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Took the plunge...

January 26th, 2008 at 07:27 pm

Ok, now I have been paying attention and know that the stock market has been falling lately. However, I decided to take the plunge anyway and max out our 2008 Roth IRAs today (well, technically Monday). I'm sort of figuring that sometime in the next 40 years before we retire the stock market will rise. Smile If it doesn't, I think we'll ALL be in a world of hurt.

Now, if you notice on my side bar, as of December I only had about $2,400 saved, so how did I end up with the 10K needed to max it out? Well my in-laws graciously agreed to cover tuition for this term. Independently DH and I decided that we would take the subsidized loans out and pay for the rest of tuition OOP. So I decided to stash that "extra" money in our Roth, knowing that if things went terribly wrong, we could take it out (I don't anticipate this at all).

Also DH and I went grocery shopping last night and saved 13.34 which I will be adding to my challenge.

New addition: $13.34
Previous total: $418.92
Total: $432.26

challenge addition

January 24th, 2008 at 07:38 pm

Recieved $47 from Survey Spot and $40 for tutoring last month which will be added to the challenge.

And in other news the simulators up in Maine are closed so DH is coming to Florida to work...and see me!! He has to work part of Friday and most of the day Saturday, but we have tonight and Sunday to play. Also, since he isn't at home he'll get paid per diem, so we'll also get about $200 for the weekend. Wink

New addition: $87.00
Previous total: $331.92
Total: $418.92

grocery savings

January 15th, 2008 at 01:38 am

Went grocery shopping today and the store was having some good buy 1 get 1 free sales on some of the items I wanted. I ended up saving $12.41 with my store card, which I'll add to the challenge.

New addition: $12.41
Previous total: $319.51
Total: $331.92

shopping spree=savings spree?

January 12th, 2008 at 08:10 pm

I got some clothes for Christmas that didn't fit so I needed to return them. I went to return them and found that the mall was having some really great sales! I have been needing some nicer clothes, particularly collared shirts. Well JCPenney was having a 40% off the clearance price sale. I went a little crazy and bought 11 shirts for $120 dollars. However, I saved $244.51 since all but one of the shirts were on clearance...and that shirt was on sale.

Then I went to Old Navy they were also having a good clearance sale with half off. Since I had about $20 in store credit after the return I scoured the clearance racks, but didn't find anything I really liked. So I bought a pair of shorts that ended up costing me only $1.25 oop.

So I'm going to add that $244.51 to the savings part of the my challenge. Oh, and I got a check from pinecone, so I'll add that too.

New addition: $249.51
Previous total: $70
Total: $319.51

kick off to $20 challenge

January 8th, 2008 at 03:35 pm

Well today I finally got mail from when I was gone visiting DH. I am completely floored with how generous my grandparents were this holiday season! I am so thankful and it will definately be put to good use because our expenses are so much higher now.

In addition to leftover holiday wishes, I also got a check for tutoring and 2 pinecone checks. That will start my 2008 challenge off with $70.

New Additions: $70
Total: $70

grocery update

December 9th, 2007 at 10:54 pm

It's been forever since I've added anything to my $20 challenge, but since I want to get back in the habit for 2008 I figured it wouldn't hurt to start now!

Using my card at the grocery store I saved $4.12.

New additions: $4.12
Previous total: $1074.76
Total, since 4/15: $1078.88

New clothes

September 1st, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Well apparently at pharmacy school we have to dress professionally. For this normally jeans and t-shirt gal that means I need some new clothes.

A little while ago I went to a thrift store and got some clothes. I wrote about it in a previous post if you are interested.

Well this Thursday JC Penny's was having a major clearance sale. I got a collared shirt (half off), a pinstriped pant (less than $9), a pair of black sandals (less than $9), a pair of black pumps (half off), and a pair of earings (25% off). On top of that I opened a Penny's credit card and got $5, 10% off, and then an additional 15% off.

The recepit says I saved $145.

Since I don't have much to add to the challenge lately I'll add it here.

New additions: $145
Previous total: $929.76
Total, since 4/15: $1074.76

Weekend savings

August 13th, 2007 at 03:19 pm

Well yesterday I did my normal CVS run. I saved $38.70. I am planning on giving some of the stuff away for Christmas stocking stuffers (toothpaste) and I'm making pamper gift baskets for my two teenage girl cousins. I'm just about done purchasing for all of that, so I maybe slowing down at CVS and Walgreen's for a while which honestly makes me sad!

At Walgreen's I bought some Bic pens that were on sale for only .39 and some nail polish (for the cousins' baskets) that was .99. Saving 10.20.

Yesterday I also went to the Thrift store across the street and bought a pair of black pants and 5 tops (3 casual, 2 more dressy) for 14.61! Besides the fact that 1 or 2 of the shirts alone may have cost more than that most everything I got was on sale so I saved $10.30 off of the marked price.

