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Archive for February, 2014

Dentist & Low Savings Rates

February 22nd, 2014 at 02:27 pm

**Holy Freaking Murphy! BM's filling fell out. $300 to replace. I am thinking of paying mortgage a few days early before my snowflakes melt. Big Grin The year is young and we save for this kind of random stuff, so for now can pull from the "short-term savings". & I can leave the snowflakes untouched (latest snowflake just happens to be about as much as the filling, though).

**On a related note, I was at the dentist last week and I asked for some ortho referrals. They gave me a bunch of info I didn't ask for. But I feel great relief about the information I received. IT seems to be one of those things people make an unnecessary big deal about. I know everyone is in debt up to their eyeballs. But it's just people who know us - that we are not in debt up to our eyeballs - and still seem to go on and on about how expensive it is. Running through the numbers? I am not seeing what the BIG deal is. I won't hold my breath or get too relaxed until I get REAL numbers though. We have no insurance, but I expect we will knock 1/3 off the top with cash discounts and income tax savings. When we do full-on braces we will also switch our kids to our "dirt cheap" dentist. Which is adding to the overall cost savings and my feelings about it all. Of course "dirt cheap dentist" recommended more reasonably priced orthos.

So yeah - all of the above won't amount to a hill of beans.

{I personally was probably a fairly worst case orthodontist patient, so I have just always assumed the worst. & then the way everyone goes on and on about it. Like, my in-laws are beside themselves how we will ever afford braces. I think both in-laws and us are fairly debt-adverse. But I find myself thinking lately, "So maybe we would have to get payments? The world wouldn't end?" I mean, they are just so melodramatic. I think somehow we survive. & I have been thinking the payment thing, though hell would freeze over before we actually take on any payments. But they are also overly obsessed how we will ever afford to replace cars. We have enough cash saved to easily replace both cars. BUT, I just think, "We'd get a payment? We'd survive with one car? We'd buy a really used car, like we have in the past? Dh would get a job??" We certainly aren't going to have to go bankrupt over these kinds of expenditures...}.

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**I think I am getting crankier with age. I suppose I found it hard to believe that people could get more financially stupid after watching all our friends in the debt bubble. & all the foreclosure madness. But, with time and money and age it seems people just make bigger money mistakes. Maybe it's because I think we just get more frugal with age, so the juxtaposition is ridiculous.

Anyway, as a background, most my clients are fairly upper middle class and/or just very fiscally conservative. But their kids? Egads! I do a lot of their kids' tax returns. Maybe it doesn't matter because these people will just be taken care of by mommy and daddy.

I haven't formed much a of a strong opinion in the past, but this year I have just been disgusted by every single tax return I touch. I am thinking, "None of these people have been out of work for one second in the last decade. Absolutely no hardships that I am aware of". & I Want to be clear that is the case. Because it is particularly unusual to be so well employed in my region. The unemployment is pretty terrible here.

Nope - these are the people who have every advantage. Every single one of them has a six figure income. & the average retirement savings rate seems to be around 2%. They are mostly age 40-50. None of them has a penny saved outside of retirement.

I've got a couple of lower income clients who are doing MUCH better. They are boasting by far the highest savings rates. Just another reminder of that it's not what you make but it is what you keep. {& I have a couple of $500k income types who are also living FAR beyond their means}.

Kohls Questions and Stupid Mistake!!

February 19th, 2014 at 02:30 pm

Quick Kohls question for the Kohls coupon masters. I have $20 in Kohls cash that I have to use up this weekend. I was thinking of going this weekend, but had a $10-off-$30 coupon today in my e-mail. If I spend $30 today, and use my Kohls cash, will it really be a free $30 purchase??? I googled a bit and it looks like you can do that. But I wanted to make sure.

Oh while at it, if you buy enough clothing for a 20% off and free shipping discount, online, do they reverse those discounts if you return the item that put you over the top for the discounts? I feel like they do, because I think I looked it up before. But I may be thinking of something else.

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I don't know how I feel about this Murphy thing. It has WAY TONED down this calendar year. But, at the same time, I don't know why everything has to be so freaking complicated. This started with our crazy murphy year (longer than a year), but has not ended. I feel jinxed. Though I will take the stupid annoying stuff any day over people in the hospital and so on.

