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Forgot one important bill...

November 1st, 2006 at 09:38 am

Well, I have been looking over the #'s again in the budget. Seems that I made one really huge mistake in my figures. Since we are paying Nov. rent with 1st Nov. check I just totally forgot that we would again have to pay the rent on the 2nd Nov. check for Dec. rent. And that rent is going up $20. It threw my #'s way out of wack. I knew it was too good to be true.Unless I can get the expenses down even more there will be no way I will be able to pay off debt.
I think that Dec. electric bill may be lower, considering I have not run heat or a/c in days and days. It was cold in the house this morning (DD's hands were very cold when I went to get her out of bed this morning) so I'm afraid that I may need to start turning on the heat. I'm trying to do everything I can to keep it off, though. Any suggestions you all may have regarding would help.
I know that the phone bill will be going down by an est. $20 per month, and will go down even more once my application for assistance is processed (but probably not until the begining of the year).
The water bill has gone down about $10 this month. I was shocked to see it because it always runs high. A fire in our apartment complex knocked out 16 apartments. I didn't think it would have made that big of a difference in the bill though. We have somewhere around 300 units here. It makes me wonder if I am not getting a super raw deal on my water bill. The only reason I can think of that would decrease so quickly is the fire and the lowered occupancy due to it. Several people have moved out of the complex since the fire.
I am going to experiment a little with the grocery bill. I still have plenty of food so I am going to hold off buying groceries all together for as long as I can. I will need to get bread and diapers in the near future and may need to get a few supplies for my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner, but other than that no spending-unless absolutely necessary. We will not go without food and a healthy balance of it.
The only other option at this point is to cut the smoking budget down again. DH has been getting a little laxed with his 10 cigarette a day limit so we have bought more this month than the actual 10 a day. But, I did budget for the extra considering it was the first month of doing it. But even if I did cut the cigarette budget out completely, we still would not have enough to cover the double payment of rent for this month.
I see that the only option is to take the PayPal money (going towards paying off the bank) to pay the remainder of the balance for the rent.
This also leaves no money for Christmas. We bought DD's birthday present last weekend on clearance last weekend. Her birthday is mid Dec. I know I should probably just make it a birthday/christmas gift, because she is only turning 1 yr. and won't remember it, but I figured that one gift for birthday and a small family party with normal food and a home made cake for dessert would be acceptably low key for the occasion. And I have 3 gifts that I will be making her for Christmas, all of them I consider free because I will be using up supplies (scrap fabric, sewing notions and polyfill) that I have had for ages and ages with no specific purpose for having them.
Anyways, enough of my rambling for now...

Did I do something bad?

October 31st, 2006 at 07:20 pm

Back from Trick or Treating and the kids are in bed. I let DS load up on candy and he just crashed out when we put him in bed. DD was munching on a bag of goldfish from her brothers treat stash. She layed down and went to sleep with no problem. If it wasn't so unhealthy for them I would do this every night! LOL I like not having to fight at bedtime! All is quiet in the house and neighborhood (for a change). Unfortunately, I ate some of DS's candy (he was so sweet sharing with everybody) and now I'm totally wired. I should put this energy to use!

On the holiday shopping note, I just wanted to share a pretty good deal I got on a present for DS. I thought about getting him a book club membership. Well, I did after they called me soliciting me to sign up. I was given a trial offer of 2 books and I recieved 3 books and a bookbag for free for trying out a membership. If I didn't like the books I could ship them back to the company at their expense and I could keep the free stuff. So, I figured that I could get a bookbag and a couple books for him for free. I got the shipment in last night and called them up this morning to cancel my membership. They went ahead and threw in the other 2 books for free as well! So, 5 books and a bookbag, for free! He will like them a lot as they are books of some of his favorite animated movies. I feel a little bad about scamming my way out of actually buying them though. I have never done anything like this before (that I can recolect). Buuttt, if they are just going to give them away why not take them, right? *I say as the guilt digs a little deeper*

+$448...I hope!

