I disappeared from SA again. I have been gone several months and I am returning in worse shape.
I'm not going to bore you with the details, but I will update my numbers.
To make matters worse, I will technically be 190.07 in the red after I get paid on Thursday. I will not be out of the red until 01/22. I have $200 in the account that I am holding for an expense. So as long as I don't take that out, I won't physically go in the red.
The good news, nothing is behind.
I do not have anything I can return. I have $20 in cash that I have already figured in. I am have really reduced everything I can for now.
Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category
I disappeared from SA again. I have been gone several months and I am returning in worse shape.
And when I mean spend, I mean no money coming out of my account. But here is my question. If you have something budgeted, IE: cell phone bill, groceries, etc, and you take care of those, is that considered spending? If I don't buy anything all day, but I pay my mortgage, did I NOT have a NSD? I wouldn't think that would count. But I thought I would survey the masses.
I did spend $2.00 that I had today on crappy Taco Bell. My husband and I have been on a diet, and so this Taco Bell made me feel horrible. Actually made me physically sick to my stomach. Guess I should have grabbed my lunch today. But our schedule got a little thrown off.
Today is a no spend day. I went to the grocery store last night. DH and I are starting a diet, so I shouldn't need to buy anything. Hopefully the next couple of days will be NSDs.
Finances are not that exciting right now. My budget has been a little off. Amounts are different than what I expected. But hopefully I can even it out on Friday.
Well, its payday. I already paid what was coming due and made credit card payments. So now I just need to creep though this next week. I don't have anything to spend anyway . But at least I am chugging along.
My CC #3 is finally under $200 again. That feels nice. And I received my checking account bonus of $100. We have to pay for both dogs to be fixed...so it will be about $450. I was going to use it towards that since I came up with the headstone money and we have to have the "fixing" done by the end of September. (Part of adopting a shelter dog.) I will have to go to the grocery store this coming week. But I'm hoping to keep it low.
After my checks, an Alflac check, coupon savings, and lots of change counting....we came up with the money for our portion on my brother's headstone. LAST NIGHT! Its such a relief. Not only the relief of knowing that my brother will have the headstone he deserves, but the relief of knowing we didn't take it from savings and I didn't have to reduce my debt repayments.
Thanks for all the well wishes and money saving ideas.
$330 is what I need to come up with. I really can't take it from savings. It would completely deplete us. So I have about a week to come up with it. That should be really difficult. I have a $10.00 check from the city. I have a small check coming from Ebates....maybe about $13-$15. I am going to try to cut our grocery bill and use as many coupons as possible. So that may add up to $50 all together?? Where does the other $280 come from? Not pay down my debt? I have to pay something. And even if I reduce the payments, it won't add a whole lot. Maybe an extra $70? And then I will still have to come up with that to reach my goal of paying everything off by September. We had a garage sale, so I don't have a lot of extra stuff to sell. I can count change. I can't change insurance right now. We are in a rural area, so our utilities have to be specific companies. I'm running out of ideas. I'm salary, so no overtime at work. Our only entertainment portion of the budget is $20 for eating out...and I already got rid of that for 2 weeks to help with my budget. Any thoughts?
I was embarassed. I felt like I was failing. So I had to step away from the blog for a little bit. Truth is, I had to get out of the mindset I was in. I was continuing to spend money. Even after knowing that I didn't like what it was doing. Then, family came into town...and I spent more. Not good. But, I can't hide from it. I feel out of control when I am spending with no regard. I don't like having debt. And the last few days I have just been thinking... "Are you really ready to get rid of this debt?" "Are you ready to commit and knock it out?" Do you realize how much better you will feel without debt? And it will free up part of your budget!" And the answer is "Yes!" I want to be debt free. And I can make sacrifices to get there. Because it will be so much better in the end.
So I am refocused on the "jars" and working with cash. I have looked at my budget and made myself realize....this is what you have to work with. And its possible.
I am still going to have all of my credit cards and the personal loan paid off by the end of September. That is still within my original goal. My husband and I are looking at a couple of ways to possibly make a little extra money. We are also really considering paying me for my work with our personal business. We are thinking $50/week. It would be nice.
So...that's it. I'm here.
Ok. I really am trying to turn things around. This week will be rough, but I guess it is just part of financial recovery. I have gone though my budget and changed what I could. With my adjustments, I should still have all my credit cards and the personal loan paid off by the end of September. Which basically was my goal. To have everything paid off by September. My grocery budget is modest to say the least this week. And it has to last 2 weeks. But, I will make it work. We have eaten out of the garden twice. I have had awesome Radishes, Italian parsley, snap peas, and green beans. Hopefully I will have some more things coming to supplement our lack of grocery budget.
