Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Deals This Week

Deals this week:


01-11 RPSuave Deodorant 1.4 oz (see Grocery Coupon Database for additional cpn) -- charity!3$0.94$0.2771
01-11 RPSuave Hair Care 15 oz (see Grocery Coupon Database for additional cpn) -- charity!3$0.89$0.2275
01-11 SKotex Pads 14-24 ct1$2.94$1.9434
01-18 PGGillette Mach 3 Razors 3 ct2$6.12$3.0650
01-18 RPHellmanns Mayonnaise 18 oz (see Grocery Coupon Database for additional cpn expiring 2/1)1$2.00$1.4030
01-18 RPLipton Recipe Secrets Mix 2 pk (see Grocery Coupon Database for additional cpn)2$1.22$0.9225
01-18 RPQuilted Northern Bath Tissue 6 dbl roll1$4.12$3.1224
01-25 SPost Honey Bunches Of Oats 17-19 oz2$2.68$2.1819

Total Price:

Total Savings:



Cpn. Out Description Qty. Sale Price Final Price % Saved

Pepsi Products, 12 pk 12 oz cans -- qualifies for $10 Extra Bucks with $20 PepsiCo purchase 1 $3.33 $3.33 26

Pepsi Products, 2L bottle -- qualifies for $10 Extra Bucks with $20 PepsiCo purchase 1 $1.25 $1.25 21

12-14 PG Pantene Restoratives shampoo or conditioner, 8.5-14.2 oz -- final price is after $3 Extra Bucks -- limit 5 --- charity! 1 $1.99 FREE 100

01-04 GM Nature Valley Granola Bars Twin Pack - final price is after $3 Extra Bucks (limit 3) 1 $3.99 $3.49 30

01-11 S Kotex Pads, 16-20 ct with Bonus Pantiliners, 16 ct - final price is after $2 Extra Bucks (limit 5) -- Charity! 1 $2.00 $1.00 80

01-18 PG Gillette shampoo or conditioner, 8.5-14.2 oz -- final price is after $3 Extra Bucks -- limit 5 (see cpn database for additional cpns) --- charity! 1 $1.99 FREE 100

01-25 S Post Cereals: Trail Mix or Crunch 17 oz, Shredded Wheat 16.4 oz, Honey Bunches of Oats 14.5 oz Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles 13 oz - BOGO (see cpn database for additional cpns) 2 $2.30 $1.80 61

Total Price:
$12.65 Total Savings: 64%


I have been focusing on being better with my grocery and household shopping.

I always remember Amy Dacycayn saying in her book The Complete Tightwad Gazette, that she used her price book to figure the best price on every item and that nothing would induce her to pay more than that price.

That is my goal. Stop paying more than my lowest price.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Walgreens to take advantage of these specials:

Walgreens Cold/Flu Liquid - coupon $3 off
Walgreens Ibuprophen 50 - coupon $1 off
AutoExpressions Elite Auto Air Freshener - FREE after rebate
Revlon Matte lipstick - $1 off coupon from newsp - FREE after rebate (up to $10!)
Orajel Cold Sore med - FREE after rebate
Walgreens Cold med - buy 3 get $5 rebate - buy 5 get $10 rebate
Kraft products - spend $15 get $5 rebate
Electrasol - $1.50 rebate
Paper Plates 72 - $.99 w/coupon lt. 2
Lays Chips - $2
Cheez It - $1.99
Quaker Chewy Granola 18 - $7
Walg Zip Sandwich 50 - $ .99 lt. 2
Walg Pain Relief - 2/$4.99
Walg Cold Allergy - BIGI Free (plus rebate)
Walg Chap Aid - 2/$1 w/coupon
Kellogg's Cereal - $1.99 lt. 4
Walg Ibuprofen - BIGI Free
Colgate toothpaste - $2.99 - $2 Register Rewards = $.99

Our Investments

I know that everyone's investments are down right now, obviously, with the current economic situation. I just didn't know how badly our own personal investments were hit. Until now.

We got our end of the year financial statements and our Retirement Account has lost $60,000 since the end of 2007! Yikes!!

I knew it would be bad, but I honestly didn't expect it to be THAT much!!

Luckily we have another 15 years before retirement.

The Refi . . .

Well, looks like we may have missed our chance. We filled out all the paperwork and emailed it to our broker - but we may have been too late. I don't think our rate was locked in yet, and yesterday I believe they went up to about 6%.

We haven't heard from our broker yet, so we'll see.

I'm okay with it either way as it changes our financial picture by very little.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Keeping A Spending Diary

I am inspired to try (yet again!) to track our monthly spending - by reading No More Spending's post on how she does it.

Part of how she does it, is by using a beautiful Moleskin notebook. I was very tempted to buy one of those beautiful notebooks when I came to my senses and realized that any notebook would do. Aren't I supposed to be reducing expenses here?

How We Divide The Financial Responsibilities

In my family - I am the nerd. I like making spreadsheets of our finances. I like looking at different scenarios of how our savings could grow. This gives me a sense of control and security.

