Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Transfer Tuesday 10/26/2021 Paying Down Debt,

 


 


Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt and slide into retirement debt-free.  Most every Tuesday we apply extra cash (whether it be BIG or small) to our outstanding debt.  This helps keep us aware of and accountable for our debt. And it all makes a difference.

Our only debt is a HELOC with an interest rate of 2.24% The minimum monthly payment goes towards the PRINCIPAL and the INTEREST.   I am chipping away at the balance until we sell my deceased mom's house that is currently being used as a rental. At that point, we will pay off the rest of the balance.  Until then, I will be sending in payment to this debt and/or to my taxable investment account every Tuesday. 


MONEY MOVES THIS WEEK


Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post    $63,878.00
 Finance Charge : $118.18

New Balance: $63,996.18
Minimum Amount Due: $247.74

Minimum Payment: $247.74

eBay gross earnings  10%     $15      

New HELOC Balance:   $63,733.44

When we started paying down the debt in Sept 2019 we were at $95,853.00


How was your Transfer Tuesday? 


My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection






Monday, October 25, 2021

Corn Maze, Decorating Halloween Houses and Pumpkin Carving

 Yesterday was a busy day. My son in law and took the grandkids to the local corn maze.  We were three hours early so to kill time we went to the local flea market in Mount Dora.  It has been years since either of us has been to this flea market.  It was fun, we were there early before it got too busy and walked all of the booths inside and out. 



We left the flea market and headed to the corn maze to check it out.  We were probably second in line to get tickets and one of the first families in the park.  The farm had a lot to offer and do.  Zipline for the kids, fishing, giant slides, a huge wooden fortress playground, and a bounce house.  



We picked the hardest Maze and headed in.  They give you a flag to raise if you need help finding your way out.  The corn was crazy high, and it was a well planned out maze.  We tried to use the theory to keep turning right to find our way out. That was not successful. At all. 


We walked and walked. We saw the same groups of people several times.  It took us about 35 minutes and 3000 steps but we eventually found our way out of the maze successfully and without help. 

The rest of our stay at the farm was watching the kids play on the fort playground, satisfying our thirst with Gatorade, and sitting in the shade.

After we left the farm, we hit up Publix to buy pumpkins for the kids to carve. They were too expensive at the farm. 


When we got home, I finished setting up for the Halloween House decorating and pumpkin carving.  The kiddos helped get the icing ready by adding gel colorings of their choice. 


The kids ate and decorated at the same time.  And the adults got in on the fun too.  Our neighbor asked if I was making graham cracker houses for Christmas lol.  Well, maybe!  

Today was a day of rest!   I did get two loads of clothes washed and the bed sheets washed with beds changed.  I also took a nap.  Yesterday was a long day lol. 


I also was able to get several eBay listings added and inventory put away in the correct spot. I am hoping to boost sales with more consistent listings.  We shall see. 

 How was your Monday?













Friday, October 22, 2021

Halloween Haunted House Prep for the Grandkiddos

 


I am putting the horse before 
the cart, but if you want to find out how I made these graham cracker houses ( to use for Halloween activities for the grand kiddos) keep reading! 

My son-in-law and I are scheduled to take the grandkids to a pumpkin farm on Saturday to pick a pumpkin, go through a corn maze, all the stuff you do at such a place. 

When we get done with that, we will work on decorating the graham cracker houses.




I attempted to make
graham cracker houses for the kiddos to decorate for Halloween. When you google Halloween graham cracker houses you get a bajillion websites to choose from about how to make them or correctly construct them.

I settled on the simple homemade haunted Halloween houses at melskitchencafe.com  Her experience with royal icing, regular icing, and hot glue was less than spectacular. She presents a burnt sugar method of attaching and constructing the houses. 


Cutting the graham crackers takes a little finesse, but using a serrated knife on a flat surface, works out pretty good. There were a few that I obliterated, but I finally did get the hang of it. 




