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This is the second two week paycheck. DH got 20 hours of overtime this pay period. This is the first week that money was taken out for the 401K. We are having 5% (because that is the match) taken out. It will go up when we have finished paying off the Mom Loan. The next paycheck on the 7th will be when the insurances start being taken out. We will have medical, dental, and vision (all separate), plus some additional life insurance on DH. This will bring up the amount of life insurance coverage on DH to $400,000. I want to get more on DH (it should be 10 times your income), but it may be a while before we can.
$1000.00 Monster Mom Loan
__400.00 Grocery Envelope
__400.00 Medical Fund
__100.00 Household Envelope
__100.00 Car Insurance Fund
___56.83 Life Insurance DH
___45.30 Life Insurance Me
___50.00 Allowance DH
___50.00 Allowance Me
___90.00 Allowance DS
___30.00 Allowance DD
__100.00 Clothing Envelope
__100.00 Christmas Envelope
__100.00 Laptop Fund
$3482.94 Total Money Out
I did go out today and pick up ice, watermelon, and a fan. I went with a cowboy style bandanna on and no one really gave me any weird looks. More "I wish I had thought of that" looks, than anything else. I ordered some masks with filters off of Amazon and paid for the fast shipping and they should be here on Thursday. Hopefully earlier in the day than later. As long as they are here before the big grocery shop on Friday, though.
We made it pretty well through the two week grocery shop and I'm going to try it again on Friday. There are some good beef and fish sales this week and chicken is always cheap at Winco. We did run out of some things, so I will adjust my shopping list accordingly, but it was nice not to feel like I was constantly running to the grocery store.
I need to figure out my new two week meal plan based off the ads and what we have on hand. That worked out pretty well for us. I will have to go to Costco this week as we are down to just one pound of butter, so I will probably get broccoli florets and possibly cauliflower florets while there. I hate cutting them up and the stuff they do there is cheaper than getting full crowns elsewhere. I also need to get some Ziploc bags out of the household budget. Not much else, though.
Well, maybe a new printer, but that comes out of the Laptop Fund, and only if they have an HP. The Canons keep breaking after only a year. They never used to be like this, but the last three have been, so I'm done with brand loyalty. My laptop is an HP anyway. I'm getting tired of not being able to scan or print anything, especially recipes.
We did do a couple meals of takeaway this week. It was on canning days and I was wiped. We got Pizza Hut one night and McDonalds another. I will try to not do that this week, though. I don't want to fall back into old habits.
I am 12 days into my diet and have lost 9 pounds. I hope it sticks this time. I am so tired of being overweight and I know it doesn't help with my immune system issues. I can't really exercise. It is too hot inside and outside is still having ashfall. I might go to the mall and walk if I get some time. I still have pears to can. Applesauce was today. And I want to get some green beans and gold potatoes for canning as well.
Rain is still in the forecast, but instead of just being Saturday and Sunday it is now saying Friday, too. I hope so. We need it so badly.
So the paycheck this week was only $666.11. Yeah, that's always a lovely number to see. The reason for this is that his former employer said he could just take the insurance for August out of his last paycheck for July so no one has to deal with COBRA paperwork, so that is what we chose to do. The new insurance starts on September 1st. It seemed the easiest of all options.
I also got my Thrive Life paycheck and my youtube/google paycheck, which are small, but that number is reflected in the tithe. I transferred $1500 out of savings, $500 of which I am saving for next week, to make up the difference. That $500 will be for groceries, medical, and household for that one week and then we'll get the two week paycheck and be on a bi-weekly budget.
$800.00 Monster Mom Loan
__56.83 DH Life Insurance
__45.30 My Life Insurance
_200.00 Grocery Envelope
_200.00 Medical Fund
__50.00 Household Envelope
_100.00 DH and My Monthly Blow Money
_100.00 DD's Birthday
1679.45 Total Money Out
The dates and times have been off on the blogs for several weeks now. Right now I will post this on November 23 and it will say it is November 24th. The time used to be concurrent with whatever time zone you were in as well, but it now is half a day or so off. I think the code is broken somewhere.
