Not much has happened this past month. Doing my job, getting paid, planning a trip, collecting dividends, doing my taxes. (taxes are going to be ugly this year.) And I've found so $40.78 since mid July.
But I did talk to the co-owner of Bean City, and they are showing 4 of my mirror mosaics. We put them up this afternoon. We'll try it for a month and see how much interest there is.
Viewing the 'Dirty money' Category
Not much has happened this past month. Doing my job, getting paid, planning a trip, collecting dividends, doing my taxes. (taxes are going to be ugly this year.) And I've found so $40.78 since mid July.
I've found $36.05 since mid July. With the $120 that I added from winning the 2013 death bet, my intimate emergency fund is at $156.05.
Got another bit of good stock news today. 3M raised its dividend - effective next quarter. It went from .69/share/quarter to now .88/share/quarter.
The other good news is that I got the good news from Seeking Alpha, which I seem to like much better than The Motley Fool, or Value Line, or the WSJ or Barrons or IBD. Plus, the email alerts are just enough.
Intimate emergency fund = $28.34.
The Grim reaper has been busy this past week - several have come close (Harold Camping was on a list last year, and someone had Kim Jong-il's sister and wife of the guy who got executed last week).
And .... amazingly, 2 million visits.
Not really me, but:
Saturday, I go to Wing Luke for free museum day, which is near-ish the stadiums, which will be busy tomorrow.
Then Sunday. Ah Sunday, day of rest. Maybe. You might have heard that grocery workers will go on strike. I asked my checkout person when that might happen. She said the earliest is Sunday. She also hoped that common sense and cooler heads will prevail ... two qualities that are in short supply these days, so they will probably be rationed, to be deployed only when everything else has been exhausted. Big sign at the front of Fred Meyer tonight - are hiring, but you have to be willing to walk through a picket line.
Then there's Monday. Will the government shut down. Again? Anybody else notice that Ted Cruz has a strong resemblance to Joe McCarthy? Especially that jaw line.
I have been busy finding change - my intimate EF now totals $13.43. Following some great advice, small bills; the largest bill I'm going to set aside is a $10.
Went back to the gym and am weighing myself at home. According to the scale at home, I'm 169. I'm working at it.
Tomorrow I get paid (actually its the 15th, but we get paid the first business day beforehand). HR assured us that the raise starts this paycheck. 3%.
The timing is good - I have about 10 days to figure out whether I should back down my 403B contributions.
Seattle Greek fest this weekend. Time to stock up on good olive oil.
Yesterday I got a good haul in the Coinstar machine. Plenty of Canadian, which suits me fine because I might go up in the next few years. When I do, and I have a nice coffee, I will think fondly of the Coinstar machine.
My intimate emergency fund is growing - its at $10.54 and its been two months. I might not be logging my found money in, but I have been keen on finding it.
For some of you newer bloggers out there, you might ask, "what's this with baselle and change?"
Four years ago in mid July I needed a distraction along with a goal to exercise so to combine them I decided to blog about how much change I found living and walking throughout my day. Turns out I found, well, surprising amounts. Nearly $50 the first year, just a hair over $90 the second, a hair over $90 the third, and a hair over $75 just this last.
I need the distraction less ... the condo is plenty distracting, and while I love the hunt for change as a motivation to get me to exercise, I think I've become a hair OCD about it. So after 4 years, its time to re-adjust the change finding project a bit.
I'm finding change, but I'm not going full out and putting on a spreadsheet and tracking how much I find, etc. I find, then I have a little tub I put the findings in. My project is to slowly develop an intimate emergency fund. What's an intimate emergency fund, you ask? Well in a true emergency, like the "big one", the power and the ATM are going to be out. Need money, you'll need the intimate emergency fund.
Because a few pounds of pennies aren't really going to be that helpful, I make reverse change (25 pennies for a quarter) to keep my developing emergency at its most useful. So far a bit over $2.
In found money. I've been tracking it since 7/14/2009 as a lark; it took me nearly 4 years to pick it up. Here is the breakdown...
