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? 


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Transfer Tuesday 9/21/2021 HELOC, Paying Down Debt, Consistently Inconsistent

   


                   

                             

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. 


Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post  $ 65,661.95

Money Moves This Week: 

Cashed out a low interest earning CD $1000.00
Sending cash from my eBay account      $61.95 
 
                                    New HELOC balance:  $64,600.00

We have chipped away $30,000.00 since September 2019



Short Term Savings: 
 
BOA Keep the Change Savings Account       Previous $1101.00
Monthly Auto Transfer $25
Round Up to the Round Ups  $5                     New Balance $1131.00


Investments: 

M1Finance                                                 Previous Balance: $3459.59

                                                                   Current Balance    $3343.43



There have been no withdrawals, just fluctuations in the market. 




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, September 20, 2021

Monday: Furniture Shopping, Another Vaccine, Mammogram

Our favorite couch 
 Sunday Recap.  Yesterday afternoon we went shopping for new living room furniture. 

 
Our first stop
was Lazy Boy to check out their recliners and couches.  When we walked in the salesperson that greeted us asked if we had been to this store in the past.  In fact, we were here last year to pick a recliner for me to use after rotator cuff surgery.


We gave the name of the salesperson and he was in the store finishing up a transaction.  Meanwhile, we strolled around the store checking out the couches for me, and recliners for my husband. We were just looking, so there was no hurry to have our salesperson check in on us. 


I think we waited about 30 minutes and during that time we pretty much checked out all the couches and recliners.  The couches were okay but not comfortable.  Most are a standard size and as a shorter person (5'2") they don't fit me appropriately.  When sitting in the majority of these couches, my feet don't touch the ground. 


One of the swatches I liked 

Our salesperson breezed by and checked in with my husband, but I guess he was still busy with his previous client.  We did find a recliner for my husband, but the couch shopping journey will have to continue.  So we decided to go across the street to check out BroyHill. 


We tried out a million couches at Broyhill, and narrowed it down to two.  Then it got complicated. One of the couch were able to be customized with the seating depth, cushion comfort, couch arms, three cushion or two cushions and then the saleslady bought out the color swatches.

It was then I was becoming overwhelmed and broke out in a sweat. It may be hot flash related or stress related. Anyway, I was done and had to leave.  We did not buy a couch and if we did, it would have been extremely expensive.  Glad I walked away. 

Another pattern that we liked. 


I need to regroup and start the shopping process again.  It's not often that I will say I miss my mother, but when I need decorating assistance, I do miss her input for that.  She had style.  

Today is  my annual mammogram day, I already had it done this morning and the results were available online in an a couple of hours.  The results were negative.  Praise the Lord! 

After my mammogram, I passed by CVS to use a 40% off coupon on shampoo body wash for my husband.  While I was there I checked the Minute Clinic for availability for a Shingles vaccine.  Low and behold, they said I could come on back and get the first Shingles vaccine. 

Now I can check that off my list.  I signed up for the second shot in November.  I still need to work on a flu shot and a pneumonia vaccine before the end of the ear.  My primary doc gave me a list, and don't you know I have waited until the last minute.  I have an appt with him next Monday, but I pushed it to next month. Oh well lol. 

I still need to get a couple of eBay listings up.  I keep about 10-15 in drafts and typically send 2-3 live daily.  Not going to lie, I have not really been in the eBay mood lately. I have been in the purging stuff I no longer need mood.  I have cleaned closets and dresser drawers part of the weekend and that always feels good. 

Dinner is crockpot lasagna ravioli I use the frozen ravioli that are currently BOGO at Publix this week.  Super easy and delicious.  I picked up 4 bags this weekend and my have to go back and get a couple more. 


Hope your Monday is fantastic. 



Sunday, September 19, 2021

Weekend Grocery Shopping

 I did a little grocery shopping this weekend.  Winn Dixie had a weekend special on Tide Pods 20 ct at
BOGO for $7.99. Let me back up a bit, the ad for Winn Dixie hit our driveway on Wednesday in a newspaper flyer.  

Most of the time the BOGO's are for items I don't really need or use.  But there is that rare occasion that I get excited about BOGO and the Tide BOGO was one of them. 

