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Archive for March, 2008

Flu

March 31st, 2008 at 04:30 pm

I started feeling bad Friday afternoon. So, I left work little early and came home, went straight to bed. I am still in bed.....

I think I got flu. Finally, fever is gone, but still feeling weak. I called my boss and told her I'm taking a day off. I don't want to push and make it worse.

I know this flu came from my co-worker. He kept coming to work even though he was really sick last week. Grrrr!!! STAY HOME, DUDE!!

I'm hoping to recover by tomorrow. I hate being sick.

Over-qualified??

March 26th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

One of my neighbor was telling me that they don't have any money. I knew she got laid off about a year ago, and haven't found a job, yet. And, she told me that she is "overqualified" for many jobs. Hmmmmm...... I don't think she has a college degree. So, what makes her think she is over-qualified??? A clerk at Taco Bell?

This type of attitude really puzzles me because she is complaining that they don't have any money. But, she is not working. Not even a part-time job. I guess she is not working because she is over-qualified and doesn't want to take ANY job. But for more than a year???

There are many things people do I just don't understand.



Women and money

March 25th, 2008 at 05:58 pm

In general, wives are in charge of household finance in the country I'm from.

How to save money is one of most popular articles in women's magazines. Most of my friends (female) handle money for their family, and give their husbands an allowance.

My parents were same way. My mother was SAHM, and she handled money. When my father got paid, it went straight to her, and she was giving him an allowance.

Most of my friends, as far as I know, handle household finance as well. They pay bills, put money in savings, and make a decision about large purchases. Actually, car dealers won't take a man seriously until wife shows up with him. They know husbands are not the final decision makers.

Also, it is common for husbands to negotiate a raise of their allowance with his wife when they get their salary raise.

So, I was shocked when I came to the U.S. and saw my friend's husband giving her money when we took a girls' trip. I have never seen it before..... I thought it was interesting how different cultures handle money differently between men and women.




Office Depot shopping result

March 25th, 2008 at 03:27 pm

During last two days, I bought these at Office Depot.

1 Glue stick
2 500 ct index card
5 various index cards
4 Scotch tape
20 sheets of trading card holder
3 Zipper envelope
1 Case of water (24 ct)
4 post it notes
5 pens

I paid $4.79 and this amount includes tax and CRV for water.

Wonderful promotion by Office Depot!!

Clipping coupons & new glasses

March 24th, 2008 at 05:20 pm

I hope you all had a nice Easter. We were really low key. Yesterday, I did a couple of deal hunting, Office Depot. and Rite Aid, then, came home and clipped coupons & organize them for a couple of hours. I finally found trading card holders at Office Depot. When I started couponing, I learned many people use binder method for their coupon organization and they use trading card holders. When I went to buy them before, they were out and I have been using bigger pocket type (picture holders) that holds less number of coupons.

I was really happy to find trading card holders this time. They were $2.49 each, so I grabbed two packages and added a scotch tape that were on clearance for 25 cents to make total more than $5. After $5 coupon, I paid 25 cents : ) Free coupon organizer for me.

By the way, I went to Lens Crafters to order my new glasses on Saturday. I have a pair but they are almost 10 years old and I can hardly see anything. It was waaay over due to get a new pair. Why did I go on Saturday? Because the expiration date for 50% off lenses coupon was Saturday. I know, I know. My life goes around coupons. Anyway, I checked other deals and coupons, but 50% off lenses seems to be the best deal. I knew there are BOGO coupons, too, but I don't need two pairs of glasses. I normally wear contact lenses and glasses are for night time use.

Anyway, at the end of the day, it saved me $200. Original price $569.95 - $200 = $369.95. Still, a good chunk of money. I called my benefit company on Thursday and made sure that I can buy my glasses with my FSA card. So, the money came out from my FSA fund.

$5/$5 coupon AGAIN at Office Depot.

March 23rd, 2008 at 09:00 pm

$5 off/$5 purcahse coupon is out again from Office Depot. They had this promo a while ago, and I got some stuff for almost free.

This coupon is good for today and tomorrow, so I went to two Office Depot. to get things we use.

First store:
1 large glue stick
3 index cards
Paid 60 cents.

Second store:
2 baseball card holder (for my coupon organization)
1 scotch tape
Paid 25 cents.

I love their promotion!!

Real people's story

March 22nd, 2008 at 02:50 am

I found this in CNN Money.

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/news/0803/gallery.real_stories/index.html

While I felt sorry for some of these people, I think some people are their own enemy.

I don't want to be too harsh on them. I'm not perfect, either. And, make mistakes here and there all the time.

Maybe we should tell them to read Saving Advice.

Day off!!

