Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday, question about Poster?

What do you think?  I know the detail is small But do you like the Pipers faded to the back?  This needs to go to print by Friday.


Tues, Last day of the month!

This is the scene that inspired my blog.  I look out this window every morning.  It is the window above my makeup table in the Master Bathroom.  The scene constantly changes with the season and it is beautiful.  There was no deck, no escape hatch window, no trees, no garden or stone walkway, just lumpy grass.  This yard was/is a work in progress.  So am I.  When I look out here I realize how much has been done to beautify this small part of the world.  It gives me hope.  I also see how much needs to be done, but that also gives me hope.  In a different way, I hope I can do this!

     Mysti was wondering so I am sure others are also, why I do so much for my grown children?  I do it because, my parents were not there for me.  My mom was too busy dealing with my father and brothers problems and they were severe.  I learned early on not to ask.  I am sure I asked all the time but I rarely got help as I came into my teenage years.  I know she tried but her own problems just took over.  I floundered through early college and life set up and I needed help.  I told myself I would be there for my kids.

     Hubbies parents always, always moved us.  The first 10 years we were married we moved 11 times.  I think they were very generous with this as they are the cheapest most selfish people I know, but they were so afraid I would leave their son who had lost yet another job.  We always had to move to find a less expensive situation as hubby had no work.  He was always the first one let go, laid off, you get the picture.  His parents did not want him back and they did not want the stigma of divorce (heaven forbid).  I guess it is a family thing.  I do it because I want to help, he does it as he sees it as tradition.  But if we did not have any resources we could say we could not.  I will not go into debt for this, I will just cut back somewhere else.  I know I over indulge my children.  Baby steps, baby steps....
     I just looked in the freezer, which is a mess( it will be a Carla challenge)  and I don't beleive we have much in the way of meat.  I have a lot of frozen fruit from the trees out back.  I will have to dig.  This is from eating out of the pantry the last month.
    We are going to have so much fun this next month.  Read Carla's blog she is under fire also.  that makes this challenge all the easier.  I can see it now we will all be together splitting the same bean like Micki Mouse and Pluto!

     So here is a picture of my first challenge  it is small, but you have to start somewhere, right?

     The infamous kitchen junk drawer!  Do you think I can get anything else in there? I bet you can't wait to see tomorrows picture, right?

     Out My Window:  It will be rainy and cloudy today, but the weekend is supposed to be beautiful!

     I have to get a great deal of sewing done today.  It is due tomorrow.  So off to the Salt Mines I go.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday, Late post

     Well, I am not only going to do Carla's low no spend challenge in February,  I HAVE too.  Ran my end of the month numbers and I was very good last month.  Not perfect but I did get to pay off the fridge.  The problem is February is a month with a lot of extra expenses.  Both of our daughters will have major moves and want our help.  By help I mean getting to their houses and helping them move.  So that is extra gas.  It is also my oldest daughter's B-day, grandson's  B-day, Aunt's B-day, Valentines Day.  I have to pay the accountant when  the taxes are finished.  Ascap fees are due, and I will need to pay the Roto rooter service for last month as the bill just came.  I almost want to give up. Lest I forget my specialist's bill just came and I owe $236.00 of his $811.00 bill.  Is it just me or do you think I am always paying medical bills?

     In addition Hubbies boots were $292.00.  I knew he needed new ones, but I was blown away by the price.  He wears a 9.5 the most common size and has very narrow flat feet.  Hence the need for a built up insole with a high top to prevent ankle turns in the woods.  His last pair were $135.00 but we got them on a 1/2 price sale.  That was 4 years ago.  These were not on sale.  But his old ones split across the sole bottom so it wasn't like we could wait.  Now I am behind.  Crap!

     It is okay, just for today I am fine.  I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear, people who love me.

     Out My Window: Sunny and warm today almost 50!  If we are not careful we will have crocuses blooming by Valentines Day.

     I still have a great deal of work in the shop and also all the sewing for the Celtic show.  I will make it, it is just going to be tough.  I also must realize that I save a great deal of money every month.  Savings comes first right off the top.  10% off hubbies gross before we even see a check. I fully fund a IRA.  I am also putting $500.00 a month in a studio savings.  These things are not options.  Everything else besides set bills is negotiable.  I will just have to work smarter. I am also going to tell my housekeeper  to just come every other week.  I have no kids at home and this house is clean.  Every two weeks for the dog and cat hair and the heavy bathroom work is enough.  I must cut my coat to fit my cloth.

     I have so many de-cluttering projects for the month.  Can't wait to get started!

Have a good evening.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

sunday night chit chat

  Okay:  I am

Reading: the Kestral's Flute, fantasy written by a 13 year old Idaho man published at 17.  Fast read.  Tolkien had to start some where.

Watching: will watch Dowton Abbey at 9.  The only TV I will watch all week.

Baking: chocolate cake. I just cut a piece and sat down at the computer and now it is gone.  I hate that when you get a goodie and then you eat it and don't realize it.  I know it is not hubby as he is at orchestra practice.

Listening to: silence I love it.  Although I also love the Celtic Thunder group Judy, I just dance to them.

Happy I accomplished this week:  Most of the taxes!  Oh what a relief.

Thankful for, My new camera!! Yes, here are some really bad practice pictures!

                                          Will I get this arthritic foot into a dress shoe today?

                                          Corner of bedroom just redone, daughter's TV needs
                                            to go bye-bye.


to answer your question yes I did get shoes on, but now can I turn off the flash?
Remember the knobs I installed a few weeks ago?

Two of my favorite Carl Larsen prints in my Mothers room  The one on the left is called Sunday Morning. and the other is called Mother lives.
I can take great pictures of the floor.  This was my Mother's bedroom set as a young woman, I replaced the knobs and repainted it years ago.  But this was the original color.
Grandmothers' sewing bench recovered! Don't forget he floor!
Working on the flash.
Dining room, with viola case, by the way Hubby made the side cupboards, mirror and candles steins, he is quite the rough carpenter.  Table came from an old house in Sweden.  My house is done in early attic. Complete with a ghoul who has not learned to turn off her flash.

Oh Carla and friends you may so regret the challenge.

Have a peaceful and restful Sabbath!
Kim!  Now I can't get the darn thing  off center.......

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday, What is it with people?

     We have had quite a few deaths in our Church lately.  This requires funeral meals and service.  Who has not received food at the death of a loved one?  But we are having a really hard time getting people to sign up.  I am on a limited budget, but I can always get a cake mix out of the cupboard and make some frosting.  Or boil some potatoes and make a casserole of funeral potatoes (I call them that).  Macaroni salad, Jello salad.  Are all most all people selfish, lazy, cheap, broke?  What is it?  Come on it is not that hard to give some small amount of service in a time of need.  After all was not that the mission of the Savior?  Wasn't his entire ministry based around the love of all mankind?  That means your make a cake cranky puss.  Okay I feel better now.

     We had a nice dinner last night.  This older couple we went out with have a very beautiful home, but I don't think they saved enough for retirement.  They were self employed.  Now both face some extreme health problems.  It is sad and makes me want to save all the more.  I don't need to be rich but I do want to be able to afford hearing aids for Hubby and the things we need.  Then I think these  people had 6 children, where are they?  I guess I am thinking this as my Dad's only sister lives in Minnesota and is on a very fixed income.  Every year on her birthday (the anniversary of my daughters death)  I send her $500.00 to help pay her taxes.  I know that my two sisters also help her with large sums of money.  Her children are unable to do so and we have done this since her husbands death 4 years ago.  I am coming out from under my financial fog and just beginning to realize how lucky I am and how bad off many others are.   Especially the elderly who can no longer earn.  It is scary.  

