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Easy Come, Easy Go

November 30th, 2012 at 09:45 pm

I find that the closer I am to being out of credit card debt, the easier it is to pay the bills. It feels less and less like money slipping through my fingers and more and more like seeing the summit of the mountain and knowing it's not much further and just a little push will get me there.

I got to contribute $100 to the Emergency Fund this time, something I haven't done in a while. I also deposited the coin jar money to the EF as well, so that was an additional $97.05. The EF now sits at $1205.41. It is good to see it going up again.

I funded my funds, bringing the totals to $85 in the HoA Dues Fund, $200 in the Property Tax Fund, $400 in the Propane Fund, $400 in the Vacation Fund, $400 in the Mac Book Fund, and $200 in the Christmas Fund.

Expenditures for this paycheck were:

$1000.00 AMEX
__100.00 Chase VISA
__300.00 To Mom for her utilities
__100.00 EF
___21.98 Electricity for the Old House
___50.00 to the Holding Tank for garbage (not due 'til Feb)
__39.53 DH Life Insurance
__32.70 My Life Insurance
__59.89 Car Insurance
__45.63 Old House Insurance
__41.16 ADT Security for theOld House
_153.00 Storage
_100.00 Vacation Fund
__17.00 Dues Fund
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_500.00 Mortgageon Old House ($376.14 plus extra to principal)
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 Mac Book Fund

I also spent $56.20 to fill up the van. It was 3.39 per gallon. It's a little cheaper at Costco, but I really didn't want to go over there today and as long as it is no more than a 20 cent per gallon difference, I'd actually use more gas going over there and then waiting in the interminably long lines.

And I spent $230.41 on groceries. I stocked up on some things that my cupboards were bare on, mostly canned goods. I also restocked the flour stash and bought some oranges and milk. I am definitely starting to see the higher prices now. Even though I didn't buy any meat since we get it at the farm now, I still wanted to see what the current store prices are, and Holy Toledo are they high. I mean some of them are higher than their grass-fed, organic counterparts. I may need to up the grocery budget once we finish eating the inventory in the freezer. I'm trying to hang on to $600 a month, but half of that is spent at the farm.

I paid out DD's allowance for two weeks, $30. DS does not get an allowance until 12/14 as his was advanced to him so he could buy something on a really good sale. I also took out $200 in cash.

I bought DD a new MP3 player. She was willing to settle for the 4GB one, so it was $40. I used part of the $200 in cash for that. Since it was half what I was expecting it to be, I told her I'd just pay for it if she'd do some extra chores for her grandmother. So she's going to clean all of the bathrooms, mop the kitchen floor, vacuum, and clean out Mom's fridge. She's also going to do all of the laundry this weekend.

DD is going to stay after school one day next week to teach her English teacher how to knit using a loom. They're going to knit some hats for some charity and they need to make 26 between now and the 18th. Knitting goes much faster on a loom. I didn't get the details on what charity, but I think it was local. I find it kind of hilarious that my sixteen-year-old daughter is teaching a sixty-something-year-old woman to knit. It's like, shouldn't that be the other way around?

Speaking of knitting, I really need to get going and finish making DS's scarf so I can start on DD's. It's hard to work on his because he is with me so much since we homeschool him. I am trying to keep it a surprise. His sister has made him a hat in the same yarn.

I almost wiped out a pair of elderly jaywalkers tonight. I guess teenagers are not the only ones to dress all in black and take crazy chances walking after dark. If it hadn't been for the man's white hair and the woman's white shoe souls, I'd not have seen them in time to stop. And they were only 20 feet away from the well illuminated stoplight with it's cross walks.

14 days and counting until the bonus checks will be put in the mail...

Payday Report

November 4th, 2012 at 01:46 pm

I am so happy it is November. No more $500 payments to the doctor for DS's treatment. We will have one more $300 payment for glasses this month and then we'll be done with big medical for a while, I hope. Although we still need to save some as come January we will have the $2500 deductible again. Hopefully this coming year it will not be met so quickly. I will have to have two molars fixed, but I am hoping to use part of DH's Christmas bonus to do that.

I did send the extra $230 to AMEX along with my regular payment. Here's how it all broke down this week.

$730.00 AMEX
_100.00 Chase (no interest)
_300.00 for Mom's utilities
__92.97 to the Freezer Fund
___7.03 to the Emergency Fund
__32.97 Electric at the Old House
__25.00 to the Holding Tank for Garbage
__72.00 to the Holding Tank for Water/Sewer old house
__39.53 DH Life Insurance
__32.70 Me Life Insurance
__59.89 Car Insurance
__45.63 House Insurance for old house
__41.16 Security system for old house
_153.00 Storage
__17.00 HoA Dues for old house
_100.00 Property Tax for old house (Holding Tank)
_500.00 to Mortgage for old house
_100.00 to Holding Tank for propane (old house)
_100.00 to MacBook Fund
__28.20 Dental (DH)
__15.69 Medical (DD)
_100.00 DH's monthly allowance
__15.00 DD's weekly allowance
__10.00 DS's weekly allowance
_267.32 on groceries (did a major staples stock up, plus OTC meds)

I will also be making the car payment out of this payday, just waiting for the bill to get here. I took $100 in cash out for miscellaneous needs. And I will be depositing $46 from the coin jar on Monday, which puts my Freezer Fund at $1000 even. And the MacBook Fund is now at $300. I had $7.03 left after fully funding the Freezer Fund so that went to the Emergency Fund, which now sits at $1008.36.

Funding My Funds

October 12th, 2012 at 05:37 pm

Today I deposited $69.33 from my coin jar to my Freezer Fund as well as $100 from today's paycheck. This brings the Freezer Fund up to $750.81. The freezer I want is $900 plus tax so I still have a ways to go, but it's nice to be 3/4 of the way there.

My Vacation Fund now sits at $200, my Property Tax fund at $600, Christmas Fund at $100 (very late starting this), and MacBook Fund at $200.

Property taxes are due at the end of the month and will be $518 and some change, so there's plenty in there for that. Things seem to be going along right on track and I hope they continue to do so. It makes things so much smoother when they do.

Payday Distribution

October 12th, 2012 at 05:27 pm

Today was payday and for once I am not slacking on getting my post up for bills paid. I have enough sustainable, organic beef, chicken and pork in the freezer that I think we can skip going to the ranch this month altogether and just go the second week in November. I've also got some other things in the freezer that need to get eaten, some fish, rice, and miscellaneous items that could round out some meals, but not quite be meals in and of themselves.

