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Vacation Cancelled/Irma

September 7th, 2017 at 02:09 pm

We decided to cancel our vacation to Myrtle Beach South Carolina because of hurricane Irma. We were due to leave on Saturday, and we were waiting until today to make a final decision, and then we saw the announcement by the Governor of South Carolina that mandatory evacuations from coastal areas would go into effect at 10a.m. Saturday.

While we are disappointed, it pales in comparison to people who will likely lose everything. This is only a cancelled vacation. My prayers go out to everyone in the path of Irma.

Fortunately, we have trip insurance. It clearly states that money will be refunded if there are any mandatory or voluntary evacuations in place due to weather. There is a slight deduction for an administration fee but we will see most of our money back for the condo we rented. We were driving, so no airline issues.

Please keep Florida, and any other states in the path of this storm in your thoughts or prayers.

Enjoying Life!

August 13th, 2017 at 04:01 pm

I have really been enjoying life this week, to the tune of spending $213.99! So much for my low spend August. A good friend came for a visit Saturday and we hit the mall. I'm really not a big shopper and usually avoid the mall like the plague, but she needed a dress for an upcoming wedding and I wound up finding several tops that I can wear both to work and just out on the weekends, a pair of shoes, and 3 pairs of capris. We also had dinner and drinks out. She spent the night Saturday and today we went out for brunch before she headed back home. We have been friends since high school, and she lives about 2 hours away by car so we don't see each other often enough. We had so much fun and I don't regret the spending a bit.

I also have a few large purchases coming up. It's time for a new cell phone. I have a Samsung S3 that I bought new about 6 years ago. It's still working OK so I'm not in a hurry but I think it's time to upgrade.

I also need a new bed. Mine is about 15 years old and it's starting to sag. I'm also waking up with backaches that go away pretty quickly once I get up and stretch out, but I don't want to be in pain every morning!

So that will be my new savings goal. I'll need to start researching both to see how much I'll need to save.

I'm getting excited about our upcoming vacation next month. A week at the beach, oceanfront condo, and we bought tickets to a dinner/show while we are there. My share of the condo cost and ticket is already paid for, and I have spending money saved. We are driving (about an 8 hour drive) so I'll be pitching in for gas too since I'm not driving. Can't wait!

I'm hoping next week will be more frugal. Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Update

August 6th, 2017 at 05:59 pm

My spending for the first week of August was pretty good. I spent $49.25 on groceries, and I am stocked up for the week, and probably into the following week. I did go out with friends over the weekend to a local steakhouse. I'm not much of a red meat eater but I do enjoy an occasional steak! I spent $27.03 including tip. We had a great time and I really enjoy my time out with my friends. I also went out to lunch with a coworker and spent $10.04. This wasn't planned, but she needed a shoulder and someplace away from work to talk. I "spent" $11.66 at CVS but used a swagbucks CVS gift card to pay for this. I also stocked up on my coffee pods from Walmart "spending " $34.87 but used a SB Walmart gift card for payment. Today was pretty low key, spent the day getting ready for the week ahead. I did some cooking, cleaning, packed my lunch for tomorrow and got my clothes ready. Hope everyone has a good week!

How low can I go in August

July 30th, 2017 at 06:39 pm

I'm feeling the need to tighten the belt in August! I've been a little loosey goosey with spending this summer, not anything extreme, but I haven't been tracking my spending. Too much eating out, and random purchases. I go on vacation in September, so I need to get back on track next month. My fixed expenses are set, so that leaves groceries, utilities, gas, shopping, and entertainment to really tighten up. I did my usual grocery shopping today for the week and I am set with a menu plan. No eating out this week. I should be able to have mostly no spend days this week too.

Have a great week everyone!

Weekend Update

July 23rd, 2017 at 03:32 pm

It has been extremely hot and humid here, with the heat index nearing 105 degrees for the last few days. Yesterday I had a lot of errands to run and I think the heat took a toll. I had a headache most of last night and today was just feeling very tired, so I stayed in and got some chores done around the condo and napped off and on all day.

