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Archive for November, 2011

A lovely treat and a little more

November 26th, 2011 at 06:43 pm

I had a blast in New York City on Friday. We caught the 7:32 a.m. train and arrived at Penn Station @8:52. We then took a taxi to Radio City Music Hall because we were travelling with a 4 year old and a 9 year old. Weather was absolutely divine and the Christmas Spectacular was awesome. After the show we grabbed something to eat and then headed to the M&M World store to treat the girls. We decided to walk back to Penn Station since the weather was lovely. All in all, it was a spendy day but worth every penny spent. Next trip to the city will be when the Broadway show EVITA starts in the spring.

My hubby started decorating the outside of the house for Christmas on Friday and finished it today. I removed all of my indoor fall decorations and began decorating for Christmas. I'm not sure when I'll put up the Christmas tree; maybe next weekend. Honestly, I cannot have the tree up for too long because I get tired of looking at it.

Back to work on Monday. I wish I had a few more days off. Have a great Sunday and a fruitful work week!

Happy Thanksgiving and a Freebie

November 24th, 2011 at 06:14 am

Firstable, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my SA friends. I feel blessed to be part of this forum!

Don't forget to get your Walgreens photo collage at Walgreens.com for free until tomorrow. Choose to pick up at your nearest store and it will be completely free because you won't be paying shipping charges. Use the code RGIFT2U at checkout. We are off to my MIL's house in the afternoon. I'm making chocolate chip cookies, Reese's Chewy Chocolate cookies and a pumpkin pie. Tomorrow I'll be heading off to New York City to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. I'm so excited!

Swagbucks TV and 2011 mortgage update

November 23rd, 2011 at 01:34 pm

As some of you may already know, I received a Barnes and Nobles NOOK (an e-reader) for my birthday in August. I can honestly say that this is the best present ever. I have downloaded about four books since I got it, but I decided that I would find another way to purchase these electronic books. I've been winning digital money through swagbucks for quite sometime now. I can get a $5 Barnes and Noble gift cards each time I earn 625 swagbucks. I wish they were easier to earn, like the Amazon gift card (only 450 swagbucks). There is a book I have in my wishlist and pretty much would like it to be the next book I read. I decided that I would buy it only if I have enough swagbucks to cover the entire amount. I am currently raking swagbucks by using their Swagbucks TV feature, which for a limited time, you can earn up to 150 swagbucks a day. I've already have enough for a $5 B&N gift cards and pretty close to earning a second one. I can't wait!

The total mortgage principal payment for this year is:$24,261.40. I don't think I'll be making any more extra payments this year because I have other financial obligations that need to be covered. All in all, I'm proud of myself. This amount represents a shorter mortgage life of one year.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Just found out the high cost of technical school and need advice

November 10th, 2011 at 01:46 pm

A representative from a very reputable automotive school in PA came to talk to us about their school. We requested the visit because after an extensive research. We thought that this school will be the best fit for our DS#2. He will graduate from high school in June of 2012. It is clear that he has no intention of persuing a traditional post high school education and I feel that my job as a parent is to guide him and let him decide what he wants to do. After the presentation, of course, the representative gave us the rundown of how much the program will cost. Worst case scenario, tuition will cost close to $30K, not including room and board. Most of these programs cost that much money. We decided that we would go forward with the application process. As some of you know, we paid for DS#1 college tuition, which we estimated to cost close to $45K because my son never inccured room and board expenses. We intend to pay for DS#2 tuition also. Here is my question, Do we get student loans to cover the cost of this program or should we pay for it in full with the money we have in savings (tuition only)? We would pay for his living expenses on a month to month basis. With DS#1, tuition was paid every five months for 4 years. We do not have the same option with DS#2 since this program is only for 12 months. DS#2 is planning on getting a part-time job with the help of the job placement department at school. Assuming that by September of 2012 we have $90K in savings, that would leave us with $60K. Enough to cover about 10 months of a bare bones budget. Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.

I've gone on a "ME" shopping spree lately

November 9th, 2011 at 03:12 pm

Ever since the boys were little, most of my purchases were related to them. I would make an occasional purchase for me of a sweater or pants once in a while, aside from the major purchases made at the beginning of September for work clothes. This week I bought the Pampered Chef items (which everyone will benefit from), I bought two tickets to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall in New York City (half price using a Groupon code)and last night I ordered a pair of Ugg Tasman slippers I wanted. I have a black pair, but they are starting to look a bit shabby. I intend to pay for the tickets and kitchen items with the $300 cashback from Chase. Those two items were $305, so only $5 out of pocket. The slippers were purchased with Amazon gift cards earned with swagbucks and Chase Amazon credit card. Cost=$90 free shipping. I still have a credit of $180.95 /. I was thinking of getting a North Face fleece jacket but I think I'm getting it for Christmas.

I have one more college semester to pay for DS#1. Technically, he has another semester in the fall of 2012 but he said that he would pay for that one himself since we will begin paying for DS#2 technical school in the fall of 2012. I was so proud of him when he said, "Mom, I'm grateful that you have paid for 4 years worth of tuition for me, I'll use my summer work money to pay for the last college semester". Smile

Mortgage update: I added another $65 to principal this week. Total principal paid this year is: $23,030 and I still have until December to try to meet the "super ambitious goal of 2011" (see sidebar)

Book review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is simply awesome. I already downloaded the second book of his Millenium Trilogy.

Hope you have a great end to the week.

Spendy Saturday and super spendy November

November 6th, 2011 at 06:17 am

I went to a Pampered Chef party last night and spend $165.00. I bought a Mandolin, stoneware pizza pan, cookie cooling rack, salsa serving bowls and a chopper. I don't feel guilty about the purchase because I know I'll use these items often. I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, besides I used my newly acquired Chase freedom card which will give me $300 cash back with my first purchase. I'll have enough to cover the Christmas Spectacular (Rockettes)tickets in New York City and the Pamper Chef purchase.

Just wrote 2 checks for quarterly property taxes totaling close to $3,000. We are heavily taxed in New Jersey. In the kitchen front, I made pizza dough, cookies and buffalo chicken yesterday. Today, I'll make 15 bean soup to eat and some to store in the freezer.

This is the update for this week. I hope you all have a great week!

Affected by the snow storm : (

November 2nd, 2011 at 01:24 pm

Once again, I was greatful to have money to weather difficult times. Saturday's snow storm left our town looking like a war zone. Trees uprooted from the ground, wires on the ground and an entire town completely in the dark. We were without power, which means no heat for almost three days. Our neighborhood was lucky enough to be one of the first ones to get power, due to the close proximity to the public schools. We were able to save the perishables with the exception of a few items. We showered at a friend's house, ate out a lot and burned wood in the fire place 'till late at night to keep warm for a while. Nights were brutal and waking up in the morning worst. Many of my coworkers still have no power. Quite honestly I was getting depressed. Can't stop mother nature, though.

I hope the rest of you are warm and safe!