Here's what came out of this week's paycheck:

$1000.00 Loan to Mom
_1700.00 Bank of America VISA
___10.00 School class t-shirt for DD
__100.00 Freezer Fund
___25.00 Garbabe (holding tank)
__105.00 Pantec
__100.00 Vacation Fund
___17.00 HoA Dues (holding tank)
__100.00 Property Tax (holding tank)
___25.00 Kids' Allowances
__100.00 propane (holding tank)
__100.00 MacBook Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund

What I Paid This Week and Vacation Musings

August 11th, 2012 at 07:55 pm

Out of yesterday's payday and about $300 from short term bill savings, I paid the following bills:

__32.88 Electric
__10.59 Medical
_400.00 Mortgage for the old house
_301.30 to Chase (no interest for 18 months)
__90.00 Medical
_300.00 To Mom for her utilities
_757.82 Car payment (plus extra to principal)
_685.86 to BoA credit card (will pay more next week)
_176.09 Paid off computer (18 months same as cash)
__70.56 Internet
__44.87 Phone for old house (for security system)
_144.00 Water/sewer for old house
__49.91 yearly propane tank rental
_125.00 Cash for groceries
__25.00 Kid's allowances

I just raised the kids' allowances from $7 and $12 respectively to $10 and $15 per week. They have really stepped up and started doing a lot more of the daily chores and helping with the gardening. I've told them that if they slack off though it's going back down.

I have $42 left of my grocery money for the week. Aside from milk I should not need to buy anything else this coming week. I thought I needed to buy chicken legs or thighs, but I did some digging around in the freezer and found 3 pounds which I cooked up for the next few days lunches. There may be more in the freezer. I do have two whole chickens and some boneless, skinless thighs.

It will be a short grocery week as we are going down to Tacoma on Wednesday, spending the night, going to the Point Defiance Zoo on Thursday, spending that night, and then coming home on Friday after morning rush hour. That wipes out our vacation savings, but we have nothing else planned for the summer.

Our hotel room has a microwave and a fridge and there is a Top Foods (like Haggen) nearby. We will bring a cooler with some food from home and our little egg cooker (which does boiled eggs or poached and our microwave bacon cooker, so we can have bacon and eggs for breakfast that we bring. I am going to roast a chicken on Tuesday and pick all the meat off the bones and we will bring that in the cooler. I will also bring along coleslaw and salad and a bottle of dressing and maybe a couple cans of green beans. And peanut butter, jelly, butter, and bread. We will probably eat out two meals (one at the zoo), but that is in the vacation budget.

Gift Cards Came In

August 7th, 2012 at 12:09 am

So my two $5 gift cards for Amazon.com from Swagbucks that I cashed out on the 31st showed up today in my email a few minutes ago. I promptly transferred the codes into my account at Amazon and it is nice to see that little balance of $10 there. Then I turned around and cashed in more points for 2 more $5 gift cards. That will leave me with a balance of 101 points in my Swagbucks account, so just another 349 to go for another gift card.

I don't put a lot of effort into swagging. I do the daily poll and the 2 point vids and have the search bar and every website I go to I enter into the search bar instead of going directly to the website. And I use the search bar for actual searching, too, usually to look up recipes or for local food sources and local homesteading blogs.

I spend less than 5 minutes a day actively doing anything and I end up with around 30 points a day. On occassion I'll have the SBTV bar going on the side if I think about it. It's not a huge amount, but it does add up.

I'm saving my gift cards towards a Mac Book for my daughter. She wants a good computer before she goes to college. We'll probably buy it between her junior and senior years of high school, so I have a little over a year to save up for it as well as earn gift cards towards it. Maybe I'll end up with $100 in gift cards by the time I'm ready to buy. That would be a nice little discount.


June 1st, 2012 at 01:17 pm

Today is payday, the small one, but they didn't take medical out and I had $1200 left over from last week, so I got to send a whole $800 extra to the BoA Visa. This isn't the regular monthly payment, it's all to principal, yay!

Payments made today:

$800.00 BoA VISA
__84.72 Car Insurance
__41.25 Old House Insurance
__37.61 Life Insurance DH
__32.70 Life Insurance Me
_154.00 Storage
__41.16 ADT Security on Old House
_100.00 Freezer Fund
_100.00 Mac Book Fund
+455.86 Mortgage (plus $80 extra)
1847.30 Amount paid out today

Oh, we have to go pay car tabs, too, which is around $90. I don't remember for sure, but will edit this after we pay it. And I'll have to write a check next week for hot lunch money for DS. That will be for $9 for the rest of the school year. And I have to contribute allowances, $19 today and $19 next Friday.

That leaves me with $400 for the next two weeks, but no bills to pay before the 15th, which is our next payday. Plus I have $1000 in savings that is earmarked for old house stuff, but could be dipped into in a pinch and replaced on the 15th. And I also have the $300 from last week that is set aside to buy organic, pasture-raised, sustainable meat tomorrow. So mostly these next two weeks I'll just be buying milk and produce and some bulk spices.

It feels good to have everything squared away and to not have to think about finances really for the next 2 weeks. I mean I will think about them, obviously, when you blog this much about money, you do think about them. But not in a "what should I be doing now?" way.

Oh, and the Mac Book Fund and Freezer Fund are both new items on the budget. The freezer we are saving up for will be around $600. We need to buy that before we can buy half a beef, which I will start saving up for as soon as the freezer is paid for.

The Mac Book fund is for my daughter. She has waited patiently while everyone has gotten new computers in the last few years while she limps along on an old PC and she is next on the list. She wants a Mac Book for video editing and for college, so even though it will likely take me a year to save up for it, I thought I'd start now. She's just finishing her sophomore year of high school, so she probably won't get it until towards the end of junior year, but she's just happy to be getting one eventually. She's easy like that.

ETA: Tabs were $85.74.

It's Late and I Have Insomnia

May 5th, 2012 at 02:10 am

Good a reason as any to blog, isn't it? I have to be up in the morning to let the chickens out at 8, but then I can go back to sleep if I can for a couple more hours. It will be a full day. There is one open house we want to hit up on the hill. It is a rather spacious house at $262,000. No hardwood floors so I imagine it's all the carpeting that makes it so they can't ask for ridiculous pricing. We will hit that house early as we can. The open house starts at ten so we will be there near the start.

After that we will head to Sedro Woolley to Skagit River Ranch. They have a farm store that is open only on Saturdays from 10 to 6. They are a farm that sells grass fed animals. They also sell specific cuts of meat in their farm store and I would like to get some ribeye, t-bone, chuck roasts and hamburger and try them out before making a decision about buying a half a steer later this year. Mom wants to go in on it with us and buy the other half of the steer. Buying a whole cow together would bring the price down a little.

We'll see how it tastes. I am considering this farm and another one that is in Bow. The one in Bow costs less, but it's Chiangus as opposed to just ordinary Black Angus. I know I like Black Angus, but I don't know what difference Chiangus makes in taste, flavor or leanness. I am hoping to visit the other ranch on another day to see if I can buy samples as well.

Then when we get back DH has to set up the computer. The cobbled together mess DS has been using finally stopped working. They were financing 18 months same as cash, so we got an inexpensive desktop only, since our monitor is in perfect condition. DH finally took the back up laptop in to be fixed before the warranty runs out. Hopefully they won't have to wipe it because there are no backup discs for reinstalling windows. I have $200 in the laptop fund, so that money will go towards paying for the new desktop. I was hoping we'd get ahead of the curve on things that were going to go wrong and I'd save up enough before we got to this point, but the thing gave up too soon.

The kids have to have one fuctioning computer between them to write on for their writing assignments and no one wants to give either one of them one of our laptops. They are too hard on things.