     S is home to teach a master class today.  I also have to sew today, which I don't like to do on Saturday's but the taxes put me behind and the shop looks like a disaster area.  I am also going (I think) down to get a camera today. I want to add pictures to the blog of my organization and cleaning for Carla's challenge.  You all know that Little Lamb snuck (I know not a word) into my house and took a picture of my tupperware cupboard.  She got it from the wrong angle.  I know she made it seem worse than it really is.  So if you people are going to treat me like that I will have to have some defense.  My own camera!

   I am going to make some breakfast!

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday, I paid off the fridge!

     Yes, due to Carla's kick butt challenge, I was able to save enough money to pay for the fridge I bought the  7th of the month for the studio.  I have saved so far $576.00.  I went to the bank and put the money back in the account last night.  I could never have done this without trying not to spend money foolishly.  I normally am not foolish with money, but I can spend on a whim if I think something is a good buy.   I always think something is a good buy.  So this made me stop and evaluate my purchases.  Also writing down every penny I spend helps.  Although that part of the challenge is hard for me.

     I sewed very hard yesterday and even came home and sewed after I taught.  I am still behind, so I will need to work hard today, around the appointment I have with the accountant.  But money is coming in and I have bills to pay.  I can't beleive January is almost over it is my most dreaded month and here is has just flown by!  There are many people who need to pick up in the shop. The table and closet are still over flowing.  I also need to get started on costumes.  Always something.  But I should be able to bust out the skirts for the ghost # pretty quickly.  It is the Celtic dresses that are time consuming.   I have made so many of these and really don't want to do more.  I need to redesign a new Jr. Company dress. Okay now I am overwhelmed.  I couldn't just leave well enough alone.
     Back to" just for today what can I get done?"  See how my mind works? 
Jane do you do this? 

     Well off to the salt mines.  We are taking an older couple out for their 50th Wedding anniversary tonight.  I am using gift cards.  So no spend except for the tip.  Hubby and I also have to get groceries.  But I have to be careful because the house payment is due on the 1st and I have to have enough set aside from his check on the 20th and  I fear I am going to be short.

     Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday, Taxes are done! Well maybe...

     I am done!  I still have not received the interest statement from our new mortgage department. I also have not received anything from B's or S's college.  But I will take them in as is,  and add that latter.  I also have to get a few address and Id numbers for I99's but I can do that later also.  I am going to clean up the dining room and take that box a file it under the stairs!  I always think that we are paying less interest or that we have made more money, or have paid less taxes, but it always looks about the same.  I always owe the State and get enough back from the Feds to pay the State  and have a little extra.  I don't care as long as I don't owe a huge sum to the Feds!  Which I can't see happening as figures have not changed that much.  If one column goes up by $500.00 the other goes down.
     Now I am very behind in the shop!  I must get busy,busy.  I have a fridge that needs, $100.00 by Friday.
 I have two dresses that will almost do that and some pants that will be picked up today.  I am sure I can do this.

     Out My Window:  There is no snow in the back yard, I can hardly beleive it.  It had at least 6 inches on Monday, but between rain and the strong Chinook, it is gone.  It looks barren and soggy and sad.

     This soda and fridge thing might tun out to be a good deal.  I was able to put at least $4.00 in my coin bank and $5.00 in my dollar pig yesterday.  I notice on the days that advance kids dance I have more sales.  Fine with me.  Where else can you get a can of soda or a large bottle of water for .50.  I am still making well over a 100% profit.  Plus it is fun to see the pig grow fat!

     Need to hit the shower, and hit the sewing machines after I make a few phone calls!

Have a great and productive day.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday, Taxes, blah,splat!

     Okay this is just as much fun as it was last year.  I am tired and I am not even 1/2 done.  I have a ton of sewing to do.  I am not getting any sewing done.  Frustrated.  I don't know why my files are such a mess.  Then I got to thinking.  We refinanced the house and I tore through everything in the businesses especially to prove income and then I did not put it back and the bank did not give back many of my records.  So trying to prove up has been miserable.  But I will schlogg along as it must be done.

     I did have a no spend day yesterday, so that was great.  Maybe I can get one in today also.  But I do beleive Hubby will fill up car.  If I don't sew I don't get money.  I will have to get at least the prom dresses done, and a few pairs of jeans for a woman.  I still added to my sealed pots yesterday.

     Out My Window: We had a Chinook come through last night.  Very warm like 52 at 10 p.m.  But what terrible wind it brought with it.  Gusting all night.  Now they are saying snow is in the forecast

     I did however get all of the important costumes ordered.  If you don't order by the end of January, you can't get what you want.  Then you are stuck with the more expensive models.  I was able to get all the ballet stuff ordered.  Except, Cinderella, the mother and the step sisters and I think we will make these.  I still have many other costumes, but these will be ordered in parts which are easier.  It took me all morning.  I was just going to order the pumpkins, but then I checked on the availability of another costume and was told it was sold out in several sizes.  So I panic and I needed to and sat down and ordered it all!
  But I hate worrying about the Spring show when the Celtic Show is so close.  I need to worry about those costumes.

     Well, I am going back to tax hell.  Pray for me.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday, feeling better!

     Well I walked down the stairs this morning like a normal person.  I also was able to take the top off my yogurt, open the back door to the chicken coop, brush my teeth, set my hair, and then brush it without extreme pain.  I can open and close my hands, and I have not dropped one thing this morning.  I love the good days they are so few and far between.

     I am boiling a big pot of potatoes and another pot with a dozen eggs.  This way with the meat loaf I made and the spaghetti sauce I have thawed, meals are done through Saturday.  We have plenty in the freezer, so besides milk and maybe a few veggies we are set.

      I did not sew at all yesterday.  Just taxes and I barely brushed the surface.  But I had over $240.00 worth of work come in so I must sew something today or I will be behind. Carla has issued two new challenges that I am going to join, but I will set my own rules on the no(low) spending one.
     I feel like this challenge was really worth it, and it opened my eyes to how much I spend that I don't have to, but I also skipped a great many good bargains at the grocer store.  I use sausage in many recipes and it was on sale 4/5.  I did not get it, so now if I want to make one of my favorite recipes I will have to spend $3.99.  I have a nice food storage pantry, that I rotate and I love going down stairs and getting a jar of mayo that I bought for $1.99 on sale as opposed to $3.99 now.  If I truly lived this challenge all the time my pantry would be empty and I would be purchasing things at full price. Since I am such an undisciplined spend a holic and will use any justification to spend, I will allow myself to add really good grocery deals.  Not Christmas candy!  We all know where that would go.  We will leave the candy in the cart for Jane.

     Now can some one please tell me how to link up?  I am so not blog savvy and I do not have hours and hours to learn to be.  I need a tutorial.  I would also like to be able to add pictures.  But I can get one of my kids to do this with me or at least teach me.  I am not stupid, I can fix a computer just not run one!

    I have so much to get done today, so I had better get hopping!  It is so nice to feel good.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, Taxes!

    Okay, that is the rant you will hear all week.  Taxes.  It will take me a while.  I have everything organized in files but all have to be totaled and it is a head ache.  Personal, shop, studio, all have to be separated, although I do file them differently, there is always an over flow. Yuck!  Then I read Judy's blog and she said the FAFSA word.  I will be very glad when I no longer have to deal with them.  I'm thinking 4-5 more years and I am done!  Then B will be on her own.   Like I pray she will be.
     Many people in our religion marry very young.  It is encouraged by the parents.  It is much easier to pawn a daughter off on a young husband and say you are married you are on your own now.  Children come and the kids are tied down with kids so no education.  But now you have a pack or 2-3 packs of uneducated kids and their kids living with you.  So as aggravating as helping your kids in college is, I think it is a better alternative than the other.
     We have 9 more days of our challenge, let's see how well we can do.  One thing that I have really made myself do although I hate it.  Is write down every purchase.  I am anxious to total this although I think it will scare me.  This is one part of the challenge that I am going to do next month.  For some reason having to write a purchase down makes me not purchase.  Kind of like having to write down that ice cream in a food diary.  Yeah, this works for me.  Don't like it but it works.
     Out My Window:  Overcast and gloomy and cold.  January can be the longest month, but I feel great about it right now, I think the challenges and blogging have really helped!

