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Archive for March, 2011

The gift of life

March 28th, 2011 at 03:08 pm

Today my brother-in-law received the gift of life. He received a liver. He has had liver disease for quite sometime, but just recently he was put on the transplant list. He got the call last night that there was a possible match for him and he had to get to the hospital immediately. Under the parameters of this kind of surgery he is doing well; time is of the essence now. We are hopeful that he would recuperate without complications. Even though we are joyful, I can't help to think of the grief the donor's family must be going through. He was someone's son, maybe a brother, and uncle or a father. The family donated any organs that could be saved and for this precious gift I thank them.

My weekly update

March 27th, 2011 at 06:40 am

One more week of work and we are off for Spring break (DS#2, hubby and I). DS#2 had Spring break two weeks ago.

Lots of money was spent this weekend. One more month before property taxes for both houses are due (rental/primary). We put almost $1,300 towards the mortgage principal bring our total principal reduction to $5,794.79 this year. My husband I agree that any money in excess to a mutually agreed amount of savings will go into the mortgage principal. Our goal for 2011 is to trim $15K from the principal.


On the car front, we think we will purchasing a Mazda 3 for me and giving my 2001 Suzuki GV XL7 to my DS#2 when he gets his license in April. It'll be a good starter car for him. We actually bought the car brand new and we've really taken care of it. It only has 64,000 original miles.


I hope you all have a great Sunday and a frugal work week!

A mortgage update

March 21st, 2011 at 02:15 pm

Four months ago, we refinanced and opted to go down to a 15 year mortgage, which meant an increase in our mortgage payment of $287. We really like how we are paying down the mortgage fairly quickly. Usually,we try to pay an extra $148 every month, which at the end of the year will equal to one extra payment a year. I just activated an automatic transfer for an additional $150. The total extra principal this month is $2 shy of $300. In the amortization chart, the amount we owe today should have been the amount we would owe on June 1st. I'm proud of my (our) efforts.


The first full day of Spring came with snow in northern NJ! ;(

Happy Vernal Equinox!

March 20th, 2011 at 07:42 am

Happy First Day of Spring! Winter felt endless to me this year. Goodbye SAD!


We are still exploring ideas on what to do about a vehicle. DS#2 gets his license next month and we are thinking of giving him my SUV and buying a new car for me. I'm so torn though. I really don't want to buy a brand new car and add another car payment to our budget. We already pay $394 a month for hubby's truck. We'd been looking for a used car, but it seems as if people want so much money for cars with very high mileage and I don't want to have somebody else's headache. I'm sure we will figure this out in time.


Two weeks 'til Spring break for me. I can't wait! On June first I will be getting my salary increase. I'm calculating that this will result in a $500 net monthly increase. Woo Hoo!!!


My nephew ask me if I would be his son's Godmother. I told him that I would be honored to be that precious child's godmother. I guess I'll be traveling down to Florida in the summer to baptize the baby. It's sort of bitter sweet, since my nephew will in Afghanistan when we baptize the baby.


I'm still working diligently to put away as much money in savings as we can before summer is here. Summer means no income in our house. I want to try to pay August and September mortgage payments by June 30th without having to tap into our savings.

Well this is it for me. Enjoy the first day of Spring and may you all have a frugal week.

Felt like trying something different

March 11th, 2011 at 06:19 pm

I felt like making homemade pizza today, so after work I headed to the supermarket to get pizza crust dough, pizza sauce and cheese. I bought all of the items but the dough that the supermarket had was frozen. I decided to make my own crust by searching the internet and I came across a recipe for a crust using ingredients I had at hand. By six o'clock, I had two pies made. The end result was not totally yummy and it was not pizzeria pizza, but for being the first time for me I thought they were pretty good. The big pie had onions and the smaller pie was just crust, sauce and cheese. I'm not giving up, I'll keep at it until I get right!
Here are some pictures.


March 10th, 2011 at 06:53 pm

Hello dear fellow bloggers! A few things happened this week...two good and one bad one. The good one is that my son (my youngest)turned 17 yesterday and that's definitely a very happy event. The second good thing is that my nephew is home (Florida) from Alaska to see his family before deployment and all of us, including him mom, are very excited about his visit. Now the bad news is that my husband's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two days ago and we are devastated by the news. If anything good comes out of this situation is that it's in beginning stages and prognosis for a full recovery is promising. We are certainly keeping the faith that things will be just fine.


I'm still going at it with this saving money thing. Our family will incur major expenses soon so I'm trying to minimize the blow. My laptop stopped working while I was visiting Florida. It was working fine when all of the sudden it turned off and it won't turn on again. I can buy another one, but I realized that I was spending way too much time surfing the internet. I'm going through laptop withdrawal now, but somehow I'm managing without it. I'm using my son's laptop whenever it's available. Our PC (desktop) is also a mess.


The northern part of NJ is experiencing heavy down pours and we are currently on a flood advisory. I think the whole East coast is experiencing heavy rain.
I made chicken soup (Spanish style) for dinner and made enough that I was able to freeze two containers for another day. I had mine without chicken since I'm trying not to eat meat for the whole 40 days of Lent.


I hope you all have a wonderful frugal weekend.

An update

March 3rd, 2011 at 02:06 pm

I have a habit of checking my account balance every other day. I was pleased to know that my income tax refund both from the state and the feds were deposited today. I immediately set up a transfer for the $7,212 to my (our) money market account and the $745 from the state will remain in the checking account to pay a hefty American Express bill.


My trip to Florida was so wonderful! I did not do much, but keeping my Mom company for those days was priceless. She spends the majority of her time alone while my sister works. I gave my sister $100 to use it as she sees fit and gave my mom $40+ bought her two nice blouses and a pair shorts. I came back home with $4. While there, I spend some time with my sister's grandchildren; 2 boys, both toddlers. I could not help myself and I bought them Tonka trucks. Those boys are just so darling. Their father (my nephew) is currently training in California in anticipation to his deployment to Afghanistan. My other nephew is also doing his basic training in South Carolina as I write this post. I'm proud of my soldiers!

I'm counting down the days 'til Spring!