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November 5th, 2009 at 03:10 pm

My TV just went on sale so I will be getting $100 + tax back. It pays to watch the sales online when you have a 60 day price guarantee.

My personal rate of return

November 4th, 2009 at 09:01 am

I used a calculator to figure that since I have started my retirement accounts my personal rate of return has been 18%! Since I have only had a retirement account for 2 1/2 years, that's not super impressive but does show the advantage of buying low.

I am pretty sure it will drop for the next ten years till it gets to a real rate of return but nonetheless its encouraging. Mainly because I was thinking that a ROR over 6% was completely unrealistic over the longterm (now I am wondering if maybe it is possible). I guess I had thought that with this market I was only doing about 6% now and figured if this is one of the more profitable years, then 6% was definitely not possible.

In defense of my ignorance, I did have to do a little digging thanks to some rearrangement of funds to figure actual contributions and expenses.

DH's personal rate of return is better though. He had the advantage of free money in his 401(k) so I think his is closer to 26% overall. Hopefully his next full time job will offer a 401(k) again with matching because that was extremely handy for squirrelling away money. (I only have an IRA as my retirement fund, and that's true for quite some time to come).

I expect next year to be bumpy but that just gives me another opportunity to buy cheaply.

September Networth and other updates

September 23rd, 2009 at 09:34 am

Finished! No more changes on this month. Normally I do networth at the beginning of the month and just alter it as necessary but don't think I will be doing that for October, simply too much will be coming and going for even a beginning estimate. I hate it when I can't plan out my numbers Frown

I already flunked out of the no heat contest. We had a cold snap that dropped the house temperature. General rule of thumb in our house, if its 63 when we get home from work, the heat needs to be on.

Trying to get to normal

September 21st, 2009 at 09:52 am

Its harder than it seems after a break in. I decided that instead of waiting, I would get the few items I need to feel normal in my house. The rule is, do I care if I have spent this money if tomorrow all my stolen goods are returned. I am also basing this off of what I can afford, not what the insurance will pay.

As a result, things do feel back to normal now. Obviously I haven't replaced everything but I have enough key items to feel like its my home and I can do things. I also have some security measures in place that can limit my losses if something like this happens again.

I figure my total costs before insurance to be $2500. This includes upgrading items that have reached obsolescence (most of which couldn't be replaced with exact even if I wanted to, not available anymore). Course if I tried to replace everything, it would be considerably more but I think I will be fine with this.

This may or may not set me back. There are a lot of items I will not be replacing so that cash value will be put towards what is replaced. (We have replacement cost insurance but if you don't replace, than its actual cash value).

Ah the joys.

A year of spending

September 10th, 2009 at 07:12 am

So for the first time ever, I took a look at a full year's worth of actual spending (always done monthly but never put it together or kept it around). So from August 2008- July 2009 the damage was 88k. Youch. Pure house repairs and tools to do house repairs was $26k of that.

The one positive note is that starting May 2009 you can see the spending dropping like a rock. That's when we finally got caught up with most of the expenses of owning this home. And its stayed at the new rate since then. So now house repairs is just part of the allowance budget (or the savings budget for the big projects).

DH finally sold the bikes

September 3rd, 2009 at 10:22 am

So that is another $400 to add to the pot. September is looking to be a very good month for us thanks to the various extra sources of income and our regular budget (a shocking 4k rise).

Currently it looks like all debt will be gone in July but everyone knows how that is. It would be nice if we could accelerate it more but I suspect that is just dreaming. I am also wondering if I should leave this extra $400 out of the budget because hubby will want to Christmas (yes that is a ways away but I also don't expect a bonus this year so I have to save it out sometime).

We shall see how things work out. For now, we will simply not withdrawal our allowance for two weeks in a row to use up the cash on hand.

Cancelled extended warranties

August 28th, 2009 at 06:47 am

I had three of them and the total came to $1k so that was a nice chunk of change to get back.

