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Viewing the 'Fixed Income' Category

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.

the small side of too big to fail

April 14th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (parking meter)

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $0 (free coffee)
Found money - $0.03 (car wash parking lot, bus stop, crosswalk)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (bus, carpet, road)

Not much happening. Went to a group cycling class at the gym today for the second time. Up down, up down, down .... how does Lance Armstrong do it? A little padding "back there" would have been much appreciated. Still holding at 169.

With the few pennies this week, I broke $38; I'm at $38.02 in found money.

I've been following, with much amusement, the grilling of Kerry Killinger, the 25 million dollar rat of WaMu. "We should have been given a chance" he said. And there in lies the crux of too-big-to-fail. Its all a gradient. Apparently WaMu was big, but slightly too small for too big to fail. So to avoid WaMu's fate, a bank has to make darn sure it is too big to fail - making them all even bigger moral hazards. Bailout be damned, the revenge side of me wants blood.

2 more fiscal reminders of the recession

March 11th, 2010 at 08:31 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $11 groceries
Found money - $0

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (road, sidewalk, parking meter)

Saving log - $12 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (road, sidewalk)

3/11 - no car, 2 mi walk, 13.5 mi bus
3/10 - no car, 3 mi walk, 12.5 mi bus
3/9 - no car, 3 mi walk, 12.5 mi bus

Finding pennies, but I haven't been looking all that hard. I'm still not 100% after Saturday. Maybe by the weekend I'll pick up my ambitions. However, I'm finally under 170. 168.8 as a matter of fact. I owe it to the food poisoning diet plan.

$28.45: 724 pennies, 27 nickels, 143 dimes, 29 quarters, $1 bill, 1 10 pence worth 15 cents.

Haven't been writing much because not a lot has been happening fiscally. Why rack my brain trying to figure out the creative way of saying nothing's happening?

But today a couple of fiscally, recession-y things did happen. First off, I'll remind you that I work to book pledges and data to my non-profit, our large local node of a national system (ends in -Way). In the course of my job I asked one WA-state bank (bank #1), who took over another WA-state bank which had been closed by the FDIC (bank #2), about whether we can expect data from bank #2. Nope, I learned. The FDIC canceled the pledges as part of shutting the bank down. Makes sense once you learn it, but very interesting nonetheless when we have a fair number of WA-state bank pledges and WA state banks are in such shaky shape.

Then in the mail tonight I got a pleady note from Chase about Debit Card Overdraft Coverage. "Soon we can no longer provide this coverage automatically" and "your everyday debit card transactions will be denied" if you do not have enough money available to cover a purchase.

Hahhahahahahahahaahaahahaaha. (stop to gasp.) Wow, what a threat. I've bounced one transaction in 5 years. Stupid $35 overdraft fee protection is a bug, not a feature.

ringers for the heat contest

January 23rd, 2010 at 12:05 am

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $14 groceries
Found money - $0.11 (driveway, road)

I couldn't resist: blueberries @ $1.99/lb. Not local, not seasonal, cheap from Chile and probably put g%d knows how much CO2 in the air during its plane flight ... still a treat.

Fern, I found some real

Text is ringers and Link is http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/garden/21cold.html
ringers for your heat contest. Crazy, stubborn, super-cheap, anti-freeze for blood, all of the above?

Oh yes, after the third friday of 2010, we now have a
Text is second Washington state bank and Link is http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2010/pr10017.html
second Washington state bank shut down. So much for moving your money to a local bank ... if it eventually creeps back to bigger and bigger bank.

small money

January 20th, 2010 at 08:46 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 lunch
Found money - $0.02 (carpet, sidewalk)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - free coffee + $0
Found money - $0.06 (bus stop, park sidewalk)

Saving log - $300 to SYY drp
Spending log - $4 latte, pastry + $1 paper + $12 shopping at the Pike Market + $6 lunch
Found money - $0.29 (sidewalks, parking meters)

Busy days now for me at work, but I did manage to get the money I've slipped into in my tip box for the month into the bank: $40 in bills, plus a $1 dividend check. I was joshing with the teller about the $1 check - he has seen much smaller ones.