My husband hates looking at the big picture. Or talking about it. Or thinking about it. As long as he has a bit of spending money in his pocket - he feels fine.

I guess he's the "free spirit" - but he is not a big spender. He rarely buys himself anything (where I have been know to splurge on clothes for myself, etc.).

He is also more organized than I am. I don't think he has ever paid a bill late (and I can't make that claim).

So, after 20 years of marriage - we finally figured out what works for our family:

My husband handles the paying of the regular monthly bills.
I handle the long term financial planning (yearly budget, projected savings, projected home payoff, etc.).

How do you handle it in your family?

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Refinance Is On (again)

We have gone back and forth on whether or not to go ahead with the refinance, and I think we are going ahead with it after all.

We are refinancing to a 15 year mortgage, so the loan payoff date will be 1 year (actually 9 months) later than if we didn't refinance - but we are hoping to pay off the mortgage early in either case.

When we refinance, our new mortgage will include the amount of our current mortgage plus the amount of our home equity loan. Because of this, our actual mortgage payment will be about $30 more than it is now - but we won't have a home equity loan payment to deal with. (If you take into consideration the minimum payment on our home equity loan plus our current mortgage payment, the refinanced payment will be $44 less.)

Part of me still feels unhappy about making the home equity loan a long term debt - meaning that by rolling it into our mortgage, we will take 15 years to pay it off (turning a short term debt into a long term debt). But the truth is, we are currently only paying the minimum on this debt right now (to stockpile cash savings) - so it is questionable how quickly we would pay it off.

By refinancing now we will effectively be "debt free except for the home mortgage" - this will allow us to move on to the next step of funding our fully funded emergency fund (which, because of the current bad economy, is what I have really been doing for the past few months, instead of putting that money to our last debt).

So, if everything goes smoothly with the refinance, my projections show we could have our Fully Funded Emergency Fund in a little over 2 years. Then, we can FINALLY move on to saving for my daughter to go to college (she's 12 right now - so we are very behind!).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Well, not too much to update.

We looked into refinancing and I think we have decided against it for now. We only have 14 years left on our current mortgage and even with lowering our interest rate from 5.375% to 4.5%, our monthly payments would stay the same because we would be including our home equity loan in the refinance. This would mean dragging out the equity loan over the next 15 years, instead of having it paid off within the next 1 to 2 years. Plus, with the closing costs and other out of pocket expenses we would need to deplete our savings to almost nothing to go through with the refi.

So looks like we're going to hold off for now.

I was pleased to see that finally almost half of our mortgage payments are going toward principle.

This does leave us with the $22,000 home equity loan to deal with before we move on to saving our fully funded emergency fund. This doesn't make me happy. My oldest daughter is 12 and we need to get serious about saving for her for college! Ugh. I don't know. Every time I think I've made up my mind I start to question my decision again . . .

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ideas Of What I Will Sell On Ebay

I plan to increase my earnings this year by selling more jewelry and selling more on ebay.

This is just my personal list of items in my house that I may be able to make some cash by selling on ebay.

- First Things First book
- Financial Peace University Kit
- The Secret dvd
- Lands End winter coat and snow pants
- lots of Gymboree baby clothes
- Mr. Potato head collection
- Bratz dolls collection
- Pez collection
- Barbie dolls and accessories
- Dress Up clothes
- Halloween costumes
- Christmas dishes collection
- Maternity work clothes/suits
- Fur Real Friends stuffed animals
- Princess/Barbie books
- LL Bean backpack
- Computer and Video Games

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year To All My Blog Friends!!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Your support meant so much to me in 2008. I am looking forward to a fabulous 2009!

So, it looks like we are planning to try to refinance our home mortgage and our home equity loan. We are hoping to refinance to a 15 year mortgage, which is how much we currently have left on our 20 year mortgage. We are hoping to borrow $240,000, which is currently how much we owe on our mortgage and our home equity loan combined. We are hoping to get an interest rate of 4%, which is even better than our current interest rate of 5.25%.

I found this rate on line and am looking into it. We will have to pay 1 point (about $2,400 I think) and come up with closing costs (about $1,000 I think). This will bring our savings balance down to $1,500 which does make me a little nervous, but I think this is the right thing for us to do.

We will then be debt free except for the home mortgage (which does feel a little bit like cheating since the home equity loan won't actually be paid off, just rolled into our mortgage). And our monthly mortgage payment will go down by $150, and we will no longer need to make payments on our equity loan - so that will save us another $100 a month.

And, we can get right to saving our Fully Funded Emergency Fund. (Oh how I can't wait to be on Baby Step 3!) Our goal for the FFEF is $30,000. On paper, it looks like it will take us 2 years to save this amount, but I am hoping we will acomplish it sooner. My oldest daughter is 12 and we NEED to start saving for her for college!

Anyway, this is where we are at right now.

Feeling hopeful for the New Year and wishing you all the best!