5,193 pennies. Rolled up, almost 104 penny rolls.
295 nickels. Rolled up, over 7 nickel rolls. Its a little bit of a surprise how few nickels I find. I think its because you just don't get a ton in change and that they are nearly as large as a quarter.
978 dimes. Rolled up, almost 20 dime rolls. Yowsa!
301 quarters. Rolled up, over 7 quarter rolls. Since I find nearly as many nickels as quarters, I think the nickel is about the same profile as a quarter, just not as exciting to pick up.
60.61$ worth of dollars and odd foreign coins. I'm finding that I tend to find bills close to cars and often after wind and rain. I found a 1/4 scrap of a $100 bill on the street across my condo; broke my heart that I couldn't count it. (Now if it was over 1/2, I could cash it and count it.)
Pennies especially, I put them in tip jars around town as I use the services. Kind of catch and release for coin rescue.
In addition to the 50K Drp stock portfolio, I also passed 200K in the 403B.
For a more intimate milestone, in the past 4 years that I've been picking up change, I'm about to hit $300 in change acquisition. And that's counting silver dimes as dimes, not melt value.
You might remember that I pick up change where ever I find it. Ever since I moved to Lake City from Greenwood, my change pickings have gotten slimmer - still some, but not on the $1.50 - $2/week like I used to.
However, last Wednesday I did find a silver dime in of all places, Fred Meyer, in front of the deli soup display. Now I have 9. I was a little disappointed that silver appears to have dropped and the melt worth of a silver dime is now around $1.70, but hey right now my precious metal portfolio only costs me time.
Except 90 degree weather and a small ethical dilemma.
I was walking past the Coinstar machine and kept hearing the clink of a coin being loaded, rejected, re-loaded in, and the light cursing of "da&* dime" coming from a 20 something woman doing it over and over.
I asked her whether I could buy her coin off of her. "Sure!" she said, "these old coins are such a pain."
So I gave her a regular dime for the 1963 silver dime, and she was very happy with the trade. (In or near a Coinstar machine, I've gotten 3 silver dimes in the last 6 weeks. I now have 8 silver dimes.)
I feel a bit bad about it though. Looked up the silver dime net worth and the melt value is $2. If it happens again, I think I might give out a $1 and use it as a teaching moment.
On the magic, lucky front, it turns out that in the U.S. silver dimes are the luckiest, a Mercury dime in a leap year is even luckier, and 9 silver dimes is the trifecta of coin luck. 1 more silver dime to go.
Still no call from the court, so I have to assume that the jury I was an alternate for is still deliberating. I'll see if there is a way to search cases online. I was a little disappointed not being able to deliberate last week. I'm sure the jury that remains probably envies me.
Right now I'm relaxing at home, but I do have some goals for the day this week. Goal #1 is to catch up on my house cleaning - which I am doing 30 min or so at a time by using mini-projects. For instance, I scrubbed out the tub out yesterday afternoon. Ah, heaven! Goal #2, unfortunately is work related - performance evaluations. One more section for me to write on my own eval, and I scheduled the meeting for my direct report who went on family leave.
Goal #3 is to finish my commission. So far, everything is glued - I stick the mosaic onto a board using thinset, then grout. Grout cures for a week and voila. But so far, it looks good... Paulette, the finished piece will appear near you!
Sunday I hit the mother lode. I was at a yard sale, looking, and I talked with the owner who told me that she had a lot of stuff due to "projects". I mentioned my mosaics. Turns out that she used to do stained glass and asked me if I could use stained glass. Could I! . I bought what I think was about 10 lbs of glass for $5, it was a nice variety too. You can see the stained glass above and below the numbers.
Other things - I finished by change finding for the third year in a row (yes, oddball me I started in mid-july). $90.35. Thank you loose change losers. And yesterday, I found my 6th silver dime for my precious metal portfolio.
No interesting deaths that I know about - nobody had Andy Griffin, or Kitty Wells. 4 people in our group have Bashir al-Assad.
