Archive for July, 2009

Enjoying Home

July 30, 2009

I’ve had a busy past few days, including some out-of-town work. When I got back, I really was thankful to be at home with Mr D2S. Just hanging out at home, on the couch, with the tv and the laptop, it’s the best.

We’re loving our new home, but have spent so much money furnishing it. I’d feel even guiltier for spending so much so fast, but the fact that we both are crazy about our bedroom and dining furniture makes me very happy. I really think we’ll use them for years and years and years.

Today we went looking for a little reading chair to put in the guest room. A consignment store I knew of turned out to be closed for good, so we hit up some antique stores. A couple things would’ve worked and did fit our budget (fifty or less), but nothing really seemed to be our style.

Today turned out to be a no-spend day. I made lunch at home and we both ate leftovers for dinner (him at work, me at home). My gas tank is almost on E, but I only have to drive about four miles tomorrow for work, so I’ll just keep riding on fumes.

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Denied!!

July 18, 2009

You have to read this post’s title in your best Suze Orman voice. And if you don’t know who that is, why in the world are you reading a personal finance blog??

Mr D2S called up ol’ USAA and applied for their MasterCard credit card.

And we were denied.

Yikes.

We gross >$140,000 and we couldn’t get a credit card? I’m wondering if it’s because our credit has been checked so much lately with buying the house. Mr D2S also just opened up a credit card through a retailer. Hmmm. Who knows. And really, we don’t care. It’s not like we need it. It just would’ve been nice.

PF Mad Libs

July 16, 2009

Found this at Give Me Back My Five Bucks,

who got it from Fabulously “Broke”

and it’s hosted by Punch Debt in the Face.


Hi my name is
Mrs D2S .
I currently have
two dollars in my wallet.
When I started managing my finances I was worth
maybe 10 grand, and now have a net worth of something similar.
I currently work
in health care and have been doing it for two months.
I make roughly $100,000
per year.
I want to have
a nice house and grandkids waiting for me when it comes time to retire.
Aside from learning about finances, I really enjoy
home design.
I think the world would be a better place if the culture of death didn’t exist.
I had
a frozen pizza for dinner last night and it was payment for babysitting my nephew.
I have had
three significant others over the course of my lifetime (counting awkward middle school relationships). One thing that makes me different is that I’m six inches taller than my husband.
Now that I’m done with this mad lib, I think I’m going to
start the dishwasher.

THE BLANK VERSION Hi my name is (blank) . I currently have (blank) dollars in my wallet. When I started managing my finances I was worth (blank), and now have a net worth of (blank). I currently work (blank) and have been doing it for (blank) years. I make roughly (blank) per year. I want to have (blank) waiting for me when it comes time to retire. Aside from learning about finances, I really enjoy (blank). I think the world would be a better place if (blank) didn’t exist. I had (blank) for dinner last night and it was (blank). I have had (blank) significant others over the course of my lifetime (counting awkward middle school relationships). One thing that makes me different is (blank). Now that I’m done with this mad lib, I think I’m going to (blank).

July 2009 Midpoint

July 16, 2009

july2009midpoint

Halfway through the month, and we’ve already busted on stuff.

Groceries are killing us. One trip to Sam’s Club and we were doomed. But we did host dinner for 12 people and we shouldn’t have to spend too much more to get us through the month.

I kept the House spending separate, as you can tell, in the last row. I think we’re closer to budget actually, because I’ve yet to adjust for some stuff. (i.e., the $500 Target trip was put in this category, but a fair chunk was normal household items that need to be itemized out, and we’re returning a weedeater, thanks to the father-in-law donating his!).

I am fudging the numbers again, though. Postponing recording our recent furniture purchases until next month and such…

USAA Love

July 15, 2009

I’ve joked that I married my husband to be eligible for USAA membership. This isn’t true, of course, but it’s a big perk! I had never heard of USAA before we met, and I really wasn’t aware how awesome they are until recently.