I've been noting my weekly totals of found money for the last few weeks: $1.48, $1.33, $3.19 (that was the day of the 89 penny deluge), $1.08, $1.17, 0.55 ... Yesterday, as I was perusing my collection of tax documents, I glanced at what 200K in grandma money in a Vanguard money market fund made in interest this December: $1.27.

mixed (Black Friday) bag

November 27th, 2009 at 07:55 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3 coffee, yogurt + $8 lunch, tea + $26 kitchen items

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel
Found money - $0.11 (sidewalks, crosswalk)

Saving log - $10 tip box
Spending log - $30 wine, coffee for T-day dinner
Found money - $0.03 (sidewalks)

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Along with the old favorites - turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, squash, green beans, pumpkin pie - pumpkin turnovers were delicious, and the guests brought a sweet potato cake with coconut frosting that was wonderful. We all ate too much - one of our guests really had to walk to settle her digestion along with me, so I took her on the 1 mile neighborhood tour: the mayor's house, and the various arson spots.

I didn't plan on buying anything on Black Friday, but I did pick up a couple of salt and pepper shakers shaped like gigantic keyboard keys. DH broke our everyday-use glass and metal top salt shaker when it slipped from his hand. These shakers are easy to load, won't break, and make me laugh. I also picked up a single set-and-use teaspoon tablespoon measurer. It also has a magnetic clip and sticks to the refrigerator. In other words, no retailer should depend on me for their livelihood. I also took a snap of a large group holding signs "Buy More Stuff" in an ironic manner in the midst of Westlake Mall. Funny! I'll post it tomorrow.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that 11 cents walking out and about while the turkey was roasting ... it was a holiday after all, so I didn't expect that much. Today, "Black Friday", I also found 11 cents, but somehow I was disappointed. The sidewalks were full of mylar bits and paper - I look for metal in perfect curves, and all the glittery bits inhibited my eye. I'm sure that a fair amount of coin was lurking underneath the trash.

For laughs (or maybe tears), I calculated the amount of money it would take to invest in various fixed instruments to get to the money that I've picked up from the ground. I hear the "not worth it" far less than I used to. Well, if its not worth it to pick up sidewalk change, most of the other fixed instruments are not worth it much either--

1st month, found $1.33. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $11,400 4 wk T-bill; $1,227.69 in an ING account; $798 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $6,384 in checking paying 0.25%.

2nd month, found $1.20. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $51,435 4 wk T-bill; $1,107.69 in an ING account; $720 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $5,760 in checking paying 0.25%.

3rd month, found $3.28. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $140,591 4 wk T-bill (T-bills had a horrible auction week that week); $3,027.69 in an ING account; $1,968 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $15,744 in checking paying 0.25%.

4th month, found $2.37. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $60,941 4 wk T-bill; $2,187.69 in an ING account; $1,422 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $11,376 in checking paying 0.25%.

The Bank of Seely is looking better all the time.

credit union issues

November 18th, 2009 at 07:39 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + 5$ phyllo dough
Found money - $.20 (19 cents under a bench at a bus stop, penny on the road

Petunia asked, but I really don't have an equally gossipy spreadsheet that lists out failing credit unions as I do failing banks. From

Text is The Bank Implode-O-Meter and Link is http://bankimplode.com/
The Bank Implode-O-Meter, I do have a list of
Text is credit union conservatorships and Link is http://bankimplode.com/blog/category/credit-union-conservatorships/
credit union conservatorships, along with
Text is failed credit unions and Link is http://bankimplode.com/blog/category/credit-union-failures/
failed credit unions. Just not blogged about as much.

And if you like things a tad less lurid, here's an
Text is index of NCUA board reports and decisions and Link is http://www.ncua.gov/GenInfo/BoardandAction/Reports/index.aspx#top
index of NCUA board reports and decisions.

I don't know whether the lack of blogging and gossip is because credit unions are more conservative and therefore more stable, or whether credit unions are smaller and therefore its not as interesting to collect that info. (Mea culpa to thrifty ray for that dig. Big Grin)

No matter bank or credit union, its hard to figure out where to put that change found on the sidewalk: $8.73 thus far - 223 pennies, 8 nickels, 41 dimes, 8 quarters. Enough, when put in an extra strong sock, to really hurt someone. Hmmm, there's an idea...

pouring even when you don't suspect

November 16th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Saving log - $9 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $20 copay to chiropractor
Found money - $0.12 (counter, sidewalk, bus stop)

Put the tip box money, along with a $6 dividend check, into the bank today. Since I bought personal trainer time, I had a large credit card bill. I saved enough to move savings into checking to pay the cc, rather than use any of my EF.

