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October 9th, 2013 at 09:57 pm

I haven't invested in 4 week t-bills in many years, ever since 2008. Why invest at 0%? But I have followed them, if nothing else to show that I'd do a better job finding money on the sidewalk. I looked at the 4 week t-bills today, and the Tuesday auction yielded .350%. Quite a jump from 0.

To play along, here: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/RI/OFBills

Looks like not everybody has faith that Congress will get it together and not raise the debt ceiling next week.

so do you like me or not?

March 4th, 2012 at 06:54 pm

You be the judge...

Friday: Unless you bring $100K to us, you aren't worth it. This from Chase Bank.

Saturday: From my mailbox, a little blue envelope that apparently states that I would get $125 if I signed up for Chase checking.

Hmm. Well which is it? Yeah, I can bring a 100K for you, but at $125 and no interest, you aren't worth it.

BECU ATM going away

March 3rd, 2012 at 06:58 pm

You might remember that I jumped ship from Chase to the credit union because the credit union had a banking node and 2 ATMs in my neighborhood grocery store. Banking node and 1 ATM left in early December for Northgate. As I got money at the ATM left over, I read the sticker. The ATM left over will go away on the 22nd.

Bummer. I can still get money at the point of sale at the grocery store, and I can deposit money at the branch downtown. Or I can displace - I can count the money in the tip box, and transfer that to savings, and spend the original.

Still - the ever shifting sands that is banking and credit union-ing is getting to me. You have branches that go away, and you have mergers between a bank you like (ING) and a bank you don't (Cap One), so suddenly you have savings in a place you hate.

No wonder people spend - the more you have saved, the more the money moves beyond your control irk you.

credit union doings

December 20th, 2011 at 09:14 pm

Had a late lunch el desko and decided after to run an errand - get a little bit of money from the downtown branch of the CU.

Quite the line, even at 2pm on a Tuesday.

That's kind of the way its going. The neighborhood branch in the Safeway has now gone - they did leave one ATM which now routinely has a big line in front of it. And now the checkouts also run short on twenties.

The things we do to avoid big banks. Adjustments have to be made.

done with the heavy lifting

December 3rd, 2011 at 06:35 pm

I'm almost done with the deciding about who to give and what to get them for Xmas, and with the exception of one item, I am done with shopping for the hardest recipient: MIL. Since she now has a Nook, I aimed for a couple of BN gift cards hidden in a homemade cheese-based gift basket. Collection phase is over, wrapping, packing and shipping remains.

Noticed that two of my dividend stocks WEC and SYY are raising their dividend. WEC especially is nice - 6 cent per share increase. To cheer me up because stock prices are so volatile, I totaled the dividend payments I would get if I stopped now and decided not to re-invest. $260.

Last night I lost my ATM card at the grocery store. Today I appeared at the credit union, bright eyed and managed to get a new card in about 15 minutes. I'll miss that (the CU at the grocery store is leaving as of Monday). I rarely lose stuff, so it was fortunate I got it all over with. I mentioned their move and the guy who got me the new card told me that they will keep one of the two ATMs, but will remove it as soon as another bank or CU goes into that space.

Finished the first week w/o our boss, who is on maternity leave. One down, twenty five more to go.

the next issue

November 9th, 2011 at 08:40 pm

I got a note from my credit union yesterday. They are moving their neighborhood banking center and ATM from the Safeway. Now I normally don't care much about the banking center - I use direct deposit and another banking center downtown is what I use for snafus - but I'm not very happy about the ATMs going.

Oh, and every time I think "I should get a financial planner", well, karma delivers the reason why. Geez, I think I can screw up by myself and for free.

Treasury Direct doings

October 22nd, 2011 at 07:22 pm

Not much happening on any of the financial fronts, but if you have some Ibonds or an electronic account with Treasury Direct, I note that they are changing their logins - soon there won't be a need for that secret code card.