Its kind of funny that the only reason I knew that I could cancel within the first year was due to the last warranty (a hard sell and he knew we didn't want it so he told us to get it, schedule our annual checkup and then cancel, we agreed to avoid the hassle).

The first two were on scratch n dent items and the first item had even had its price lowered by the amount of the warranty. Remember the $700 frig that retails for $3000? Well, now its a $400 frig since the warranty was completely refundable.

If any of the items do die or need repairs in the first 5 years (unlikely at this point) then the 1k can be used to pay for it. In the meantime, that 1k means a much more comfortable cash position while we pay off our debts.

I am so psyched about being able to do this. Normally when I go looking for money in my budget, I don't have nearly so large an amount of untapped resources (because I don't usually waste money on warranties or on anything refundable).

This also means my IRA contributions can be put on max per month starting in September. Which, incidentally is why I went looking for more money. The idea of letting my retirement languish because of my debt is a big no no for me.

My 1k list

August 26th, 2009 at 07:39 am

This is gonna hurt. But its also probably good for me to see the damage. Thanks Monkeymama and Whitestripe for the idea. (Anyone else noticed that we all tend to "borrow" each others ideas alot? Lol).

Tour of Canada Vacation $1000 (2000)
College Education $25,000 (2000-2005)
Bahama and Florida Vacation $1200 (2001)
55g Fishtank (setup costs) $1000 (2003)
Airfare to Scotland for 4 $2700 (2004)
Wedding reception BBQ $1000 (2004)
Mattress set with pillows $1000 (2006)
Bed frame, Bedstand, & Table $2400 (2006)
125g Fishtank (setup costs) $2000 (2006)
His and Her road bikes $2000 (2007)
5-burner gas stove $1000 (2008)
LG Steamwasher $1100 (2008)
1996 Subaru $1250 (2008)
Dishwasher $1297 (2009)
Handyman for house repairs $2200 (2009)
New Windows $6500 (2009)

It took me awhile to think of this list. I obviously don't categorize based on price. I do categorize based on project or hobby type. In my head, I had to literally go through what we have been doing to find the items.


August 25th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Basically sold everything (all fish tank related items) in one large lot to get rid of it. The guy who bought it could barely fit everything into his giant van that had the seats taken out. That is a lot of clutter to get rid of.

It also is nice because even though we didn't ask for much, that little bit of money will keep us from going overbudget. Its very bizarre but even though we didn't go to any festival, expensive restaurant or even grocery shopping, we managed to spend our weekly allowance by the end of the weekend. We did have to spend some money at Home Depot so that may be the issue. The new allowance basically covers food and not much else because we are being cheap at the moment. (This is also why we switched to all cash. If you occasionally lose track of how you are spending your money, the lack of money stops you from spending more. Basically a visual cue that we need to behave).

Oh and we finally managed to paint the kitchen. So I need to pull the tape down, put the covers back on things, put in the base cove and take pictures for everyone. The trim is in pretty bad shape so I doubt we will bother painting it. I suspect we will just replace it further down the road. It looks like the door trim has a minimum of 5 coats of paint on it and gouges out of it as well.

We do have a doggy door coming and also managed to cut the storm door so the puppies are getting used to running in and out through that. This weekend we will put the doggie door in and finally be set on that particular project.

We did manage to have someone collect for free our old bricks for landscaping (they were thrilled, I was thrilled, it was good times all round). At this rate, we might actually have a non trashed backyard in a couple of months.

Purging clutter

August 19th, 2009 at 01:32 pm

I consider clutter anything that hasn't been used in the past year (and the year pass is only for seasonal items, everything else should have been used in the past three months).

Just last night, I organized my kitchen hutch, sorted the shoes in the closets, moved everything that needs to be in storage down into one of the basement rooms and pulled the trash out of the house. All this is great except I have a number of items that I don't want but aren't trash worthy. Very obnoxious. Thought I would bite the bullet and sell things but now I am starting to get impatient and am starting to consider giving them out for free or price them very low. Even then it may take awhile.