I am trying to just work my way out of this. I am going through a strange nesting, life organizing, spending phase. But I am trying to get it under control. I have a goal of where I would like things to be by Friday. Kind of like my own holiday. Refocusing towards financial "freedom." Realizing how badly I truly want it. And how spending money did not make me feel "better."
CC #3 is now down to $51.53. We go a small refund check from our insurance company, so I applied it to CC #3. Pretty exciting.
But...at the same time that I am making progress on my debt, I totally blew my budget. I have overspent by $75 and I still have to make a purchase of $60 that I did not budget for. Pretty much an epic fail. I am actually not even sure how to recover from it. Not pay extra on my mortgage? Its disappointing. Because nothing I bought was a need. I guess I am still headed in the right direction. I just need to focus.
Side note...I didn't come out ahead house sitting. Gas cost more than I thought. I also made more trips than I thought. But at least that insurance check helped knock out what I wanted to pay with the cash.
My money flow feels pretty good right now. We filed and paid our taxes...on time. And I had the money set aside to pay them. My CC #1 will be paid off in the next couple of weeks. I was able to transfer $100 into our savings (Payback from our business). I have money ready for our mortgage payment and we are paying extra. I have money set aside for our pest control for the quarter and my sister's birthday. And at the end of it all...I will have a little money left in the bank and a little in my wallet.
I still haven't counted my change. It has just been very hectic in my world lately. But I still intend to count and send some to CC #1. Even if its $20...I could knock it out quicker.
I have been cutting lots of coupons, preparing for my shopping trip next week. And amazingly, we still have food left. I plan to go to the store on Wednesday...so we will see what we go through between now and then.
First....the Garage Sale. It was a lot of work, but it was a modest success and we got rid of a lot of stuff. And we gave our leftovers to my stepdaughter so she can have a garage sale. Needless to say, I didn't make even close to enough to pay for tires...but..
My birthday was Friday. And my sister gave me money to buy my tires. So along with our garage sale money and the gift, I was able to buy tires. No, I didn't have any left to put towards debt. But I think I am going to count change and see if I can come up with some. My CC#1 is down to $53.88! I can almost taste the payoff.
I am trying to clear out our fridge and pantry. I went to the grocery store and spent $60 for 2 weeks. I have $20 to carry over and $80 in 2 weeks, so I will have $100 to spend. But, I am going to use as many coupons and deals as possible so I don't have to spend the full $100.
I have seedlings almost ready to go in the garden. I have ideas this year to prevent a total wipe out from Bunnies again. But if I could get our produce from the garden instead of the store, we could save some serious cash!
Going back to my birthday... it was great. I got several free meals. Plus the tires. Plus:
DVDS to watch with DH at home
2 - $25 Target GC
Pair of shoes
Solar Lights for yard
So I got a pretty good haul. I am a lucky girl.
I'll let you know how much change I come up with tonight.
I originally had planned on paying off CC #2 because it has an annual fee....and I really didn't want to pay $79. Well, I didn't pay it off. And now I am stuck paying the $79. So, I am disappointed that it didn't happen. On a brighter note, CC #1 is down to $77. CC #3 is down to $184. I should still be able to pay it all off by September. That thought is what keeps me going. It will feel so nice to be done with CC debt. I just have to keep trying.
I plan on trying to have a garage sale at the end of the month. I have quite a bit of stuff. Plus I still need to go through stuff. I just feel so busy. Sometimes I just want to do.... "nothing." But I am trying to be positive and stay grateful. My $730.60 in credit card debt is less than a lot of people's. Maybe I can use some garage sale money to knock it out even faster.
I have been gone from here for over a month. I found myself overwhelmed with everything (job, loss of brother and dog and 2 friends, life, disappointment in myself). I wasn't thinking about money, and when I looked on SA....I found myself dwelling on everything I wasn't doing "right." As much as I would love to say "I'm back and with a vengeance" - I can't. But I am back. And I am still trying.
My sidebar is updated with my most current numbers. I am looking at more ways to cut some costs. I am working on taxes right now...which is not fun. And I guess with a business, we will never get a refund again. Yes, we got a car loan. But the cash flow in and out of the household is not affected. We raised my husband's income some and we no longer have a child support payment, so that is replacing child support.
I got a couple of snowflakes today. $25.02 in total. I sent $20 to CC #3. And kept the $5.02. I also had an extra $15, so I sent it to CC #2. I think I can still have my cards paid off by September if I stick to my plan.
Its good to be back.
I don't have much to report. I went to lunch today. Thought that I left my debit card at work, so I had to use a credit card. Only to realize when I got back to work that my card was at the bottom of my purse. Grrr! So I went online and made a payment to my credit card to cover the cost of the lunch plus a few cents.