 I googled  TIDE coupons available from a coupon cutting service and found a set of 10  ($2.00 off 30 ct or lower )for sale for $4.49 free shipping.  Paid for the coupons on Wednesday and they were here on Friday. 

I headed out to Winn Dixie on Saturday and used all 10 of $2.00 coupons and ended up spending $22.75 for 10 bags of twenty pod count bags of Tide. 

After factoring in the cost of the coupons, each bag of the Tide pods cost me $2.72 (tax included). I saved 66% on each bag. 

I am not a diligent couponer, but when I can find items that we will actually use I will make it a point to seek out coupons online or from a coupon service and stock up. I think these Tide pods will last us a couple of years. But for reference, I dated them with the date I bought them and will be able to see how long they will actually last us. 

I also hit up Aldi and Publix today for a few odds and ends.  Nothing earth-shattering with regards to couponing. The usual items, salad fixings, butter, and my husband likes their protein shake powder. 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!



 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Transfer Tuesday August 3, 2021 HELOC, Saving for eBay Taxes, Money Move Fail

  


                   

                             

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. 

My last Transfer Tuesday was July 27,2021

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post  $ 65,901.95

Money Moves This Week: 
eBay 10% of weekly payout $5 (it was a slooowww week)

Money Move Fail: About a month ago, (in a quest to improve strength and mobility) I signed up for a mandatory 3-month subscription of Pilates for $89 a month. Only AFTER I signed the contract and paid for the first month did I find out my husband's gym membership had Pilates included in the membership plan. Good Grief. 

The mistake was mine. I did not look into ALL the classes that the gym membership offered before I somewhat impulsively signed up for Pilates.  Anyway, moving forward, I will definitely investigate the classes at the gym and compare both.  Who knows, I may discover that in 3 months Pilates is not the thing for me OR the best thing since sliced bread.  For now, I really like it.  


Future Money Moves: There have been some sales on Etsy, Posh and Mercari.  I am going to let that accumulate for a week or two and then disperse it to the HELOC/Investing/Savings.











Payment to the HELOC $5  (10% of weekly eBay earnings)
 
 New HELOC balance is $65,986.95

At the end of every month, I total up my monthly gross eBay earnings and then send 20% to a tax withholding account at CapitalOne. This month I sent $459.77 to that account.  July was a pretty good month with gross earnings of $2298.87 for this  part-time eBay seller. 

The Tax withholding account is currently at $2,913.47


I don't expect we will need all of this at the end of the year, but you never know.  I would rather be safe than sorry. 

Our AGI is affected yearly by a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from an inherited IRA. Due to the coronavirus 2020, I was not required to take a disbursement. The account was allowed to grow without interruption.   That is not the case this year. 
 
Having this account will surely cover any taxes owed to the IRS. 








I recently cashed out a CD that was earning 0.15% ( it was time to renew or cash out) and put that money into my taxable investment account at M1Finance.  

I put half into my Vanguard Total Stock (VTI) and half into my First Pie which is a collection of personal stock picks. This is the balance as of today BEFORE the transfer of $1000.00


Here is where my portfolio sits as of Sunday evening AFTER the deposit went through. 





















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

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Transfer Tuesday July 27, 2021 Paying Down Debt and Investing

 


                   

                             

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. 

My last Transfer Tuesday was July 20th, 2021

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post   $66,798.93

Here comes the monthly finance charge: $124.02

The current balance  with the finance charge is now $66,922.95

Money Moves This Week: 
eBay 10% of weekly payout $21
Monthly payment of $1000
 
 New HELOC balance is $ 65,901.95

 
I recently cashed out a CD that was earning 0.15% ( it was time to renew or cash out) and put that money into my taxable investment account at M1Finance.  

I will put half into my Vanguard Total Stock (VTI) and half into my First Pie which is a collection of personal stock picks. This is the balance as of today BEFORE the transfer of $1000.00






















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

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Transfer Tuesday July 20, 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 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. 

My last Transfer Tuesday was  July 13th, 2021

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post   $67,082.46

Change of plans! I decided to send all the money that came in last week, $283.53 to the HELOC. 

