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forgot about the sew bill! oops

January 30th, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Well, when I bought the house, I knew I was going to have a sewer bill to contend with & I had a montly amount in my budget, but for some reason, I didnt remember to prepare for the bill for this year. I just got a bill for $167.32 due 2/28/07. It'll cover the year of 2007. Since I just bought the house 3 months ago, the sewer savings doesn't have that amount in it yet. So I used my overtime & savings from this paycheck to pay the sewer bill in full. It'll set me savings plan back a little bit, but so be it. At least I have the cash on hand to handle the bill.

On the upside, I did a little overtime yesterday. AND my parents took me to see The Departed--surprisingly good!

Ima's post about frugal things we did today got me thinking. I've been getting a little lax in some areas, so my focus is going to be to focus on the little things. Today I packed my lunch, drank only water. I'll be premaking food for tomorrow as well, I have plenty of tv to enjoy & this weekend I'll enjoy the movies from my free trial from Netflix.

I also have several library books to get through. I just finished Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich. That series is REALLY good. Very funny.

A great find!

December 1st, 2006 at 04:01 am

I packed my lunch today, but I did buy a soft pretzel for 55 cents. Stayed on my diet, but was able to get a snack since my stomach was kinda upset.

I've already packed my food for tomorrow. Blueberry muffin & fruit cocktail for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Tuna salad sandwich & homemade pasta salad for dinner. In an effort to stay healthy, I make the pasta salad with wheat pasta & a heavy dose of veggies... more veggies than pasta. Very yummy!

Since I have the house now, I've been toying with getting a second checking account, where I put my money for my mortgage & the utilities each month... my "house" fund. AND I've had a digital camera on my wish list for a long time. A nice & simple one that can take a couple of pictures that I can download to my computer.

Well, there IT was... today in the mail, an offer for Free checking from a reputable local bank that gives a free Suntone Digital camera, with instillation software, carrying strap and USB cable with the opening of a checking account. PLUS if I bring unused checks from my current account, they'll give me $10.00 cash. Can't beat that.

I think I'll go over tomorrow & sign up. Then I can set up a portion of my direct deposit to go into the new account.

Its still warm here, I don't have the heat on. It was so warm that when I get up in the morning, I'll be opening a few windows to get some fresh air in.


first electric bill & random updates

November 28th, 2006 at 01:08 am

Well, I got my first electric bill. To be totally honest: I was being a little psycho & going online & checking to see if the bill was up yet on a daily basis. Its up today & its $66.80. Feeling pretty good about that. Of course, thats without having the heat turned on all month. We'll have to see how high it gets next month.

Now I have a grasp on all the montly bills. Nice!!

My free month of Blockbuster Online is up. I've really liked the plan, with the option to get movies in store as well as through the mail. But I think I'll do a free trial of Netflix, then make the decision on which I like better.

The good thing about the Blockbuster is that you can return movies at the store, get a free instore rental & they're already mailing the next one on my list. I'm a huge movie freak & its awesome, because new releases come out tomorrow & i'll be returning one of the movies to get Clerks II. I'll go right before work, so its pretty much guarenteed in stock!

Today was a no spend day. I stayed pretty lazy since I had a bit of a rebound headcache from the migrane. Feeling a lot better & by tomorrow, it should be gone.

Also, I've started a diet. It helps that I can eat pretty regular with it, just making sure to get lots of veggies & fruits in & to limit the fattening foods. Today I've had a banana, large salad, 1/2 a BLT (with light on the bacon & mayo),& some peanuts. For dinner, I had some chicken & baked fries. Later, for a snack, I'll have some natural popcorn.

I've planned my meals for the week. Tonight I'll prep my food to take out to work tomorrow.

In the meantime, we're still having warm weather. I'm jealous of all the people with snow! If we're lucky, we might see some in January!

lotsa freebies from work

November 8th, 2006 at 11:16 pm

In the last 2 weeks, I've received a package of microwave popcorn, a large bag of peanut m&ms, a $100.00 gift card to Walmart & a free lunch. Tomorrow, they're giving me a free flu shot.