After you separate your graham cracker pieces and trim up pieces to be used in the roof, you heat 1-2 cups of sugar over low to med heat. Don't stir, don't move the pan, nothing.   It takes about 15-20 minutes but you will have lovely caramelized melted sugar to use for "glue".

You do have to keep a watch on it as it may start to melt too fast and start smoking.  Just move it off the burner and into the garage so you don't set off the fire alarm in the house. :-)

And, remember that the burnt sugar is hotter than fire and will burn the crap out of your fingers.  This is probably better left to adults to do or super responsible teens. 




The sugar turns a lovely brown and is a bit messy to work with. But, it glues those graham cracker pieces together wonderfully. They do not budge, slip or move an inch! 

I still need to run out and get some candy for decorations. M & M's, licorice and a couple can of frosting.  I  constructed enough houses for the neighbor kids to come over and decorate.  I'll post the after-pics when the kids finish them.

Oh, I am passing by Winn Dixie today too.  They have Maxwell House coffee on sale again for $4.99.  You really can't beat that price.  Any savings will be negated by the candy I am buying for the Halloween houses, but that's the way it goes. Lol.

Should be fun for all!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday Stuff


 Morning walk
completed and we saw this family of three sandhill cranes.  They hang out in the neighborhood where we walk.  I saw the neighborhood hawk as well, but he was in flight. Not a great picture. 

We had a great visit with our middle son and his wife.  They live about 50 minutes away and all of our lives are so busy it is difficult to find a date to get together. 

I am ashamed to say we have not been there since before Covid started. Maybe longer.  It is on my list to do better and make a solid effort to visit them.  They do come here on Christmas, but it has been two years.  There was Covid, and my son's wife had major surgeries related to breast cancer. 

 She has been in remission for the last 2 1/2 years.  Praise the Lord! 

I did get the yard mowed yesterday, it was long overdue.  I am hoping that this will be the last time this year.  Maybe one more time, but that should definitely be it. Not much else.  I will be listing stuff for eBay, maybe 5-10 items. I need to pass by Aldi's and CVS either today or tomorrow. 

The hubs is off today because he has to work the weekend. I think he will be doing truck maintenance but when he woke up he said he is trying to catch a cold.  He can be kinda grumpy when he is not feeling well.  Hopefully the DayQuil will kick in and he will be able to get done what he wants to get done. 

Have a great day! 





Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wednesday This and That

Halloween Decor from our evening walk. Three faceless witches minding their cauldron. 
















 

Monday I went to see my primary care doc. He has me come in every 6 months.  It was he that suggested I get counseling last year and I took him up on that advice.  I started counseling in Oct 2020 and things were going along okay.  It wasn't awesome, but it was okay.  Digging up stuff from the past is uncomfortable and draining.  In Jan 2021, insurance no longer covered the provider I was seeing. 

I have yet to get back into counseling, but I need to.  The doc suggested Betterhelp.com, an online therapy service.  He said some of his colleagues have used the service and seemed pleased with them.  I will look into that and see if our insurance will cover it. 

Surprisingly, I am down 11lbs.  I have not weighed in at least a month, and I was pleased that the scale showed a loss.  He also said I need to drink more water as my GFR (glomerular filtration rate) was slightly out of whack and my LDL was slightly elevated.  My HDL was great.  Anyway, I am increasing my water intake and will be eating more green vegetables per his recommendation.  Pretty sure counseling will help as I am definitely an emotional eater. 

Granddaughter swinging and enjoying the great 
weather. 
Tuesday was Pilates. I really enjoy this class.  It is challenging and I know it has helped my flexibility and strength. After Pilates, I hit up Publix for a couple of BOGO's.  I did a morning walk and an evening walk with Cricket for a total of maybe 2.5 miles. 

My granddaughter came over after school and spent time on the front swing before I took her to gymnastics. It is finally cool enough to be hanging outside and enjoy this great fall weather.  