An example of what I mean. We are trying to sell our bikes because next spring we plan on buying recumbent trikes. The guy who is supposed to buy them is three weeks out from initial contact and still hasn't set a firm date to come buy them. Really? Gah..And this is a "professional" bike seller.

I did manage to sell my old video game systems but that took a whole Saturday to make $27. I am just looking around at all this stuff and know that I don't want to be wasting this much time on it. Nor do I want to waste it and throw it out. Hopefully someone will bite at the craigslist ads and take it off my hands.

Cooler weather helping me with my budget

August 18th, 2009 at 10:27 am

I really don't like cooking when its hot. Come fall weather though and see if you can keep me out of the kitchen (past two weeks have been extremely fall like). We lowered our allowance by $100 per week and so far so good because we haven't been eating out as often and don't need as much supplies for working on the house. This allows me to get my IRA contribution back up to $400 and pay off my debt in a timely fashion.

Was going to wait another month but...

August 17th, 2009 at 03:46 pm

I was feeling impatient to see the first credit card fall. So I just paid off the first of the 0% apr cards that will be expiring in the next year. September I will pay off the credit card that has the dishwasher on it (another 0%) as well. After that though I should wait till December to pay off the next card so that I have a nice cushion in case hubby doesn't get transferred as seamlessly to his next position.

The goal is to save up in full (plus a minimum of 1k as a cushion once its paid) the amount to pay off the credit cards so that the money is sitting in cash in case of need but I can already see my impatience will be an issue. Maybe I will do a half payment in November for the 3rd card. Hmm....

My friend makes me look like a saver

August 17th, 2009 at 06:54 am

She had made some progress on her debt. She is actually paying on all of it including the zombie debt so that is some progress. However her budget is so tight and forgets so many things that I am not sure how she made as much progress as she did. She is currently confusing cashflow with a budget which means she ignores the credit card purchases she is still making (but she won't do that any more, she only did that because of her break up *sigh*) so she really doesn't know how much she is spending.

She once again committed to a long term payment without thinking things through (yoga this time instead of a car) and we are going to have her move in with us for a couple of months so that she can build enough savings to avoid financial ruin if and when she loses her job.

My big concern is that she doesn't connect the dots in her finances. Even with cashflowing, she still wants to spend every last dime she has. I think it will take multiple sitdowns to help her with this. Course, since she will be living in my basement for a few months, I should have the time...

What's really sad, is that I know that I can be an impulsive big spender too but I have never ever pushed it this close and don't understand how she can be comfortable doing so. I suggested a cushion in her checking to avoid overdrafts in the future and she said that wouldn't work because she would spend it...I mean, how am I supposed to respond to that?

My friend is in trouble...

August 14th, 2009 at 07:31 am

She currently has a full time contract position but we will find out tonight whether she still has it or not. I think this is the 4th or 5th time psycho boss has threatened to fire everybody. She (and everyone else) has to meet with him individually today.

She doesn't have any savings so tonight whether she still has a job or not, I am going to build her a couple of financial plans to see if we can get her back on track. Two steps forward, one step back. At least she isn't at the point of having creditors calling (she's been there unfortunately). But she did pay last month's rent with a credit card so I don't think tonight will paint a rosy picture...

How did I miss that?

August 13th, 2009 at 08:36 am

My student loan is down to just 13k range. Recently on the forums I posted that it was 18k because I don't look at the balance much (its an autopay). That and I seemed to have forgotten that at its largest it was still less than 19k. I have a feeling that once this gets below 10k, we will pay it off just because it frees up the cash flow by nearly $200 per month.

Course this assumes that I have paid off all the credit cards but I think that is a safe assumption barring any catastrophes. For all my backsliding, I think I finally have a handle on all this and will be in the clear next year. I just don't make any promises when next year given the current unsteadiness of everything.

The only part of my finances that I am currently unhappy with is my IRA contribution. 2% of our income just doesn't cut it in my opinion but its the price we are paying to get everything paid off before they start charging interest and to keep a nice and far larger cushion.

