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Archive for July, 2009

Do you get a deal at dollar stores?

July 20th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Text is Do you get a Deal at the Dollar Store? and Link is http://blog.moneymanagement.org/do-you-get-a-deal-at-the-dollar-stores/
Do you get a Deal at the Dollar Store? - Blogging For Change

Reading this article made me think if the trips I make there are worth it? Not so much.

Food/toiletries/plastic products are not safe, electronics are of poor quality, and we use only natural cleaning products (vinegar/baking soda/elbow grease).

Some things I have/do pick up there:
> A quick gift(candle, etc) and a gift bag
> microfiber cleaning cloths
> dishwashing gloves
> glass dishware (bowls, etc)
> dish sponges

Text is Do you get a Deal at the Dollar Store? and Link is http://blog.moneymanagement.org/do-you-get-a-deal-at-the-dollar-stores/
Do you get a Deal at the Dollar Store?

Got my consignment check!

July 16th, 2009 at 03:33 pm

Well it's not much, only $33 bucks (4 things), but it's something. These are items that are not worth the hassle of listing on ebay and are still too nice for the Goodwill.

I've got another bag of summer things I am going to take in next month, and two more full of fall stuff sitting in the back of the closet for later on.

This is the first time I've dropped items off at this particular store, but it's 5 min from work so I figured, why not? I'm honestly surprised by their turnover, they are way overpriced! But this is posh Boulder and many rich people seem to shop there and there are also no reasonable thrift stores around. This works in my favor as long as I walk out of there with my money and not instead with a pair of gorgeous, red, lacquered, Nine West ballet flats. (I had to hold myself back, it was hard)

I often come across name brand items that are not in my size at the local thrift store during their 99c sale days. I need to start buying them and bringing in to consign, everything sells and for 10 times what I paid for it!

If only I had the extra time to clean, press and mend everything. Maybe it's just something else I could do instead of watching TV after work, which has been a hard habit to kick, even after we got rid of all the channels but the local ones, I still rely on Netflix too much!

I guess consignment stores are doing great in our economy, so if you have something that's not worth the ebay hassle, it's another great way to get a little extra cash.

Where does the money go?

July 14th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Text is and Link is http://www.visualeconomics.com/how-the-average-us-consumer-spends-their-paycheck

I'm a sucker for infographics, and this one from April 2009, is pretty good:

Text is How The Average U.S. Consumer Spends Their Paycheck and Link is http://www.visualeconomics.com/how-the-average-us-consumer-spends-their-paycheck
How The Average U.S. Consumer Spends Their Paycheck

The top 4 are obvious: housing, car, food and insurance. But it was interesting to see that people spend almost as much on groceries as going out (7% vs 5.4%) and that cash contributions (I'm assuming savings) is only at 3.7% of the total monthly budget.

We spend .02% of our income on reading but 3 times that amount on alcohol? I bet that most of the entertainment cost is TV, Cable, movies, video games...anesthesia for the masses.

What does it say that Americans only spend 12.4% of their income on food, but spend 5.7% on Healthcare? If you buy high quality food (healthy organic fats and proteins, fruits and veggies) then you will not have to spend anywhere near that much on healthcare.

Unexpected Car Repair

July 13th, 2009 at 09:27 am

There we were, all packed and ready to drive to the airport for our Portland vacation. We loaded up the car, grabbed all the snacks and water, locked up the house and..... DH's car wouldn't start. It made a weird clicking sound, and nothing. He tried it a few more times, and still nothing. At this point he was starting to get sweat on his brow, we were already running late for the airport!

Thank God for our second car! We quickly shuffled everything into my car which was sitting in the garage, she started up like a champ (should hope so, she's a 2008) and off we went. Not the best way to start a vacation, worrying about how much that surprise is going to cost you when you get back.

I was convinced it was the starter, but DH tinkered with it and decided the battery just bit the dust, brought on by the strong storms we've been having and the car sitting out overnight. That and I think I've let it drain completely a few years back by leaving the dome light on for the weekend. Off to Walmarts he went, and luckily a new one was only 70 bucks, and we get 10 of it back when we bring in the old one. It was a snap to put it in, and she started up like a champ. Whew!

Considering this is a 92 Honda civic, and the first and only car I've owned throughout highschool and college and my 20s, we should consider ourselves lucky. Aside from regular maintenance: replacing break pads, filters, alignment, etc she has had no major problems since we got her. And now my husband uses her as a very gas efficient commuter car. That's probably the reason we own nothing but Hondas, and neither do my parents, they've served us too well! Smile

Back from vacation, and UNDER budget!

July 10th, 2009 at 10:34 am

DH and I had a wonderful 5 days in Portland!
We had an amazing time. We stayed in a beautiful Victorian guesthouse in the heart of Nob hill, ate and explored to our content, and took several roadtrips to the Willamette valley and to the coast stopping at small towns along the Pacific Coast Highway (101).

Pictures coming soon!

This is what we spent overall:

Roundtrip tix Denver-Portland : $308
4 nights lodging in Nob Hill(inc all taxes): $300
Car rental 4 days (compact): $62
Gas: $38
Food, attractions, etc: $260

Grand total: $970 (rounding up)

We were hoping to stay under $1500, that was about how much we spent in Seattle last year, so we must be getting better and better with each trip Smile

Portland or bust

July 1st, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Today is the end of a three day week for me, and tomorrow my DH and I leave for Portland for a mini 5 day vacation. I am actually getting 5 days off with only having to take of 1 from work, thanks to the holiday!

I am absolutely enamored with the Pacific NorthWest, and my recent trips to Northern California (driving the PCH, visiting wineries, staying at b&bs) and Seattle(best chowder in the world) have only made me love it more. I'm really looking forward to the moisture, the tall redwoods, the smells and sounds of the coast, and all the greenery. Summer in Colorado is arid, desert like and the unrelenting sun tends to turn everything brown and crunchy with dryness, so it'll be a nice change.

The bills are paid, the house is pretty clean and I've got a little packing left to do after work today. I wish you all a fun and festive 4th, see you next week!