Its the damn downside of investments. If you have diversity, you tend to have diverse websites, and you have diverse passwords. I'm getting old and website account maintanence of any form is not exciting. In this case, I'd prefer to kill a tree.

I've sometimes wondered...

July 22nd, 2011 at 08:33 pm

what the 30s were like. In the next few months, I worry that we'll all find out.

I got the checks I ordered. Nice. I'm being dinged $40 as a late payment from the landlord and I'm not sure why. I've found that the credit union's bill pay can be useful, but its slow, and doubly slow when the receiver doesn't seem to handle the EFT well. Far faster to write a check, date it, and stop by the landlord. Not to say that I'm completely reverting back to primitive, I'm just bowing to the best way depending on the payee.

The check patterns were fun - if I wanted a Scooby Doo checks, or Cruella De Vil, well, I know where to go. But the safest is the classiest. Imagine writing a mortgage check on the Scooby Doos. Smile

Am back at 167, and I'm making progress on the database. It seems unstable lately - it bombed out on me several times today.

paper checks

July 15th, 2011 at 08:53 pm

Yeah, I broke down and ordered a box of paper checks for my credit union account. I can transfer about 95% of my transactions using bill pay, but somehow its just so satisfying to give a person a paper check. Write it give it to them and its done, versus sending it, making sure the other person clicks on the link blah blah blah.

As I was waiting for my name to be called to order the box, I idly watched the ATM line. How come when I get to the machine, it takes thirty seconds, and it takes the guy ahead of me five minutes? ATM performance anxiety, me thinks.

Also got a check from Bank of Montreal for a fractional share as my old bank stock went away. Turns out that yes, the new bank stock is a full Drp, and one can optional cash payments (can pay in US dollars), so I went in and signed up for dividend reinvestment.

Capital One won

June 16th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

ING is being sold to Capital One. We'll see what that means in the next few weeks.

just when I got my money in the spots I like ...

June 12th, 2011 at 06:57 pm

Turns out that the US branch of ING (ING is a Dutch bank) is on the verge of being bought, supposedly by either GE or Capital One.

I don't know what that means for me, but I'm fairly sure that 1% interest rate on a highly liquid "checking" (I put that in quotes because you need a very high balance) account is not in the cards.

Sucks, and I'll hold on until the timetable is published (SEC supposedly won't let you secretly sell) but its time to relook.

firmly in the 21st century

May 28th, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Well, I had an entry yesterday but my Firefox burped and the site ate it and it was gone. Let me summarize:

I moved my checking from Chase to a local credit union, and was asked whether I needed checks. Since I am 49, I was taken aback - you mean people don't use checks. Turns out that I only have 4 places that I use checks regularly ... so I've become one of those people who don't use checks. I set up two bill pays, two more to go should I need them. I feel like I'm the 21st century.

I will have to go back to monitoring my spending - I've had to dip into my savings twice this month. Its one thing if its inflation or bad luck or I spent a bit on some fun, but its another thing if there's a mindless leak that I can do something about.

So far in the two last weeks I spent on two out-to-eat lunches, one with a woman I met on the Vietnam tour (to be honest I didn't think I made any friends), the other with screenwriter friend and partner of lawyer friend; money on net rice papers that were a lattice instead of solid (those were $1.49 per package, so not a bank breaker), some on pork sausage, ginger, rhubarb, and other groceries to make cha gio; the sewer water garbage bill; to take one class in garden mosaic art; paint, brushes, sandpaper to artistically 'distress' the picture frames I got at the neighborhood yard sale - so so far, I've spent on needs, social, and fun that I'm going to implement. No mindless leak has appeared yet.

Two days ago I began to harvest some baby lettuces that I've been growing in a two foot bowl with wheels. This year I was clever - I planted the lettuces in a big "X", so that no matter when I got around to weeding and harvesting, I knew what's in my pot. Last year I planted randomly, and what happened is that the lettuces sprouted randomly, along with the weeds. It was okay for a few weeks, but then the weeds got the better of me. Planting the "X" means that I can also plant another "X" between the older "X" for a later harvest.

happy Mother's Day

May 8th, 2011 at 08:48 pm

Happy Mother's Day, or perhaps Happy Mothers' Day. I'll go generic since me mum died in 2003.

