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Staying put

February 15th, 2007 at 11:00 am

So I was looking for higher paid jobs and trying to find something this Spring and work a few months before the baby was born and then take two weeks off and return to work. This became way too stressful, so I am deciding to stay put. The benefits are:

1. No need to find a new job while pregnant
2. Don't have to change OB doctors or find a different hospital.
3. I will be able to work part-time in the office/part-time at home starting in July.
4. I can take 3 weeks off and boss hinted he may actually pay me, although he doesn't have to (I work on a contract basis)
5. I can work part-time from home for two months after the baby is born with a few days in court as needed.

I think we will still be able to get the baby fund fully funded prior to July, we'll just have to be a little more frugal until then. But overall it seems a much better solution.

Baby expenses to date

February 1st, 2007 at 10:27 am

Trying to keep track for myself how much a baby really costs, so here it so far:

1. Pregnancy test $1.00 from dollar store
2. Second pregnancy test required by doctor's office (silly since first one was positive) $10 (copay)
3. Ultrasound $147 (deductible) other $65 was a provider write-off.

to date baby total is: $158

Have not had to purchase any maternity clothes (yeah!) and have stayed away from all stores that would tempt me to go hog wild with cute baby gee-gaws...

I have a good friend who is one week further along then me and she has already spent over $1500, I'm trying to do this frugal so hopefully that figure will take a long time for me to reach!

US vs. THEM

January 24th, 2007 at 10:22 am

This is a bit of a rant...just to be up front.

A poster in the forums got my ire up yesterday, who the poster was and the content of his post is not important, however his attitude towards those receiving public benefits is. If you believe everyone receiving public benefits is a free-loading, Cadillac driving welfare Mama this post is not for you. I frequently encounter this perception from individuals who have no contact whatsoever with truly poor people.

I worked as an legal services attorney for 2 years. I saw 16-20 people a day, 5 days a week, and in that entire time I saw one person who may have been cheating the system. Does it happen, sure, should people who do that be prosecuted, definitely...but here is what I really saw

*Elderly couples surviving on $550 in social security benefits a month, waiting on the 99 cent hamburger day so they could buy one and stretch it for lunch for 2-3 days
*Mothers who live in section 8 homes that are so roach infested that they have to cover their children in netting over night so they won't get bitten by the roaches
*American families of Mexican descent who live in substandard housing and when they complain the landlord reports them to INS (of course they are citizens so INS figures that out after like 3 days, by which time they've already lost their jobs)
*16 year olds working double shifts at Burger King to try and hold their family together because mom is a crack addict and someone has to pay their portion of section 8 and buy food for the younger children
*Blind, disabled grandmas on Social Security, who Social Security randomly cuts benefits for and then restores them after 7 months of fighting with them

The point is when people are so blinded by self-pity that they get angry at the poor, it really ticks me off. The poor are us, we are all interconnected. There was a great strip years ago (I think by Horsey) that said us vs. them and then it had a large letter U and a large letter S and inside it said them in very small letters over and over again.

This is just my two cents and I hope I did not offend anyone, but that post from yesterday stayed with me all night and I just got more and more fed up, the longer I thought about it, so there it is!

got $100.00 Staples Rebate

January 23rd, 2007 at 10:23 am

Well persistance pays off finally got my $100 rebate back from Staples for the desktop and monitor we bought in September. Refund for the printer came right away but I have noticed any refund over $50.00 seems to require multiple submissions and phone calls to the rebate center. Oh well, I stuck with it and now $100.00 richer! Yeah Smile

Thrifty dinner and other thoughts

January 12th, 2007 at 10:29 am

So last night was a throw it all in the pot kind of dinner that turned out very well (healthy too!)Smile Here's what got used up...

5 tomatoes (liquified in blender)
onion
shrimp
2 slices provolone cheese
leftover rice
1 lime
salt/pepper/hot sauce to taste

very yummy, and I brought leftovers for lunch!

In other exciting news had the first ultrasound yesterday, incredible to see the little heartbeat and little hands waving around, we even have a little picture now Smile

free baby stuff (Yahoo!)

January 9th, 2007 at 11:14 am

A former coworker stopped by yesterday, she had cleaned her garage out and wanted to see if I wanted any of her old baby stuff--Of Course!!!