October 30th, 2006 at 11:35 pm

Weeellll... I've done a preliminary #'s crunch for the month of Nov. It seems totally too good to be true. +$448 before debt!
I've estimated only the water and car insurance as I do not have an exact figure for them yet and worked all amounts to be paid by MO. I have also taken into consideration that DH missed (with late days and unpaid sick days) a total of 4 working days that will be applied onto 1st check in Nov. and I gave a estimated 6 hours of work per day (instead of 8)to compensate for any future late days that will fall into 2nd check in Nov. I think that is a pretty exceptable cushion for his fluctuating income.
I have had to do a little moving of bill pay scheduals around to make it work. For example. I would normally pay Nov. rent with 2nd check in Oct. so as not to be late. I was unable to do that considering that we had some suprise expenses this month. BUT, all is not lost! Rent is due the 1st and we have until the 3rd to pay before late fees start. DH gets paid on the 5th of every month normally, but this pay period the 5th falls on a weekend so he will get his check on the friday before... which is the third. So, rent will be covered with no late fees!
I am currently caught up on all utility bills. Yeeeeaaahhh! But, by caught up I mean that I am actually sending the checks out before they actually start charging late fees. (bills have actually been mailed a day or 2 past their due date). My goal is to be able to pay well ahead. But it feels so good to be able to say that I don't owe 2 or 3 months worth of utility bills at one time!
My initial reaction to this positive money amount was to immediately apply it to debt. Then, I thought that maybe I would just pay on the utilities ahead of time and get them knocked out so I am not scraping the deadline on them anymore. Still unsure as to what to do with it as these are still just preliminary figures.
Also, I have not taken into account any of the change I have laying in my bank bag. It totals to $11.53. Don't know what category I'm going to sock this into yet.
Also, with DH's extra income work we have an estimated $450 actually sitting or waiting to be escrowed into the PayPal acct. That money goes toward paying off the negative bank balance, though. Still, it's one big step closer to it being gone. Then, I'll be able to open a bank acct. again!!!
I sure hope these figures are right! Only time will tell...

DH dupped me again

October 30th, 2006 at 10:04 am

I forgot to get the change back from him after he bought the KFC. I just called him to let him know that I would need the PayPal money transfered out and asked him about it. He said that he bought smokes this morning with it and only has $8 and change left. How can this be?

$50 (starting cash)
-$30 (KFC)
-$ 4 (smokes)

I am so angry!!! I asked him where the rest of it went and he first told me that my math was off. Then he said he wasn't sure where he spent the money. The only time that he had that money that he was away from me was this morning on the way to work. And he can't remember! AAAUUUGGGHHH! It seems stupid to be arguing over $8, but it's the principle! Well it's the money too, because we are broke.

The Weekend-Part 2

October 30th, 2006 at 09:50 am

I caved into DH's begging to spend. He was really just fed up with not being able to have any money to blow. Spending money is like an addiction around here, I think. Anyway, DH came home with DS late Sunday morning to come and get me and DD and go back over to FIL's house. Told DH that I wanted to make a quick trip out to WalMart to pick up some travel toiletry bottles. DH started begging for food (DS had already been begging for a little while). FIL evidently had little in the house (I doubt that, though, more like little ready made) so they ate toast for breakfast. DH suggested that we pick up some fast food on the way out to FIL's house and I eventually caved thinking we could run through the MikkyD's and spend $10 on the dollar menu. DH said KFC had some good deals so we went there. He grabbed a fifty out of the money bag and went into the store. I would have made sure that he got a smaller bill, but we didn't have one in there for him to take. He walked out with $30 worth of food. I was so angry! He said that he was going to work extra hard with his side jobs to make sure that we would have enough. He also asked me if I wanted him to give FIL money sitting in Paypal so I would have cash on hand. That money is going to the bank, so we can eventually get an open and active account again!
Anyways, here's a run down of the spending spree this weekend:
Clearance toy at WalMart (for DD's upcoming birthday)-$20
Smokes-$9 (got 3 packs instead of 2)
Toiletry bottles-$4.50

The Weekend-Part 1

October 30th, 2006 at 09:22 am

I have decided to put this blog entry into 2 parts, the first being my rant about the weekend and trhe second being the weekends financial no no's.

