Thursday, July 31, 2008

When your heart breaks does anyone hear it?

My angel,
My Baby,
My Sunshine,
My Boopans,
My Friend.

Cahoots -
Born 08/06/1988
Died 07/28/2008

Almost 20 years of joy.

People sometimes don't understand that a pet is more than just a cat or a dog or a bird -- they are, indeed, a part of the family - a friend, one who shows you unconditional love.

She's seen me through love, life and tragedy. She's one of my life's greatest blessings. I loved her incredibly and will continue to forever.
She will be missed more than I can even begin to write. My heart breaks. Can you hear it?

What will I ever do with out you, Hoots?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Deals Shopping Summary

Walmart: Did okay, except I didn't find the .05 or .10 notebooks. I wonder if they were the little memo books??!

Walgreens: Made 4 transactions.
12 tubes Total toothpaste 6oz.
4 boxes of Royal pudding
1 box of Good and Plenty (a weakness - sue me!)
4 bottles of Vive (I got 4 for the price of 1 with the BOGO Walgreens & BOGO coupon)
3 Book Covers for school (would up costing WAYY more than Walmart -- BOO HISS!)

Total OOP: $11.66 (I might return the book covers though)

Finding Unclaimed Money

Ever wonder if there was some of your money hiding in the system somewhere? Don't pay someone to tell you where your unclaimed money is when you can easily find it yourself.

I found this while blog hopping today, and I thought it was worthwhile sharing - and I hope someone finds some money that was rightfully theirs!

State Treasury
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 302520
Montgomery, AL 36130-2520
Department of Revenue
Tax Division
Unclaimed Property Section
PO Box 110420
Juneau, AK 99811-0420
Department of Revenue
Unclaimed Property Unit
P.O. Box 29026
Phoenix, AZ 85038-9026
Unclaimed Property Division
Auditor of State Jim Wood
PO Box 251906
Little Rock, AR 72225-1906
State Controller Steve Westly
Bureau of Unclaimed Property, Division of Collections
3301 C Street, Suite 712
P.O. Box 942850
Sacramento, CA 94250-5873
Unclaimed Property Division
1580 Logan Street, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80203
Unclaimed Property Division
Office of State Treasurer
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Bureau of Abandoned Property
P.O. Box 8931
Wilmington, DE 19899
District of Columbia
Office of Finance & Treasury
Unclaimed Property Unit
1275 K Street, NW
Suite 500B
Washington, DC 20005
Department of Financial Services
Bureau of Unclaimed Property
Post Office Box 1990
Tallahassee, FL 32302-1990
CLAIMS Fax: 850-413-3017
Georgia Department of Revenue
Local Government Services
Unclaimed Property Program
4245 International Parkway, Suite A
Hapeville, GA 30354-3918
Department of Budget and Finance
Unclaimed Property Program
P.O. Box 150
Honolulu, HI 96810-0150
Idaho State Tax Commission
Unclaimed Property Section
P.O. BOX 70012
Boise, ID 83707-0112
Office of State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
PO Box 19495
Springfield, IL 62794-9495
Attorney General's Office
Unclaimed Property Division
PO Box 2504
Greenwood, IN 46142
Michael L. Fitzgerald, State Treasurer
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Unclaimed Property Division
900 Jackson Suite 201
Topeka, KS 66612-1235
Office of State Treasurer Jonathan Miller
Unclaimed Property
1050 US Highway 127 South, Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601
John Kennedy, State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 91010
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
State Treasurer's Office
Unclaimed Property Division
39 State House Station
111 Sewall Street, 3rd FL
Augusta, ME 04333-0039
Unclaimed Property Unit
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2385
Abandoned Property Division
1 Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Department of Treasury
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 30756
Lansing, MI 48909
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Unclaimed Property Division
85 7th Place East, Suite 600
St. Paul, MN 55101-3165
Treasury Department
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 138
Jackson, MS 39205-0138
State Treasurer Sarah Steelman
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 1004
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Department of Revenue
Unclaimed Property Division
Sam W. Mitchell Bldg.
125 N. Roberts, 3rd Floor
Helena, MT 59604-5805
Office of the State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
5800 Cornhusker Highway, Building 2, Suite 4
Lincoln, NE 68507
Office of the State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
555 E Washington Avenue
Suite 4200
Las Vegas, NV 89101-1070
New Hampshire
Treasury Department
Unclaimed Property Division
25 Capitol Street , Room 205
Concord , NH 03301
New Jersey
Department of the Treasury
Unclaimed Property
P.O. Box 214
Trenton, NJ 08695-0214
New Mexico
Taxation & Revenue Department
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 25123
Santa Fe, NM 87504-5123
New York
State Comptroller
New York State Office of Unclaimed Funds
110 State Street, 8th Floor
Albany, NY 12236
North Carolina
Department of State Treasurer
Unclaimed / Escheats Division
325 N Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603-1385
North Dakota
State Land Department
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 5523
Bismarck, ND 58506-5523
Department of Commerce
Division of Unclaimed Funds
77 South High Street - 20th floor
Columbus, OH 43266-0545
Oklahoma State Treasurer's Office
Unclaimed Property Division
4545 North Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 106
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3413
Department of State Lands
Unclaimed Property Division
775 Summer Street NE Suite 100
Salem, OR 97301-1279
State Treasurer Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Unclaimed Property Bureau
P.O. Box 1837
Harrisburg, PA 17105-1837
Rhode Island
Department of Treasury
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 1435
Providence, RI 02901-1435
South Carolina
Office of the State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
PO Box 11778
Columbia, SC 29211-1778
South Dakota
Office of the State Treasurer
Vernon L. Larson
500 East Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Treasury Department
Unclaimed Property Division
Andrew Jackson Building, 9th Floor
500 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0242
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 12019
Austin, TX 78711-2019
State Treasurer's Office
Unclaimed Property Division
341 South Main St., 5th Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Office of the State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
109 State Street, 4th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05609-6901
Department of Treasury
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 2478
Richmond, VA 23218-2478
Department of Revenue
Unclaimed Property Section
PO Box 47477
Olympia, WA 98504-7477
West Virginia
Office of State Treasurer
One Players Club Drive
Charleston, WV 25311
State Treasurer's Office
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 2114
Madison, WI 53701-2114
Office of the State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
2515 Warren Avenue, Suite 502
Cheyenne, WY 82002