Some doings on the fiscal front for the small money. I've still have to remember that I bank at the credit union instead of my bank. Just yesterday when I planned my day I plan to hit the bank then... no, no scratch that, hit the credit union in the Safeway.

The interest rate on both checking and saving is 6% on the first $500, 0.1% on anything above it. It means that I have to figure out when to slice off some savings when it gets to be $1000 or so. ($500 @ 6%, $500 @ about 0% ... 3% is about my target). This time around I had $300 that I put into my Sysco (SYY) drip.

The variable interest rate on the I-bonds for these next 6 months is 4.6%.

Small money making small money. It feels as slow as being on a pumpkin pulled by gerbils, still every little bit of money is making something.

Right now I'm immersed in portfolio construction. Best book I've read so far is The Perfect Portfolio by Leland Hevner. Its interesting because it gives one a real nuts and bolts view of constructing a core and specialty investment portfolio. The Kiplinger book on portfolio construction reads like the same ol' same ol'.


April 25th, 2011 at 09:08 pm

Closed out my checking and savings account with Chase, kept the rewards based credit card. Got what I got in cash, and promptly deposited it into the credit union bank. Now both my checking and savings accounts are close to the $500 limit for the 6% interest rate. Its only $30/ year, but at least it means that even my smallest accounts are working hard. Talked to HR, my next paycheck will be paper, the paycheck after will be direct deposited appropriately into the credit union.

That project is done.

DJ friend asked to write up a special letter for the Internet radio station. There is a serious issue - he is a legal internet radio station, which means in the U.S. he has to pay royalties. What usually happens is that he submits the songs/works/etc that he or his other DJs will play, along with a monthly payment to a royalty clearinghouse. The royalty clearinghouse pays another agency who then pays BMI, ASCAP, etc. Apparently the royalty clearinghouse that DJ friend has been using has not been paying anybody and has been shut down. So its been a mad scramble to go to a new clearinghouse.

I have to shake my head here. No wonder the music industry is in the state its in - everybody else has to streamline, get leaner and meaner, etc. The music industry appears to just have gotten meaner without the leaner.

So I wrote the letter explaining the situation to all - only took me two hours. As a payment, got a nice capacity coffee card for my trouble. Free coffee for a couple of weeks!

phase three and four

April 22nd, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Hope you are all having a great Easter weekend. This week, it was on my list to keep on going with transferring my checking account from Chase to my credit union.

1. I listed out my recurring transfers, transferred them over (a couple have gone through already this month).
2. To a look at the bill pay options. Since I now only write 2-3 checks/month to the same spots I'm going to try going checkless and see how that works.
3. Filled out a new direct deposit directive from work.
4. Moved my last recurring transfer today.
5. Looked at the almost $1 interest that I got on my money so far this month. Big Grin Very enjoyable.

I get paid on my birthday this year, so what remains to be done is to check next week to see if the direct deposit went through. Then I have one last check that I'm waiting to clear on the Chase account.

It takes me a long time, but I don't want hitches.

half day

April 14th, 2011 at 08:29 pm

Because I've come down with what's going around. I felt I had to make a meeting and do a couple of things at work, but then I just KNEW that I had just enough energy to make it home if I left at noon. I slept for the rest of the day. Its the achy, shivery, tired flu-type stuff. I sound fine.

I did, however, move two more accounts from bank to credit union, and on my way home I saved the tip box proceeds - 46$ - to the credit union using the ATM card.

Didja hear about the guy who deposited checks via a picture on his iPhone, then really deposited the check elsewhere? I have to admire that lo-fi skeeviness.

phase two

April 11th, 2011 at 08:25 pm

On the project of moving my account from Chase Bank to a credit union.

Moved enough money into my account so that there's something in it.
Got a PIN.
Tonight, I got the debit card.