Got very rainy and windy tonight, so much so that even when I walked on the furthest edge of the sidewalk, I got really splashed by a car plowing through the gutter. Grrr. At least 10 minutes before, I found that dime at the bus stop. It cheered me up a tad.

And on the bus ride tonight the driver apologized for the short bus. "My bus broke down in the rain and I could only get this one," he said.

I couldn't resist and muttered loudly, "Yeah, its not like it rains a lot in Seattle." It put everyone in the back in a party mood.

I also found out that I'm going to keep a

Text is sharper eye on my local banks and Link is http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/11/unofficial-problem-bank-list-grows-to.html
sharper eye on my local banks, even more than I had planned. Washington state has over 25% of its banks under stress. Again, pouring when you don't suspect.

fire vs mayor

November 9th, 2009 at 09:39 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $5 coffee, bagel, apple
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk)

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $2.00 2 coffees + $10 lunch
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalk, bus floor)

Busy at work counting pledges. It feels like more than last year, but that's only a feeling. As I walked to my bus to work this morning I wondered if Seattle has a mayor's residence, or whether he uses his own house. And if he uses his own house, how much security? This is not an idle thought - I now walk past the house of the guy who won. (the fence around it is tad junky, if you ask me) I guess I will find out the answer to both of those questions shortly. Increased security can only help catch the arsonist, though. I wonder who would win?

CD has matured - I think I will renew it for 6 months. The money will be for a down payment on a house, so its return of investment, rather than return on investment. The interest rate is depressing - in the 5-10K size range, the amount of money I'd make in interest rivals what I find around town. ($1.50 - $3). My found money totals are at $7.89 since July 15.

I haven't eaten all that much of the beef, and its a lucky thing - I got a call from the person who wants to trade for fish. I still have some beef to trade!

dime and penny show

November 2nd, 2009 at 09:36 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box + $35 drp
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.11 (parking meter, sidewalk)

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $9 tea, apple, oatmeal bar, magazine
Found money - $0.18 (sidewalk, coffeeshop floor)

Found a 5 cent euro on Sunday. I figured I'd count it - after all, the exchange rate of the euro: dollar was 1.47:1. In other words, the 5 cent euro is worth a hair over 7 cents.

I-bond rates also came out today. The fixed rate is 0.3%. Better than 0.1%, but not enough to think about buying more. The variable rate, though, is much better on this 6 month go around - a bit over 3%.

Took a walk at noon and discovered an ING Direct/Shareholder branch on King Street. For laughs I went in and chatted with the receptionist, who told me that there were plans for it to turn into an ING cafe.

Final Jackie Handey thought: We are now back on "Standard" time, coming from "Daylight Saving" time. Count the number of months of each. Standard = November, December, January, February, 1-2wks March. Daylight = 2-3wks March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October. Since we are in Daylight Saving time for longer than Standard time, isn't Daylight Saving really Standard?

All in all, this picture sums up the conflicting signs on the economy. Its a real picture, fyi.

where to put that 2% raise

September 17th, 2009 at 08:39 pm

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $4.50 coffee, breakfast sandwich + $16 groceries
Found money - $0.02 (crosswalk) + $0.01 (sidewalk)

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $9 fruit & veg
Found money - $0

Discovered a pleasant surprise at work - if your performance was above a certain level you will get a 2% raise starting in mid-October. It means to me 35$/payperiod. I can live fairly well with my paycheck right now, so its time to look at the increase in paycheck and increase my savings accordingly. And mutter a silent prayer of thanks. With so many losing their jobs, having a job is cake. Getting a raise is icing.

Now what to do with the extra savings? Put it in the bank, I guess. Wouldn't it be nice during these "extend and pretend" times to find out the super-secret list that the FDIC uses. I can't say that this list is the

Text is super secret list and Link is http://cr4re.com/PBLAug2809.html
super secret list, just a reasonable guess of those banks closer to the edge. Keep your savings under the limits, in any case. Oh yes, credit unions are better, but some have problems too. I'm searching for that list, but somehow that is less gossiped about.