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Archive for April, 2013

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April 23rd, 2013 at 07:26 am

I was remembering today a piece of advice I read a very long time ago. I'm pretty sure it was from Jane Bryant Quinn, who was kind of a Financial Advice guru way back before Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman made being a Financial Advice Guru so commercial and popular.

Anyway, she admitted to a habit of using shopping as an emotional crutch -- to combat boredom or stress or whatever. But she said she got into the habit of going to the mall and doing the whole "Find an outfit, try it on, and then decide to buy it" kind of thing. But at that point she'd put it back on the rack and instead of writing a check to the store she'd write a check to herself - we wrote checks back in the old days. She'd then deposit that money into her savings account, given the theory that there was a time when she would have just bought thoughtlessly and she always found the money, so she ~should~ be able to save thoughtlessly and still find the money.

I'm thinking of trying that for a bit next month and seeing what I come up with as extra savings.

----Started the Prosper Account and put in for an initial transfer of $50 from my Allowance bank fund over to Prosper. It has now been five days and the money has gone from my checking account but yet to show up in Prosper. Maybe I'm just too spoiled about seeing money move from point A to point B in 24 hours these days, but so far "Boo Prosper!"

I've identified a couple of loans that I might go for helping to fund, if my $50 ever shows up over there.

My new SwagBucks-Flakes Goals

April 19th, 2013 at 07:52 am

Every month I have a basic goal of earning at least enough points on Swagbucks to get the 5 - $5 Amazon gift cards. We are saving these up to use for year end Holiday shopping.

After that I tend to stick with the $25 Paypal payments. Last month I think I earned 3 of those. This month hasn't been as great, mostly because I haven't felt very motivated to do as many surveys. Still, I've earned one $25 payment in April.

I've never really had a good plan for this money. It is extra money and I tend to just put it into my bank account until I need it for something. As we all know, bank accounts pay squat for interest anymore.

But today I've opened up an account at Prosper.com and I've decided to start funneling this into Peer to Peer lending. I realize there is risk involved here ... but since I view the money as "extra" anyway I figure this is a good way to test the waters to see if I can generate a good investment return with this money. I haven't actually loaned any money out yet, I'm still waiting for my first bank transfer to clear. But I have been spending considerable time reading various blogs about how to interpret the loan ratings and devise a strategy to choose which loans to bid on funding.

Bad Attitudes

April 16th, 2013 at 06:38 am

I was reading a Blog on a different site yesterday and the owner mentioned that he was still plugging along with that "Save an Additional Dollar Every Week" challenge. These always catch my eye because I've been participating in it myself (week 16 on Thursday for me). As is usual, he immediately attracted a couple of comments about how "stupid" this challenge is, how it will become "impossible" late in the year, and how there are an infinite number of "better" ways to save money.

It is April now and ever since this challenge hit the blogosphere back in late December early January I have read so many of these bad attitude type of posts. It reminds me of the objections many people have to the Dave Ramsey program .... item after whiney item about how it wouldn't work for them so it will never work for you, how there is a better way to do it, and how they are so infinitely superior for knowing that anybody who would ever follow Dave Ramsey is wrong.wrong.wrong.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not a die hard Dave Ramsey fan myself but the day I ever start going rabid at somebody who expresses a desire to pay down loads of debt and save an emergency fund so they can live a more financially secure life is the day somebody needs to come along and hit me upside the head with the stick of common sense.

So I'm just going to go on record here:

1. Blah. Kill Joys.

2. Maybe there is a better way. Who cares? At least people who are doing it are doing something positive - which is always better than doing something negative and usually better than doing nothing at all.

3. So it might get hard.

4. Yes. It might get impossible.

5. Yes. Participants might fail. GASP. They might Fail!!!! Which means they will only have (some amount smaller than $1400) in their savings account. The horror!

6. I repeat. Who cares?

7. Because at least they tried!

8. Yes, the Holidays will come at year's end and it is hard to save money during the year end spending sprees. We all know that. You are not imparting any great pearls of secret wisdom by constantly pointing that out.

9. Maybe they'll fail by having to spend their tiny little savings accounts on Christmas gifts instead of using their Credit Cards. Oh, won't that be horrible!

10. I really wish people would stop secretly hoping for other people to fail at something only because you decided you can't or won't do it. It makes you look small and petty and really insecure.

Okay, sorry for the ranty rant rant but all that negativity really pushed my buttons yesterday and I had to blow off the steam.

What I've Been Up To

April 15th, 2013 at 08:17 am

Ever have those periods of time where you feel like you've been super busy but you can't name much of what you've accomplished? That's kind of the way I feel.

I started a new Home Inventory database software and I've been slowwwwwwwly going through our house room by room cataloging all the crap (I mean, treasures) that we own. Digging up receipts and scanning them in. Photographing. I'm a good ways into the process. At this point in time, if disaster strikes -- I'll be ready to take that Insurance Company on no problem.

We went to Mom's house over the weekend. My husband did a bunch of manly stuff around her house .... assembling items that she has purchased and never assembled, hauling stuff out to her trash, picking up large sticks and branches in the yard and getting them into the disposal company approved yard waste bags. He did good.

The kid and I took her shopping to Kohls and Target. She claims we exhausted her but then asked if we would be back next weekend. Things are slowly moving along there. I've been kind of proud of her. I leave her 2 cardboard boxes every time I visit and she fills them with donate/trash item and I haul them away. I think she's sent 6 boxes of stuff out of her computer room alone the past couple of months. You can actually walk around in there and see the walls and floor now.

We have declared our leaky roof/window officially leak free after the recent rains so my husband has hired the company to fix the other 5 upstairs windows too. I hate to spend the money, but I'm glad that they are being fixed correctly.

Have a happy Tax Day everybody.

No News is Good News

April 2nd, 2013 at 02:28 pm

I haven't written much lately because I just haven't had much to report on the money front. Nothing outstanding has happened, but nothing atrocious either. Yesterday was the first of the month and so I moved some more money into our Emergency funds. I need to update my Fund Balances soon.

I have been feeling a bit disgruntled lately and felt myself being swayed by that naughty temptress, EBAY. Buying, not selling. LOL

I solved that by sitting down one day and making a list of things that I really want. A vacation house, a nice retirement, a newly paved driveway and then chanting to myself over and over than none of my real wants are found on EBAY so shut the blasted window down already.

We did get our leaky roof/window fixed ($900) but it hasn't rained yet for me to test it. I'm hesitant to let them move forward with the other windows until I make sure they fixed that one good.