It is time for DD to visit the eye doctor and if needed she can get new lenses. Not frames of course, those are every 18 months. She has been complaining about headaches and she thinks her prescription might have changed.

I forsee a very expensive spring/early summer. And sometime before fall I'll need to buy a chest freezer if I am going to get that much meat.

Little Things

March 17th, 2012 at 10:38 am

Not really too much to report this week. DS has been sick with a nasty stomach bug and missed three days of school this week. I don't think this child has ever had such a sick year before. I really wish that parents would keep their kids home when they are sick. I am really getting sick of my child constantly being contaminated because other parents don't have a back up system in place if they are unable to stay home from work with their child. Plus these kids are 12, 13, 14. They legally and safely should be able to stay home alone if necessary. It's irresponsible to send them and I'm tired of my kid paying the price for other parents. He's always been so healthy and the last 12 to 15 months it's been one thing after another, poor guy. Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant.

I cleaned out my purse and added $11.14 to the coin jar. I took $19 for allowances and divided them into the kid's envelopes. I also added the last $15 of DS's birthday money into his envelope. I really need to take him to the credit union as he's got quite a wad of birthday cash and saved allowances.

I've got the replacement all set up now except for installing Office, which I will do today and then I can enter in all the information into Excel for the past 3 weeks. I've kept track on paper, but it is not the same, especially since I've managed to lose and find the paper three times. I am definitely going to keep contributing to the laptop fund. It is well worth it.

I also need to update the HSA tracking spreadsheet and the EF tracking spreadsheet and the Holding Tank spreadsheet.

I am close to being ready to cash out my first $5 gift card for Amazon at Swagbucks. If I leave the SBTV player going to the side of the screen for the next couple hour or two, I should hit it, but I don't know if I want to make that kind of effort in one go, so it might take all weekend. I still haven't signed up for that other one that Laura (Keeping it Frugal) has where you watch the videos. I need to try to remember to do that.

I did another survey last night for GTM. They aren't as good as they used to be. Survey values have dropped from 50 to 35 and screeners are only worth 1 point or a drawing entry instead of 5 points for every screener. I think once I hit my 1000 points I may be done with them. They used to be so good and I could easily make money with them, but that was three years ago. Now that I'm getting back into it again, wasting my times with small payoffs is annoying.

I may have qualified for a market study at another company. If so it'll be worth $8. I hope I get that one. I won't know for a week and a half if I did. I wish they would tell you if you do. If you end up qualifying they send you the product. If you don't, you never hear about it again. But I made it all the way through the first screener and the second screener, so I think chances are good.

I have to go to the store today because DH finished off the ketchup (left the bottle in the fridge, but it was empty) and I didn't discover this until yesterday when I had already been to the grocery store. But I have to take Footloose and Puss in Boots back to the DVDExpress booth anyway, so I can pick up some ketchup then and some crackers and some more soup. They have a sale on right now of 2 cans for $1 and since soup is about all DS can eat until this virus finishes running it's course (no fruit, no veg, no dairy), I want to take advantage of the sale.

I'm also hoping to find some unflavored pedialyte since it doesn't have dyes or fruit juice or artificial sweetners. Even though he is drinking lots of water, he's really at risk of dehydration. I did put him on Imodium on the doctor's rec. It seems to be helping.

Computer Issues

March 15th, 2012 at 08:01 am

Well, I finally heard back from Best Buy. I guess it took the 2 full weeks to realize the laptop was beyond repair, which seriously, it wasn't. All it needed was a new screen. It worked just find if you hooked it up to a monitor. To me, that's like totalling a car because you need to replace the windshield. *sighs*

Anyway, they said I could get a new one of comparable value for free or credit towards an upgrade. I'm sure there won't be one of comparable value. And is that comparable value in today's dollars or in the dollars of the year I bought it? I liked my old laptop. It had the best keyboard in the world for typing quickly, plus a ten-key pad so I could easily enter stuff into spreadsheets.

And will the remainder of my service contract transfer to the new one or be refunded? And what about the one time license for my Office software that was only to be installed on one computer? And what about the fact that I'd just renewed my Kaspersky anti-virus program? Are they going to replace all of that or am I just going to be out of luck on those counts. I might have to make a fuss.

I wonder if I get the broken one back then? Because if I do, we can hook it up to a spare monitor and use it as a backup computer that has Office on it. The kids would like that since they are working out of Open Office and Office 2007 respectively. They probably won't let me keep it, though.

I guess it's a good thing I kept putting money in the laptop fund as I will likely need to buy a new service contract. Won't go without it after how much value I got out of it with these last several repairs.

Bits and Pieces

March 9th, 2012 at 05:56 pm

I did not make it to the CU I keep the safety net in this week. I meant to, but things just kept getting in the way. There have been various purchases made and I have kept saving all the ones and coins. I picked up hotdogs for Mom at Costco and she paid me back in cash, $11 for a $10.66 purchase. I put the whole eleven into the coin jar.

So including that $11, this week I ended up adding a grand total of $28.28 to the coin jar. I will have quite a deposit to make on Monday if I ever get over there. The safety net is getting pretty close the the $1000 mark.

So since The Market closed in Fairhaven, it took with it the only commercially sold source of Boar's Head deli meats, the ones without fillers or additives that my son can handle. We found out today that The Bagelry, a bagel shop in town that also makes sandwiches on it's bagels, uses Boar's Head meat, and if we put in an order the night before they will sell us just the sliced meat, as long as we buy a pound at a time. And it is at the same price as the grocery store we used to buy it at.

This is such a relief. We have really been struggling on what he will eat, because he has a very short list of what he will tolerate cold and of course there are no microwaves available to students at the middle school level.

Of course I will have to divide up all the meat and freeze most of it, as it has a three day holding time without the additives and preservatives. I'll have to be a bit more organized and remember to thaw as necessary. It's such a small thing, but it really will make my life that much easier.

I am really glad that we hit our deductible last month as yet another prescription has gone up. Thankfully out of pocket cost for it is now $40 instead of $100ish. What is up with the cost of prescriptions lately? This one was name brand but all the other ones were generics and I know it can't cost as much as they are raising it.

Did government benefits get raised this year? Seems like whenever they are prescription costs go up. *is annoying* My mother actually refused to go to the doctor when she thought she might have walking pneumonia because she wouldn't be able to afford the antibiotics. I told her I'd pay for it if necessary! I may grouse, but for that I'd put debt repayment to a lesser amount. Makes me worry about the old people in her position who don't have family members who could step in.

Oh, the payment hit the credit card so the new balance of it is $6,557.86. The interest had hit, too, but the interest hits should be a lot smaller now.

Got a thing in the mail from the insurance company. They want to go after the makers of a surgical mesh that went wrong in numerous patients, attaching improperly to organs and/or growing through them. I am one of those patients and my insurance company shelled out an awful lot of money for me to get it fixed.

