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Archive for August, 2013

Reining It In

August 28th, 2013 at 04:00 pm

With a bit over a month to go until my regular paycheck, and with major expenses still looming, I'm calling a halt to summer spending. Our budget is still reeling from the painting, the washer, the brake repair, and the still-to-come chimney expense.

We've paid my DH's fall tuition, and he's delighted to be a returning p-t student. We'll still have to pay for his books, but I know all the tricks for cheap textbooks.

DD's back-to-school shopping is done. If the weather doesn't get any cooler, she can just wear a swimsuit every day. We dropped off some things in her locker yesterday, and it was at least 90 degrees in her school.

I have nothing to buy for back-to-school fun, except tonight's haircut and color. We're going to meet with some prospective London students this afternoon, but we're packing a lunch. We have another meeting tomorrow and will follow the same drill.

Once I get my fall materials squared away, I'll list some things on ebay. In minor joy, my "Shop to Earn" motel stays credited on Swagbucks today.

Feast or Famine

August 27th, 2013 at 04:40 pm

While my evening tutoring gig is over, my new evening class started last night. I was slated for a class of seven, but only had five bodies in the room. One of those bodies was so attached to her phone that I predict I will hurl it against the wall by the end of the eight-week term. Three times last night I told her to put it away. Yes, these are college students.

The staff there is trying VERY hard to get me to do another tutoring gig a couple nights a week in addition to my class there. Yet with the regular university starting up, I really feel that I can't. My DD struggles with homework completion, and two nights a week is too much during the school year. And I can't get any of my university colleagues to take it either. It's not that we don't need the cash; we all do. But fall teaching is hard going. No one has time for an "extra" job, yet in the spring and summer, we all need the work.

Although it's very hot here, I'm finally getting that fall feeling.

Shoes Blues

August 23rd, 2013 at 09:16 pm

Sure of imminent budget disaster, we embarked on a shoe buying venture today. First, the foot measuring. DD has gone from a Girls' 3 to an adult 6 1/2 over the summer which explains the fit of her Tevas.

My predictions were correct as we left Infamous Footwear $230 poorer than when we entered. Yet that staggering total includes Clarks, already half price, PE shoes, and Bear Traps in a size up. We used every trick in the book: BOGO half off, coupons, loyalty cards, codes, and every other shenanigan I could pull. I did ask if I could stack shoes in the back for a couple hours for another 10%, but to no avail.

Cinderella's mom also got a pair of acceptable work shoes and a deeply discounted pair of summer wedges since I have had no new shoes this year.

So we got the Shoe Blues but alotta sole.

Shoes Blues

August 23rd, 2013 at 09:08 pm

I dared have DD's feet measured today at Infamous Footwear. She has gone from a children's 3 to an adult 6 1/2 which explains something about the fit of her Tevas. We spent (gulp) $230 on shoes using coupons, their BOGO 1/2 off, and all sort of other shenanigans.

But she had to have a couple of pairs of ordinary shoes, and although that total is staggering, it does include two pairs of Clarks that were already half price before the other deals. Then PE shoes, a size 7 pair of Bear Traps, a pair of work shoes for me, and deeply discounted wedges since I have bought no new shoes this summer and was feeling terribly neglected.

But still. I guess I got the blues and plenty of sole.

Small Happy Dance

August 23rd, 2013 at 04:27 am

My summer school term is over, and I've made it through the eight weeks of tutoring a bit richer. But being away from home two nights a week doesn't sit right with any of us. DH is weary of it, and DD misses me, so I've turned down tutoring next term, but will begin a new class on Monday night.

The happy dance is slightly smaller because I discovered a completely plagiarized paper amongst my students' work. Not a chance of it being an overlooked failure to cite, but man, sometimes they are really dumb. After eight weeks of listening to this guy talk, did he really think I'd believe he wrote sentences with vocabulary so far above his usual spoken range including words like "exigency" and phrases like "gross inequities"? So I'm irritated and he will fail.

My happier news? Two days on the treadmill and I've rediscovered how happy exercise makes me. Not a penny spent today either.

