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Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

Senior Contributor

Hop in! On my way to a 100k! Week four closed@

Week four came to a close.


It really felt like I couldn’t move my “look under rock”.   That number felt like a boulder and I wasn’t seeing much progress.   But finally, it budged. 


  • Did a few more returns.  Some with receipts, some without.   Those with receipts created a credit on the card, which I used to pay for some medical bills AND treated us to a meal out.  Those with store credit, and well, they are sitting in my wallet.  They will be used for things I need.
  • A few weeks ago, I was going to make toothpaste and deodorant.  It’s definitely cheaper than buying it!  Well, DH found some at an incredible sale price.  Personally, I think he was afraid to try home made stuff.  Smiley Wink   I was still determined to move forward with my plan.  At least partially.   So I have been using the baking soda for toothpaste.  It’s actually great as toothpaste!   I don’t follow the recipe, just dipping a wet toothbrush into some baking soda works great.  How much is a box of baking soda?   Like less than a dollar!   And at the rate I am using it, that dollar is going to stretch pretty far.    And to give DH props, he’s now using it several times a week.  We still have the toothpaste and are using it until it’s gone.
  • Continuing to free cycling.   A few more things going out the door.  
  • Have a slightly higher than usual cell phone bill, I stopped taking phone calls.   (Someone kept texting me and running up the bill.  Had a few FIRM words with the person.  I don’t have a text package, so every text costs me money.)  Then I did some extra work to earn the cash to pay the difference between my regular cell bill and the other one.  I am NOT adding texting to the phone – I want to keep costs down and reach 100k by year’s end.
  • I have a few accounts that earn interest during the month.   That helped move the boulder of “look under rock” number.
  • Decided NOT to give a set amount of money to son for college.  Instead, there will be a college contract and an expense sheet he will not get a set amount of money each month.   If he could disown me, he would.   Lol.  
  • In my budget, he will still get a set amount of money each month put into an account he canNOT access.   When he submits the expense form (which does include a financial forecast for the next week and a request for x amount of money), the money, within reason, will be transferred to his account.   The money will become a secondary emergency fund.  Somehow, I see myself saving money…
  • Already on the college budget, but putting the money into savings right now.  That savings is NOT part of the 100 grand plan, but helps cover some things that come up that are not quite covered by savings.
  • It will also cover the birthday money that goes into savings (1 April bday, 2 May bdays, 1 August bday).  It will cover the $200 for the two kids who will have earned it by school years end (see previous post to understand the gift giving related to school).
  • Learned how to make milk – and actually made almond milk from scratch.
  • Tried some maple nuts.

The "look under a rock" boulder is now at $28,133.18.   It moved some since last week!!  Smiley Happy    If I wasn't tracking this stuff, I am not sure I would have felt a difference...


Week five started with a bang!

Message 21 of 69

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k! Week four closed@

I make my own laundry detergent. My DGF thinks its incredibly weird.

She didn't even know what Borax or Fels Naptha were until I went shopping for the ingredients.


She still won't make the switch from Crest Mint Gel as toothpaste though... which costs like 4 bucks for a tube lol


Baking soda can be used for ANYTHING, I love it.


Anything else "housemade" you might want to recommend?

Follow my financial journey:

EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

AMEX BCE (0/10K) --- BOA 1-2-3 (0/15.9K) --- Discover More (0/6K) --- Chase Freedom Visa (0/1.4K) -- Hyatt Visa Sign. (0/5.8K) -- Barclay's NFL Card (0/7.5K) -- Chase Sapphire Preferred (0/5K)

Message 22 of 69
Senior Contributor

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

Adalen - What I started doing years ago, after the budget was made, was to open up several money market accounts.   Back then, they earned a higher interest rate than savings.  A savings account is the way to go now....   But I opened one up for -


Food - when I was under budget, the leftover money sat there and acrued interest.   Got us through some super tight financial times!

Gas -- my budgeted gas amount goes into this account.  The leftovers pay for car maintenance, car spa days, etc.

Household - for things like toilet paper, light bulbs, etc.

Insurance - my budgeted amount for vehicle and house and life.   Earns interest as it sits there waiting for premiums to be deducted.

Maitenence - gutters cleaned, buying flowers, etc.

Personal - hair cuts and such.

Utilities - budgeted amount goes in.  Smiley Happy


Every payday the money goes in.


Every payday I pay off the cc bills.


Every payday, I pull SOME of the cash for food, but not usually all.  I try to leave some behind in case I need it later.


Balances earn interest.   Surplus helps with expensive things, like new tires and with super tight financial times.


I can clearly see where my money is being spent.


As for your son's account - focus on a set amount and put the extra into a reserve account/emergency fund or into your retirement.  Smiley Happy  You need to pay yourself FIRST.

Message 23 of 69
Senior Contributor

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

discernment - baby steps!   or old person's steps - they are about the same size!  Smiley Wink


No one taught me any of this stuff.  Didn't go to school for it either.  I learned by trail, error, and absorbing as much information as I could from a variety of sources.