Latest solicitation via phone

August 12th, 2009 at 09:31 am

Normally I ignore spam but this one was on my voicemail. He basically implied that I had called him for a quote on getting my debt cut down and that he could see from his records that I was only paying minimum payments so he gave me a quote and a phone number to call him back at. Nice scam given the current market. Probably gets quite a few callbacks.

I can't even remember a time when I only paid the minimum on something. I am pathologically incapable of it (running up debt I can do, paying only minimums though would give me a heart attack). Just like I can't believe anyone would have double digit interest on loans or credit cards (but then there are plenty of people here who can't believe anyone would do debt of any kind so its not like I have much room to talk).

Random Musings

August 11th, 2009 at 07:24 am

Woohoo, one paycheck posted so the lowest the checking account got was 223. The rest of the month is all about saving up the cash and then next month I get to pay one card off and make a dent in another.

Did I mention yet that hubby's job was supposed to end in the end of August but that they moved him to a new job? Looks like they have enough work there to keep him fully employed for 3-4 months. Great news for us because no income gap keeps our debt payoff on track.

Seriously though, from now on, if we don't have the cash, we aren't buying it. I went into house buying with the idea that our debt would probably go up again and then we would pay it off but if we had just taken it slow, it wouldn't have been necessary. No more. All this money I am spending on debt could have been going to savings and retirement. Its just disgusting. No more balances. I just don't want to ride this merry-go-round anymore. 1 year and its all gone. Permanently.

I so need to make up for lost time on my retirement accounts. *Sigh*.

Checking cushion and weekend update

August 10th, 2009 at 08:58 am

I tend to keep 1k in my checking account, always. So you can imagine my joy at knowing I have one moment with my checking where its only supposed to have $15...Ugg. I know its my cash flowing process that produced this and the bank will never see below a couple hundred but still. I like my cushion. All it takes is one mistake at that level for you to pay big time (just ask my friend who managed to rack up $200 in overdraft fees this week).

At least it goes back up to its normal amount and then some this week. Note to self, paying off debt is good but don't time it so that makes your cushion completely disappear.

On the weekend front, it was a rather cheap weekend despite spending my whole Saturday (afternoon and evening) with friends. We spent all Saturday morning cleaning up the front and back yard and the rest of the weekend relaxing.

I am down to 136 lbs. from a high of 143 and the portion control is resulting in our food bill going down. However, at the rate I am going, I will need to save money for new pants and shorts. Its pretty apparent already that I am going to end up dropping a size if I get to either of my goal weights.

A grocery list to make a vegetarian proud

August 6th, 2009 at 10:21 am

corn, potatoes, acorn squash, cottage cheese, pineapple, a lime, a lemon, an avocado, cilantro, colby jack cheese, parmesan, spinach, an artichoke, cream cheese, garlic, olive oil, lettuce (variety), a cucumber, snow peas, sprouts, kalamata olives, feta, milk, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, bread, muenster cheese, parsley, eggs, bananas, grapes, plums, mangos and watermelon.

Wow, hunh. Good thing I shop at a store with lots of cheap produce. Most of those items don't break a dollar. I think this is one of my longer list item wise. The dairy and olive oil are the only real pricey items.

My goal for the next 7 days is to not eat out much. We have gotten a little too used to convenience so I am hoping to break that habit. I would love to shoot for no eating out but I love variety and just don't see that happening.

Lower income means slower debt payoff

August 4th, 2009 at 07:43 am

No more overtime at DH's work is definitely slowing our income. He's down to making a little less than me now. Course the job is probably ending in August so who knows what the next job will bring. As a result, I am eyeing up our expenses wondering where I could cut from that wouldn't bother us.

I think our last possible cut spot is our discretionary money but we had had a hard time getting that below $300 per week because of all the stuff it covers. Once DH has his next job lined up, I will probably cut our unreliable internet but can't do that until he has another job since the internet is useful for job hunting. I would love to cancel our Directtv but that is under contract until June 2010. When he gets another job lined up, I may see what the cancellation fee is and just pay that and be done with it.