Today I slogged through work, and gave some investment advice to screenwriter friend (he's newly vested in a company profit share plan). I gave him the slightly more than a nickel seminar which he claimed he only understood 10% of, so its hard to know whether or what he will use.
He did pick up researching the ticker symbols on Morningstar.com, even the retirement target funds. From the retirement target funds he was looking at I learned a fascinating thing. I thought I was freakin' aggressive with my asset allocation (65%/35%) in my 403B, but to T Rowe Price I was behaving like a new retiree. Tough. I'm making money, putting my $750/paycheck in and my dips are dips not canyons.
As Paulette mentioned, we are following the celeb on our list. Again, another who was on my list last year passed away. I say my list has healing powers! Robin Gibb will never die.
I got a 1935 buffalo nickel in my grocery change this evening!
Work has gotten a little quieter and I'm back to the two main projects. Still a little challenging but at least I've returned to sanity. Right now I'm taking a few days off - Friday, today, Tuesday, Wednesday. I didn't really plan on taking off Easter, and out here in Seattle, there isn't a complete shutdown for Easter holiday.
I've reading a lot of spending diaries. Apologies that I'm not participating. I do feel quiet keenly that as soon as I'm away from work, I spend much more. When I'm working, my daily costs are basically one bought coffee ($2), and whatever daily groceries ($10 - $20) I go for. Starting on Friday, my spending jumped to a good $50/day with bought breakfast, bought entertainment, and bought lunch. Out and about, I do find more loose change ... but that doesn't keep up with the spending. .
This last Friday, I used a friends and family coupon and saw the Gauguin exhibit. Still $18; however it was cheaper than buying the plane ticket to Paris. Plenty of Gauguins - Breton ones, Paris ones, Martinique ones, 1st trip to Tahiti ones, 2nd trip to Tahiti ones - but the real stars of the show were the war clubs, craft boxes, sculpture and tattoo work of Tahiti and New Zealand which was his source. The other lookers were pretty mellow - it was senior Friday. Some looked like they could have seen Gauguin himself.
Weather has finally improved, so I got caught up on grouting three pieces. I showed lawyer friend a picture of the piece I made for him for his housewarming. I was relieved that he was thrilled with it.
I'm back up into the 167-168 range. I'm in the process of going through my food diary and seeing what I can change in my diet, looking for triggers, just looking for patterns. I did this this morning with a coffee sitting on a bench overlooking the Ship Canal. Very relaxing.
Oh yes, no one had Mike Wallace this year. I had Mike Wallace last year. As I've said repeatedly, I'm good at picking people, its the year I'm crappy at.
Despite it being April Fools, all of this happened to me:
1. Found a dollar bill in a puddle today, along with a fair amount of additional change. Today's total found money was $1.56, but....
It put my total found after 992 days of tracking and looking at $200.81. Thank you Seattle for being so ... fey about yer money.
2. Bought broccoli for $0.99/lb.
3. Declared my soap nut experiment a success, so I hunted for a dependable bulk supply. Found it at Zenith Supplies for $12/lb. Bought about $10 worth, along with 3 muslin bags. You put about 8 soap nuts into a muslin bag, close the bag, throw the bag in the washer with your clothes. The soap nuts are light, so a bit under a pound of soap nuts is hundreds of soap nut shells, years' worth of laundry.
These things were true. But my favorite April Fools Joke for 2012 was this.
You come home at the end of the day, throw your keys in the bowl and set your groceries down and you remember:
Hey, I got paid!
Such was me yesterday. Work is easing up a little but there is another big rut roh. Data is off, and while it is not my fault booking what we got and officially how was I to know ... well, I feel responsible. Especially when the COO is asking. Especially as I got a Kindle gift card as a thank you about it Monday.
And I spent it already. On a couple of e-books on Argentina and Buenos Aires, and another paper book on mosaicking.
Tonight Coinstar was my friend. I passed by a couple of people using it, bought something, then passed by it (unoccupied), and picked up the three coins the couple left. One was a 1963 silver dime. Its the fifth silver dime I've found (and I keep those). Last time I checked, the silver in a silver dime goes for $2.