     I need to go get dressed, do a little house work, put together a meat loaf I should have done yesterday.  I am going to make myself sew at least $100.00 and then attack the taxes, I also have 3 college classes that have to be sorted out today as last week was a holiday and they didn't meet and then were cancelled on Wednesday because of snow. I also must order some costume TODAY.  So I am going to get right on that.

Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday, dealing with snow

     Hubby and I went shoe shopping for him yesterday.  We could not find what he wanted at a decent price in Lewiston, so we called daughter at college and decided to drive up there as they have more sport stores and a better selection. Now it snows a lot on the prairie.  We have had a lot of snow and they have had twice as much.  But just like in the years that our oldest daughter was up there they don't take care of it.  So we pull in to the apartment complex and it is full of snowed in cars.  No one has moved since last Monday.  There are a few people dug out, but other than that just large lumps of snow.  You can't get into the building with out climbing huge drifts.  As her dad and I are hurtling up the snow to try and get to her door I here a car stuck and spinning.  I told hubby go help that young man and give him a push.
     He spun and spun the snow was so deep.  So I took the two cheap door rugs from B's apt and we put them just under the tires and he popped right out.  Joel was so amazed.  We always carried small rug remnants in our trunks in the Dakotas.  I guess we always have had 4 wheel drives and I do not ever remember getting stuck with Hubby.  I do remember being pulled a few times and it was scary.  But back to the college kids.  NO ONE HAS A SHOVEL.  Twenty-four apt.'s this side a nary a large spoon.  I know we pushed and dug people out on a regular basis at the University of Montana.  Are these kids just helpless?
     We went boot, shovel and grocery shopping.  We found boots, but we saw this same pair in Lewiston so we will buy them here and support our community.  We also bought 2 shovels, one small for the car and the other for the apartment.  Hubby dug out B's car and the two spots around her.  Which were immediately used by grateful students.  He also dug a path to her door.  The shovels are labeled and inside her apartment.  We also pushed out a total of 4 more people.
     I told B to take it easy on groceries as I was trying not to spend money.  We purchased a few things for ourselves and we stocked her up for the next month. B does not want to drive  until it is safer, which is fine with me.  She says she is walking so much she is sore.  But one accident can set us back thousands so I am glad she is just parking the car. (It will also save gas)
     One of the sport stores we looked at carried Fiesta wear dishes.  I love Fiesta wear, I always have.  Hubby saw these cute little syrup pictures and wanted me to get some. They were $15.99.  I said no they were too expensive (and they were).  But I am not buying anything that I don't need this month.  Yes they are cute, but they will be there and I will have a Birthday and Mother's Day. 
      All told we spent about $206.00 for groceries, shovels, dinner out. I felt lucky to get away with that as we did not get  B any groceries when she went back 2 weeks ago and she was down to ramen noddles.  I had also not bought any real groceries all month and the shovels were about $25.00.  With this no low spend challenge I hate spending money.  All I can see is my hard work going down the tubes. What I should see is that I am able to shop and not use a card or be behind on some other bill to get what I need.
      We are going out to dinner at a friends house tonight so I don't have to cook.  Yippee!!  I do have some hamburger that is thawed  so I think I will make a meat loaf with it for tomorrow.  My kitchen is a mess so I had better get busy and do something about that, maybe a little laundry on the side.

 Out My Window:  Beautiful sunny morning!  We will have a lot of melting today!

     Have a peaceful and restful Sabbath.




Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday, I paid off the furniture!

     Yes, the paycheck from the school arrived last night and I went down and paid off the bedroom set.  It is mine, it is beautiful and I paid no interest!  I also have $450.00 in the fridge fund.  I thought it was about $300.00 but several people picked up and walla it is $450.00.   I am almost there.

     I will spend the majority of my week doing taxes.  Yuck!  So I will not have a great sewing week.  I will do what I have to and I hope to make at least $500.00 but we will see.  I will need more work to come in.  Hubby has been having terrible pains in his ankles for several months.  We are going to go and get new boots for him.  His everyday work boots are 4 years old and really worn down at the backs and on the sole.  I am hoping that this will help.  I hate to see anyone struggle to walk in the morning, I have been there to often myself.  He is not a complainer so I know that this is serious.  It is hell to get old.  I really do not want to pay for boots right now, but I see no choice.

     I also went to Wal-Mart last night to get some celery and yogurt.  I purchased a silver china pig bank to keep in the shop.  I have my large China pink pig in my bedroom for my sealed pot challenge and all my spare change.  I will put all my $1,s from selling pop at the studio in the silver bank.  Once I have the fridge paid for, all I have to pay is the difference between the soda and water.  I decided to fund this out of the studio as it is not an excessive amount of money.  I will save the rest in this bank.  There is $9.00 in there so far in bills.  This won't be a great deal of money but it will help with something next Christmas.

     There has been talk on the blogs of doing this no low spend challenge again as most of us have done so well.  I don't see that we have not spent any money, what I see taking place is that we question ourselves before money is spent.  This is making the difference.  Do I need this?  Yes I need celery for the funeral dish I am making but do I need the sausage that was on sale?  No.  So I don't buy it.  I beleive that if this were a habit for all of us we would all do better with our goals.  Everything I purchase I ask myself, is this part of the challenge?  Does this count?  It really makes me stop and think about how I spend.

     No spend days are a big help also.  If I can just get home tonight without spending any money.  Stay out of the stores.  This helps a lot. I am a compulsive spender, and will justify purchases because they are on sale. If I don't see the sale I don't think I have to have that because I am saving so much money.  No you big idiot you are spending money.

     Out My Window:  Snow is melting fast and now we are worried about flooding.  Our storm drains are not equipped to take the mess.  We are fine as we are on the hill but the studio is downtown.

     I need to run a salad up to a funeral and then I am going to make myself pull all the tax paperwork upstairs.

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday, posting late today!

     I had a hair appointment this morning and I was up late last night sewing so I was up late this morning.  I only get my hair cut and colored every 6 months.  I thought about the low now spend challenge and that I also had this on the books for 6 months so I went ahead and did it.  I would have done this the first of February any way.  It looks great and I cut off probably 5 inches.  So you can see what a sheep dog I looked like.  A grey frizzy sheepdog.  It feel so much better.

     I had to up one of my meds under doctors orders and it is making me very sick to my stomach.  Now I don't mind getting sick from eating brownies for breakfast but I hate these meds that keep me in a constant state of nausea.  The alternative is not being able to move my hands or walk so I will take the lesser of the two evils.  I still hate it.  I am grouchy and I feel sorry for myself.  Okay I am done with this.

     I still have a great deal of sewing to be picked up and I need to get to work on the taxes!  Ugh!  They are due out next Friday.  What have I been doing with my time, besides, eating brownies and watching Harry Potter?  Shame on me can't you bloggers keep me on track?  What is wrong with you guys anyway?

     I sure have saved money this month with the challenge, but I really need to clean the desk and pay a few bills.  Also send out 4 late notices.  Yes, $80.00 for my snowflake to debt.  My spending is down by 1/2.  We have a potluck tonight at church, so I need to go figure out what to make.

Out My Window:  I am convinced that the chickens don't like the inversion and snow.  Egg production is off by 70%.  We give away over 1/2 the eggs anyway so it really does not matter.  Roads are drying up but we still have a ton of snow here.

     By the way I am going to be able to pay at least $1000.00 to the Visa along with my Christmas tree return means I will have paid off over $1200.00 this month and next month should be better.  I have a few smaller bills that are due next month that are yearly charges.  But they still total almost $900.00 so I need to watch every penny.

    I just had another $120.00 picked up so I have almost 300.00 in the fridge account!  Yippee!  Thank you Carla for offering this challenge.