Busy weekend

August 3rd, 2009 at 07:37 am

We managed to sell my two old video consoles so that one set of items gone. That netted me a used video game that I had wanted and $16 cash so not too shabby.

I also managed to organize all the electronics in the living room. Yeck, a day long project between the cleaning of everything, figuring out placement and tying up of cords. However, my surround sound system is finally all hooked up for the first time since moving into the new place and the electronics look nice and clean.

We are still in the process of selling our bikes. The place that buys them wanted photos emailed so they could quote us but it looks like their email is full so they only have one set of photos.

DH put up the new lights for the hallway and the kitchen that we have had for awhile and they look much nicer.

Oh we also gave our old massive table to a friend and moved our massive 125g into the carport so our library has a lot more room than it used to.

We still have a lot left to do but its nice to feel like we have accomplished quite a bit.

Going to get rid of some stuff

July 29th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

The rest of this week and weekend I am going to working on selling my useless stuff on craigslist. We have a hobby that we have recently gotten out of, another one where we are switching equipment and a couple of things I just don't want/need anymore. Should make quite the pile. Hopefully all goes well and I get rid of the stuff quickly.

I have to admit, I am more motivated by the desire to get rid of things I am not using than by any amount of money I might make but I won't mind getting some money out of it, lol. Hubby has volunteered for fish tank clean out and I figure while he is doing that I will start hauling things from the basement that I want to sell, maybe even start taking photos and posting. I am definitely in my semi-annual spring cleaning mode.

Basic Progress

July 28th, 2009 at 09:49 am

So I updated my networth to reflect the August payments. I do this at the beginning of the month instead of the end because that's when I schedule my payments for the month. Probably won't be so quick in September because I can't be as sure of our income till Hubby has moved to the next job. I think end of August will definitely be the last for his current job thanks to the slowdown.

He's already had people calling about other jobs though so I suspect his downtime between jobs will be minimal. Either way, we are still in good shape.

Its hard to believe that we have had the house for 8 months now but the slowdown in home repair expenses has definitely been showing up. We still have a bunch of big projects to do once we are credit card debt free but they are all capable of waiting till then so we mainly just need to do little touch up jobs.

Was wondering when that would happen...

July 27th, 2009 at 07:30 am

So the Wamu credit card that was bought out by Chase is being closed by Chase. A little insulting despite being expected. They didn't like my amount of debt in comparison to limits, my number of bank cards (since when did we stop calling them credit cards?) or the recent opening of bank cards (I had opened 1).

I didn't have anything on the card and like I said, I have been expecting this for awhile simply because it was apparent that they didn't want my business (when credit cards aren't trying to shove balance transfer checks down your throat, you know you are in trouble). What actually surprises me is that Discover hasn't yet followed suit. That's okay, it saves me the trouble of having to cancel the card once everything is paid off (I had Chase once before for all of 3 months before I cancelled the card because I couldn't stand them. I would have never used that card for anything.)

I did laugh though having received that letter and then logging on to my Citi and seeing that they had raised my limit. Ah well, one more year will see the debt gone and then none of this will matter. It did encourage me to do my final balance transfer early so I don't have to be worried about being stuck with a nasty rate when the 0 ends.

Time to pare back...

July 23rd, 2009 at 12:50 pm

DH's temp full time job looks to end at the end of August so its time to start squirreling away cash in case a new temp or permanent position doesn't immediately show up thereafter. I figure the more I can squeeze out of our discretionary budget, the better off we will be. Sides, if and when he gets a new job, I will be able to use the cash to pay off more debt.

I figure the rest of summer and fall can be spent on free activities like breaking down the junk pile in the backyard, pulling weeds, finishing painting my kitchen (yes I still haven't gotten beyond the first couple coats of primer), finishing my hallway (haven't even started that), installing the curtain holdbacks, sorting through the basement stuff and relaxing.

The only festival I still want to go to is the Taste of Colorado later this year and I have already saved out the money for that. Basically, we have caught up with all the expenses and with most of the splurges so we can just relax, cook some good food and stay home with some books and video games. Probably get a bunch of walks with the dogs in too. I am so looking forward to a relaxing stay at home weekend.

