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Archive for December, 2009

Sidebar updated for 2010

December 31st, 2009 at 06:27 pm

I just updated my goals for 2010 on my sidebar. This time I included a "Wants" category. Our financial goals are the same as last year; increase our savings, a summer fund, vacation fund and to make extra payments to our home mortgage. As you may remember we were really excited about getting rid of our mortgage, but afer reevaluating our situation we realized that we will have to downsize because we can purchase a smaller house and have smaller property tax bill in a neighboring town (we're currently paying $8200 a year for taxes). We will not be needing our school system after my youngest graduates from high school in 2012. As for personal goals, I really want to try to kick the soda habit and work towards my physical well-being.

We decided to stay home for New Year's Eve, since we're not really in a festive mood. I do want to wish all of you a Happy, Healthy and a Prosperous New Year!

What I'm up to

December 28th, 2009 at 08:31 pm

I got over the fact that I'll have to pay $39 for an over-the-limit fee. I'll just have to be very careful from now on. Tomorrow I'm going to Walgreens to snag some deals I found through moneysavingmom.
Click on the link on my sidebar if you want to check it out. I also snagged my third $5 amazon gift card for a total of $15. You can also check it out my clicking the link on my sidebar.

I'm making a carrot cake for my dear friends that have just arrived to the U.S. from Ireland. I'll be visiting their home tomorrow. I also cooked two pounds of Pinto beans for future use. I made a batch for today, Spanish style and have two additional containers to freeze. I already added Spanish spices and cilatro cubes to each container.

I'm off from work until January 3rd /. This time off will give me enough time to think of 2010 goals and continue simplyfing my life a bit. Yesterday I tackled "my bills" basket and shredded a lot of papers. By the way does anyone know how long do I have to keep bank, 403B and Roth IRA statement? I read somewhere that they should be kept for 7 years. That's an awful lot of papers to keep around.

Beans




Disappointed! : /

December 26th, 2009 at 08:59 pm

Feeling very disappointed today. I called the automated service to check on the balance on my Amazon Visa (Chase Bank) and I went over the limit last month. There it was, a $39 over-the-limit fee. I call to see if I can get it waived since I never carry any balances and am in good standing, but the customer rep was pretty unsympathetic to my plea. Honestly, I know that the cc company does not care that I pay my balances in full: I'm sure they rather that I pay them interest. I'm so angry at myself for not paying attention to this, but I think that what has me feeling cheated is that I try so hard to save here and there so that we can do a little more with our money. I could've sent those $39 to my parents and not the darn credit card company. Sorry I sound like a raging lunatic, I'm just really, really disappointed. I know better now; lesson learned!

My husband and I went to Walmart today to buy dog food and other items I had coupons for. The Walmart near disappoints me so much. New Jersey does not have Super Walmart like other parts of the country. I think it's because there is a law protecting supermarket chains. The grocery selection is poor and usually inconsistant. I'm gonna have to return to the grocery store sometime this week to get the remaining products I was looking to buy with coupons. I did save a few dollars today, $8.50 to be exact. Once I submit the mail-in rebate for the Olay Quench Body lotion I should have an additional $10 (all together that's half of the stupid over-the-limit fee).

I asked my husband to remind me next year not to go shopping the day after Christmas. It seems as if this time of the year brings the worst in people. Even the sandwich guy at Subway was pretty grumpy. Oh well. Thanks for being a listening ear for me.

These beautiful looking pretzels should be able to bring my spirits up!


Passing along info. about good deals

December 23rd, 2009 at 02:01 am

Anyone interested in trying OLAY Quench Body Lotion? You can try for it for free after a mail-in rebate and the nice thing is that you can get up two rebates. You can download the rebate form at OLAY.com or wontbesoonlongbefore.blogspot.com. I'll pick these up after Christmas. The cold weather is taking a toll on my skin already (it doesn't help that I take long hot showers). Don't forget to purchased them before January 29th and rebate must be postmarked before February 12th. Also, if you like Pillsbury holiday cookies, they usually go really cheap after
Christmas and you can get a manufactures coupon at coupons.com. I downloaded quite a few coupons from this site. If you like John Frieda products Walgreens has these on sale. It will cost you .49 after coupons ($3/1 Walgreens coupon and $2.50/1 coupon from coupons.com) You can download the Walgreens coupon online also. I love John Frieda's products but they are quite expensive, but .49 cents I'll gladly buy it. Visit moneysavingmom.com for direct links to the coupons. You can also get $4 off a movie download at Amazon. The code is AVODGIFT or follow the link at moneysavingmom.com

