tomorrow night will have to be creative. Perhaps a PB&J sandwich...but I bet I can stretch out at least one more no spend day..or two. Hmm...

CC#2 is in the cross hair! Once you focus, goals become reality!

February 20th, 2013 at 12:40 am

I was playing with the budget today and realized that if all goes as planned, I will send the final payment for CC#2 on March 28th. (I am paying $500 this week and will have the final $2300 by end of March)

That means that in two months, we have paid just shy of $10,000 in debt off. WOW. We have primarily accomplished this with bonus money and over time- so this pace of repayment won't be sustainable all year, but boy, this is a jump start in the right direction.

The payments from those three debts equals $470 per month, which will snowball into the CC#3 starting in April. By the end of the year on that trajectory, CC#3 will be down to about $2500. Factoring similar overtime and bonus money next year, we could potentially pay it all off sometime next year- which is my stretch goal. (yay!)

Since yesterday was a Holiday, this is a four day work week. I may work either Sat or Sun this weekend so that I can take next Friday (1st) off to leave for our California trip. DD2 got it off, and an extra day to travel that far with the two grandkids sounds like a great idea! I have four big report-type projects due right after I get back, so I am in high gear this week and next to get them done before I leave. Working on a weekend would mean less interruptions and better focus- and I dont really have any plans this weekend.

I used this past long weekend productively. I cooked oatmeal and chicken for most of the weeks meals. Today will be another no spender. Preparation sure helps stay on a food budget. I also cleaned house and caught back up at home- since I am leaving the day after the hub gets home, I want to leave the house nice and tidy so that he can fully enjoy his home alone time.

Guess its time to double check the a to-do list to make sure I get it all done...

Day after flowers = savings!

February 17th, 2013 at 03:10 am

This is post #1200. WOW.

I actually wrote a nice long post this morning, but forgot to copy before submitting and was gone.

Yesterday afternoon I got to work from home. I needed to be here when UPS delivered our Disney package containing the tickets, etc. I left the office at lunch time and stopped by the store on the way home to pick up some groceries. While I was there, I noticed that they had cut flowers discounted (since it was the day after V-Day). Big Grin I picked up two bundles of tulips at 1/2 off.. one pink and one white. I just love this combo. Even though they are a 'day old' they were perfectly fine and look beautiful. The photo above is not mine, but resembled my the color of my tulips perfectly!)

I don't buy cut flowers often..maybe twice a year. Since the hub wasnt here for V-day, I decided to treat myself.

DD3, who is working in Alaska, has a friend here that is a single mom- which means she is a young, single mom..just 21. Her son's first birthday was today. She and DD3 have been friends since they were 12, so she is like family- although this is one of the kids friends that Im not too close to. DD2, Z and I went to the party.

First, I was surprised by how much she spent on this party. She lives on next to nothing..and barely makes ends meet...often not having food at the end of the month. She used at least $175 on this party..she told us that the location, a kids activity center, cost $130 for a birthday room for an hour and the children attendees have free entry to the facility for the day. (the money came from her tax refund)..She bought trays of meat/cheese, veggies and dips, cupcakes, etc...aside from her mom and grandma, ONE other girlfriend showed up. Z and the birthday boy were the only kids there. I felt so bad for her. SHe was very disappointed...and must have regretted spending so lavishly.

I have DD1s kiddos over tonight. Her and SIL are having a date night. My gs has been asleep for an hour or so, and my gd is watching Hotel Transylvania and snacking on girl scout cookies (that SHE sold me Smile )....expensive little cookies too.

Update on Z

There are a couple of important court dates coming this month. The first is for his mother. They are adding more charges- and she may be going back to jail.

The other is the first permanency hearing. This could go two ways- 1- they could extend moms time to rehab 3 more months..and 2- they could start permanency placement proceedings, which will kick his file to a committee to determine where he will live permanently. If 2 happens, it is highly likely, now that Z is past age 2, that he will stay with DD2 and she will get to eventually adopt. But there are no guarantees.