So they want my info and I'm like, that's an awful lot of work for me to track down that I'd rather not be doing. The doctor who did the initial surgery retired years ago. I don't even remember what year I had the initial surgery in, unless it was done when I had my hysterectomy when I was 33. I vaguely remember trying to schedule that so they could do it at the same time, but can't remember if they did or not. It's been 9 years and I've had so many surgeries it all just blurs together.

I'm not really sure there is a record anywhere anymore, which is why I didn't pursue the class action lawsuit in the first place. (I guess I can check with my OB/GYN and ask him if that was done at the same time, then I'd at least have a date, and they might have the name of retired doctor to see where the records got to). Or maybe the hospital would know. Ugh. See? Work. Guess I will be on the phone a lot on Monday. Oh, joy.

I was hoping my laptop would be back from being repaired. All they have to do is replace the screen, so I don't know what it taking them so long. I am so sick of working on this cobbled together mess with this larger than life keyboard. *sighs* Plus the lack of mobility is also annoying. I can cope. I just don't want to have to. We get spoiled by our luxuries, don't we?

Laptop Fund, Car Expenses

February 14th, 2012 at 11:16 pm

The laptop fund is now fully funded. I am going to start saving up for the next one, though, at the lesser rate of $100 a month. There is just too much that might go wrong with 3 laptops and a netbook in the house. And my computer and the netbook are the only ones with service contracts because the two of us tend to drop things a lot. I've used mine already. It's paid for itself and then some and I have another year and a half left on the contract. I imagine I will at least need a new battery by then, though it's still holding it's charge. That was always the nice thing about the Vaio batteries.

DH got tabs for the Crown Vic yesterday. It ended up costing $42. It's supposed to be $33 according to an initiative several years ago, but they're always finding some way to creep it up. So now I just need to worry about getting the brakes fixed. The steering fluid needs to be flushed as well. I am saving up partially for it and then using the tax return money to make up the difference.

First of Month Bills

January 7th, 2012 at 01:55 pm

I've been a little lax on recording this, even though everything has been paid on time. Still, I want a good record of things this year, so this is a bit of a catch up post for bills that have gone out since the 1st.

$__41.25 Old house insurance
___86.30 Car insurance
___37.61 DH Life insurance
___32.70 Me Life insurance
_1000.00 AMEX
_3600.00 Bank of America (The Evil Empire)
__375.86 Mortgage on old house
__142.00 Storage
___15.98 Electricity old house
___39.37 Alarm system old house
___90.00 Tae kwon do lessons
$2221.07 Spent so far

I still have to do mid-month bills like internet, phone for the old house, car payment, as well as set money aside for dues, laptop fund, garbage, water/sewer, and propane. I also have the Fashion Bug card to pay off. That one will never have interest charged on it and will always be paid in full.

I have $1400 left of the December money. I may have to dip into some of the money I set aside for January, but I am going to try to cut it as close as possible, so I can save that money instead.

Logging Friday's Bills

December 20th, 2011 at 11:49 am

And I've managed to procrastinate it all the way until Tuesday, but here are the bills I paid from the most recent paycheck.

$1300.00 to BoA
__300.00 to Mom for utilities
___44.89 landline at old house
___65.56 internet
__757.82 car payment (plus extra to principal)
__243.46 Laptop Fund
__115.25 Medical
__150.00 Groceries
___12.00 DD allowance
____7.00 DS allowance
-_100.00 to the Emergency Fund

Eight Weeks!

November 18th, 2011 at 08:53 pm

They said it could take up to 8 weeks to fix my computer as there are three things wrong with it (and it might require the screen being replaced and parts being ordered from Japan, yikes). I'm not going to go that long without a computer or the internet. So, I've been putting money aside again in a laptop fund and we used it to buy a cheapie. It's a bit more than a Netbook, but it's an off brand so it was quite inexpensive. It has a great keyboard though, so I can keep up with my book writing and short stories, as well as this blog, my diet support group and online tracking software, and all the financial spreadsheets.

I downloaded Open Office. I'm not going to buy another MS Office program and the one I had can only be installed on one computer, and hopefully can actually be reinstalled on that one. But at least Open Office works for my writing and my financial spreadsheets, so yay.

The laptop cost $379 plus $33.35 in tax. It wiped out my laptop fund again, but I will start adding to it again next month. It came with a six month free trial run of Kaspersky anti-virus and I installed my free malware program as well.

DH and I are considering dropping the gym membership. With my knee the way it is, I have a hard time even swimming right now and he's in an off exercise phase. Maybe we can pick it up again after my knee heals from the next surgery, but for now it seems like a waste of money. We aren't on a contract anymore so no cancelling fee. Our other option is to opt out for three months. We'll figure it out.

Payday 11/4--Late to State It

November 13th, 2011 at 03:08 pm

Because I have been sort of avoiding a lot of stuff this month (not the bills, just the rest of the minutiae that goes along with recording things), I am finally getting around to listing what went out the payday before this one. I am trying to get back on the ball again.

$1180.00 to BoA CC
___14.08 Electricity Old House
___44.89 Phone Old House
___65.56 Internet
___39.37 Security System Old House
__500.00 Extra AMEX payment (to catch up)
__385.76 Mortgage Old House
__200.00 Laptop Fund
___55.00 Dance Class
__232.42 Medical Bills
__350.00 Grocery Staples Stock UP

We also spent about $250 on meals out that week and $61 for the stupid PTSA magazine drive for DS's middle school (I bought two kitchen gadgets and Fine Cooking magazine, which I buy anyway). The rest is still in checking.


September 16th, 2011 at 02:01 pm

I was surprised to find the paycheck about $300 less than it should have been. They took medical out, but it was still $300 short of what it usually is when they take medical out. I'll have to try to talk to DH about it tonight if I can get a hold of him. He's been very busy up there lately. The only thing I can think of is maybe the 401K deductions have started. They weren't supposed to start until October, but maybe they approved him short of a year on the job or something. It wouldn't be the first time. We got medical benefits after one month instead of three, so it's possible.

It's just a little frustrating because it meant I could only send $1700 to the VISA instead of the full $2000 I had intended to send. Two steps forward, one step back is what it feels like. I also sent $100 to the one MC. It's minimum payment was $31, but I couldn't do that. I know that other $69 could have gone to the VISA, but it just felt wrong to make such a tiny payment on the MC. I guess this was a kind of compromise.

I had to go to BoA in person today because I could not find my car loan statement. And they don't let you pay it online like you can the credit cards. I could set up an auto pay but I think DH has to sign the paperwork as well as me as the loan is in both our names, and he's not here. I had the number so they looked it up and applied it to the right thing, and I have a receipt to prove it if something goes awry.

I stopped at the BoA over by the gas station since I was over there, but they weren't open. At 9:30! Whatever happened to banker's hours? Maybe they are like one of my credit union branches that is open 11 to 7 instead. Anyway, I had to drive all the way down town to pay it.

I filled up the gas tank on the van. I was running on fumes (as in the display said I could drive for 12 more miles before I ran out of gas). It cost $61.82. I'd say ouch, but that's a pretty normal price for a full tank these days.

