Hmmm, I think I will go back to tracking spending here/sharing more, now that I have more time.
Well, just put almost $150 on the card. Paid the diaper service. (I put everything on the card for rebate money - am due $250 in just a month or so - woohoo!!!).
& since we decided to sign up LM for toddler class this month when I looked up the # I saw the community center had the summer catalog. So I looked through and found oodles of classes for the kids. Good thing so cheap.
One thing BM has been wanting to try is MArtial Arts, and gymnastics. When he turns 4 in the summer there will be lots more options, but there is a little Toddler one, one night a week, we will give it a whirl. Will make it a hectic day, but oh well. I also saw the swim catalog and surfed the web a little as I wasn't as pleased with the community center's swim lessons last time. He's turning 4 and I think really he should know how to swim this summer. The plus side is his preschool got a pool late last summer, and worked with him, and we have a community pool. So we can work with him, and his preschool will too. But I looked up the YMCA (where I learned to swim at 4 or 5) & it was insanely expensive!!! Wow! I think the private lessons offered at our pool are cheaper, and I think it is a very important skill so maybe I will call the homeowners association and see if they are offering lessons this year or what. May be worth it. Or we will just take the cheap community center ones, watch what they are attempting to teach, and work with him I guess. We could do that. We can work with him a lot this summer, it is nice having access to a pool just down the street!
I also have pretty much avoided gym memberships and workout classes since having kids due to time and costs. Last year I was still breastfeeding (hard to get away much more than for work), spent 18 months pregnant the last few years, etc. But the aerobics class is only $2.50 a class or $30/month for 12 hours a month. So I called dh and asked if he would mind terribly if I spent 2 nights a week at aerobics, and a saturday morning too (usually let him sleep in because I am an early bird - well he can still sleep in sundays).
Anyway, he didn't really care or mind, so I signed up and start tomorrow. I have been wanting to get back into it and get in shape, but just no motivation. Shelling out the money and having to go to class 3 days a week, is the motivation I need. $2.50/class - can't beat it. Hopefully it works out!
So 1 class each for us was about $30 each - so just charged almost $150 to the card with that and diapers.
I think for BM we might try gymnastics and martial arts this summer. Most of the classes we have taken through the community center have been so excellent and affordable, I hope the martial arts is the same - he will be so excited. & he can try out the gymnastics too later in the summer. Plus we will be working on some swimming. Busy busy busy I guess. For the long run probably make him choose one or the other, but he has seen karate on t.v. and thinks it is way cool. Of course he tries to imitate crazy gymnastic moves too, sometimes worry he is going to break his neck, so that will be a good outlet too. There's a nice kid's gym down the street from my work, but it cost twice as much. & the martial arts is even worse. So we'll give the cheaper option a whirl and see how he enjoys. As long as we're paying for preschool is probably the best he will get.
Gosh, I don't remember the last time I did something so for ME! 3 days a week for me, to get in shape. Hehe - I am excited. I kind of miss just going to the gym - I love working out and am a gym girl, etc. But just hasn't been in the cards for years. So something like a cheap aerobics class makes me giddy. I have to get on my neighbor's case too. She has a dance studio in her home and offered to teach aerobics to some of us moms on the weekends. I should bug her too, to get on that. Now that would be convenient!
Archive for April, 2007
Hmmm, I think I will go back to tracking spending here/sharing more, now that I have more time.
Before forget, you knew I was perusing craigslist the other day (was looking at cars - well at least dh and I both have our own downfalls - which we really do keep to a minimum - I swear - LOL). But while looking at the convertibles, and even considering going for something cheaper and lesser quality so I can buy one sooner (eh, decided against it) I started perusing rest of Craigslist and skimmed the want ads. There were a handful of adds offering $65k to bookkeepers. What in holy hell??? That's how much I made last year 5 years as a CPA - LOL. Anyway, I am looking at the ads and scratching my head. But the interesting this is most of the ads were from CPA firms, and in fact we have been looking for some experienced bookkeepers as well. We just can't find enough CPAs, and well, if we can find anyone who can do the work, as long as the CPAs oversee it, is all that matters. But with not enough interest, we are really upping the ante.