Other than that DH was gone all weekend so I mostly hung out around the house. Only spent the $20 mentioned here.

New additions: $ 59.20
Previous total: $870.56
Total, since 4/15: $ 929.76

Savings update

August 9th, 2007 at 04:09 pm

Since August 1st:

Savings from:
CVS: 13.50
Publix: 2.75
Base: 4.44
Publix: 15.00

Earnings from surveys: $28

New additions: $ 63.69
Previous total: $806.87
Total, since 4/15: $ 870.56


August 1st, 2007 at 04:10 pm

Publix: saved 9.33
CVS: saved 17.99
Food Lion: saved 7.76
Rowe's saved: 5

New additions: $ 40.08
Previous total: $766.79
Total, since 4/15: $ 806.87

Drug store runs

July 29th, 2007 at 04:02 pm

Went to Walgreens and using coupons saved 10.55. At CVS I saved 18.70.

New additions: $ 29.25
Previous total: $737.54
Total, since 4/15: $ 766.79

saving addition

July 26th, 2007 at 02:37 pm

Today was the last day of classes so I sold my textbook back and got $32.50 back, about half of what I spent.

Yesterday when we went grocery shopping we saved about $7 from coupons.

New additions: $ 39.50
Previous total: $698.04
Total, since 4/15: $ 737.54

Challenge update

July 24th, 2007 at 08:44 pm

I did shopping today to get all the good deals. I did pretty good today. At Publix I saved 6.38. The items I bought at CVS retailed for over $50 and I only paid 2.92...half of which was tax. Then Walgreens I saved $11.81. This is a total of $66 in savings.

I haven't been getting many surveys from pinecone lately and I'm a little concerned about that. I used to get surveys every week if not more frequently. Maybe I'll ask them about it. Another one of my survey sites seems to be doing pretty well though with about $20/month.

New additions: $ 66.00
Previous total: $632.04
Total, since 4/15: $698.04

More grocery savings

July 18th, 2007 at 08:52 pm

Went to Publix today and with some of their buy one get one free sales and $2 in coupons the receipt states I spent $21 and saved $22! Not too shabby. Now, I probably wouldn't have spent $43 on all that stuff, but someone would have! That savings will be added to my challenge

New additions: $ 22.00
Previous total: $610.04
Total, since 4/15: $632.04

Grocery Shopping

July 17th, 2007 at 09:14 pm

Went grocery shopping today and saved 8.44 with coupons. Several of the things I bought were on sale so I really saved even more than that, but I don't have a record of how much. This trip shopping was supposed to be a stock up trip, but I once I was there I realized that we didn't need a whole lot. So that helped with the spending.

New additions: $ 8.44
Previous total: $601.60
Total, since 4/15: $610.04

CVS/ WAG runs today

July 15th, 2007 at 05:58 pm

I went to CVS and they are having Loreal Vive shampoo and conditioner buy one get one free. I also had two coupons for buy one get one free. I went there today and got four bottles and only had to pay tax! I also did another one of their deals and got $15 ECB which can be used in future weeks. Between the coupons and sales I saved 31.96!

Next I went to Walgreen's and stocked up on some pens and 3x5 index cards. I saved a total $9.17 and even though I spent $3.61 I didn't pay anything out of pocket since I have a gift card from them.

I'm adding the savings from both of these to the challenge.

New additions: $ 41.13
Previous total: $560.47
Total, since 4/15: $601.60

coupons and surveys

July 4th, 2007 at 02:29 am

Went grocery shopping tonight. We were in desperate need of food since we had pretty much been out of town for a week and a half and since we are having people over tomorrow for dinner we had to pick up some extra stuff. Using coupons I saved 9.25 so that will go to the challenge.

I also got a check in the mail for $24 from doing surveys. I love getting those checks!

New additions: $ 33.25
Previous total: $527.22
Total, since 4/15: $560.47

Challenge Addition

July 2nd, 2007 at 05:15 pm

Gosh I've been really bad about updating and tracking my challenge money. Over the past few weeks I've gotten $29 for surveys and a $10 rebate. I also got my first rebate back from Walgreen's, but since that is in the form of a gift card I'm not going to count it for the challenge. Hopefully I'll get better about doing and tracking challenge again!

New additions: $ 39
Previous total: $488.22
Total, since 4/15: $527.22

Challenge update and go Beavs!

June 11th, 2007 at 11:43 pm

Went shopping today and saved $9.15 from using coupons. Since I went to the commissary I really saved more than that as the other grocery stores are more expensive and the commissary had some things on sale. I'm adding that to the challenge.

