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Archive for October, 2010

The Middle of the Term

October 22nd, 2010 at 03:31 am

The onset of midterm exams usually means I'm more tired than my students, it's true again. That tiredness led to overspending at Target today and eating too much sugar.
I hope to spend the next few days catching up on both sleep and grading--and and house stuff too. That'll make everything better.

Grading and sleep--what a dream weekend!

More Outgrowing

October 21st, 2010 at 03:11 am

There's been a rash of moderate expenditures around here lately. We need a few things, and DD has outgrown all her shoes and many of her clothes. Her Pooh sleeping bag has just been rejected as too babyish for the upcoming sleepover. Now it appears she has also outgrown her rain boots.

I foresee a trip to the dread Target in my future, especially since she has a half day at school tomorrow.
It's a good thing some freelance work has rolled in, not that I need more work, but the money will be handy.

No other news except we still have to get to our insurance choices!

Too Busy to Be Careful

October 20th, 2010 at 03:03 am

My eight-week class ended last night. We celebrated with pizza and cupcakes. I'm happy it's done because I've been a bit overwhelmed with work.

Because of that (and I suspect I'm not alone), I've overspent on things that I usually watch--parking, take-out food, etc. because I just need to get things done. I feel a little guilty, but am hoping things will ease soon.

My ebay listings are selling so that's good news.
But I need to watch what I spend a bit.

Clothes Shopping

October 18th, 2010 at 04:36 am

Both DD and I could use some better looking fall clothes, so Friday I loaded up my Lands End virtual shopping cart with snow boots, slippers, sweaters, and some of their closeout overstocks. But faced with either an additional 20% off overstocks OR free delivery, I balked. I want both!

So today we made it to the nearest Lands End outlet and ordered there, saving delivery costs and receiving my 20% off. However, as such plans go, we went awry again and bought more than a few more things. Their close-out cords which fit me well were marked down under $10 with additional discounts,as were mittens for DD and pants for my mom. They even had shoes in Size 5 for my mom, and a very nice gray cardigan for me. So much for my discounts!

Tomorrow night is the last night of my eight-week class, and I'm very happy. I like them all, but am too pressed for time to enjoy the class as much as I'd like.

Other Miscellany
We've got a busy week ahead, but need to find time to sort out health insurance and get the flex spending current.
And we're still in the no-heat competition, but cold winds headed this way!
I listed half a dozen items on ebay yesterday. DD's closet must be tackled soon!

A Cheap Day

October 15th, 2010 at 09:29 pm

I spent the day in a seminar about online teaching--and ate their bagels for both breakfast and lunch.

When I returned to my office I found my office mate had left me an apple from his orchard and a textbook rep came by with candy. Man, those textbook reps must be in a lucrative business. They left 4 (!) new texts, and a bunch of other promotional items--pens, post-its, notebooks, a reusable bag, and candy bars. Can you tell we're rethinking our textbook selection? And no, the bribes don't get to me.

I'm so happy it's Friday! Happy Weekends to you all!

Eating Cake

October 14th, 2010 at 03:59 am

I've spent the evening eating cake. Not such a bad life, eh? A friend hosted a lovely surprise party for his wife, and we bought the cake. We had a splendid evening chatting with lots of different folks and eating. Another warm lovely October night with part of the party on their roof deck. Life is good and it was good to see friends before entering the melee at school again tomorrow.

No other money news--we've still got lots of things to do, but for tonight, it's all about cake.

After Apple Picking

October 10th, 2010 at 08:59 pm

I wish we could have gone apple picking, followed by reading that Robert Frost poem, but our usual apple orchard has had a bad year. First, May frosts killed some of the blossoms, then a bad hailstorm put another dent in their crop. We went out there today to find they're not picking at all. Their Honey Crisp crop was down by 90 percent, other varieties down by 50 percent or more too.

But we bought apples and squash from the shop and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I find it amazing to stand in a pumpkin field surrounded by hundreds of bright orange orbs. Spectacular!

Target(ed) Again

October 10th, 2010 at 05:03 am

I've blogged about this before but Target got me again today. And I brought it on myself, bringing DD with me. She needed workout clothes for her new exercise class, and I came home with coffee, a lampshade, a DVD (but only $4.75 and out of DD's allowance), cleaning supplies, Halloween hair color and tons of reduced price items to put in the Operation Christmas child boxes at church. Not awful, but at least $20 could've been avoided.

We did better at the grocery store and had a quiet evening reading and watching library videos while I was grading. The library also yielded a couple of books, including one from the "Millionaire Next Door" author which looks like a quick, but perhaps reinforcing, read.

In between, we went to the Post Office and mailed our ebay sales. That was fun and decluttering!

Lots to Do!

October 8th, 2010 at 08:06 pm

Except for some very basic vigilance, my finances have not received much attention lately. Work is very busy, and the glorious autumnal weather beckons whenever I get a spare moment.