Tomorrow, I activate the card. Then:
I go through the monthly expenses.
Change the transactions to the CU debit card.
Explore the credit union's Bill Pay to see if I can not use checks. As it is, I only use 1-2/month.
Then move the direct deposit
Then close my Chase checking and saving.

I don't see as much of a need to move my credit card, but its time to look at that also. It feels a bit like snapping a tablecloth off a fully set table: we'll see if any of the glasses wobble.

the answer would have been

April 8th, 2011 at 09:22 pm

Apparently, there has been a deal struck and the government will not be shut down.

DH told me that, yes, he was considered essential and would have had to report to work to answer phones. His supervisor, however, wasn't. So the weird answer would be that the mice are essential, but the cat ... not so much.

In other fiscal news, I moved $300 more dollars into the credit union accounts - I have about $400 in each. Last week, I decided that my summer project was to prep things and move my checking/savings/ from Chase to the credit union. Haven't gotten totally screwed yet from Chase, and we aren't talking about the bulk of my money (just paycheck and tip box savings), but I figure that its only a matter of time.

The only hitch to this project was that I never got the credit union ATM card to work. Re-asked for a new ATM. We will see.

settling back in

March 16th, 2011 at 09:13 pm

Collected an expense check for something work related I bought, and my bank stock dividend check came in the mail two days ago. (Since its in the process of being bought by another bank, no dividend re-investment). They go into the tip box, along with $3 here, $4 there, $5 yesterday. Right now the tip box squeezings this month stand at $39.

One of my other DRP stocks - IP - raised its dividend by almost 5 cents/share/per quarter. It means that for most of my stocks, each quarter I buy close to another share of stock.

At the asian grocery store, I found seed packets - edamame, several different types of long beans, purple shiso. Mailed the seed packets this afternoon to sister. She is interested in growing them, but found it hard to order some of the seeds.

As for lunch these days, I made up 3 cups of crab salad, bought a pack of whole wheat english muffins, and am going to town. A little bit different than the 1/2 c rice and bit of protein lunches that I've been taking these past couple of years, but the salad/ english muffin combo should last me the better part of a week.

Very slim cheap non-processed food pickings at the grocery store lately; I had better luck with one of the permanent produce markets in town, Rising Sun market. $1.25/lb tomatoes, $1.59/lb green grapes. Had to pick around the not so good stuff, but I could be in Japan and have nothing to pick at.

Other than that, I haven't had any NSDs, but I've had several very low spend days and that makes me happy.

back in the tip box saddle

March 10th, 2011 at 08:53 pm

A break from the pictures with an actual fiscal post.

Today I put 9$ in the tip box at work. Ahhhh! I hadn't put any in for several months - I collected fairly crispy $1s for the trip instead.

Now it doesn't matter how crispy the bills are, only that they are. A small act, but it really makes me happy.

Also scheduled my last appointment for the bird flu vaccine study, a time point of 180 days after I got the shot. Another $50 to get in April.

'brellas in the trashcan

December 8th, 2010 at 09:08 pm

Again, not much happening. The big expense - the Vietnam trip with sister - has been paid for. The Hep A shot was gotten on Saturday morning, and all I can say about it is: OW!!! It felt like the nurse dulled the needle and pounded in the shoulder. I couldn't even move my left arm Sunday, and had to hold it like John McCain. I'm in the process of taking my typhus oral vaccine - a capsule every other day, first thing in the morning because I have to take with no food, no chewing because the capsule with the attenuated bacteria have to get past the stomach. Its a bit of a challenge with my serious gag reflex, but I'm gonna do it.

Work is getting very busy again, with the big data dump (BDD) happening within a few weeks. I'm very happy about that because said BDD usually happens in late January, possibly interfering with the trip.

Today was rainy. Not surprising for Seattle, but today the rain was heavy and plus a fair amount wind which would catch the umbrella and do very bad things to it. As I walked 3rd Avenue downtown, a number of umbrella handles stuck out of trashcans all along the way. This rain's rough on even the natives.