March 21st, 2008 at 03:23 pm

I'm off today. Ohhh, it is so nice to be in PJ, sipping coffee, and write my blog. It's beautiful outside, crisp air, and blue sky.

I have 10 a.m. appointment for my pedicure. I gave a gift certificate to my friend's B.D., so we are going there together.

Then, I really need to study for my test tomorrow. It is sooo boring to learn about how computer network works. It's a requirement class, so I have no choice but taking the class. Oh well. I just have to suck it up and do it.

I received a rebate check from Longs yesterday, then, I received a bill from Kohls. They pretty much offset each other. I will have about $5 left. It's ok.

There's no coupons this Sunday because it's a holiday weekend. It's a good time to go through old coupons and organize them.

I wish everyone very Happy Easter. Spring is almost here.

My March shopping at WG

March 20th, 2008 at 03:27 pm

I shopped at Walgreens A LOT this month. So far, my spending at Walgreens is almost $100. I bought some items we needed, and some will go to my stockpile. I am reviewing my list and many of these were needed items, such as DH's deodorant and hair mousse. He is very conservative about products he uses, and only uses the kind I cannot get for free : ( My DD take a bottle of water to school every day, so I bought 2 cases of Aquafina. She also needed poster board and index cards for her school work.

My out of pocket was $92.38 but it includes sales tax and CRV $19.52. So, $72.86 is the amount spent towards products and $15 of it is Starbucks gift card. I treat myself a latte every Friday morning, so I'm using this GC for it.

Anyway, here's the stuff I bought from Walgreens this month.

Price before coupons and rebates $354.2
Final oop $92.38 (includes $19.52 sales tax.)

1 $15 Starbucks gift card
1 Contact lens solution
1 Deodorant
2 Aquafina water (24 bottles)
4 Boxes of Kleenex
1 Listerine mouth wash
1 Colgate toothpaste
1 Body butter
1 Gainer lotion
1 Garnier hair spray
10 package of Olay bar soap
2 packages of Zest soap
2 hair mousse
3 Herbal essence shampoo
3 herbal essence conditioner
6 trial size Herbal essence conditioner
2 Sunsilk Hair lotion
24 trial size Panteen shampoo & conditioner
3 Poster board
1 Index card
6 bags of M&M (14 oz)
20 Trident gum
2 Orbit gum
11 Hunt's tomato sauce
7 Thai kitchen Pat Thai noodle
2 Windex
3 Energizer battery
2 Durano
1 Ajax
2 Glad wrap
1 Vitamin D
1 box of greeting card set
2 Wrapping paper
2 Hallmark tissue
4 Gift bag
1 120 ct. cotton
3 Bubble mailer envelopes
3 Glade flameless candle
2 Lighter


$82 lesson

March 19th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

My days have been really hectic, but it is time to sit down and organize my clutter around my desk. I learned organization saves money in a hard way. I totally forgot to pay vehicle registration fee that was due in February!!!! Ahhhhhh!!

I don't know why I didn't pay earlier, but the bill was sitting on my desk with other crap and I forgot about it for too long. Now, I had to pay $82 more for late payment. $82!! That's a lot of money! I am kicking and kicking and kicking myself, and felt really depressed. After I clamed down a little, I tried to think I just paid $82 fee to learn about the importance of organization, and taking time to review things.

I'm still not happy about my mistake at all. But, it is sunk cost and there's nothing I can do about. At least, I should get some kind of lesson out of it, I guess.

Basket for silent auction

March 18th, 2008 at 07:22 pm

My DD's school student body is hosting a fund raising dinner next month. As part of ASB member, she needs sell tickets or come up with a basket for silent auction (required to be worth more than $150.) She was telling me about her ideas of getting a basket together, calling spa places and ask for donation. Yeah, right.... I just told her, "Good luck." Off she went to her friend's house.

Several hours later, she came home, and I asked her "So, how did it go?" She told me either they were closed (she did this on Sunday) or they already made a donation to somebody else. Result: Zero, nothing, nada. She told me "I will never get a sales job!!" Well, good thing you learned early. She changed her plan from putting a basket together to selling more dinner tickets. Wait... I thought she doesn't want to sell anything??? I don't know. We will see.

I told her I can put a bathroom essential basket for her if she really needs it. (Things like shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.) I know I have more than $150 worth of products I got for free or paid very little. She wasn't really excited about the idea and will try to sell tickets first. I am just preparing for the last minute request, yes, one of those 9 o'clock at night announcement, "Mom, I need xxxxx, tomorrow."

Grocery shopping

March 17th, 2008 at 08:53 pm

I went to a couple of stores to do my grocery shopping. At Trader Joe's, I bought my usual, bananas, apples, tomatoes, and sourdough bread, etc.

