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Sorry I've been gone so long

February 15th, 2008 at 07:27 pm

It looks like my last post was in the beginning of January. I've finally worked out a good school schedule and am now starting to work ahead. Of course, I only have 10 more weeks to go this term and then I'll have to start it all over again.

I guess a lot has happened financially since the last time I wrote. My net worth has increased by about $2000, my debts have decreased by $235 and some change, my $20 challenge has increased by $253.93, and I've increased my emergency fund savings.

But the real changes are going to start happening by the end of the month. We are getting $3242 in a tax refund (that was too much so we changed our withholding AGAIN as soon as I did our taxes. the 2006 refund was over $3900 withholding 4, 2007 was $3242 withholding 6, so now we are at the maximum allowed for us withholding 9). So that tax refund is being used to put an additional $1000 into our emergency fund account and $2242 towards paying down our credit card.

In addition to that (though I'm not really counting on it because DH has only been there since August...just hoping), DH may or may not receive a raise and bonus starting Feb. 29th (we'll know the day before). That will also be used to pay down the credit card, if we get anything. Otherwise, I'll just be making my normal $200 payment next month (regular payment + extra). Once the credit card is paid off, then I'm going to find an additional $33 and make two payments each month to the truck loan instead of one (the $200 payments from the credit card + $33 to make up the payment amount of $232.76 + $0.24 for transfered round up funds).

Also, in April our mortgage payment goes down due to a decrease in our escrow payments. So that total goes from $920.01 to $885.21 per month. I'm not sure how or when our payment will change again with the new property tax change here in Florida. It raises the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. It is supposed to go back to January 1, 2008, but the mortgage company only re-assesses the escrow account once a year so I'm sure I won't see another decrease until April 2009 because of it.

Let's see what else? I'm buying new tires for my car in cash tomorrow! Yay!

So I think all in all that's it for now. I'm sorry that I haven't been around much lately, but I have to take care of family and school first before I can go on too many other websites. Oh and so far I have all A's in my three classes. We'll see where I end up in 10 weeks. In 3 weeks I'll be able to see what classes will be available for the summer and fall terms and 3 weeks from there I can register for them. I'll be taking 2 classes over the summer and 4 during the fall term.

OK...I'm going to go take a look at what others have been writing lately. I've missed so much and it might be a while before I can get back again. Take care everyone!


Spending Day

January 6th, 2008 at 09:00 pm

Today was a bit of a spending day. Frown

First we went miniature golfing. I don't allow birthday parties until they turn 8 or so and my youngest just turned 6 a few days ago. Before birthday parties we usually do fun stuff as a family and DS2 chose miniature golfing. So there went $38.13, but at least it was for a family thing.

Then we actually did pretty good. We went to Olive Garden. You're probably thinking we spent a whole lot, but really we only spent $13.28 with tip. We used two $25 gift cards we got for Christmas so our bill totaled only $5.28, then we added the tip based on the whole bill of $55.28. Plus because I filled up on the salad, breadsticks, and appetizer, I have lunch for tomorrow!

We stopped by Lowe's to look for a couple of needed items and only found two for a total of $7.43. So not finding everything we needed we drove across the street to Home Depot and got the last item (a new garbage can...ours has holes in the bottom of it and the handle broke off) for $27.80.

We spent a lot, but we had fun, got things we needed, and had a nice meal on the cheap thanks to gift cards. All in all not a bad day. Now we are ready to go back to school tomorrow!

Daily Spending and Saving--01/05/08

January 5th, 2008 at 04:24 pm


Groceries (includes household items like dishwasher detergent, etc. and is for at least two weeks): $225.13 worth of groceries for $193.67.

I also came in under my $200 budget so I've added the difference to my $20 challenge.

CVS (DH's medication refill): $5.74

Saved/$20 Challenge: $6.59

New $20 Challenge Total: $33.09

Daily Spending and Saving--01/03-04/08

January 4th, 2008 at 07:29 pm

OK...two days worth here!

DH's breakfast: $1.71
DH's lunch: $5.13
Truck loan: $232.76
My endo doctor (remaining bill after insurance): $92.88

Added to $20 Challenge: $1.52
$20 Challenge Total: $21.52

Lunch for me and the boys: $12.50
Target (needed supplies for college/household and DS2's birthday present): $56.78
DH's lunch: $5.92
DH's gas: $56.00
DBCC (official transcript order): $2.00

Added to $20 Challenge: $2.80
$20 Challenge Total: $24.32

In addition to this I deposited the refund check previously mentioned in amount of $22.34. I also took care of some financial tasks for my sons. Deposited checks for both of them and opened a new 60-month CD for DS2. They now both have two of them.

Daily Spending and Saving--01/02/08

January 3rd, 2008 at 08:36 am

I forgot to do my spending/saving thing.

