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To Post or Not To Post...

May 3rd, 2006 at 02:01 pm

Well that was the question. Everyday this past weekend I sat down to type a post, and then didn't. Getting lazy in my old age.. aren't I?

Two final exams finished and the last one will be tonight. Even though finals aren't officially over until next Thursday, its nice having a professor who gets things done early since we finished the material ahead of schedule. Tonights final will be to finish up our Blackjack game in C++... once finished I'll have a game I can play afterwards or at least that's the plan.

Well we should have enough tomatoes this year to keep everyone happy. The topsy turvy ones are getting huge, and I have three larger ones in the back yard. I also have about 50 volunteer tomato plants coming up from seed left over from tomatoes that dropped to the ground last year. Several of those I've moved to pots, or to different places in the yard. One came up in the flower bed last year and did well, so I moved a couple small plants back out there. Then I moved four over by the retaining wall in the back, and thinned the rest that came up with the strawberry plants. I have no clue as to what type tomato plants these are.. they could be cherry or they could be better boy. We'll just have to wait and see.

Oh did I mention that I've also got pumpkins coming up from the seeds that came out of the pumpkin we had for halloween last year??? Maybe I should check the compost pile.. there's no telling whats growing over there!

Ok.. it's 4pm and time to go do a little watering... I wouldn't want all those tomato plants to die. Did I mention that I even put some out by the back door! Who needs flowers when you have a surplus of tomato plants!??

Finally done it!

April 5th, 2006 at 06:56 am

As of this past month we've paid off everything except the house, the truck (that one we're hitting next), and my student loan. It's amazing how much interest one saves by paying more to the principle each month. On my truck ('03 Hyundai Santa Fe) each month we paid the due payment, then sent the same amount towards the principle. Doing this we were able to pay it off after only 2 1/2 years instead of the 6 years we had on the loan. Plus it ended up saving us $5000 in interest alone!
As for the credit cards.. those are all paid off and in the process of being cancelled. YEAH!! I do plan on keeping one card (no annual fee) just for emergency situations. We've also been listening to Dave Ramsey alot, and have completed most of his steps to financial freedom.

We're on a roll... a snowball roll that is!

Next we're going to put what was my truck payment towards the principle on hubbys truck. As for what to do with all those credit card payments that we don't have anymore... most will go to the INGdirect or Emigrant high yield savings account, and some will go towards my student loan.

Currently I have about eight months until graduation and hopefully back into full-time employment after being a student since 2001. (prior to quitting work I worked for 14 years in the IS field). There are employers in our area that offer tuition reimbursement and/or help in paying off your student loans, in return for working X number of years with them. I'm really looking into this situation..and have a friend who just completed his term, and stayed with the firm. Who knows...maybe I'll luck out and hit that jackpot too.

More long range savings...

February 28th, 2006 at 05:18 am

Well we've finally jumped on the VoIP wagon and are in the process of changing our home telephone. I did a little research and calculated that our local and long distance cost over the last 12 months was $541. That does not include the $50 calling card that I used while out of town, or the $25 we spent for long distance with OneSuite. So... taking all that in to account we've switched to a unlimited calling plan that's a flat $199 for a year. Plus we even get to keep our same phone number, and will get an additional 'Anywhere' number. I'm sure that one will come in handy when I graduate and start my own business.

So.... will it be for the best? Only time will tell. But saving $400 right off the bat doesn't hurt one bit.

While I've been on the 'money saving' binge several other ways of saving money have come to mind.
1. Made an appointment to have our attic re-insulated since the insulation up there has settled, and is less than 12 inches thick.

2. Make plans to finish weather stripping around doors until they can be replaced. Our French doors leak so much that its actually harder to heat the den than any other part of the house.

3. Buy pipe insulation and a water heater wrap. Insulate exposed pipes running from the hotwater heater. Even though they are inside the basement, they are still losing heat.

Thats all for now... so maybe by this time next year our heating bill will be a lot less. Yes... these are things that should have been done before winter, but since we've only been in the house for 2 years we weren't sure of the actual energy costs until now. (two years to compare)