So I got the following free:

Baby Floormat Gym with music (barely used)
nice changing pad (never used)
ride on toy (used in good condition)
bouncy toy (used in good condition)
potty chair (never used)
and drum roll my dream baby item:Smile

A brand new Mongoose jogging stroller!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you is all I can say! I figured if I had needed to buy this stuff it would have set me back over $200 (used) or upwards of $300 (new)

Man am I grateful!

2007 Resolutions

January 2nd, 2007 at 09:44 am

1. Fully fund baby fund before July (due date)
2. Find better job with full healthcare benefits, so I can dump the individual plan, and make more money
3. In addition to normal scheduled payments, pay an additional 8K on student loans to bring the total to around under 73K. Better job will help with #3.
4. Reduce eating out budget by $30 a month (currently spending around $75 per month).
5. borrow and buy used as many baby necessities as possible.
6. Start buying diapers every paycheck starting in May.
7. keep up gym schedule, 4 times per week.
8. put aside money in weight watchers fund so I can lose any post baby pounds quickly
9. continue to enjoy life with DH, darling doggies and soon to be baby Smile

$54.78 in rebates

December 19th, 2006 at 01:27 pm

Got $4.78 back from a magazine that went defunct before my subscription was over

Got $50.00 Staples rebate back from a printer we purchased in September.

Still fighting with Staples over $100.00 refund from computer we bought at same time as printer.

Extra money to savings! Yeah, love extra $$$$, especially this time of year...

An early Christmas Gift

December 4th, 2006 at 09:39 am

DH and I are over the moon, we just found out we are expecting our first baby in July 07!

Next week we will sit down and crunch baby fund figures...Thankfully, most of my friends and SILs are done having kids and I have been the lucky recipient of their castoffs (many never used at all).

Thanksgiving day tally

November 21st, 2006 at 10:47 am

Just adding up how much turkey day is going to cost: total of 7 people coming at this point.

2 boxes of mashed potatoes (have already)
ice cream (left over from dh bday)
turkey ($9 with /$25 purchase at VONS)
stuffing ($3)
sparkling cider ($6 on sale at Big Lots)
Beer (off brand but ok, bil will probably bring the good stuff $10)
pumpkin and pecan "birthday" pies ($10)
cranberry sauce (3.00)
veggies ($6.00)
all important black olives for my fingers ($4)
pumpkin jar candle (4.50 half off Smile)

Total: 55.50 (I budgeted $70 so now some extra money goes into savings yeah!)

thanksgiving flowers (free--got a beautiful bouquet as an early bday present from my secretaries)

will do a centerpiece with leaves from our trees, the bouquet and candle on a white tablecloth

Also DH found a lovely little mission coffe table that someone who was moving threw out yesterday, top needs refinishing (which we won't have time to do) but throw another table cloth on it and it can hold the extra food!

Also I just found out that everyone at work is taking me to lunch early for my bday today (most everyone here is taking off early for tday)Smile Yah, love free food.

My List of 25

November 16th, 2006 at 09:52 am

Throwing my .02 cents in since everyone elses was so interesting:

1. I speak English, Spanish, Japanese, French and Arabic.
2. I lived in Japan for 2 years when I was young and then attended Japanese school on Saturdays for five years.
3. I am half Irish and half Mexican
4. I have 3 brothers
5. I tell really, really corny jokes
6. I am always the youngest one in the courtroom and frequently the only female
attorney
7. I am very athletic but not particularly coordinated
8. I hate guacamole --- I was left near a large tub of it at a party when I was little ate the whole thing, got very sick, now hate even the color of it
9. I love cartoons
10. Princess Mononoke is my favorite film. DH claims to like it, but five minutes in is dead asleep.
11. I would love to have a Gloch.
12. I love to read
13. I went to all girls catholic high school because I got a D in math in jr. high (too many boys to flirt with!)
14. My favorite class in lawschool was at 8 a.m. bankruptcy, my prof loved me because everyone else was a. bored out of their minds or b. asleep
15. I like to write, but in a very leisurely fashion
16. I hated the rain in Seattle growing up but now sometimes miss it (although I never admit this)
17. I have two tattoos: a butterfly and a pair of praying hands with a rosary and my dad's name (he died four years ago)
18. DH is a tattoo artist and did my tats and I had to take a break every 5 minutes it hurt so bad (I am a wimp!)
19. I am more a closet powerhouse than a front and center star
20. I love purple every shade of it--in fact I drive a purple Geo Storm (it was cheap and it perplexes people).
21. I knew what Harajuku was long before Gwen Stefani
22. I cry at every episode of that Ty Pennington Home Makeover show that helps out poor families
23. Cold Case is my favorite show---Lily Rush is very much like my personality
24. My dogs understand Spanglish...can be a little embarrassing at the dog park
25. I wish they made those super-duper reinforced play clothes for adults because I am so hard on clothes it's ridiculous!