My wish is that no matter what happens Z has a chance to grow up in a loving, nurturing environment. He is such a sweet little boy.

A full month ahead on debt repayment!

February 14th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

The hub has been working a lot of OT lately. His paycheck tomorrow, is the biggest since he started working at this job almost 18 months ago..$959 more than budgeted. This will go to CC#2 and put us a FULL MONTH ahead on our debt repayment plan! I scheduled a payment for tomorrow for $1000.

Lunch ended up being free today. A team met at lunch time and there were leftover subway sandwiches up for grabs, so I took one and ate at my desk and read.

Tonight is my 'date' with the hubs aunt. It should be a fun night.

Tomorrow is Friday, but I dont have a date with a grandchild..instead, I am keeping DD1's two kiddos Saturday night so mom and dad can go out. This is a three day weekend, which I am looking forward to. I have some housework and laundry to catch up on since I was gone last weekend.

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 14th, 2013 at 02:56 pm

Good Morning Friends!

I wish each of you a wonderful Valentine's Day today!

The hub and DD3 in Alaska

February 14th, 2013 at 04:32 am

Today was an exciting day for DD3. The ice road between the camp she has been at...and the camp her dad is at...was finished late last night. So this morning after she got off, she and a co-worker were able to drive over to see her dad. This is the longest she has ever been away from us and they were both pretty happy to see each other. I have to settle for a picture of them sharing the moment on the slope...

Here they are:

I miss them both and it brought tears to my eyes to see them looking so happy. This is truly a shared experience that they will both look back on and enjoy. DD3 is having such a good time working up there...and the hub LOVES it. So this pic did my heart good.

There is a little mexican restaurant near my job that I like to go to when I want to get away at lunch. They recently changed owners and I have been wondering how it would change. Today I went and got to find out. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the taco salad I usually get was still on the menu and a few dollars cheaper!! It was only $5.25 (used to be $8.95) was a little smaller, which is perfect as the more expensive salad was too much for lunch. The quality was just as good. I usually just have water, so this is a very reasonable lunch..and the service was amazingly friendly. Nice surprise!!

After I got home, I got another surprise...I wasnt very hungry, so I wasnt sure what to do for dinner...and then the doorbell rang...DD2 had picked up the kids AND pizza and popped in!! Fun!

All in all, a great day. I truly am very, very blessed.

Ch#se Ch#se go away...

February 13th, 2013 at 05:29 am

I received a notice today that the city house mortgage is being Ch#se. Ironically, the country house loan was orginally taken out at Ch#se. A few months back, one of the credit card accounts we have was assumed by Ch#se. I can't help but feel Ch#se is slowly gobbling up all things debt in my life. Thankfully, my goal is to rid my life of Ch#se for good- :/ Someday.

After a beautiful weekend, and a couple of long work days on the coast, I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight. No matter how great the view and how wonderful the experience, there is simply no place like home.

Today was another no spend day. I just love those anymore!!

Some crazy demented woman set up my calendar for work tomorrow. I have appointments booked that will take up most of my first day back in the office. WTH was I thinking when I did that? ugh. Oh well, hopefully it will make the day go by fast..

Its good to be spite of Ch#se.

Wrapping up the stay at the condo...

February 12th, 2013 at 04:41 am

Tonight is my final night at the condo. My co-worker arrived this morning and we visited two of our larger locations, which took most of the day and then came back here- she had to leave home at 6am to get here for our first meeting, so she relaxed...and I summarized our findings and emailed them off. Tomorrow we will pack up and go visit our three smaller locations and then head home. I will sure miss this beautiful place, the sound of the ocean and the beautiful sunsets! I have 100% enjoyed this stay.

I spent $10.99 on a bottle of red wine for us to share tonight- but otherwise, I havent spent any money this weekend. I am so so blessed. The job paid for our lunch and dinner (uh, prime rib?) And tomorrow's lunch. We will be home in time for dinner.

Our jobs will ensure that we are back over here at least quarterly for a day or two..which is something I REALLY look forward to!!!

No other money news tonight. Just a quiet night with the door open, a cool breeze blowing in, a wonderful glass of wine and some great memories for this gramma.