Have a great and productive Friday evening!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday, I did nothing yesterday

     Yes it is true, Kim sat down on her sofa after making a pan of home made brownies and did not move until later that night except to call all her dance students and cancel  class.  Something I have never done before.  I also got up to get sodas and go to the bathroom.  The shop called but I ignored it.  Hubby came home early from work as they were having problems with electric lines.  He plowed all afternoon , most of the neighbor hood drive and walks are clear.  We did manage to get down to the bank last night, but there was not much to do.  I think the city pretty much shut down yesterday.

     It was so nice like a free day when you were a kid.  I am sure I will pay for this lost time later, but right now it was so nice!  I ate brownies and potato chips and watched several movies, just a great day.  Did not spend any thing either.  Just wish it could go on.

     I have over $400.00 of product in the shop to pick up so I hope the roads clear and I know they are getting a lot better.  I want to pay off the fridge in less than two weeks. 

     Out My Window:  Snow. Snow. Snow.  So pretty.  Chickens don't seem to like it.  Only 2 eggs yesterday.

     Well I am up and showered, and I am heading into the shop to get done what I should have done yesterday!  I also ate 4 small brownies for breakfast and I am now sick to my stomach perhaps I should lay down on the sofa with a movie....

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday, Snow storm

    We are having a bad snow storm and not the money kind that you get when you snowflake a lot. It has snowed 8 inches here and is continuing.  Many schools are closed.  I am not sure about ours as my children don't go to school here.  We are not prepared to take care of snow as we hardly ever have it stick.  So I am going to enjoy the moisture.  It is sure pretty outside.

     However,  I have a ton of stuff that needs to be picked up and I don't beleive that any one will venture out today unless they have too.  That is okay, it is not like I have anywhere to spend the money.  Hubby was an hour late for work today so he could shovel out the driveway for my customers.  We have a 7 car driveway so no easy matter.  I do believe he will pull out the snow blower tonight.  We are the only ones to own one in a large area, but we came from Wyoming and we just thought we should keep it.  Hubby still makes sure it runs.  He will be a busy man tonight.  If the police man across the street doesn't come get the blower like he did during the last bad winter:)  Yes, they can come get your gear for an emergency, that includes your Jet Boat!

     Classes don't start at the studio until 4 p.m. so we might be somewhat plowed out by then.  I also have (I think) 3 college classes that start tonight, so I will have to get instructors and timing worked out for those. But if this snow does not abate I will have no students.  People here just don't wander around in deep snow.  At least we don't drive.  Both of our vehicles are 4 wheel drive, but Hubby works in the woods and that is expected.  I just have never let it bother me.

     Out My Window:  Yesterday I was noticing through the dressing table window the chickadees, flying to and from the Sumac to the Wisteria.  They were so cute.  Most people here hate Sumac as it is really a weed tree, but I have one I keep carefully pruned over the pond.  I love the way they grow like deer antlers.  I love the soft fur on the bark, like new antlers in the velvet,  I also love the huge Red seed pods on the ends.  So do the birds.  It adds such color to a dead land scape.  Right now I have Red twig dogwood branches peeking out of the snow along with ever greens.  You should always landscape for every season.

     I was able to sew $236.00 worth of product yesterday.  I have a big pile today also.  I swear the phone rang off the hook yesterday, it about drove me nuts.  Today will be quiet.  If I can get through my alterations for today I think I am going to make a pro to-type of the skirts for the ghosts in the Celtic show.  Or maybe I will make some brownies.  I am really craving chocolate.  Hmmmmm.......

     If you haven't read Judy's post at "We may be poor but we are happy" go read it now.  Very inspiring and thought provoking.  It is a great post about the time it takes to get out of debt.  We all go into these plans thinking we can do this in X amount of time and in reality we can't.  Life gets  in the way and it is very hard to break old habits.

     Have a great and productive day!
****  They have closed all the roads out of my neighborhood.  Schools are closing, it has not stopped snowing!  12 inches now.  Yippee!  I am dusting off my cross country skis. May this last for a few days!****

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday, out of touch

     I feel so out of touch, I don't know if it was having company or just the intensity of the company.  BIL left yesterday morning and I realized that  this is the week of the winter ball I have several dresses that need to go out.  I also have at least 30 pairs of trousers that need altered. Since BIL could not be left alone and had to read over my shoulder I decided to get right in the shop.  Sewed $150.00 before I left for the studio.  I know it was a National Holiday yesterday but I am self employed and we only take off a few of these a year.

     The college starts today so I have 11 teaching hours to fill, but I will combine some of them and drop others.  It is no fun to be in a class with 2 students.  I am seriously thinking of dropping this program next year.  We can all see right now it is not a financially feasible program.  But we are in it for the year.

     You would be very proud of me.  I had volunteered to go and  clean the Green Room at the local High School on Monday morning.   Because I have worked in the Fine Arts dept for 20 years I know where every thing goes.  Also I am fast worker.  But when I got up and realized how much work I had to do, I did not go in.  I thought, if I do go and clean for 4 hours I will be SO behind and it will stress my whole week.  This is a year of less stress. So although I felt guilty I did not go.  They costumed the show and called and gave me notes on what will be needed. I will need to redo or make at least 9 costumes but that is doable.

  I also have many Celtic costumes to make and a number with ghosts and wolves so I will have to come up with those.  Tonight is Celtic night and I will figure out who needs what and go from there.  I do beleive that I will have at least 25 dresses.  So I had better get busy.  The parents pay for these and I do make a profit.  Not large but enough to offset the shop.  No more giving my time away.  Then scrambling to pay bills.  That is over.  Less stress remember.  But I do have to stay on top of things and I will.

     I spent $2.97 yesterday and I forgot we need milk!  So I will have to go back to the store. Drat.

     The company we clean for is doing an overhaul and cutting wages, I don't know if we are affected.  If we are do we stay?  If we don't stay how do we pay bills?  I am waiting.  Hubby wants to stay so we will see.

     I need to get into shop and get busy as I have to be at the college by 2 p.m. Then 3.p.m. and then teach at 5:30 so I should be able to get some sewing done today.

     Out My Window:  It has snowed the last 3 mornings.  We are finally getting some moisture.  It does not stick here and has been warm during the day.

     Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday night chit chat

     Reading:    Great book about the Irish Potato famine.  If that could be great.  Actually it was pretty awful, in fact very awful, but I find the Irish tenacious and fascinating.

Watching: A PBS Special on Martin Luther, fascinating.

Listening:  I only listen to music when I am teaching or doing choreography.  I am sorry overkill, maybe someday!

Cooking:  Shrimp pasta, blood orange and avocado salad.

Happy I accomplished:  Really stuck to the low no spend challenge.  Wrote no checks for personal things. Yeah!

Looking forward to:  Another week of no spending. Getting caught up in the shop,  Ha! Ha!

Thankful for today: A really great husband at least right now:)

Have a restful Sabbath!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday, Company.....

     Well Hubbies brother is here and of course we are visiting.  It is awkward.  But I know my husband is glad to see him.  He will stay through Sunday and leave Monday morning.  We have been so out of touch.  He is recently divorced and that is a mess.  How do you go on after a 40 year marriage dissolves?  I think both of them are going to find that they will not be any happier with someone new.  It is a tough situation.  The chance of them getting back together now is slim.  And statistics are almost null for the success of a relationship when they try to reunite.

