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Archive for August, 2008

Finally got paid

August 31st, 2008 at 05:08 pm

My extra teaching job finally paid me, so we're solvent without touching the back-up or emergency fund. I can see more expenses looming in the future--car repair, dentist,
etc, but we're also only a month away from my regular paycheck.

Summer has again taught me we can indeed live on one of our incomes--but it's not very pretty. Perhaps if all the retirement stuff was funded, DD's college fund, and the house was paid off it would be easier.

But I have to say, I love teaching, and I'm looking forward to it. Someone please remind me of that later in the month when I've already started to complain!

Frugal choices for today will include eating lovelies from the freezer supplemented with that farmers' market produce and hanging out the laundry.

Farmers' Market

August 30th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Our local farmers' market is small but fun.
We bought yellow tomatoes, cukes, green and wax beans, corn, and my favorite--beets.

A little jaunt to the library rounded out the morning, and now I've sent DH and DD off to amuse themselves so I can get my last-minute class planning done. I printed out our family calendar for the month, and we are busy busy busy.

But I still love the first day of school and all those new faces and possibilities.

Looking forward to a long happy weekend

August 29th, 2008 at 05:40 pm

before the insanity of the university starts again. We're out to a friend's house for dinner tonight, want to pick up some great sweet corn tomorrow and get ready for school by cleaning and organizing a few things.

I'm making a mixed berry fruit tart tonight and going to think about how sweet summer is before it's gone.

My money goal for today is to sign up for bill pay on the second emergency checking account. They offer $25 for the first time you use it, then I'm canceling it after I pocket the $25.

I wish all my SA friends lovely summery weekends!

More pick-up cash

August 26th, 2008 at 06:26 pm

I'm doing some chapter reviews for a colleague of his new textbook. That should net me $100 or so. And tonight's the last night of my summer class with its paycheck a week away. But I've promised that class pizza tonight (they should buy ME pizza as an apology for how aggravating they've been), so that's a bit out of pocket.

No other spending on the horizon until all the school fees on Thursday.
Oh, and the plumber tomorrow.

That's how it'll be for a week or two--drips and drops...

Have I done my major things that I blogged about last week? Please don't ask.

Vacation-over Blues

August 25th, 2008 at 01:33 pm

We're back from a few days in upper Michigan and Mackinac Island. I'm happy to report that I used all of last year's postcards, and we saved a few bucks by bringing water,and other beverages with us in our softside cooler to the hotel. But I've got to remember to pack a corkscrew and bottle opener regularly!

I can tell we don't eat out much by my reaction to restaurant prices. Man oh man, have things really gone up that much?
$10 sandwiches and $5 beers are a bit too much for me.

We had a great time though--I love the lake and it's so pretty there. DD rode along on the bike and the children's program at Fort Mackinac was splendid.

But now--alas--back to reality with meeting and the semester all starting this week. Time to ship the Amazon sales and the ebay sales.
Time to formulate my semester. Time to be a grown-up again.

Another life for the old china

August 19th, 2008 at 02:31 pm

Ha! You thought this was going to be about the Olympics, didn't you? Nope, a different china from our various former lives instead.

I'm happy to report that both the china cake plate DH received for a wedding gift for his first marriage, and the vegetable dish lid from my first set of wedding china sold last night on ebay. Since my former husband broke the vegetable dish years ago, I have no idea why I held onto the lid, but it sold for $10 last night. The cake plate went for more. It's so satisfying to get something for basically nothing.

A very small saving gesture

August 16th, 2008 at 04:40 am

I sometimes wonder if I'm penny wise and pound foolish. I watch the small things like a hawk--the Walgreen's rebates, the double coupons, the cheapie school supplies, the low gas prices, but I think I'm going to try to shift to big picture thinking for the next few weeks--not instead of small economies, but in addition to them.

I'm going to try to talk my credit card company into no annual fee. We carry no balance but charge a lot and get lots of airline miles. I'm going to finally finish our will. I'm going to check the brokerage balances and make sure that I'm budgeting the right amounts for medical withholding through my pre-tax account.

And I found a fun cheap pop dance class for my daughter to try--and here's the funny savings--I was decluttering and found postcards we bought last year on our trip to Mackinac Island. We never wrote them out or sent them, so when we return there next week, I'm sending them then!

A little deposit

August 13th, 2008 at 05:04 am

I made $65 today leading a book club discussion for a group of women. I usually moderate their couples' book club, but their book this time was in my scholarly area, so they asked me to lead their women's only session. I have mixed reactions about this (yet another) sideline job. I really like all of them, and they're such terrific readers that they're fun to be with. But it's a lot of work for not much money.

However, the gas station across from their country club (this is so not my usual life) is among the cheapest in town, so I filled up there as well.

The book club funds are all allocated to my someday trip to Rome with a friend. It occurs to me now that I should start a sidebar showing those funds. Maybe that will help keep me motivated.

Academic life is no treasure chest for the budget, I tell you.

My Personal Pantry Challenge

August 11th, 2008 at 02:42 pm

Yesterday was pretty fun as DH returned home from England with all sorts of goodies, including hand-me-downs for DD from her favoUrite cousin and all the British cooking magazines I love etc.

DD went to a funny birthday party at a pet shop and had a great time. I managed to delay the adoption of the "free fish" she was given a credit for until I check Goodwill for fish bowls. I don't think I want to spend $5 on a pet store fishbowl for a fish with a life span of a week or so.

So with all this plenty surrounding us, I've challenged myself to walk an hour a day and buy only dairy and produce for the next few weeks. We have tons of stuff in the freezer and pantry, and I'm going to stir up some wondermeals from them.

Tonight--Tikka chicken masala

August Budget seeping continues

August 8th, 2008 at 04:20 pm

Besides the insurance payments due, and my adjunct job forgetting to pay me, all the back to school shopping has to continue. I've done really well with specials at Target, AlGreens, and Office Depot/Max, but DD needs two new pair of gym shoes and another pair of regular school shoes.

Oh yeah, and then there's the money for school lunches, and some sort of "activity" fee.

I have to say I'm sorely tempted by the cutie shoes like umi and other upscale kid's brands. We've had terrible luck with Carter's and other Kohl's brands. The velcro doesn't stay on, and despite my valiant efforts at supergluing it, we may get one pair of nicer shoes for HRH.

Garage Cleaning

August 7th, 2008 at 07:42 pm

Aren't those two words that just set your souls aflame? Yeah, me too.
But since DH is in England, I decided to do a little surprise for him. And we're so sad that he'd probably get more excited about a clean garage than almost (ahem, almost) anything else.
I freecycled some more of DD's clothes today, and have filled two garbage cans with all sorts of junk from the garage. I broke down and bought one of those Rubbermaid tool organizers which is pretty ok.
Another hour and I'll be done.

On a less happy note, my adjunct job "forgot" to submit my earnings total for last month, so I have to wait another very broke month until they pay me. Grrrr