For example, I can't tell you how many times I Accidentally double paid something this past year. & I don't remember particularly ever doing that before?? But my payments keep getting lost in space or whatever. So then I send in a second one so my payment is on time or I don't get penalized or whatever. & then the first one always goes through. Rolleyes

So, here is what happened with Kohls. I need work pants and I had about $100 in gift cards. I went shopping and couldn't find anything. I will go back another time when they have more professional clothing. IT was fine because I Went on a non-sale day. So I didn't buy anything, then whatever.

What I did find was a couple of more patterns on a shirt that I LOVE. I hit clothing gold. They work well for work and casual, winter or summer (indoors/at work, anyway). None of the shirts in the store were my size, so I crossed my fingers and looked online. Not only did I find like 10 different prints in my size, but I found a 20% off coupon. SCORE!! When something works - I stock up. No doubt about it. By the time I find it on clearance though, there's usually not much left. This was a shirt I had had for a while and had gotten compliments on - so I know I am very happy with it.

I did my order and it should have arrived in a few days. I am guessing the mail label got messed up because it basically got lost in space. I haven't called Kohls yet but will call them to see what they are going to do. (It's so lost at this point that I think they will just have to cancel the order - unless they still have the stock).

I worried (last week) my order would get cancelled and was pretty upset. Why does it have to be so freaking complicated???

So, I just bit the bullet and re-ordered. Everything was still at same sales prices, still had my sizes, yadda yadda.

I got my shirts yesterday but mail person shoved them in the mail box like you would not believe. The package was WAY TOO BIG for our mail box. What in the heck? (I need to look online and see if I can file a complaint). I was sure I ripped a shirt or some buttons off trying to yank it out of the mailbox.

Seriously, why so freaking complicated??? We have locked boxes (large) for packages and sometimes they bring to the front door. Dh was 100% home all day yesterday. So yeah - I am peeved.

Thankfully, by some miracle, my clothing survived the process. Hallelujah! I will be a very well dressed lady as long as these shirts last. Phew!! Big Grin I ended up with about 5 new patterns, in addition to the one I already had. About $10 per shirt.

I do have a return because I also bought another print in another shirt I LOVE, but the pattern did not work for me. Bummer!

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I also feel jinxed because I completely screwed up my property tax payment. !! IT's completely random too that I know I screwed it up...

I went to get our money market checks out of the safe to pay the property taxes. I was surprised to find I had an extra 150 checks from our primary checking account. I grabbed checks from our current MM account. I should have listened to my gut, which was to double check I had the right account. But I did not believe I had ever received checks when I had the same account before (it was initially a bank with a different name, so never remembered having checks with the current name).

I did not listen to that gut feeling and just paid it. I paid online. Of course they were the right checks. !!

The next morning I was looking for an envelope and I found all our new checks sitting in a drawer. I had only re-opened the account this year and never put away the checks. DOH!!

So, basically, I paid with a closed account.

I sat on hold a whole hour, just to be told it was too late to cancel the payment.

The fee? $53! UGH! I am so annoyed!!

The bright side? Glad I decided to pay it early. I suppose I could have just sent a check in the worst case, if it was close to the deadline (though every thing I try to mail these days gets lost for weeks - which is why I did not mail it in the first place). Anyway, I will wait for it to bounce back, get the $53 bill and so on. Only then will I be able to re-submit the tax payment online.

I thought I had shred all our old checks and so on - so NO IDEA what happened. I just get so annoyed when money gets completely wasted like that.

I will pay the $53 fee out of the insurance rebate I just got. That still leaves $350 to throw at the mortgage.

Good Money Week

February 18th, 2014 at 02:49 pm

Payday yesterday. I will pay our state tax due. I should get the IRS refund this week, to offset that.

I got a reimbursement my parents owed me (for Sprint).

I don't have anything else to pay until March, and so I have a good $3,000 amassed for ROTHs. I'll finish funding 2013 ROTH in March. I don't know if I will send in some now, or just wait. If I can do the whole thing March 1st, I might do that. It will be close and I haven't put March in my Quicken yet. So, will see. Otherwise, I may just send in $2500 now and $2500 around March 15.

I haven't updated my sidebar for savings progress this month - just kind of hoarding ROTH money for now. I will update when ROTHs are funded.

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I just paid the property taxes yesterday, from online savings account. I wanted to cash flow and probably could, if I waited closer to April due date. But decided I was making things unnecessarily difficult, and I just wanted to cross that payment off my list.

I think it is possible that post-April, we can leave a solid 6 months expenses untouched, indefinitely. Will see.