     Daughter #2 is coming down to teach a master class at 11:00, Dancers are excited.  I am going to do some sewing today as I have so many dresses for an up coming dance.  We are taking BIL out to dinner tonight on a gift certificate.  But it is going to be a slow day today.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday, funny how that works,

     Yesterday I was at the CU making a deposit.   I also had a $30.00 check to cash and had withdrawn $265.00 out of B's account (money she owed me for paying her rent).  As I was waiting for my deposit slip to print the computers went down.  The man next to me in line was asking the teller to check his account, he needed to withdraw $25.00 for gas.  He looked like a painter or a dry-Waller.  You have to keep a minimum of $35.00 in your account to keep it open.  He had $35.00 left.  So no money.  He was begging to just get $25.00.  I heard him say I will come in tomorrow and give it back.  I just have this job to finish and I need gas.  He also said it was the hardest winter he had ever experienced for finding work.  The teller made a phone call and she turned to tell him that she had gotten permission to suspend his account and give him the money.  The computers went down and she could not even open her cash drawer. I mean everything locked up.  What a mess.  The young man looked like he was going to cry, so I quickly slid $25.00 over to him and said quietly "pay it forward and go with God".   I had to do it quickly before I talked myself out of it, because you all know how hard I am trying not to spend and how I am trying to pay off the fridge.  But all I could see is that I had $265.00  and $30.00 in front of me in cash and I am so blessed financially in so many ways.  He was astonished and said who are you?  I told him Santa Claus and hurried out of the bank.  Then I chastised myself  for having $25.00 less for my fund.  Well guess what?  Today a $25.00 refund check came from the State for my husbands lunches.  He had paid out of pocket for lunch when he attended a mandatory work shop.  I did not even think about getting reimbursed.  So it is solid proof. The giver always receives back what is given.
      I have been in the man's place so many times in my life.  When I had no money and I was down to the last $10.00.  When my kids were sick and I could not buy medicine.  I remember one time selling my dishes and electric skillet in a make shift yard sale I set up to get enough money to buy and $87.00 prescription for one of my babies.  I have so much.

     I just realized that I have not contributed one penny to my pot this week.  Why? Because you have to spend and break a dollar bill before you can do that.  I am not spending any money!  Tonight we filled hubbies car with gas and went to get a few Groceries, so I was able to contribute a few coins. 

     I was able to make about $12.00 on soda/water this week so far. I am sure it is beginner's luck, but we will see.  Lots of work came into the shop today so I will have to get busy tomorrow.  Winter ball is coming up next week end and I have many dresses to hem and alter.

      I also have 2 funerals to make food for on Saturday, but I have not been told what they need.  I am sure I will get word in the morning.  I can bake something while I am working in the shop.
     Carla's challenge has sure helped my pocket book this week!

Have a restful night, I know I will!


Thursday, so tired.

     Last night I had my two main teachers come over about 8:30 in the evening and we watched Cinderella preformed by a local small ballet company.  It was good.  We also downloaded music and sound tracs.  We story boarded the show and found costumes that we liked and assigned parts.  It was an arduous task.   They were frustrated and I had to keep telling them that the first board is always a mess and it will be a work in progress for a while.  We will be making changes right up to the few days before the show.  Plans  on paper are always easier that reality.    This is their first time helping to put a major production together. 

     My daughter and I worked together every day and we just flowed with production and changes.  These two are so new to this that they were totally amazed by the work that had to go in behind the scenes.  How do you make a story line flow with 120 dancers and 3 different musical  scores. Prokofiev, Roger's and Hammerstien and Walt Disney  all have to be recognized without killing the score of any of them.   We cannot have Bippity Boppity Boo after the 4 seasons as it would bastardize the Prokofiev score.  But we have to have that particular song as little ones will expect the Fairy God mother to dance to this in some way.  AHHHHHHH!

     Fun, but on a better note it is wonderful to work with two young enthusiastic, talented dancers.  We were up until 3 as they would not leave until they were satisfied.  Such dedication, how lucky can I get?  I did miss my daughter however.  We have such evil senses of humor and I missed the  "Mom, that is the stupidest idea I have ever heard" Snort, laugh, because sometimes they are stupid ideas.  It is harder to work with people who always defer to you, I am often wrong.  But I finally got them to really see the show and give me their input.

     I am very tired, I have taken in work today, but have not sewn anything.  Just too sleepy.  I need to teach at 3 and also go to the bank.  I did spend $27.00 yesterday on studio things.  I also took in $42.00.  So far I have $125.00 in the fridge fund.  I just hope with the three day weekend coming up  that I don't have to spend money and dip into it.
 Out My Window:  Very cold this morning, but sunny and I still need to go and check on the chickens.

        I think my husband's brother is coming for the weekend. He is recently divorced after a 40 year marriage.  We have not seen him in about 5 years.  This should be interesting.  He is a nice person but perhaps one of the most socially ignorant persons I have ever met.  Rush Limbaugh is his hero if that tells you anything.   He is very selfish and cheap to the point, that all people know him for this behavior.  He was never selfish with himself.  He had the nicest and what he wanted.  He would scrape corn off the plate of the Queen Mother at the dinner table if he thought you were taking more than he thought was a 1/4 cup serving.  Because the can should feed 8 people!  This should be interesting.  In his defense, when our 3rd daughter died my Husband was out of the country and he never left my side.  He was truly  his brother's keeper. A boob but a good boob.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday, keeping things positive!

     That would be a great name for a PF blog.  Keeping things positive!  Both in numbers and in life.  Positive balance, positive attitude.  They sure go together.  Obviously keeping the attitude up is harder, as we can sure witness many people with positive bank balances that are miserable.  But I can say from personal experience that maintaining a positive bank balance sure helps your(my) attitude.  
   I did not get a no spend yesterday, drat.  But I hope to get one in today.  Even though last weeks spending was more than I wanted my totals for personal spending are way down.  Of course it is only the 11th and things could get ugly later, but right now it looks pretty good.  Spent $9.56 on groceries.  Last night after we cleaned I dropped Hubby off at house, explaining to him I needed to run to the store.  He is on a diet and stores make him hungry.  I planted this in his head as I knew if I took him with me he would find something for me to spend money on. Notice he never spends money.  He has me do it.  So he can have someone to blame when there is no money.  Clever man, but I am learning!:)
   I actually made him start carrying a check book a few years ago so he could write checks for gas.  This has been good and bad, but he has to spend money and realize how much it costs him to commute.  When I would tell him that gas was costing over 1/4 of his already dismal take home pay he would not beleive me.  Now he writes the checks and he knows.  This led to a car pool, which is very helpful.  But when I tell him I want to go on a cash basis (Like right now)  he uses the checkbook anyway, then I am running to play catch up.  You can't have everything.  But I sure want it.
     By the way gas is down to $3.12 here and up north 100 miles it is under $3.00 a gallon.  I hope it continues to drop, but it will probably jump in the spring as it usually does. The truck is full, so unless we go some where out of town, which I doubt this will last until next month. Hubby will have to fill the car again Thursday night.
     I was able to take in $44.00 yesterday so the housekeeping fund is fully funded.  I have $144.00 in my wallet.  I will put $35.00 into the fridge fund.  Hopefully more will come in today, so I can add to it, but I also must remember that we will have to have some money for groceries this weekend.  Hubbies brother may be coming up for a visit,  I have almost $200.00 in gift certificates to restaurants, so we can go out if he comes.  I won't have to foot that bill.  Remember my goal for the fridge this week is $100.00.

     Out My Window:  It clouded up yesterday and daughter called to say that it snowed at her place.  We hardly get snow, although it is much colder today.

     I have to meet with my teachers tonight to story board the spring show.  I have plenty of sewing to do and at least two more winter ball dresses coming in today.  If all goes well I am well on my way to a great month.  Yeah 2012!  This is our positive year.

Have a great and productive day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday, Be careful what you pray for!

     The shop was a little slow last week and I was a tiny bit worried.  I am a worry wort if you haven't figured that out already.  So I have really been praying for more work to pay bills.  Finally by last Friday I figured I had a good days worth of work in the shop.  So because of my desperate need for money (did I just say desperate?) I hit the shop at 10:00 yesterday determined to sew.  Well $305.00 worth of work came in yesterday.  So now I am slammed.  I am also thrilled!  Remember the challenge?  I need this moolah!