There is not much going on financially. Got paid today and everything is set to go out.
Oh, and husband needs a car. Truck is not driveable. Too cold to ride the motorcycle. He is driving another moving type truck we have but the gas is killing us. Our bank is offering us 3.7%. So we are going to see what we can do.
My DH was able to put the water heater in last night. And we had to change some pipes. We paid $342. I had $110 in a "jar" for the house, so we took the rest from savings.
I finally got an insurance quote on our house. For more coverage than we currently have we will be paying about what our original rate was - saving us almost $700 for the year. That's a good thing. Just have to wait for their inspection.
Not having as much pain with my tooth. Going to have to look at the budget to see what I can figure out to pay for the root canal. I'm guessing it will be at least $300 out of pocket.
DH needs special inserts for his shoes...and of course insurance won't pay at all. Those are $245.
So added to the dentist that is 545.00. And I need new tires. That should be another $400. Total = $945. With my savings down to $700, I am a little worried about how I am going to come up with that. Garage Sale in March. Count change? Sell a kidney on the black market?
Well I hate to come on here and vent, but jeez. Water heater went out last night. We had to buy one today...$350 after we got a discount. Husband's car is still out of commission. We have had to shell out some cash on that. I had to go to the dentist today. They couldn't find anything wrong with the tooth that was hurting.....but surprise...I need a root canal. On a totally different tooth that I didn't even know I had a problem with. And I have a funeral Thursday. We lost a coworker. Its really sad, but what can you do.
Savings is a little depleted. I feel a little defeated. But I'm still trying.
Well, I just got our electric bill. YOWZERS! I thought we were being good....I was wrong. That ice storm really killed us. Our bill is $61.00 more than our budgeted amount. I have enough cushion in our household account for the difference, but I was hoping for it to go the other way this month. I need to find us some cost cutting actions this month!!
And I am the only one getting weird ads on the SA homepage? I had an ad with half naked cartoon girls???? What the heck does that have to do with debt and savings and such??
Surely I am not the only one that feels overwhelmed this time of year. Its hard to not jump on every bandwagon...lose weight, save more money, cook more, shop less, have more me time, work harder, be more organized. My head feels like it is going to explode just thinking about it!
I am allowing myself this week to catch up and line up my money. (Adjusting from when family was here.) Tomorrow I will make my basic credit card payments and student loan payment. But nothing to write home about.
I think I just want to be a better me this year. Work on my financial goals and work on being positive. Positive out = Positive in....right.
I am very excited to start a new year. I stretched myself a little too thin financially while my family was in town, but I can recover. I have 6 "goals" for 2014.
*** I know its not much, but I want to put 1K in Savings from my payroll alone. Of course I want to do more, but that is a starting point.
*** Pay off my credit cards by September
*** Pay off my personal loan by Septermber
*** Find new home insurance. Ours went up and I am disappointed in the company.
*** Coupon as much as possible
*** THINK. Think before I buy. Think before I speak. Think before I plan. THINK.
Can't wait to see what everyone else has planned.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I am finally back at work. We were hit by a big ice storm on Thursday night. Texans and ice just don't mix. All of the stores were bought out of grocery items. Cars were abandoned all over the roads. Today is the first day I have been out of our house. Good news is....I had 4 no spend days! My work took us to lunch today and I got a ride to work, so I didn't spend any money. And Thursday is our company Christmas party...so no spending there either. Although I do have to get a gift sometime between now and then. I am really hoping for a Christmas bonus this year. It would really be helpful. So I am anxious to see if we get one.
Anyway....not much else today. Friday should be a productive day.
So after my high from yearly budgeting, I have hit a low from finding out my car is leaking oil. Can I drive a car that is leaking oil for another year? Maybe it won't be too horrible of a repair? My husband is going to look at it and see. Then I am overwhelmed by celebrating Thanksgiving without my brother here. With it only being 3 months since his death I don't know how to feel. Grateful for the time I had with him? Sad he isn't here? Angry that he was taken from us? Thankful for the great things we do have? It is just a lot of mixed emotions.
And more of the money front, I am picking up our turkey in a few hours. (With money that has been set aside for a month) Everything else I need has been purchased. I do plan on hitting up some sales, with Christmas budget money that I have set aside. And I hope to spend nothing else!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am very thankful for SA and my SA friends.
I just finished my budget for the year. I feel so inspired. Is that corny? By doing the whole year, I was able to factor in every birthday, celebration, and expense that I could think of. I was able to actually see that I am just months away from 2 of my credit cards being paid off and the last one is right behind. My loan will be paid off this year. My student loan will be closer. I was able to see how much I could put in savings. Its really exciting. I know things come up and change. But I am really working hard to stop being a "money shifter." And I think this will help.