As we hit our goals and I think through them, I Was thinking a sum equal to "8 x expenses" would probably be our ideal target. Just working through the numbers, expenses I expect in the near-term future, our comfort level, etc. It didn't hit me until later that my figure was "8 months expenses". I guess Suze knows what she is talking about. (That's Suze's Orman's rule). I think we are in agreement with her. But I think 6 months is good too, and I won't overly belabor the 7th and 8th months. Like if it takes me two years to get there, as it always seems to, then whatever. It is certainly not our #1 financial priority. But maybe a good long-term rule.

We've had much more cash in the past, but was saving up for a home or for maternity leave (I Was really concerned about covering bed rest or something like that, as sole breadwinner). The flip side of that is it is impossible to save any cash, with two kids. So it feels. So I feel like we need more cash needs on some level, at the pace we run through it. & of course the one-income situation bodes well for a bigger emergency fund. On the flip side, we actually have other assets and savings now (far more than in our 20s when we bought homes and had kids). So, I feel like 6-8 months is probably doable, and we have other assets to fall back on in the worst case.

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I had some nice surprises yesterday.

The annual insurance rebate I get (for life and disability insurance) was TWICE as much as I expected. $400!!

I was expecting it to be $200 and was going to throw it at the mortgage. I will throw the $400 at the mortgage. What a snowflake!!

I also found a box of 150 checks. What in the heck!?! I have no idea how I missed them before. Now I can grumble less every time I have to use one of the 10 checks I thought I had left. Big Grin (I was hoping on some level to milk those checks until the "end of checks". But I guess it doesn't matter much now. 150 checks will last me forever).

Left Over Food Safety

February 17th, 2014 at 02:32 pm

The talk of using up and leftovers, reminded me of a story.

I had some leftovers at work pushing the 2-week mark so I thought I better look up when it was no longer safe to eat. When I googled it, I Saw most recommendations to throw away food after 2-3 days.

Rolleyes

It is just so ridiculous what a wasteful society we live in.

I decided to toss to food to be on the safe side, just because it was beyond my comfort limit. But for food less than two weeks we have always used the "smell" test. Is long as it tastes good, isn't moldy, and smells good. I've never particularly tasted anything "bad" if it passed the mold and smell test. So while the "taste" test is good in theory it would be rare to get that far??

A quick google today brought up an article that I think is excellent on the subject:

The Dos and Donts of Keeping Leftovers Safe

http://thestonesoup.com/blog/2012/11/the-dos-and-donts-of-ke...

Sum up:

--Put leftovers away ASAP (in appropriately cold fridge, etc.)

--Cover food well

A lot of food does okay with a loose covering, but there are some foods I wrap in an extra plastic bag to preserve freshness. I most often do this for baked goods or bread. (Loose covered food may never be kept very long, too, to be fair). This may be more due to our dry climate.

--Trust your instincts

--Properly reheat food before eating

--Don't throw away perfectly good food

--Don't leave things sitting out at room temperature for long period of time

So, that sums it up pretty well.

Between me and my spouse? He is the more cautious one - so I can tell he has grown up in a more cautious house. He will raise an eyebrow sometimes, at me, and he gets crazy insane about chicken. (I believe to the point of unreasonable). But, it is what it is - he is not prone to waste food. It more comes out in what we have to cook or eat "today" because he believes it will go to waste given another day. & now that I think about it - he would tell you the same thing about me. When something is way crazy expired (usually condiments and dressings) I will throw them out. & that drives him nuts. So, we all have our quirks.

Which reminds me, we are also far more food cautious in our sweltering summers than in our cool winters. (Since we keep our house much cooler in winter and much warmer in summer).

When thinking about it, the first thing that also came to mind was immunity. We have fairly strong immunities in my house, in general, and you do have to wonder if your body does adjust more to what you do eat. Interestingly, I did see that people with lower immunities should be more food careful. Fair enough.

I didn't get the memo

February 15th, 2014 at 05:13 pm

I was kind of surprised BM's 5th grade class did do the Valentines party thing. I am presuming this is the last year for him, though lord knows.

OMG - you should see the candy haul he got. I guess most parents decided the kids are getting kind of old for this, so just sent copious amounts of candy in lieu of cheesy little V-Day cards.

Or do you think it was just their last hoorah and so they went all out for these kids??

Or is BM just that popular with the ladies?? LOL. (Actually, impossible - his class is literally 75% boy, which is crazy. Something in the water that year).

LM's third grade class was far more mellow.

