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Archive for January, 2006

February

January 31st, 2006 at 03:29 pm

It feels like a long time since I've added an entry. I worked 10 out of the past 11 days, so I know why I've had no extra time!
The budget is set for February. Envelopes are full, and bank accounts are ready! We went grocery shopping yesterday (counting it as a February amount) and really stocked up. We have a full freezer, fridge, and pantry. I spent $200.00 of the budgeted $375.00. We don't have any unexpected amounts to add in for this month, so, hopefully, everything goes according to plan! I put $500 into a one year GIC and will do the same at the end of this month if all goes well. I would love to have 12 of them, one for each month, and just be able to keep rolling them over. When I have extra money just sitting in the account, I can't seem to be able to get my head around all my choices of what to do with it. I don't want to tie it up for too long, but I also don't want it sitting there. We already have our emergency account, freedom account, and automatic withdrawal for retirement funds and pensions...
On to February!

More Money

January 31st, 2006 at 12:00 am

I filled up with gasoline and got a grocery store credit of $3.58, so I added that to my challenge.

I'm going to add all the change in my change jar for this month. I'll start that fresh in February.

I'm also adding in $14.42 from our electric bill. We are on a monthly installment plan, and we've just been notified that's the amount it has gone down because we've been using less electricity...go laundry racks, go!

My husband has started calling me 'Heatmiser' because anytime anyone in the house complains they're cold, I tell them to put on a sweater! Ha Ha Ha!

Total: 69.91+ whatever is in the change jar. I'll be back...

...added in the $70.06 from the change jar.

Total: $139.97

Overspent in January

January 26th, 2006 at 09:21 pm

We did okay on the budget this month, but have slightly overspent in the gift and clothing areas. We had 3 family birthdays this month, and 3 friend birthdays. I'd bought a bunch of gifts at Boxing Day sales to stock up, but went over budget by $40. Dh desperately needed new jeans and shirts, so we spent an additional $60 there, as well. I guess $100 isn't too bad. I still have some change in my purse in the grocery envelope! Thank Goodness February is almost here and those envelopes will soon be full again. I hate the penny pinching at the end of the month.
DH did not ask for any extra spending money this month. I think that may be the first time ever. You can't see me, but I'm doing a happy dance in the family room...

Made a decison...maybe

January 24th, 2006 at 03:40 pm

I've pretty much decided what to do with the extra money in the savings account. I'm going to buy $500 GICs once a month for every month that I have extra money. I'll start off with one year ones, they'll be laddered monthly, and I'll keep our emergency money and 3 months expenses separate. I do need to run this by Dh, but since he usually leaves all money matters to me, I'm sure he'll be fine with it.

Our financial advisor thinks we should put any extra money we have into RRSPs. I've been reading a lot about people needing less than what they've been told they'll need for retirement. By the time everything kicks in when we're 65, we'll be so used to spending at this level, that we'll never be able to spend it all...well, that might be pushing the envelope a bit!

Things I did to save money today:
1) Put all yesterday's cheques in the bank.
2) Brought breakfast and lunch to work.
3) Took out leftover cooked steak from the freezer and will make a beef stroganoff for dinner.
4) Today was a no spend day, so far.

Money, money, money

January 23rd, 2006 at 05:04 pm

It's one of those good money days...

1) I didn't spend anything myself. However, we found $5.00 in my jacket pocket and I gave it to Dh and he bought me some chips with it...I'm having a chip craving.
2) The cheque came through from Dh's old insurance money that we hadn't known about...$1200.00!
3) We received another cheque from Dh's new job for $120 for his petty cash. Dh had put the items on the credit card, and I've already paid that, so it feels like extra money, even though it isn't really!

A good day. Our savings account is now well padded. I'm still looking for where to keep it where I would have access if we needed it, but it's still earning interest.

Sunday...

January 22nd, 2006 at 07:08 am

Dh's cheque went into the bank on Friday, as it was supposed to. An additional $200 went with it for mileage expenses. That will go straight into savings account.

Ds12 had a great birthday. We'll be doing his party in February, but he got all the gifts he asked for but didn't get at Christmas (a perk to having your birthday close to Xmas!) from us, and then various relatives gave him cash, and he ended up with over $100. No small amount for a 12 year old. I told him to think about what he would really like and then buy it and he'll keep it in his account until he can decide. I would hate for him to fritter it away. Since he and dd9 have had their paper route, they're always flush with money. They do save a good chunk of it, and we enjoy watching their choices on what to spend it on...mostly junk food. They like to go for lunch at KFC and it's close enough that they can walk there together.

