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Ryan is born 1/5/09

January 10th, 2009 at 01:32 pm

Little Ryan was born HEALTHY after many months of health scares by the doctors. My girlfriend was told at 20 months gestation that this baby had an incurable and deadly disease...after months of prayers this little boy has no signs of that problem. He will be monitored, but everything looks VERY good for his healthy and happy future! Smile


Joined the Y

January 3rd, 2009 at 12:50 pm

My daughter has been taking swim lessons for a couple years but we never joined with a full membership until today. We chose a Full Family membership so all adults & children included. I hope we get our money's worth since it seems pretty expensive to me - $70/month. I guess it's not expensive if you are a "gym" kind of person but we are not. As a matter of fact I hate exercising...but I guess I better start changing that thought process around. *sigh* YNAB here I come again to find the money for this monthly payment.

I decided to add my current weight to this entry as it will be interesting to look back and see if any progress has been made. I normally NEVER weigh myself as I have always been a thin person and never had to worry. My how times have changed. I am 5'1" and 140 lbs. My goal is approximately 115 lbs but the real goal is looking better and feeling happy with my body which I am not right now.

Oh no! Ortho!

December 30th, 2008 at 08:52 am

Ah yes, it is that time when my darling daughter is in need of help with her horrible oral situation. As a hygienist I know a little about occlusion and saw this coming years ago. Of course, knowing and actually preparing are 2 totally different things.

We met with the orthodontist for a consultation this morning and she will need to have 4 baby teeth pulled (they are not the least bit loose and the adult teeth under the gums are almost fully formed), a retainer for her upper teeth to help her severe overbite and a retainer for her lower teeth so that they do not crowd any further while we wait for the rest of her baby teeth to fall out. That is just the pre-braces stuff. Oy.

Anyway, the orthodontist was very nice and took time with us to explain everything which is sometimes lacking in medical professionals, so I appreciated that very much. Since the office I work at refers patients to him I also received a small "professional courtesy" discount which was a very welcome & generous surprise. Thanks Doc! Smile

They offer an in-office payment plan so that I can pay over 12 months for this initial stuff. I like that idea also since I'm working on re-building that EF right now. I've gotta go re-work my YNAB budget to show the new monthly payments now.

End of Year Bonus added to EF

December 29th, 2008 at 10:43 am

New EF balance with Bonus from work and one rebate check: $3,096

Good CVS week

December 21st, 2008 at 11:19 am

If you've got a CVS card and some coupons this week is another great week to bring home more ECB's than you walked in with! Today and tomorrow are a HUGE 2-day extravagance of items that are FREE after ECB's, so when you buy them with coupons you will get back more money than you paid. You just can't beat that!

Added to EF

December 21st, 2008 at 11:16 am

Added paycheck #2 plus part of paycheck #1 and a few small rebates I received in the mail this week to the EF:

Total EF Balance: $2,839.53

Re-building the EF

December 10th, 2008 at 07:18 pm

Although I have been trying really hard to avoid the financial news these last few weeks, my DH takes it upon himself to remind me that 1.5 MILLION jobs were lost over the last 3 months! Yuck. My patients keep reminding me with all their economic talk as well, so I am glad to be putting my whole paycheck from job #2 toward the EF. Last time I grew my EF I decided that $5,000 was a good EF. These days I am leaning toward building it a bit larger since I have been forced to think about possible job loss. We'll see how I feel once the EF is back to $5,000.

Job #2 Paycheck plus ones place and change from Job #1 paycheck added to EF (rounded up): $251.00

EF TOTAL @ 12/10/08: $2,497.53
Halfway to the $5,000 mark again! Hooray!

Update on CVS deals

November 27th, 2008 at 05:09 pm

The good news: I went today and found everything I had on my list from yesterday. I also came out ahead by $20 ECBs.

The bad news: The manager decided I was doing too well on my deals and would not allow me to use my $10 off $50 CVS coupon or my $2 off $10 CVS coupon. She claimed that corporate changed the registers so that "people can't keep using ECBs to get ECBs".