Talked to a co worker who was a font of mis-information about investing. I don't think I'm going to bother. He did tell me about the old gomers who gave him the advice. Wonder what kind of retirement those gomers have.
Can't wait for Sunday, to kick back with the Duvall friends, some homemade pizza and a bottle of Mikes. Too bad I don't have a dog in the fight - critiquing the ads will have to do.
Again, insanely busy, which is normal ... my January is like all my other Januarys in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 blah blah blah.
Lately though I've been excited (yay) and then there's one little hitch so I have to "rut roh" and eat a crow drumstick. This menopause thing is getting to me; I used to have a mind like a steel trap. Now it seems to work like a Venus fly trap.
A couple days ago I found a dollar bill, yesterday a wheat penny.
Tax paperwork is trickling in - I have to double check, but I seem to only be missing a couple of Div 1099s. Get those, and I can see what the lay of the land is.
But another yay this evening. DH and I have plans to go to Argentina in September. At least that is the plan. Several other couples are involved - the plan is to rent a house in Buenos Aires and use it as a launch pad. Fingers crossed that it works out.
Hard to believe that grey is such a sweet, sweet color around here. We still have a little bit of snow and plenty of icy water on the lawn and in the driveway, but everywhere else, it was muddy snow, wet roads and downtown, dry sidewalks.
Errand day today: delivered the now-clean gym clothes to the office, did a 3.5 mile walk (first long-ish one since last Sunday), bought bras at Fred Meyer which is now also doing a clearance sale preparing for them to close for renovations, picked up some trash around the house. (We had our recycling bin blow over in the windstorm last night). Cancelled the grout fest scheduled for today - maybe next week when it might be a true fest because I'll have two pieces to grout rather than just one.
Found 17 cents "around" a penny or a nickel at a time.
Oh, yes, several people had Etta James; a couple of people have Joe Paterno. This year, with more players and the players themselves seem to have done better research ... the game is already interesting right off the bat.
Over the course of 28 months (2 yrs + 4 months) I've found $166.03.
Two weeks ago I bought a Kindle for $150 (including tax), loaded it with 1 $9.99 book, and bought another during the daily deal for $1.99. Sweet, no?
I bought a case for it for $15, which puts me over the top, but if anybody laughs at me for picking up pennies ...
Well, I bought my Kindle with found money.
And I really needed the Kindle tonight during the commute. It took forever - downtown traffic was astonishing ugly - and a main intersection in my neighborhood is closed this weekend (and will be next weekend) so it can be fixed in time for next road season's cone chess on 85th.
Made you read, eh!
I'm still tracking the amount of change I find "around". Even more interestingly, I compare the amount I find monthly with the amount that I would have invest monthly that throw out the same amount of interest.
This month I found $9.73. (I know!) Turns out it would take $1,250,642.67 in a 4 wk T-bill to generate that amount in interest. It could be worse, I guess - a couple of months in 2009 T-bill returns were 0 ... or it would take an infinite amount.
Bad times a comin'.
I found a 1943 steel penny on the floor of Safeway yesterday. Different color and a magnet really grabs it. The US made these pennies at the height of WWII, when copper was needed more in other places. The penny is not in great shape, but its another interesting find.
Nobody had Amy Winehouse ... but several of you suggested it.
I started with tracking any change that I find on July 14, 2009. The first year I found $49.98, so missed $50 by two pennies. This year I found $89.66, missing 90$ by 33 cents.
Not sure whether I just really got better at hitting the places that are likely to have dropped money or whether the recession has eased some which means a bit more carelessness.
I don't know whether there is an upper limit to the amount of money I can find. Jeffrey, in his change finding, found money in the hundreds of dollars. Somehow even at Seattle's sloppiest, hundreds seems a bit high. But I once thought that $40 was high.