Sunset number two at the condo

February 11th, 2013 at 02:22 am

Here is a picture of tonight's sunset. Another amazing freebie from mother nature:

Today was wonderful. I didnt fall asleep until about 4 this morning..just being in a new house, different bed- my mind was not wanting to shut down. So I caught up on the blogs, read news, looked at pinterest, read...and finally dozed off. I woke at 9, was up for an hour or so and then took a 3 hour nap. The rest of the day I have enjoyed the ocean view, read, and just tried to relax. At home, relaxing is combined with housework, laundry, drop in visitors, projects, etc. Relaxing today was interesting--I kept feeling like I needed to do something. But tonight, I do feel rested and am ready to tackle the week ahead.

Yesterday and today were no spend days. Smile

Tomorrow a co-worker is joining me at the condo and we will visit locations together. Lunch and dinner will be paid for by the job and then we will stay here tomorrow night and visit the rest of the locations on Tuesday- then head home.

The hub has an aunt a few years older than me that lost her son (23) and then her husband 4 months apart- this was about 10 years ago. Since, she has struggled with depression and reclusiveness. But lately, she has reached out to me for friendship. Her financial situation is bad- she lives on a very tight budget. So I asked her out for Valentines. One of our mom and pop restaurants is having a special- prime rib and a special desert for $29. It should be a fun evening and something for her to look forward to.

I sure have enjoyed my free getaway this weekend...I will have to see if any upcoming weekends are available here. No need for this place to go unused if its not reserved!!

Paradise! I found it!

February 10th, 2013 at 12:34 am

Oh my goodness. I was a little late leaving home, but got on the road by 10:30am. My job needed me to bring a company vehicle over, and leave it for the staff over here to use, so I didnt have to pay for gas for the drive. (I will catch a ride back with a co-worker on Tuesday)

I put the book on CD in, that I bought last week...then I hit the road...there was hardly anyone else on the road, so the drive over was easy. I used the turnouts everytime anyone got behind me and just drove at a comfortable pace on the windy mountain roads. Part of the drive includes the giant redwoods, a beautiful river that was close to turquise in color, a frosting of snow in the trees. Simply beautiful. At 1pm, I arrived here and unloaded. Here is my view from the balcony of the condo:

It is February, and that is a bright clear sky and it is fairly warm out...

The whole front of the condo is windows...I have the slider open and have spent the afternoon listening to the waves crash, watching the ocean and seagulls, and reading a book.

What in the world did I ever do to deserve an oppotunity to stay in such a beautiful place, for free. Just me...this view, a book...a couple of movies, a good bottle of wine...and great food to cook.

Here was my lunch:

Toasted sourdough topped with caprese...fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes, sweet basil a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt...

Tonight, the menu is rosemary lemon chicken and quinoa, a glass of Oregon wine, at a table with an unbeatable view....followed by a favorite chick flick (havent decided which one yet)...

I have honestly found Heaven on Earth. Did I mention its all free to me? FREE. to me. I am blessed.

And here is the Sunset tonight...

DD2 is paid in full!!

February 9th, 2013 at 04:07 pm

ARGH. I forgot to save first. *hand to head* Dang it.

DD2 received her tax return and paid us back yesterday. Between her payback, DD3s payback and my bonus money, we have paid back over $7800 this past month. YAY. We are working on paying cc#2 and instead of the normal $150 payment, we will snowball the other paid off payments and paying $500 each month (at least). I have projected all debt beside mortgage to be paid by summer 2015, but my stretch goal is to have it paid by the end of 2014.

Last night was my four year old granddaughters date night with gramma. She is all things disney, so we have played disney games and watched the disney channel. I give each of the kids a choice to sleep in the spare room, or to sleep in hte big bed with gramma. All but one opt for grammas bed. It never ceases to amaze me how little people can quickly take over a king sized bed and edge gramma out. After a quick adjustment to sleeping beauty at 3am, we were both back alseep in no time.