Hoping to find some of those spare moments this weekend to pay bills, figure out next year's flex spending and insurance, and clear out more clutter.

My current decluttering campaign is helping me find things I forgot about. Onward with that!

Happy weekends saving advice(rs)!

Suddenly Rather Flush!

October 7th, 2010 at 09:22 pm

After scrimping our way through September, all my freelance money seems to have come in at once. My editing checks, the seminar I led earlier in the summer, plus the medical reimbursement. It's lovely, but it's taken a little getting used to.

Speaking of being flush, I tipped my coffee servers $1 this morning. They almost fainted. Apparently no one ever tips them. Or they admit, one in 25. I buy coffee every day at the university, am served by the same students every day, and they're very sweet, even to grumpy me before the caffeine kicks in. My daily coffee is $1.50 with the reusable cup bonus. Is it that unusual to tip the coffee folks?

I've updated my ebay totals and the mortgage to reflect our current status.

Employee Benefits Fair

October 6th, 2010 at 07:56 pm

Today was our employee benefits fair. I'm not sure why they call it a "fair." There are no rides, cotton candy, or thrills at all. The only games of chance are the guessing game of picking the right providers. I know we're lucky to have decent enough affordable coverage offered to us, but no one understands all the options, supplementals, and co-pays. The line to talk to various supplemental dental providers was 10 people long.

I was eager to vent a bit at our current dental supplemental provider, and lo and behold, they didn't show up. The university is dropping them as an option for folks in my employment classification, so I need a new provider anyway.

I went away with a foot of brochures to read, a mitt full of free pens, and a bunch of chip clips.

Such decisions to make!

Sold!

October 6th, 2010 at 01:06 am

Two of my ebay items sold today for a total of $27.
I'm slowly decluttering and am always amazed at how much growing children contribute to excess stuff. We've been going through outgrown toys, books, clothes, and shoes at such a rate, it makes me dizzy. I wonder how people with large families handle it. Hat's off to them.

No other financial news except I had lunch out with an old friend today. I almost always eat lunch at home since I'm done teaching by early afternoon. But it was lovely to sit outdoors in the October sunshine and catch up. I ended up with leftovers for tomorrow's lunch to boot.

We've already booked a cottage for our UK trip next year and Financially Free's post about her first-class tickets to Peru had made me determined to get two of our UK tickets free this year. We usually can swing one, but two would be outstanding.

Much Better, Thank You, Except for Anthem Dental!

October 4th, 2010 at 08:12 pm

All my paychecks rolled in over the weekend, and our bank balances look substantially healthier. Even my 45-minute concentrated focus on money last week has paid off with lots of listed items selling and my flex spending reimbursement now happily in hand.

What I am having problems with is my supplemental dental policy. They routinely deny claims on everything, and over the almost two years I've had them,they have paid $O. I've tried to reach them three times in the past week, and I've been on hold each time for over 30 minutes before I gave up in frustration.
I'm planning on having a little chat with the plan rep at our benefits fair on Wednesday, but wonder if this is typical of all supplemental dental. Our provider is Anthem--and I'm pretty darn angry at them right now.

Anyone have a recommendation or further issues with Anthem?

IKEA Damage

October 3rd, 2010 at 08:46 pm

Looking at our list yesterday, I estimated $500. We needed a bunch of bookshelves, a desk for DH's new office, storage, and then there's the usual IKEA flotsam that creeps into my cart. I was $46 off and exhausted when we got home. But DH has already started setting up his home office, and his former bookcases have migrated to our daughter's room.

All of that assembling inevitably means unwanted junk is more apparent. DD has outgrown a dollhouse and tons of books which I've just listed on freecycle.

After the shopping shock, it's been quiet but busy. My week's goal is to move lots of this stuff out of here--either through the garbage, freecycle, or the charity shop. Organization beckons.

I've got a long-cooking beef roast in the oven, and it smells heavenly here. We also managed without turning the heat on last night, despite the 35degree temps. I love fall!

Off to IKEA

October 2nd, 2010 at 02:40 pm

I can feel my budget screaming already, but we're heading to IKEA to get bookcases for husband's home office today. IKEA always sends me into a swoon so I'm mentally preparing myself for not spending too much.

What wonders will it bring?

My 45 minutes of financial diligence earlier in the week has reaped some dividends. Two of my ebay listings are selling, I've got someone for my Craigslist item, and my flex spending check is en route.
I'm glad I got so much done!

It's Pay Day!

October 1st, 2010 at 09:46 pm

Now we're not normally a paycheck-to-paycheck family, but it's been almost three months since I've been paid. My summer university paychecks were delayed, and my fall teaching is always a month behind. So I'm very grateful it's pay day at last.

I spent the morning at a teaching technology seminar with bagels--which served nicely as both breakfast and lunch, so new new expenses so far.

A big pot of Italian vegetable soup is on the menu for tonight, and I look forward to a relaxing weekend.
Happy October everyone!