I have a half a day tomorrow and I'm off until January 3rd. I'm really excited about this. I'll be simplifying my life by decluttering. A fellow teacher cleaned house the other day and brought to school a huge collection of hardcover books to give to anyone who was interested. I took quite a few to read this summer when I'm done with my thesis. I got my hands on 4 hardcover Harry Potter books which I already have, but I will find someone to give them to. I read the first two chapters of Patricia Cornwell's Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper Case (I also grabbed it from the free books). Very interesting!

More deals

December 20th, 2009 at 06:26 pm

On my last trip to Walgreens I received 3 coupons totalling $18 to be used on my next visit. My husband used a $10 coupon to purchased soda and still had $8 left in coupons but they had to be used by 12/19/09. In anticipation to the big snow storm I asked my husband to go to Walgreens and see what we can get for $8. He came back with laundry detergent that was on sale for $9.99+ tax. We ended up paying $2 and some change. I thought my husband made a good choice.



I'm finally done with the Learning extension project for the last graduate class /. I have 2.5 work days this week and so looking forward to the holiday break. I don't go back to work until January 4th. I'll be cleaning house and writing down our financial goals for 2010. I've also been inspired by a fellow blogger to get rid of 50 things cluttering my life. I'm shooting for this before we welcome the new year. I have a very busy 6 months ahead of me, since I'll be writing the thesis to complete my graduate program, but I've promised myself to continue on my quest to living a financially secured life. Have a great holiday week.

Gift cards

December 17th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I just snagged my second $5 Amazon gift card by using Swagbucks search engine. Thanks Denise for using my referral link. All my gift cards are used to purchased items needed for a children's daycare center. These are children living in extreme poverty.

Wish me luck!

December 15th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Ok, fellow bloggers we need you to root for us. We will begin prepaying aggressively on our mortgage starting January 1st. We will be living off my husband's income and the income from the rental property and my checks will be used to pay our monthly payment and about $2100 on extra principal. We figured we have a pretty nice emergency fund and we should give this a try. We can always reduce the amount if it becomes too hard to do. I'd say give it a try!

There are two reasons why we want to do this:
1. We hate having to pay about $10,000 in interest every year (I rather pay the feds a few thousand dollars)
2. My husband can retire at 60 and he is 51 already. I have to work 'til I'm 62 (40 now). We rather not have a mortgage when he retires.

Savings and Happy Hanukkah

December 12th, 2009 at 12:24 am

First of all, Happy Hanukkah for all you are celebrating the Festival of Lights!

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I'd been following moneysavingmom.com and she always talks about the deals at Walgreens. After reading many of her blogs I decided to give it a try today. I spent $43.67-$11.00 (manufacturers coupons)=$32.67 and received a total of $18 in coupons to use on my next purchase. Not bad!



4 boxes of Kellogg's Corn Pops
twin pack of Renu Saline Solution
2 pack of Theraflu
Picture collage for my sister
3 5X7 and 12 wallets (sons pictures)
1 Paul Mitchell man's deodorant (no pic)

reward coupons



On another note, it's brutally cold here in northern NJ but it's suppose to warm up a bit during the weekend. Hopefull I'll find the energy to go Christmas shopping this weekend. Have a great weekend.

Crazy idea?!

December 4th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

I have this crazy idea in my head and I shared it with my husband last night. I want to payoff the mortgage as soon as we can. So I proposed to him that we should use my entire paychecks to pay our monthly and put the rest towards the principal. His check and the profit from our rental property will be used to pay bills and save a little bit. He agreed that we should try it and if it doesn't work out we'll just stop. I'm glad that he is willing to give my thoughts and ideas a try.

On another note, this time of the year my husband gets quite a few gifts from students he transports to school. This is the run down of what he has gotten so far:

$50 cash
$25 local pizzeria gift card
$15 Starbucks gift card
$25 Target gift card

Total=$115

I made an extra $132.50 at work doing home instruction and one class coverage. I should get the money next pay period.

I hope you have a wonderful, safe and frugal weekend. I'll be completing a graduate course this weekend.