I plan to leave for the coast at 9:30, which should put me at the condo around 1. I am packing chicken, rice and quinoa to fix while there. I am also taking a couple of chick flicks, my kindle and my tennis shoes for walking. Should be a wonderful weekend.

Feeling pretty blessed this is wonderful!

Payday planning and heading to the coast

February 8th, 2013 at 05:04 am

Between the hubs and my payckecks tomorrow, we will have an additional $568. (Overtime, plus my raise) Last month, the hub had to charge extra to stay overnight in Seattle because of fog. This, plus his normal expenses for travel equalled almost $300 that needed to be paid on his visa which left $268. This was applied to cc#2.

I anticipated cc#2 being paid in October, but now I have budgeted to move that payoff to August.

Dinner tonight was the remainder of the leftover teriyaki chicken. I DID go out to lunch today with two former coworkers. I spent $7 and had a nice visit with my friends.

Tomorrow is breakfast burrito Friday...which is only $3 and fills me up for the day. And tomorrow night is granddaughter (age 4) date night. I am not sure what we will do. But I also have to finish packing for my trip to the coast. Us girls will have fun. GD loves to play on the ipad, but I am hoping to spend non-plugged in time with her.

The coast trip this weekend is free to me, except the food....I am soo looking forward to the time away. I have a good book, a good movie and a great view to look forward to. I am still debating whether or not to eat some fresh seafood while I am there...

The hub called at 5pm tonight...he had been working a 30 hour shift with a small nap. He sounded pretty tired, but he still had 3-4 hours to go. I hope he has time to sleep tonight. Working that many hours cant be good for anyone.

I know being out of the office part of next week will catch up with me...but I also know that spending time with our new staff is important too.

In any case, I am looking forward to a quiet Sat and Sun ahead.

Who doesn't love leftovers?

February 7th, 2013 at 02:49 am

Tonight was leftover night. (chicken teriyaki, sweet onion and jasmine rice). I know people who say the 'hate' leftovers and never eat them. When its just me here, I have leftovers more during the week than I do original meals so I cant fathom that..leftovers are often even better than the original meal. 1- prep time is so much quicker and 2- the flavors meld together and are so tasty 3- the cost is right. What is not to LOVE about leftovers?? Anyways, mine were excellent tonight.

I went to the used bookstore today and picked up two books on CD to listen to on the way to the coast this weekend. ($30) When I am done with them, I plan to take them back and get some of the money back- I think I will get half back.

Tonight, when I told the hub how we are doing on debt repay he perked up. Both of us are ready to do he was as excited as I am.

Today was another crazy busy day. I am ready to have just a normal day at work- where I get to work have a to-do list and have a few interruptions during the day. Right now I juggle a to-do list and 'fires', of which there are many. This is the stuff burn-out is made of. Seriously.

But it is also the stuff job security is made of. I am blessed to have a job I love...just wish there wasnt so much of it to squeeze into every workday.

All in all, cant complain. I am pretty stinkin blessed.

Paybacks are GREAT

February 6th, 2013 at 08:54 pm

DD2 has learned that her tax return will arrive on Friday. (its showing as pending now)

So- I scheduled the payoff on CC#1 for Friday and will have $1200 to send to cc#2 on Friday. (yay!)

I forgot lunch this morning, so I took advantage of pizza Wed at work. For $3 you get 2-3 slices of pizza and a can of soda. Its a good deal- so I dont feel too guilty for $3.

Tomorrow I will be able to see what the hubs check will be..extra is going to cc#2.

Now that I am focused with a plan, debt repayment has never been so fun. Big Grin

Easy dinner and Disney planning

February 6th, 2013 at 03:00 am

I am so glad I save entries now...almost lost another one, but didnt!

Dinner tonight was so yummy. Chicken breast, spicy teriyaki sauce, sweet onion and jasmine rice. So cheap, easy, quick and tasty! Love those go-to meals! Cost less than $5 and took less than 30 minutes in the kitchen and was way healthier than fast food. Did I mention LEFT OVERS too- at least two more meals!