My husband and I are both under the age of 25. I’d always heard that you had to be at least 25 years old to rent a car. This was concerning because we are flying across the country to attend a wedding in the fall, and didn’t want to rely on others for transportation after we arrived at the airport. After getting a couple quotes from rental car companies, we realized we would be forced to pay a huge fee each day due to our age. My husband was talking on the phone to one company and asked if there was any way to waive the fee. Turns out having a USAA membership does just that. And boom, we save about $120.

Also, we decided to install a security system in our new home. Because of ADTs partnership with USAA, we are saving a bundle! (I don’t know the exact numbers, but I’ll ask Mr D2S and report back.)

I do have one minor complaint regarding our banking with USAA, but it’s really not their fault….

Last post I mentioned that we only put 20% down on our furniture spending spree. We had planned on putting it all on our credit card. We get rewards points, and they rack up faster on the credit card vs our debit card. Well, surprise, surprise, the furniture store didn’t accept American Express, and that’s what our USAA credit card is.  Unfortunately quite a few places don’t accept it, and that’s our ONLY credit card. It was disappointing (missing out on about 1500 reward points), but no real tragedy, as we have enough in our checking account to cover the purchases. But…then our debit card was declined. A little embarrassing, honestly. The furniture won’t be delivered for a couple weeks because the dining chairs are on back order, so it’ll work out to pay the rest later. Hopefully, we won’t have to do it all in these little installments, though.

So while I could be mad at USAA and their dumb AmEx card, I think we’ll just apply to get their MasterCard credit card instead. Yay for choices!!

Not-so-free Furniture

July 15, 2009

It’s amazing how I can go from being excited about NOT spending money (see last post regarding museum and dinner), to how excited I am about spending a LOT of money.

We just chunked down right over 3 grand on furniture. Well, we actually only paid 20% today, but that’s a tale for the next post.

Since we’ve moved into our new home (about three weeks ago), we’ve purchased quite a few items. The first was a queen size mattress set. We had spent our first nine months of marriage as renters sleeping on a very used full-size mattres, and by golly, it was time to move up. We bought a fairly economical queen, and have been enjoying it in our guest room. But our eventual plan was to get a king for us in the master bedroom. (I used to think king-size was overkill, but as an above-average height woman, with a husband and a dog that’s afraid of storms, king it is!)

We went browsing at a furniture store the other night and found a king-size canopy bed we both agreed on, and a couple dining room tables that were contenders. We’re going back for the bed sometime soon (and have a $100 giftcard to put towards it!).

Move on to today, and we’re at another furniture store. We’d bought a very reasonable bedroom set at this place right before we got married. I’d told Mr D2S that I refused to move in until there was at least a dresser for me to put my stuff in! 🙂 Anyways, the same lovely saleswoman that sold us that set, showed us around today. Well, she didn’t really show us around, and that’s what makes her lovelier. Furniture salespeople can get pretty annoying.

After browsing, we found a table that we both LOVE, and it had an affordable matching sofa table that will work perfectly as a sidebar for our dining room. We decide to go ahead and get it, and since we’re going to be paying for delivery, might as well check out the mattresses. (We were content with crashing in the guestroom for awhile longer.) They were having a really good sale (thanks to liquidations and the bad economy!) A very comfy, lush king was priced at $939, but a joking “will it drop any more in price?” led to us buying it for $800. It’s much higher quality than I expected us to buy, but I think it’s money well spent.

Free Fun

July 11, 2009

It’s been a busy week at work, so I’m quite glad it’s Saturday and that I’m off! Mr D2S used a comp day for today, so we have loads of time together. We just enjoyed a delicious (and cheap) lunch at home of taco salad.