I plan on calling CVS customer care on Monday and asking for a $10 credit if this woman denied my coupons for no reason as I suspect. I followed all the rules and I should be able to use the coupons they give me. Otherwise why would they give them to me?!

Update 11/29/08: I spoke to corporate and found out that this manager was LYING to me as I suspected. The corporate CSR was very nice but told me I would have to go back and return everything and re-do the transaction to be able to use my coupons. I did not feel like all that trouble. They did say that if it happens again to have the manager call them directly and they can tell her to put it through. I think it is a shame that their own store managers do not know the rules and do not even care to learn. Very sad and frustrating.

CVS plan for midnight tonight!

November 26th, 2008 at 02:43 pm

CVS is having a TON of free after ECB items for their Black Friday sale. However, they are starting their Black Friday sale on Thursday and running the specials for 3 days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). With coupons, these items end up making you money - for example, I buy an item that costs $5 and at the end of my receipt I get $5 back, but I had a coupon for $1 off so I only paid $4 and still got $5 back. Do this with a bunch of these "free after ECB" items and you've just made quite a little bit of money! Yippee!

Here is my plan:
Starting with $50.98 in ECB's:

Transaction #1
$ 7.99 Schick razor Get $ 6
$ 2.99 Aussie Get $ 2.99
$11.98 Soleil razor x2 Get $11.98
$ 5.98 Colgate x2 Get $ 5.98
$ 5.99 Garnier Get $ 5.99
$ 5.69 J&J lotion Get $ 5.69
$13.98 L'oreal gloss x2 Get $13.98
$10/50 CVS coupon
$4 schick
$1 aussie
$6 soleil x2
$3 colgate x2
$1 garnier
$1 J&J
$2 L'oreal x2
$2/10 cosmetics (or L'oreal skincare) CVS coupon
Total: $24.60
Pay with $23.99 ECB's + $0.74 cash, Earn $52.61 ECBs

Transaction #2 (Friday/Saturday)
$ 2.99 Aussie Get $ 2.99
$ 7.99 CG Smoothers Liquid Get $ 7.99
$ 5.99 CG Smoothers pressed powder Get $ 5.99
$ 4.47 Gatorade G2, 20oz x3 Get $ 4.47
$12.99 Sambucol Get $10.00
$ 6.49 Coricidin Get $ 2.00
$ 9.18 Revlon nail polish x2
Total: $50.10
$10/50 CVS coupon
$1 aussie
$2 Covergirl x2
$2 coricidin
$4 Revlon x2
POSSIBLY $2/10 cosmetics CVS coupon (if not used in Trans#1)
Total: $31.10
Pay with $29.98 ECB's + $0.85 cash, Earn $33.44 ECBs
(I will have approx $82 ECB when both transactions are complete).

I am starting with a nice stash of ECB's that I have been building for the past few weeks, but anyone can do well with this sale by buying one item, then turning around and using that item's ECB to pay for the next item.

I am extremely excited to shop tonight/tomorrow. I only hope they have everything I need to make my deals work. *grin*

Great CVSing 11/16/08

November 16th, 2008 at 02:38 pm

It was a very good CVS day today. I had an awesome, friendly cashier, Felicia, who was very happy that I got such good deals and did not hate me for using a billion coupons! *LOL*

I started with $18 ECBs and ended up spending $7.92 oop total for all that you see above!!!
I got:
(4) Coke 12-packs
(2) Coke 2 liters
(3) Buddy bars
(4) Glade glass scents
(8) Glade jar candles
(1) Clear Care twin pack
(1) Crest Pro Health
(1) L'oreal Pro Calcium
(1) Zantac-3
(6) packs of batteries totalling: (20)AA, (8)AAA, and (8)AA Rechargables

It makes me very happy to get so much for so little. I also came out with $43.50 in ECBs to spend on the awesome Black Friday deals that CVS plans on having this year. Looks like lots of free stuff in my future! Hooray!

