Sunday, August 31, 2008

CVS 8/31 - 9/6

Transaction #1

Accu-check Diabetes Monitor - $9.99
Cover girl lip gloss - $5.99

Coupons Used:
$2/$10 CVS
2, 5, and 5 ECBs

OOP: $2.49

Earned: 9.99 for the monitor and 5.99 for the lip gloss

Also, there is a mail in rebate on the monitor for $9.99.  

Transaction #2:

Bounty 8 Pack - $6.49
3 pack knee high stockings - $1.99
Lysol wipes - $3.69

Coupons Used:
$1 off Bounty
$1 off Lysol
$2/$10 CVS
5.99 ECB

OOP: $2.36

Earned: Nothing :(

Sunday, August 24, 2008

CVS 8/24 - 8/30

The sales at CVS this week were not very exciting so I only did one transaction.

(2) Stayfree Maxi - 2/$9
Kotex liners - $1.49

Coupons Used:
$1 Kotex
$2/$10 CVS
BOGO Stayfree - $4.50

Total OOP: $1.53

Earned 5 ECB and 1.49 ECB

So I made a profit of $2.96, which covers the 3 ECBs that accidentally got thrown away last week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Getting rid of debt

I've mentioned it before, but my car loan is making me crazy.  Ever since I read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey I have been doing everything I could to get rid of this debt.  In fact, I realized that since July 3 I've paid $5026.89 for my car.  It's currently at $10514.81 with an $800 payment pending, so I will finally be below $10k.  

I can't say that buying this car was a mistake, but paying for it definitely has been a financial burden.  Though I knew that the payments were pretty high, taking out the loan was not something we questioned.  Next time around, I want to pay for a car in cash.

Edit: $9719.94 to go!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Waldbaum's 8/15 - 8/21

There is a really great deal at Waldbaum's this week that I would like to point out, though it's YMMV as to whether it will work or not.  First, you need to go to a Waldbaum's that doubles coupons.  Also, you need to go to a store that will accept internet coupons.  The cashiers might not take them, but you can use them through the self check out since they are valid coupons.

General Mills cereals are on sale 4/$6 this week.  If you bought 4 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and used 4 $.55 off coupons it would cost $1.60 or $.40 a box!  The coupon can be found on the coupon application found on the right side of my blog.

Here are some other good deals that can be found at a store that doubles coupons:

Buy Chex Mix for $1.50 and use a $.50 coupon found in the 8/10 Smart Source circular.
Buy 2 Knorr Lipton side dishes for $2.00 and use the $.75/2 coupon found in the 8/17 Red Plum circular.
Buy Dove deodorant for $1.99 and use the $.75 coupon found in the 6/8 Red Plum circular.
Buy Lysol Healthy touch hand sanitizer for $1.99 and use the $.75 coupon found in the 8/3 Smart Source circular.

CVS 8/17-8/23 and Rite aid too

Transaction #1

(2) Oral B Indicator Toothbrushes - $3.98
Revlon Lash Fantasy - $7.99

Coupons Used:
CVS $2/$10
$1 off 2 Toothbrushes
$1 off Revlon
5.79 ECB

OOP - $2.53

Earned 2 ECB and 5 ECB

Transaction #2

Olay Ribbon Body wash - $1.25 (found in clearance)
(3) Puffs tissues - $2.64
Crest toothpaste - $1.99
Maybelline mascara - $4.99
CVS tissues - $.50 (I went negative)

Coupons Used:
$1.50 off Olay (overage!)
$1 off 3 Puffs tissues
$1 Maybelline
$1 Crest

OOP: 24 cents!!

Earned 1 ECB and 2 ECB

Then I went the Rite Aid where I bought 4 St. Ives Elements products that are BOGO this week.  I used 2 BOGO coupons and I just paid $1.17 in tax.  Rite aid made me sad a few weeks ago when all their FAR were out of stock early on a Sunday morning, but I'm starting to like them a little more now.

So I saved $62.72 and spent $3.94 OOP today.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Car insurance

Last night I finally added my husband to my car insurance.  He very rarely drives the car, but we were nervous about him not being on the policy and also if the policy would increase with another driver.  It turns out that our policy actually went down!  It went from $733 per 6 months to $643.  I just got renter's insurance that cost about $90 for the year, so the change in car insurance covers that expense.  Also, my account was already paid off until October and now actually has a $28 credit.  I guess my concerns about adding him were silly and we probably should have down it awhile ago.

Consolidating bank accounts - Part 2

So my husband and I went to the bank today and closed our two joint accounts.  Amazingly, it was pretty painless.  We transferred the money - about $1800 - to my personal checking account.  I'm really trying to pay off the car, but it just seems like it never goes down.  I paid $500 for the car a few days ago and then I tried to pay the $1800 today but it wouldn't let me do it because it was "too much."  I paid $1000 for now and I will try it again in a few days.