So what does my CPA license and degree buy me today? Maybe a few thousand a year for now, which is good. Definitely a lot more with time and more responsibility. But in the interim, I just have to say if you didn't go the CPA route and you enjoy bookkeeping, go check the want ads. Holy cow! You aren't doing 1/2 bad. I was just telling my mom last night about this since my sister just got her AA degree in accounting. Of course, with no experience, she won't get any of these jobs. But it is interesting. The industry is just crazy right now - and they keep saying like 1/2 of the CPAs are retiring in the next decade. I think it will be nearly impossible to strike a work/life balance in this unfortunate set of circumstances. Sure the pay and job stability is amazing, but the lack of qualified workers is pretty hard to work around all the same - my boss says this was the WORST tax season he has ever had in 30 years, and he lost a lot of clients to retirement these last few years. Of course maybe as so much of the workforce retires, it will kind of work itself out. ???
But anyway, I am not big on lots of responsibility. I would love to just drop back and be a bookkeeper. Frankly, is why I love my job. I have felt like a glorified bookkeeper - paid very well for easier work - in years past. But these days more and more responsibility pushed my way. As long as I have a CPA designation there is probably no way around that - I just have to get used to it. I expect a big raise next year thought - wow! I didn't see anyone paying my job more (in the ads) than $75k which is about what I will gross this year with my bonus. But it is kind of cool to know I could downgrade my job and not lose much income. Makes me wonder if we should demand bigger raises still in coming years. The industry has just been in overhaul, I have hardly had anything less than a 5-10% raise as is, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down - that is the crazy thing.
Well, today is the first day of "normal" in months. I am going to take BM to preschool and leave early to pick him up.
I don't plan to work past 5 all week!
I may even come home for lunch 1 day this week.
& I will sign up baby for his toddler class this month. Might as well, I can break away from work and go with him.
Ah, back to normalcy.
& if the week goes well I might even take Friday off!!! Woohoo. Still have to see how the workload and deadlines go. I have a tax appointment tomorrow too - ugh - procrastinators - LOL.
I think I am going to bite the bullet and apply for credit cards and see how it goes. I am going to apply for one with 9-month free balance transfer and $100 in gift cards and dh is going to apply for a 12-month 0% BT & $50 gift card. I am going with citi card because it seems they are the EASIEST to get a check, and they definitely have no fees, etc.
My plan is for next year for both of us to apply for Discover cards so we can do a BT to the old cards and extend it out for another year.
Then we're going to pay them off AND cancel the cards, and see what that does to our credit score. & then cool it for a while. I couldn't play that game on and on and have a ton of cards. We were originally going to just test one of our credit scores, but we decided it really didn't matter. I don't know. Last time we borrowed a lot of money, paid it off and closed it in a short time our credit shot up to the 800s so overall I am not too worried. But we'll definitely keep an eye on the score and proceed slowly. The gift cards (Target!!) will be a nice perk! I was going to let dh use one to get a game controller for the PS3 ($50?) but he just found a way to get one for free - so go dh.
The unfortunate thing is that I have to apply for the cards, get them, and make a purchase, to get the gift cards. Then will pay it off and do the BT. So no cash for a couple of months. I read the blog instructions and the fine print on the cards like 100 times to be sure, and now I am ready. How exciting! I hope we both get $5k - $10k, but who really knows... I'll let you know!
I used to think it was so awesome to be debt free, and lately I keep saying, well "I am debt free except the loan that I choose not to pay because I make more in the bank." But you know what - I am just going to say I am debt free. This does not count - LOL. I am going to borrow the money, put it in the bank, and not touch it. Or should I just start saying I have all good debt for leverage. It's funny when I joined here I was like, I don't want to be wealthy, I just want to live and retire comfortably. I guess that is still my goal, but I am sitting back and thinking about the big picture more. Where once I would not consider carrying any debt it is quite a mind-shift, and wealth-building attitude, to use low interest debt to our advantage.
