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Archive for December, 2006

More Home Repair

December 28th, 2006 at 11:25 pm

My bathtub faucet was leaking and after looking it up to see if I could do it myself I called the plumber. Full replacement of the faucet would run around $400 because there is no access, they would have to move the HWH and cut a hole in the wall to access the pipes, but the faucet I have is a high quality faucet that maybe could be repaired from the front. 1 hr and $80+/- (haven't gotten the bill yet) the faucet no longer leaks HOWEVER

On going out my back door this morning I found toilet paper on the soggy? (it hasn't rained in days) ground. The top was off the cleanout for the sewer and water? was coming out. Called the drain cleaner guys (my plumber doesn't do sewers) and $80 later (no more or less paid him on the spot) my sewage is now going to the sewer.

So out of the $126 in my home repair budget I spent $160 today. At least I have the funds to cover it.

I may have to put a little more aside for these things next year.

Door is Done

December 23rd, 2006 at 08:40 pm

The bottom of my back porch door fell off. All my friends with trucks were busy this weekend and it is rather critical because my kitty likes to go exploring so I FIXED IT!!

I am pretty proud of myself. I took two 1x4s from the garage, cut them to size and screwed them to the sides. The bottom part was fairly rotted so I took some of that stuff that goes in showers and cut it and put it over the two boards so that the top one where the wood isn't rotted can help hold the bottom one. I know it is temporary but I have a bathroom repair scheduled for next Thursday and I haven't got any budgeted money to spend on a new door even if I could find a way to get it home. I think this spring I will scrounge (?) the salvage yards for another door but with the same style.

My arms are tired but at least my kitty is safe and my stock of stuff is used up a little too. My house was a rental and the landlord would just throw everything into the garage/shed so I have lots of wood and screens and stuff he left behind when I bought it. DS and I did a 'Clean Sweep' on it last summer so everything got organized and anything useless got tossed. There was a piece of metal sheeting I would have liked to have used on the door but I don't have any way to cut it. When I get the new door I might use it to protect the bottom from the dog.

Feels funny posting this after just posting yesterday but I am so proud of myself it actually looks pretty good.

So little time

December 23rd, 2006 at 12:50 am

Well DS left for Dads and I am on my own for a WHOLE DAY! (I am being sacastic) Dad has to go pick up his stepson at the airport so DS is coming back Sunday morning. I have so much to get done before then. I haven't wrapped his presents, I need to fix the back door, get by the grocery cause we are out of food and do my laundry (cause DS will need to do his when he gets back)

It used to be my life revolved around him but as he has matured this year I find myself standing back and looking at him as the man he is becoming. I am pleased with him and except for some motivational issues (he is a little lazy) I think he will be a good adult. He has a strong moral character, strong faith, is thoughtful and has empathy for others. He can cook, do laundry, and handle his finances.

Perhaps this is normal, the standing back and letting him run his own life. Maybe it is getting me ready for the day he goes out on his own.

I wonder though what it will be like knowing he is not coming back after the weekend is over?

Thinking about budgeting

December 20th, 2006 at 04:53 am

I seem to be becoming more obsessed with budgeting. It is ironic that this is the case because my budget is mostly set up automatic in case I get sick and cannot deal with things for awhile. If i did nothing budget wise for a week or two my bills would all still get paid, my savings would continue to grow. I do love direct deposit and online bill pay.

It seems to me that the hardest part of budgeting is getting it all set up, knowing how much you need to have for all the little things you buy day to day. I know my hardest one has always been the little things like batteries, light bulbs, TP and all the miscellaneous stuff around the house. I finally started giving myself a small household amount for all those things and it is working okay.

My utilities came in $20 over budget, the bathtub faucet is leaking so I understand the water bill (am getting it fixed this week) but I am not sure what is making the electric so high. I went ahead and increased the budget for the winter but all our heating appliances are gas, it is possible the waterbeds are working overtime since we don't directly heat the bedrooms so I added some extra blankets and told DS there would be dire consequences if he didn't at least cover his bed.

There is absolutely nothing I need to do moneywise until the 29th but I am still looking and playing with this budgeting thing almost everyday. Maybe I need a hobby....Anyone out there need budget help? Ah but there's the rub, what works for me doesn't always work for someone else, budgets seem to be very personal things, like clothes or hairstyles. Each person has their own style.


Back to Normal

December 7th, 2006 at 07:05 am

Well everything is back to normal here with the return of my computer. Came in under budget and I even talked them into a discount for paying cash. Christmas shopping is finished and the tree and nativity is up.

This month is a big transition month for me, it is the first month in over a year I haven't done a zero based budget. I am getting away from the paycheck to paycheck budget and switching to a monthly budget. The only problem is I need to have enough leftover at the end of the year to pay January's bills and expenses so I am just letting any extra sit there waiting for January without giving it a job. Usually I would transfer it to my Target savings. Since December is a three paycheck month I can swing it. I will pay all my monthly bills, withdraw the cash and put the money aside for my irregular expenses on January 2nd. If it goes right I won't spend January's paychecks until February 1st. To give him his due I am modeling this after a system I saw on the 'You need a budget' website.

Talk about personal finance it is funny but I use Dave Ramsey's envelopes, Mary Hunts freedom funds David Bachs automatic transfers and now budgeting from YNAB. The only one I haven't borrowed from is Suze and that's just because she didn't have anything I could use. Plus she drives me nuts, I cannot watch that woman.

Well, time for bed. Tomorrow I have to work both jobs so it will be a long day.

Computer Update Time

December 1st, 2006 at 05:30 pm

My DS wanted the computer upgraded for Christmas so it went to the shop yesterday. I am already going into internet withdrawl so I am surfing away during my breaks and lunch at work. I am still waiting for the dream list estimate to come in but together (DS savings and Christmas Gift money) we have about $400 for this. Wish me luck, we are hoping to get a new video card with video capture abilities and at least double the RAM we have now (512k).

Someone asked me at work why I didn't just get a new computer? My computer is now custom made and gets upgraded usually once every year or so, If I saved that money every year and bought a new one it wouldn't be any cheaper and this way I get exactly what I want. Last time it was a new hard drive and a DVD burner, this time more RAM and a better video card. Next year who knows what I will want it to do? I couldn't have predicted my DS's interest in making videos and burning them to DVD's.

I am just hoping we can get it all done within the budget. Christmas shopping is done so this is the last big expense for December.