Part one of consolidation occurred - most of my savings and CDs are now at ING, all pulling together and earning 1.2%. Not great, but I'm not trapped by a CD. Part two of the consolidation - moving from Chase to a credit union is stalled out. I'll have to talk to the credit union because I still haven't gotten my PIN number for my permanent card. I do have some savings in it and that are earning 6% ... so I can't be too mad.

snowpoclapyse, 2010

November 23rd, 2010 at 06:11 pm

Seattle is in the throes of its every other year snowstorm. Actually the snow occurred yesterday, but the ice occurred today. I was extremely lucky yesterday - it only took me 1.5 hrs to get to work, and 1.75 hrs to get home. Today - with the threat of the virtually-assured-nightmare ice bowl commute both ways, the fact that I got caught up with all my work yesterday, I had the PTO, I needed to get cracking on my part for the Thanksgiving festivities, - I refused to participate so I called in for a PTO day.

All the transit systems and the Seattle Dept of Transportation all tweet. Yesterday, while it wasn't a pleasure, at least I could figure out why we were stalled and could make a better decision. It does make for hundreds of text messages per day. I had the minutes saved for just this purpose.

And when I put on my Yaktraxs for the fourth year, I got the "great idea!" comment.

Got caught up on a number of fiscal fronts - my second CD matured Sunday so I called and put the proceeds into checking, and got my ING account to pull it in. 1.2% is unheard of for checking, but you have to maintain a large balance.

BECU solved a mystery. I got the temporary card, put a bit of money into savings. A few weeks later I wanted to put my this month's tip box squeezings into savings, but couldn't because it rejected my PIN. (I cancel and get everything back) Turns out that the first time you put the PIN in it will accept anything set of digits. Its at the end that it then gets down to the business of verifying your account. I'd rather be rejected early. I can take it. Anyway, got that mystery solved.

Also began making cranberry trifle try two. Try one was delicious, but I added a tad too much Cointreau. I'll fix that this time. All I've been doing is making three things: pound cake from a box mix, roasted cranberry sauce, cornstarch vanilla pudding. Cube the pound cake, layer it, add a bit of Cointreau, add a bit of cranberry sauce, a bit of warm pudding, more cubes of pound cake, Cointreau, pudding this time, cranberry sauce, etc. Keep layering until you run out of ingredients. Chill overnight, add whipped cream when you are about to serve.

sides, no entree

November 13th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Updates from the last few days, a few fiscal but most not.

Got into the dress I bought for the workplace social with the 60s theme and I think rocked it. I also demonstrated the best and most polite way to eat finger foods using white gloves. Even got 'wow' comments that I didn't stain the gloves while I ate. - But that's not really a surprise; one usually doesn't stain one's bare hands either.

We did the canning exchange at work the next day. From my 4 half pints of quince marmalade, I received: 1 half pint pear butter, 1 half pint of apple chutney, 1 pint of pickled okra, 1 quart of tomato vegetable soup. I was a tad nervous about the soup, but I did eat it already and had no ill effects. I did boil it hard for 15 minutes though. The pickled okra came from lawyer friend and the time table for it was thus: got home at 6:45pm, opened the okra; 6:47, had eaten 2 okra, began to boil the soup; 7:00, had eaten about 1/2 the okra; 7:10, all the okra was gone. Big Grin. Hope the gang enjoyed my marmalade. Out of all the jars, mine was the prettiest - a bright pink red.

I got the travel materials for the Vietnam/Cambodia alumni trip - visa information for both countries, bill for the rest (I just put down the deposit for sister and I), travel information, guidance for how the plan will go. So far there are 21 other people who booked. The tour managers gave me another set of everything for my sister. Today I mailed it off, and went to Walgreens for another set of 2x2 pictures for each visa. And yes, no smiling ... I think that your passport/visa pictures should pretty much match what you look like after you step off the plane. That way the customs official doesn't have to use his imagination. Now to book the flights, which determines the date of the Vietnam visa.