I paid for internet and the phone bill for the old house, got the amount of kids' allowances out from the CU, and sent $200 to the 18 months same as cash for the laptop (which brings the total down to $600). I've set aside $60 for physical therapy on Monday and $65 for DS's tae kwon do tornament fee. I took out $40 for me to take DD to go see a movie tomorrow and for incidentals this week.

I have $100 left in the checkbook for groceries. I decided it was okay to go close to the wire. If I hadn't I'd have only been able to send $1600 to the VISA. Since we are not eating out for the rest of the month I think we'll get by just fine with that amount. Anything left over at the end of the week will go to the coin jar and eventually the EF. This should be an easy grocery week since DD is spending the night at a friends and DS is going off with Mom to the decoy show. They tend to eat a lot more on weekends, so they will be doing that on someone else's dime which is nice.

Payday and EF Update

August 5th, 2011 at 08:08 pm

Somehow or other I messed up on the math on my EF. I'm not sure how, but I ended up with $54.64 more than I thought I had in my Emergency Fund. Maybe I forgot to record a transfer at some point. Still, better I have more than I thought than less than I thought, but I'll try to watch my math better in future.

Anyway, I added $56.50 to the Safety Net portion of the EF. That was the money from the coin jar, plus the money I did not spend in my wallet that I had leftover from the last pay period. That brings the amount at CU#2 to $363.53. I added $100.46 to the EF at ING, bringing the amount there to $1,495.93.

$1495.93 ING EF
+_363.53 Safety Net EF
$1,859.46 Total EF

I think I will make it my goal to squeeze out enough money somewhere to get the EF to $2000 by the end of the month. I added $2.71 to the coin jar today after grocery shopping, so I'm on my way, bit by bit, step by step.

To my holding tank I added $1000 for medical. I also added $100 there for property tax and $17 for dues.

Bills paid out of this paycheck:

$300.00 utilities to Mom
___9.00 owed son to reimburse for vacation trinket
__36.00 son's 6 week allowance
__65.00 daughter's 6 week allowance
_100.00 cash
_500.00 mortgage on old house
__39.37 security system on old house
_144.00 storage
__41.25 old house insurance
__83.98 car insurance
__37.61 life insurance DH
__32.70 life insurance me
__49.91 propane tank rental old house
_330.57 Laptop (18 months same as cash)

I've got a little over $400 left in checking. Really starting to feel like I'm pulling ahead of the whole paycheck to paycheck thing. It is a good feeling. No credit card payments this time, but almost the whole of next week's paycheck will go to that (and the car payment), so it's all good.

Oh, I paid extra on the mortgage. Like $124 extra to principle. This was because I was so close to being under $20,000 I couldn't stand to not pay the extra to make that first digit a 1.

Payday and Emergency Fund

July 8th, 2011 at 04:43 pm

I made my coin jar deposit at CU#2 into the safety net portion of the Emergency Fund. The exchange rate was excellent as between my $41 in American and $20 in Canadian, I had a deposit of $60.62. That's almost at par! Anyway that brings the safety net up to $307.03. I also transferred $100 to ING into the Emergency Fund there so my total EF between the two is now $1545.51, so I have hit my goal of $1500 in the EF by the end of August, and a whole month early. My next goal is to hit $2000.

I also paid bills today for the rest of the month. There is nothing else due between now and the 1st.

$__33.08 (4 prescriptions, medical)
$__90.00 (physical therapy, medical)
$___9.38 (walk in clinic, medical)
$_100.00 Cash Out
$__44.89 (phone, old house)
$__37.68 (garbage, new house)
$_125.00 (laptop, 18 months same as cash)
$__65.56 (internet)
$_100.00 Emergency Fund
$1000.00 Holding Tank for Medical
$_757.82 Car payment with an extra $250 to principal)
$_500.00 Holding Tank First week of August bills

The remaining amount of this paycheck will be spent on our road trip for hotels and food and $100 to clothes and toiletries. $1000 of next week's paycheck will be set aside for medical and $200 for groceries.

I'm really starting to feel like we are getting ahead of the game, paying bills early and setting aside money for future expenses. We are still a bit paycheck to paycheck, but I think we're pulling ahead now by a couple of weeks worth of expenses.

Bills and Shopping

May 16th, 2011 at 07:30 pm

First off, I put $3 in ones and $1.23 in coins into the coin jar today, eventually destined for the EF. I also went to the grocery store again as I had totally forgotten to buy deli meat for the kids' lunches when I did my big stock up. Plus we were out of fruit bars and rice bars so I got some of those as well, and they had a good milk sale going on, so I went ahead and stocked up a bit. The milk doesn't expire until the 25th so there is plenty of time to drink it and I shouldn't even have to set foot in a grocery store again for several days. I'm hoping at least ten days. I spent a total of $55.52.

I had physical therapy today so that's another $90 out the door. I really wish I didn't have to go every week but when I skip a week it starts getting hard to walk properly again, and the last thing I want is to go back to using a cane. It screws up my shoulder, scapula, elbow and arm and I end up limping which makes my other leg and hips hurt. I guess for now it is a necessary evil.

DH contacted me that he did suspend the Toyota payment for this month so I was able to pay the other two medical bills, $31.71 and $96.51. I also sent $100 off on the 18 months same as cash computer loan. Even though I have the money to pay this, I'd rather collect interest on it when I'm not being charged any interest o the loan, which will be paid for long before the time is up.

That house that we like so much has been taken off the market because it didn't sell. I am hoping that means they are going to let it sit for six months and then relist and make it look like a new listing. With all the information I've gathered about that house, if it is put back on sale by the time we are ready to buy again, we can probably get the price way down, since no one has bought it despite three price reductions and I'm thinking they'll just be happy to be rid of it at that point.

DS went back to school today and he had a good day and had no pain. He didn't eat breakfast though and he didn't want to take a lunch because they got out early. I made him take a couple of rice bars so he'd at least have something if he did get hungry. His appetite is way off though since the surgery. He's lost five pounds and if he keeps eating like that he's going to lose more. Which considering he was 10 pounds overweight at his last physical isn't a bad thing but I don't want his nurition to suffer at the same time. He did eat half a piece of chicken, some watermelon, some potatoes and a glass of milk for dinner though so at least he isn't starving.

DD is doing well on her prediabetes diet. Her face has gone from being quite round to having a pointy chin and cheekbones and she's only been on the diet since the 3rd. That's only 13 days. She says all of her tops are getting loose, too. I've been following the diet for the last 4 days and I can already see a change in my face and feel a change in jeans as well. So it seems it is working quite well for us both.

I watched the documentary Fat Head (after someone here rec'd it) the other day with the kids (they got such a kick out of it, it's so funny and entertaining) and it really describes well what has happened over the last couple decades in our country. Plus it really explains in a very understandable way how insulin works with protein and how it works with carbs. I'd definitely rec it to anyone who wants to learn why our weights in America are so screwed up. It's not new information (at least to me) but it is presented in a way that would be very helpful for those who haven't done the reserach themselves.

Finished reading The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritson. I swear that woman has a very grisly mind, but her books are can't put them down sorts. I'm already well into The Keepsake. It is so nice to be able to read again. Now that I'm used to them my trifocals are worth their weight in gold.

