That’s how we got a car payment

We only had one car but, paying before & after school care for just one 2 hrous for four kids was $1300 !! I figured i’d pay the car off wayyy faster than that bill.So, I take my hubby to work then everyone to school in a 8 passenger. We couldn’t all fit in our car. I still wished we’d have had enough saved to just pay cash for the car. Ugh ! However i’m still saving a fortune in daycare.

I know what you mean about the school age childcare!

I couldn’t believe when I started calling around last year when ds was about to start kindergarten, school age care for just after school runs basically $350+ per month! That may not be bad for just 1 kid, but we have 2, or if you’re going to have them there til like 5:30 or something, but I’m a teacher so they would only be there for an hour and 15 minutes!

Reporting in for the week while I’m cooling down from being outside the last few hours listening to bluegrass music

At home ds has managed to make do on all the repairs around there with things on hand. He’s turning into a pretty good scrounge when need be. He’s also his mother’s child. He decided he wanted a steak, so he went and purchased a roast at a much lower than steak price and then cut it into 5 steaks. He froze four and then grilled the fifth. Said it was one of the most tender steaks he’s had in ages. The man is learning!

As I reported before we called around for the six tires we needed for the truck every place but one we called said a week to ten days to order the tires in. The prices we were quoted made tears come to my eyes. Most want $180 to $200 per tire before the tax, hazard insurance, valve stems and disposal fees. The average price was about $1400.

The place we found that could have them Saturday quoted us $965 out the door, everything included. So not only could Hibdon have them faster they were going to be a LOT cheaper, roughly $400 cheaper.

My mother and I didn’t get along on a lot of things, but I did learn some things from her. One is to haggle, yes you can haggle with big chain stores. I do it all the time. Dh always walks away when I start this, he loves the savings but is always leery as to how they will react. This time I started by remembering we have a farm tax number for OK. Our truck is registered as the farm truck, since it’s the only vehicle we own there is no argument about that. It is tagged as a farm truck. That knocked off over $100 right there.

Then when I went to pay I casually mentioned that I noticed they had been running specials for other brands of tires for buy 3 get the 4th free etc, and was wondering if there was any discount what so ever available for these tires. Nope, the b3g1 was from the manufacturer, not them and it was for small car tires. I mentioned we were traveling and in fact had driven two hours to purchase the tires from their store. The man said “let me check on something for you.” When he came back he said he got an authorization for a small discount. They took off another $35. While it’s not a lot, it’s a lot. So between the phone shopping around, the farm tax number and simply asking for a discount we saved about $535—that’s nothing to sneeze at!!!

Dh says this is why he has always wanted me to be a stay at home wife. He figures the way I work things like this I earned a lot more money raising our kids then I would have ever earned in the marketplace.

Then of course there was that tiny little medical bill we paid off this week. One down two more medical bills to go and then on to the credit cards.

We’ve decided to continue to stay at this campground through the holiday because we get a $2 a day discount for anything over 10 days. I’ve found more work for here and the bluegrass started tonight. To move on this Friday would cost us a lot more than that and the work I have found for after the first is just that. Starting after the first, so we might as well stay here cheaper and enjoy our friends and the music.

Oh we moved the camper to a recently vacated shaded area today too. That will cut down wear and tear on our air conditioner, plus it let us dump the sewer for free rather than the $8 we usually pay at this campground for them to pump out the camper. Hey, $8 is $8.

Our credit is with capital one

I know DR say’s no no to any card….but where I live we have to have credit or our car insurance is sky high. Anyway, we aren’t tempted with over spending with it like others can be. So for us it makes sense to have it. I have to the card for 20 years, even before I was married. I’ve never had an issue with them. Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky. I’ve never had more than the $4000 charged on it….back in the day when we carried debt. Now I use it once in a while to keep it active, but pay if off as soon as the charge posts to my account.

Yeah I know, y’all are going to faint from shock

So I have a CC with Capital One but it was a dormant/closed account with HSBC. When CapOne bought the HSBC CC line, things were fine until a few months ago, when they switched software and I could no longer pay it online, nor did I have the CC number.