Consolidation on my accounts is proceeding. The first CD will be fully in my ING account Tuesday. And I get paid on Monday.

We are going to the Duvall friend's house for Thanksgiving. WE might mix it up a bit and have prime rib instead of turkey. It will give me license to make some British-inflected sides and dessert. I get the feeling that cranberry trifle might be smashing. The Duvall friends just started their blog, and it looks to be pretty good. Want to learn how to build a goat barn?

moving the CD, et al.

November 9th, 2010 at 09:12 pm

One CD matured yesterday and I've moved it to the checking account. I have it scheduled to be moved into my ING account early next week.

There are only 5 people in the canning exchange, which is good news - my other 6 half pints will turn into Christmas/ hostess gifts. Cracked open one and had several tablespoons in a cup of plain yogurt. Was a bit syrupy, and that was perfect for the yogurt.

Discovered another symptom of this recession: a very large banner advertising "we take EFT and SNAP dollars." Its great that this place does, its a new produce stand, but I've never seen a gigantic banner proclaiming it. Usually I've seen the window sign or a sticker at the checkout.

Haven't declared that we are in the season of Venus yet, which is lax on my part, because we have been very much under Venusian skies this week. It is early enough in the season, though, so drivers apparently having to get used to it. On my walk today I saw a large truck drive the wrong way on 2nd Ave ... a street that you do not want to be driving upstream of. He made the corner before any serious damage was done. Nobody honked though. Also saw a car neatly front end an ornate cast iron street light. Bad day for someone else. If he was one of those drivers that really gun it as he turns right out onto the street ... well, then he got his just desserts.

consolidation steaming ahead

October 29th, 2010 at 09:33 pm

I made the external link between the bank where my close-to-maturing CDs are and ING. I paid a bill, sent a P2P transfer to my DH (who picked it up immediately), discovered that ING keeps an internal address book complete with routing and account numbers. Not quite sure whether I like that or not.

I also paid a visit inside to the ING/Shareholder brick and mortar building on 1st/King. The ATM doesn't look like it handles paper checks (no deposit slot) - which makes sense for mostly-online bank. Still, while I don't get that many paper checks, I still get a few. And there is my much beloved tip box squeezings. So ING can't do it all, I think.

So the plan is to first move the CDs (tiny amount of interest), to ING (slightly greater amount of interest), and close that bank account.

Second, I plan on move my direct deposit to ING, then later move most, perhaps all of my money out of Chase, leaving just the credit card.

For the paper checks, small savings and tip box squeezings I plan to put that into a BECU account. G*d love 'em, they still have an interest rate of 6% on checking and saving accounts under $500.

in the process of consolidation

October 19th, 2010 at 09:10 pm

One thing that one has to know about my little fiscal empire - I have money scattered throughout several banks. It worked well once when the interest rates were reasonable, the FDIC limit was $100K, and I needed a bank with a fair number of branches so visiting my sister wouldn't be a hassle. (Remember those days. My, it seems so long ago!).

Course it was explained to me that no bank really needs a depositor anymore; they get all they need from the Federal Reserve at 0.25% or even 0%.

Anyway, now my savings seems scattered and unwieldly. If I'm not going to be earning much in interest, at least I should put it in a place easy to manage and consolidate. As my CDs mature, I'm planning to move them to ING. Turns out that even the Electric Orange checking has a better rate than many 1yr CDs out there. I'm sure that there are places with a higher interest rate, this consolidation just feels like the downstroke of a heart beat - send the savings out when times are good, bring them back in and wait.

I'm going to go a bit slow and see what I can and can't do with Electric Orange. Best case is that I can do anything and the ATM situation is good, which means I can move the CDs, and even move the Chase account. I like the brick & mortar (I'm over 40 after all), and it turns out that ING has a brick & mortar site about 4 blocks from work.

bank down

September 14th, 2010 at 08:59 pm

My bank's online website has been down for two days. I can do some business by text, but right now its a buggy-whip like PITA.