Yesterday, I spent $49.21 at Walmart on various personal care, cleaning, and food items but used a Walmart gift card earned from Swagbucks to pay for it. Then I hit CVS for water and soda and a couple of other things and spent $19.07 and used a CVS gift card from SB to pay for that. I've been consistently earning at least $100 a month from Swagbucks.

Spent $15 at a local farm stand on some delicious tomatoes, corn on the cob and peaches.

I got a $5 Blue Diamond settlement check, cashed in $4.50 in rolled change and deposited the $50 check from mom.

I realized I haven't had to buy gas yet in July! I filled up my old car around the end of June, then I traded it in and the new car had a full tank. But I'll have to fill up this week.

Not much else financial news to report. Hope everyone has a great week!

Money in!

July 16th, 2017 at 06:05 am

My last paycheck included a 2% COLA increase, and $1200.00 bonus. Since I am at the top of my pay scale range I no longer receive performance increases as a % of my salary. Instead, I receive a once yearly bonus. I have put that bonus money away to pay for expenses for an upcoming family vacation in September. I also noticed a $196.91 credit back to my credit card from the hospital where I had an outpatient procedure done back in early May. I suppose I was overcharged or double billed.

My mom left to go back to my sister's yesterday. I miss her already. She's 90, and these visits are so precious. She handed me a $50 check for "expenses". If you knew my mom it is pointless to argue with her about these things.

Work is crazy! Career Services is undergoing a major restructuring, and over the past year many career services staff either retired, left the college for other jobs, or took other positions within the college but outside of career services. As a result, I was asked last week to assume the role of Interim Director of Career Services. This will come with a salary increase, but I haven't received the contract yet.

My utilities bill for the last billing cycle was up to $103.59. This is up from $82.69 the previous cycle. It has been extremely hot and humid where I live, and mom liked all her laundry blasted in the dryer, so the increase wasn't unexpected. I keep my thermostat set at 78, any higher and I start to feel uncomfortable. But the dryer usage will definitely decrease!

I don't use the dishwasher much because I live alone, but I always seem to have a sink full of dishes, and I wash them every day. I guess I'm just cooking at home more which is a good thing!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Still here/bought a new car

July 9th, 2017 at 09:57 am

How did spring/summer get away from me?? My mom came to stay with me (on the weekends) and at my brother's during the week since mid-May. She will be returning to my sisters (where she lives full time) next weekend. While it was wonderful to see her (she's 90 years old) it did throw my budget out of whack! Extra food costs, eating out, way more laundry (and dryer use) and some shopping. I did not track everything, so I'm looking to get back on track soon.

In other financial news, I bought a new 2017 Camry, and paid cash! I buy new, and usually keep the car for at least ten years, or longer if no expensive problems pop up. This system works for me. I will now start saving up for the next one, so when I am entering retirement age, in about 7-8 years, I will have the funds to purchase with cash again.

I'm feeling pretty good financially. My condo is paid in full, new car paid in full, and am saving the max for retirement. I have a fully funded emergency fund as well. It took many many years for me to finally get my financial act together, and it feels great!

Have a good day, and upcoming week everyone!

My cousins new house

April 23rd, 2017 at 03:48 pm

My cousin and his wife bought a new house a few months ago and we were invited for Easter dinner and to see their new place. The house is BIG. It's 3300 square feet with an additional 900 square foot, fully finished basement that is a separate apartment with 2 bedrooms. Their 28 year old son currently lives in that level, rent free but that's another story.

The house is beautiful. Very high end finishes, open concept kitchen, dining, family room, large deck, and 2 car garage. I am still drooling over the master bathroom, 2 sinks, separate tub and large walk in shower with a bench and lot's of storage.

They paid $510,000. The property taxes were listed at just over $5k per year. I know they did not put 20% down because his wife was complaining about having to pay PMI. My cousin is 60 years old and his wife is 56. He works as a truck driver for a large soft drink company. She does not work outside the home, no young kids at home.

I just wonder how they are affording such an expensive home, and I worry about them in retirement. I don't know their full financial picture, but I do talk to his wife quite frequently and I just don't get the sense that they are well prepared for retirement.

I do admit feeling some pangs of envy at the finishes, but not at the thought of that monthly mortgage payment, or utility bill, or cleaning it!