I worked yesterday and I will be there for the rest of the week, pretty much. My boss is on holidays, so I have all my stuff to do, as well as some of hers. It will be a very busy week, but I'll like the paycheque at the end! I did buy us breakfast yesterday, spent $8.00. I'll bring my breakfast today and have something off the buffet for lunch. I would like a no spend day. My January money envelopes are almost empty...

The sun is shining!

January 20th, 2006 at 09:04 am

Yippee! We have a sunny day. It's the first one this month...maybe longer. Ds and I will definately going for a walk today, maybe to the library. We don't spend money there!

We'll be baking cupcakes for ds's 12th birthday today...don't know where those years went...and he's asked for spaghetti and meatballs. I'll make the meatballs and put them in the crockpot with the homemade sauce. It will be delicious by dinnertime and we'll have salad and homemade breadsticks with it.

I don't plan on spending any money today. My friend did call to see if I want to go out for lunch, but I might put her off until next week. I'm craving Thai food, but I have ds5 home with me today and he doesn't like Thai, so I'd rather wait until I have a day where he's not with me to go there.

I'm off to go call the bank and make sure that dh's cheque went in. Sometimes there's a mix-up. If that's the case today then I'll have to go transfer some money from another bank...fingers crossed!

Study skills

January 19th, 2006 at 08:30 am

I took the two older kids to a presentation on 'Study Skills--How to Study Smarter, Not Longer' by Terry Small. It was an excellent eye opener and gave us some great ideas on helping them with their homework, how to study for tests, and retain information. I wish I had known this stuff when I was in school!

Ds5 has gymnastics this morning and then we'll be picking up a few things for the big birthday tomorrow. I work at 4:00 today, but took tomorrow night off. Ds has requested spaghetti and meatballs for his birthday meal, and after dinner we're going back to the school for movie night. Families bring their pillows and blankets and hunker down with popcorn, candy bags, and juice boxes. We pay $5.00 per family, it's a fundraiser for the grade 7's graduation, and they'll be showing 'Wallace and Grommit'.

I didn't spend anything yesterday. Today we'll be picking up a game for ds's 12th birthday, breakfast cereal, and 2 bic pens. Ds5 is using his own money to buy something from the 'Littlest Pet Shop' line. It's pretty much what all his money is saved for these days!

Reading Time

January 18th, 2006 at 06:50 am

Today is 'Reading Day' at my kids' school. Kids and parents go to school early with blankets, stuffies, and pillows, and curl up together and start the day by reading for half an hour. It is such a nice way to begin a rainy Wednesday!

We spent $80 at the grocery store on Monday. Well, I had the gift certificate that dh had partially used, but there was still $25 left on it, so I only had to take $55 out of the grocery envelope. I have $16 left in there to get us through to the end of the month, so I may be borrowing from another envelope. We have not used any extra from the bank accounts this month, and we've had extra expenses...an NHL hockey game (tickets were given, but we paid for parking and snacks), ds's 12th birthday (bought some gifts in late December at Boxing Day sales), and a higher-than-I-thought credit card bill. We'll see how we make it. Two weeks to go!

Yesterday was a no spend day. I would like to pick up one more gift for ds12 and then all his birthday gifts are done. His party will be in February--he's leaning towards laser tag.

I have today off, the kids are all in school until 2:30 and Dh is in meetings all day. Wow! A house to myself...bliss..sigh...

Coffee Date

January 16th, 2006 at 02:51 pm

I'm going out for coffee with a friend tonight. My kids call it 'a date'. Cute. Dh doesn't 'do' the coffee thing. He says he doesn't understand how people can just sit around, drink coffee, and talk. Well, he's a guy who rarely just sits and does nothing...and he's not big on chit chat, either. Anyways, I'm looking forward to my mocha valencia!

We had a busy weekend at work. I didn't spend any money, but will be grocery shopping later today after I take dd to gymnastics. We're out of a lot of stuff and I hope I don't spend too much there. I do have a $50 gift certificate that Dh got from his work for Christmas, so I'll be using that up too. I haven't done a really big shop yet this month but have managed to go through my grocery envelope pretty well!

Rain, rain go away...

January 13th, 2006 at 01:55 pm

In the lower mainland, we are on our 26th straight day of rain. The record is 29 days. We are all going to be so proud to beat that record...

The battery post on the van was loose and that's why it wouldn't start. Dh did get it going yesterday so I could get to the repair shop. Sorry Mr. Tow Truck. Our mechanic is a good friend of ours. He gave me heck because my windshield wipers were so worn out. I guess these 26 days of rain used all the shield up! The total for that bill, including new wipers and an tune up was $200.

We went grocery shopping this morning and picked up a few things. All three kids have been invited to parties this weekend so we needed a couple of gifts there, and then we went to Zellers and spent $50 on a birthday gift for ds11. He'd asked for this gift for Christmas, didn't get it, and still really wanted it. Hopefully it's money well spent!