When we bought the car we really had no idea what we were doing.  The rate is 8.93% which I think is pretty bad.  We still owe $11,959 since the two payments have not been applied to the balance yet.  I'm so ready to get rid of this loan.

I also signed up for online banking.  I'm not exactly sure why I bothered, because like I said, my bank is pretty awful.  But I guess it would be good to be able to check the balance on my account more often since there have been problems in the past.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Consolidating bank accounts...

Every time I go to the bank, I become very aware of the fact that my name is on way too many accounts.  Part of it is not my fault.  After my father died, my mom added me as a joint account holder on three of her accounts.  I have savings and checking accounts in my name only.  I also have joint checking and savings accounts with my husband.  Keep in mind, this is all at a bank that I don't even like.  It was the bank my parents went to and my first savings account was there, so I never bothered to change.  This bank has messed up my accounts SO MANY TIMES.

 (Quick story: so a few years back I wrote a $400 check to my credit card.  For some reason, the check was drawn twice from my checking account, but only on my bank's end.  So $400 went to the credit card and $400 disappeared.  However, I didn't have an extra $400 in my checking account so it went into overdraft protection and was taken from my savings account.  I discovered the mistake when I went to an ATM and saw my balance was 0.  The manager of the bank was perplexed and fought with me about putting the money back into my account.  I was able to show her that it was the same check that cashed twice, but she still was trying to blame me.  When I demanded that she reimburse my account for their error she basically laughed at me.  The next day, I received a letter from the corporate offices and they told me about the error and fixed it and waived the fees.  I went into my branch with the letter to tell them that the problem was solved, and the manager tried to take credit for fixing the problem. Um. No.  Unfortunately, stupid things like this happen at this bank every few years, but I stupidly remain a customer.)

So anyway, in addition to the 4 accounts at the stupid bank, my husband and I also have an ING savings account.  On his own, he has at least 3 accounts. (I think?)

Last year, we divided the bills and split the rent, writing two checks each month.  Our system was *okay* but I really had no idea how much he was spending and he didn't know how much I was spending.  However, in the new apartment we have the rent taken directly from his checking account.  That is the only way they accept rent.  It had to be from his account because he gets paid more regularly than I do: every two weeks vs twice a month.  With August being a 3 paycheck month for him, it made it easier to take it from his account to make sure we would be okay.

However, that means basically all of the bills fall into my lap now, since 3/4 of his monthly take home pay is going to rent.  So I'm pretty nervous and I'm wishing that we would have been able to consolidate our finances better instead of being so separate.  I know some of these accounts definitely need to go.  We're most likely going to close the joint checking and savings accounts at the stupid bank because we kind of forgot about them anyway.  Most of the money in those accounts will go to paying off the car.  

Then I don't know what to do.  I like having my own accounts, but is that sloppy and confusing in a marriage?  Would it be easier to just throw all of our money together?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

CVS 8/10- 8/16

Transaction #1

(4) bags of dark chocolate M&Ms
(1) bag of almond M&Ms

Total before Tax: $10

Coupons Used:

(2) $1.50 off 2 bags of dark chocolate
$2/$10 (Tried but denied)

We ended up paying $2.76 OOP and earned 5 ECBs.

Transaction #2

(2) boxes of Fiber One cereal - 2/$5
Alavert - $5.99
Children's Advil -  $5.79
Skin Effects - $6.99
Birthday card - .99

Coupons Used:
$.70 Fiber One
$1.00 Fiber One
$1.00 Advil
$2.00 Skin Effects
$4.00 Alavert
2 ECB, 1.50 ECB, 4.99 ECB, and 5 ECB

Paid $2.57 OOP
Earned 5.79, 5, and 3 ECBs

Both deals would have been perfect if I was able to use the $2/$10.  Hopefully I can get it to print clearer, since that seemed to be the issue.  I'm so nervous that my stores will start rejecting internet coupons completely.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


So after a whirlwind of craziness and insanity, we moved on Friday. Like I said, we decided against buying the co-op. So instead, we are renting a 2 bedroom apartment in Queens. The rent is $1500 a month. It's a lot, but it's "normal" for the area. What I'm worrying about more than the rent though is the huge amount of money that has been spent in the move. We had to come up with $4500 to get the apartment (1 month rent, broker fee, and security) but we've been spending SO MUCH money elsewhere as well. I bought air conditioners, some rugs (80% of the floor is supposed to be covered), and other random things that we needed. We had been so excited to do a proper written budget, but everything is just completely crazy right now.
I'm trying to stay positive, but really, it is not normal to move twice after being married for just 10 months. I know this apartment will be better for us, but I'm angry that we were forced into this situation.