Has anyone heard from or seen Julie lately?
It is now legal to catch catfish with a pitchfork in Illinois. Anyone from Illinois care to explain your state to me? I hope everyone has a good year. I sure could use one. I would like wealth, health, and happiness from 2017. Or you know, just a good job for DH with medical benefits.
My normal ability to look on the bright side and find the silver lining has waned an awful lot this past year. Let me think of what I could come up with to be optimistic about. Hmm...well, the ducks are laying eggs again. There are 11 healthy kits in the rabbit shed. I have gotten amazingly good at knitting socks on the loom. We are still out of consumer debt. The garden is still going under the low tunnels despite several snow falls. And I have a freezer full of meat and shelves full of home canned food so we are still good on that count. We have a house over our heads. We still have over $40K in our savings account.
Hopefully we will have some bigger things to be optimistic about soon. They've started putting up more oil job listings. Some of them are slope jobs which would be ideal as that is what we are used to and my grocery budget could go back to normal. The moment DH has an income again we are going to get him enrolled in a University that will let him do everything online, so he can get his B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Right now he has an A.S. in that and a certificate in Architecture for a two year program he did in the tech school right before they turned into a college and started issuing A.S.'s instead of certificates.
We may start him doing it anyway even if he hasn't found a job by the time the unemployment runs out. So much stuff says B.S. or equal on the job experience, but they'll often choose the guy with the B.S. first even if he has no experience. DH has learned so much on his job he could have a masters degree in it, but without that piece of paper, unless they have worked with him before, he is at a disadvantage.
DH is also thinking that if he purchased the online subscription to Auto Cad that he could pick up some freelance work.
The book is coming along. I have set a goal and that is to write at least 1000 words a day on it. Since I've written 15,000 words a week when I have my groove on, I think a mere 7000 is a good goal that won't have me feeling overwhelmed in case my muse leaves the building.
We'll be dipping into the farm down payment fund. We have officially spent all but $1000 of the Emergency Fund.
I don't really count New Year's as a holiday. It's not something we really celebrate as everyone is always in bed well before midnight. So once Christmas has passed I feel like I'm free and clear.
We did not end up going out to the in-laws on Christmas Day. We stayed home. FIL's white cell count was too low to be around anyone who was sick and everyone is sick. Except I am finally coming out the end of it. But MIL and FIL cancelled it. SIL threw a tantrum, because her holiday being ruined was apparently more important than FIL's life and fight against cancer. She got stood up to, though. I wasn't sure they'd do it, but this is the second time this year they have.
Apparently SIL bought a turkey and was going to make it herself. I really want to hear how that turned out since SIL does not know how to cook and has never roasted a chicken, let alone a turkey, in her life. I don't want to hear bad enough to call her, though. I was just relieved to have a quiet, peaceful day at home, not ruined by her scream-fighting with one of her daughters.
We had a very laid back Christmas. Very minimalist. We had our little 18 inch tree set up, still decorated from last year, that we store on the top shelf of our closet. We took it out a few days before Christmas. We just don't have the room to put up a bigger tree and even if we did, the hassle of putting one up is more than anyone wanted to deal with anyway. Most of the presents were handmade, though I did get the 30 year anniversary collector's edition of Labyrinth, my favorite childhood movie.
My son made me a beautiful turkey platter in his pottery class that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It was completely hand-built, no potter's wheel. I really love it.
I am glad we got the chance to really enjoy Christmas this year. I hope everyone else did as well.
$2897.63 Starting Balance
+__10.00 Weekly Deposit from 7/9
$2907.63 Ending Balance
$1092.37 to go to hit my goal of $4K.
I have spent a lot on produce this weekend. I guess I am feeling nutrient starved or something (could have something to do with all the potato chips I've been eating this month). Or maybe I'm just holding onto that last gasp of summer fruits and veggies. Anyway, I am planning very carefully to not let any of it spoil.
I've been investigating some new recipes as well and will try out two this week.