So there you have it!

Extra $45.75

November 9th, 2006 at 10:02 am

Since I am not working on Friday (court holiday), I will not be spending on Friday. Just hanging out at home with DH and the puppies! Yeah! So I have $45.75 left over from my weekly spending fund, it is going on my student loan today, which will bring my grand total to $86,171.35. As ugly as this is, I have paid off $23,828.50 in the last year. If I had paid the minimum payments only $3,000 would have gotten paid off this year! Yeah!

My goal for 2007 is pay off $30,000.00. One step at a time!

Busy weekend/Monday

November 6th, 2006 at 04:59 pm

Had to drive down to LA on Saturday to see DSIL, she is in the hospital with pre-term labor that they are hoping to stop. DH and I actually packed a bag with ice, sodas, sandwiches, etc... (saved us about $20 in hospital cafeteria food). Then we drove back up the same night (2.5 hours). We were beat but avoided having to pay for a hotel (Thank God for rest stops!) Helped some friends move on Sunday--with the understanding they will help us move in April (Line the troops up early..he he...). I had today off work as I had a doctor's appointment (paid they copay in cash---yeah, normally would just have slid the card out). The girl at the front desk did not appear to have seen cash before which made me laugh, she had to ask 2 other people where to get the change. Tonight I am relaxing and DH is doing a set of tattoos for a couple who has been married 15 years and just now decided to get tattoos of each other's names...Cute! Back to the grindstone tomorrow, UGH!!!!

DH Birthday (on the cheap)

November 1st, 2006 at 09:39 am

DH is 39 today! I am an emotional spender and have been trying really hard to get my stuff organized early, so that I can give a nice gift, but not overspend...so here is the final tally

Mountain Bike (52.30 at Walmart)
card & candy (1.50)
cake (made at home 2.75)
pizza (ordering w/coupon tonight $10)
DVD rental (free, netflix)
streamers (1.50 Longs after halloween)
ice cream (2.50)

Budgeted $100.00
Actual $70.55

Yahoo! Under budget by 29.45---making extra 29.45 payment on student loan at lunch today!!!

DH eyes lighting up like a kid on Christmas when he saw his bike this morning---PRICELESS, he has today off and will probably ride all day

Gifts almost done!

October 30th, 2006 at 09:04 am

Went through gift closet this weekend and realized I have almost all Christmas gifts covered (except DH)also have all November and December birthdays covered. Have been buying an ornament for one of my nephews each year since he was born (he's 6 now) found a spiderman ornament (his favorite) on sale for $2.95 at KMART. Yahoo!

Also found mountain bike on sale at Walmart that DH has been salivating over. His birthday is Wednesday, so I've got his gift covered too!

Planning ahead and paying in cash are really paying off...now if only I could figure out how to make the Christmas cards write themselves....

10 financial lessons from dogs

October 27th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

First of all let me out myself, I am the proud dog mom of a 16 year old border-collie chow mix (boy) and 2 year old pit bull beagle mix (girl) and I just started thinking about the ways dogs can teach you to be a better financial steward:

10. Drink lots of water (it's free & good for you)
9. Enjoy your food (just make sure to limit the amount)
8. Early to bed, early to rise (means I avoid being grumpy, forgetting to make my lunch, spending too much by buying breakfast and lunch...)
7. A small space is all you need (just because you can afford it doesn't not make bigger the better choice)
6. Exercise everyday (longer life, less healthcare costs)
5. visit your "vet" regularly (it's easier and cheaper to fix a problem before it gets out of hand)
4. cheap toys can be more amusing (rubbix cube anyone???)
3. used is good (my older dog was the first "used" thing I aquired and he is a gem!)
2. Enjoy the outdoors (it's free!)
1. Love is free

Cash only!

October 26th, 2006 at 09:31 am

I have been doing the cash only route for a few weeks now, never realized how addictive it is to slap the plastic down for a purchase (whether it be credit or debit). When using cash it feel like MY MONEY and I am much more hesitant to part with it. LOL! Used to love Starbucks coffee (not my fault I'm originally from Seattle!) but after two days of paying for that in cash, decided gas station coffee (at 1/4 the price) was equally tasty. It's interesting the way we perceive things can shift so quickly.


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