The current balance is now $66,798.93

Money Moves This Week: 
eBay 10% of weekly payout $61
 
 New HELOC balance is $ 66,737.93 

 A referral came through for $50 for my  M1 Finance account.  That is much appreciated! If you use my link and deposit $100 you will get $50.00 and I will also receive $50.00

The balance as of this morning is $872.19


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, July 17, 2021

Checking in on my 2021 Vision Board ( Part One)


 

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. On top is eBay with a goal of $31,000 gross sales for the year.  I am on track to meet that goal and surpass it.  Beginning July 1, 2021, I made $17,000 in GROSS sales on eBay alone. 

I also stopped and started and stopped and started a YouTube channel about thrifting.  What I discovered is YouTube is time-consuming and more work than it seems on the surface. Currently, I have 300 subscribers. YouTube success demands consistency. Consistency and time.  YOU must have both to succeed on YouTube.  

I want to open a shop on Etsy filled with downloadable printables. Once you design the printable and upload it to Etsy, the income is basically passive. This has not happened yet. It is a project that I circle back to monthly and am spending time creating cute and interesting printables. 

TikTok. Do you TikTok? While I was recovering from shoulder surgery I had a lot of free time on my hands. TikTok was a welcome diversion from the pain of shoulder surgery.  Before too long the pain was getting better and I decided to start a TikTok for my cat Gary and was able to learn the ins and outs of filming and adding music etc to my videos. As a side note, there is a lot of valuable information on TikTok.  

Then I started a different  Tik Tok channel about thrifting. It is a social media platform that I still enjoy and add to daily. I have made virtual friends and met thrifting friends at estate sales and garage sales.  One TikTok friend and I go to estate sales regularly. I currently have over 5000 followers on TikTok and hope to grow it to at least 10,000 with 30,000 as the BIG goal for now.  ( my TikTok is @happygirlthrift)

In the next vision board post, I will discuss the next column, "Personal".   Have you ever put together a vision board?  This is my first digital vision board.  It took me a bit to figure it out but with the help of YouTube, it was pretty easy.

Here is the LINK to Part Two



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

TRANSFER TUESDAY JULY 13, 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 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 to my taxable investment account every Tuesday. 

My last Transfer Tuesday was  July 6, 2021

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post   $67,082.46

Money Moves This Week: 
 
eBay 10% of weekly payout $32
Etsy $37.22 
 
Cash Rewards Payouts have all been deposited to our banking account. 

 GetUpSide $72.55
BOA CC Rewards His: $66.78
BOA CC Rewards Hers: $44.20
TOTAL $183.53

Sending $100.00 to my M1 Finance account.  M1 will spread the payment between my first Pie (stocks I selected) and VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF) 
The balance as of this morning is $836.46


I also have a savings account with M1Finance. That side currently has $396.39 in it as of this morning.  This account may be a landing spot for future Required Minimum Distributions (from an inherited IRA) as the interest is currently 1%. The savings account this is currently being used has a rate of 0.01%.


And  I will be sending $152.75 to the HELOC

The NEW balance will be  $66,929.71 I will be sending in at least $0.71 in too.  The cents drive me bananas.  I like it to have no cents showing. 


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





FICO 805 _BOA

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

CASHING OUT REWARDS: Credit Cards ~Get Upside~Ibotta

Today I did a few money moves with our rewards cards at BOA. The credit cards we currently have at BOA allow you to select certain categories for Rewards. 

My card I have Online Shopping 3%, Grocery 2% and all other purchases 1%

My husband's card is currently set to Gas 3%, Grocery 2% and all purchases 1%

I redeemed $44.20 from my card and $66.78 from my husband's card. 


We also use GetUpside an app that you can use to get cashback from gas purchases and some food purchases. Today we are redeeming $72.55  We have not used it for food purchases, but we use it for gas purchases.  Typically we will get 4-14 cents back per gallon of gas purchased. 

It's easy to use.  Open the app, find a gas station near you and select it.  You will have to preselect the grade of gas you are going to get. SAVE your receipt and scan it in when done.  Similar to the FETCH app. 

  Each grade will get a different amount in rebates.  The higher the grade, the higher the potential rebate.  If you refer a friend, you will get a penny for each gallon that they use when activating the app.  My son uses the app for his vehicle and his work vehicle.  He earns a substantial amount for one person being able to use two vehicles.  