Also bought gas today. $44.74 for 10.92 gallons at $4.09 per gallon. Yeeps.

BoA Master Card #2 Almost Gone

April 8th, 2011 at 05:17 pm

Today is payday and I made a payment of $2500 to the BoA Master Card. That leaves me with $887.89 to pay off next week and then that puppy is done. (Well, there will probably be an interest fee that comes in as soon as it is paid off but I'll pay that right away, too). I need to move the two autopays off that card and on to another one so there is absolutely nothing left on it. It comes to $133.43 each month (so that is why the numbers are a bit off down below).

Big Grin I am so excited because that will leave us with only one credit card left with a balance on it. Evil Empire, your hold on me and mine is getting looser and looser!

So anyway, money out today:

$2500.00 BoA MC
--300.00 to Mom for utilities
---39.37 for security system at old house
--100.00 to the Emergency Fund
--141.96 to Verizon
---84.62 major toiletries stock up
--100.00 Cash
---55.00 Entertainment

I have $286 left in the checkbook and will probably spend about $50 of that on food this week, but the rest will go into next week's bills.

I had $40 leftover from last week's cash so I put that in the laptop fund. I had $1.17 in coins that I put into the coin jar.

I added $100 to the emergency fund. Taxes have been removed from my calculations now so that brings the new EF total to $377.36. It feels weird to be starting almost all the way over again with the EF. In May I'll be able to make a much larger contribution.

New credit card debt totals:

$20,157.03 BoA VISA
+---887.89 BoA MC
$21,044.92 Total owed to the Evil Empire

$22.947.81 Previous credit card balance owed
-21,044.93 Amount Left on credit cards
$--1903.01 Amount of change on balance

Found More Coins and Menu Planning (Today and Tomorrow)

April 5th, 2011 at 09:06 pm

I was cleaning out my dresser tonight as I have two drawers in it that I've been using as a temporary filing cabinet until I got around to actually filing or shredding some papers and when I got to the bottom of one, I found a stash of loose change. It was mostly pennies, but it amounted to $1.82 so I tossed that in the coin jar (after rolling up 2 rolls of pennies). I had totally forgot it was there, but once I saw it I had a perfect memory of scraping a bunch of change into a drawer before we moved here from the old house, so it's just been sitting in there since January of 2010.

Since DS wants to go to "his" CU tomorrow to deposit his allowance (he's saving up for a Nintendo 3DS), I figured I may as well make a deposit myself into the laptop fund since it's in the same CU. With the two rolls of pennies, a 50 cent piece, and all the ones I have in the coin jar, it will come to $12.50.

Not too bad. Sometimes I feel a little silly for making such little deposits, but then I remind myself that little deposits add up and if I end up paying for my laptop with pennies and ones than so be it. I've been managing to scrape up about $100 a month doing this, rebating, and adding what is leftover in my purse each week. At least it will be paid for with no interest due.

Here is today's menu planning which I tried to post last night, but the internet ate it:

pancakes (.50)
eggs (free from chickens)
homemade brown sugar syrup (.20)
Milk (1.50)
Total $2.20

Leftover spaghetti (free)
Fruit smoothies ($2)
Total $2

Homemade pizza
--dough (.50)
--leftover homemade spaghetti sauce
--pepperoni ($2)
--Canadian bacon ($2)
--mozarella cheese ($2)
Milk (1.50)
Total $8

Total for day: $12.20


Blueberry muffins (.50)
Bacon ($2)
Milk ($1.50)
Total $4

Leftover pizza (free)
oranges ($1.50)
Total $1.50

Beef pot roast ($9.89)
Broccoli ($1)
Cauliflower ($1)
Can of corn ($1)
Milk ($1.50)
Total $14.39

Total for day: $19.89

There will be leftover pot roast and possibly leftover broccoli and cauliflower as well for another meal, so even though Wednesday's food is higher in price it will reduce the price of one of Thursday's meals.

No Money Out Today

April 3rd, 2011 at 02:44 pm

Today is a no spend day. I cleaned out my purse and found $2.12 to put in the coin jar. That will go into the laptop fund eventually when there are enough coins in there to roll them. I also added $11 in ones.

Tonight I will sit down and balance the checkbook and then finish doing the rest of this week's bills. I did about half of them on Friday, so need to stop procrastinating and do the rest of them. I will do that after we get back from the pool and have had supper.

I really need to start posting my meal planning again. I won't do today's since it was all leftovers except about $4 worth of milk. But I need to plan out tomorrow's food. It'll be less than usual as DD is spending the day with one of her friends. It's spring break. So she will eat lunch and dinner there.

Finally! A Few Finallys Actually

March 31st, 2011 at 01:57 pm

I finally got correspondence from the courthouse today. 4 days before the date of service. Not the greatest way to operate, county of mine. My jury duty has been deferred to 11/28. The heart of cold and flu season. Ah, well. Hopefully by then everything will be resolved with the surgery and if I push vitamins and get plenty of sleep next November I'll actually be well and in the right place in my healing to do it this time. At least DS will be in middle school then and DD can walk over there after the high school lets out and walk him home (or hop on the city bus) if DH is in Alaska then or Mom can't pick them up.

My flu is finally going away. I woke up today feeling about 80% decent. Still a ton of congestion and drainage, but no brain fog at all, no joint or muscle aches, no chills, no headache. Still have a fever of 99.5 and still pretty tired (but more of a general tired than the I need to sleep for a week and that still might not be enough tired), but feeling much more capable of actually living my life.

I went to the dentist today, another finally. I haven't been since 2008. Which was incredibly stupid but it was impossible almost when I was still homeschooling and living in the county to go. I should have at least got in there in September when the kids started school. Better late than never I suppose. Unfortunately I have 2 cavities. I haven't had a cavity in about 15 years. Darn it.

Anyway, they are going to do some major cleaning and fill the cavities in three weeks, both while under ansethetic because a couple of teeth in the back have some serious issues. Nothing that can't be fixed, but it will be painful without anesthetic so the dentist figured he could kill two birds with one stone. I really like him. This is my first time with him though DH and the kids have been going to him and his wife for a couple of years now.

They gave me an estimate of my portion of the dental bill for when I have that done. It'll be just shy of $367. Well. I'm definitely going to have to hold back some of the money I was planning to send to Master Card after all. So be it. At least I will have the money to pay it and not have to charge it. Or maybe part of the VISA payment. Yeah, actually, that's a better idea. DH only made minimal charges on the VISA this month. If I pay what he charged plus the interest, plus $100 extra to principle, I should have about $500 (out of the normal $1000 paymetn) I can spend on medical/dental instead.

Why didn't I think of that before? Then I can go ahead and pay off the Master Card in April just like I planned. Then things should really ease up. We'll have debt left only on the VISA.

I'm making spaghetti tonight with my special homemade sauce. Mom's providing hamburger, though probably just the kids and her will eat that. I tend to get pretty filled up on my spaghetti sauce and noodles without protein. I generally don't like to eat such a carb heavy meal without protein to balance it, but I had a very protein heavy brunch today and I'm not sure I could face a hunk of meat tonight to be honest.

