Aug 07 2008

Things on my mind lately

My brain is just a big mishmash of stuff right now. Here’s a little bit of what’s on my mind:

I haven’t been cooking much lately because I haven’t been motivated, and it’s been too hot to cook on some days. To combat this, I’m going to try “once-a-week” cooking this week (a smaller version of ‘once-a-month’ cooking). I’ll plan my menu and go shopping today and I’ll have a big cooking session tomorrow. We’ll see how this goes! Any ideas for what to make?

My husband’s employer has a group legal plan that we can opt in to for about $15.50 per month. I believe you have to buy a whole year at a time though, so that’s roughly $186 for the year. Open enrollment is in October, so we still have time to decide if we want to opt in this year. We would like to get our wills in place, and though we can probably do it ourselves by acquiring legal forms online, I’m kind of leaning toward meeting with an attorney to get this done. What did you do when you got your will? About how much did it cost, if you don’t mind sharing?

I’m organizing our guest room (soon to be our baby boy’s room) and I’m trying to motivate myself to sell some things on eBay or on craigslist. It’s hard to get going on these tasks, but they really need to get done. I’m hoping to clear out a large stash of stuff and make a little bit of money. It’ll be worth it (I hope)…I just need to get going!

We’re finishing up the last little bit of our emergency fund. Just about six percent to go! We’re keeping 90 percent of it in our high-interest ING Direct savings account and 10 percent of it in a savings account in our brick & mortar bank.
I can get cash from my ING account since I have a debit card, but that would require me going to an ATM. In addition, I would only be able to withdraw $1,000 per day at an ATM with my card. If I needed to use all of my emergency fund at once (let’s hope not!), I would have to be able to use my debit card or transfer it to my brick & mortar bank so I could write a check and wait about five business days for it to clear. I could have ING draft a paper check and send it to someone if needed, but that would only work in certain situations. When we had an exterminator come over to remove some wasp nests, we had to hand him a check–we couldn’t just tell him it would be in the mail.
Long story short, that’s why we’re keeping 10 percent of our emergency fund in our brick & mortar checking account, so we can have instant access to a decent amount of money. If we needed to tap the fund due to loss of income, we could afford to wait a few business days for it to transfer. For other huge emergency expenses, we could potentially use our ING debit card.

Shane and I would like to see a show here in town. Wicked is playing but we didn’t get tickets fast enough and I’m worried that our seats would be too crappy to be worth it. I’m fine with paying $70/ticket for an amazing show, but only if I’m close enough to the stage to actually see it, you know? Mamma Mia! is going to be here for a few days and tickets haven’t gone on sale yet, so maybe we’ll see that. We’re also looking into buying tickets to see a Steelers game sometime this season.
And for the record, we try to live frugally by keeping our regular boring expenses low (gas, food, etc.) so we can feel free to spend money on things that are important to us. Who cares if we spend $150 to see a show or a football game? If we’ve budgeted for it, we’re going to do it guilt-free. After all, that’s the frugal way!

So that’s what I’m working on lately. I’ve been doing some little projects and updating my happenings on Twitter. Hope you’re having a lovely day!



16 Responses to “Things on my mind lately”

  1. My husband and I spent $200 with an attorney to do our wills, so I think your husbands plan sounds fine (especially since you could use it to get other legal advice – like creating living wills, power of attorney, etc).

    I used to do once a month cooking (before the twins came!) and it was WONDERFUL! Saved a ton of time and money. I made spaghetti sauce, barbecue beef/pork, meatloaf, chili, baked chicken, and more! I need to start doing it again, but it seems like when I get a big block of time these days, the last thing I want to do is cook!

    I highly recommend freezing meals in prep for your new baby…. those first few weeks are tough, and it’s easy to just go out to eat all the time if you don’t have a plan.

    Christina’s last blog post..Dinner With Hillary, Anyone?

  2. That’s exactly why I want to start trying the once (weekly/monthly) cooking now. I want to experiment a little and figure out what works for us so that I can have a decent stash of food in the freezer once our baby is born.

    I’m glad he’ll arrive in the winter–I just love soups and stews and those hot, hearty foods that taste best in the winter! They freeze so well.

  3. I would definitely do a baked ziti in the OAMC & check out yahoo groups for OAMC. You can find fabu recipes on them.

    As for the shows I have seen both in NYC back in the day. My ex was a big “show” person, the new hubs would rather watch the speed channel. I digress.

    Wicked is by far my fav.
    Mama Mia was ok. And I mean just ok,
    BUT
    That is my opinion.
    Lots of people love it.
    So I say “GO For It!”

    I am jealous of the Steelers tix. My family is Steelers fans. Matter of fact I am trying to get tix for the Eagles/Steelers game for my husband’s birthday but that is like trying to get Brad Pitt’s cell #.

    Meghan’s last blog post..6 Word Memoir & Tag

  4. For cooking, my wife does well preparing Quinua for a few days of eating.

    FFB’s last blog post..Some Rights Reserved

  5. Our wills cost about $200. Before you sign up for this service, have you talked to anyone else that has used it? Some of these services aren’t that good.