The last redemption is for Ibotta.  I need to up my Ibotta game!  I was able to cash out $21.20

Total amount redeemed today:  $204.73

Total for the 2021 Redeemed $442.72


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

TRANSFER TUESDAY JULY 6, 2021



 Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt.  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 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 payments every Tuesday. 

My last Transfer Tuesday was   June 29, 2021

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post   $67,951.00

We incurred a monthly service charge of $130.96

The updated balance is $67,145.54

Money Moves This Week: 

Paying 10% of gross sales earned this week from eBay: $31.54

The NEW balance is $67,114.00

A payment of 10% $31.54 was sent to my M1 Finance account.  M1 will spread the payment between my first Pie (stocks I selected) and VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF) 
The balance as of this morning is $800.24



Upcoming MONEY MOVES Payout for ETSY of $38.00

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

TRANSFER TUESDAY 6/29/2021




                   

                             

Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt.  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 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 payments every Tuesday. 

My last Transfer Tuesday was   June 22, 2021

Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post   $67,951.00

We incurred a monthly service charge of $130.96

The updated balance is $68,061.96

Money Moves This Week: 

Regular Payment of $750.00
Payout for PoshMark of $38.00
Paying 10% of gross June Sales from eBay: $166.42

The NEW balance is $67,107.54


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


Friday, June 25, 2021

Fraud Friday


 Since our trip out west
earlier this month, my BOA credit card has been compromised three times.  Twice in South Dakota and once when we returned home.  I am waiting to receive my THIRD new credit card. 


Not that I mind at all the fraud is detected and quickly handled.  I don't. I greatly appreciate it! It is just so odd that this one credit card is under attack.  


We use credit cards to manage almost all of our daily purchases and bill paying, primarily for points that we can cash out later to either save or pay down more of the HELOC.


I attempted an online purchase last night and that is what triggered the latest fraud event. I am not even sure if the purchase went through or if we will receive the item. I will keep an eye on it. The above image is off the internet.  BOA actually closed my CC and I am not able to use it. 


I check my accounts DAILY using the Personal Capital platform app.  I can see the balances of each account ( savings, investing, and credit cards).  It is the second app I check in the morning after my eBay account.  I love waking up to overnight sales :-)


Have a fabulous Friday and don't forget to check all your accounts for fraud! 



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Transfer Tuesday June 22, 2021

  


                   

                             
Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt.  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.

My last Transfer Tuesday was  June 1, 2021

Previous balance  on last Transfer Tuesday Post   $68,698.00


Payment of $747.00  VALIC payout (The check FINALLY arrived yesterday) 

Total $747.00

New balance   $67,951.00

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




Upcoming Money Moves:  Redeem Credit Card Rewards from BOA $237.99 - Transfer in progress SIDE NOTE SENT this to M1 finance checking (1% interest APY) 

Poshmark payout $38.04 is being moved from Posh to Checking account ( in progress)  will apply to next week Transfer Tuesday. 

How was your Transfer Tuesday? 


My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection





Wednesday, June 16, 2021

What Happened to TRANSFER TUESDAY

 I have missed Two Transfer Tuesdays.  Oops.  We were on a family vacation and the posts I thought I scheduled to post did not. 

All for the best. The check from the VALIC account that should have already been here is somewhere but definitely not here. That was going to be a pretty big payment towards the HELOC.

I will regroup and get back to a regular Transfer Tuesday next week. 

Meanwhile, here are a few pics from out trip to South Dakota and Wyoming.  Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower and the Badlands were a few of the places we saw. 



















Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Transfer Tuesday 6/1/2021

 


                      

Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt.  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.

My last Transfer Tuesday was  May 25,2021

Previous balance  on last Transfer Tuesday Post   $68,782.38


Payment of $2.38 sent ( I like it when it ends in zeros)
Payment of $70.00 made from earnings on MERCARI

~~Ebay sales were insignificant this last week. No payment this week. 
 
Total $72.38


New balance   $68,710.00

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

My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection


UPDATE: I received an email that the account was closed and funds released. The check should be here for the next Transfer Tuesday. 

Future Money Moves: Submitted paperwork to cash out a small VALIC ($996.00) account from a previous employer. When that check arrives and is deposited I will put 75%  (747.00) towards the HELOC.  I am unsure how long it will take to close the account, hopefully not too long.