On a unrelated note DH's and my alma mater (Oregon State) is currently playing the second baseball game of the super regional. If we win tonight against Michigan we'll return to Omaha for the third consecutive time and to defend our title as national champions. If we happen to lose, we'll play Michigan tomorrow and, since I'm sure we'll win, we'll then go to Omaha! Go Beavs!

New additions: $ 9.15
Previous total: $479.07
Total, since 4/15: $488.22

Textbooks and challenge money

June 6th, 2007 at 02:13 am

Well classes started this week for me. I'm really not looking forward to them. I have my BS (and BA), but I have to take a couple of prerequisites for the pharmacy school in New Hampshire. I have to take a US History class because they don't accept AP tests and Intro to Sociology. I think Sociology would be fun, but our teacher is scatter brained and I doubt I'll get as much out of the class as I could. History should be ok though. It's not my favorite subject, but being married to a history major he'll be curious to know what we are covering.

I am taking these classes at the local community college. I figured since it's a daytime class that there would be some younger the class. Boy was I wrong, two of the three people in my history group are 16, and the third is only 18! Now, I'm only 24, but they are making me feel old! Actually I think it could be interesting to see how teenagers think these days, but I'm not used to being in class with teenagers and high schoolers.

Anyway I had to buy a new textbook for sociology as she's using a new book this year so there are no used copies. Our history class required a packet of three books. I bought a used packet for just over $40.

The textbook for the class is the same one I used for US history in high school. So I was kicking myself that I actually had the book but had to buy it. But with an 8 week class there was no way I could get it in time. I was also thinking that DH had the Frederick Douglas book we needed, but I wasn't sure if he got rid of it during our book purge. So I bought the books and went home. I discovered that DH had both the textbook and the Douglas book.

I was happy that he had them and I figured that I could return them and buy the third book separately. Well apparently the bookstore doesn't sell that book by itself, and, of course, it is the one book we have to bring to each class.

By then I was even more frustrated that I was going to have to pay for the entire packet just for that dang book. Then I remembered that libraries often have copies of the textbooks available for reference so I decided to check it out. Well not only did they have that book, it was in circulation so I was able to check it out!I'll probably have to check it out a couple of times during the term, but's free!

So I'm adding that $40 saved on textbooks to the challenge.
I'm also adding $10 saved from CVS this week. The actual total is more than that, but I don't have the receipt in front of me.

New additions: $ 50
Previous total: $429.07
Total, since 4/15: $479.07

Trip to the grocery store

May 30th, 2007 at 07:01 pm

Today at the grocery store I saved $6.05 using coupons. In reality, though, we saved more than that. Bacardi has these new drink mixers, they look like frozen juice, but you add alcohol to make drinks like margaritas, daiquiris, and mojitos. Anyway we like those and Winn Dixie has them on sale 2 for $5 until the 4th of July, but I went to Food Lion the other day I found them on sale 3 for $6. I thought that was a good deal, but guess how much they were at the commissary??? $.99 each! Wow, talk about a markup at those other stores. We bought two of them and used a 55 cents off coupon.

I also got some hot dogs they were normally $2 a package, but were on sale for $1 a package, then I had a $1 off two coupon, so I got two packages for half the price of one. We don't eat hot dogs that often, but it makes me wish I had more coupons!

It was a sort of impromptu/unplanned trip to the store, but we ended up doing alright. I am trying to be better about menu planning, but it's hard cause it seems like we always just make the same stuff over again. I need to get better, more diverse recipes.

New additions: $ 6.05
Previous total: $423.02
Total, since 4/15: $429.07

What the $20 challenge is to me...

May 29th, 2007 at 02:50 pm

Alright I've heard a lot of people who want to know more about the $20 challenge so here's my attempt to explain how I've approached it. First of all, it is a personal thing, ask 10 different people what they include and how they do it, you will get 10 different answers. The goal is to save money what ever way you do that is ultimately up to you.

Some have done it where you only include new ways of saving money, where, for instance, you wouldn't count the savings from coupons if you have always clipped coupons. Another interpretation is to use that $20 and use it to make money, like buying supplies to make something and sell it. Others reward themselves for doing things like exercising or not eating out by adding money to the challenge.

These are things I personally add to my challenge money:
*Money saved from coupons (I didn't clip coupons before joining this site, so technically it's a "new" savings)

*DH is the money maker in the family, I am currently tutoring part time, since it is extra money and very variable, I add that money to the challenge. If I had a 'real' job I wouldn't add that money.

*I take online surveys and add the money to the challenge (only after I have the check in my hand).

*I added the rebate from the telephone company because if it weren't for me remembering it and filling out the paperwork, we wouldn't have gotten that money.

*I DON'T add change that I find on the ground. That money just gets added to the coin jar.

I keep a running tally on the site of how much I make/save. I don't have a separate account or anything. Actually my savings is mostly virtual. It's either money that I sent to the bank or money that I didn't take out of the bank. Others actually keep their challenge money separate from their normal money (it makes it more real that way).