     I was able to take in $85.00 yesterday.  $50.00 goes to hubby for gas and the rest goes to the housekeeping fund.  I should take in at least $30.00 today so both of those bills are paid.  Now Hubby will have to have at least another $40.00 by Friday.  All other money goes to groceries (what we absolutely need) and then the fridge account.  So I am looking at the end of the week to be at least $100.00 into this goal.  Hooray!  Here I am counting my chickens, I do that a lot.

     I also sadly took the beautiful Christmas tree I purchased and loved back to the store.  This is why we keep receipts.  I was credited $202.00 on the cc.  So although I would have rather had a substitute tree, I will have less to pay back on the Credit Card.  Of course I will have to purchase another tree next December.  But I am also going to look on Craigslist for a tree and really watch the sales.

    I actually had a NO SPEND DAY yesterday!  I hope for another today!  I was tempted.  Hubby wanted gum at the store where we returned the tree, but I told him he had his own pocket money.  I wasn't spending any money.

     Out My Window:  Warmer that usual, chickens are laying well.  I need to give neighbors some eggs.  It is still sunny today.

     So I am going to go get ready for the day and hit the shop, I need to be at the studio at 3 for a few minutes and then don't teach until 5:30.  But I have some banking to do, and bills to mail that I have been holding in my purse waiting for today's pay check.  I also paid the rent at the studio last night and now all I have to pay is the Visa bill.  I hope to give it at least $1000.00.  We will see.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday, I am going to no spend today!

      Okay, kids are gone and I can really focus on not spending money.  I can really focus on my work.  I plan to take this low spend month seriously and by the way I have to. I spent all my money!  Yep the first week and it is gone. Like a kid at the fair who buys the first article they see and has no money for the rides.  That is me.  Now what am I going to do about it?  Can you guess?

    I am going to go to work.  I need to turn over money.  Hubby drives this week so he will need money and I will need to pay the housekeeper on Wednesday and I want to put at least $100.00 in the fridge account.  My goal is to have it paid off by the 31st of January.

     It is going to be tough, but look what I did at Christmas.  I was able to squirrel together about $1300.00 in less than a month.  So I think I can do this.

     Out My Window:  Beautiful sunny day!  Frost on all the trees and grass.  No snow to speak of in this part of the country.  Scary as it affects our water supply, but I have also seen it really snow in January and February and the snow pack in the mountains can be normal by March.  When I was going out to the chickens Friday it was so warm it was almost like spring.  I thought to myself, soon I will be out here working.

     January is always the longest dreariest month so I am glad the sun is shining!

So here is to starting Kim's fridge fund  it is at Zero!

Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday, past due projects

     I was up early (for me) on a Saturday when I can sleep in and I went into a Kitchen that looked like a bunch of frat boys had a party in it!  The front room is sad long over due Christmas.  The laundry room and back door are loaded with crap.  Bedrooms are trashed.  B was leaving yesterday and most of the mess was hers.

     So I put on my big girl panties, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen.  I started the laundry and put two huge baskets away.  Then I hauled out all of the Christmas boxes out of the garage and took them upstairs.  B finally gets up and tells me she wants to be in Moscow by noon, but she needs to clean and vacuum her car. She also needs to LOAD her car.

     I stop my Christmas cleaning and clean out her room and bath.  Go down and clean out her car, take it to the gas station vacuum it, fill it with gas and bring it home.  She is still applying makeup. Then I get her dad to help me  load up the Christmas loot and two HUGE baskets of clothes into her car.  (I think I can see the laundry room)  She gets three over the shoulder packs that are full and her laptop out of the guest room upstairs.  Then all her crap out of the guest bath! ( I think I can see a bed spread and a counter top)  I will miss her, but not the mess.

     I took a short nap after I packed away the Nativity set.  Hubby and I went downtown and picked out a small refrigerator freezer combo for the studio.  We walked it right out the front door of the appliance store and right down the block and into the  studio.  $466.00.  Then we went to Costco and bought $41.97 worth of water bottles and diet soda.  We went back and stocked the fridge.  Water bottles and soda will be 50 cents.  When the fridge is paid for, I may add healthy snacks, but we will see.  I know that the machine sold a lot of soda.  I will keep track weekly and see how long it will take me to break even.

     Hubby and I went home and I continued to pack up Christmas.  It is all put away now.  Every box and piece of China.  But we discovered as we took down our new tree that about 1/4 of the lights are not working.  So I pulled out the receipt and they will take it back or replace it.   Crap.  I love this tree but it did not even last a season.  I do not want to have to find a new one next year.  This big box will go in the truck today and I will return it tomorrow.  I still need to rearrange the furniture and vacuum the front room.  I want
move the baby grand over to the front window.
     Daughter took us out to Thai food last night.  Yum so good.  Then I am home and did a bunch of honey-do things that have been bothering me.  Daughter had purchased 6 new china knobs in a soft turquoise and silver for my Christmas present.  The guest bath has silver chrome and turquoise blue towels.  The old knobs were original to the house and two were replaced by me when we moved in, they did not match and one was broken.  So I replaced those with my new ones and they are so cute.  There was a nail missing from a curtain rod in the guest room and the curtain was drooping.  I fixed that.  There were two light bulbs burned out in a light fixture in the Mater bath.  They are hard to change.  I did that.  I washed the last load of white costumes and they are packed into the car with the rest of the left over costumes.  I will take them back after church today.

      The house is clean (except for the tree) The laundry room is clean and organized.  My shop has been some what emptied of costumes.  I was not busy last week in the shop.  But every day a few things came in.  I have plenty to do this next week, so the money should start flowing.  No more lap tops all over!  No more open cupboard doors!  No more curling irons, play stations, ipods, make-up bags shampoo bottles, nail polish, etc.  I have normalcy.  I can live with this.

     I am looking forward to the rest of January.  I hope it will be less expensive.  I only have the rent for the studio and the Visa bill to pay.  All other bills are paid.  Now I want to see if I can pay all gas and groceries, house keeper, and make up the money for the fridge out of my shop and I think I can.  I have 3 weeks.
     It is really had to stay in budget with a teenager at home.  Always something.  Contact lens problems, medicine, hygiene stuff, money, money, money.  Carla has been very patient with me!

Can I do this?

     I am going to organize the shop tonight, total my weekly spending into a record and pull all the tax stuff upstairs so I can work on it an hour every morning.  My appointment is on the 27th of January so I need to get busy.

     Have a peaceful and restful Sabbath!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday, Facing the truth

     Now that I have my budget set for the month, I am looking forward to the new year and realize that I am a pie in the sky dreamer.  Getting out of debt is a long and involved process.  What I scheme in my head or dream in my mind is not reality.  Reality is the check book balance.  *&^%^$  I hate that.  My dreams are always so much faster and better.  Then Jane's Ugly troll comes and wakes me up.  The troll needs to stay at her house, with his hose.

     I have to get the Christmas decorations down in the next couple of days.  I mean it.  I also must sew today, I have been so lazy!  Not sew lazy, but so lazy!  I need some motivation.

    We have a soda machine at the studio.  It sells water and non sugar drinks.  It costs about 11.00 a month to run.  Last quarter we earned $11.37 in soda sales.  This has been going on for about 2 years.  So the machine is gone and I am going to get a small fridge and stock it myself.  I do want water and drinks available but I will not lose money.  If it turns out to be a fiasco, I will get rid of it.

     Tuition is coming in slowly.  Next Monday is the 10th, I hope the parents are watching, because I could use a few hundred dollars in late charges.  Okay the Troll wants the late charges!

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday, my smart move is scary...