NO ONE at CapOne has been able to figure out how to solve the problem, other than someone finally said, we can take a payment over the phone, no charge, but by that time I was $135 past due.

So I just called CapOne and got this guy with a BRAIN who said, hey, do you have a paper statement on this account? I said yes. He said, up near the top you should see your whole CapOne account number…if you put that number into “link the account”, you might be able to link the account.

So I did and it DID !! He is just brilliant.

Ok, so I made an $80 payment for tomorrow, and of course, that still leaves me $113 shy for the “total amount due” but it goes a LONG way to getting things handled. Not only that, but if I can squeeze out the $113, my monthly minimum will drop to $25 a month.

This cheetah’s in my gun sights!!

Do you remember Superpoints?

Some of you may remember SUPERPOINTS. It was a program where you earned points and traded the points for gift cards. Well, Superpoints has been sold to new owners and is operational again. If you were a member before you may remember clicking the Super Lucky Button you win points.I rejoined today and already got an Amazon gift card. This program requires an invite to join. Please e-mail me and I will send you an invite. Thanks so much

AT&T subscribers – now is time to get 99-cent iphones!

If you have At&T like I do, just a heads up that the iphone 5 is now available for 99-cents! You have to ask them for it, and most stores don’t have them in stock anymore. They will tell you the iphone 5S is $99, but if you ask me, there is very little difference (certainly not a $98.99 difference). The original iphone 5 (referred to as the iphone 5-C) will make calls, surf the web, work with apps, text… what more do you need?!

My local AT&T branch overnighted me the 99-cent phone to my home at no charge since they didn’t have any in stock. So know that they do offer this option!

Just an FYI for everyone. I am sure other major carriers are offering similar deals, so if you need a new phone device but don’t care if it’s the “latest,” ask about a brand new last years model phone and save money!


You may recall the other day

I filed a complaint against a bill collector for threatening to put down in writing the false statement that I refused to make a payment on the bill.

I got a call today from the CC company from the division that handles complaints. They said they reviewed the call, APOLOGIZED for her behavior, and said they would be sending a formal request for discipline/review to her supervisor.

Holy heck! It’s a miracle I didn’t pass out from shock.

I barely got out the words “thank you.”

Thanks for the tip Mark!

DH and I never thought about that type of work. I did some googling and it doesn’t look like a PI license is required to do that in Texas, but DH has done that type of thing before when he worked loss prevention. Some companies in the area seem to advertise PI’s doing mystery shopping so he is going to contact some of them and see if any are hiring investigators for those jobs!

Thank you 🙂

Sounds like you are doing great

I’ll comment more later, but just a thought here for your dh.
Depending on what state you are in…Nevada especially requires someone to have a PI to do their mystery shops, especially in the casinos. If you happen to be in that area go to and check out the legit mystery shopping companies there. It wouldn’t be steady work, but it could net him some nice checks here and there.

Getting back on track… feeling confident!

So for my daily homework since today was payday, I paid off one of the credit cards (if you recall I paid 3 down right off the bat, kind of fell off the wagon due to Murphy and put back on some small charges).
So one down, and 2 small ones to go. After that we have more to pay down of course, but once these 3 are tackled we will feel “back on track.” Should have the other two down completely within 30 days…

DH needed $1,000 for necessary auto repairs so we diverted some of our pre-budgeted envelope money to that this month. Our EF was depleted last month due to all the other fun Murphy strikes! I wonder when we’ll have truly full envelopes!!! We just left $100 in the transportation and $100 in food for the next two weeks until next payday. That sounds like a lot but we both drive a lot for work and food isn’t cheap for the family and pets. But alas we do have a fully stocked fridge and pantry for now, and I do have the option of bringing home a work vehicle to use when needed (just don’t like to because we’re only truly allowed to do this in an emergency situation…). So I am feeling confident it will work out… will just be a little tight these next two weeks.