In the end, I feel satisfied with my paid off condo and being able to sleep at night without such large financial burdens.

My new dentist is frugal!

April 12th, 2017 at 03:55 pm

I went for my dentist appointment today, fully expecting to have to shell out a pretty penny for a new crown. I decided to try a new dental practice that is right down the street in my new neighborhood. The dentist took a look at my old crown, which has to be at least 13 years old (maybe older) and said it still looked in good shape and he didn't see any reason to have to replace it with a new one. Music to my ears! They took an x-ray, cleaned up the crown and tooth area and reattached it with no problem. As he was working on me he commented that he hates waste, and has a hobby of fixing and refurbishing old furniture, broken jewelry etc. And then he said, "and don't even get me started on food waste". I think I found my forever dentist! I only paid $30 out of pocket instead of much more for a new crown.

The dental practice is in the same shopping center complex as my new hair salon, my grocery store, my bank, a UPS store and a 7-11 with a gas station. So convenient, just a 2 minute drive from my condo. What I expected to be an expensive, painful day turned out to be just the opposite!

Bought a bed/lost a crown

April 10th, 2017 at 01:51 pm

First off...it's spring break week! The college is closed until 4/18. Happy dance! The first thing on my to do list for this week was to buy a bed for the spare bedroom. My mom is coming to visit in May for about 6 weeks so I needed to buy a bed. After lots of shopping around I settled on a full size mattress with a low profile boxspring and frame. I needed something that wouldn't sit too high up to make it easy for mom to get in and out. With taxes and delivery charge the grand total was $644.18. It was in stock and is being delivered and set up tomorrow. I can cash flow this so it went on the credit card for the reward points and I'll pay it off in full in May when I get the bill. I'll still need to get a mattress pad, a set of sheets and 1 more pillow. I already have a spare blanket and quilt I can use.

Over the past weekend a very old crown on my back tooth came off. I stopped in at the dentist this morning and arranged an appointment for Wednesday. It looks like my insurance will pay for 60% of a new crown so it was estimated my out of pocket would be around $250. Not too bad, but still an unexpected expense. Crowns are crazy expensive!

March Spending

April 1st, 2017 at 04:08 pm

Fixed Expenses:
Condo Fee: 185.00
Verizon bundle: 173.52
Cell Phone: 65.28
HVAC and hot water heater maintenance: 27.95 (see note on this below, new monthly expense)
Pocket $: 20.00

Utilities: 87.94
Gasoline: 43.79
Groceries: 172.27
AAA yearly renewal: 74.00 (once a year expense)
Tax Prep and retirement review: 90.00 (once a year)
Dining out: 17.24

Total spending: 956.99

Some notes: I decided to purchase a monthly maintenance agreement that covers furnace, central air and hot water heater.
I also renewed my AAA membership. My car is a 2009, and I did use the roadside service last year when I needed a tow. I like the peace of mind for these two expenses.

I have a dear friend who is a CPA and financial planner. She prepares my taxes each year and twice a year reviews my retirement accounts. She would do this for free but I insist on paying her something. This year I got a tax refund of just under $1100 that I wasn't expecting because she was able to itemize. Worth every penny that I pay her.

Food: I also spent $22.32 at Walmart for food but used a swagbucks GC for this so did not include it in above total. I still feel like I am spending too much on food, even though it's down from previous months.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

February Spending

March 4th, 2017 at 08:01 am

Fixed Expenses:
Condo Fee: 185.00
Verizon bundle: 173.52
Cell Phone: 65.34
Pocket $: 20.00

Utilities: 94.40
Gasoline: 65.34 (had to fill up 3 times)
Groceries: 161.76
Hair Cut and color: 43.00
health: 19.03
dining out: 97.05

Total spending: 923.38

Some notes: I spent an additional 30.43 on groceries (not included in above total), but I used a Walmart gift card from swagbucks to pay for it. I also used a $100.00 gift card to pay for part of my hair appointment expense. My dining out category was very high last month, But I had several occasions (birthdays, co-worker retired, etc.) so this was not unexpected. Should be much lower this month.

I also contributed the usual to savings:
Escrow: 500.00
Retirement savings: $2500

If I can continue to live well on less then $1000 per month I am very happy!