School Registration and Sleeplesness

August 21st, 2013 at 12:48 am

We seem to be having one of those spells when at least one member of our household isn't sleeping properly. I was up till 3am last night, tossing and turning. DH had several nights like that as did DD. I have no idea why. But we managed to get DD all registered for school this morning to the tune of $103 in fees and another $100 in lunch money.

My budget is almost as much of a shambles as our sleeping lately. Back-to School expenses come the same month as our household insurance and DH's life insurance. If only I had coupons and a Red Card for those.

Off to drown my woes in half price Baskin Robbins. Ignore my weight loss goal on the sidebar.


August 19th, 2013 at 09:34 pm

A $1.70 thanks to CreditCardFree who alerted me to the Target cartwheel app that you can just print out. I have a severely dumb phone, so no smart phone apps for me. But after turning off all the Facebook share stuff, I saved $1.70 on things I had already planned to buy--most of which I had Target coupons, manufacturer's coupons, or both for. And of course, that 5% RedCard savings.

It came in especially handy since DD seems to have left her last wearable swimsuit somewhere and has been invited to a pool party tomorrow. She's oddly between sizes, and I didn't want to spend a lot on a new suit. Between that, school supplies, and a fair amount of groceries, and allergy meds, the savings helped. As my mom used to say about people who scoffed at her coupons, "If you saw it on the floor, you'd pick it up, wouldn't you?" I am by no means an accomplished couponer, but every little bit helps.

Home Time

August 18th, 2013 at 05:12 am

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm a spoiled brat and am bored being home. I'd rather be in Minnesota with family and friends, denying the imminent onset of the semester, a passel of new students, and the early morning start times.

But here we are. We spoiled ourselves with a massive dinner tonight with fabulous vegetables from the farmers' market. The corn and tomatoes were so good. And I sort of invented a new cocktail with orange San Pellegrino, white rum, mint, and a squeeze of lime. The patio was beautiful even if the house is filled with laundry, stacks of mail, and piles of school supplies to be delivered and new school clothes to be put away. If the mosquitoes hadn't been so hungry and yet another Kate Atkinson novel waiting inside, I might've slept out there instead.

Tomorrow is the closing day of the municipal pool. Reality can wait until Monday, yes?

Back from Minnesota

August 14th, 2013 at 08:38 pm

Oh my, DD and I had such a lovely trip to Duluth then the North Shore. And I'm happy to report it was at least moderately thrifty. We left Thursday after my tutoring, spending $71 on a motel room, but getting a $50 gas card back from them. We had breakfast there the next morning and drove to Duluth where I cashed in some hotel points that were about to expire for a room for DD, my good friend, and I to all share.

I got dining points on our dinner choice in beautiful Canal Park in Duluth. We walked along the lake and had a splendid evening. Then on up the North Shore, stopping for groceries for snacks and breakfast, but treating ourselves to a great couple meals out, and later wine overlooking the lake from our rental balcony. We hiked during the day, enjoyed the pool and hot tub, and just got caught up. I've never had such spectacular weather there.

Home and back to reality. More on that tomorrow, but letting the pleasure linger a bit first.

Road Tripping

August 7th, 2013 at 02:04 pm

Yep, next week I'm going to focus on money again, but last week and this week, DD and I have hit the road. We're just back from five days in MN staying with my brother and his wife at my mom's lake place.

Long-suffering readers may remember that it's been a year since I sold my half of the house to them. They've been there almost the whole summer and are really enjoying it. I feel like I have the best of both worlds--time there when we can find it and the house proceeds. The drive was tough on both DD and me, but we're home for another 36 hours before we head to the North Shore of Lake Superior.

We haven't overspent; we've just been less focused than we usually are. You know, boxes of Dilly Bars, mini golf, more expensive bottles of wine. But I did come home to teach tonight, tutor tomorrow, do some laundry, and water my containers. DH seems to be hanging in there.

Hope to come home with a very mild sunburn, a few mosquito bites, a state park stamp in our state park passport, and two wet swimsuits.