I am pretty excited about today.  We are going to see our middle son for a visit.  We live in the same county but at least an hour away.  There is no shortcut, no fast way to get there.  And then there is everyone's schedule to work around.  It will be nice to see him and his wife for a visit, even if for a couple of hours. 

Things to do today include: 

1. Running to Publix to get BOGO shrimp. 

2. Listing items on eBay (this is everyday lol)

3. Straightening out the garage (eBay Stuff)

4. Picking up dry cleaning

5. Vacuum and Mop the living room and kitchen. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Transfer Tuesday: Paying Down Debt 10/19/2021

 


 


Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt and slide into retirement debt-free.  Most every Tuesday we apply extra cash (whether it be BIG or small) to our outstanding debt.  This helps keep us aware of and accountable for our debt. And it all makes a difference.

Our only debt is a HELOC with an interest rate of 2.24% The minimum monthly payment goes towards the PRINCIPAL and the INTEREST.   I am chipping away at the balance until we sell my deceased mom's house that is currently being used as a rental. At that point, we will pay off the rest of the balance.  Until then, I will be sending in payment to this debt and/or to my taxable investment account every Tuesday. 


MONEY MOVES THIS WEEK

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post  $63,893.00

eBay gross earnings  10%     $15         

New HELOC Balance:   $63,878.00

When we started paying down the debt in Sept 2019 we were at $95,853.00


How was your Transfer Tuesday? 


My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Thursday This and That


 Morning walks through the neighborhood directly behind us do not disappoint.  The residents embrace the holidays and decorate for others to enjoy.  This is one of my favorite houses for Halloween.  It is even more spectacular in the evening when the pumpkins are glowing with their lights from within. 

Yesterday I ran a couple of errands.  I had to get gas, so I passed by Walgreens to spend a couple of rewards and stock up on Act mouthwash.  It was not on sale, but it is the only kind we use.  After that, I went to CVS which was across the street to pick up toothpaste for free using digital ECB's but I waited too long and all of that size toothpaste was gone. 

I put $35 worth of gas in my car and finished up my errands with a stop at Publix.  They had Red Barron's pizza BOGO, and it is my granddaughter's favorite so I picked up a couple for her to have on hand when she visits. 

I had all my countertop pots going yesterday.  The instant pot has chicken feet in it for bone broth, the crockpot has chili, enough for two meals hopefully and the rice cooker is steaming rice to go with the chili. Some days it is easier to run through the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A, but eating at home is definitely a money saver. I went back to Winn Dixie to pick up BOGO bread to put in the freezer and stopped by the meat department.  The pork shoulder that was on sale this weekend for $1.69 a pound was now on sale for $1.19 a pound.  So I picked up a 9-pound pack to cut up and put in the freezer for future use. 



Today I have a couple of eBay orders to pack up and run them to the post office.  eBay has been dreadfully slow the last couple of weeks.  It is dismal.  What do you do?  I continue to list and then go through my active listings to update and rework them with the hope that will help and stimulate sales.  

It can be discouraging to list, list, list, and not have the sales you are expecting. Part of our eBay income funds our summer vacations, and if things keep going like it's going, we won't get out of the state of Florida lol. 


Do you decorate for Halloween? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Transfer Tuesday: Paying Down Debt 10/12/21 Better Late Than Never


 


Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt and slide into retirement debt-free .  Most every Tuesday we apply extra cash (whether it be BIG or small) to our outstanding debt.  This helps keeps us aware of and accountable for our debt. And it all makes a difference.

Our only debt is a HELOC with an interest rate of 2.24% The minimum monthly payment goes towards the PRINCIPAL and the INTEREST.   I am chipping away at the balance until we sell my deceased mom's house that is currently being used as a rental. At that point, we will pay off the rest of the balance.  Until then, I will be sending in payment to this debt and/or to my taxable investment account every Tuesday. 