Long time, no blog

November 12th, 2008 at 04:43 pm

I took a long break from this fabulous blog not even on purpose; time just got away from me.

I am still CVSing but trying to moderate myself so coupons don't take over my life, as they have been in the last month or so.

I am planning my daughter's birthday party. She'll be 10 in a couple weeks and I have no idea where all the years went! *sniff*

I haven't even started thinking about holiday shopping and usually I am almost done by this point. I hate crowds and really shopping in general so I usually buy everything online or by catalog. This may not be possible this year if I don't really get on the ball.

Our beloved Phillies won the World Series!!! Yay Phils!

I am still trying to build the EF back up to at least $5,000 but with the holidays and birthdays coming up it will be really hard to put alot into it until after the new year. But, we'll see.

I have totally lost track of putting the ones place and change from my paychecks toward the current goal (right now the EF), so have not been doing that for the last few months. I'd like to start doing that again since it was an easy and painless way to help fund the goal. I'll re-start with my next paycheck.

That is about all for now. It's good to be back. *smile*

Possible alternative to HSA?

August 30th, 2008 at 08:38 pm

As I have mentioned in the last month I am not happy with the insurance options that are available to me in NJ. I did set everything up to switch from an HMO to an HSA starting September 1, but my husband got some information in the mail today that may change everything (again).

My husband is currently a FT college student and we just received a pamphlet on the "student health insurance" that is offered through his school. We are able to buy additional coverage for all 3 of us, and it would cost WAY LESS than the HSA, actually saving us about 9 months worth of premiums, and have the same $5,000 deductible. Right there I am sold. There are other perks to going with the student health insurance as well, such as the fact that we would continue to be enrolled in the state FamilyCare program which we would have to drop if we had the HSA. So we would continue to have a "backup insurance" so to speak which makes me feel even better about the student health insurance option.

There are a few questions we have to ask about the student insurance before jumping into anything, but if they answer those adequately it looks like our financial picture will be a lot brighter than I expected in the next year. *whew*

Plus, I will no longer have to worry about my boss not paying the premiums on time, or complaining about how expensive the health insurance is even though the premiums come out of my paycheck!!! That alone will be a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and bring a big smile to my face. Smile

*Keeping my fingers perpetually crossed until I talk to the student insurance people on Tuesday*


August 27th, 2008 at 07:15 pm

I saw this job and thought of you. I know it is not what you usually do (editing) but it might be close enough since the benefits sound incredible???

Full time employees are eligible for the following benefits:

* Health/Dental/Vision/Life insurance
* Disability (short and long term) options
* 401(k) Plan with Company match
* Flexible Spending Plan
* Transit/Parking Plan
* Gym membership reimbursement
* Paid vacation time
* Holidays, personal days, sick days
* Stock options

It made me wish I was qualified! Big Grin

They are looking for a copywriter (as well as some other positions). Check it out: [url]http://www.tutor.com/careers/corporate/copywriter[/url]

Save $$$ on Prescriptions-easy!

August 23rd, 2008 at 06:18 pm

I have been so bummed about going to the expensive HSA with the $5k deductible. I still am, but I have found a little relief.

I checked my professional association and found that they offer a Rx Discount card for no additional fee as long as you are a member in good standing (in other words, paid your dues for the year). I also stumbled upon the fact that BJ's Wholesale Club also offers a Rx Discount card for its' members. Go here to read more if you are a member of BJ's club: http://www.pharmafutures.net/bjs/rxdiscountcard.html

Both websites offer a Rx look-up service which tells me how much I should expect to save on the prescriptions our family needs. I just typed in the name of the medication, the number of pills per month and it spit back a real cost with the card.

Now for the really good news. It looks like the BJ's discount card will save us $25/month on my daughter's medication. It's not a fortune, but every bit helps as you all know.

So, moral of the story, check with your professional organizations and other affiliations you may have to see if they offer any "extra perks" with membership. It could really pay off! Smile