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Updates & Links

November 17th, 2010 at 03:40 pm

Get your Fico score for free:

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I wasn't able to get mine (Easily) due to fraud alert on my credit bureau accounts. I didn't care enough to call and all that jazz. But I did check dh's score. I think it was 796 (as opposed to usual 800s) but we have made a mess with 0% credit card balance transfers and all sorts of activity the last few years. I'll take it (& assume my score is very similar). I don't remember the last time I saw his score, outside of our last refi.


Adoption for cheapskates

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Here was a good post. I knew state of California was very generous with foster-to-adopt program (will pay you quite well to adopt a baby. Yes, they pay YOU!)

A relative of ours has adopted two siblings, and had them both since the day they were born, through this program. (There may be more siblings in her future - the biological mother has 10+ kids in the system already. Very sad, but has been a blessing for our family).

What was eye opening about this post is that other states have similar programs.

It's a good reminder for those facing the high cost of adoption - that the state will pay you to take babies that no one else wants. I think people focus so much on private adoption, that they lose sight on all the unwanted babies in this country.


Made an "impulsive purchase" of sorts.

We actually just asked for cheap dishes/silverware when we got married. We may have bought some of it. I don't remember spending much of anything.

The funny thing is that we get endless compliments on our cheap/plain dishes. Okay then!

They are getting worn, tired, chipped, and some broken/trashed (10 years later).

So, I know dh has talked about replacing them, or buying some supplemental dishes at least.

& then I saw them. I saw the most beautiful set of dishes in the Kohls ads. I looked them up online, and it was even better. Free shipping and glowing reviews about how sturdy the plates were and how much everyone's guests always loved them.

So, I asked dh when he got home, and braced himself. I thought he would hate them. He said, "Fine by me."

I felt bad purchasing them, because it's been a rough year, and it's really not a need. BUT, we decided to just get 12 sets (cheaper to buy sets) and keep the old plates as a backup (for large family gatherings and stuff).

Truthfully, I just bought the cheapest thing I could find to start, and have never loved them. As I went back and forth over this set, I just looked at them and thought, "I have never seen such pretty plates before. Those are mine!" & I finalized the purchase.

I spent about $180 - the sets were 50% off between coupons and sales.

Though the shipping was free, there was a surcharge, and I couldn't use my $10-off coupon. So, dh may be able to get the total down to $160 if he can find them in the store. He said he would double check today, for me. Big Grin

IF we can't cancel the order, we may be stuck with the shipping surcharge, but still worth a try to save $10. I know returns are easy with Kohls - we can just return to the store.


I hit target the other day and tried my new RedCard. BM had absolutely no non-school pants that fit him any more. I ended up spending about $50 (new pants, a couple of shirts, socks, underwear). Plus, saved 5% off that. Not bad, for a new wardrobe.


The weather here has been pretty warm. I am out of the heat contest as of Sat or Sun. Probably Saturday. I was upstairs putting away laundry and stuff like that and it was just FREEZING. I told dh that I knew I would survive, but that it was probably a good idea to test out the heater and make sure it was still working. Before winter really hit. (I was justifying, but I think it was a good excuse!)

I heated the upstairs to 68 and took a luxurious shower. The sad thing is that it got hot after that and the house has been mostly 68 - 72, in the days since. (I think warmer than otherwise, since I did warm it up about 8 degrees!)

This time of the year, there is really no point to go cold turkey. Turning on the heat 15 minutes for some extra comfort can't mean much to our gas bill. BUT, the longer we draw it out, the better I think we do in the winter.

I'd still like to make it to Thanksgiving, before turning the heat on again, but not holding my breath. We got a cold spell this week and it's already in the 30s outside. Hasn't gotten inside yet (still 68) but I think I will be cold in a couple of days! There is a big/cold storm coming through this weekend. Feels like spring to winter, overnight.


Anyway, I am pleased with my plate purchase. I justified it as a birthday gift (b-day in a couple weeks) - I may get the cash to pay for it. If not, will get Christmas money.

Next year I feel we will really be tightening the screws, so hopefully that is my last hoorah for a while.

When we first had kids, our budget was so tight that it was hard to justify much of anything. I have been spending the last couple of years replacing things around the house and making LONG put-off purchases. I Was looking at the stockpiles around the house of stuff I have been buying on sale. Or, if I find something I really like (shoes, bras, whatever), I just buy extras for later. (That's a function of being picky more than frugality).

I think we are well equipped to have a spending freeze of sorts for a while. Phew!

5 Responses to “Updates & Links”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm with ya on making some purchases this year that I ordinarily wouldn't justify! I too am hoping for something of a spending freeze next year. I'm just hoping it won't seem too harsh to my spouses--we're more natural spenders than savers, so I'm a little freaked that this year's splurges will have reawakened the spending spirit, which had been suppressed pretty well in all of us since about 2007. But, if we did it once, we should be able to tamp it down again. :-) I did tell them repeatedly that we're using the surplus this year for fun and optional stuff, but that next year I intend to use the surplus for debt and savings and hopefully not spend it on wants.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Our natural gas price is down this year over last.Though we turned on the heat early, I was surprised to see a much lower bill. Maybe yours is less expensive, too?

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Joan - I don't know - I haven't got any bills yet since turning on the heat this season. But, I just know it doesn't show up any usage when I run the heat for 15 minutes here and there, which is what we usually do in November. (Nothing noticeable!)

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    Dh scored $20 savings - they had the sets in stock at the store. Way to go dh!

    I don't know if they will refund the shipping surcharge of $10 (they wouldn't let me cancel the order!) But, I know it will be easy to return. Just, dh will have to help me carry it all. He told me it was really ackward to get because the boxes didn't fit well in their carts.

    Now I have immediate gratification, too. Big Grin

  5. Homebody Says:

    Way to go on the dishes. I am doing a spending moratorium too after Christmas. With my work situation, we have to be very careful. Hoping to have another $25,000 socked away before my COBRA runs out. That will all depend on how the dividend checks are in the new year. But anything will help.

    Oh and I already have the new virtual meter in and so far my bills have been very reasonable. I was just reading an article that some people's bills will go down.

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