     When I moved my business account from USBank to the credit union it changed quite a few things.  All of them good, especially the interest rates.  But  before I had a credit line attached to my business account.  I did not apply for this it was just given to me.  It was a $10,000.00 line.  I use it up almost immediately.  It was used for remodeling, and for costumes and summer bills.  I would pay it down and rack it up.  But I never worried about over drawing the business account so I rarely knew how much was in the account.  I did not care and it led me to debt.  When I did balance every 4-5 (yes can you believe that)months I was always shocked by how much I owed this account.  Oh, by the way, the payment was taken out automatically so I never had to really pay attention. I also had a $22,500.00 limit on the USBank CC.  I could spend for a long, long time.
     The Credit Union does not have a credit line attached to business accounts.  I did apply for a line and was granted one for $5000.00.  But I have to call and advance money and I have to pay it back with a phone call or go into the office.  I guess I could do it on-line.  The difference is I have to know if I need the money.  How would I know I needed then money unless I balanced the account?  So you guessed it.  I really have to pay attention.  I run a zero based budget and I cannot overdraw.  No one will save me but a big old overdraft charge.  I also cannot seem to get approved for a CC in the studio name right now.  This is why my personal card is so high, most of it is studio costume debt from the last show.  Well at least $2100.00 of it is.  So when I order costumes for spring I will have to go to the new account and take money out and put it back as needed.  I guess what I am saying is that the Credit Union forces their members to be a little more accountable.
     But, but.....but I am not used to this and it is such a good lesson for me.  Instead of just writing checks for bills and knowing they are going to go through I have to get a deposit in and stay on top of things.  I was going to pay all my bills last night and realized that I was short about $1200.00.  Before I would have sent those off and just expected the Overdraft to protect me.  But no more now the bills will wait until there is money to pay them.  There will be.  But I can no longer live in LA LA Land.
     Slugmama, also gave me a good piece of advice.  Wait a few days when there is extra money, before you throw it at a debt.  Something may come up, or I may have forgotten something.  This happens all the time and then I am broke and I am using the credit line.  Gee I think of myself as a pretty smart person, so why could I not see this?  Well, okay I did but my impatience and my gazelle intense attitude sometimes over shadows my reason.  So we will work on this.
     I am also experiencing a payment shock with my new house payment.  I am very happy that we refinanced, our interest is down almost 2% and I am no longer just paying interest on a $75,000.00 equity line, but our payment has gone up to $450.00 a month and our income has not changed.  This is a big old chunk of change when you consider that my husband only brings home $950.00 on one paycheck and $888.00 on the other.  Factor in gas, utilities, tithing, car payment, food.  You can see why I worry.  When you are self employed it is all you. But again  I must be accountable. This can be done, but I have to pay attention.  I don't have any extra money lying around to cover this payment.
     I think that people who have trouble with debt also have trouble with accountability.  We are very careful to make sure we always have a safety net.  Like another Credit card.  But our safety nets always involve someone else's money!   Hence the emergency fund.  Now for me 2 emergency funds.
    As I become more financially solvent and I make changes to better my financial life and get out of debt I find I have to be more responsible, before, I was just kidding myself.  Now it is me.  Scary.

Has any one else experienced this same phenomena?  I guess what I am asking, have you ever felt that having credit at your disposal made you more secure?  Or is this just childish ignorance?

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday, Okay I did it!

     I finally balanced the studio checkbook and I set the budget.  I have goals for the new year but I am only going to set a budget for the month.  Each month has challenges or extra bills.  Next month I will have at least a $350.00 accountant bill and a personal gift I give every year of $500.00.   So it is hard to say this is my budget every month.  But needless to say I am BROKE!

     I paid the water bill today! $467.12.  I paid my Roth Ira $500.00, Studio savings $500.00, Studio loan $500.00, Pay roll $712.00.  See the money flow.  I have decided to fully fund a savings account for the studio up to $6000.00.  I will also fund my personal Roth Ira.  Hubby already pays a huge amount to retirement and we also save well over 10% of his gross, so I feel that this is all we can do for savings until I can pay off the debt.

So New Years financial goals
1. Fully fund studio savings for summer $6000.00
2. Pay off Credit card minimum $500.00 and all left over or snowflake money
3. Pay off truck loan by the end of June, now pay minimum of $500.00
4. Always pay Roth Ira by the 5th
5. Pay off car loan by next Christmas

     If I can do this we will be debt free except for our house.  If I don't do this we will be closer.  Remember less stress.  I am making progress. It doesn't do me any good to pay huge amounts to a credit card and then turn around and use an over draft protection to cover 1/2 the house payment and then scramble and take on a lot of extra work to pay off the overdraft.  How about making a reasonably large payment and then not using the overdraft at all?  I am so tired of playing catch up.  But I set up these unrealistic goals for myself and then crash.  Well no more.  Okay I will always be over the top on most everything I do, but the financial stuff is killing me and I am done.

     I have to keep telling myself, just for today I am fine.  The specialists office called today and I had an infection show up in my labs last week.  So now we know why I was feverish and cold.  I picked up an antibiotic today and they also upped an injection I take to 1ml.  Much larger and I am dreading it as it makes me so sick.  But I am off the enbril and my x-rays came back with significant erosion from 18 months ago.  My insurance company is fighting the new medication because of the cost.  But I know they will cave as Hubby works for the State and we will go to a congressman if we have to.  I also have the final bills on Hubbies surgery.  Total $471.00.  Which I will pay on the 10th.

     Tomorrow morning I am going into my personal Credit Union and doing some book work.  I serve on a check up committee to oversee policy.  It will take me about 3 hours to do the books.   I am living for Friday because I am so tired.  This week has been long.  But I feel much better now that I have my budget set for the month.  My bills are well underway to being paid and I will be interested to see just how much I can put toward the CC this month.  But I am not going to stress and be stupid.

     Have you ever over paid things to feel that you are making progress only to slide backwards even farther?  Has anyone ever set goals that were unattainable?


Wednesday, this week is dragging

     I am with Mysti, impatient to get somewhere financially.  But I have no money and paychecks are few.  I went to the School district yesterday to get the paycheck I did not get from the play I did that should have been deposited last month on the 20th.  It will be deposited this month on the 20th.  So you work with kids 3 days a week for two hours after school for 10 weeks and then wait 3 months for a paycheck.  One more nail in their coffin.  I am so glad I am done!  My shop has been really slow this week also.  But whenever I say that I get bombed so I want to be careful.
     I hope I don't have to spend any money today.  Although I know the truck needs gas and I have a prescription to pick up.  Always something.

     Out My Window:  It has been very sunny here and warm (50's) I keep waiting for a cold snap!   Chickens are fed and happy.

      I will balance the studio account today and get a few bills paid, then see where I stand as far as a budget is concerned.  Am I putting it off because I don't want to know? Or am I really this busy?  I seem to be doing something all the time.  I know this.  My emergency fund is at $1000.00.  I will pay all the bills and fund the studio savings hopefully $1000.00.  I have a print out for a debt snowball, but I don't know if it will work.  Oh I get it I have to make it work?  Silly me!  I thought there was a debt fairy that did that?

Have a great and productive Day


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday, I forgot chicken feed!

     Yes, I forgot to get chicken feed, so back to Wal-mart this evening, for carrots, chicken feed, Greek yogurt, and diet soda for hubby, $34.91 .  He had lost 18lbs before Christmas and has put 6 back on so he needs a little incentive.  I also paid the studio insurance  71.18.  I paid daughters storage bill (but I will pull this from her account tomorrow) $135.00.  My studio Credit Union had a computer crash today.  What a mess, long lines and I wasn't able to get studio account balanced. My personal account is in the hole.  Where did all my money go?  I have a big water bill to pay and 2 large doctor bills.  Oh yes, I remember now I bought a wash machine.  I am no spending or low spending myself into a big old dark hole.  Thanks for all the comments, I feel a little better.  At least I am not alone.  At least the animals are fed for a month or so! 

Started a new opening number for upcoming Celtic Show and it is so good.  We have a theater here with an opera curtain that goes up in a full 1/2 circle.  It is so beautiful and I start with dim lights as the curtain rises to drums and then into full light with all 28 dancers in full unison.  It is great!  Can't wait to finish it.

