Thursday, October 27, 2011

Amex & Christmas Update

So far, so good....

My goal of keeping the Amex (during the current statement period) is on track.

My goal was under $500, but shooting for $400.

The current balance is $253.96!! 2 1/2 weeks left! I can do this!!

........and we have $30 in Gift card points to redeem from our Amex Rewards.

Moving on to the BEST time of the year....

My husband and I are almost done. The kids toys are bought, 9 of our Pollyannas are bought ( we have 10 total), and our nieces/nephews gifts.

We still have a few more gifts to buy and then gifts for each other.

My husband and I have set a limit of $200 for one be honest, we can't think of much we want.

Our budget was $950 and so far we saved $50 cash.....and without compromising on the gift; just used coupons and caught some great sales.

Everything is looking good.....hope it'll stay that way. :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Car = Mental Relief

We bought a new car.

We are both happy and relieved.

Now yes, we have a car payment, but we can comfortably afford it and it gives us a piece of mind.

I'm sure some would ask, "why not buy a used car?"; but we just got out of a long experience with that idea.

Currently, I drive an Honda Pilot and my husband (now) drives an Acura TSX.

Until August of 2011, I drove an 1998 Honda Accord & my husband drove an 1994 Honda Civic.

Both of our old cars were paid for; so no car payments, right?



Now having no car payments have its perks right? extra bills, can save more more, etc....

Now, onto the bad.......


At least, in our case......

They say Honda cars can go a life time....
Maybe in dog years........

We'll to be fair, the Honda accord was bought brand new in 1998 and had 135,000 miles and the Honda Civic had 154,000 miles when we gave them up.

When our cars started to not start, or while driving....just stop and cut off, smoke coming out of the engine, 2....yes, 2 rebuild TRANSMISSIONS, and countless other problems; it was time for them to be retired.

The money we put out in car repairs could have bought us 2 cars, literally.

You know how much 2 rebuild transmissions costs??? A Whole lot of Moolah!

Last year, we decided we had enough of it.

We saved up some money and bought a Pilot.

Recently, my husband's car started to have engine trouble.

Then it was making a lot of noise.

THEN.....oil was leaking from the engine. fix it would be $1000.

We just got tired of this....

My husband went and found a car he liked, test drove it, etc.

I went back with him and test drove it myself and like it.

We got our money straight and bought the Acura.

We even manage to get $1,500 for the old car and it was worth just $500!!

Both the Pilot and Acura have warranties and whenever we have a major problem, its nice to be able to take the car to someone and get it fixed and not have to worry about cost.

Enjoying this moment!

All smiles!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A-Z.......All about me!

I found this over at and found it fun to read and actually participate in.

If interested in participating, link up in the comments...I would love to read your responses.

Here goes:

A - Age 27
B - Bed Size - Full (its tight, will be getting queen size bed)
C- Chore You Hate - washing dishes
D - Dogs - none, i'm afraid.
E - Essential Start to Your Day - Jesus. I need him to wake me me up first....... :-)
F - Favorite Color - Purple all day!!

G - Gold or Silver -Silber or white gold
H - Height - 5' 5"
I - Interests - budgeting, coupons, macy's and watching t.v.
J - Job Title - Homemaker
K - Kids - 2 ; daughter is 5 and son is 1
L - Live - in the suburbs outside of philadelphia
M - Mother's Name - Alleine
N - Nickname - Sheeny, sheena beena, dear, mom (my husband calls me mom)
O - Overnight Hospital Stays - 2 birth of both kids
P - Pet Peeves - people who stand on corners all day long......
Q - Quote From a Film - "Mr. Darcy...."
-Pride and Prejudice..
R - Right or Left-Handed - Right

S - Siblings - 3 younger sisters...13, 19, 21
T - Time You Wake Up - 7am everyday
U- Underwear - Hanes Briefs...or granny underwear, lol. I gotta be comfy...
V - Vegetables You Hate - Squash
W- What Makes You Run Late - Reading blogs and surfing on-line
X - X-Rays You've Had - Teeth, head, boobs....
Y - Yummy Food That You Make - banana pudding, shrimp scampi, cake
Z - Zoo Animal - dolphin.......wait that's the aquarium, lol

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Love Sundays

Just sitting here..............

Had a GREAT time at church today.

Kids are in the bed.

Mommy is enjoying quiet time on the computer (without interruption)

It doesn't hurt that I have a big piece of red velvet cake with the BEST cream cheese frosting EVER...

With that cake I have some hot chocolate with yummy marshmallows....

Its 48 degrees out, the house is 70 degrees inside and I'm comfy in my PJs....

My sinuses are behaving...and I'm HAPPY!!

Wishing I didn't miss the new episode of Sister Wives...

And we bought a new car yesterday (which took 5 hours), so I'm taking a load off now.