    Sandy’s last blog post..I won

  6. Congratulations on being so close to finishing your emergency fund! We’ve still got so far to go, but seeing how close you are is really inspiring! How long has it taken?!

    I’m in the same boat with trying to clear clutter with some ebay sales … We’d like to find ways to increase our income to pay down debt and saves money faster without taking on second jobs. Tony and I both have a TON of books and DVDs that we barely ever use. It’s just a matter of sorting through everything to figure out what we can part with, and that just seems so overwhelming. But I think it’ll be worth it! Good luck!

  7. My sister recently went to see Mama Mia (the musical, not the movie) when it was in Philly. Since you’re in Pittsburgh, it’s possible it’s the same traveling tour, right? She was blown away and said it was phenomenal (and she’s a singer, so I believe her!).

    Of course, I would give my left arm to go see Wicked, so I’m slightly biased and insanely jealous. By the time it finally comes to Nashville in 2009 we will have had to move somewhere else.

    Vanderbilt Wife’s last blog post..Fun!

  8. Thanks! We’ve been working on our E-fund a little bit since January, but really started making progress on it in February. I’m really amazed at how fast we’ve been able to throw it together!

    I have a bunch of course packs and books that I need to deal with. I don’t want to toss the course packs because well, they were expensive…and maybe someday I’ll want to look at them again? Not too likely though.

    As far as books go, I’m going to list some on PaperBackSwap and maybe Amazon.

    Good luck with your books & dvds!

  9. For the OAMC I would suggest a few pounds of boiled and diced chicken and few pounds of ground meat. The diced chicken can be used for freezer fried rice, enchilladas, nachos, wraps, tacos and taco bowls.

    The ground meat can be used in Ziti, baked spaghetti or Nachos, tacos, enchilladas, etc.

    Meatloaf is also great for the freezer meal (frozen pre-cooked or frozen raw).

    Finally, stuffed bread. Homemade bread with meat cooked inside. For instance Italian meatballs with mozarella or ham and cheese. Just cook freeze.

    I hope that you find some meals that will work for you and the hubby. Freezer meals are one of the things that was most helpful after the birth of my children. I hope that your church or friends will bring meals and help with housekeeping during the first few weeks.

    Hadias’s last blog post..Proper Attire for Worship

  10. I don’t specifically do OAMC cooking, but I do cook in bulk to make future meal preparations easier.

    I have a lot of recipes that called for cubed cooked chicken, so whenever I need that, I’ll cook a ton of it and freeze what I don’t need that day. Similarly, I never make a small batch of spaghetti sauce – just make a large one and freeze the leftovers.

    Also, there are also several recipes that I double whenever making them, like lasagna and enchiladas. Both freeze well, and it doesn’t take much longer to make two than one.

    This way, I add to my freezer inventory without needing to plan a whole day of cooking.

  11. I bought Quicken Willmaker on E-bay for pretty cheap (I can’t remember now what I paid for it. But, it was considerably less than buying it anywhere else and cheaper than paying attorneys’ fees.) We created our wills at home (very simple with the program), printed them out, and took them to our bank and got them notorized for free. It was a very simple process and we probably spent less than $100 for everything.

    Not only that, there are tons of other forms included with the software that have also come in handy, such as instructions for sitters, a nice form showing all of our accoutns and investments and lots of helpful info in case we would become incapacited and needed someone to step in to handle our affairs, temporary guardianship forms (which came in handy when we went on vacation and left the kiddos with my parents for a week), etc.

    Just my 2 cents…. But, I was very pleased with the simplicity of the program! And, it was much cheaper than an attorney and just as legal!

    Kristy’s last blog post..How I saved $15,000 today

  12. That’s a great idea, Kristy. Doubling a recipe and using half for later seems like a really efficient way to add to your freezer without adding a lot of time to your cooking.

  13. You might check Dave Ramsey’s list of ELPs (Endorsed Local Providers). I listen to his show a lot and in my area there is an advertisement of a $15 will special with one company. Just something to check out.

    Also- I’ve never used the Quiken that Kristy suggested, but I know many people that have and really liked. Definitely something to check into as well!

    Congrats on the emergency fund! I plan to have mine done by Monday!!!

  14. I do a lot of OAMC cooking. I also have a cooking club that meets once a month. The website for it is http://dashofsass.blogspot.com/. I don’t update it as much as I should. I get a ton of OAMC recipes from Recipezaar. I have tried a lot of them. I used to meet with one friend and we would do meals, breakfasts and desserts for the month for each of our families. I love the OAMC or Once a Week cooking for that matter. I am needing to do a session here pretty soon.

    Gretchen’s last blog post..Holiday World tickets, the special is on again!

  15. We had our will done last year w/ an attorney. I think it was around $100. The lawyer was very helpful and was able to answer our questions.

    Trish’s last blog post..Healthy Whoopie Pies?

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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