Perhaps you remember that I have some drps - stocks where I can add to my position in small amounts along with reinvesting the dividends as they come up quarterly. My bank stock had been ailing since the near-implosion in the fall of 2008. I say had because as of July 1, it had been acquired by the Bank of Montreal (BMO). I discovered that the transfer agent (the banking/ accounting entity that you buy the shares from) is the same one as my KO stock. Good news - no new weird one, and they are very prompt with the payments. It appears that I can drp in that one also, but I've asked for the prospectus. The only odd thing is that the account is kept in Canadian dollars.
Stocks went up in the last couple of weeks (though not on Friday) - my net worth broke 600K again. We'll see if it holds.
Have 5 more days til I close this year's change finding adventure. I found .21 today, and I'm at $88.23. Probably not going to hit $90 this year ... but $88 - $89 is darn good enough.
Nope, nobody had Betty Ford.
On the crafty side, I'm making progress. I have only a couple more frames to paint, and I've finished gluing the glass and tile bits into my mosaic. I also bought a bit of thinset mortar ($12 for a box), and found a notched trowel for $2 at Goodwill. Gotta love it when I can find what I need at the thrift store. I've emailed the mosaic teacher several questions. When I get the answers I'll take the plunge and get the mosaic mortared to the board. Grout awaits! will
Down to my last $35 for this month; we'll see if I can hold out until the 30th.
Other than that, reinvesting the 2Q dividend checks. Most are enough so that I buy at least half a share.
Weekend looks unusually busy - Saturday I take the garden mosaic class that got canceled in the beginning of the month. It happens to be at the same time as the Greenwood Car Show. Unfortunately I'm willing to bet that somehow that little scheduling feature escaped the teacher so it wouldn't surprise me that it will get canceled again. If that's the case, time to ask for a refund. We'll see.
Sunday we see a "rough cut" of a second movie from screenwriter friend and his son. Trailer is funny and it got a bit of press in the neighborhood paper.
Oh, and if you think I should be committed for looking for change on the ground, I'm a piker compared to this guy.
I put in $46.42 into savings from my tip box this month (I added the paper dividend check.). I paid $1.99/lb for broccoli this afternoon - it had better be cancer-fighting. The container garden is doing well - we have teeny tiny tomatoes; with any luck, a full ripe one by the end of July.
Pay day was yesterday - dispiriting though that its been spent already, mostly on paying off the credit card. Lucky I've moved most of my intimate savings - not the ING - to checking.
I very much enjoyed the CNN gallery of extreme savers. Some of these tips aren't all that extreme, and I am doing WAY better than Adam at no 10. I'm at $84.73 in finding change, with about 4 weeks left to go.
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.62 coffee + $1.05 apple + $9 worth of odwalla bars
Been pretty quiet, work is at last quiet. A couple of days ago screenwriter friend told me that he made $100 in 5 hours by proctoring a SAT exam. I'll have to check into that; I used to do proctoring when I was a grad student and a teaching assistant. What you are basically doing is watching the test takers to detect the cheaters. Easy work as long as you remembered how devious everybody was. Eyes on the paper! We used to shoot rubber bands at the college students whose eyes we suspected were wandering.
The stock market, down for a good week, is depressing. Good time not to look at my portfolio too much.
So really things have been on the tedious side. Except when I looked in my right front pocket. When I pick up coins, I often don't have lots of time poring over what I got, I just shove it in my right front pocket for later. Well, I looked and I found I picked up an old wheat penny ... 1921 old. Its worn, and the wheat side got scuffed a bit from traffic, I think, but its the oldest coin that I've touched in a long time.
The aaaauuuuuurrgh came from total computer problems for me today at work. I (and the IT guy) thought it was hard drive problems, but it was a piece of despicable mal-ware that was pretending to cause a hard drive failure ...probably to pay 'em money and they would magically "fix" it. So I didn't get much done today. Thankfully, I'm now in the quiet season, where there is planning, but all but one of the big projects is done.
Change finding for this year is marching along - I'm at over $80 since last July. One of the players of the death bet had Harmon Killebrew, so he is now ahead.