So ultimately just jump in and start saving! I was very surprised about how much money I saved just doing the little I did...and I've just been doing it a couple of months! Also, don't be afraid to change what the challenge means to you. If you want to try something different or like someones idea, just do it!

$20 challenge addition

May 28th, 2007 at 09:30 pm

Made my weekly runs to Walgreen's and CVS. With coupons and extra bucks I saved $22. I can't wait until I get my Walgreen's rebate back so I won't have to pay out of pocket for all my goodies. I'm a little worried though that I'm going to get addicted to all this! I am trying to be good and only get items that we'll really use, but where there are such good deals it's hard sometimes. Thankfully I have a good husband who keeps me in line, but he's also good about letting me get the deals for things we need.

New additions: $ 22.00
Previous total: $401.02
Total, since 4/15: $423.02

Another addition

May 23rd, 2007 at 06:00 pm

Got another check in the mail from doing surveys! So I have $27 more for the challenge. However, I'm only going to add $7. When I first started the challenge I added the initial $20. I now want to take that out of the tally, so I am! Smile

New additions: $ 7.00
Previous total: $394.02
Total, since 4/15: $401.02

I can't believe that in just under 6 weeks I've made/saved over $400!! And my "job" has only provided about $60 of that. Amazing.

Challenge money

May 21st, 2007 at 08:44 pm

Today was a nice day at the mailbox for me. I got two $5 checks from pinecone and a $40 check from tutoring.

New additions: $ 50.00
Previous total: $344.02
Total, since 4/15: $394.02

Good day at CVS

May 20th, 2007 at 02:04 pm

Saved $44 dollars at CVS today! They were having some good deals with Extra Bucks. I spent $20.50 on crackers and such and got about $60 worth of products free...and $10 Extra Buck to use for next time and $4 off $20 coupons.

I also got another pinecone check for $5.

New additions: $ 48.00
Previous total: $295.02
Total, since 4/15: $344.02

Money Date

May 14th, 2007 at 08:34 pm

Well DH and I are going to have a money date later this week to discuss our finances. My goals for the meeting are:

1. Go over our budget and show him where we've been spending. I enter it all in, so I have a slightly better picture, but I get bogged down in the day-to-day stuff that I don't really have a good idea of the big picture.

2. Find out how much more money we'll be getting each month. DH had been withholding taxes at a higher rate. Last month I fixed that so after the 15th we'll know how much less taxes are being withheld.

3. Figure out what to do with that money and the $230/month raise he'll be getting in the next month or so.

4. Figure out to do with $10K that we got from my Dad's life insurance money.

5. Celebrate that we paid an extra $1200 on our cars this month and now have officially reached our goal of 5 months expenses for our EF!!

We have a couple of different goals that we'll put the money towards.

1. Pharmacy school. We're planning on taking out loans for the tuition, but use cash to pay for books and other expenses.

2. Retirement accounts! I've been looking forward to opening a retirement account for a couple of months now.

3.Pay off our cars ($17K total, 9K at 5.99% and 8K at 3.59%)

4. House down payment.

Any suggestions or advice on how we should allocate that money? And I'll keep you updated on what we decide.

Also I got a check from pinecone a couple of days ago and picked up 6 cents at Winn Dixie that was left on the ground. So that'll be added to my challenge. I don't usually add change that I find, but DH made such a big deal about me picking it up that I'm going to add it!

New additions: $ 5.06
Previous total: $295.02
Total since 4/15: $300.08

Another check to add

May 10th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Today I got a $16 check from surveyspot for taking surveys.

I've been taking surveys for just over 2 months now and have been pleasantly surprised with the money I've earned. I've already cashed out $43 cashed out and have earned another $32 or so on top of that.

New additions: $ 16.00
Previous total: $279.02
Total, since 4/15: $295.02

another update

May 8th, 2007 at 08:42 pm

$14.44 Savings at CVS (and another $4 off $20 coupon)
$5 pinecone check
$2 Greenfield Online check

New additions: $ 21.44
Previous total: $ 257.58
Total, since 4/15: $ 279.02

More additions

April 30th, 2007 at 10:40 pm

I went to CVS and saved another $8.87 and 4 extra bucks and $4 off a $20 purchase. I think I'm done making the Walgreens/CVS runs for toiletries for a while. DH and I rarely use up toiletries (I just found out that he's been using the same bottle of shampoo for like 5 years!) so getting too many is just a waste.

I also agreed to fill out what we watch with Neilson and got $30 cash from it! I was expecting a check or somethingonce I sent it back completed, but they sent cash now.

New additions: $ 38.87
Previous total: $ 218.71
Total, since 4/15: $ 257.58

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