I'll try to get back to meal planning for real this weekend. Since I'm squeezing an extra $100 out of the grocery budget to set aside for medical, I really need to be on the ball with it this month.

I went over to the CU that has the kids' accounts today and deposited $5 in each of their accounts. My daughter's account was in danger of becoming dormant and being closed and sent to the state so I needed to put something in it to make it active. I put an equal amount in my son's account to be fair. He's the saver of the two kids so his account was still active. He's saving up for the new Nintendo 3DS. All of his allowance and most of his recycling money.

That's also where the laptop fund is so I added the shampoo rebate check and the propane rebate check to that account. I also got it set up again so I can do it online. That way when it comes time to make a payment on the laptop I can just go online and transfer the money from savings to checking.

I finally found where DH put the packaging for the Brita stuff and got the two UPC codes so I can send in that $10 rebate tomorrow. That will eventually go to the laptop fund, too.

Payday tomorrow. I need to finish setting up this month's budget spreadsheet. It'll be nice to actually start paying on some stuff again after this two week pause. Geesh, I never thought I'd be excited to pay bills, but this is a big month for us.

Money in the Mail

March 30th, 2011 at 04:03 pm

I received a check today from our propane company for $10.53. It's a farmer's co-op so every year we get a little bit back for being members. It's never very much, but I always figure every little bit counts. So that will go into the laptop fund.

I've been fiddling with the budget while setting up the spreadsheet for April. I think I can manage to set aside an extra $300 for medical expenses without dipping into how much I want to send to debt repayment. It would mean no money added to the EF this month, but I'd rather have it around for the incoming medical bills.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I'm afraid it's going to hurt. I bit my tongue really hard on Monday and I figured it would be healed by now, but it still hurts. But I don't want to reschedule again. I already did when I had the flu for several weeks. Since most of my symptoms are gone now (just have the congestion and tiredness), I'd really like to just get it over with.

I still have not received a release from the courthouse for jury duty or a statement saying I have to report in despite the doctor's note excusing me. I'm really starting to get annoyed. Monday is not that far away. They really are not on the ball at all about this. Since I have to be notified "in writing" for it to be official they need to get moving. I will call them tomorrow if there is nothing in the mail.

I also still have not been called back by the doctor about being referred to Virginia Mason. Not like I can make an appointment until after I know what's going on with jury duty, but the lack of professionalism is really starting to grate on me. How hard is it to return a phone call and do your job?

Last Bills from this Paycheck

March 15th, 2011 at 12:48 am

I picked up 8 temporary checks from the Credit Union today so I could write out the rest of my bills. They were:

Garbage for this house--$50.65
HSBC/Best Buy for laptop (took out of laptop fund)--$100.00
Comcast Phone for old house--$44.92 (complaining did me some good!)
Comcast internet for this house--$65.55
AAA Yearly Renewl Fee--$121
Car Tabs--$75.77

I also had physical therapy today so $90 for that. I was able to walk down the stairs today one foot per stair instead of two feet per stair. I'm starting to see some actual progress on my knee.

Then the car payment is due on the 19th which is a Saturday, so that won't come out until the 21st. I've the money set aside for that and will transfer it on Friday the 18th.

I found $1 in change on the floor of the old house while we were cleaning today so that went into the coin jar. Tomorrow we are going to go do some more work out at the house and make a dump run so we will be borrowing FIL's truck which means putting at least 3 gallons of gas in when we are done. So that'll be $10.40 or so.

Wednesday we might go out again, but will have to be back before six at night for DS's science fair. I hope it's one of those things where only a brief appearance is needed. I'm still feeling under the weather and DD is quite ill. If I can pop my head in and oo and aw over things and then leave DH to hang around and do the parental thing, that would be nice.

We have to go to the court house in the morning to pay for car tabs and find out why we haven't been mailed our propterty tax bill yet, since it's due April 30 and they usually send them out in February. They might still have the wrong address. I need to see about getting my temporary disabled parking permit. Should only need it for six months if all goes well surgically.

I need to fill out my juror's questionaire and then enclose the doctor's note with it excusing me and mail that in.

We might go out on Thursday as well. I have to do a lot of sitting down and supervising DH, but I do what I can. And it keeps him company. We won't go out on Friday because that is our 16th wedding anniversary and we're going to a nice steakhouse for dinner. We had talked about a movie but it's really hard on my bad knee to be straight down on the groung like that. It needs to be elevated after about an hour to an hour and half and most movies today are far longer than that. So maybe we'll just watch a DVD together when we get home.

I have a feeling it's going to be long week.

Laptop Fund and Tomorrow's Meal Planning

March 13th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Well, I just went through my wallet and DH's to retrieve one dollar bills like I do at least once a week and I found $4 between us. I also emptied both of spare change and had $1.72 for the coin jar. It looked like I had enough quarters for a roll and I did, and I thought I'd count pennies as well and had exactly 50, so that's another $10.50, so altogether I have $14.50 to add to the laptop fund. Doesn't make up for the $50 I had to take out for DH's carelessness, but it's a start.

Tomorrow's meal planning:

Pancakes with real maple syrup ($2)
Eggs (free, from chickens)
Milk ($2)

Total: $4

PB and H sandwich (.50)
orange (.50)
rice cereal bar (.50)

2 adults, plus DD (too sick to go to school)
Chicken noodle soup ($1.39)
Chili (.79)
Grilled cheese sandwiches with ham ($3)
1 can pineapple ($1)
yogurt ($2)

Total: $9.68

--lettuce (.50)
--cheese ($2)
--hamburger ($1.73)
--taco shells ($1.39)
--homemade seasoning (.50)
Milk ($2)

Total: $8.12

Total for day: $21.80

Payday Odds and Ends

March 4th, 2011 at 04:23 pm

Today is payday. I'm still figuring stuff out as far as the bills go. We went to Costco and bought $45.14 worth of food and a case of toilet paper. We don't need to do any major shopping this week at all. We will have to pick up milk, de-icer spray for the car windows, and jeans for DH, but that should be it.

I have to set money aside for the cell phone due on the 12th, the VISA due on the 21st, the MC due on the 17nth, and the car payment due on the 19th. Ticket prices have gone up on airfare and DH had to buy one this time around for a total of $950. Ouch. That's about $250 higher than usual. I'm sure that's due to gas and oil prices going up so high right now. Add that to the $70 for the hotel and the $40 for travel food, plus the interest for the month and that VISA is basically going to just be standing still this month. I am glad I already made an extra $1000 payment to it last week.

I was going to make an extra payment to the AMEX but I think I will hold off on that until the 1st and just make an extra large payment then instead. It's not due until April 3 anyway. The extra will go to the Master Card instead. For now I will transfer $3000 to the holding tank and then pay those bills closer to when they are due. Two weeks of interest isn't much, but it's something.

I added 34 cents to the change jar and $85 to the laptop fund.