Greenwood Yard Sale for 2011 has come and gone. DH and I went to go, thinking we'll just see what's out there and take a picture of something that I couldn't believe was for sale. Nothing to do a double take ... maybe that "make me an offer" saddle. But I did buy a batch of picture frames - one for $.50, where the lady wouldn't play when I tried talking her down, and 8 more for .25 apiece, with the seller who did play along. Since even the fifty cent frame was so cheap, I thought I'd have a little fun and distress them artistically. I also bought a sturdy one foot square cedar table that we could use as a little outdoor tray, a stool to stand on, a stand for some of my outdoor container plants. $10 for that.
Repotted the sage and rosemary. DH has potato plants growing in a black plastic garbage can that are now about 3/4 of the way up the can. Blueberry plants are going great gang busters, even the plant that I thought was on its last legs from canker. This year, its all leafy goodness and doing wonderfully.
Again. About 8 months ago I found a silver dime on the bed of the Coinstar machine. Today I found a silver dime right in front of it. (1957 - any dime minted before 1964 is silver)
Now I haven't found an amazing fantastic amount by the Coinstar machine, but when I do find something, its either Canadian or very old...which makes me wonder. I think that the Coinstar machine tells the coin by the weight. A silver dime or a Canadian penny has a different weight and it gets left behind. The owner thinks its worthless when its worth a lot more.
And worth more...last month I spotted a sign at an antique shop that the shop was willing to pay 25X above face for silver coin. Coinstar wouldn't take it at all, the shop would take it at $2.50.
Since July 2009, I've been tracking the spare change I've picked up in my travels. I picked up 4 pennies today, and crossed a milestone. I've picked up my 2,000th tracked penny.
And funny, I haven't overheard a snarky comment about picking up coins in a few years. Recession maybe, or that I'll mutter back, "bet you can use 69 bucks."
It all adds up.
Windfall 1: Did my taxes this weekend and filed them electronically. I'm getting back $379.
Windfall 2: Tonight I found a $20 bill on the floor by the cashier. It took me aback enough that I asked the guy ahead of me if he lost it. Nope, he said. The cashier told me that about 15 minutes before someone was hunting for a $20, but they were long gone.
I'm not quite at finding $50 bills yet, but I'm getting there. I guess I can't say that I don't find bills.
Discovered that one of my Drp stocks did a 2:1 split while I was gone (WEC). Actually, the split got completed my first day back.
I found out because I look at the share prices every couple of days and it was freakishly low. Like, tear my hair what happened low. Nice to know it was a divide by two situation.
I'll be checking the transfer agent to see how they account for it and how they calculate the cost basis, but as for me right now maintaining my spreadsheet, all I'm doing is multiplying the shares I have by 2, and dividing the price I paid by 2.
Also turns out that the dividend increased by a couple of pennies per share also. Good news on that front.
I picked up a copy of Turbo Tax yesterday. My financial moves this year have been pretty boring - no IRA conversions or odd schedules coming from an inheritance. (Unless I find $100 bills on the sidewalk, the IRS doesn't particularly want to know.) This year, bread and butter. I can do bread and butter myself.
Finishing up catching up at work which has been a struggle. I'm still jet lagged and when I wake up I think that I'm not in Seattle but somewhere in Asia. Its been much rougher than Paris. Getting to Hanoi I wasn't particularly jet lagged, or perhaps I was so excited that I didn't care. Could also be the light - Paris is a similar latitude as Seattle, so the day lengths are similar - May/June nice and long. Vietnam, being close to the equator, has a day length close to 12 hrs year round, while Seattle, not so much.
Did make it to the gym and miracle of miracles, I'm under 170, with a 1 lb weight gain. That after 3 full meals/day, hours mostly on the bus or a plane with a bit of walking, and multiple course meals with beer or wine. I thought for sure I'd have put on at least 5 pounds.
Sent sister the $5000 for farmette upkeep. She's back in Milwaukee from the trip. I hope she had a good time - those last few days when the tour ended and we were flying home was especially rough. Incheon airport in Korea with an 11 hour layover was especially hard.
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