I have a long list to finish at work this week. I love staying so busy the days fly by, but my goodness- I honestly dont think Ive ever worked at the pace Im keeping since the first of the year. I love my job, its just I feel like IM juggling as fast as I possibly can. I will be visiting our new branches next Monday and Tuesday, so I will be out of the office...which means even more fun when I get back. Big Grin

I called my friend in California last night and arranged to stay with her the extra two nights that we will be there. The package for the three day hopper pass, three nights at the hotel, a free meal for four and a $20 gift card was $1790, which I have paid. Now we will have to pay for gas, food and any extras - DD2 and I are splitting these expenses. I figure another $500 each- gas and food will be the biggest chunk. I am taking a cooler so that we can take snacks and drinks on the drive. We will do mainly water (using water bottles) in the park. DD3 is getting each of the kids a gift card and they can use it for whatever they want, but that way she can cap the spending.

Im not sure yet what I will do for food this weekend at the coast. I have some very ripe bananas- so I am thinking about making muffins to take...I am not sure what they have cooking untensil wise in the I may end up just eating out for a meal or two. But I havent decided. With a little planning, and taking what I think Ill need- it would be easy to cook my own meals and hole up at the condo with a book...hmmm. Much to think about.

Debt trajectory and a great weekend ahead!

February 5th, 2013 at 02:23 am

I paid off one debt today and schedule the remaining money from the bonus, $1600, to go to the next debt, which will happen tomorrow. It feels wonderful to be started on this trajectory.

I received a refund check today from our cancelled cell phone service for $77.83, so I am scheduling an additional transfer to debt #2.

Yesterday and today were no spend days. I had leftovers for lunch and dinner.

When the hub comes home next time, he is going to have the taxes done. I wish we could do them ourselves to save money, but he has his wood business that always impacts our taxes. Last year we got a net refund of over $2k. I anticipate this year will be similar..that money will also go to debt #2.

So- today I asked and guess what, I RECEIVED. I am going to be working over on the coast Monday and Tuesday. Our job has leased a condo while we are merging operations...and I asked if I could go over on Saturday and enjoy the condo (which is OCEAN FRONT by the way) for the weekend...and YEP. I am soo excited. PLUS...they need me to take a company car over so that there is a car over there permanently...Another worker is coming on Monday and I will ride back with her on Tuesday afternoon....SO I GET A FREE WEEKEND AWAY with a spectacular view and I dont even have to pay for gas!!!! I just have to feed myself, which I can do really cheaply. Yippee!!!
I totally see a good book in my future..yes yes yes!!

I have a date night on Friday with my four year old granddaughter and then on Saturday morning..this gramma will be ON THE ROAD.

Life, well...could it get any better??? Big Grin

My head is out of the sand-

February 4th, 2013 at 03:10 am

I cancelled the ING transfer for the bonus. Instead, I sat down today and made a payment plan for paying off all debt besides our mortgage. I will confess that I have never calculated this, because I was afraid the payoff date would be so far away that I would get too discouraged. (Kind of like my fear when I step on the scale....some folks might understand this, others wont.)

Anyway...I did it. And I was PLEASANTLY surprised. By using a snowball method and not calculating any future windfalls or pay increases, we will be debt free by mid Summer 2015. That is completely doable!! And very exciting. Expecially since my budget doesnt account for any OT for the hub- which during the winter months, there is a lot of. So if I stick to this basic plan, that is the date. However, if I put extra at every chance, it could be even sooner.

What an awesome feeling. And this allows us to continue to add to savings, 401k, and enjoy vacations.

Why did I wait so long to do this???

So, my bonus money and what DD2 pays us will go towards the smalles of the debts and pay them in full. Then, the payment $$ from those bills will be allocated towards the next bill...and at the end of that fairly long (for now) the debt free life I want.


The other half of the plan means taking care of our vehicles, so that those dont have to be replaced and not adding any debt along the way.

Tonight I am baking chicken. I was really disappointed when I went to cook, to realize that I left my nice big bottle of olive oil at the rental house last weekend. Frown I use olive oil almost every time I cook, so I will need to pick some up tomorrow. I used butter tonight...because I didnt know what was the next best thing besides that.