I hate vehicles!!!

January 12th, 2006 at 08:59 am

I left work at 11:00 last night, got in my car, put in the key, and...NOTHING!

One of the security guards charged it for me, I got home fine, but it died in my driveway. I don't know if it's the alternator or the battery, but I'm guessing this will be a good chunk of change for the repair shop! I'm concentrating on being thankful that
1) I was in a safe place when it happened with people who could help me.
2) The money is in the savings account to pay for it. I hate using the savings money, but I'm reminding myself that's what it's there for!

Now we just have to figure out how if it can be charged up enough to get to the repair shop. Otherwise, the towing company will be coming for a visit.

Tuesday

January 10th, 2006 at 08:15 pm

Dh got up with the kids this morning and took them to school while I lolled in bed with a coffee and the t.v. I had a very slow moving day, washed the floor, changed the sheets, did laundry and puttered around. We went to the grocery store for a few items and found ds5's birthday gift on sale. Well, it's the gift he'll be getting in March for his 6th birthday.

Things I did to save money today:
1) Washed the laundry in cold water with homemade detergent.
2) Didn't cave and buy anything off the list at the grocery store, other than ds's birthday gift, which I would have bought anyway, but paid more for.
3) I convinced Dh to go home for a cup of tea with me instead of buying it when we were out.
4) Ate leftover soup for lunch.

Not much, but better than nothing. We have some cooked steaks in the freezer. I took one out and will make a stew in the crockpot tomorrow. I work at 4:00, so it's the perfect meal to take with me, and everyone at home will like it and eat it--or else!

Yum-Yum Soup

January 9th, 2006 at 06:44 pm

Pulled a fast one over on the kids. We make a delicious soup called 'Three Sisters Soup'. It has potato, corn, green beans, and butternut squash in it. The kids hate it but I still make it because Dh and I really like it. Well, we haven't had it in about a year, so when I made it for dinner tonight, I told them we were having 'Yum-Yum soup'. Two out of the three of them ate it and enjoyed it...one even asked for it to go in his thermos for lunch at school tomorrow! I gave sly looks to Dh all through dinner tonight--wanted to make sure the truth didn't leak out!

I had a good day at work today. It made up for yesterday's long and trying day! I love Mondays at work because I have the office to myself and generally everyone else's offices are empty, so I'm not being interrupted by other managers or supervisors. I tend to get a lot done...

I have tomorrow off and have no plans, which is nice. I think I might wander over to Michael's Craft Store and see if I can find any ideas of something to create to try and sell for my $20.00 challenge.

lazy Saturday

January 7th, 2006 at 07:36 am

Today is going to be one lazy day! The only thing I am leaving the house for is to buy bread and fill the van up with gas. When I was driving home from work yesterday the empty gasoline sign came on...never a good sign when you're alone on the road at 1:00am without an open gas station around for I don't know how far!

We went to the library Thursday night so I'm all stocked up on books...we have lots of food to munch on...and it's pouring rain...the boys are off to the hockey game (tickets for Christmas)...all lead to a stellar pyjama day!

I went to Ikea with my friend yesterday. She drove and it was her turn to buy lunch. I only spent 11.00 and that was to buy four great candle sets (for gifts). They were on a huge sale. My friend was shocked that was all I bought, and kept asking what was wrong with me. I told her I'd been hit with a frugal bug...

Things I did to save money:
1) Refrained from buying at Ikea!!!
2) Had coffee and breakfast at home.
3) Brought fruit with me to work to snack on. I didn't buy anything there.
4) Kept the heat off during the day.

Gas Rebate

January 7th, 2006 at 12:00 am

I went to fill up on gas and got a rebate of $4.51.

Total: $51.91

Pasta Sauce a Hit!

January 5th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

We loved the homemade sauce...got the recipe from the Hillbilly Housewife site. It was really good and everyone had seconds except ds5 who had thirds...he doesn't usually eat past with sauce. I will definately be using this recipe from now on--no more jarred for us!

Our financial advisor came over today to help us figure out what to do with the mortgage that's coming due in March. I have to phone the bank tomorrow and see what rate they'll give us on a one year closed. Then next year we'll add the two together when both terms are up. That'll be easier.

We are also going to change our life insurance around a little bit. He's looking into prices for us, but we'll save about $20.00 per month on a ten year term by switching. We both have insurance through our jobs as well.

We're going to re-do our will this month. The problem for us is deciding who should get guardianship of the kids if we both die before they come of age. I want to go with a couple that we're really good friends with who our kids love, and who parent the same as us. Dh is leaning towards a family member because 'it's family'. I don't know. I think I'll post a thread on this...

...going to bed...