MONEY MOVES THIS WEEK

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post  $64,058.42

eBay 10%     $15    

Posh, Mercari, Bonanza Payout $150.42             

New HELOC Balance:   $63,893.00


We have chipped away $30,000.00 since September 2019

Every little bit helps.  


When we started paying down the debt in Sept 2019 we were at $95,853.00

How was your Transfer Tuesday? 


My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection

Saturday, October 9, 2021

It's Was A Busy Week

photo credit Disney 
This week is my daughter's birthday week.  She is the youngest of my three and she is turned 37. We went
to Epcot on Monday, ate at Teppan Edo a restaurant in Japan. It's like an experience at Kobe restaurants, the chefs cook your order at your table. It was interesting and enjoyable.  

I had salmon and my daughter had Wagyu Beef as an add-on to her meal.  Neither of us has had Wagyu beef.  We have heard all the hype about how tender and delicious it was.  And, it truly was super tender, melting in your mouth almost.  My daughter picks the restaurants and picks up the tab when we go to the parks.  I am the designated driver as she hates to drive in Orlando traffic. 

The weather was hot, and the park was packed.  The Epcot food and wine festival and the new attraction Ratatouille was open.  We arrived at 11:00 AM, rode Soarin' the boat ride through The Land, and people watched until our reservations at 1:00.  We ate too much, and after lunch, we headed home.  That evening, I did not get much else done. 

Tuesday, I had the last of my twice-a-week Pilates class.  I will continue once a week for now, but twice a week is too expensive.  Well, once a week is still pricey, so we will see how long I can afford it.  In reality, we have a gym membership with classes... Anyway. 

I did move money on Transfer Tuesday but did not post it. Hoping to get it updated next week. I also picked up free packing material from a local veterinarian.  They have a home office about 3 miles from me and occasionally text me to pick up free bubble wrap.  I love it.  Recycling and saving money. 

 Wednesday, I had to run to Orlando to get a haircut and visit my sister-in-law.  She recently (one year ago) lost her grown daughter to a drug overdose.  We chatted for about an hour and overall it was a pleasant visit.  We made plans to play cards later this month so the brothers can reconnect. That is about two weeks away, and things can change.  Will keep you posted. 

Thursday, I cleaned the house (wash floors, clean bathrooms) and prepped dinner for my daughter.  She wanted Crockpot ravioli and that is what we had along with Italian bread and a salad.  She likes chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing from Publix.  After all that, we were all suffering from a carb coma lol. 

Yesterday, I hit up a couple of estate sales and found a few things, only spent about $7.  Now I need to get listing which is not nearly as fun as shopping.  I also had to pack up a couple of orders and drop them off at the Post Office.  

Today, Saturday I  just got back from a morning walk with Cricket.  It is a little cooler and walking is

more enjoyable. We saw two hawks this morning, one on the fence post and one on the corner of the second story house. They are magnificent. 

Not sure what we are going to do today.  There is always something to do, but I guess we will see how the day unfolds.  I always have eBay stuff to do, but maybe we will take a ride somewhere.  It is a nice day. 


Hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Winn Dixie: Stocking Up October 2021




I stocked up on Maxwell House coffee last weekend.  Winn Dixie had a Friday, Saturday, Sunday special.

 Maxwell House was $4.99 with a limit of 6.  We prefer Columbian coffee and luckily they had just 6 more containers left on the shelf. 

They also had butter @ $2.50 a pound and the sandwich meat was BOGO. 

We spent $40.50 for all with a savings of $36.70 overall.  Not too bad, and we will have a small stash of coffee for at least two months, maybe longer. 


For the most part, I stayed within my grocery budget for the last two weeks. There is room for improvement, BUT I am definitely doing better than in months past. 

I did an Aldi shop yesterday and picked up what I hope is enough to get us through the next several days with regards to lunches and dinner.  Menu planning helps with that too. 

I am going to go through our fridge in the garage and see what is hiding in the freezer and come up with a meal plan for the next couple of weeks, well, at least the next week anyway. I try to keep a list of our typical meals and on occasion add something different in to the mix. 