I noticed the price of a loaf of sourdough bread went up from $1.89 to $2.29. 40 cents increase from February. Fuji apples used to be 39 cents, but they're 49 cents each now. It is still a good deal compare to other stores. Bananas are still 19 cents per pound. Great price. Two large tomatoes, $2.69 and 4 ct. avocados $3.29. There are usual stuff I buy at Trader Joe's. I also picked up a package of hard salami that was $1.89.

Then, I went to Safeway and bought other things I needed. They have a dozen eggs for 99 cents this week with minimum of $10 purchase. For some reason, the store coupon for eggs scanned 10 cents more, and I paid 89 cents for a dozen eggs. I won't complain.

I also had to go to Pets Mart to buy some dog food. Price on these went up, too! It used to be 58 cents per can, but now they were 62 cents per can. Boy.... I'm really hoping for good coupons from Pedigree. I miss BOGO coupons for these dog food last summer!!



My friend's father

March 17th, 2008 at 03:38 pm

I went to lunch with my friend yesterday. She told me her father lost his house and lives in rental now. From what she told me, her father and his wife (her stepmother) deserve to lose the house. They stretched themselves to the limit, and they knew what they were doing. My friend told me her stepmother knows the system and use it for her advantage. I don't know any detail how her stepmother did it, but they stayed in their house for one year without paying any mortgage by taking advantage of grace period to vacate the house or something. (Like I said, I have no idea how she did it. My friend told me her stepmother filed bankruptcy and every time she submitted paperwork, the grace period was extended, or something like that. Please don't quote me on this. I really don't know how the system works about bankruptcy.) Anyway, this is second time her stepmother filed bankruptcy.

My friend knew about her father's financial situation, so she told her stepmother not to get anything for Christmas last year. Of course, her stepmother went out and bought gifts for everyone. Things people do not need. My friend's husband got a shirt he will never wear and went straight to Goodwill. Her daughter received shoes she didn't like. So, my friend had to lie to her stepmother that they were too small, and find out the store step mom bought the shoes from. At least, she could exchange the shoes with something her daughter would wear.

Wow...... Good thing is my friend is not like her father, and is careful about money. I met her in Statistics class in community college. She is working on degree to become a speech therapist, and was just accepted to grad school.

I guess some people are totally fine losing their homes. Maybe, they don't care. Like her father, they find another place to live and move on..... But... will they ever learn about financial responsibility??? btw, my friend's father is 65 years old.

We are officially in recession

March 14th, 2008 at 09:31 pm

According to Yahoo Finance I read yesterday, we are officially in recession. Dah....

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/104627/Most-Economists-Say-Recession-Has-Arrived-as-Outlook-Darkens;_ylt=AuRUZbxvw8Ly01pTe_AjbSRO7sMF

I was watching news this morning, and they were talking about the price increase of milk, bread, and eggs. I guess we are ahead of media as we already discussed about the egg price increase. They were saying the price of eggs doubled in a short period of time which I personally observed. I think people should visit SavingAdvice if they want a scoop about personal finance LOL

By the way, I still have $44 worth of Walgreens catalina I need to use. I spent $48 on things I can roll, i.e. FAR items. Boy, I didn't think spending money can be so difficult LOL Since I bought most of FAR items for this month, I will spend the rest for something I can hardly get coupons for, such as nice wrapping paper. I know Aquafina water will be on sale next week, so I am planning to get three cases or so. There won't be much going on next week at Walgreens for me, but it will be a good week for Rite Aid FAR deal. I will be hitting RA for sure.

Some thoughts about DD

March 13th, 2008 at 06:56 pm

We have a daughter. She's sophomore in high school, and she is a good kid. Never missed a day of school, very personable, and works really hard. She doesn't know which university she wants to go, yet. But, I know it will not be a community college. While there is nothing wrong with earning lower division credit at a community college and transfer to UC or CSU (which I did), she says she is working too hard to settle for a community college. It is true. She spends most of her days studying, planning for student body activity, practicing instrument, or helping basket ball team stats.

Frustrating thing is, sometimes, what she wants to do and what she can do aren't the same thing. She wants to place herself in advance classes, but she is failing her math class. She is taking pre-cal/trig and seems that it is just way too much for her. She has been a B student in her Algebra and Geometry, so I was little concerned when she took pre-cal this year. I didn't think she had a strong enough foundation, but she was placed in pre-cal class since she passed Algebra II last year with a B. Well, she has been struggling as I predicted, and my husband is really upset about her bad grade.

I kind of feel sorry for her. When I did trig in my high school days, I didn't get it. And I didn't care, to be honest. I understand how frustrating it is to spend hours and hours studying and still get failing grade. I went to talk to her math teacher and she thinks our DD has an ability to pass. Well, then, why she keeps failing? I heard only three students in her class are passing. That doesn't sound right.