1/1/08--No spend day

1/2/08--DH spent--$65.49 ($55.01 of it was for gas)

Daily Spending and Saving--12/31/07

December 31st, 2007 at 04:10 pm

Spending: $35.26 (DH's work lunch and splurge on evening pizza)
Saving: $1.74

Daily Spending and Saving--12/30/07

December 30th, 2007 at 10:55 am

I went to the grocery store to pick up some things we were short on. We were really short on a lot of things!

Spent: $50.12

Saved (round up fund): $0.88

Daily Spending and Saving--12/29/07

December 29th, 2007 at 08:37 pm

Today was a no spend day. So nothing spent or saved.

I did find out that the customary $2 increase in my VA benefits have gone through. So I made the correction to my automatic transfer into the online savings account (#2).

Daily Spending and Saving--12/28/07

December 28th, 2007 at 02:31 pm

DH only spent money on lunch today.

Spending: $5.13

Savings (round up): $0.87

Creative Bill Paying

December 28th, 2007 at 08:22 am

I feel really good when I've successfully figured out some creative way to pay the bills in a tight situation without missing any payment dates or foregoing extra payments.

January is a big payment and paycheck month for us. It is one of two months during the year where DH gets paid three times. It is also the month our auto insurance is due.

The problem is that the bills are not coinciding with the three paychecks so that this month really doesn't help until the last day of January when he gets the third paycheck. By then all the bills have already become due.

So my plan is:

1) skip the 1st transfer of $460 that gets put into savings #1 for mortgage. (the payment for January is already there and this is for February's payment)

2) add 1st transfer of $460 to last $460 transfer so total transferred is $920 (1/31/2008).

3) only pay minimum of $96 on credit card at due date (1/7/08).

4) pay $737.30 (6 months--2 vehicles) auto insurance with Heloc funds at due date (1-19-07).

5) pay $125.59 additional funds to credit card on last payday of month (1/31/08).

6) pay additional $737.30 for total of $1037.30 on Heloc at February due date (2/15/08).

In between all this is also the truck loan, cell phones, medical bill, and Heloc payment due from the first paycheck; satellite, electric, internet/phone, water/sewer/garbage due from the second paycheck. The last paycheck will cover #2 and #5 from above plus truck loan, cc payment, cell phones from February. The last check also leaves us a surplus, which starts us out snowballing what's available for the rest of the year. I've done some figuring and it's rather nice. Smile

Daily Spending and Saving--12/27/07

December 27th, 2007 at 03:00 pm

Today was a kind of high spending day.

DH spending:
breakfast and lunch: $7.74
gasoline: $55.00
cigarettes: $3.70 (I am so trying to get him to quit, but it is hard for him)

DH saving: $1.56

my spending:
Will forms (state specific) for me and DH w/living will: $35.00

my saving: $1.00

Total spending today: $101.44
Total saving (round up fund): $2.56

Daily Spending and Saving--12/26/07

December 26th, 2007 at 03:53 pm

Today I didn't spend anything. I just spent the day relaxing and sometimes sleeping, sometimes playing referee with the boys.

DH spent his normal daily expenses today plus he got me a little get well soon gift (a bear that says get well soon and some little beaded stretch bracelet...awww how sweet!).

So today was a no gas day so that keeps expenses down a bit.

Spent: $12.69 (includes gift, morning OJ, and lunch)
Saved: $1.31 (into round up fund)

Daily Spending and Saving--12/24/07

December 24th, 2007 at 10:52 am

Today I went to Publix to buy the remainder of the food needed for tomorrow. Including us there will be 8 adults and 2 children. We're doing appetizers, subs, side salads, et cetera. So today I got the produce, deli meats, and cheese along with a few items I forgot during the last trip.

Spent: $87.08
Saved (Round up fund): $0.92

Saved in advertised store savings: $3.57 (I don't usually do anything with this, but when I do my regular grocery shopping I like to see how much I would have paid if I didn't shop smart.)

Gasoline Expenses

December 24th, 2007 at 07:46 am

Other than groceries, this is our most expensive expense. The rising gas prices have really put a crimp in our budget, but we've absorbed it and hopefully it will even out at some point (*crosses fingers).

Here are our gasoline expenses for the year 2007--may 2008 be cheaper:

Jan 2007: $403.91
Feb 2007: $357.68
Mar 2007: $375.32
Apr 2007: $477.23
May 2007: $530.63
Jun 2007: $321.40
Jul 2007: $81.58 (when DH was out of work)
Aug 2007: $449.57
Sep 2007: $507.77
Oct 2007: $608.95
Nov 2007: $601.38
Dec 2007: $475.71 (so far as of today...I'd say add another $55 to that at least for another tank of gas...thank goodness for days off from work!).