Chorizo con huevoes
Corn on the cob
Steamed yellow summer squash
Black pepper chicken stir-fry (has lots of fresh veggies)
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams
Homemade pizza with pepperoni, ham, yellow onions, and bell pepper strips
Bacon cheeseburgers on homemade buns
Every time I use a punctuation mark like an apostrophe, or a comma, or quotation marks, it is surrounded with back slashes. It is not just me either. I've seen it on the blogs of everyone today too. Is this just a glitch in the system?
I tried to post last night but it wouldn't let me. It also wouldn't allow me to comment on my own blog or anyone else's despite being logged in. I even tried logging out and logging back in. So this is just a test post to see if the problem is over.
Not one he applied for, just one that was offered to him. And it's not what I would consider all that great, just good. Where he's at he has work for 2 to 5 years at a high rate of pay. He's finally on a 2 on 2 off schedule. The medical benefits aren't great but they are decent. The 401K has no match at all, but it exists. The yearly bonus is 5% of gross pay for the year.
The other job would be a pay cut. It would be a step backwards in the work he does as well. There'd be no guarantee what type of schedule he would work but it would likely be back to 3 on 3 off or 4 on 2 off. No idea about bonuses. The benefits are excellent, top notch for the industry. And the 401K is really, really good. Plus it is an almost unheard of type of job security in his industry. Basically he'd be set for the rest of his life in this company and barring something really stupid, never have to worry about his job again. And he could move up to what he's doing now if an opening came up.
The thing is, if we were out of debt I would seriously consider it. So would he. Just for the security. We already live on less than half his income, the rest goes to debt repayment. We had a good talk and we are even more determined to finish paying off our credit card debt this year and get the house fixed up enough to sell it. We sell the house and we dump the money into paying off the car and whatever is left we start saving for the downpayment and college. Then we are debt free completely and cashflowing college.
My mother has been intimating that we should just stay here at least until my sophomore graduates from high school. Mom may drive me crazy sometimes, but I worry about her being on her own, and not sure she could afford to heat this house without us paying the gas and electric, plus we pay the garbage and internet. If we move out I'd want my eldest sister to move in again. Mom's not ready for assisted living, but she does tend to forget to drink water and gets herself dehydrated, especially in the summer, and she does fall a lot even if she's never seriously hurt by it (strong bones).
We are also talking about getting a smaller house possibly when we do buy so we can have a smaller mortgage. Just a three bedroom instead of a four. After all DD will be going to college and she may need a place to crash during summers, but after graduation she plans to go teach in Korea, so she won't need a permanent bed to come back to. The other thing I have considered is that setting her up in a small one bedroom somewhere for the summer, or having her stay at with my mother, might be cheaper than taking out a bigger mortgage for a bigger house. I just don't know, but it is something to consider.
Plus, DS will start college the year after she finishes so is there really any point in having a large house at this stage in our lives? I mean, all a large house really does is encourage adult children to move back in. (Yes, we are a case in point, I realize that, but our reasons were medical and medical debt, not just because it's easier). I suppose that is enough musing for one night.
A few days ago, or possibly a week or more ago, someone posted a vid where someone using cash at a hotel instead of a credit card was considered to be highly suspicious and possibly a terrorist. It's not the short UK radio ad. I'm pretty sure it was an American add because I don't recall them having non-American accents. I think it was on the blogs here, but it might have been in the forums. I wanted to show it to my husband but now I can't find it. Anyone know what I'm talking about and can give me the link?
Why is a post I wrote yesterday showing up as being written today about an hour and a half ago? It's jumped postion up the list and it looks like several other blogs have been reordered also.
Today was kind of off target because of DD's surgery. Neither of us ate breakfast and DS had it with his grandmother so that was free.
DS and Me
chicken noodle soup (1.49)
grilled ham and cheese sandwiches ($2)
Homemade vanilla milkshake ($2)
Leftover spaghetti sauce (free)
Freshly made spaghetti (.50)
Homemade garlic bread (just crushed garlic and butter brushed on homemade buns) (.50)
Grand total for day: $8.49
Well, yesterday was my blogoversary. It's been two years since I started this blog here at SavingAdvice. I'm not going to write some epic about how coming to this community and starting this blog saved my life. Though I suppose it did. Financially anyway. But for any of you who have been reading me for awhile know, I already had my life saved and that's how I got into the financial hole in the first place. So throwing around phrases like "coming here saved my life" seems a bit anti-climactic after the three years of hospital hell, actual life-saving, and medical debt that brought me here, you know?