Random Stuff

February 17th, 2017 at 05:37 pm

I took off work today and splurged on a trip to the salon. I got an all over caramel color with blonde highlights, a new cut, and style. Total cost with tip...$148! Pricey but worth every penny. I did use a $100 gift card I received at Christmas, so out of pocket only $48.

I treated myself because I was feeling really low. I got word at work that I was being transferred from my current campus to a different one. I work for a community college that has 3 main campuses spread out around the county. The campus I am at now is the smallest, and has always been my favorite. I've been at this campus for just over a year and I love it! All of my coworkers and I get along great. We laugh every day and it is really drama free. The campus I am being transferred to is the largest. I worked there before, and I just don't like it. Too much drama, too much bickering between departments and just not a fun vibe. I am being transferred back because 2 people have retired and they have decided not to fill these vacancies. Lucky me.

I was trying today to turn around my thinking on this and find some positives. One is that my commute will be much shorter. It's only about an 8 minute drive compared to my 20 minute drive now. So I will save on gas. The 2 people who retired were a big part of the drama, so hopefully the work environment will be better. And I just remind myself that I am very fortunate to have a job that is secure, pays well, and offers great benefits and paid time off.

In other money news I received a $20 credit to my credit card from a doctor/specialist I saw over the summer. I guess they overcharged me for something. I also had $51 in rewards from my credit card so I will apply that this month. I cashed out swagbucks for a $50 CVS giftcard.

My last utility bill was about $2 higher then the previous month. I am puzzled by this since I have been really diligent about turning off lights, keeping the thermostat down etc. And it's been pretty mild on the east coast.

Looks like my mom will be coming back for a 2 month visit this summer! She will split staying with me and my brother. I really miss her and am so happy she's able to make the trip.

We have started planning a family vacation in September to Myrtle beach. We plan to rent a beach house and split the cost. It's been a while since I have had a vacation so really looking to forward to it.

That's about it...have a great weekend everyone!


January 30th, 2017 at 04:18 pm

Fixed Expenses:
Cell Phone: 65.34
Verizon Bundle: 173.52 (Internet, home phone, cable)
Monthly Condo Fee: 185.00
Pocket money: 20

Utilities: 91.63
Gasoline: 43.70
Groceries: 234.04
Health: 90.40 (scripts and co-pays)
Dining Out: 37.73
Shopping: 12.96

Total Spending $954.32

*My condo is paid in full, no mortgage.
*My car is paid off, no car payment
*No Credit card debt

Some notes: My Verizon Bundle includes a premium sports package (not giving it up)

Condo fee includes: water, trash removal, snow removal, all outside building maintenance, and landscaping

Groceries: Still too high! Working on this. This is only food. I pay for all paper goods, personal goods etc. from swagbucks earnings.

Savings: I put $500 a month into my "escrow account" From this I pay yearly property taxes, condo insurance and car insurance.

I also put $2500 a month into a retirement savings account.

I am thrilled to be below $1000 a month in expenses! Next month should be less as I work on lowering the grocery spending, and health expenses should be much lower.

Sunday prep day

January 22nd, 2017 at 09:55 am

Sunday is the day I really prep for the upcoming week. I put together my work outfits for the week and iron anything that needs it. This saves me so much time during the week. I also prepare my lunch for Monday, and cook my planned crockpot meal. I can usually get 3 dinners and a couple of lunches from my crockpot meal each week. Good thing I like leftovers! I put all my clean laundry away, and make sure the kitchen is cleaned up, dishes washed, dried and put away after dinner. Sticking to these tasks really help me to have a successful week. Having my lunches and dinners planned and made is saving me lots of money at the grocery store, and is helping me eat better and lose some weight. I'm not hitting the vending machines or the cafeteria at work, or stopping for junk food for dinner on the way home from work. I also have time to relax, read, and today, watch football! One other thing I have been sticking with is to do the 15 minute clean up each day. Monday I will dust the bedroom. Tuesday I will vacuum etc. It frees up so much time on the weekend for fun! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Sold my house and bought a condo!