Well, this weekend was pretty rough. One of our neighbors had a party on Saturday night. They live across the street, then there is an alley, then their back yard. I do not know these neighbors, but I'm really having a hard time wanting to be friends with them. The party was originally for kids during the day, but once evening time came the adults decided to party it up. At first I thought that they had a live band playing because the music was so loud. Then, they changed the station. I could not believe that it was just the radio! We are talking almost a football fields length away and I could hear the radio plainly enough to be able to sing along in my house with the doors shut and the T.V. on. This went on till around 2 in the morning, and the partying continued until around 4 in the morning. I know this because another neighbors dog stayed up to yap at the partiers until then.
There was also a fight in our parking lot (unrelated to the party across the street) involving three grown men.
DH took DS out to my FIL's house to play and ended up staying the night over there. It was a nice break from the boy, but I wish that they were here when all that was going on. I felt very unsafe. I feel like my neighborhood is going downhill, and fast. I want to move, but I can't afford to pay the month to month rate for 60 days and put a deposit and rent down on a new apt.
I woke up this morning and went outside to check out the weather. I was greated to a yard full of empty beer bottles. I hate this place. It seems like this complex is one step away from turning into government subsidized housing. I know that these few things seem to be minor, but I would be sitting here all day to write down everything wrong with this area.
All the more reason to save up, so we can move out of this dump!

I can't see!

October 28th, 2006 at 07:25 pm

Well, the conversation about dinner went over better than I expected. DH said he would just work harder to ensure that I would be able to go too. I guess the inlaws have set up a sitter for the kids already. If we get to go we are going to some kind of fancy fondue place. $50 a plate is still pretty steep...
In other news, I lost my glasses about 3 days ago. They are somewhere in the house, but for the life of me I can't find them. If I had them on my head I could see to find them, but since they're not I am without. I got a migraine last night and again tonight from not wearing them. It's now down to a dull roar, tollerable, but I don't know for how long. I saved an old pair of glasses should something like this happen, but they don't seem to help any. I think my perscription got a lot stronger when I got this new pair.
It is truely amazing to me how my house can just junk up in a day. I was out of commission last night completely and DH fed and put the kids to bed. This morning it looked like a bomb went off in the apartment. And I now have two more loads of laundry to do, on top of the two I had before. Really though, I am greatful for his help. I don't think I would have made it last night without him. It literally felt like someone was choking me to death. I figure if I go slow tonight I can get things cleaned up pretty good and might be able to find those glasses in the process. Wish me luck!

Potential fight over dinner (of all things)

October 25th, 2006 at 07:11 pm

Talked with FIL last night about the craigslist thing, he is all for it. I also talked to him about depositing PayPal money into his acct. to pay the bank this time. Just trying to get it paid as quickly as possible. He said it was fine. He said that DH had already talked with him about that. Hummm... then he said that he talked with DH about holding back money for the TG holiday. We are having a lot of family in town and I guess everybody is going to go to a nice place to eat at some point during that time. He suggested that DH save back around $100 for the dinner so no one would have to worry about paying for us. Sigh... that's a lot of money right now. DH told me nothing about it. I'm sure he just forgot to, he does often. At any rate, I don't know if we can swing it. I am going to go over the budget for next month again and see where we will sit with it. I hate to tell DH no, as it is with family that he has not seen in quite awhile. The only way that I see it remotely happening at this point is to just let him go and me stay at home with the kids. I will gladly do it for him, but I know that there is probably going to be a little tiff about the whole thing. I am not looking forward to it.