In about an hour we’re headed to a museum with a friend. We’ve been wanting to go to this art museum for over a year, and now we don’t have to pay to get in! When I bought the Entertainment Book, it had coupons for “buy one get one” admission, and I thought that was pretty good. Then Mr D2S bought a coupon book from a kid selling them door to door, and it has several free admissions with no other purchase necessary! The book cost $20, but we’ll recoup that with our three free tickets today. Not too shabby..

And tonight we’re meeting a bunch of my college friends for dinner. We didn’t choose the restaurant, but it’s cool, because the one that was picked is one that we have $35 worth of giftcards to!

Yay for not spending. 🙂

UPDATE: Turns out the 2nd Saturday of the month is free admission for everyone at the art museum!

So Proud!

July 3, 2009

Mr D2S packed his dinner and took it to work tonight. We haven’t even discussed that idea in a long time. He has been eating out every night he works (four times a week), and we’ve both justified it.

But I just got off the phone with him and he said he ate a sandwich that he brought from home. AND he’s thinking he should pack a meal two to three times a week. He sure knows how to make me happy, ha!

Like I said, I had justified his eating out while at work in my head, but I”ve actually been struggling with it some. While I don’t have the desire to spend a similar amount of money for myself to eat out (or to buy other things for me), I just hated that the money was being spent. I also struggle a bit with other purchases that are required by his job. Stuff really adds up. Just two day ago he really needed some batteries for work. We’d talked about buying rechargeable ones, but they never got ordered. So an hour before he has to be at work, we drop $43.99 at RadioShack for batteries. Insane! Even worse is that Walmart sells them for half that, but the two we called were out of stock. In the end, we should be basically reimbursed for all of these work-expenses, but I always have a hard time shelling out the cash.

July 2009 Budget

July 2, 2009

budget july09 start

I have a feeling we’re gonna bust. This is because we’ve already spent over $1600. Yikes!

I’ll try to stay positive though, and get into a frugal mindset. It’s just tough when you’re in the middle of moving, realizing you “need” lots of stuff, and eating out is just so convenient.

And…as I look over the budget, I realize we didn’t account for two wedding presents that need to be purchased. Hmmm.

June 2009 Review

July 2, 2009

budget june09 final
Something’s off. I really think we spent 1239.48, but I don’t have the time to figure out how that extra ten bucks got in there. The reason I think it is ten dollars high is because below this part of the spreadsheet I have a section where I post spending for each day of the month (Date/Place/Amount/Category), and when I total those amounts, it’s 1239.48. Oh well.

It looks like we really did awesome for June. Very minimum spending. In all honesty, it’s a little bit fudged. A fudget, if you will. I stopped June’s budget at the end of the 28th, because we bought our house on the 29th and the money started flowing like crazy out of our accounts. Also, there was some spending I actually didn’t record, but pushed it ahead to July. (Examples are two medical bills. I put them on the credit card, which was paid off on the 29th, which I consider part of my July budget. Usually if I charge something to our card, or write a check even, I consider it spent the day I do that, not the day I pay it off or the day the check posts. But on occasion, I like to fudget.)

Onto a recap:

Cars – I aimed high in hopes of having enough to pay for Mr D2S’s car registration. He ended up getting that on the 30th, so it’s in July’s budget and now it just seems we drove a lot/gas is pricey.

Eating out – This wouldn’t have busted, but on the 28th, we were desperate for Taco Bell, and also earlier in the month we ate out on a giftcard, but tipped super good.

Church – I feel bad about cutting the Church short, but on the last Sunday of the month we were trying to not write any more checks (to keep our account nice and full for the closing) and all we had was a $20 to give.

Unplanned – In addition to buying my grandparents a trashcan (which they loved and took pictures of), I bought Mr D2S a small birthday gift. An Entertainment Book for $10. I purchased it back in May, but didn’t record it in case he actually looked at our spending and wondered what I was up to.

Here is our take-home for June:

Mr D2S: 2855.54
Mrs D2S: 6404.82
Total: 9260.36

My pay from May got delay…ed (ha, rhyming fun!), so June looked better than it technically was.