My absolute biggest weakness with my budget is food.   I know it's my weakness - well maybe I should say Whole Foods is my weakness.  Smiley Happy   Went in for ONE THING over the weekend and walked away with $55 in groceries.  Smiley Sad   But hey, I have fresh pineapple and I made baked beans and I have cheese to use in sandwiches which saved me from eating out today....


You can make changes.  Just do it one step at a time.  Smiley Happy

Message 24 of 69
Senior Contributor

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

FrugalRican - oh yeah!


Most personal hygiene items (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, etc).


Most cleaning items (soaps, disinfectant, laundry detergent).


Most medicinal items (to get rid of a toothache, bad breath, burns, exfoliate, yeast infections, allergic reactions, etc).  


Most food items (flour, milk, nut butters, fruit spreads/sauce, gravy, sauces, etc).


I don't use eggs much at all - usually substitute.


For laundry detergent -- if the laundry is stinky, baking soda goes in.  I haven't bought laundry detergent in more than a decade!   I have tried the Giaim balls - no chemicals.  They do alright.   In the long run, *might* be cheaper than baking soda.


For cleaning items - haven't bought those in years!  Vinegar is great, so is baking soda.


I am still learning.  If you have some great website, PM please.  OR if you have some great ideas, know stuffs, etc, PM please!

Message 25 of 69

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

When I get home tonight, I'll remind myself to send you the link about the laundry detergent.

I know it's Borax, Fels Naptha, soap, and a cheap cheese grater, but I feel like I'm missing ONE thing in all of that... or maybe two. The list is at home.


I've used vinegar as well too for cleaning and baking soda.


The problem with my apartment has been that the vinegar smells tends to linger a little bit because of the shape of my apartment. I've had family members that would just add lemon peel or orange peel into it. I've never tried it, so I don't know how that works out.

Follow my financial journey:

EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

AMEX BCE (0/10K) --- BOA 1-2-3 (0/15.9K) --- Discover More (0/6K) --- Chase Freedom Visa (0/1.4K) -- Hyatt Visa Sign. (0/5.8K) -- Barclay's NFL Card (0/7.5K) -- Chase Sapphire Preferred (0/5K)

Message 26 of 69
Senior Contributor

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

FrugalRican - I can't stand the smell of vinegar!   But it has it's purpose.   And baking soda is great for getting rid of the smell!  Open windows help too.  Or spritz some orange or lemon water in the air...turn on a fan...get the air circulating.


And vinegar and baking soda are sooo inexpensive!    Unless you have heavily soiled clothes, consider just using baking soda in the wash.   If you need to, add a little borax powder to do the heavy duty clean into the mix.

Message 27 of 69

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

I sent you the link for the laundry detergent Smiley Happy

It's washing soda, not baking soda, that I use for the detergent. I knew my mind wasn't right at work.

Follow my financial journey:

EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

AMEX BCE (0/10K) --- BOA 1-2-3 (0/15.9K) --- Discover More (0/6K) --- Chase Freedom Visa (0/1.4K) -- Hyatt Visa Sign. (0/5.8K) -- Barclay's NFL Card (0/7.5K) -- Chase Sapphire Preferred (0/5K)

Message 28 of 69
Valued Contributor

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

IOBA wrote:

Pay yourself first. 

You are so blessed to have your health and an income! 

Husband's Current Score: EX 691 CUSC; EQ 694; TU 687; Mine: EX 773 (AMEX); EQ 720; TU 750
Wallet Contents: SECURED: Capital One Platinum Mastercard, US Bank Harley Davidson Visa, USAA Bank American Express;
UNSECURED: Chase Freedom; USAA Cash Rewards World Mastercard, Discover More, CUSC Platinum Rewards Visa, American Express Zinc, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, Amazon Card, Walmart Discover Card
Message 29 of 69
Senior Contributor

Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

Week five!


Wow.   I want you all to know that there is an investment banker who should be kicking himself right now.   The bank referred me to him – he is their financial advisor.   Well, the guy didn’t ask the right questions and basically wrote me off.   Know what I said?  I wanted to have 50k in quickly liquid able assets (and said that looked like cash and CD’s) and the rest in principle safe investments.   I even told him what interest rates I am earning currently.  I obviously want to make at least the same rate, if not a higher rate, of return.  The advisor said he could definitely help me but maybe I had better wait!   Wait for what???  This guy didn’t even ask how much I had saved OR how much I could save per month!  His CEO is definitely getting a letter from me.


