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Archive for November, 2016

Target Savings Today and Tomorrow

November 27th, 2016 at 05:06 am

Target is offering 15% off your total order online or in the store. I am going to get my household goods.There are a few exclusions including higher end electronics and gift cards, but I don't see it excluding sale items!

My son and I went out on Black Friday exclusively to get extra Shopkick points. I bought laundry detergent because it could not wait until today. Both Target and Walmart were dead at 7:00 AM! As a matter of fact, I got a front row parking spot at Walmart. In the end we splurged and went out to eat breakfast at IHop (It was dead there too!). I realize my time is short having kids at home, so I am willing to make a splurge once in awhile for quality time.

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend! I know I ate enough that I need to go to my aquacise class every day this week!

Christmas Shopping

November 20th, 2016 at 06:11 am

It was a beautiful 60 degree day here in NW Florida yesterday. Luckily, I was not overly busy with work (I LOVE not having set hours), so I took a few hours off and went Christmas shopping.

I have a very short list. This year I am only buying for my son, grandkids and nephew. We generally don't buy for past 18 in our family. I have done so a couple of times when I had an unexpected windfall, but this is not the case this year. Plus we have a ton of big expenses with moving in 2017!

I shopped on Amazon for the grandkids and have just under $42 in my cart. I got them cute little animal banks. The animals pop out of the box and grab the money. I also got the batteries and a memory game for them to play together. I should be able to accumulate most if not all of those costs in credit before I order and send. I ordered the traditional Christmas Crackers on Amazon yesterday since they are hard to find in my area. I covered those with Amazon credit.

My son wants a mini fridge. I priced them online but went to Lowe's, Kmart, Target, Walmart and Home Depot yesterday. Lowe's and Home Depot had the best deals. I found one on clearance at Lowe's for $99 that is 4.2 cubic feet. I will probably end up getting it, but I will make sure there are no great deals on Black Friday first. Home Depot's was only slightly smaller and also $99. Those are on sale through the 30th.

I already have an MSU shirt (Amazon credit) and a movie gift card (earned through YouGov) for my son as well. This is the last year he gets gifts, so I want to make it as nice as possible without going broke.

I should end up less than $150 out of pocket this year. Other than the fridge, I figure the other fifty (or less) will come from cash flowing my nephew's gift and a couple small items for my DH and son's stockings (As previously stated, DH and I are amicable and in the same house, so I want to have something small for him even though we are splitting up in the spring).

Oh, I also have a nice holiday spice pack from the Spice and Tea exchange I got on a mystery shop. I am sending that to my daughter since her and her bf's mom are cooking a large Christmas dinner.

How are the rest of you doing with your Christmas budget? I see CCF has done well so far!

Moving On

November 12th, 2016 at 10:12 am

I had a post with my two sense on the election, but I opted to delete it. It was non-biased, and I don't think anyone would have found it offensive. However, I decided to stay out of the political discussion.

Speaking of moving on, my DH has finally made progress on moving forward with his life. He realizes I am not backing down from moving to MI or separating from him. Although he has not solidified his plans, he is planning on temporarily staying in a travel trailer on his brother's property in NH while he gets on his feet. In the meantime, while he is here he is going to save up and start getting rid of items he has acquired and never uses. I told him as long as he can behave, he can stay until the lease is up at the end of May. It is a huge relief to me we are doing everything amicably and also not to wonder if he will have a roof over his head.

I am saving all I can as well. What is so upsetting is the amount I can save versus all the expenses makes it difficult to stay ahead. I have put out a lot for senior year expenses, money to MSU to hold my son's spot, and I am saving for the move. I also need a tire (which means buying at least two) and possibly fuel injectors for the car. I was going to slow down on subbing, but it doesn't look like that will be an option.

I went through my expenses. I cut out Netflix. The only other things I can technically cut are cable and swimming. Swimming is my one "fun" item, but it is also my primary exercise. I am holding off on cutting it for now. It is $25 per month for unlimited aquacise classes. My DH knows we are splitting up, but is insistent on buying me an Xmas gift. Maybe I should take him up on it and have him pay a month or two.

As far as cable, I found out it will actually cost me more to keep just internet. It is so frustrating, because I really don't watch tv much.

I have no other entertainment budget. I literally only do things that are fully reimbursed by mystery shopping (eat out or movies).

I looked at my car insurance in September when I added my son's car. My total insurance bill is only $105 per month, and my son pays his $40 share. It won't get much cheaper than that! We will go to to the dentist next month and then I will drop that insurance until the move. It will likely be a different carrier in MI anyhow.

The other thing I looked at was the cell phone bill. I am grandfathered into an old TMobile plan. I pay $120 for five lines (unlimited everything) including taxes. My son, daughter, and best friend contribute to that bill as well.

I know we will get there. I just hope to get a little further ahead before actually having a major car expense. I was hoping to do the regular maintenance and do the bigger stuff in April or early May. My laptop is also on the fritz as well. I guess I will have to see how it all pans out!

Michigan State Bound!

November 2nd, 2016 at 10:25 am

My son got accepted to Michigan State! It was his first choice, and we are beyond excited. I will be moving this summer. Although I don't hate this area of Florida, there is nothing keeping me here. I have no job ties (beyond subbing which I can easily do up there), friends or family in this area.

I left Michigan in 1998, but most of my family and a lot of friends are there. I look forward to strengthening those bonds. We will live within 25 miles of MSU, so I will be about a 100 miles from my family. Sure beats 1000+. Besides, I think the area I grew up in has gone downhill, so I prefer to live further north.

Now we just have to see what scholarships he gets. From what I read, it looks like at the least he will qualify for $8000 per year. We realize freshman year will cost more with out-of-state tuition, but he will be in-state by sophomore year. I told him to take 12 credits to save some money. He has AP classes, so if he passes all those tests he is ahead on credits anyhow.


I still think his dad may be eligible for getting him some money from the GI bill, but he says no. However, I would bet money he never looked into it. If he qualifies, he would also be automatically considered in-state so I need to push this hard.

On a side note, I am participating in NaNoWriMo, but I didn't get too far yesterday. I did just over 400 words. I love my idea, but I am having trouble putting it into words.