Christmas Toys

October 24th, 2006 at 03:22 pm

I've been thinking about Christmas for the kids a lot here lately. My MIL asked me what I would like for her to get them (she's so sweet- I'm lucky) so I've been doing and online search for some toys that will last them for a few years developmentally. I know that she will get them whatever I ask for (last year it didn't even cross my mind to ask for it and she got DS a motorized two seater truck!!) I know she's a little more strapped for cash this year so I started looking on craigslist for toys. They have some great ones in my area!! I'm going to let her know about it tonight and see what she thinks.

For Better or For Worse

October 24th, 2006 at 12:08 am

DH gave me $120 when he got home from work today. His ticket only cost him $20. Yah! So, all total I think we are only off around $80 for October's budget. Much better than over $200. I'm breathing a little easier now.
DH's extra job brought in $50 last week and I made sure he put it in the bank. It is showing that it posted in his PayPal acct., but for some reason the bank is not showing that they recieved it. I'm trying to get DH to investigate it with PayPal, but he seems reluctant to do so. I feel horrible about it, but I just don't trust him about all of it. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but something seems fishy to me. He got another $200 posted into his acct. last night, but I am having him hold off on paying it into the bank because we have no conformation on their end of recieving the last payment. I am feeling very uneasy about him having access to this money that is burning a hole in his pocket. And we have no acct. now to transfer it out into, so we may end up having to wait for it and get a check in the mail if we are unable to go the direct deposit route. In the hopes I am just over reacting I am going to lay low with this for a few days.

A Lazy Monday (for a change)

October 23rd, 2006 at 11:15 am

I've been off to a slow start this morning. The weather has cooled down over the past few days and I haven't been turning on the heat yet. It's making mew want to stay under the covers longer.
It was a wonderful morning, no mishaps or messes to clean up and everyone was happy. Well, DH wasn't but that's just because he had to go and pay his ticket today. But he wasn't terrible. DD went to sleep for her 1st nap without a squeek a little while ago and DS is watching Sesame Street, which gives me a moment to write and look through the forums. I should be starting on my bread and a few more meals by now, but I'm just rolling with the laziness of the day so far.
I'm thinking that I might have to go up to the store and get a half gall. of milk. I get WIC tomorrow so I am trying to wait.
This is my last effort for laziness. I've finally got out of my house clothes and am starting to get motivated. I don't think I'll make it to the store today, but it's probably for the best anyway. DS can go without drinking milk for one morning (tomorrow). I'll just give him yogurt and juice for breakfast tomorrow. If all goes well, today will be (aside from DH's ticket) a no spending day and I like the idea of that!

Cooking Day

October 22nd, 2006 at 10:00 pm

Started out the day in a bad way this morning. DS woke up early and he snuck around the house to find something to do since his window is locked up now. He found a pair of sissors and decided to cut his and DD's hair. We ended up having to shave his head. DD well, I could shave it, half of it is already cut down that far, LOL. I figure I'll just let it keep growing out. I did trim the obvious long parts of the mess off though. Kids will be kids.
The inlaws came over for lunch instead of diner, so heavy cooking plans were put on a little hold. We discussed how many times kids gave eachother and selves hair cuts while growing up, it was hilarious! After they left, I made two extra meals to freeze; cooked a whole chicken and deboned it, split the meat in half and froze it for later meals. I also baked a batch of blueberry muffins and three dozen chocolate chip cookies.
I'm going to do a mini-loaf bread baking marathon tomorrow. I figure I might as well start as early as I can on the Christmas baking. I like making the mini-loaves because I are still giving a gift, but I can make 2 in one batch. It goes a little quicker, too. With being able to fit more pans in the oven and all. For family I make full sized loaves. When I bake I put in 2 minis and 1 full sized and come out with three gifts at a time. I could put in more, maybe, but that's all the pans I have. I am wondering what the best way to wrap them up for the freezer is, last year I didn't have very good luck with it and some of my bread went bad. I think my problem was maybe that I over-wrapped them. I'm not sure. I just don't want to start baking them till I know how I need to wrap them so I don't end up with bad bread again.
I also have to cut up potatos to freeze. I think they might start going bad if I don't. They tend to go bad pretty quick after I buy them for some reason.