Courtesy of "

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Day off plus Shopping Deals!

A Day Off
DS was sick on Friday, so I had to take him to the doctor. Not our normal doctor, but I had to drive him about a half hour further than his normal doctor. Why? Too many patients and only one doctor. So needless to say, we both skipped work because of the time of the appointment, getting back home, getting meds etc. I was lucky enough to have Saturday off (again - rest) and watch the box of Kleenex from my ds's room get depleted by the second!

Sunday - back to work. Holy Cow! I need better shoes for this running around! Huge restaurant - seats about 600 and they were ALL sat last night! I'm running laps around the restaurant until all hours.... all on a pair of $8.00 Walmart loafers! LOL

Today - Sales Shopping! It's Savings Mania. Here's my game plan.

Total Toothpaste - 7 day coupon makes it $1.99, add $1.50 mf coupons plus a ES coupon for $2 off $2 leads to overage. I will have 18 free tubes of Total (but in multiple trips because it is LIMIT 3)

Loreal Vive - This one is a little sketchy. Walgreens has Vive on sale BOGO, plus there was BOGO coupon in Sunday's paper for a certain kind of Vive (something new). So the coupon boards tell me that if they do a split total instead of one $4.99 and one $0.00 I only need to pick up two and they will both be free. Worse comes to worse - I pick up 4 bottles - pay for one and the other 3 will be free.

The Centsible Saywer really hooked me up with deals last week. Today I plan on reeling in some more! If you haven't visited this site - you really should!

Planters: $3.00 off Planters WYB 3 Kraft Products. The suggestion is Koolaid packets - they only cost about .16 a piece. So the OOP is .57 for Planters and 3 Kookaid packets.

::Coupon here::

Toaster Strudels: Was able to print out (2) $1/1 Toaster Strudel Coupons. DS LOVES Toaster Strudels.

Just Bunches: Printed another $2.00 Just Bunches (honey bunches of oats) which makes these less than $1.00 a box.

::Coupon here::

School Supplies: High schoolers need filler paper, folders and notebooks. I hear the notebooks were between .05-.10 a piece! INCREDIBLE!

They have a $20.00 catalina for new or transferred prescriptions in this week's paper. Plus I have $5.00 off $25 coupon from last week. This was my 3rd of this coupon. The first was some lady who checked out before me leaving it in the printer. HELLO! You just threw away a perfectly good $5.00!! Her stupidity, my gain. Whatever!

So in essence - $25.00 free shopping dollars today at Meijer along with some helpful 10/10 deals plus milk and eggs are on sale - mealbox deals on pasta (free), sour cream (cheap) ice cream (cheap) frozen potatoes (cheap).

Hopefully going to find a deal on ds unmentionables and socks for his school clothes list here too.

Kohls: Did this online over the weekend. Was able to pick up 4 pairs of Urban Pipeline jeans for my skinny tushed boy for $19.99 a pair - free shipping. It's part of his school clothes shopping and was glad to have gotten that deal!

Also have to return some shoes that ds wouldn't wear. Ahhh well! I should have known better.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


A Raise and Increased (and MANDATORY overtime)
For me? Are you kidding?! No, my stallion husband is the work horse in this family! Last week he was given his annual raise. For what he does for the company he deserves far more than they could ever afford to pay him, but he was happy with his raise. This week they had a meeting and not only is there overtime available ... it's now MANDATORY per the company president! No ifs, ands or buts about it. This will go on for the rest of the month and they will "revisit" the idea and see if it can and should continue.

Wendy's learning to Cha Cha!

So can you REALLY make money from home sitting on your computer? The answer is YES! I've been doing this Cha Cha thing for a couple of weeks. (I took off 6 days to enjoy what time I had off from my other job on this busy holiday weekend!) The consensus? Well, I've pulled in a little over $84.00 already! The crazy thing is that it can only get better as I get faster at answering the questions. Most people average about double what I can do. But you know, for sitting on my computer looking up random questions and giving answers - this is a blessing. A stress less atmosphere!