Anyway, I usually buy V-Day cards on Feb. 15th every year. IT can be hit and miss. They had the cutest Angry Birds cards, so I picked up two boxes today. & some candy for myself, 50% off. I think this is probably the last year?? I've got one box at home still. If we have extras, we can donate later, or find someone who can use them.

Other than that, not a holiday that we celebrate. *shrugs* (I don't think we celebrate many holidays, period. Many seem fairly manufactured, to get you to spend money. & other than that, the crowds aren't too appealing).

I heard on the radio that average person spends $100-ish on Valentines Day? I think $138 or something for men; $75 for women.

???

Nothing in my frame of reference (among friends, past boyfriends, family, anyone).

My co-worker? Her husband sent her a boquet yesterday. Which I don't think he has ever done before, and didn't think a lot of it. But then she was telling me how she bought a V-Day outfit (for work - whatever she was wearing yesterday). & then they were going out to dinner.

I guess that is how it adds up! (Seriously, before discussing and witnessing all this, I would have no idea how anyone spends that much money on V-Day. Now I know!).

Paypal Warning

February 11th, 2014 at 01:22 pm

MyMoneyBlog had a Paypal warning today. Yikes!

http://www.mymoneyblog.com/preapproved-payments-paypal.html?...

"Long story short, it was my Skype account that was hacked. I didn’t even know this, but PayPal has a program of “preapproved” payments where a merchant can repeatedly charge your account without the need to type in your PayPal password. This is meant for monthly subscriptions and the sort. Although I have bought credit from Skype before, I don’t ever recall signing up for any of these subscription-style plans at any merchant. My suspicion is that it was buried somewhere into a default checkbox that I didn’t undo, or worse it was just hidden in the terms and conditions fine print. (I am usually really careful about this sort of thing, so I am quite mad at myself!)

Lesson #1: If you use PayPal at all, check your preapproved merchant list immediately. To find this list, log into your account and then go to My Account > Profile > My preapproved payments. My recommendation is to make every single one inactive immediately."

What bill do you pay first each month?

February 10th, 2014 at 02:28 pm

http://www.frugalrules.com/what-is-first-bill-you-pay-each-m...

Kind of an interesting article.

"I was reading this article on Yahoo Finance recently and it was discussing what bill people pay first and what it may reveal about our priorities.

So, what bill do most people pay first each month?

Drumroll please…the winner is the car payment.

When comparing credit card payments, mortgage payments, and car payments, the latter of the three comes out as the clear winner."

"The problem I see with making a car payment the first bill you pay is that it’s not a necessity on many levels. Yes, you may need a car to get to work and I cede that point, but if given the choice between my car and my home I’ll let you guess as to what I’m going to choose every time – my mortgage payment as I view it as a necessity for my growing family.

Once the mortgage, or rent, is covered along with other necessities then I believe a car payment should be dealt with. Of course, my priorities may be different than what yours may be, but unless you plan on living in your car then I’d think this would fit many."

"At the end of the day I think it’s important to see what value you’re deriving from the payments you make and more importantly breaking the cycle of a payment mentality."



At face value I Was skeptical about what my "first payment of the month" said about my financial values. But, I guess if I think about it I guess he is right. How we pay our bills does say a lot about is.

Me?

Car loans? None (never)

Credit cards? I tend to pay them off in full, about two weeks before payment is due.

Mortgage? The mortgage is the last bill I pay every month. BUT, it is not technically due until the 10th of the next month. So what I tend to do is pay with mid-month paycheck. But it buys me some significant float if something comes up and I just want to pay it off after the first. The reality is I usually pay it 2 weeks before it is due (like with all my debts - I don't want any penalties or fees, so play it pretty safe).

Most my other bills I pay on due dates because they are small and there are no consequences if the payment is a little late.

The first bill I pay every month? I pay the gardener, the gas company and our HOA around the first of every month. Why? They don't take credit card payments and these are the only bills I can't charge. (Aside from mortgage). The total comes out to about $175.

What else do I pay on the first of the month? Nothing. We pay ourselves first. The bulk of my first paycheck of the month (about 95%) goes to our savings. (Which goes hand in hand as to why we don't have any other payments).

Second paycheck of the month pays off the credit cards (prior month's bills) and pays the mortgage.