Still, that being said, being here helped me get my head on straight at a time when nothing else probably could have done. Yes, we're still in a lot of debt but its so much better than it was and so much better than it could be if I hadn't come here. So thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. It means a lot.
I seem to be getting back into the groove, too. Both in posting more regularly and in getting my budget back into some semblance of order. That's always a good thing. And I'm going to keep my eyes firmly focused on it. At least that's my goal.
Anyway, on to the savings update. Today was the day of the weekly deposit to the CU of $10, so I transferred that to ING. $300 here I come! Then $500, then $1000. It's good to be back in the savings game.
$267.41 beginning balance
$ 10.00 weekly deposit
$277.41 ending balance
Okay, so we pretty much wiped out our savings account making essential car repairs last month and the month before that. I'm pretty much starting over from scratch. My goal is to get it back up to a level that I'm comfortable with, so here we go.
$ 97.41 starting balance
$ 70.00 7X $10 weekly deposit
$100.00 monthly deposit
$267.41 ending balance
The $70 is made up of my $10 weekly deposit that automatically gets deposited in my savings account each week, but that I have been too lazy to transfer to my higher interest account each week like I used to do. Bad habit and one I'm going to be getting right out of again, starting on Thursday with the next auto deposit. The $100 is the monthly deposit for April. Well, it's not really a monthly deposit, it's an every four weeks deposit, because DH is on a 28 day pay cycle as it works out. But close enough to monthly for me to call it that.
I'm going to start doing my surveys again to help build this fund back up and start rolling coins again, too. How did I get so lazy about saving money? Just because we have a better income is no excuse for this kind of laziness. Time for me to really get on the ball again.
I went to the Doctor today for a follow up visit on my sinus infection. I'm still infected so he gave me a sample pack of a different medication and a perscription for a second course of it if I need it, which he thinks I will. He also gave me a $25 refund coupon for it as well. I love my doctor!
While I was there I got my maintenance perscriptions for the mail order pharmacy refilled. Our insurance company is now refusing to refill maintenance perscriptions at local pharmacies, but they didn't bother to issue a statement saying so. They'll still fill perscriptions for antibiotics or new perscriptions (once) but nothing long term. Sucks. I know it's cheaper to use the mail order but sometimes the convenience of being able to go get it that day outweighs that. *sighs* Still, that's one more thing that I've got to get strict about again anyway.
Anyway, so that's a $15 co-pay for the Doctor's visit today. I recieved a refund check from my daughter's orthodontist of $246.50, which will go to pay for hospital bills incurred earlier this year when Rose spiked a 104.7 degree fever with a violent flu and we had to take her to the emergency room to lower her temperature and have her given an antispasmodic because she couldn't stop coughing.
We spent $33.69 at the grocery store for bread, milk, cereal and lots of fish in the reduced for quick sale bin, both cod and salmon. We don't usually buy cereal but they had it on sale five for $5 and you can't beat that, even if it is just really snack food and not breakfast food around here.
We took Rose to soccer practice and DH was like a little boy showing off the new car to the soccer coach. He was the same way when we stopped by the chiropractor, too. Not that I blame him. It's a pretty car. *laughs*
DH's parents gave us $100 for an anniversary gift (our 13th was last month). We haven't decided what to do with it yet. I want to put my half into savings. DH wants to spend his half. We'll see how it goes. I may end up spending mine, but I don't think so. We've depleted our savings and I don't like it.
We've had a crazy busy last couple of days but the upshot of it all is we did a bunch of car shopping and we are now the owners of a much better vehicle. We didn't end up going with a hybrid, but we did get a car with very good gas mileage and a high resale value. Because of the resale value we decided it was worth going for new, but we intend to drive it at least ten years anyway. More since we usually drive cars until they are irretrievably broken.