January 16th, 2017 at 03:22 pm

It's been a while! Over the summer I sold my single family house with the big yard and bought a condo. Turned out to be a great decision. I was able to pay cash, and have a nice amount left. It's a 2 bed/ 2 full bath with an open living/dining and kitchen area. Very updated. The only improvements I made were to have beautiful hardwood floors installed throughout and fresh paint. I'm on the top floor, so the ceilings are vaulted. It's an elevator building, with an assigned parking space. Also has a full sized washer/dryer in my unit and lots of storage space. I just love it. The grounds are very lush and well maintained. And no snow shoveling! Happy to be back and hope to post more consistently now that I am settled.

New Food Budget

January 11th, 2016 at 10:23 am

My mom left on Saturday to relocate and live with my sister. Now that it is just me, I need a new food budget. I went to the grocery store on Sunday and spent $39.93. I did a meal plan for the week, and if I can stick to it, I shouldn't need to buy any more food until next Sunday. This is the hard part! I don't really like cooking and after a long day at work I sometimes cave in and just pick up something for dinner on the way home. I have been downloading some crockpot recipes to try, and plan to start making one each Sunday. I hope to be able to stay at or below $40 a week for groceries to start, and then see how things go. I anticipate some weeks will be lower, until I need to restock on more expensive items. I also filled my gas tank up and I was almost on empty, only $19.82! Love these low gas prices!

A lot of changes/ paid off my house!

December 28th, 2015 at 03:52 pm

I haven't posted in a long time but read the blogs frequently. There have been a lot of changes. My mom, who is now 89 and who has lived with me for the past 5 years is relocating to live with my sister and her husband in another state in two weeks. I will then be putting my house on the market and downsizing to a small condo. I am in my mid 50's and the snow shoveling and home maintenance and gardening is just getting to be too much for me. I no longer need a 3 bedroom single house and am looking forward to a smaller space! The best bit of financial news is that I PAID OFF MY HOUSE! So when I sell, I can purchase my condo with cash and should have a nice chunk of change left over. I am working on a new budget, which will change again when I move. It's going to be an exciting year!

Took A Day Off

October 17th, 2014 at 01:03 pm

I took today off from work and used a personal day. I had so many errands to do and was once again facing a weekend full of obligations. So today I had my required car emissions test done, went to the bank, picked up some prescriptions for mom, did some much needed shoe shopping (found one pair I liked), looked for some new work clothes but was not successful, had my eye exam (but still need to look for frames) did the grocery shopping, and got my laundry done. Now I need a nap!
All of these expenses were budgeted for, but I did spend more on the shoes then I normally do ($69.00) I have moderate osteoarthritis in my back, hip and neck and I have found that wearing good shoes really makes a difference. The eye exam was covered through my insurance but I am dreading the cost of the glasses. Insurance covers a portion, but I need progressive, no line bifocals and usually get transitions so they darken up to sunglasses when outside. Really expensive. I still have some housework to do tomorrow but I think that on Sunday I might actually have a free day!

Tired of Working

October 15th, 2014 at 02:52 pm

Like many folks I have been working since I was 16. I am now 54. Lately, I have really been struggling with the daily grind. It's not that I hate my job, I enjoy my work and I am very grateful to have a good income and job stability. But I find myself longing for my time to be my own. To sleep in on a rainy day, to linger over my coffee in the morning while I catch up on the news. I would like to be able to attend to all of my errands and chores during the week so that my weekends are free and not crammed with obligations. Since I am not financially able to retire yet, I have really been focused on making sure (as sure as I can) that I can retire at age 62. I would want to continue working part time but only 2 days a week. My next blog entry will focus on my thoughts on housing. Do I want to stay where I am? Downsize? There is so much to consider but I am excited to really focus on a plan to achieve my goals.

Free Stuff From CVS

July 12th, 2014 at 05:40 pm

As I was organizing my grocery shopping list and coupons for today's shopping I noticed I had a $5 Extra Bucks coupon from CVS that was about to expire so I bought:

2 bottles of Herbal Essences shampoo at 2 for $6. I had 2, $1 off one coupons. I also had a coupon for a free herbal essences body wash when you purchase 2 shampoos or conditioners. I added in a .99 box of Puffs tissues. So for all these products that I regularly use I only paid .42 cents in sales tax. I love free stuff!

