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Archive for February, 2013

NSD doesn't make up for bunk beds!

February 20th, 2013 at 08:46 pm

Yesterday was one of those very very rare No Spend Days! Hazzah! That doesn't make up for the huge outlays I've made this week on beds and mattresses.

And here I thought president's day was a cheap day to buy a mattress. ; )

I spent $399 on pine real wood bunk beds for the boys (they separate, just in case we need them to) They were the sturdiest, most versatile of the ones we looked at, and we looked at a LOT.

We had one comical bunk-bed run in where my 3 year old couldn't even sit up in bed in the lower bunk, it was so short. Who did they think would buy that??

Anyway, the mattresses were the sticker shock. I went to the store and the cheaper options were terrible-- either a plain slab of foam with a covering, or a coil mattress with padding so think I could feel the springs just with my hand. The lowest cost mattress I thought was acceptable was still $259 each. Ugh. I got out the door at $600 for two, with tax and delivery.

It was way more than I was expecting. I was thinking $400 for the two of them. Clearly I'm out of touch.

I will make up some of that money this weekend. We're selling the kids' current beds on craigslist (a car bed and a crib/toddler bed) and have a bunch of people lined up to buy them. Hopefully that will all work out and I will get $225 back!

Ash Wednesday tidbits

February 13th, 2013 at 04:00 pm

Ash Wednesday isn't nearly as in-your-face as it was when I lived in New Orleans. There, the contrast between the awesomeness of mardi gras and the quiet somber (hung over!) tone of Ash Wednesday made it much easier to switch gears. Up North, it's like just another weekday!

Anyway, to make my catholic heritage, I'm trying to switch gears for the next 40 days. Not sure what I'm changing yet, but I'm working on it. Right now, I've got a pot of vegetarian chili on the stove. A good way to ring in the season.

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In other news, the $700 I sent to the mortgage principal finally posted today. Hazzah! We're down to $70, 193. So close I can taste it. This week's actual mortgage payment will get us below $70,000. It always feels good to get into a number with a smaller number up front.

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Hubby will also (fingers crossed) hopefully be getting his annual bonus soon. Now that our tax refund is pretty much zero, this is our one big windfall every year. I think it will all go to ef savings this year. It could be moved later if need be.

mortgage payment hasn't posted yet!

February 12th, 2013 at 03:16 pm

Gah. I made a special trip to the bank Friday morning to make an extra payment to the mortgage loan principal, and it still hasn't posted yet!! Why is it taking so long???

Seed starting stuff, Y registration. Overwhelmed by the work decision

February 10th, 2013 at 10:12 pm

As per my last post about how much money I'm actually making for my freelance work (once the tax bite is calculated...) I still haven't made any decisions about what I should do as far as dumping a regular, but low-paying gig that has become more work than it might be worth hassle and money wise. AS soon as the taxes are finished and I know exactly how much I profited, if any, I'll post here for your final advice before deciding to ditch it or keep it.

In other news, Friday was actually a NO SPEND DAY!! Unfortunately, those are really rare, so it deserves celebration.

Today, however, was pretty spendy. It was all inevitable stuff.

Today I spent about $90 on groceries at Aldi. I stocked up on some wasabi peas and other special order asian frozen foods because they're having Chinese New Year themed specials this week.

I also went to Menard's and bought all of my seed starting trays and see mats. I'm glad I went there. They were literally half the price of the same or similar items at Lowe's. Spent about $50 on seed-starting trays with dome lids, biodegradable pots, and two heating mats. I'll be able to reuse all of it every year, so it's a mostly one-time capital expense. We're installing a massive garden this spring, so the seed starting will go a long way to filling it every year.

Then, I had to spend $89 for the next six weeks of swim lessons and pee wee basketball for the kids. Money well spent. The Y is such a great resource, and so much cheaper than our local private clubs or parks and rec programs.

Ouch. Hopefully this week won't be too spendy. I have some meals planned. We're not going out for valentine's day. We're staying home with the kids and making homemade heart-shaped sugar cookies and ordering heart-shaped pizza from a local place. (fun dinner!). Friday, I'm taking my sister to a movie as part of her birthday present, but I paid for that with a groupon ages ago. So, it looks like the popcorn and Goobers are on me!

$700 to mortgage, career ponderings.

February 8th, 2013 at 09:15 pm

I got paid today for some freelance work, so I went to the bank and paid $700 directly to the principal of the mortgage. I can't wait for it to post. We make the regular payment next friday, which is payday, so that will be more off the balance. I just didn't want to wait another week to lump the payments all in together. It's too easy for money to be absorbed back into the checking account.

I also sent another $150 check to my IRA, plus a $362 check from earlier this week (paid for a late gig last year). I do like the new goal structure of concentrating larger chunks on one or two goals rather than sending tiny bits to more goals and waiting so long to see results. It feels so much faster. instant gratification, I guess.

I'm getting ready to do the taxes this weekend. I'm still waiting on one or two of my 1099s. Anyway, I usually do some soul-searching career wise once I see how my freelance income (1099) impacts our tax burden. I write A LOT of articles as a freelance journalist, but the fee per story is small, and this may be the year that it's not worth doing so many when my after tax income is so pathetic. I have one gig I'm thinking of dropping due to that.

This particular job: I write one column a week for $100 pre-tax, and the job requirements have increased significantly ( I now have to either photograph the topics myself or secure good photos they can run, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but considering the time it takes to do that, plus interview and write the story, plus the frustration, it's fast becoming way too much work for the money). So yeah...

I've contemplated dropping this gig in the past, but have waffled. Partly, I feel like I have to take all the work I can get given the economy and the state of the industry. Second, we're trying to pay off the house and put away for college, and pay for daycare, and even though it's not a lot of money, it adds up.

On the other side, I could probably make up the money through other jobs-- ones that paid more per assignment, but weren't guaranteed, and didn't pay regularly. I also have a finished but unedited novel that I never have time to work on. Of course, that doesn't pay, but it's my avocation rather than vocation, so that argument is money versus self actualization.

So yeah, pros and cons. I guess if it turns out I'm busting my bottom and I'm only clearing $30 a week for that assignment, it really will become not worth it any more. Any thoughts?