Sometimes I don't want quality...

July 15th, 2009 at 07:12 am

I know a lot of people are fans of buying quality items. I am too for say clothing or appliances/gadgets that I know I will use to death. But when it comes to furniture, I really hate buying quality. I like to change the look of my rooms and with all the moving I have done over the years, I tend to end up with a collection of furniture that doesn't necessarily fit in the next place. The problem with furniture is that even the cheap stuff lasts forever.

Most of the furniture I have owned over the years I have been able to pawn off on friends when I tire of it or move to a place it won't fit. I am currently staring at a very nice table that is huge and am wondering if my friend would like to have a table set. Somehow, I don't think she will want it thanks to it being so large (which is why I don't want it). Which leaves freecycle or craiglist for disposal. And right now I just don't have the time. Blah. Maybe Goodwill will want it?

I can imagine how much fun it will be when I finally decide to get rid of my current bookcases and replace them with matching larger bookcases (years down the road but getting rid of furniture seems to be a challenge for me). Just like down the road I will need to decide whether to get my 2 burgundy chairs reupholstered to a more suitable color (most likely since they are nice chairs) or get rid of them and get new (only if its impossible to reupholster them).

Course, if I declutter the house again, maybe my furniture won't bother me. The need to purge stuff seems directly linked to how much stuff is lying around (my library is overrun with tools and my covered porch is covered in landscaping stuff and my backyard has a pile of junk that needs to be disposed of). I suspect I will be tackling all of my problem areas long before I get rid of that table.

What are they thinking?

July 10th, 2009 at 08:39 am

Sort of a rant, more like a musing.

First up my father. The man who thinks you are doing okay if you don't have more than a year's salary worth of credit card debt. He commented the other day on the phone that he had thought we were going to get ourselves into financial trouble because of all our remodelling plans. (FYI, this came up because I was unemployed for a month but already had a job lined up). Really?

I suspect the problem is that he is now making a lot more than he used to which is closer to our income but since they have let their lifestyle expand to fit their income, they can't imagine how we can afford to do all this stuff.

Now if say disneysteve wanted to tell me that I was spending too much by all means, I would believe him (because we did go a little overboard, should have paced more) BUT I am pretty sure my father with his 2 car payments, a new garage and credit card debt has more debt at a higher rate than I do. (Though the garage should be at a cheap rate, he should have been nearly done with his mortgage). I also happen to know that I can pay mine off in a year or so. My father's response to my saying I can pay it off in a year? Well but you will always have bills. And with statements like that, he's worried I will bite off more than I can chew?

Then the inlaws. Nice people, they plan to have all their debt gone in two years. They struck me as being bipolar. I think in their minds, they know that we need to stretch things out to budget and keep expenses down but then they talk about all the things we need to do right now. No, they can wait and be paced. There is nothing with this house that is in need of immediate repair or replacement now. So I emphasize that we have already spent our budget for now and that we need to pace out the expenditures. Then they act like we are broke.

Is "budget" really that dirty of a word?

I get the impression that people are so used to their style of living that they can't even imagine that someone lives differently than they do.

For example with the inlaws. I think they were genuinely worried that our neighbors would think ill of us if we didn't fix all the outside things within the first month of living there. But then they live in a wealthy neighborhood. We live in a blue collar neighborhood and have received many compliments from the neighbors regarding the outside appearance of our house and yard.

In fact, most of our neighbors eagerly watch all we have been doing to fix it up because the previous owners had let everything go for awhile. A couple have even guessed from the speed of our repairs that we are professionals instead of blue collar. But the inlaws were extremely concerned with giving the neighbors the impression we were working on things. I suppose in the defense of the in laws I should point out that they never saw the place before they came out so they didn't realize how much we had already improved the place but still.

Don't they realize that you shouldn't attempt to lead spenders to spend more money than they should? They can do that well enough on their own.