Today I hit up a garage sale and stopped at the Goodwill.  I did not see anything that I wanted to flip at Goodwill, but I did get a deal on some music CDs and Corelle dinnerware at the garage sale.  CDs are easy to list and I already have 10 listed.  Only 40 more to go lol!

I have not been sleeping well,  I think it is because I am trying a new Melatonin.  I may have to bite the bullet and reorder the Melatonin I used before. It's not cheap but for a decent night's sleep, I think I will reorder it again.  I order it off of Amazon as the only store that carried it locally closed down. 

I did run to Target this morning to pick up kitty litter and PowerAde. While there, I walked through the Halloween section to see what they had.  It was either really picked over or they did not get all the stock out yet.  I did not see anything there that I could not live without.  I had a bag of candy corn in my basket but decided against it.  It is one of my weaknesses, and no doubt there will be more opportunities to buy a bag lol. 


No big plans for tomorrow, I may see if there are a couple of estate sales to hit up.  On the last day of estate sales, there are typically 60% off.  I  like the challenge of finding something that everyone else may have missed and flip it for a profit. 

What are your plans for tomorrow?  Do you like Candy Corn?? 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Furniture Update: We Took The Plunge

 


Trying to decide on furniture is HARD. 

 Last weekend we went to Lazy Boy and Broyhill to look at couches and chairs to update our living room furniture.

I did find a couch that I liked (here are pics of the couch) and was going to get custom cover for it.  Like, I was all in to spend a crap ton of money. 

That tends to happen, I will get caught up in the moment and spontaneously do something that can turn out to be very fricking expensive. 

I did not make the purchase at that time.  I wisely decided to think about it for a few days. 

Thursday of last week, I was at my favorite thrift store checking out what they had.  The sign outside said it was 50% off of furniture so I decided to go over to the furniture side and check out what they had.  Sitting in the back corner was this couch (pic above) It was very similar to the one I was looking at when we were at Broyhill.  

After sitting on it and flipping the cushions I saw the BROYHILL tag. It was in great shape, with no stains, no odors and it was comfortable!   Most of the furniture in the store is priced, this was not.  That made nervous, I thought is was already sold.  I checked with the clerk and it was still available!  

And the price was $200!  And it was half-price day so it was $100!!  SOLD!!    


Just beyond the couch was this line of recliners.  After checking the handles of the first two, (the one with the pillow and the one next to it) Surprise!  They were both Lazy Boy rocker recliners. 

The first one is large and will fit my 6'5" husband and the middle one is just like the one I already have in our TV room.   And you know it was half-price day, so I bought these too!  For both chairs, I paid $61.00!! 

Yes, they are used, but still have a lot of life in them.  The "new" used furniture will be perfect for us.  We still have pets and we don't need to stress when the grand kiddos come over and want to eat in the living room.

We picked them up that day, saving $75 in delivery charges and I steam cleaned them before we put them in the living room. 

It is such a relief to not have to spend a bucket of money on furniture and this set will last a few more years.  And it it falls apart in 6 months, we really are not out that much money. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

CVS and Walgreens: Stocking Up September 2021

Friday turned into a shopping day for me.  I originally was only going to get the Dawn Power Wash at CVS, it was on sale for $4.99 and Ibotta was offering $4.99 back when you bought two.  I must have waited too long to get the Ibotta deal, it was not available when I pulled it up when in the store. 

Since CVS had the 19.4 oz Dawn buy one get 1/2 of the second, I went ahead and bought that.  After using a $2.00 ECB I ended up paying $5.05 for both.  Dawn is our dish liquid of choice so for me it was a good deal. 


BUT, I was not done at CVS.   I also had a Free Beauty Item ($5.00) and a 40% off one item coupon.  I went back through the store and picked up a 6oz bottle of Oil of Olay at $10.79 and after using the 40%off and the $5.00 coupon  I spent $3.47 for a savings of $7.32 total.








