It’s A Holiday Weekend…And That Means It’s Time To Buy Paint!

It’s President’s Day weekend, and that means that it’s time to take advantage of Home Depot’s Behr paint sale.
Through the 16th, you can purchase paint at Home Depot, and receive $5 off every gallon, or $20 every five gallon bucket, via a mail-in rebate.
We’ve used this for a couple of years in a row, and it’s worked out well. In fact, two years ago in May is when we were close to purchasing our house, and we took advantage of the sale. We hadn’t yet closed, but we knew approximately how many gallons we would need, so we purchased it unmixed, and took it back a few weeks later to get it mixed. I think we got a $65 rebate a few weeks later, so it was definitely worth it!
We purchased three gallons of paint, two for the nursery and one which is the color of our hallways, so that I can hopefully do some touch up work and also paint the stairways to the basement.
This year, they made it so that you can submit the rebate online, simply by entering your rebate information and your receipt information. They look up the purchase to verify eligability. Saves time and a stamp!
I’ve found that Home Depot usually runs this around most holidays, so if you miss out this time, mark your calendar for a future holiday if you have any painting on the horizon.

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Net Worth Update – February 2009

The numbers came in for the last month and unfortunately, we weren’t able to keep up the momentum that we had built last month, where we gained almost 10%. Oh, well. I guess in this market, we’re going to expect some ups and downs. Probably a lot more downs than ups until things get better in the economy.
Anyways, our numbers look like this:

  • Assets fell 1.0% in value. The biggest reason for this was that our home value reported further falls, and a down stock market. It actually could have been worse (see below)
  • Debt fell 0.49% for the month. We did pretty good here, and I’m proud to say that we’ve knocked off over $20,000 in debt from February 2008.
  • Overall, our net worth slipped by about 2.3%.

It doesn’t look that bad, but it really should have been worse. We got a significant boost by the fact that I became vested in my company 401(k) matches.
I was officially hired in by my company in May 2007. They are quite generous with their 401(k) match, as they match 100% up to the first 6% of salary. However, the vesting schedule was as follows:

  • You are 40% vested after two years of service
  • You add 20% more after year three, four and five, at which point you’re 100% vested.

By that math, I shouldn’t have been at all vested until this May, and not fully vested until 2012. So, did I somehow invent time travel? No. Did I find a way to interrupt the space-time continuum? No.
Unfortunately, it was nothing so glamerous.
In addition the schedule above, there was a stipulation that if the division I worked for was sold, that full vesting takes place. Well, last year my company ownership transferred, so we became fully vested at once.
So, I had previously held off reporting the non-vested portion of my 401(k) plan, but now I added it in. This is a nice one-time boost, and it will also help moving forward, as all future contributions (up to 6%) will be matched and vested.

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Busy As A Beagle

I apologize that I’ve gotten off my posting pattern a bit. I like to get five or six posts a week, but I realize I’ve been coming up just a bit short on that. We’ve got a major project at work that I’ve been on for two and a half years, and the final pieces are coming together, and it’s been consuming lots and lots of time. I should see some time free up in two or three weeks, but until then, the postings may be a little less.
Hang in there because I’ve got lots of ideas in my head for some great posts!
I will also say that this has been a busy month in the financial sense. We’ve got a few major things going on this February:

  • Property taxes are due for the winter months
  • The last of the tax stuff arrived yesterday, so it’s time to get everything together and get it over to our tax prep specialist.
  • Paying off our furniture – We used a good portion of the monetary gifts from our September 2007 to purchase furniture for various rooms in the house. We made the purchases quite a ways back, but the store was offering (at the time) same as cash for a year or more. We qualified so we were free of making any payments for the entire time. We’ve had the money stashed away earning interest, but now it’s time to pay it off. I’ve had this day circled on the calendar for awhile, because if we didn’t pay it by the end of the promotion, it would add about 40% to the bill. That’s probably how they get a lot of people, but not this Money Beagle!
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Proud To Say I Insipried Somebody To Be Frugal

I was walking down the hall with a co-worker today, and he made a comment that floored me. It was simple. He said, “You inspired me to start bringing my lunch in everyday.”
I had no idea that I was able to inspire someone in that regard. I do bring my lunch everyday, but I don’t make a big deal about it. I simply bring my lunch bag every day and our re-usable container, and that’s that. Most of the time I bring sandwiches, but for variety, I’ll sometimes have leftovers or a pre-packaged meal.
Still, I had no idea that people were noticing.
I asked him about it and he said that it was more convenient to eat in the building versus going out or waiting in line at the cafeteria, and of course it was a big money saver. Only after he stopped spending the money on going out every day did he realize how much it was costing him.
I wonder how many expenses all of us have that we don’t even think about. For my co-worker it was lunch. For others, maybe it’s a daily coffee or a weekly trip to the mall.
We get so used to stuff that we don’t even think about another way.
I’m glad I insipired someone to see another way, and one that’s saving him money.
Now I can only wonder….
What else are people watching me do that I’m not aware of? :)

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