In a way, I am glad that conversation happened.  It seems to reinforce what I am doing – that I am going about it the right way.   And that investment banker is not getting his paycheck from me.  J


  • Back to using baking soda for toothpaste.  It’s not bad once you get used to it and so much cheaper than buying the toothpaste at the store.  I have no idea why the recipes say to add salt to it.  To me, it’s already salty enough!
  • Rediscovered that powdered milk works great in recipes!   So much cheaper than buying or making my own milk.  I still make my own milk (from scratch, not powdered) for drinking.
  • One can of pumpkin plus one can of condensed milk equals a lot of pumpkin pudding!  (Basically pumpkin pie without a crust.)  Man, that stuff has been lasting and lasting and lasting.   A great dessert for less than five dollars!
  • My neighbor was going to re-landscape her yard.   I volunteered to help by removing some of her plants.   She happily said yes.    She received free labor; I received some yard tools (unexpected bonus!) and about $125 worth of free plants!  Score!
  • The loose change is going into the bank.  Scrapped together another few bucks from paying cash for food.  And did one return that was refunded in cash.  It’s enough to make the “find under a rock” boulder move a few centimeters.   J  
  • Took a pair of shoes to be resoled.   Cost $60.  Savings at least $350.  (They are very expensive, but very well made dress shoes.  I think I have paid more over the years to resole them than I paid for the shoes originally!)
  • Saved up three weeks of laundry and packed it to the hotel I was staying at.  It offered free use of their washer/dryer.   Savings at least $6-7.  I know it’s not much, but that will go under the “find under a rock” boulder I have to move.
  • It looks like I will actually go through this entire month of April without paying anything to do laundry!  Especially since tomorrow is the last day of the month!  Total savings $10.
  • Found a few closed pinecones.  Will be heating them up later to try some of my very own “pine nuts”.
  • Been shaving DH’s neck to extend the time between haircuts.  His idea.   Time between haircuts is now about 6-8 weeks for him (instead of the mandatory 4 weeks previously).  Cost of a hair cut, with tip - $12.00.  Savings is $6.00-12.00.
  • To be fair, I have been pushing my hair appointments out about a week longer than previously.   I have always strayed from the recommended four weeks to extend the time out to five or six weeks.  Now I am trying to go six to eight weeks between appointments.
  • Made a loaf of gluten free bread.  Cost $3.00.   Savings $2.00.
  • Used store credit to purchase a cleaver – which makes it so much easier to cut a whole chicken up and to cut into squash and melons and pineapples.   All of those foods are cheaper if you can buy whole and cut yourself.
  • Used store credit to purchase a nice quality cutting board.  (Free cycled the old one.)
  • Made plans to use a store credit purchase a composting kit.  The savings may not be much immediately, BUT here is how I am saving with this plan.  One – I am using store credit to purchase the composting kit.  Store credit is lost money unless you actually use it up.  Two – I buy soil every year.  If I can make even one bag’s worth naturally, then I am saving what, $5-8?   Three – less stuff for the landfill.  With my free cycling, donations, giving neighbors treats (I share my food when there is plenty), and buying fresh (the stuff will go into the composting pile versus the trash), I literally have no trash for the trash man!
  • Transplanted the seeds I had started growing in my apt to the containers outside.  Three zucchini plants have taken root and are showing new growth!!  Yeah!!
  • I have three heads of lettuce ready to be harvested.  I bought those pre-started.   Cost $3.00.   Savings $2.00.
  • I have been collecting rainwater in buckets outside.  It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it certainly is free.  I have used that to water the garden this weekend.   I am quick to make sure I cover it or use it so that the critters don’t make it their watering hole.  Savings – unknown, but it’s there.
  • Drying out fresh parsley that someone didn’t want.  Savings $4.00.
  • Making mint tea with previously dried mint leaves.  Savings $.50 ßcost of organic mint tea bag for cup of tea.  Drinking the tea now.  It’s very refreshing.  And soooo not store bought!
  • Used up several spices that have been lingering on the spice rack.  They are spices that I just don’t use very often.  While realistically, the spices have no expiration date, it just felt good to get rid of the ones I don’t use often.  I am slowly transitioning over to fresh herbs and herbs I dried myself.  It’s so much cheaper!
  • I returned something (via mail) and asked them to send a refund check.  The company put the refund on my zero balance credit card.  Argh!  I called the ccc and asked them to send me a check.  The customer rep said the check would go out on Monday.  (Thank you goodness!  Normally they make you wait 30-90 days before sending a refund check.)
  • I pick up aluminum cans and plastic bottles and recycle them in a machine.  I earn points I can later redeem.  I also pick up trash that is along my walking path – it’s just the nice thing to do.




I still need to find $27,726.68.   Monday is the last day of the month, so some accounts will be receiving interest.  Yeah!!  When I calculated out how much money, I could save a month, I did not add in interest, since it varies.  So the interest will help move the boulder.


This coming week is pretty exciting!   Interest will be used to chip away at the boulder.  I still have food in the cupboard to use, so I should be able to make it until payday.  I have leftover shredded zucchini that I am going to cook as hash browns.  If that doesn’t work out well, then I am adding it to my spaghetti tonight.  My neighbor is giving me her rose bush.   It’s not exactly a source of food, but they produce rose hips, which are very good for you.  J   So let’s all pray that the garden and the rose bush grow, prosper, and provide a nice bounty.



Message 30 of 69