I was not done. Next was Walgreens. Walgreens had a digital coupon, spend $5 and receive $5 cash rewards on your next purchase. Fine. I found that they had Dial bar soap buy one, get 50% of the second package, AND $2.00 Walgreens cash rewards.  So I picked up two packages of eight-bar packages and paid $8.23 for both and earned the $5 and $2 Walgreens cash rewards. 



Now I have $7.08 Walgreens Cash rewards! I went back through the line with two more packs of Dial Bar Soap with the intention of using ALL of the cash rewards for the purchase.  Walgreens does not roll like that. lol.  I could only use $5 of the Walgreen Cash rewards. 

They have rules to redeeming their cash rewards and the cashier was super sweet and tried to explain it to me.  I used the $5 cash reward, my total was then $3.81 for two packs of 8 bars of Dial Soap. I earned another $2 in Walgreens Cash Rewards for a total of $4.11.  


The goal was to only stock up on what we use and I did accomplish that.  We will use the Dawn, and we have enough DIAL soap bars to last a looonnng time. I love Oil of Olay and was getting low on product. 


There you go. It has been a while since I chased the ECB's and Walgreens Cash Rewards deals.  And it was kinda fun. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Checking In On My Vision Board (Part Two)


 


 

Back in January, I put together a 2021 vision board.  It is my screensaver on my laptop. I set high goals attempting to balance happiness and success.  By keeping it on my laptop, I am able to look at it every day.  There is a way to make it a screen saver on your phone but I have yet to figure it out. 

I built it using vertical categories in columns, business, personal, financial, travel, and family. The first category is business and I talked about that column HERE

This post will cover two columns, Personal and Financial. ( they are in the Orange box)  Personal addresses the area of self-improvement both physical and emotional.  Walking 3-5 times a week, and going to the gym at least 3 times a week.  I have had bilateral knee replacement and bilateral rotator cuff repair.  It is important that I keep myself strong and flexible. 

Let's start with Personal: 

August was an extremely hot month and I did not walk much at all.  Mid September, the temps are a bit milder in the morning and I am able to get out and walk a couple of miles. I have also upped my Pilates membership to twice a week and then I go to the gym with my husband maybe twice a week.  Depends if I am running around the grand kiddos to their after school activities. 

Losing weight is ALWAYS a thing.  It just does not seem to be MY thing. An emotional eater is my thing and I do it well.  

Counseling, I gave that a shot late last year and early this year.  Insurance changed and I could no longer see the same counseling service.  My primary has advised me to seek out another counselor. Well, I should but I am trying to get ready to start over again.  I dumped a lot of stuff onto the first counselor and it was rough.  I am not yet ready to start that mess again. 

Financial: I was striving to pay the HELOC down to $49,000 this year.  We started at $73,000 in January. It is looking like we will get to $59,000 by the end of the year.  That is not awful, but it will have to do.  The interest rate is 2.24% and when we do get below $50,000 it will go up to 3.0%.  

The 6 months savings goal is 35%.  We also have a LONG TERM savings account that is fully funded.  It is just one we don't ever want to touch. It is for the BIG DEAL emergencies. I waffle on paying down the HELOC and adding to the 6 months account every Tuesday.  I should pay down the HELOC and not add any more to the savings.  Then I think, no, I should put it into savings and pay the minimum on the HELOC. 

 Add a Duplex to our holdings.  This was before the real estate market was so darn crazy.  My thought process was to House Hack the duplex.  Rent out one side and then use the other side for my eBay business. I am still looking for one Duplex that will fit the bill. One side has a bigger living area, three bedrooms, and the eBay side can be significantly smaller.  It's not too crazy of an idea, is it? 

And at the bottom, I put a spot for Beyond 2021.  It's empty lol.  Who knows??

Anyway, that is the breakdown of my Personal and Financial columns 2021 vision board. 

Have you ever used a vision board for your goals?