My day (and the grocery shopping)

October 21st, 2006 at 09:03 pm

I was so bummed out last night, and it did carry over into this morning, but I just made a choice not to dwell on all the negative and keep plugging on through it. It wasn't a great day, but at least I didn't crawl in a hole and hide...
Last night I told DH of three goals that I wanted to get accomplish today (meaning I would need his help).
1. Hang shelves in our office/craft area that we moved from different areas of the apartment to one area (it was [i]only[i] two weeks ago that we did this and I'm just now getting around to finishing it off)
2. Grocery shopping for the next 15 days.
3. Give DS a haircut.
#'s 1 and 2 got done, but will have to do #3 tommorrow.
I really tried with this one, but DH didn't feel like rolling out of bed until 12:45 p.m. Got him to hang his office shelf without any problem. Then started the coaxing to hang mine...it was hung by 5 p.m. I can finally get back to work on those Christmas presents for everybody and hopefully get them done by the end of November.
In between those times DS got ahold of a full bottle of calligraphy ink that [b]was[b] sitting on DH shelf. We had to take it off to move it and rehang it. I spent quite awhile trying to get the stain at least somewhat out. I now have a silver dollar sized mostly purple stain under the dinning room table. I really had a hard time with this one because we live in an apartment and we signed a move in special when we first moved in here so we ended up not having to pay a deposit. *stay positive-stay positive-stay positive*
By 6 p.m. we were off to the grocery store. I did have a few splurges. I bought a brown bag of ripe bananas for bread in the hopes of making some and freezing it for gifts, but I'm not sure if it's too early for that or not. If it is I am only out .79. DS and I are allergic, so I suppose I could make some for DH and DD and the inlaws...
I got an extra jar of peanut butter, as it is my weakness to eat it in spoonfulls as a little power snack when things get hectic around here. I end up not having any left for DS when I do that though, and PB&J's are his all time favorites.
I also splurged on 4 boxes of frozen pizzas. They were on sale 10 for 10, which is an ok price. It would have been even better if I had a coupon, but I didn't, so oh well...
I made those splurges and still felt pretty good. The grocery total was $43.99. Off to store #2 for meat.*dum dum dum*
Ran in and out spent $19.55 on meat! Not bad, but it could have been better. I should have bought hamburger at store #1 as it was a little cheaper, but I didn't research it well enough so I guess I'm just out.
So, total grocery store purchase was $63.54. I will still need to get one pack of diapers and a loaf of bread (I wish my freezer was just a little bit bigger) and [i]maybe[i] a block of cheese, other than that I am set for the next 15 days or better.
I'm feeling so good because I have (so far) only used about half of the budgeted money for this 15 day period!
Tomorrow is my cooking day and DH wants to invite his parents over to dinner. I will be extra busy!

Bad night

October 21st, 2006 at 12:01 am

Went out to check the mail a little while ago and made a two dollar splurge for DH and myself on sodas from the vending machine. Got the mail. Got two credit card offers-HAHAHAHAHA. Trash. Got a notice from the bank. They have closed my account and sent it to credit. Sigh. I knew it was coming. I am now truly starting at the bottom of the barrel. It's so depressing and I feel so unmotivated right now. Just defeated. I feel like crawling into a hole somewhere and hiding out till it goes away.
I know I'll feel differently tomorrow, but for tonight I think I'm just going to crawl into bed and dream about a debt free life. On that note, good night.

