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Random Thoughts

June 10th, 2008 at 09:02 am

Ordered Master Card Reward Check: On my last statement, my reward balance had exceeded $50 so I ordered my reward check. (I have to wait until the balance reaches $50 to order a check.) DH commented that the reward system probably works out well for the credit card companies because it's likely lots of folks forget to order their rewards. Not me ... As soon as I see that sucker has hit $50, I start dialing!

Skype: We signed up for Skype worldwide service and love it. For $10 a month, we can make unlimited calls anywhere in the world from our computer. Very handy with us living away from all of our family (cross country for me, round the world for DH)

Clothes Shopping: I boldly stated my intentions to tackle my clothes shopping demons in one marathon day of shopping, in order to update my skimpy wardrobe. That didn't happen, but I am happy to report that between Goodwill, Costco, and the Outlet Stores, I did manage to buy:
1 pair of shoes (Timberland)
1 pair of capri jeans (GV)
2 tanks (1 LLBean, 1 Liz Claiborne)
1 linen shirt (Jones NY)
I spent $75 total. Only the LLBean tank was slightly used; the rest were new.
I want to buy one pair of shorts (I only have one, and I have realized shorts are a staple here in hot Texas) and one pair of sneaker type shoes (currently have none), and that will get me through the summer. Once the after-summer sales start, I will try to get a couple more tanks and shorts ... I have learned that those are the real essential items during a Texas summer.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate that show where people spend $5K on clothes in one shopping spree? I would love to watch a show where they taught you how to update your wardrobe for $2-300, which is my annual clothing budget.

Thoughts on Bank Failures: My thinking has shifted from "Oh goodness! What if one of my banks fails?" to "Gee - I wonder which of my banks will fail first?" I've decided to just accept that it is probably going to happen, and I will roll with the punches the best I can. When / if it happens, I will be sure to blog about it and share the experience with you-all. I have my money spread amongst several banks, so am not concerned about not being able to access funds.

Work: I have 2 new assignments lined up, but got a few days off in-between. Made a long list of things to get done and have been tackling the list aggressively. I'm feeling a bit challenged by my upcoming assignment, so I bought a couple workbooks and am doing a cram course of study to brush off my dusty skills. This temp work has been marvelous...Even better than expected. The 2nd of the 2 assignments I have lined up will wrap up just shortly before I head off to my mom's for 2 weeks to help her out with some things.

Coupons: I read a comment somewhere that seemed a bit snide about the use of coupons being just for things like "Hamburger Helper." First of all, if that's what people choose to eat, what is wrong with that? But more importantly, that is not the only type of thing coupons can be used for. I'll be the first to admit that I am not the world's biggest (and far from the best) couponer, but I do clip them, only for products that I like (I don't buy things just because there is a coupon). I pulled out my last grocery store bill and these were the items I used a coupon for:
- Ocean Spray Grapefruit Juice (the 100% juice kind ... so HFCS)
- Baby Einstein Milk (no kids in our house, but no reason why adults can't drink it when you get it for a good price, right?)
- YO-Plus Yogurt
- Noni's Biscotti
- California Kitchen Pizza
So, I just don't understand people who dis' coupons!

Final Form 5500-EZ: Since my husband rolled his Keogh's over in to a SEP IRA, the paperwork requirements are much easier (no annual filing requirements with the IRS). Yesterday I completed his FINAL Form 5500-EZ w/ the IRS, letting them know the plan has been closed. Yea - So glad I won't have to do that anymore! And lest you think I am late, the deadline for that particular form is July 31st, so I was in plenty of time.

Frugality Means Hating Waste: Here in Texas, our governor's mansion was recently severely damaged by an arsonist. That is the sort of thing that just steams me, as does vandalism and grafitti. I am willing to bet that the regulars on this site have never commited any form of vandalism or grafitti. Why? Because we hate waste of resources! Not only will the taxpayers of the state now have to pay to have the mansion either repaired or rebuilt, a beautiful 150-plus year old building will never be the same. Building materials, fire personnel, law enforment hours, tax dollars, a piece of our history ... All wasted! What a shame! And speaking of waste, the mansion was in the process of being restored and so the governor and his wife had moved out. On the news they mentioned they were renting a house that cost $9,900 per month. I realize that as the governor of the 2nd largest state in the country he deserves a few perks, but really, I wish he would be a better steward of the taxpayers' money! For 1/2 that, he could rent a place that would be appropriately posh!

7 Responses to “Random Thoughts”

  1. merch Says:

    I don't think banks will fail. Most banks securitize their mortgages via wall street and push the risk to mutual funds. Also, the government has a history of not letting big banks fail. Countrywide got bought by bank of america, bear got bought by jp morgan.

    Just bad business to let a bank fail. Easier to facilitate a fire sale of the bank to another.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. sagegirl Says:

    Please don't get me started on Rick Perry. He has to be my second least fav Gov we've had. Wanna take guesses on my first-LEAST fav? I heard the gov's mansion was only equipped with smoke detectors but no sprinklers system (part of the renovations, no doubt). Sad, sad. A beautiful building!

  3. Aleta Says:

    My heart just sank when I heard about that fire. Can't imagine why anyone would want to ruin a piece of history. My brother had been to that mansion and said that it was grand.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    All I could think was Kudos on taking on the 5500-EZ. HEhe!

    & good riddance!

  5. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Good Clothes Eye! I am planning a trip to the thrift/Susies Deals for a few staples soon, ie

    - black stretch pants (goes EVERYWHERE ie work, school, days off),
    - a white turtleneck (I needed one at least 15 times this past winter and my last one got a stain on it within the first 2 weeks, I don't know how and I tried to get it out at least twice!)
    - a zip or pullover hoodie (just reach for my one favorite too often)

    And my kids both need jeans, so am going to watch sales and get them stuff for NEXT school year slowly. And long sleeve T's which I have taught them we will buy OFF-SEASON when the prices are half.

  6. scfr Says:

    merch - I can't believe there isn't a limit to the number of failing banks that can be absorbed by surviving banks. I don't expect we'll see the failure of a bank the size of BofA, but don't feel the same level of confidence about a WaMu or a KeyCorp size bank.

    monkeymama - Thanks! I spent much time on hold (including 3 transfers) with the IRS yesterday trying to get an answer which line (10d) to use to report the old plan distribution. As you said, good riddance! Smile
    PCJ - Thanks! Turtlenecks used to be a staple for me when I lived in Seattle ... so many ways to mix & match. Here in Texas it's tank tops instead. Good luck with YOUR clothes shopping.

  7. Paula Says:

    I am a native Texan. Thank you for recognizing the beauty of the Texas governor's mansion and sharing in our outrage at its damage by arson!

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