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Archive for February, 2009

well that settles that

February 21st, 2009 at 07:34 pm

I have become compulsive on saving on the NYC hotel stay. My hotel has dropped to $112/night with breakfast, so I'm sticking with it.

I did try a couple of priceline bids for $85, but with breakfast, a steam room, and a cappuccino machine, I'm staying put.
I've also decided NOT to buy a guidebook, but use the current one at the library.

I'm getting excited to go! We're doing the usual round of museums, shopping, but also a jazz club and the Metropolitan Opera.



I think I'm getting compulsive

February 19th, 2009 at 06:00 pm

First, the Ebay good news. An item I'd previously listed sold this morning for $14.05, so I'm adding that to my total.

I decided against walking a half mile in the -10 windchill this morning, but chose the cheaper metered parking by the university, rather than the underground. I figured I saved $2 doing that, plus my epidermis remains intact.

Now on to my compulsion: I'm visiting NYC next week with some friends. I started out at a nice Manhattan hotel for $149, but two weeks ago found a comparable one with breakfast for $133. The rates dropped again on quikbook, so I canceled and rebooked it at $123, which includes breakfast. The hotel website says they guarantee the cheapest prices, so I asked them to match or beat quikbook's rate, which they refused. Nice, huh?

So now the folks monitoring the hotels at betterbidding.com are getting better hotels for under $100 through hotwire and priceline. I'm not sure whether I should just leave well enough alone, or shop some more. My friends are starting to think I'm compulsive, but????

Advice? Or any frugal advice for NYC?



February-itis

February 18th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Our blast of false spring last week cheered me up, but again it's snowy, cold, and awful here.

My major money woe is the impending demise of my car's transmission. People are telling me a rebuilt can cost up to 2K, but I just put my hands over my ears and sing loudly to ignore them. Full report pending from the transmission guy next week. We've got 111,000 miles on that trans, so I guess I can't complain.


Not a lot of other money news to report. I'm adding $1.99 to my ebay challenge for the software I sold. Since I now start teaching later, I'm taking DD to school, and drinking my coffee at home. It saves a big $3/week, but it all helps.

A busy cheap day

February 14th, 2009 at 05:38 am

I spent my day off prepping for next week's classes, correcting papers, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and some more cleaning. Our occasional cleaning person was so unreliable I've taken it over, and I must admit, I hate it.

But we save her expense, I got loads of things done including depositing some odd little checks. Apparently Best Buy charged us too much sales tax for our digital converter box so we received an apology and a check for $1.12. Now there's an economic stimulus.

My big payoff for all that work is finding a CD I thought was long gone. Yes, that is Mark Knopfler you hear in the background....

More Good News

February 13th, 2009 at 04:33 am

A textbook publisher that I do some reviews for asked me to be a part of their panel for a possible new book. It sounds fun and easy and pays $750! I'm thrilled.

And on a much lesser note, my current ebay auction has a bid on it.

My money anxiety (for no real reason except my usual freefloating anxiety) has increased lately, but it seems lately like
I'm generating cash from unexpected sources. I need to learn to relax and rely on good things happening. We're healthy and happy and generally very well blessed.

Like They're Shopping for Cars

February 12th, 2009 at 02:00 am

I read a quote in the NYT over the weekend commenting on how people shopping for groceries are now armed with calculators, papers, lists, and coupons --as much info as if they were shopping for cars.

It's true around here. People are standing in front of displays a long time, comparing unit prices, going through their coupons, and putting things back on the shelf.
Our local store had a special on milk, and every single person I went by had the two gallon special in their carts.


Tax Refund Arrives!

February 10th, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Our federal tax refund hit our account today! It's exciting news, though I'm not sure what we'll do with it yet other than stash it in the emergency fund.

Not that I don't have a long list of wants:
a new dresser
basement refinishing
car fund
fund roths completely
Central A/c
etc

But we'll sit on it a bit, and hope to figure out what's most important.

Neither a Borrower .....

February 6th, 2009 at 06:29 pm

I feel mean, and I'm hoping you all can make me feel better. One of DH's co-workers, a great guy who we've known for years, is in continuing financial trouble. It's not him, it's his wife who hops from job to job and continually spends WAY too much on their children--we're talking $500 on a first birthday party.

You know where this is going--they're losing their house, and have 16K on credit cards. DH wants to pay their credit cards with OUR emergency fund and have co-worker pay them back so they won't lose the house.

I have had bad experiences lending to friends, and am not convinced that Co-worker's wife has changed her ways. I am pretty darn adamant against it, but DH is giving me a big speech about helping people etc and my religious and moral values being misplaced. So I feel mean.

Pretty darn good

February 5th, 2009 at 04:23 am

I have done pretty well at the grocery shopping of late, and am pleased with my stinginess. This week's total was under $60, rather than our usual $100 or so.

Step two of reducing expenses was cutting back on parking and coffee expenses which are both right on track.

And my third goal is to have a great time in NYC without spending a fortune. I found a better, cheaper hotel on Quikbook.com (my new favorite site) that saves me $16/night and comes with breakfast. All in all in four nights that should save me well over $100. And they have a cappucino/espresso
area that's free!

The bad news today is the still horribly expensive energy bill.