So what's it all about? Go see for yourself - Or text a question to 242242 and see how it works for you. Cha Cha doesn't charge you to ask questions, but be aware if you pay per text message with your cell phone provider.

I've started my Cha Cha team. I know, I know.. I just started myself - but I always jump in with both feet! The more learning at the same time the merrier! If you are interested in joining Cha Cha, please use my email address as the one who referred you. That way you will be included on my team and we can work together! The email address (made into a graphic to avoid the spammers) is:
When you join, before you carry onward, please email me and I can work you through the steps and share the things I have learned so far.

What does this all mean?

The overtime will be helpful in getting the ds set up for his junior year of high school and pay extra towards our credit card debt and the Cha Cha will go towards gift buying expenditures. Birthdays on the horizon: My dh, my mother and then my son -- don't blink -- Christmas! I think it will come in handy!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Year in Review - My TMMO Anniversary!

I thought it was appropriate to take a moment (okay several) and take a peek back at my successful year of climbing the Mountain of Debt. I have tried before to "pay down" the credit cards, but I'd never been successful as this year. I stuck to it! A whole year! I don't think I have stuck to anything this tough for a whole year before!

One year ago: Debt Totals
Chase: $8588.00 (random spending surfed/stored here for a lower rate)
Citibank: $10958.00 (this one too)
Bank of America $16830.00 (this one too)
Discover: $1600.00 (used for purchases)
Citibank 2: $1743.94 (the used card - when the balance got to high it got surfed ... see above)
Car Loan: $5389.00 (which I am proud of. We were 2 years ahead on this car loan)
Emergency Root Canal & Crown: 1505.00

Budget consisted of:
Mortgage/HELOC (creative financing package to eliminate PMI)
Groceries (that I never stuck to)
Debt Pay Offs
Savings Accounts (Christmas, Vacation, Home Improvements, DS's 529)

The Feeling -- The Fear -- The Failure
My dh tells doomsday stories of the failing economy almost daily. He doesn't handle the bills or the family finances. He never even looks at them. His talk plus our financial situation was making me panic! HARDCORE! The fact that they were talking about raising the minimum due % from 1 - 2% of remaining balance on our credit cards made me SHUTTER! We were going to fall apart and fall apart fast!
I was looking into refinancing the house and hoping I had enough equity to roll some of my large balances into my home loan. I was stressed to the core, yet couldn't talk to the dh about it because the arguments would get ugly. I hate ugly arguments.

Miss guided Priorities
I've always been a pack rat. I've always had a thing for savings. I had savings accounts that I used as sinking funds for everything. I had these long before I heard of the word sinking funds. Congrats to me to have done something right in the last 17 years of marriage! However, my ability to save money for certain things like 2 wonderful Disney vacations means that credit cards were being used to pay for other things while I was tucking away money for the vacations. As you noticed - my budget had wide holes all over it!

July 07- July 08: The Year of the Plan

1. NO credit cards! I don't care how bad you think you NEED something! Either you pay CASH or you don't get it!

2. Prepare a Proper Budget. I have ALWAYS had budget. The problem with my budget is that it was missing the everyday life things: clothes, medical bills, hair cuts, vet bills, dentist visits, dining out, entertainment etc. It always consisted of what bills were due and nothing more than that. That's where the credit card enters the game and takes over. And Stick to It
anything looks good on paper. The matter of having the strength to actually LIVE with the restrictions....NOW THAT was the battle.

3. Rearrange Priorities. Although, being honest - I didn't wipe out all of my savings accounts, but I need close a few accounts and paid off my smaller bills right away. I was paying more in finance charges than I was gaining in interest. That plus with a proper budget, I wouldn't need those accounts anymore.

4. Find Holes in our Budget. The eating out all the time, the random Walmart stops that cost $100 a pop, entertainment every week etc. Plugging the holes in the budget really helped make what money we had coming in HELP our situation!

5. Work a little Harder! My DH is incredible when it comes to working. His work ethic is off the carts and he gobbles up overtime like no body's business. My job doesn't entitle me to a lot of overtime except for the spring training time. I gobble that up. I've been really paying attention to the grocery budget AND STICKING TO IT! I make dinner every night. We only go out once a month or maybe twice a month IF there is money left over from grocery shopping.

6. Debt Payoff - We have successfully paid off over $30k in debt this year - by rearranging priorities, working and having a CD mature for us to throw into it. We are down to our last two debts. Our two biggest.

7. Play Smarter - This works! The lessons I have learned have been so incredibly valuable to me! The stress has died down. We have a handle of our finances. I refinanced the HELOC to be a regular loan with a fixed rate. Now it is a part of the mortgage, the way it was originally was written. We have NOT used a credit card in a year! Okay let me say that again because that is just so amazing - if you knew our family you would agree -- here goes -- WE HAVE NOT USED A CREDIT CARD IN A YEAR!!!

Wow! That felt great!
A beneficial year!
By next July first (or hopefully sooner) you will hear me yell from the rooftops and hopefully the sound of a new car horn from my future Mazda3!

Thanks for hanging out with me!