I've been doing a lot of spending due to a weird work schedule, but I'm packing all my food tomorrow. I do need to stop for gas, but other than that, no spending for me.

I've settled in nicely in the house. I finally got all my Aunt's furniture in. I'm going to take some pictures soon, which I'll share online.

I'm still waiting for my first month's utility bills. I have estimates, but I really want to see the realistic figures...should be fun

Settling in and spending

November 3rd, 2006 at 03:50 am

I'm settling in the house just fine. I've yet to turn on the heat, although the temperature took a dive tonight. I'm just using a down comforter to stay warm.

I packed my lunch today and made my dinner at home. I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

I spent $2.00 today. $1.00 for a large bottle of ibuprofin & $1.00 for a 200 count box of sandwich bags. Yay Dollar store.

I normally work 8-5 on Saturday, but I took a 1/2 day. I have a friend who runs a moving company on the side & he's going to move my Aunt's furniture for me. Some pieces will go into the basement & some will go in the living/dining room. I called around for prices & this guy is giving me at least a $100.00 break on this.

Also, I gave my storage unit 10 days notice for vacancy as their policy requires, but since I wouldn't actually be moving until after my next due date, under their policy, I would owe them another month's rent. HOWEVER, since it was just one day, they waived it. $110.00 saved due to niceness!

I am pretty proud of myself for staying organized. As I unpacked, I recycled all the boxes & put all the empty storage containers in the basement. Now I'm going through & sorting & labelling all my holiday decorations for Christmas & Halloween, as well as craft stuff, old paperwork from my aunt & other things. Everything is labeled clearly & stacked neatly. This is a HUGE deal. No one in my family has ever had an organized basement! I'm the envy of my parents.

Next big project is to tackle THEIR basement!

I would also like to mention that I had accumulated about $80.00 in gift cards from MyPoints & other promotions, which is used for things for the house & its projects. That money went a long way.

I've become very lax about discretionary spending and my goal this month is to track all money as well as limit cash usage. I have a few different office parties to contribute to in the next week, which won't help, but I'm trying to offer to contribute food, not cash. That way I can control my spending. Smile

Hope everyone is staying warm & cozy. As the temps start to drop, I recommend hot chocolate, extra socks, cozy blankets & snuggling with animals & loved ones!

In the New House and LOVING it!!

October 30th, 2006 at 12:13 am

Moved into the house last week, spent 2 days moving boxes & furniture, then spent the next few days painting. I have sofas, but no endtables or cofee table. I still have unpacked boxes.

BUT, I have my own home, and I am LOVING it!!! Been spending some money, all expected, but I'm at the point that I want to wait on things, so much cash is being shelled out. I did major grocery shopping today..I was basically starting from scratch. But it helped that I had won a $100.00 gift card for Walmart. That went a long way today.

I am planning on starting back on track with my spending starting tomorrow. I am planning on eating at home & packing lunches for work. My goal is to spend as little as possible and spend a lot of time at home enjoying my space.

T minus 5 days

October 15th, 2006 at 11:35 pm

Spent 101.76 on paint & supplies and a cat door. All planned and budgeted, except for the cat door. I'm planning on putting the litter box in the basement and since I don't want to leave the door to the basement open & let all the heat out all winter, I'm installing a cat opening on the door to the basement. Fun stuff Smile

Anyway, I have mortgage paperwork to get to the company tomorrow, and I'm doing some packing. I'm working Tuesday & Wednesday. And then I'm off Thursday to pack & do the final walk through. Friday 9am is the closing. Woo hoo.

I'll be moving the easy stuff on Friday by myself. Friday night my family & friends will come over to see the house. Then on Saturday, my roommates will help me move all my bedroom furniture, and my family will help me unpack.

I'm sure the mortgage company is going to have me running around all week. Otherwise, I'm just REALLY excited!!!