Am so happy to share my plan. Now, to start watching the debt disappear for GOOD. Big Grin

Disney planning continues..

February 3rd, 2013 at 07:57 pm

Happy Sunday!

This morning, I woke to DD2 and her 3 kiddos knocking at the front door. She showed up with coffee store mochas and very energetic youngsters. We sat down and mapped out a plan for the Disney trip. She nixed the Blue Bayou lunch plan- she is a picky eater and didn't see anything she wanted on the menu. So, that will save me a little- because the meals weren't cheap there.

Our plan is to leave on Friday- drive to Sacramento and stay with my son. Drive to my BFFs house near Disney on Sat...I will stay with BFF and DD2 will take the kids to see her grandma who lives a couple of hours on down the road.

She will come back Sunday afternoon and stay the night at BFFs and then we will head for the three night stay at Disney (30 min away) on Monday. Then, on Thursday, we will head home.

We plan to pick up snacks for the room, buy water bottles, etc. between now and then to save some money.

Our package includes a free character meal..which will help with the cost while we are there.

DD2 is getting her income tax return next week. She owes me $3k and will have enough to pay that back- plus all her other debt, have some for Disney and still put about $2k in savings.

With DD3 paying us back, the bonus money this weekend, and now DD2 paying us back, I am building savings quickly. I will come up with a plan for paying some things either off or down myself now that the money has been repaid and it isnt flowing out to help struggling kids anymore.

DD1 invited me over for the Superbowl today, but Im not sure I will go. I am pretty tired and havent had a chance to catch up on the housework like Id planned. Staying home and doing that sounds like a great idea...but I will see how things go this afternoon. Plus, I still have to get over to the pharmacy to pick up the pills that they shorted me last week.

Bonus and vacation plans

February 3rd, 2013 at 06:55 am

So glad I copied this before I didnt have to start over.

I had a great time at the banquet tonight. I already set up a transfer to ING on Monday to include the tonights bonus plus the rebate money I have saved this year. All in all I am transferring $4344 to savings. Then, when the hub comes home next, we can decide which bills to pay with the money.

I reserved the excursions we are planning for the cruise. Since I can change up until a few days before the cruise, I thought it was a good idea to reserve spots NOW for the things we really want to do before they book up. Then, if we change our mind, I can cancel with no penalty.

I also finished paying for the hotel and Disney tickets today.

The money for both trips is budgeted not coming out of savings or being put on debt.

I started logging food again on My Fitness Pal...and am starting to use the free weights that we have. Tomorrow I plan to also incorporate a walk into the plan. I need to get ready for the walking at Disneyland and I really want to get in better shape for the cruise. I did really good with the food logging until the banquet tonight..the food was spectacular and I decided to just reset in the morning and start over.

Looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow. Superbowl or not, I want to get in some down time. Life is good!

Date night and green onions

February 2nd, 2013 at 04:32 am

Tonight is date night with my 4 year old grandson. He got to pick dinner...we had McDonalds. I took him to one with a big play place and he seemed to have a great time. I would have preferred something else for dinner, but it was his choice.

We came home and watched a movie together, now he is playing and using up the last of his energy before bedtime.

A couple of nights ago the hub bbqd tri tip and we had baked potatoes. I love green onions on baked potatoes, but when I pulled them out of the fridge, they were pretty I decided to forego the onlions. But I put them in a glass of water..and tonight, they are all perked back up. I trimmed the ends and have a nice healthy supply to use this weekend. I plan to just keep them growing this way. I dont use much, so I should be able to grow enough for me easily..all I need is water, a glass and a little sun from the window. The cost is right..and I will always have onions when I need them! At appx .75 a bundle, its not huge, but it is an easy way to save a little.

DD3 got paid today and I am tickled to say she has now paid us back in full...and has a real live savings account!! Go DD3!

So glad the weekend is here! I am looking forward to slowing my pace down for a couple of days and catching back up at home. Tonight, enjoying my is blessed!