I am getting a nice windfall commission check on Oct 31 so that one will allow me to replenish the EF and hopefully throw a couple nice snowballs… even fill those envelopes properly 🙂

DH is also trying to find some extra work to pick up. Hopefully that works out. He is a P.I. so he is trying to find some steady work with insurance companies and lawfirms rather than his usual clients which are just individuals. The individual commissions have been good to us, but they are terribly unstable. Hope we can find a good company to hire him on and give a little cushion too.

I resisted the urge to go out and eat yesterday

when I know I don’t have enough to cover it plus the other planned restaurant stops we plan on making this month. I really, really wanted to go to Texas Roadhouse but I counted the cost, really, and knew it would not cover tonight and tomorrow night plus TR. Dh is in a ham radio club which will have an eat and meet this evening. Then one of his car clubs has a meeting tomorrow and they meet a hotel. They meet in one of the meeting rooms and members have the option of going early and eating, which we usually do. After all that, I know we wont have $$ for Texas Roadhouse, unless we throw in some blow $$.

Oh, somewhere along the line I have paid extra on the water bill and now we have a whopping balance of 7¢!! I can’t figure out how I paid the extra, really haven’t taken time to look at it. I will probably pay a little something toward it so we don’t get delinquent for such a pittance. Oh, hey, there is my Texas Roadhouse money!!!! Well, I will ask dh about it before just doing it.

No we didn’t pay off the final cc

that’s scheduled for later this week. But we did get a lot closer to retirement. Out of the blue both men got a cost of living raise with no warning! Even better, it was retro-active back to Jun 30. Which meant it included some minor overtime!

We celebrated by going out for a cheap dinner and then the next day dh and I did our big once a month grocery shopping. We came in a little over budget as far as groceries and pet supplies were concerned, but $80 of it was new beds, stiff joint, and hot spot meds all at once for the dogs. Now to finish de-fleaing the sunroom before cold weather hits so the dogs and now Amy Jo, our old Mama cat, can be warm.

Amy is/was Jellybean’s Mama. When Street Cats got her she had been feral with a litter of kittens. They had tamed her down a bit before we adopted the two of them and Lizzie B on the same day ( I know, what were we thinking back in 2002 adopting three cats at once?)

Any way, Amy was never content being in doors, and one day this spring she went outside and refused to set foot back in the house until about a week ago, when she came in one night that it got cold. She roamed from room to room yowling for Beanie Boy, which just broke all of our hearts. It was a long night of the most mournful crying you’ve ever heard. Anyone who says animals don’t mourn their young should have been here. It would have changed their mind for certain.

After she had checked every nook and cranny of the house she demanded to go back out and refuses to come back in even as the night time temperatures are dropping. So we’ll put her cat bed near the heater in the sunroom this winter and hopefully she’ll sleep there.

We hauled off another load to the dump because of all the deep cleaning we’ve been doing in various areas, more on that another time. Of course I found more I wanted to cull while the guys were at the dump, a lot more.

The weekend was a good one, nice weather, lots of work to done inside and out and we ate well with me trying out two new recipes. Both were from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond’s website. Saturday’s supper was so simple, but so good.

We just had Philly Cheesesteaks made per her recipe. They took less than 20 minutes to make, and the total cost including the chips and pickles I served them with was less than $10 for the three of us and we had leftovers. The ingredients sound strange, a good quality deli roast beef, white queso Velveeta, milk, cayenne pepper, black pepper, deli rolls, butter, onions and various colored bell peppers. But the combo was divine. Both men said they wouldn’t mind having this a couple of times a month. It certainly beat anything at Arby’s hands down!

Sunday’s supper took a lot longer to fix, but was equally as good. We (meaning dh and I) made her Spicy Dr. Pepper Baby Back Ribs. You can pretty well get the ingredients from the title. Besides the pork ribs and DP there is a can of Chipotle in Adobo Sauce and brown sugar involved. She makes a marinade/sauce from that and only that, but because that marinade is so spicy (and I’m so wussie) we did the marinade in her recipe and then used my homemade bbq sauce during the cooking process. The two combined was out of this world good.