Update of Expenses

October 9th, 2006 at 09:46 pm

Here's an update of house expenses:
This week I did a lot of purchasing, all budgeted. I've been living in a single room of a house for a few years, so I had no living room stuff...nada...zip, so I had already budgeted for some furniture & electronics. A lot of these were wants, not needs, but I've been living with 7+ year old electronics in my bedroom. Don't worry I didn't go overboard. Here's the list...the figures are a bit scary.

Electric Deposit 180.00
(Never had electric in my own name with this particular company, so they made me make a large deposit)

Washer/Dryer/Delivery: 879.47 including a 10% discount.

Sofa, Loveseat, Tv Stand, delivery, fabric protection: Cost to me free. (Gift from parents 1568.97).

27" flat front tv on sale, with 10% coupon, 265.04 (I've searched sales for weeks on this one).

DVD/VHS Combo 69.99

Cordless phone with anwering machine and second phone: 39.99

UPCOMING EXPECTED EXPENSES:
-Paying for the first quarter on my garbage service (est 60.00)
-Starter groceries in 2 sections:
Sandwich & soda stuff to get me though the move & the first day or so. Then I'll make a big trip to Walmart & the local grocery store for staples & stocking up. I'm eating down my current stock of food, so I'll be starting completely over. Budgeted 300.00
-Closing Costs: To be determined. I have an estimate, but I'll have a more definate figure later this week.

On the bright side, I stopped by the grocery store today to pick up some soda for work & I found they had a 10 for $10.00 on Ragu pasta sauce. I really didnt want to pick up 10 jars since I'd just have to move them, but they were actually all sold out. SO I GOT A RAINCHECK. I can pick up the 10 jars AFTER the move. SCORE!!

More updates this week, then I'll probably be missing for the following week or so. Closing is the 20th, moving my bedroom the 21st, the washer & dryer are being delivered the 22nd and the sofa, loveseat & tv stand are being delivered the 23rd. So I'll probably be out of touch until the end of that week.

House updates, eating updates

October 6th, 2006 at 12:47 am

Still getting paperwork together for the mortgage company. The inspection went well, just a few minor things. I've been trying not to go overboard buying things for the house, but I picked up a few kitchen things (knife set, cutting boards, ect) and a few house things.

I also have been looking for a couch & love seat set. I spent all last weekend looking around. I found a set within my budget, my mom is paying for the couch & I'm paying for the love seat. I'm going back to check it out again this weekend. I'll order it and set a delivery date then.

I also need a tv stand & I'm splurging on a new tv. All budgeted, but my current tv (in my bedroom) is REALLY tiny. SO I'll keep it in my bedroom & get a new one for the living room. I have a 10% coupon for Circuit City which carries the style, brand, size & price that I'm looking for. Smile

On Sunday, I'm going to purchase a washer & dryer and set up the delivery. I have a budget for this, but it definately helps that my parents are sears retirees & can get me 10% off. PLUS theres a 10% mail in rebate that my mom got. Its only for the purchase of 2 appliances, so my mom is giving it to me.

I am looking for paint supplies for the master bedroom. I plan on painting the first weekend I'm in the house. I'll temporarily put my bedroom stuff in the 2nd bedroom, then I'll paint the master & then I'll move.

I also 'need' to get bathmats and rugs for the bathroom. I have a master bath and a half bath. Kmart is having a sale on that kind of stuff, so I'm heading over there this weekend.

So lots of stuff to do! And its T minus 2 weeks as of tomorrow!! I am SO excited!!

I've been eating out too much lately, so my focus is to eat up what I have left in the pantry & minimize any grocery buying for the next 2 weeks. Definately doable!

Home Inspection, Homeowners Insurance

September 28th, 2006 at 01:27 am

Its stressful and exhausting getting all the information requested to all the different parties. Mortgage company, realtor, first time homebuyers program, attorney, ect.