I feel confident as I have never paid a credit card fee in 14 years of card ownership. Pay the bills on time, read the fine print, just doesn't seem very hard. All the same I still have a fear, what if I screw up - the fees could be nasty. So we'll see. At least we'll get some gift cards - LOL. I even told dh I was going to put the BT transfer info with our will stuff so if something happens it gets paid right away. I can just imagine our family's surprise if they found we had $20k in cc debt - what the heck??? LOL. & I will make sure dh knows when the bills are due and where the money is in case something happens to me. Maybe a little overkill, but just don't want it to bite us in the ass for ANY reason. Not even to our estate if something happens to us- wouldn't give the credit card companies the satisfaction of squeezing a dime from us for any reason. Oh yeah, I probably hesitate because of my overall disdain for them, but all the more reason to take free money from them I guess.
Um, apparently the freeway melted and collapsed from a giant tanker truck fire. Who knew that could even happen? Luckily was 3am - sounds like so far no one was hurt?
ETA: Still say no one was hurt or killed (except truck driver who walked away from the scene - he isn't so bad off...).
Oh yeah, it is a bad sign when you have to turn on the a/c in April. Yikes. It was a hot weekend and we waited it out, but last night it was up to 85 in the house so I turned on the ac for a bit to cool off the upstairs for the kids, before bed. Good move since I later opened the window but the neighbors were LOUD last night, and quickly closed the window - hehe. The 10-15 minutes of a/c did the trick and kept the house comfortable for the night. It's 77 in here right now and quite comfortable, as long as I don't do too much work in the house. Was over 90 outside yesterday - ick. The summers where it doesn't hit 100 degrees until July, I can deal with. But sometimes it starts hitting in May, and I am getting scared it will be one of those LONG summers. Hopefully it will cool off for a bit - I really rather have 1 more month of no a/c! The electric bill has been so nice and low!
Yesterday was REALLY nice. Dh had wanted to go to the Scottish Festival, which was quite expensive really. I told him I didn't want to be too stingy and cheap, but since we are going to Monterey next weekend... So we decided to go to the zoo and Fairytale Town which we have memberships too. & you would be proud of us. We packed up a lunch. There happens to be a pond and park between the zoo and Fairytale Town and so we decided to hit FT first, stop and eat lunch ,and maybe run by the zoo for a bit - it is very small.
Anyway, the heat was a bit much as the day progressed, but overall a very cheap and fun day. Kids had a blast.
The little FT also had a promotion where they are going to put in a "yellow brick road" and you can buy an inscribed brick for $100. Would love to to so - I think that is cool. Will have to think what we want to inscribe in it. For a good cause and all.
Anyway, for the ever present truth that less is more to kids, I had to share this. Fairytale Town has a few farm animals and slides and stuff to climb in. A fancy playground I guess. But they have this thing called the "crooked mile" which is basically a little raised path that winds round and round. So when we got there I plopped down and let BM run through it about 10 times. It might as well be a fancy roller coaster as far as he is concerned - the kids just LOVE it. Dh and I have always scratched our head on that one - who knew something so simple could be like the main attraction? LOL.
Here's a glimpse:
& then where we had our picnic lunch:
& the big duck who tried to grab my food. I was a little scared of him, but started snapping his picture and he ran off - he didn't like it - LOL. I guess he was a duck - I don't know - some big fellas.
We figured we wore out the kids real good and they would nap all afternoon and maybe even sleep well at night, but the plan backfired. They went on nap strike and were extra grumpy to boot, plus we were exhausted. Oh well. Baby had another awful night. Ugh.
We actually went to the SF zoo last year once and it was quite cheap, but the food did us in. So we are thinking about it for this year - we just need to pack up a lunch and go enjoy - the zoo even has free parking. I guess gas will be the pricey part, but is such a nice zoo. All we have to do is rein in the food costs to make it a pretty affordable excursion.