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Archive for July, 2008

Deciding to declutter

July 30th, 2008 at 02:43 pm

Freecycle happily rid us of our 50-year-old basement fridge last night. It's odd to have appliances older than you, isn't it?

But I've decided to spend the day dejunking and getting stuff ready for our basement remodeling. Maybe I'll find more stuff to list on ebay since that basement has its fair share of buried junk and perhaps some treasure!

waiting for specials

July 29th, 2008 at 07:31 pm

and hoping they'll show up.
It seems to be the summer doldrums here.
My ebay stuff isn't selling, the hotel I want to book for a late August getaway is only posting specials for early August thus far. I've done some successful back-to-school shopping for DD, but it seems like ages since I've been paid, and my regular university income doesn't start until October. Good thing the free lance teaching will cover me starting August 1.

I think I need to declutter or do something non financial to take my mind off money for a bit.

using airmiles for hotels?

July 25th, 2008 at 03:35 am

Has any out there tried this?

I've used miles for regular flights and rental cars before, but I played around with the American Airlines site trying to use up some miles for hotels in Seattle or Vancouver. They're happy to try to talk you into this--but the amount of miles was incredible. For a 5-night stay at a nice downtown Vancouver hotel, they wanted, (hold your breath) 168,000 miles.

It's such an incredible rip off! I'm a firm and fast believer in priceline for last minute hotels, but I'd like to use some of these excess miles.

Summer Blahs

July 24th, 2008 at 07:22 pm

All of our annual insurance bills come due in late July and August--life insurance, homeowner's and at least one car. So until I get paid again, I'm transferring money from savings to help cover it. That and the prospect of a leaking coolant system on my car makes it all sort of ugly.

But I got a couple of checks from surveys and am determined to keep my chin up.

Maybe I can find something to list on ebay....

Don't Let them Eat Cake?

July 21st, 2008 at 07:13 pm

We had a 6th birthday party for DD this weekend and the bakery sent my husband home with the wrong flavor (NOT CHOCOLATE!) cake.

This all happened about an hour before the party. So what does the bakery tell me? That if I wanted a refund, I shouldn't have served it. This to a woman with a houseful of 6yearolds wanting the Surf's up cake.

I'm calling the store manager!

On yet another former rant, check on yesterday's NYT for an article about foreclosures and the foreclosee's penchant for designer handbags.

Chasing down the phantoms

July 15th, 2008 at 06:57 pm

That title sounds way more exciting than it is. Didn't somebody on this site discuss phantom electricity usage lately--telling us that the clock on the microwave probably uses more energy than all your microwave usage all year?

We have three clocks in the kitchen (yet I'm never on time!): The microwave, the range, and one on the wall. Last night, after telling DH about phantom electric use, we stared at the microwave for a few minutes and figured out how to turn off the clock.

I think that'll save about 12cents, but still I'm happy!

Bagged

July 15th, 2008 at 12:40 am

This is a mini-rant about a spending choice I think is pretty darn ridiculous.
If you're a designer handbag freak, log off now.
As some of you know, I teach at a large public university. Almost every term for the past few years, I get a 20something female student who wants to talk to me about her cool designer handbag that cost her $300+. I have no idea why they want to talk to ME about this--maybe they think I need fashion help. Today a friend told me about her niece who is tens of thousands in debt yet prides her designer bags above all else.

Has the world gone nuts? I have my splurges, but they tend to be a pint of raspberries or a bottle of hand lotion that's more expensive than normal.

My first car cost less than their bags!

Something I'm grateful for

July 10th, 2008 at 05:30 pm

My DH will eat anything without complaining or even minding. His mom is a baaaaad cook. I refuse to blame English cooking in general, but her cooking fits the stereotype. DH is happy to eat whatever's put in front of him. He has no qualms about bringing home office leftovers and eating them for dinner.
We don't generally eat leftover office food for dinner, but it's a quality worth cultivating, I think.

My father was a lovely man, but always wanted meat and potatoes and 2 veg for dinner. Anything that smacked of leftovers or thriftiness was scorned.

I do think being willing to challenge your own ideas about all sorts of purchases can really help save.


Living on One Income

July 10th, 2008 at 02:16 am

Trying (and mostly succeeding) to live on one income while you're earning two is one of the smartest money decisions I've made .
DH all upset about something that happened at work and asked me tonight if we could live on what I make. Yeah, we could.
It wouldn't be pretty, and I'd be more maniacal than I am now about discounts and coupons and lights switched off, but I could hear him breathe a big sigh of relief.

Now if I could figure out how to pay for my mom's assisted living expenses.

Lovely double coupons today too along with free dishwasher additive at the local grocers, so I'm feeling pretty good.

saving a bit

July 8th, 2008 at 08:25 pm

So, I'm back from a week and half vacation and start teaching a new class tonight.

Some of my whiny I-wants have been satisfied by buying a new bed. There was a great article on slate.com about mattresses. I wondered why I was so confused buying a mattress. Apparently all the big manufacturers just relabel them with different names to confound comparison shopping. So I bought one and got a great deal. The bed frame came from overstock.com complete with mypoints bonus money.
And I actually admitted by age (gasp!) to get a discount at the Eddie Bauer Outlet on vacation.

I'm so sorry to report that that retail therapy did indeed make me feel better.

But then this morning's paper had a scary article on natural gas prices for this winter. I probably should've saved the old mattresses as insulation!