Good Progress!

July 3rd, 2014 at 06:15 pm

I can't believe it's been over a year since my last post! I have been keeping up with reading all of your interesting blogs.

It has been a really good year for me financially. I just received a 3% annual pay increase bringing my annual gross salary to $74,861. I also continue to teach on-line part time at $775 per credit hour. I usually teach 2 class a year (6 credits) so another $4650 for a total of $79,511 gross annually.

I did receive word that the college was going to increase that $775 rate for the fall semester, but I don't know by how much. I also still do swagbucks and earn an extra $100 a month in gift cards. I usually get one $50 CVS and one $50 Walmart and use these for groceries and personal care products. I have also really been getting into couponing and have a really organized coupon binder to help me maximize my savings. It's like a game to me.

I remain debt free other then my mortgage which I have been aggressively paying down. My current mortgage balance is now at $56,444. Since my last post on June 3rd, 2013 I have paid off $31,319!! Sometimes it is hard to remain focused on such a long term goal but when I see this kind of progress it is so worth it!

A little extra money

June 14th, 2013 at 05:23 pm

So my mom told me that she wanted to start giving me $50 a month for household expenses. I don't really need the money, but I think it makes her feel like she is contributing, and helps her to maintain her sense of independence. So, I will accept it and use it towards the monthly gas and electric bill. I think it would hurt her feelings if I declined her offer.

I also cashed out for another $50 CVS gift certificate from SwagBucks.

Not too much else going on financially.

Looking forward to weekend activities and some nice weather after a lot of rain and some fierce thunderstorms the past few days.


June 2nd, 2013 at 11:53 am

Time has flown by, I haven't updated since the end of March!

Mortgage update: I said goodbye to the 90k's! My current balance is $87,763.20. I continue to add an additional $1400 a month to the principle.

Swagbucks: Since I joined on 1/1/13 I have redeemed a total of $305 in CVS gift cards.

Purchases: My only larger type purchase was a new phone. My old one was about 6 years old and was no longer working well. I upgraded to a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy 3) The cost was $100 for the phone, and my monthly bill will increase $30 month for the data plan. Totally doable!

New windows: On hold. My 2 piece bathroom off my bedroom moved to the front of the remodel list when the toilet broke (so old it isn't fixable). The room is really very 1970's and needs upgrading. I joined Angie's list and found a fantastic contractor who I can use for all of my future upcoming projects, including the windows. What a relief! No more shopping around for contractors.

My mom's last surgery went well, but again it was a long recovery. It's been a rough year for her and I am glad that she seems to have turned the corner and is healing.

That's all for now. Life is good!

Shopping and Easter

March 26th, 2013 at 07:51 am

Last Saturday my best friend and I went out for our annual spring clothing shopping day! This is something we do every year, and something I save for. We spend the day shopping, laughing, catching up on things and having lunch. It's always such a fun day! I spent about $250 on undergarments, some clothes for work and a few accessories. My friend treated for lunch. I spent less than I had saved. The only other clothing I need are some new flipflops, maybe a pair of sandals and a few t-shirts.

I got another $50 CVS gift card from swagbucks. I have nothing that I really need to buy right away ( I have about a 2 month stock on personal items and papergoods) so I will hold onto it. I think my next giftcard will be to Walmart to use for food items.

Easter. I wasn't planning on anything until my cousin called and now I will have a houseful of people! We are planning a late afternoon lunch type of get together, and everyone is bringing a dish, so the cost will be minimal. And, I love having everyone over so it should be a fun day!

It will soon be time to start getting estimates to replace all the windows in my house. I really dislike the process, it's so time consuming to get estimates, check out each contractor, etc. I have the money saved for this project, so it's time to get rolling.

Decision Made

March 14th, 2013 at 07:32 am

You guys are so smart, and thank you for the advice, it was right on! Regarding my last blog post, I spoke with my director and I did decline to teach the summer course. We spoke at length about finding a second person to teach the class, and agreed that should be a priority.
Some of you pointed out that my students really expect and deserve an instructor who can give 100%, and I certainly would not be able to do that this summer. So I will be recharging my battery and will be good to go for Fall! It is also true that I was having trouble "letting go" of this class a little, and realized that adding a second instructor would really help with continuing to grow this course without me stretching myself so thin.