Taxes

February 9th, 2014 at 04:28 pm

**We made it to our 3 San Francisco days of events. I thought we were driving to San Jose twice more this month, but dh seemed to think we would combine trips. Will see. It will be a lot to celebrate his folks' anniversary and his Grandma's birthday on one weekend day. Two weeks might be better for me, though more driving. (I was thinking of skipping the birthday, anyway).

THEN we will probably be on low-spend mode until May.

**It's funny because I really thought SIL (more means) would want to do an extravagant party for the in-laws' 40th anniversary.

But, since they are moving into their $1 million+ home this month? Dh has yet to talk to her about this anniversary at all ( Rolleyes ), but we got the message loud and clear. They aren't planning to spend a penny.

{I am rolling my eyes that dh has yet to speak to his sister about it - rolling them at him}.

I suppose it works out. I was trying to set aside $1k - $2k of money that in-laws gave us, in case it was a big dinner party out kind of thing. BUT, I have failed miserably given how 2013 was, and so it is what it is. I doubt we will spend a penny. Dh and I will offer to take them out to dinner. I just can't imagine them letting us pay.

Dh is working on a video, but has been struggling with his own family. I think it's easier to do for other families - maybe being more removed from the subject? I am sure he is also being too hard on himself.

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**I finished our taxes. Being organized and having a simple tax situation (& having really nice professional software), it was not a time consuming endeavor. Maybe one hour, max, to gather information and file all of our tax returns. I harvested some tax gains for the kids, which means having to file for them when they sell mutual funds.

I always aim for breakeven, but my withholding and deductions have been pretty sporadic in recent years.

I did adjust my withholding in 2013 because our medical deductions are more limited with Obamacare AND our mortgage interest went down significantly (with latest refinance). About $6,000 less deductions than last year, from those two things. Plus income went up a bit, etc.

In the end, I did good. $30 net refund. (Er, I think I just got lucky).

The big question for me is what to do about our IRA contributions. *sigh* I am squarely in "flip a coin" territory with this.

Tax rate has gone up from negative (less than 0%), up to 23%, in the years since we have had kids. So, the ROTH is officially no longer a "no-brainer."

25% is a strong tipping point for me. One reason is because in the past we took a larger deduction up front and then converted ROTHs in lower income years. I am also in the middle of converting my parents' ROTHs (early retirement/no income years). All this to say that it is not a simple situation with a simple answer. (It could be a MUCH better tax savings decision to skip the ROTH for now).

I think the long and the short of it is that even at 23%, it's a lot of money to throw away in the hope that the tax code and our circumstances work out to our favor in the long run. $11,000 x 23% = $2,530 tax savings. Which is certainly no small beans, to me. This would boost our savings rate significantly. ($2500 is like 3% of my income - we'd just turn around and invest the tax savings).

That said, we don't have to decide until next April. At which point we will have more information. If we can easily cash flow the ROTHs at that point, we may just to do so. If not, we can do the Tradiitonal IRA, or do 5/50.

For 2013, I had already committed to doing the ROTHs. Kind of glad about that. Because if I thought to check before I filed, I might have changed my mind. We got our ROTH balance to six figures already, so I think we will do fine whatever we decide. (Those ROTHs will be no small beans when we reach retirement age, even if we stop contributing to them).

February Wins and Losses

February 9th, 2014 at 01:25 pm

I will probably do a few shorter posts because I have a lot of my brain but haven't had much time to blog lately.

Spending wins this month:

**Gas prices are down. Helps with planned 4 trips to Bay Area?? I filled up at $3.15 yesterday. Dh went to San Francisco mid week for a show. Done with the shows. He scored free parking but had to pay $12 for a two drink minimum. $10 on tolls. (The tolls are a *shrug* because I accidentally double paid our toll refill last year. We did spend $25 on tolls the last 3 weeks, which covers the extra payment. Otherwise we tend to spend about $5 or $10 per year).

Oh, and I mentioned MIL gave us a $50 gas coupon. So, I think we will do fairly well with gas this month, even given all the excess driving.

**Groceries - dh did first grocery run on Friday (first for month). I was hoping we could make up excess spending this month ($100+ on food and parking in SF on a recent weekend). I think it looks fairly likely. If we did not need any groceries the entire first week, and can probably stretch out the 4th grocery run into March. That gives us $300-ish in grocery runs ($100 x 3) plus a fair amount of supplementing at Target and ethnic stores.

We haven't shopped Safeway very much in YEARS because prices have been so terrible. But we were at in-laws and they had a 16oz salad with a giant "$5" stamped on the packaging. I asked where they got it and they said Safeway. Whoa!! So I stopped by and picked up some salad. What a great deal!