Nite Nite!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Clothes Shopping and AMEX update

Hi All

Today, I attempted to get the kids a few pieces of clothing and was very disgusted.

Why are clothes so expensive and good sales few and far between?

I was looking for a heavy jacket for my son who is a size 18 months...wanna know the price of the jacket?


Seriously, $70 for a baby who is still learning how to walk?

I did have a 20% off coupon and although I could afford it, that is just too much.

I will go to Target or Walmart (and we don't have the best relationship) instead.

I managed to get a pair of sneakers/2 pajamas for my son and a pair of dress shoes/2 dresses/pack of t-shirts for $60.

I also ventured into Macy's.

That's another one of my "trap" stores; along with Target, Dressbarn & HomeGoods.

I was casually looking around and, of coarse, they are having an awesome sale.

.............2 SUITS FOR $100.......

Now if you know anything about Macy's and a good suit, you know that both tend to be expensive.

I saw a red suit that I picked up because my current one has an oil stain and the cleaners cannot remove it. I just considered it a lost cause and found a new one....and its quite lovely. Original price was $240; go tit for $50.

I also bought a white suit because I've always wanted one. The original price was $200; got it for $50

This is where the Amex update comes in.

Since this wasn't budged....I used my Amex card.

Current balance: $197.00
Max. Limit (I put on myself): $350
(Amex is paid in full each month)
That leaves $153 for the next 3 weeks.

We still need to get gas 1 more time
Go out on a date lunch
$25 for groceries (to grab milk , cheese, etc.....we eat everything so fast nowadays)

I'm think I'm going to transfer $100 from our savings account to cover the 2 suits...which will leave $253 remaining for my Amex budget goal.

Have a grand weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Move Over Kids, Mama's Turn To Look Cute..........

I got some things for myself today.

Yeah, finally............LOL (Que the fireworks)

Usually, I don't buy myself anything (regularly, anyway) except for a snack or something of the like..and most of the time, the kids stiff it out and I have to share my special snack.

Most cases, I put myself last for my family, but sometimes its ok to put mama first.

I had a $30 Gift Card to DSW and today they were having an awesome sale, so I'd thought I put that gift card to good use.

I have been wanting some shoes for a while, but a style/design that I didnt have.

I also wanted something with color.

.........As much as I love black, off-white and navy blue; it does get tiring & dare I say.....boring after a while.

While browsing through DSW's website, I finally found the shoes that I the color that I wanted.

The color was gold/champagne!

I love it!!!!!!

Absolutely adore it!!!!

I love the brand (Jones New York), the style, heel height...........just everything about the shoe.

If I could have it in every color, I would.

I also got a FREE (yes, FREE) Rumer Tote Bag (for being a DSW rewards member) ...

And I also bought a pair of Anne Klein stockings for $10 (I cannot stand cheap pantyhose! My legs itch something fierce)...


*I got a pair of Jones New York gold/champagne pumps ($74.99, but was marked to $29.99),

*The FREE Rumer bag/tote

*A pair of Anne Klein stockings

* PLUS FREE Fedex shipping (for being a DSW rewards member)

For $9.89!!!

****Total BEFORE sales/$30 GC/coupon was $128.98........paid $9.98 out of pocket!!!*****

What??? know I had to have a coupon or something in addition to a good sale!

Shopping mixed with an inexpensive out of pocket total = HAPPINESS FOR MAMA

We deserve to look cute too!!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Staying on Budget & Law Order Addiction

So Far, So Good.............

Payday was Friday, it's Tuesday and I have been staying on track with Amex.

The Amex has a current balence of $4.04 (for a gallon of gas my husband used to fill his gas container.)

As you remember from this post, I am focusing on keeping the Amex balance between $300-$400 (gas, misc., etc).

To achieve this goal, I am preventing myself from making unnecessary trips to the store & when I have to go out, make sure I have a list, coupons, and focus on why I am there. Not venture into other aisles.

Saving and being frugal in ALL areas will become a priority!!

Here's to 4 more weeks.... :-)

Onto Law & Order........

Specifically, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

I tell you the honest truth............I can't watch the 1st 5min of that show.

If I do, I end up watching the ENTIRE hour.

It sucks me in. Literally....

I've tried to pull myself away, but I can't. I have to know what happened.

And it doesn't help that Det. Robert Green ( Vincent D'Onofrio) is awesome. How he solves cases, how he thinks and the like, is just pure genius.

My husband wont buy me the seasons and neither will need to feed this addiction, LOL.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dry Cleaners Have Raised There Prices....UGH

The dry cleaners used to be affordable.

USED........being the key word in that sentence.

What happened?

.........inflation, not enough workers, higher product costs......???

I dont know, but maybe someone could explain it to me.

I recently took my husband's 3 suits to the cleaners.