On the financial front, I remain on course with my goals. I did some shopping last weekend at CVS with my swagbucks $100 gift card. They had some good sales so I stocked up on shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, and some vitamins. I only spent about $40, so back I go this weekend for paper goods, which weren't on sale last weekend, but are this weekend. By the end of March I should be able to cash in for another $50 gift card.

Turning down income (long)

March 7th, 2013 at 08:15 am

Yes, I currently find myself contemplating turning down some income. In addition to my full time job as a career counselor I teach an on-line Student Development course. This class is "my baby". I developed all the curriculum (including a module on Financial Literacy), learned all the technology required to build the class, and attended a rigorous 4 month course that is required by my college for anyone who wants to teach an on-line class. To my delight (and my director's) the class really took off! So, enrollment has steadily increased over the past few years. Currently, I am the only one qualified to teach the class.

My director approached me yesterday asking how I felt about teaching a section this summer. So far, we have run the class only in the full Spring and Fall semesters. Summer sessions are much shorter, and you still have to cram 15 weeks of work into either 5 or 7 weeks.

The pay is $2130 per class before taxes. It usually equates to about an extra $220 per paycheck. Nothing to sneeze at. But, I am exhausted. My mom, who is 86 years old lives with me and over the past 6 months she has had two major surgeries and very difficult recoveries. For any of you who care for aging parents, you know how difficult and demanding this can be.

So, I feel like I really need the summer off from teaching to just rest up and get my mojo back, but, I hate to turn down the money, as well as having to decline the offer. My director is great, and very understanding so there wouldn't be any backlash if I declined, but after working so hard to develop this class I really want it to keep growing!

It's a dilemma....part of me feels like I can just suck it up for 7 weeks, and the other part of me just doesn't have the energy...

Snow day! And tax refund/mortgage update

March 6th, 2013 at 10:16 am

My college is closed today due to bad weather so I have been enjoying my day off by being totally lazy! I did complete my taxes and will receive a refund of $1826. Half will go to April's mortgage principle and half to my home improvement fund.

I am on track with paying down my mortgage. Previous balance was $96,352.74, and after March payment and additional $1400 principle payment my current balance is $94,291.82. Edging closer to saying goodbye to the 90's!

I received my Swagbucks $100 CVS giftcard and am itching to go shopping this weekend to stock up on personal care products, vitamins, paper goods etc. I have coupons for almost everything I need and should also earn a bunch of CVS extra bucks too! I feel like I really spend a minimal amount of time on SB, and that extra income really helps.


February 26th, 2013 at 06:20 pm

I just hit the 10,000 points mark and ordered my first $100 CVS gift card! I am starting to run low on my stock of personal care products so this is great timing. I hope to be able to do this every few months.

Overdue Update (long) and swagbucks question

February 11th, 2013 at 10:09 am

I have been keeping up pretty well with my 2013 financial goals so far. I am averaging 3-4 NSD's a week. I continue to pay an extra $1400 a month toward my mortgage principle which now stands at $96,352.74. And I am steadily staying below my target of spending $50 a week for groceries. Now that football Sunday parties are over it's been pretty easy.

Some great news on the job front! I work at a community college that has multiple campuses. I have always worked at the campus located the farthest from my home, typically a 45-60 minute drive each way, and I had to buy an ez-pass because I had to commute through a tunnel everyday. I had put in for a transfer to the closest campus to home (10 minutes away) a long time ago, and it was finally approved! My gas usage will easily be cut in half (maybe more),and I won't need the tunnel pass anymore, and I get to sleep in an extra 30 minutes every morning! Sweet!

I joined swagbucks on 12/31/12 and as of today I have 7231 points. I am waiting to get to 10,000 to purchase a $100 e-gift card to either CVS or Walmart. I plan to use this to stock up on all my personal care products. Has anyone else used one of the e-gift cards from swagbucks? I am wondering if there are any glitches with these? Either printing them out or trouble using them in the stores mentioned?

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