Dang sure that its an attack, either inside or outside job; I can't imagine with all the money that Chase can wield that they bought incompetence.

catching up on the found money

June 1st, 2010 at 09:56 pm

In all the excitement, I haven't updated the coinage I've found on the streets of Seattle...

6/1 - $0.14 (parking meter, road, floor sidewalk)
5/31 - $0.09 (parking lot, road, coin counter, crosswalk)
5/30 - $0.16 (road, manhole cover)
5/29 - $0.05 (road, corner, front of fountain)
5/28 - $0.01 (bus stop)
5/27 - $0.17 (floor, road, planting strip, parking lot)
5/26 - $0.01 (floor)
5/25 - $0.31 (road, sidewalk)

My total stands at $44.93: 988 pennies, 41 nickels, 161 dimes, 39 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

stocks down

May 6th, 2010 at 08:43 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $11 groceries
Found money - $0.05 (work carpet, sidewalk, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.11 (grate in sidewalk, road)

Well, it looks like the flying fat finger of fate hit the stock market today. I've been looking forward for it to go down a bit - I'd like to buy some more stock but I feel like the price is too high...and most pay a dividend next month. Reinvesting them cheap means I get a bit more for my money.

It was weird though how it plunged 900 points and shot back up 600, all in the space of 30 minutes or so. People realizing the fat finger of fate, or an actual case of the rumored plunge protection team?

I had a spare moment and looked at a couple of financial sites that won a Webby this year. So far my fave is stockmapper, which produces a heat map of the stock market. Very red today!

The last little bit of news - I bonds have dropped in interest rate, but are still holding at about 1.5%. I have to download a new version of their Savings Bond Wizard program so I can still price my inventory.

using the new fangled ATM, along with a recipe

April 28th, 2010 at 08:48 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $3 tomatoes, red onion
Found money - $0.42 (gym bench, bus stop, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $14.53 dividend
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0 Frown

I have got to stop mentioning days in a row of finding money. As soon as I do - nada. Yesterday was a total bust, but today dimes appeared to be raining from the heavens. $39.60: 865 pennies, 33 nickels, 144 dimes, 31 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

Deposited my tip box squeezings for the month today. $45. Normally I would have done it last week, but I was on vacation. I used the newfangled put-your-money -directly-into-ATM, which worked well, except for the fact that it went directly into my checking account rather than my savings account. It meant that using the ATM was a two step process: 1 - ATM, 2 - Online to transfer tip box deposit into savings. Kind of defeats my purpose, but strengthens the bank's purpose. These days, no one makes money on a saver, least of all the saver.

DH bought 5 lbs of strawberries a couple of days ago, and we clearly were not going to eat them fast enough. Here's my recipe to use 'em quick!

Strawberry Rhubarb Orange Compote

3 stalks rhubarb, sliced in 1/2 pieces
1 large orange, peeled, sectioned, sliced, zested
ripe strawberries
granulated sugar - maybe 1/3 c, but to taste

Put rhubarb bits and orange sections into a saucepan, add sugar. (Reserve the zest.)

Turn heat to low and simmer, allowing the rhubarb and orange to release the juice necessary. Stir occasionally - make sure the sugar does not burn.

Clean strawberries. Reserve the nice looking strawberries for later - Use the ones closest to the edge first, trimming bruises, etc. Chop and add these strawberries to the rhubarb in the saucepan. These are sacrificial - they will dissolve and form more sauce. Cook until everything is softened, but the rhubarb still keeps its shape.

Add the orange zest. Cut heat to very low - just keep the sauce warm. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

Clean and slice any nice looking strawberries. Fold these gently into the sauce to give you strawberry pieces.

Serve over: dessert cup, short cake, angel food cake, scone, pound cake, plain yogurt ... if it turns out thick and jammy, toast. If it turns out a bit less than candy sweet, its fine as a side along with ham.

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