Well off to bed!
At least I can't spend money while I am sleeping.


Tuesday, remember the no(low) spend challenge

     It was only the 2nd and I spent over $400.00.  This is why I can't get any where.  Actually it is kind of funny because, my goal yesterday was to go to the studio and clean out the costume loft.  This is a huge room that is up on a mezzanine section of the building. I have not cleaned it for the last 4 shows!
     Anyway B and I are on the way there and she want's to go to McD's for breakfast.  Okay why not she is helping me after all and this is a a big nasty hard job.  So we go and I spend $7.10, as I am putting the deliriousness to my mouth I remember  (I CAN'T SPEND ANY MONEY).  I told her here it is the morning of the second and I already broke my challenge. ^&%$#@#
     So off we go and we pull every box out and start to go through boxes one by one.  It was 3:00 and we still were not done.  B says, "Mom, how does this get so messed up?"  I thought about it.  Many of the costumes are put in bins that are not labeled, also many items and groups are in cardboard boxes.  So B counted how many clear boxes we would need and then she went a got a large sharpie and labeled the bins.  Soldier costumes, Lords a leaping, etc.  Then she said, "Mom, we need at least 10 more storage containers so we can get rid of all these cardboard boxes  I know you did not come up here and pull all this stuff out and rifle through it and leave this huge mess."  She is right I did not, it happened over a period of a year and it was students.  So off we go to Wal-mart and $71.25 we have everything in see through containers and labeled.  I mean the rose petals are in their own box.  Flowers in another.  Every box is see through.  If you need white basics, you look at the boxes and grab the basic box.  These boxes take up an entire wall floor to ceiling.  So nice..... but I spent $71.25 out of the business account on boxes.

     Now I get home from cleaning the bank.  B points out that I have not purchased any groceries since before Christmas.  Yes, before!  I had stocked up and there was so much leftover food.  We had, no milk, dog food, cat food, fruit, veggies, yogurt, nothing for Hubbies lunches.  During the break I would get up and cook pancakes, or waffles, or eggs and hashbrowns , then we would graze on leftover cheese and crackers.  We would have cheese sandwiches at night and left over deli meats etc.  Well the fridge was empty.  So off we go (again) and when I got to Wal-mart for the second time, I remembered that today I need to clean out the files and desk and x-fer everything to a new year for tax purposes.  To make a long story short.  I bought milk, yogurt, apples, bananas, oranges, cauliflower, broccoli, baby cucumbers, pickled veggies (husbands diet) large bag of dog food, large bag of cat food  (good brands), then went to office supplies and purchased 50 new file covers, for home, shop, and studio and a large plastic bin to store old files in, just in case I am audited everything is at my fingertips in order.  I spent $124.54!

     On the way home from Wal-mart daughter #2 calls and says, "Mom,I wrote a check to C.C. for $230.00."  This is for continuing studio education.  But right now?  Also the sewer clean out people will be here this week.  $180.00, but do I want that new bedroom covered with sewage?  This is a yearly maintenance procedure that I know had saved us tons of trouble.  Since I have implemented this program, I have not had a back up issue.  I will have to pay the accountant this month also.  I just forgot how expensive January is.  Rats!  I also rec'd a bill from the storage facility(remember I eliminated this, but daughter stored her furniture in there until she finds an apartment)  She had not paid the bill in November or December and January is due, so $135.00.  Which I will take out of her account, thank you very much.

     Okay enough whining!

Good things about yesterday.

The studio is clean!
The costume storage is clean!
I have tax files ready to purge!
I was able to work all day with my youngest daughter and she worked hard!

Bad things about yesterday!

It was expensive!
I am really going to have to assess the budget this month

Ugly thing!

What budget, I haven't even done one yet!  Grrrrr....

     Out My Window:  Hubby cleaned garage yesterday, while I was at the studio and I can get my car in there.  It was full of wood scraps and set up to build set pieces for the show.  He also cleaned out all the green black berry from the backyard.  No easy task, as this is invasive and takes over and is terrible in the spring to get rid off.  Last year I was a mess for two weeks after I dug out the blackberry.  He also let the chickens out while he worked in the yard.  They just love him.. Follow him like dogs,  Where ever he is they are all around him.  So Cute!

      Well today, I must balance books, make a deposit, go to the school district and get my payroll figured out.  Stop at the Jr. High with a bill.  Take some costumes to the green room at he High School that I found in my stuff.  Try to set up a budget for January and a tentative one for the New Year, teach, clean, drop with exhaustion.  I will not sew today.  I need to start new routines with all my kids for the St. Patrick's Day show on March 17th.  So tonight that means 4 new routines are started along with solos assigned and all music selected.

Have a great and productive day!

Carla, I am starting over on the 3rd!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday, Off we go!

     I am headed to the studio this morning to gut out the closet up stairs and to put everything away!  My youngest is going with me.  I will then teach for 3 hours, but I will put in at least 5.5 hours in class.  I am excited. I miss the kids.  This time of year is always scary as people don't come back and tuition can take a real hit.  I mean up to $1000.00 a month.  We don't want that to happen.  I am going to stay positive.  We only had a couple of parents approach us about leaving and several new so it should be a wash!

     I still have not taken down any Christmas stuff so this has to be done.  It won't be done today or tomorrow!  Maybe Wednesday.  I also have major cleaning and tax things to do.  Check books to balance, files to set up for the new year.  I want to get a budget printed (tentative).  I also have a few bills to pay and I need to get busy.  It has been a nice break, I really haven't pushed myself.  I just wish it was one week longer!

     I wonder when the shop phone will start ringing.  I have a wedding dress to go out this week.  My husband bought me a professional steamer for Christmas.  I can now steam wedding dresses.  This will be my first.  I charge $35.00 and hour for my time.  So this might be a way to make more money this year.

     Out My Window:  I am sending hubby out in the yard to mow down the blackberries  This is the only thing growing right now and they are soft.   By spring they will blend in and be as hard as a rock and tortuous to remove!

    If I am not too tired tonight I will set up a budget, but I think I will be in bed when I get home.  I am getting old.

Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday, Happy New 2012

     This is the year people.  I can feel it.  We are all going to make great things happen.  So many of us are close to paying off even a little debt and that will help us into the next one.  It is coming.... financial freedom.

     Rec'd the power bill for the studio and it was $195.00 (last year it was over $400.00)  But I paid to have a furnace man come down and set the thermostat.  Heat goes up to 68 at 2:30 p.m.and back to 55 at 8 p.m.  Monday through Friday.  This is great news!(last year it was $460.00)

     Rec'd my power bill and it was $265.00 which is really good for this time of year.  I am sure next month it will be higher as we turned the heat up when the baby was here.

     We had a prime rib dinner at friends and I am so full.  The studio opens tomorrow, I know it is a holiday for some, but we have a show to put on in 10 weeks and that will come up fast.  We have not put anything away or cleaned out the costume closet , so  youngest daughter and I are going to go down at 10 tomorrow morning and gut it out.  Studio opens at three.  Back on the fast track.  Remember less stress!

     The last 8 weeks before Christmas I was trying to add in Jr. High rehearsals (won't be doing that again) and combine several classes for the 12 Days show.  Now I can just concentrate on my classes without, running between schools.  I have also moved the advanced ballet out of the college and back to the studio.  Also less running and more control. I will feel more in touch with the students as I will not be calling in substitutes.  The classes will be mine alone.

     I need to pay a few last minute bills, balance both check books and set up new files for the new year.  Also taxes will be going to the accountant before the end of the month.  Ugh!  Still have not compiled a list of goals, just can't decide what I really can accomplish and I don't want to throw a whole lot of stuff out there and then watch myself flounder.  I flounder so well.  Daughter and I are going to watch a movie.

Have a wonderful 1st day of 2012, it will only get better after this!