January 5th, 2006 at 12:10 am

I am exhausted! I mostly puttered around the house today. Ds5 had a friend over after school. I went to work from 4:00-11:00 and got quite a bit done there, but am still waaaay behind! One day I might catch up, but I'm not betting on it!

It was a no spend day today. I walked the kids to school in the morning, walked back to get ds and his friend from kindergarten, and then walked back again to pick up the other two after they finished school. I'm trying to walk more, partly to save on gasoline consumption and partly for the exercise!

I hung up a load of laundry, froze some more leftover treats, and kept the heat off. Tomorrow I am going to try my first attempt at making pasta sauce from tomato paste. This is better for DH because he can't have anything with seeds in it and most sauces that I buy have chunks of tomatoes in them, seeds and all...hopefully, the sauce tastes good and everyone likes it because I bought 12 cans of tomato paste when they were on sale in December. I do have to buy some garlic tomorrow to add flavour to the sauce. I have tons of pasta from when I stocked up earlier this week. We have some cheese in the fridge that needs to be used up sooner rather than later, so that will go on top. I'm adding vegies to the pasta dish and it will be a meat free meal. I am cleaning out the freezer and the fridge before I do a major shop--should take a week or so to use up most of what's in there...our pantry seems pretty full at the moment.

Dh is getting a $50 gift card to Superstore from his work. I'm thinking about using it to stock up on canned goods etc. Dh is thinking about using it to buy the treats that I never want to pay for. I'm thinking that we've had enough junk food the last few weeks to last us until next Christmas. Hmmm, anyone want to take bets on who will win this round? My vote is for the person who does all the grocery shopping, and that would be ME!!!

Journal Entry #100

January 4th, 2006 at 06:30 am

Wow! I just noticed that this would be my 100th journal entry...

Today will be an at home, no spend day. I go to work at 4:00, but will take some beef barley soup with me as that's what everyone is eating at home for dinner tonight. We still have some buns leftover from last week, and salad will round up the meal.

Tomorrow our financial planner is coming over to give us some options on our mortgage renewal. I'm not happy with the bank that currently holds our mortgage. I find them to be uncaring and not really on the ball. When we moved 5 years ago, we bought a more expensive house, ported the mortgage we already had and got a second mortgage for the difference. The mortgage that we ported is now due and we owe about 30,000 on it. I don't know if we're going to switch banks or not, but at this point I'm willing to go wherever the lowest interest rate is. We are probably going to use some of the money in our savings account to pay it down as well. This is what DH would like to do with it...he's big on just paying off the house. That is his main financial goal!

relaxing day

January 3rd, 2006 at 02:31 pm

Dh and I had a nice, relaxing day together. I think I'm going to like our new work schedules!

Things I did to save money today:
1) Used gift cards for my Starbucks coffee.
2) Didn't buy anything at the bookstore...just browsed.
3) Put all the leftover treats into the freezer for later consumption.
4) Went to the fruit and veggie store instead of the grocery store...spent under 20 dollars for 3 bags!
5) We are having leftover hot dogs for dinner with beans I bought on sale.
6) Dh and I are using up the leftover beef in the fridge and making a beef barley vegetable soup for tomorrow's dinner.

Met one goal

January 2nd, 2006 at 06:55 am

I had quite the talk with my boss yesterday and she has agreed to cut my hours down to approx. 30 per week. She said that she would do whatever it took to keep me happy because she's afraid I'll quit...I told her that I wasn't threatening to quit, I just didn't want to work as much as I have been. She understood, let me rearrange my hours to suit me and told me to change my hours around if these weren't working for my family and me. I now will be working Wednesday and Friday evenings from 4:00-12:00, and Sunday and Monday during the day. On Mondays I often only work 9:00-2:00 because I pick the kids up after school, but with Dh only working part time from home, and with a totally flexible schedule, I could stay longer if needed. We will see how this all pans out...

Things I will do to save money today:
1) Eat breakfast at home and bring lunch to work.
2) Use up the leftovers in the fridge for dinner.
3) Freeze all leftover Christmas baked goods.
4) Hang a load of laundry to dry.
5) Return all cans and bottles and add money to my 2006 $5000 challenge.

Recycling

January 2nd, 2006 at 12:00 am

Dh took all our bottles and cans to the recycling depot today and was given $10.40! We put it all in our challenge envelope!

Total: $47.40

Scratch and Win

January 1st, 2006 at 12:00 am

I was given a New Year's scratch and win...won $2.00...I might be able to do my whole challenge on scratch and wins! LOL!

Total: $32.00

Pass On The Drink

January 1st, 2006 at 12:00 am

I was given $5.00 by a customer today to buy a drink...I decided to pass on the drink and add to the stash!

Total: $37.00