My DH may have a talk with the principle and find out what our options are. I'm not really concerned because she already has completed graduate requirement classes for math. But we just don't want her to damage her GPA. At this point, I don't know what to do with this issue. It's pretty frustrating.....

Managing money and relationship

March 12th, 2008 at 11:05 pm

I find some similarities between managing money and managing relationship.

- You need to pay attention.
You pay attention to people you like and cultivate relationship. You pay attention to money and money will grow.

- You invest your time.
Developing good relationship takes time, and accumulating financial stability also takes time.

- Sometimes you need to keep distance.
If you're always together and too close, relationship may suffer. You also give some distance with your money and give it some room to grow.

- There will be some ups and downs.
Like marriage, we experience ups and downs in our savings and investment.

- If you treat the person nicely, you will be treated well in return.
If you treat money with care, it will reward you with a nice return.

In general, people who are managing their relationship well seem to be financially stable, too. It's just my observation.


Thinking about what to buy...

March 10th, 2008 at 06:31 pm

I suppose some of you had a lot of fun getting Register Rewards for P&G products last week at Walgreens. Trial size worked like a charm and I ended up getting $92 worth of RR. (My out of pocket was $65.36, so I made $26.64 from this deal.) Unfortunately, 99 cents trial size were wiped out, and I could score only once. Still, I could find 1.39 trial size that gave me about $3 profit every time I bought. So, that was nice. What do I do with all these mini shampoos? I will donate them when holiday season comes. My office donate household necessities, i.e. soap & shampoo, to homeless people every year.

I used $4 to buy one of FAR items, and thinking what to get with the rest of $88. I may have problem buying gift card because it's $4 coupon and says one per order. We will see. I was planning to buy some Windex this week since we're running low. I have a couple of BOGO coupon for antibacterial kind, but I heard Safeway has them for BOGO this week, so it's cheaper to get theses at Safeway. (free....) I need to sit down and figure this out. It's only Monday, so I still have a whole week to think about it.

I'm leaving work at noon today because I have an exam for my accounting class tonight. It's about capitalization & depreciation. The teacher was really nice and held a review session yesterday afternoon that helped me a great deal. Very nice teacher. I hope his exam is as nice as he is LOL

Paying for dentist & buying cheap M&M

March 6th, 2008 at 04:17 pm

I went to have my crown (for my tooth) done on Tuesday. After insurance and deductible, my portion was $559.50. Ouch!!

However, as I wrote before, I paid it with my FSA debit card. So, I don't feel much pain in my bank account. Money was already funded through FSA contribution. I love my FSA debit card.

I stopped by Walgreens and bought some P&G products. I heard trial size is working for Register Reward deal, so I gave it a try. And Voila!! It worked like a charm. I bought 6 trial size shampoo & conditioner, paid $8.34 ($1.39 x 6) and received $12 coupon that is good for next shopping trip. I am going to use the coupon to buy March FAR items.

And, I couldn't resist.... I bought two bags of M&M candies. I know, I know. It's not good for my wallet or teeth. But, it was $1 for a 12.6 oz bag!! (2 for $3 after Walgreens store coupon, then, add 2/$1 manufacture coupon makes them $1 each.) I'm sure you will understand ; )

Free soap this week

March 5th, 2008 at 04:33 am

If you have Walgreens near you, check it out. They have Olay soap for sale. When you buy 2 of them and pay $4, you will get $4 off coupon for next shopping. That make them FREE!!

Soaps are great item to stock up because there's no expiration date : )

Feb. coupon & rebate saving

March 5th, 2008 at 04:28 am

February coupon & rebate savings $304.47

Safeway's Savings Rally was a huge contribution factor. Also, this includes some restaurant coupons we used when we went out for dinner.

$304.47 will be added to my EF.

Feb. interest was also paid to my EF account. $5.19.

These will bring my EF balance to $2,310.53.

Egg price went up again

March 3rd, 2008 at 07:51 pm

I stopped by Trader Joe's on Saturday to pick up my usual.

Bananas, 19 cents per pound.
Fuji apples 49 cents each.
Sourdough bread $1.89 a loaf.
And a dozen of eggs...... I saw the price and skipped. The price of eggs has gone up AGAIN! It used to be 99 cents for a dozen of eggs not so long ago. Then, it went up to $1.19, to $1.69, and now it's $1.89. I know I'm talking about very small amount of money, but all of you know how quickly these 80 cents here and there add up. I decided to buy eggs at Longs Drug this time because their eggs are still $1.49 for a dozen. I need to go there to pick up new rebate book anyway.

Grocery prices are definitely going up as gas price goes up. Do you feel grocery price increase, too?