Side note...I had 2 no spend days. Today will be 3. (Ok...so I did purchase something for Christmas online with a gift card....but I didn't spend any of my MONEY. Still counts right?)
I usually do my budget 3-4 months at a time. I am thinking about doing the whole year. So I can see what's coming up and not forget anything. Anyone plan the whole year? Is it better to keep it 3-4 months a time?
I survived the first week. I am still feeling very aware. Caught myself wanting to eat out a lot...but didn't do it. I did have an unplanned breakfast, but 1 is better than 4. So I need to continue to work on it. I need to buy 2 tablecloths for Thanksgiving. I am considering counting some change to see if I can come up with the money. That way I don't use my debit card and I don't take money from my jars. I included some Thanksgiving groceries on my list this week. Thought it would be good to go ahead and get some of my items so I have them and it wouldn't be such a hit if I spread it out. I have already budgeted money for the meat!
I got our insurance renewal yesterday on our home insurance. It is going up almost $600 a year. I called them to see if there was something we could do and they were able to give us a different policy with better coverage for about $300 more. We could get it to only $10 more a year if we switch over our car insurance, but we really don't want our car insurance with them. So, I think I am going to get some more quotes and see what I can find. I wish we could just get home insurance with Progressive too and have all our policies in one place. (But they don't offer it in our area)
November 1st - my tracking starts today. Tracking is going to make everything very real. I am already thinking about my purchases because I don't want to look at the log and see a whole bunch of entries! There isn't much to spend this week. But the trick will be realizing this and not spending it. I really hope this helps me. I don't want to be a money mover. I want the money to built up and not shifted around because I overspent.
I have to admit, I had to make an unexpected purchase today. We are having a flea problem and I have to put something in our backyard to help. So I spent $16 on that. But I didn't see a way around it.
I downloaded a free app for my phone called Santa's Bag. Basically it allows you to put in a budget, enter gifts as you purchase them, give you a summary of how you are doing...and of course a countdown until Christmas. Only 55 days to go. I have figured that I am short on my Christmas budget. I need to do some serious frugal shopping! But I love the idea of getting someone something really great that I got for half the price (or less). We don't spend more than $20 on one person, but that adds up. Hopefully this little app will keep me in check.
I had to go BACK to the eye dr Saturday. Got 2 more eye drops. One I got as a sample. The other was $155!! Luckily I have an awesome pharmacist that found a coupon and I got it for $25. I have totally blown any budget I had after all these copays and medicines! But I am so thankful the prescription was $25 instead of $155. I did do an Aflac claim, so I should get something back. And I think I may be able to do one on the original eye appointment too. But I'll have to check into it.
I had another dr's visit scheduled for yesterday. Its been scheduled for about a month. Luckily my yearly physical is covered with zero copay. I did end up having a kidney infection, so I had to get another antibiotic. And I have another appointment today for a follow-up on my eye. Luckily she does not charge a copay for a follow-up. I am definitely done with dr visits for a while I hope.
I got a gift certificate for a massage on my birthday (back in April). I just realized that it expires 10/31. I called to see what they had available before next Thursday and all they had was tomorrow! I guess its a good thing I called. I would hate for a $60 massage to go to waste. But after these last couple of months, a massage might be just the thing I need.
So I woke up with my eye hurting. It feels like something is stuck in it. I tried to deal with it but it just hurt too bad. So...I ended up having to go to the eye dr. Luckily I went to the dr a couple of weeks ago to get glasses, because I haven't had new ones in 8 years! But if I didn't have new glasses, I would have been in trouble today! Dr says I am having some sort of allergy. Have to use eye drops and do cold compresses to get the swelling down. So, I had to do a $10 copay and whatever the drops cost me. I guess it could be worse.
I made extra payments to my credit cards. $133.68. Every little bit counts. We are postponing our garage sale again. Concrete guys are going to be out Saturday, so I think it would be too hard to do both. Plus it will give me a little more time to find more stuff.
Well...long story short....I ended up just adding an "actual" column to my budget spreadsheet. And in my checkbook register, which I write in at least once a day, I will just be more detailed. Then at the end of the month, I can just add my actual in and see how I did. I was just trying to make it too difficult. Oh, and cash I will continue to do in the "jars" but will have a sheet in each jar. Put the receipt in the jar so I know what I spent. That really is how I was supposed to be doing it this whole time (Gail Vaz Oxlade way).
I feel very aware right now. And still overwhelmed by what I was doing. So November 1 will start the new way of tracking.
What I am reallly thinking about is....what do people that don't think about their expenses do? I worry about my finances and work to try to keep them somewhat on track. So how do they get through? How do they not worry?
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