Just 3 regular suits; nothing fancy; well........wait, one is an Armani, another a Michael

Anyway, they give me the bill and I was horrified....46 dollars!!!!!

...that's 46 US dollars......

You know, 46 crisp $1 George Washingtons bills.......

I have NEVER paid that much for 3 suits, but what could I do?? They had processed it already.

I can tell you one thing; I learned my lesson....

I will find another dry cleaners and take the clothes there on one of the 20% off days; because every little bit helps!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Off Topic: My favorite week night shows...

As I'm sitting here nibbling on a piece of breakfast sausage and a pumpkin sugar cookie (its 2:42pm), I am grinning thinking about tonight at 9pm........

............A new Episode of The Office!!!!!!

One of the great things about the Fall is that my favorite t.v. shows are on again.

I don't watch much t.v.; hardly any during the day.......


My time comes at 8pm and 9pm during the week.

I have my guilty pleasures and so does my husband...(he's a BIG fan of South Park)

Sundays is Sister Wives. I don't know what it is that I like about that show, but I can't help but watch it. Kody is something else.

Mondays-Nothing. I used to be interested in Dancing With The Stars.....but I don't care for it anymore.

Tuesdays-The Office (Re-runs) on TBS. Its one of my favorite shoes ever.

Wednesdays- America's Next Top Model and Extreme Couponing!!

Thursdays-The Office!!! New episodes on NBC!!


What about you? Got any favorite shows??

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

News Flash: Mama Bear Attacks Dentist...........

I'll admit, I don't know much about dentistry.

But when my gut tells me something is wrong, I listen to it.

1 1/2 years ago my daughter had to have her front 2 teeth capped because of severe decay.

Paid $423 (and that was the co-pay!) to have this work done.

I was reassured that as a result the only thing I would have to deal with concerning those 2 teeth is them falling out; because the CAP would've prevented any infections, etc from getting inside.

Fast forward to the present.

My husband switch companies (not careers) and as a result our dental insurance changed.

Although we could no longer take our daughter to her former dentist, we found another children's dentist 10 minutes away.

I take her for her check up at her current dentist and they order x-rays; just to get a clear view of her teeth.

Do you know they said that she has a mild infection UNDER the caps she got?

Of coarse, I'm like "WHAT?!

Isn't the point of her tooth having all of the decay drilled off and then capped, was to prevent future infections and such until those teeth fall out?

So they are saying they want to REMOVE the 2 caps her original dentist put in and have her go toothless in the front until her adult teeth come through.

This will have to happen via oral surgery!

.....uh huh, Oral Surgery!

On a 5 year old............

Needless to say, I called her original dentist, made an appointment for THIS Friday, and this mama bear is going to have a chat with them.

I am not a happy camper right now.

This is my 5 year old daughter here..........

How in the world a cavity AND infection get under a tooth she was supposedly have had fixed, treated, and capped and I was told it should be fine until it falls out?

She brushes, flosses and uses mouthwash...........

Either the dentist didn't do a good job or is terrible at his job.

Regardless, this will get resolved and out of their pockets too.

I promise not to go in that office with my ugly face on..........

.............. but I will have it in my purse if I need it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Love-Hate Relationship with American Express

First, let me say before my husband and I became members with Amex, I always thought that they were the credit card (or charge card) for wealthy folks. I don't know why I had that idea, but every time I saw someone with Amex, I assumed they had "money". :-)

Moving on.....

Since becoming an AMex member I have grown to both love and hate American Express at the same time.

I love AMex because:
1. There is no limit. If some serious, "expensive" emergency comes up (outside of our E-FUND), we have AMex to use.

2. It has fantastic consumer protection in case we buy something and it breaks, Amex will cover it.

3. VERY easy to use website! This is so important to me. Sometimes banking websites lose me because its so difficult to follow and navigate a transaction.

4. The Reward Points! Restaurants, Clothing Stores, Travel Vouchers, etc......all FREE!

Now, onto the hate portion and its only 1 reason:

1. We get $1,000+ statements each month (although paid in full each time)!

Yes.....that wasn't a typo.

I'm not used to this.

Since we use the card for gas (2 cars), dining, gifts, repairs, clothing, groceries, misc., just pains me to see what we actually spend each month. It definitely opens my eyes to how much we actually spend when we use just 1 card for our purchases.

When using our bank account, other credit cards, and cash, its tough to see what we actually spend because it isn't all listed together in one place. Its almost like putting my head in the sand to avoid seeing the impending danger that's ahead.

My husband likes it this way, though.

He says it shows me how much we actually spend, he feels more comfy having all our our non-bill purchases on 1 card, and the reward points accrue faster as well.

I don't know......

........maybe that is a good thing, I guess.

I know one thing for sure; starting the next statement cycle, $1,000 will be a thing of the past.

My goal is to keep it $500 or less....we shall see!