Today I had a home inspection, just a few things for the seller to fix before we settle. I was able to get quotes for homeowners insurance & I'm just waiting for the paperwork to sign.

The girl in the realtor's office recently moved & she offered to give me some moving boxes and supplies---NICE! Free!

I'm heading to Ikea this weekend to get a tv stand and a coffee table. I've already researched them and they're exactly what I'm looking for at the right price.

The major thing I have to get is a sofa. My mom offered to buy me one as a gift & I'm thinking of letting her buy it. It would be really helpful & I could get one that I can keep for a lot of years.

So far spent this week: $465.00 home inspection

Fabulous news & an apology-- long

September 23rd, 2006 at 12:53 am

First of all, sorry I've been MIA again. Lots of stuff going on...now for the good news!!!

I've been going out with realtor, getting discouraged at the houses in my price range, feeling stressed over the fact that I need to move soon from my current living situation, when all of a sudden (also know as just this Monday) I FOUND A HOUSE!!!!!!

Its in my price range, 2 bedroom, 1.5 baths, in a good, safe neighborhood. It has had a lot of recent updates in the last 2-3 years: new roof, new heating, new kitchen, new master bath.

I saw it on Monday, went back on Tuesday morning with my mom to get a second opinion. I made the offer for a few thousand less than the asking price and I found out Wednesday that they accepted the offer.

Now I'm running around getting info for my realtor, my mortgage company, and the first time homebuyers program that I'm going through. I have an inspection on Wednesday.

I'm making a million lists: cleaning supplies, personal items, groceries, toilet paper, hand soap & other necessities, furniture, ect. I already have a budget set up for all of it, but now I have a better idea of what I'll need.

Closing is scheduled for October 20th, so it's going to come fast. I have already scheduled days off work around that time. I plan on packing up most of my stuff in the next few weeks.

I'm doing my best to plan expenses, but I made sure that I have an 'Ooops' fund for things that I forgot, but I shouldn't have.

So far I have paid a $2000.00 deposit, $425.00 towards the appraisal and $64.00 at the dollar store--cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, small kitchen stuff, and bathroom supplies. (Every single item off my list).

I will keep everyone updated as this progresses. Also, to help curb my spending, I cunningly lost my debit card & had it cancelled yesterday, and since I don't want to use my credit cards, it has to be check or cash. So I am DEFINATLELY not buying a lot until I get my replacement card in 2-3 weeks.

I'd like to thank everyone for their support in my quest for a house & although nothings final yet, I just wanted to thank you all.

homebuying process update

September 14th, 2006 at 01:12 am

Saturday, I had my homebuyers education seminar, which was informative. Today I had my one on one appointment with my 'counselor'. We went over a few things about the state 1st time homebuyers program that I'm working with and we went over a budget with the mortgage & house related expenses. It was really great to see that my numbers are right in line with hers.

Now here's the great news...I was considering a bond/grant from the state that gives settlement help. That way I could leave myself with a bigger emergency fund. I REALLY feel more comfortable with significant savings since I'm doing this alone. The original bond that comes with this program gives $6k settlement help, with no payments due until the mortgage is paid and comes with a very good rate.

If I did this, I would definately pay it off within the first few years, just so that I don't have interest acruing for a long period of time.

HOWEVER!!! my counselor recommended a county program that gives $5,000.00 settlment help at 0% for 3 years, then half the rate of the other for the rest of the time... PERFECT! so she started my application for that process.

Now I just need to find a house. I"m going out with the realtor tomorrow, but theres not a lot in my price range & I'm sure we'll only get to see a few houses. Still, theres HOPE Smile

busy week

September 9th, 2006 at 04:15 am

Tomorrow I have a first time homebuyers seminar 10-4:30. Its held at the local library, so when its over, I'm going to try to pick up a movie.