People either assume we are rich because we don't have their expenses or they assume we are poor. There just doesn't seem to be a middle ground of comfortable.

Updates and guests for the holiday weekend

July 1st, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Updated the networth for all the scheduled July payments so now my debt is starting to go back in the right direction. DH and I have agreed that we won't do anymore large purchases until we are completely debt free and have saved cash for them. The new cash in hand budget is working out extremely well. Its really nice to not have to worry about going overbudget because you can see where you stand at any moment and the amount keeps us from feeling deprived.

The front yard is starting to come along. We decided that the stone path part will wait for next year and this year we will focus on the mulch beds and plants (we are using the cash allowance to buy these as we go along).

We will have a long holiday weekend because we took time off for the in laws visit. Not sure what we will be up to yet but we can figure that out as we go along. Guests used to be really damaging to the budget but since the new one is designed to afford gardening supplies or festivals each weekend, I don't anticipate going over budget.

This was the big mistake I have made with every budget, never any play money or at least never enough. No more. Considering our fixed expenses have never exceeded 27% of the budget, no play money just brought on the splurging. Including food and house repair/gardening stuff(because we categorize food as want not need aka ramen's cheap, brie and bread is not), we now spend 17% of the budget on wants. The rest goes to savings and debt payoff. Boy do I look forward to that being only savings. Oh and no, not all the fixed expenses are necessities (1% of the budget is fixed expense wants).

So tonight, one last strategic clean because tomorrow after work we pick up our guests. Hope everyone has a good weekend!


June 25th, 2009 at 10:57 am

So I was good and talked myself out of upgrading to a new TV with the $400 gift card hubby got (mainly because they changed it to visa instead of just Target/Walmart). We were going to use it to buy the stones for our landscaping instead. Went to the first store, they are out. No problem, we go to the next store. That one is out. Start getting nervous, ask if they have more on order, nope.

Gah. Are you kidding me? They of course have nothing like it. Great, now we get to try to pick a replacement and they have nothing at Home Depot like it. Managed to find something at Lowe's that we can use instead but this stuff is smaller so we would be better ordering it by the pallet for transportation purposes. So no spiral path this year because we don't want to spend all that money at once. Looks like we will just spiral in the mulch/plants and leave the grass where the path will go when we are ready. The stone we already have will be used to do a path in the back since that needs to be replaced anyways. *Sigh*

So I figure this weekend will be spent getting the house in shape for the visit from the inlaws. Now I am not sure how to use the gift certificate/visa card. Obviously will be easier to use it up on big expenses instead of little ones but besides stepping stones, we really don't have any expenses large enough to make it worthwhile. When we eat out its usually about $13 at the high end so whittling away at the food budget would make tracking a pain (I switched to all cash so I didn't have to try to track things to the penny).

I really don't feel like wasting the money just because I can. Groceries aren't really an option because at the current rate, that might take six months to use up. We don't need any clothes, we don't have that many books, cds or video games left to buy and most anything we want would eventually eat up more than the gift certificate amount in the short or long term (such as the TV or the Kindle which I am not sold on yet anyways).

I think my biggest problem is figuring out how to spend it in a responsible way. Wasting money is easy, spending it appropriately in that size chunk, not so much.


June 19th, 2009 at 09:12 am

I am a natural cynic but somewhere along the line I decided life was nicer when I thought the best of people so long as thinking the best of them didn't hurt me. As a result, I tend to be a fairly upbeat person.

Occasionally though I will encounter people in forums or real life that simply feel the need to think the worst of everyone and everything. Frankly, every time I encounter someone like that, I find it depressing. Unfortunately, I think it can also make me negative if I don't take a step back and realize that its happening.

So if I have been negative, I apologize. I think I am going to give up on the forums here for awhile because I really don't have anything constructive to say.

I'm a spender that is saving for retirement and trying to get out of debt and stay out of debt. I think the forums have really become more focused on the people who are natural savers to whom self deprivation comes naturally. Hopefully the blogs will stay focused on people's attempts to save money and pay off debt.

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