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January 1st, 2010 at 11:25 am

The holidays were fine, but I'm glad the festivities are winding down. My decorations are packed up for another year and the cleaning will be finished by this afternoon. I've been reading other entries that list goals for the new year which is right up my alley. My usual practice is to use the back of an envelope or the little notebooks I use to keep track of daily spending, but they're hard to find and so it's easy to lose track. This will work a lot better.

1. spending
a. use a budget for food and recreation
b. allowance in cash $150.00 each

2. Fun (pay as we go)
a. 12 activities away from home
b. record and post

3. Focused pay off of HELOC
a. total payment of no less than 1k
4. Roof
a. aggressive saving (20K)
b. agree on material- metal/comp?
c. obtain materials
d. commit to tear off date
e. hire someone

5. Rock wall
a. obtain materials
b. do the work
c. complete new planting

6. acid stain basement floor
a. remove furniture
b. clean floor
c. acid stain
e. poly finish


December 2nd, 2009 at 06:43 pm

Spent $17.00 for dry cleaning. DH and I sat down tonight and budgeted money for the month--big change from 10 years ago when we weren't married and had no idea what the other was spending. I was the one with all the secrets because I was ashamed of my reckless spending and ridulous amount of debt.

We have a trip out of town from Friday through Tuesday. We'll be with 4 other friends- sharing meals and trying to figure out bills. Agh...hate that part of traveling with others. Some of us will be walking in a Santa walk and on Sunday I'll be running in the morning in a big run. Everything for the trip has been paid, again, a big change from the past.


November 21st, 2009 at 01:23 pm

My running buddy stood me up this morning, got to run solo in the rain. It was early enough and rainy enough to keep people indoors, so no dodging dogs and folks out for a leisurely walk. My week-end routine has changed recently, but did include the usual walk through goodwill (no buying) and grocery outlet. I was too early for the turkey bowling event but the place was hopping. Got out of there quickly after buying more vegetables for turkey dinner #1.
Turkey cost $4.59
dressing mix .87
potatoes $1.00 for 10#
celery $1.50 for a lot
eggs $1.49 a dozen
can o' pumpkin from last year
fresh cranberries-freezer
brussel sprouts $2.00
flour- pantry
sugar- pantry
canned milk -pantry
All this adds up to be less expensive than one of those dinners in a box which have always sounded kind of intriguing.

By this afternoon, our household bills will be paid and we'll be paying principle with extra cash!


November 20th, 2009 at 07:04 pm

Today I only spent a few dollars I collected from the change jar on groceries. Brussel sprouts on sale at Top Foods... The refund check is in the bank and ready to pay this month's household bills. Tomorrow I'll pay them and the rest of the month is dedicated to principle payment on the HELOC.
30 minutes of cardio
good dinner from the freezer
good Friday evening time with DH
Tomorrow is another day.


November 17th, 2009 at 08:22 pm

There probably are some benefits to writing about financial goals. I realized early this morning that spending $400.00 on Christmas is unrealistic and pointless. After spending a few minutes calculating how I could meet the other money goals I set yesterday, spending on the holidays is definitely not a priority. DH and I have our retirement spreadsheets on the refrigerator and that is definitely a priority. I'm sure that if I were a more enlightened person I could enjoy my job and think about ways to contribute until my 67th birthday, but it's truly not in me now. As it is now, 70 months and counting until retirement. That means paying mortgage, heloc and DH's car. It can be done.

follow-up on yesterday:
got 60 min cardio (I liked the comment about not making a production. The weather here is going to be rainy for the next, um, 7 or 8 months-- and so it's got to be part of the daily activities)
cashed out CD deposited
clothes ready to go
no laundry completed

5 things tomorrow:
1. 60 minutes of cardio
2. make an appt with the dentist
3. notes to the Aunts
4. thank you notes for funeral stuff
5. buy stamps

the question-are you making your life more complicated?

November 16th, 2009 at 06:25 pm

It's good to be back. My Dad died last week and it's been hard to get my equilibrium. I'm happy that he doesn't have to experience pain any longer and I'm aware that that true adulthood is here. In my world even if you have to provide care for your parents and don't agree with their choices, they're still in charge. I was lucky because my Dad and Step-mom were hard workers and my Step-mom was good at saving and economizing. They retired early with regular income and always saved a little money, even in retirement. I miss them both.

The question is, are you making your life more complicated? I'd have to say, sometimes. Credit card makes life more complicated because it limits your belief in your ability to do what you really want to do (even if it's a small amount). Bad lifestyle habits make life more complicated. Life over 50 is easier than it was in my 30's--although it would be nice to have some of that money in the bank right now and some of the strength and endurance in the body.

So, for tomorrow:
1. check on CD rollover
2. 60 minutes of cardio
3. laundry completed
4. clothes on the hanger for the next 4 days- makes exercise a lot more doable if your work clothes are ready to go at o'dark thirty.
5. pack lunch
6. cash in change and in the bank

Goals for the next 3 months:
1. emergency fund-$500.00 increase
2. house fund-increase $200.00
3. fun fund- increase $150.00
4. continue to max out deferred comp
5. christmas-$400.00

the details matter I guess...

October 25th, 2009 at 04:43 pm

Ok, I had high hopes that I'd be able to report that I'd saved money, not spent money and used some good frugality ideas this week-end.

Instead, I spent more money than I have in in months. $720.00 in medical, 40.00 food and 40.00 recreation. Not good... but not the end of the world, I guess. DH will still be able to retire on schedule and we'll continue to pay on the HELOC and the mortgage.

Spent Sunday seeing my Dad in the nursing home, going grocery shopping and cooking for the week. My work has an annual chili contest and I'll be ready for that on Wednesday because I've made a smoking texas red chili this afternoon. I also made apple-sauce, cooked a pot roast and am baking potatoes as I sit here at the computer tonight.

Dh is asking me to empty the compost and so I'll close this week-end by filling up the compost with my delicious apple peelings. Good night everyone.

A beginning

October 23rd, 2009 at 10:38 am

I've been reading financial improvement blogs for several years now and even though it seems a little like peeking into a stranger's window when they're most vulnerable, I just can't stop. Mostly because my relationship with money, managing money and just managing life is similar in almost every situation. Sometimes I'm fascinated by the trainwrecks that people can get themselves into and sometimes I'm impressed and intimidated by the skills that people use to manage their resources. When I read, I don't judge because I've made a lot of dumb financial moves. There've been improvements and hopefully there will be more to come. For me, my relationship with money is directly tied to my ability to live a healthy lifestyle. Those credit cards used to burn up in the old days when I felt kind of low. The areas that I want to track are listed.