I gave in to buying Lost Season Two on dvd. $34.00. But I REALLY love the show & I stopped watching after the first season due to working nights. So now I get to catch up. I really can't wait.
I'm helping my mom prepare for an interview on Sunday. She worked for the same company for 30 years, so she's feeling a little overwhelmed.

Monday, I have off work, so I'm meeting the realtor to look at some houses in the morning. In the afternoon, I"m participating in a survey. $50.00 for 1 hour work plus 10 minutes drive time. My mom hooked me up with the research company...thanks Mom!!

Watching & waiting as houses come up for sale. It's just taking a while, but I'll find something soon, I hope. In the meantime, I'll keep searching & keep on my realtor. I'll keep everyone updated.

On a side note, I went to Walmart yesterday...I was able to get the oatmeal I eat daily for 1.97/box (normally $3 to $4), granola bars 2.00 (normally 2.50 on sale), and generic crystal light for 1.76/pack. Great prices & tastes just as good as the name brand. I also found the packs of McCormick Sloppy Joe mix that I use all the time for .98...normally 1.48 at my local store...and it NEVER goes on sale. I will never buy any of these items at my regular grocery store prices again.

not so quick update

September 2nd, 2006 at 06:03 pm

Still looking for a house--slow going. Working on the mortgage. Been preapproved, but the underwriter keeps asking for all this extra paperwork. I'm learning patience. I have a first time homebuyers seminar to attend next Saturday & a one-on-one meeting for first time homebuyers next week. Very exciting!

I haven't rented a movie from anywhere but the library in over 7 months, but I got a coupon in the mail for any movie for 99 cents. There was a cheesy movie I wanted to see that my library didn't have, so I rented it on Tuesday. Then I went back again today & got 2 more movies---one the library had, but the wait would have been over a month & the other was an old movie that my library didn't have.

I also stopped at the library to pick up a few movies for this week. Its raining and I'm not feeling so hot, so I plan to laze around all weekend.

I knew this was coming, but my roommates announced this week that they are moving into another house & renting this one out. They haven't given a clear date for moving out, but it's looking like end of October/November. If I don't find a house by then, I may move in with my parents. UGH.

So I've started packing up some clothes & books & will put them into my storage unit. If I do a little at a time, when the move comes, it won't be so much.

On the homebuying front: Decent houses in my price range are few & far between. I'm getting a little discouraged. There are two neighborhoods in particular that are decent & I'm hoping a house in one will open up soon. In the meantime, I'm thinking that if I don't find a house by November/December, then I might take a short term lease in an aparmtent & take more time to look for the right house. I dont want to end up buying the wrong house just because I'm desperate. The only problem with that is short term leases are not popular in my area & I'm afraid to commit to renting & then have to break the lease or pay for both rent an mortgage for a month or two.

I have a lot of things to think about & I'm getting myself worked up with all this uncertainty. So I'm taking the weekend to wind down & I'm going to make some lists. Weigh my options & keep an eye out for houses...wait & see, just wait & see...

updates and plans

August 21st, 2006 at 10:55 pm

Met with a realtor and applied for a mortgage in last 2 weeks. Everything looks good--no surprises. The hard part is going to be finding the right house in my price range. Housing is outragious in my area, and there are few listings in my price. So its just waiting for something to open up. My realtor is keeping an eye out & so am I.

Things have been crazy for me the last few weeks...I took my final for the last graduate class I will ever have. Got an A...yay. Now I can truthfully say I have 2 MBAs! Plus, I just finished my 6 week training at work on Friday. I had a whole bunch of family stuff go on this weekend too. Not so fun.

I made it to the grocery store sunday & planned my food out for the week. I'm limiting myself to 1 soda a day which has both health and financial benefits.

Today I had oatmeal for breakfast, salad with a few chicken strips for lunch, pretzels for a snack and sloppy joe and wheat pasta, with salad for dinner. Yummy. I premade pasta salad to take to work tomorrow and Wednesday. And I"m having chicken tomorrow night for dinner.

I spent no money today & my goal is to not spend at all this week. Definately doable.