$475.44 beginning laptop fund balance
$+85.00 amount added
$560.44 ending laptop fund balance

I got the statement from Best Buy for the laptop in the mail today. They only require a $25 payment. Sheesh. I'll be sending them $100 a month. Even though I have 18 months to pay it off without interest, I am not even going to come close to not paying it off in time. It's due on the 22nd, so I'll take $100 out of the laptop fund to pay it, and continue adding what I can to the fund as I go.

Payday--Money Out

February 25th, 2011 at 05:31 pm

Today is payday and Iím really happy with how things shaped up.

$1000 to BoA VISA. This is the second payment this month and this one goes completely to principle since the one I made last week was to cover all of DHís work travel expenses and the monthly interest charge.

$1000 to Momís 0% interest loan, dropping the amount we now owe her to $91,000.00. We have 7 years and 8 monthsí worth of payments to go. We have paid off $19,000.00 so far. This was originally all medical debt.

$300 to Mom to help her with utilities.

$34 to the EF and $1 to the holding tank since the electric bill for the old house was $1 less than Iíd budgeted for. That brings the holding tank to $204.30 and the EF to $7468.65, with $1000 of that in the safety net at the local CU and the rest in ING.

$20 for the electric bill at the old house

$212.66 for term life insurance for me and DH, house insurance on old house, and car insurance

$39.37 security system on old house

$131 to storage

$200 to AMEX

$375.86 to mortgage on old house

$407.75 on propane

I have a couple hundred left for groceries and miscellaneous items for the week. I doubt I will spend it all. Any extra will go to the laptop fund. I did spend $60.11 on Chinese food from the no MSG place. I got enough to have several meals out of it so I donít have to cook while I am still so sick. I really wish this cold would leave. I am just too out of it to cook like normal. I hate spending that much money but itís good food with lots of veg so I donít feel too bad about it.

Out of next weekís payday I will pay an additional $500 to AMEX, $500 to the holding tank for medical, $124 to renew AAA, $1000 to the EF and $1000 to the holding tank for the two week period of no paycheck. There should be about $600 left and $300 of that will go to the property tax portion of the holding tank, $100 to the laptop fund, $100 for groceries and $100 for miscellaneous. If there is anything beyond that it will go to the laptop fund. The payday after that, which is only two and a half dayís pay will also be for stretching across the two week period of no paycheck.

I took back the 3 cans of chicken and rice soup I bought on Tuesday by accident and got 3 cans of chicken and stars soup in exchange. The price had dropped 10 cents a can on the new sale week, so I got 30 cents back in change. Also at the Chinese place the lady didnít want to use so many pennies by giving me back the 14 cents she owed me so she gave me 15 cents instead, so thatís a total of 45 cents to the coin jar today. I also grabbed some penny wrappers while I was at the CU paying the mortgage, so I can roll coins today and add that to next weekís laptop fund deposit.

All in all a satisfying payday and I canít wait until next week when everything posts and I can update my numbers again and see some real progress this time.

Oh, and DH has heard from three different people, one his direct supervisor that heíll be getting a raise in April at the six month mark. It will add $525 to his gross income for a six week pay cycle if the amount he was told is correct, so Iím thinking we will at least get $400 of it and that can go to debt repayment probably. If Iíve done the numbers right, with that extra amount we should hit the end of the year no problem with having BoA paid off completely. Iím not counting it yet, though, in my budget. Itís one of those things where Iíll believe it when I see it.

The BoA VISA should now have a little over $3000 between what we owe and what the limit is on it, so with that cushion there I am going to now switch to paying only $1500 on the BoA VISA each month (expenses, plus interest, plus about $100 to principle) and take the extra $1000 and add it to the $400 payment we make on the BoA Master Card. That will pay it off by the end of May and then weíll be able to pay $2900 to the VISA each month until it is paid off. I may try to scrape up an extra $100 each time to make it $3000. Weíll see whatís available.

Once that is done the money will then go to finish paying off the car, unless DH talks me into trading in the Matrix for a Sienna sooner than we planned.
If we stick to the plan, we should be out of debt, except what we owe to Mom, by the middle of 2012, possibly sooner if he gets the raise.

Mom doesnít want us paying her back any faster than $1000 a month because she is using that to supplement her income from social security (and saving as much of it as she can for the future). She likes having it come in steadily and our system seems to be working for everyone.

Edited to add: I was cleaning out an old purse and found $1.95 in coins. I then rolled coins and I have $7.50 to add to the laptop fund.

$467.94 beginning laptop fund balance
$=07.50 amount added
$475.44 ending laptop fund balance

Numbers Update and New Laptop

February 24th, 2011 at 02:08 pm

I am getting so frustrated with my blog entries disappearing into cyberspace. This will be my fourth attempt. I made two last night and one this morning before giving up and banging my head against the wall. But I am writing this one in Word and will try to copy it into the box and hopefully this time it will work.

Iíve got new numbers after all of last weekís payments finally posted to their accounts after the holiday.

$20895.77 New amount owed to BoA VISA.
$4342.92 New amount owed to BoA MC
$25,238.69 Total still owed to the Evil Empire

This is only a small change of $322.95, despite paying $1500 between the two. The VISA (which is an air miles reward card) has over $400 of interest each month because the balance is so high. DH spends about $1000 each month on that card for travel expenses to and from work (airline ticket, hotel overnight, food), so most of that payment is used up between interest and travel. However the $1000 payment I will be making tomorrow will more or less all go towards principle so after it posts we will see actual progress there.

The mortgage is down to $21,778.32 after the last payment posted and the car loan is down to $16,236.70.

My computer pretty much completely died on me. Or maybe itís more like it went into a coma. Itís still alive but doesnít respond to any outside stimuli. I was able to get off all my documents, videos and music before it did that, but not all of my pictures. I have copies of all the family photos and vacation photos on my portable hard drive and DH has them on his computer, too. But all of my fandom photos and icons that werenít saved in other places are still on there, along with all my favorite wallpapers for the desktop. Itís not the end of the world, but I still hate to lose them. I am hoping DH can manage to get them off for me by taking out the hard drive and using a portable hard drive adapter to transfer it off.

Anyway, so even though I hadnít saved up the full replacement cost of a new computer I bought one yesterday anyway. It was almost like the one I had been planning on, but it has a number keypad and was $81 less. Itís black, but I can get a skin for it if I get tired of black for just a little bit of money. Anyway, they had 18 months same as cash and I qualified for it based on household income even though I donít have my own outside the house job.

Regardless I am going to continue adding to my computer fund. When the first payment is due I will subtract it from the fund and continue saving money towards it. That way I can earn my paltry 1% interest. I will do that until I have the full payoff amount saved and then just pay the rest of it off well before the 18 months no interest are up. And yes, I will be sure to check my statements each month and make sure they arenít playing games with the minimum amount owed, like others have caught them doing. Iíll pay over that amount anyway each month. To that end I added $9 to the laptop fund and 46 cents to the coin jar.

$458.94 Beginning laptop fund balance
$+09.00 Amount added
$467.94 Ending laptop fund balance

I am glad payday is tomorrow. I have $17 left in checking which I will add to the EF safety net tomorrow since I donít need to buy anything today.

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