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Archive for February, 2008

Purchased YNAB Pro - Anticipating good things

February 28th, 2008 at 11:04 pm


Well, I bit the bullet and purchased YNAB Pro. I, however, am going to wait to use it until June 08. Why? you ask.

valid question. I like the idea of stepping away from living paycheck to paycheck and want to begin the program with the money upfront. May has three paychecks (1/2 of the problem there) and I'll have March and April to tighten the belt and come up with the other 1/2 months salary to start June with. I also have stupid little things to take care of like $150 balance on DD10's nebulizer and allery testing bloodwork. I still owe a measly $450 on HELOC and $290 to Kohls. I am getting pretty regular with my estimates for upcoming things like lie insurance premiums, etc. We also have a trip to Disney in May (YAY) that is paid for, so its just a matter of coming up with spending money (which I am frittering away a little at a time). Our tax return plus stimulus rebate will cover all of our property taxes for 08 and something toward Catholic school tuition. I'm excited about getting all this little stuff taken care of and starting out with a clear vision and new set of goals.

I am liking what I see though playing with the budget template and learning more about the Rules to apply.

And I picked up the new minivan from the dealer and am really enjoying all the doors and space and places for backpacks, etc.!

Picking Up New Car Tomorrow

February 27th, 2008 at 06:51 pm


I'm picking up my new-to-me 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan (used, 22K miles but three year warranty) I am SO excited. With the insurance settlement from State Farm plus a gift from my dear ole' dad we are able to do it without financing anything. I had my last minivan for eight years (several children ago) and am so excited for things like double doors on driver's side and stow-and-go seating and two benches (this is probably a down grade from the four capt. seats I have, but there will be more room for kids to spread out). It is blue with a grey interior! So excited

Oprah's Show Today - Dumpster Divers

February 27th, 2008 at 03:23 pm


Hey all, it's 19 minutes into the Oprah Show (Chicago time) and she has show-cased some NYC Dumpster Divers/Freegans who are "purusing" garbage cans by grocery stores and bakeries for groceries. Some of it does indeed look wasteful - but in all conscience I couldn't "shop" for food from a dumpster.

They also showcased a doctor and engineer who regularly shop this way and have an apt filled with "finds".

Next it looks like an exotic dancer is going to say she does this to take care of her family financially.

what's your opinion? I'm intrigued yet replused ... and I'm not sure why ...

Weekly Expense Summary for 2/16 to 2/23 and YNAB v YNAB PRO

February 25th, 2008 at 03:08 pm



Well, I fell off the frugal bandwagon for Feb and had to return to tracking expenses in 7-day increments - don't know why this seems like a good span of tracking for me.

As expected, things were high as I spent $360 last week OOP (had a $40 purchase at JCP using gift card, so didn't include that in totals - did get 10 items of summer clothes for kids)

OK, here is a summary:

Groceries $176.02

Gas $50

Dining out $26 (trip to McD's for kids lunch on Monday, then Shamrock shakes on Fri for $16!)

Entertainment $42 for Father-Daughter Dance at school/church - also needed $13 dress for DD10 at Once Upon a Child, $40 to Great Clips for three hair cuts, gratuity and leave-in detangler that I was a sucker for buying.
That event total $95

The miscellaneous amount was donation to church, misc Easter gifts from $1 bin at Michaels, etc.

Here is hoping to a lesser week as I spent a lot on groceries last week, but need milk and fresh produce.

I'm also contemplating buying YNAB but am wondering if it is worth it to upgrade to PRO? I have looked over some of the expenses like life insurance and upcoming utilities and know how much is required to prepay for these and I'm thinking it is time to ditch Quicken and Microsoft (don't really like either of those)

Squandered $4.02 on Late Payment - UGH! Demoralizing...

February 21st, 2008 at 02:02 pm


Well, I will confess that I lack an organized and efficient manner of paying paper bills (lots of them are automated-but not our water and sewer which are billed every two months staggered - one month water, one month sewer, etc.)

Yesterday I got in the mail "You forgot to pay your sewer notice" Sure enough after not a lot of digging it was there in the un-used wine rack above where my laptop is. Had I paid it prior to the 15th it would have been $40.20. Now it is $44.22. A 10% penalty ... could have been $39 as in a credit card payment, but I am wasting money ...

And to think I actually thought about paying my insurance non-monthly (just doing the quarterly premiums and saving the $1 per month fee - like $12.00 a year savings)

I need to get organized and watch things better ... and get over the $4 wasted dollars ... I am a work in progress

Money for Life - Mvelopes - Users what do you think?

February 20th, 2008 at 02:53 pm


I've concluded that I need to be able to work smarter, not harder - pertaining to finances. I heard on Money Matters/Crown Money Map site about Mvelopes which puts all assets/liabilities in one place and allows for funding pots and budget categories.

It sounds smart and simple, but set-up for free trial looked complicated. Does anyone use this or has anyone tried it? Also, has anyone read the book "Money for life"?

I've looked at Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and I can't seem to get past all the testimonials - I need something with more information. It seems like an infomercial to me ...

not looking forward to minivan shopping ...

February 19th, 2008 at 11:09 pm


well the insurance company (State Farm) settled for the total loss of DH's car ('98 Grand Prix) and couldn't determine conclusively whether or not it was the brake job or the faulty fuel line (March 07 recall we were never notified of). So now it is time to replace the car.

Both of our cars were ten/eleven years old. We have decided to get a newer minivan for me and DH will take my minivan (102K miles, and looks okay less a small amount of rust).

So now it begins ... test driving cars, talking kelley Blue Book values, calls from salesmen, etc. etc. Wish me luck that i'm able to find something in my price range ...

Winter blahs ... need encouragement

February 15th, 2008 at 04:01 pm


i started 08 with a zest and zeal for "taming the money monster". I solicited advice and made some good moves (putting 4% of DH's salary into my IRA as his employed matches up to 6% inn 401k, setting up HSA to go with HDHP, payig down HELOC, tracking expenses)

I shopped only at ALdi's once a week and conserved gas. Well, Walgreens has had some great grocery deals this month (Progresso soup for $1.00 can (after in store and manufacturers coupons) and DH's Fiber One cereal for under $2. There have been some birtday parties for kids and my supply of gifts was depleted, so expense there. I've had school activities that I vounteer for - so no conserving energy. Our budget bill or gas jumped from $82 to $160 (I guess it was grossly underestimated.

I'm still waiting to hear from the insurance company on settlement on DH's car, so we'll have to buy the replacement one soon.

I am very uninterested in tracking my expenses. I know I'll have some sort of credit on the insurance bill next month of at lelast the $40 to insure DH's car. I am watching my balance in the checking account on-line, but that is about it (I automated a lot of stuff)

I am an ALL OR NOTHING person and I need to find a way to compromise this total interest OR lack of interest in finances. Any words?