So, I told dh maybe he should go check out Safeway - maybe they were trying to be more competitive. He is a little resistant as he is just very annoyed with Safeway. But a LOT of our keeping food costs down is keeping an open mind and keeping an eye on prices, and adjusting. So, I think he needs to go check out the prices. (HE does almost ALL the shopping, and he has a price book basically in his head, so he needs to go check it out. He can be the judge).

Spending losses:

Aside from all our shows and driving, was expecting a fairly low spend month.

Last night I caved for a pizza. I believe while we were eating the pizza, dh told me they were going to the movies today. Rolleyes So aggravated, because if he had told me that, I never would have bought a pizza. It's not a big deal. But, better communication would have meant better decisions. I did gripe about that a bit last night. I will make sure that him AND the kids know that it's not a big deal. It was just the communication. It's so rare they go to the movies. I don't want them feeling bad about it.

So, that is our budget loss for this week.

**Because of the above, I got out the old pen and paper monthly budget.

I will never understand on any level why anyone would be tempted to spend more with a credit card than cash. I have very much a cash spending mentality. So, if I don't want to over-spend (and pay interest???), I have to only spend the money I have on hand. & of course we pay ourselves first (money goes to mortgage and retirement and whatever first), so all I really have to spend is what is left in my checking account.

BUT, sometimes it is difficult to manage a household with more than one person. I found a VERY simple solution. I just keep a running total of our monthly spending, by the computer. On a piece of paper. We can usually squeeze out $200 of discretionary spending, monthly. This does not include gas and grocery spending, which we are well versed and practiced in keeping within our budget. So, it's just everything else.

Credit cards make this SO EASY to manage. I can't say dh overly participates in this part. But I can see any credit card charges basically as the card is swiped. SO, I just write everything down. Then either of us can look at the list at any point of the month and see how much we have left to spend.

So yeah, I hadn't bothered with this in a while, but when I do, our spending always seems to be lower than usual. So, I figured if I Want a really tight month, I better write it down.

I wrote down $160 SF spending, though I expect gas coupon and less grocery spending to completely offset that. It will remind us that we had a very big spend month on the discretionary side of things, and we can cool it for the rest of the month.

I added pizza and movies. & dh and I both made a couple of purchases.

I'd like not to spend any more money this month, aside for food and whatever for upcoming Bay Area trips.

Hardly a tight month, as they went to the movies last weekend (FIL paid), I went to lunch with my friend ($$$$), dh went to a show, and we have a birthday and an anniversary coming up (two trips to Bay Area). I think our social calendar is quite full. & I guess another reason why I Was so thrown off by the movie plans.

Nice Weekend & Snowflakes

February 2nd, 2014 at 04:30 pm



Another gorgeous weekend in San Francisco. WOW!

I met up with my bff since we couldn't mesh our schedules last weekend. We had lunch and drinks with a beach view. The time went too fast.

We actually had some rain last week and might get more this week. Phew! (Not enough, but it is something).

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**I redeemed $25 credit card reward and added to mortgage payment. Also added $20 for carpool savings and $15 for internet savings. Total $60 snowflake for 2/28 mortgage payment. I will pay it at the end of the month.

I also expect a $200-ish insurance rebate (we get every February) so will add that to the mortgage payment as well.

**I updated side bar for total January interest received. No other savings this month since it was only a one-paycheck month.

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I think we pulled off a no-spend weekend. We went down to Bay Area for FIL's birthday. The car already had a pretty full tank (filled up when we got home last weekend). I spent money on lunch, but MIL slipped us a $50 gas card when we left. She often gave us cash when gas prices were very high and we were dealing with dh's medical problems and so on. BUT, it has been a long time. Not expected in the slightest.

So, if I spent about $20 on lunch, and I got $50, then it nets out to a profit. FIL took dh and the kids to the movies while I had my girl time.

I wasn't expecting to make out so well this weekend. Was just expecting to spend.

It's carpet cleaning weekend at work. I should probably work from home. I should probably do some errands. But, I think I will torture myself by doing nothing. Will mean a crazier schedule next week, but am looking forward to a breather before things get REALLY crazy. Maybe if I relax all day I can work up to a little shopping tonight. I have $90 in Kohls gift cards, and only need some nice pants (my work pants are getting pretty worn from so much wear). So, not expecting to spend any actual cash or to use up all my gift cards.