Praying for good results & no good sales, lol!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

1% = $40 less per month.......

The small, tiny, microcosm town my husband works in has instituted a "new" tax of 1%.

I honestly don't even know what this "new" tax is for.........and neither does my husband.

Therefore 1% = $20 less each pay period and since my DH gets paid twice a month there goes $40 to some cause we may never know of.

On the same note, our township is submitting proposals to increase the sewer fee and general property tax.

This is the part where being an adult sucks!!!

Big Time!!!

The sewer fee is already $160 a year and our property taxes are over $4,000 a year......

We'll I did want to live in a "nicer" area, so I guess I can't complain but it seems everything is going up and up.

I have to become more cunning, frugal, and wise to maintain some since of life around here.

And to think, we are talking about buying another house in a much nicer, expensive area....what in the world is going through my head!!!!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rip-Off Item of the Month: Halloween Costumes!!!!!!!!

Yes, Halloween Costumes.....

I have looked everywhere; Walmart, Target, Carter's, Specialty Stores.......everywhere costumes are, I tried to look.

I thought I'd try to keep each costume at $15 or less, but nope!

I saw some that were $50!!!! And that was in Toys R US!!

$50 for a child's costume is just a RIPOFF!!

And it doesnt come with everything that the kid of the package has on.....just the body and maybe one other accessory. I have to buy the cute shoes, head band, wings, etc....

Then my daughter has requested to be a Princess!! Nice, right? Except being a princess is one of the most expensive type of costumes out there. It's the dress, tiara, wand, shoes and on and on.....

My son, I'm hoping an animal of some kind. Maybe a puppy, elephant, tiger or little bear.

And this doesn't included candy for a Pumpkin party, candy to give out to trick or treaters, or a little bag or pal for my kids to put their candy in as well.

And dont get me started on candy.......

Candy is getting more and more expensive. Maybe I'll hit up a dollar store; grab about 10 bags and once its done, it's done! Porch light off and my house is closed for the evening, lol!

Oh well, let me stop complaining. Who am I kidding? I know I'm gonna go out and buy it anyway, but I just had to vent.

And to think...........Halloween is just the beginning! Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming VERY fast!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2 Kids, $200 and Christmas......can it be done?

We'll of coarse!!

Christmas, in my family, means celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

In that, we give to others because of the wonderful gift he gave to us.

Each year, we give to others in the hope that they will see the love, time, effort and joy we put into making them smile and feel loved.

This year I have challenged myself to shop with less money for the kids because:
1. Christmas is more than just TOYS, TOYS, TOYS
2. They don't even pay those toys any mind after a few weeks or so.

With that said, my budget for both kids is $200 total!! That includes taxes, fees......whatever, you can name, its included in the $200.

I usually like to start towards the beginning of September to shop, but was delayed.

I also will be doing their shopping online because:
1. I can get the BEST deal
2. Spending a few hours running to various stores with 2 kids can be stressful
3. I can earned points for the purchases I make online and redeem those points for a gift card!
4. It saves gas & time. I can sit at my husband's desk and just click and type!!

I made a list of what type of toy to get and how many toys both kids can get.

.................. Each child will get 6 toys each.'s what they are getting :

1. Bubble set (she LOVES bubbles)-$3.00-clearence from summer
2. Betty Crocker Play Food/Pots/Pans Set-$16.99
3. Baby Alive Doll (comes with food, diapers, etc)-$39.99
4. Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center-$14.99
5. Pretend Jewelry case/set-$12.99
6. Little Einsteins DVD-$7.99

Total for Daughter: $95.95

1. Train Set-$6.00-clearence @ Target
2. Blue's Clues DVD-$7.99
3. Mega Blocks for Tots-$10.00
4. Fisher-Price Baby Blocks-$12.99
5. Play Farm (with balls, animals, music, sound)-$19.99
6.Rolling ball Truck- $15.99

Total for Son: $72.96

Total for both :$95.95 + $72.96 + 6% tax + $10 shipping (shipping was $35, but Toys R US gave $25 free) = $189.04!!!!

Did I mention I have $35 Toys R US Gift card I was saving towards their gifts!


And I will buy their stuff via MyPoints or Ebates or some other site to get points or cash rewards for my purchases!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Listening to Our Elders.........

Hey everyone,

I'm still here.

Its has been VERY busy in my home; especially with my daughter in school now.

For this post, I wanted to focus on Listening to our elders.

I told my 72 year old grandmother-in-law of my sinus problems. She told me that she used to suffer from them and they were TERRIBLE.

She told me to get some Vitamin E & Salt-Water (which I knew of). I got the Vitamin E Tablets, put a hole in it and dropped the solution in each nostril as I was told.

Can you believe it started working!

Now I can put drops in up to 4 times a day, but this is a much better alternative than pills.

I Love Our Elders......they have so much knowledge about different situations in life.