Cranberry Baby Food Bread

October 20th, 2006 at 08:12 pm

Made some more cranberry bread while I was making dinner tonight. It called for 2 cups of flour, so I put in 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup oatmeal baby cereal. It still tastes good to me. It's a little more...humm...I'm at a lose for words. I want to say dry, but it's not. I guess- less dense, but it is good.
I have a couple of lemons that I have to get used up so I am making a couple of loaves of lemon bread (DH's fav) and I will put the cereal in that too.
I plan on making a total of 5 loaves of bread this weekend, along with several meals to freeze.
I will grocery shopping tomorrow for two weeks ($120 in the budget). I'm going to try and see how much less I can make it. We still have a whole bag of frozen chicken breasts I got on sale last shopping trip, cooked chicken meat and lots of beans and rice, so I think I should be able to do well. Trying to recoup some of that ticket money, you know.
I had DH stop by the hardware store on the way home from work tonight to get locks for the kids window. I put them on after DS was asleep (so as not to show him exactly how they work). We'll see how it goes in the morning. I still don't think I'll be sleeping to good tonight...

Making an investments for my childrens saftey

October 20th, 2006 at 09:16 am

Well, I am deviating from my budget again to buy locks. Seems DS knows how to get out the window in his room now. The locks that are on it are pretty pointless because I could very easily break in if I wanted, but he knows how to work them. I found him outside with his little sister this morning. He can get her out of bed now too, but I've known that for awhile. They were outside playing in the mud just outside the window at about 5:00 a.m. this morning. I just thank God that they were not hurt or worse, someone snatched them up. I'm also parinoid that someone may have seen them and has decided to call the CPS or something. I normally get up at 6 a.m. with them, but today I guess DS just wanted to be up earlier. So, the locks will be bought ASAP. I'm thinking about getting the little metal ones that have the wing nut screws that thread through them. All those saftey ones for kids (in the isle with the doorknob covers and such) he can pretty much get into, and if he can't he'd be able to break the plastic. I wouldn't think the locks would be too expensive, but at this point price doesn't matter. I just want to make sure it never happens again.

Garage sale

October 19th, 2006 at 01:54 pm

Gearing up for the garage sale this weekend or next(probably next). All I have pretty much is kids clothes and toys and old movies, but I'm hoping to get enough out of this sale to get the craft items I will need to buy to make this years Christmas presents. I don't have much to sell, but these things are taking up a large portion of our 900sq. ft. apartment living area and it's making me crazy. I can't wait to get it all out!
Pricing is about to drive me nuts with the baby's clothes. She only wore a lot of items once (if she even wore them) and has a lot of sets. It makes it more difficulte to calculate the price of. I've been reading different articles to try to get these things priced, and am still a little stumped. Most every artical has a point to try and sell items for no more than 10-30% of their retail value. Well, if that's the case, some of these sets would be selling for much higher than I think anyone would pay for at a garage sale.
For example, I have a dress set that has a matching onesie that goes under it. It also has matching tights, bloomers, shoes and hairbows. I know that this was a pretty expensive item (first granddaughter and all) and I would pay upwards of ten dollars for the whole set at a garage sale for it personally. It was an outfit we put her in twice for church. It has no damage and really doesn't look like it's even been worn. I tried the consignment store with it but they are overstocked with items so they are only excepting certian brands right now. But, would somebody else pay ten bucks, I don't know. Maybe if they knew anything about fashion/brand names, they might. So, I sit and ponder over it a little longer...

Saving money wears me out

October 18th, 2006 at 01:27 pm

I'm starting to get exhausted!
I have been trying to put my grocery list together for my upcoming trip to the store. I have read over the 3 local store adds to see what all the sales are. I'm compiling a menu list that fits with the sale items right now. Then, I will look through my coupons to see if there are any that I will be able to use. After that's done, I am going to go through my coupons with the sales adds and see if there are any amazing deals for items that I may need in the future. Then, tuck the coupons away in order of isle/store with my grocery list (for each store)and my menu list. It seems like it should be easy enough to do, right? It's not! It is so time consuming! Even if I didn't have a three yr. old and a 10 month old running around me, I think it would take a better part of the day to get it done. Sigh... I know that it will get easier with each time that I do this, but man, it's been a long day already!