One thing dh mentioned was that restaurants really rip you off on what they call a half rack of ribs. We sprung for a $30 pkg of baby back ribs at Sam’s club—it had three racks in it. We used one rack for supper and then froze the other two rack separately for future meals.

Each rack made 4 large servings for us (and we are big eaters) so that $30 ended actually only costing us roughly $2.50 each serving for the meat (ds took the fourth serving for lunch today) with it I served corn on the cob and cole slaw with Cherry Cheesecake Pie for dessert. So again I fed the three of us a good meal for less than $10 each. Who says you can’t eat good on a budget?

Tonight will be my basic stretch the ground beef meatloaf with the usual fixings.

I plan on spending today and tomorrow finishing the countdown calendar for the number of months until the mortgages are gone because we should start paying extra principal as early as this week and I am so excited. I’ll post photos when it’s done and this site is ok for payday loans on Florida. Oh part of that massive grocery shopping involved two herb plants. For some reason our Wal-Mart had a large display of a few herbs in their garden center. I stumbled across them while looking for the perfect mums and pansies for the front porch. I didn’t buy either flower, but I did purchase a healthy looking basil and an equally healthy looking cilantro plant for the office (best room for winter sun and plant growing in doors in the house). I brought those home and potted them up right away. Now I have my two most used fresh herbs on hand for the winter again for less than the cost of buying a few fresh leaves or a bunch at a time. I’ve got seeds for other herbs and plan on adding them to the bakers rack with these two soon.

There are a couple of “free” blue grass competitions we want to see at the fair that starts this week so we picked up 4 advanced fair tickets for some cheap weekend entertainment this next couple of weeks. We haven’t actually paid for fair tickets in years.

We generally go on the $1 preview night, rush through and come home in a couple of hours. This year we plan on making a staycation out of it on one maybe two weekends. It all depends on dh’s work schedule because as usual for the fall they are predicting overtime being mandatory soon.

We’ve not done a full day at the fair since he started with this company because of the annual OT, but I certainly won’t complain if he gets to do it. It will put us that much closer to retirement and lots of free time!

This year the fair is charging $10 to park a vehicle and then another $8-$10 each to get in. We’ll be taking advantage of the free shuttle service at the free parking lots that are about 3 miles from the fair and paying $6 each with our advance fair tickets. That can add up to a huge savings with us planning on doing 2 days total at the fair (either all in one weekend, or split between both weekends of it) So $24 vs $60. Advance planning saves a lot!

It’s interesting to think about living off the grid, in an urban area

A couple of weeks ago, I lost power from Friday evening to Monday evening. I could charge my phone at work, and the fast food restaurants in other areas still had power. I still had running water and by water heater still worked, so I still had drinking water and could take hot showers. Aside from being bored out of my skull while I was at home, it wasn’t too bad.

I agree with most it is hard to tell people what to do/not to do

The best advice you can give them is to read TMMO… it makes perfect sense on its own, and if they aren’t truly ready or willing to read the book I doubt they’d truly act on any advice from you either!

I hope the fact that they’re asking means theyre almost to the point of fixing their habits!

I can’t imagine taking out a HELOC when you own your home free and clear! Yikes… that will just have them paying more in the longrun.

That has rat hole money?

Or whatever you want to call it. I have a specific amount I carry with me at all times that is for “emergencies” only. A great sale is NOT an emergency, grabbing a burger is NOT an emergency. I am talking you are away from home and boom you have a flat, or something like that which takes just a little cash to get it fixed and out comes the rat hole money for it. More than once has that money saved our bacon when we are traveling. Because those emergencies often happen when the banks are closed and I can’t move funds immediately.

Or like when we were traveling to Las Vegas two years ago through AZ and none of my bank cards would allow me to run debits in AZ. That rat hole money put fuel in our truck to get us out of AZ.

When we lose power

I just think of it as camping with better beds. Kids don’t seem to mind too much and I have the landline just incase we need a reliable phone. My friendly neighbors and I have agreements among us and those that aren’t friendly, don’t get the benefits of sharing resources.
My mom’s house goes off grid many times during the year and I have tried to convince my sister to get them a generator. Perhaps, this year.