We are the proud new owners of a 2009 Toyota Matrix S AWD. The Matrix is based off the Corolla only it's a hatchback. We got it in Blue Streak Metallic and it is very pretty, too. It's our first new car ever and the very first time we ever got to pick the color, too. Such a little thing but I am thrilled about it. She drives like a dream and is very comfortable.
We're thinking of nick-naming her the TARDIS because she's blue and bigger on the inside than the outside (Doctor Who reference if you don't know).
Other than that we haven't spent any money this weekend or yesterday. I suppose that's a big enough amount to make up for it, though, isn't it?
So definitely time to buckle down with the budget and keep all of our spending limits intact from here on out.
My mother has decided that we can use her car until we buy a new one so we're going to take a bit more time now and see if we can't find some other Hybrid Escapes in a wider area around us. Next week is spring break so we actually will have quite a bit of free time to look.
It is pretty likely we will still end up buying the first one but this way it feels a little bit better, just taking a bit more time. It is a lovely vehicle, though and it has everything we want in it.
I didn't post yesterday, I was so tired by the time we got home, part of this cold still dragging me down, though I'm better today than yesterday so progress is being made.
Anyway, we spent $35.17 at WalMart (where Tobias found a $20 bill in the parking lot!) in the automotive and personal sundries department and we spent $59.50 out at the Mexican restaurant for the four of us. We each managed to have enough leftovers for two additional meals, so that works out to about $5 per meal, not so bad for a real restaurant, on par with fast food prices. It's probably going to be one of two meals out this month, the other will be Chinese and we get several meals out of that as well, though usually for about $50.
Today I paid $1000 on the medical debt mortgage and will be paying $525 on the remaining credit card online here in just a moment. We spent $7.21 on a big bottle of Motrin. I think that covers it.
Today I felt good enough to drive Tobias to soccer practice so I stopped by the grocery store afterwards. They were having a sale on frozen food. I don't normally buy frozen food but I've been so sick that cooking has gone right out the window this week.
My kids love the Michaelina's Sweedish meatballs and the Banquet Salisbury steak meals and they were selling for a dollar a pop, so I went ahead and stocked up. Add a can of green beans that they split and it's protein, starch and veg. Plus a glass of milk and I don't feel like too awful of a mom.
DH comes home tomorrow, well techinically today since it's after midnight now and he can take over the healthy cooking until I'm better. Or more likely feed them the tv dinners until I'm better. I just want to sleep.
They did also have some meat on the reduced for quick sale section so I picked up a pot roast, turkey legs, cod fish, and a t-bone steak. Paid full price for milk though. That's what happens when I get caught with my stocks down. And it wasn't even organic milk, either as they don't carry it there. Ah, well. It was no BST. Ended up spending a grand total of $57.69.
I ran across this today:
I thought I'd pass it along since so many of you here on the blogs are interested in reading good finance books.
They all sound quite good to me but I think I'll start with "America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money" by Steve and Annette Economides. If I can find it.
Read this article today:
I thought it was interesting enough and good enough advice to pass along. Let me know what you think of it.
I know I've been on hyper post tonight, but just one more from me and then I'll shut up until tomorrow. I read this article online today.
It was very good and well worth the read and I did learn something new from her. I'm not sure I agree with it but I follow her reasoning.
She says to pay off the cards that are maxed out first, not the one with the highest interest or the one with the lowest amount on it. She says this because having cards maxed to the limit is worse for your credit report than the ones that have plenty of room left on them.
I suppose if you are trying to improve your credit report that might be the way to go, but if the object is getting out of debt period, I'd go another way, myself.
I am curious as to what others think on this.
Just a quick question to the resident techies around here, Tina or B.A. or anyone else who knows. I've been using Firefox because Veoh and Stage6 digi players and downloads don't run in I.E. or don't run well in I.E. Does Firefox do everything that I.E. can do? Because I think I'd just as soon make it my default browser if it does. But I don't want to get stuck in some backwater area of the internet if it isn't as good as or better than I.E. Thanks muchly for any help. I am such a newbie to non-MS stuff.
I got home safe from my vacation. I had a really great time and didn't spend all the money I had budgeted for the trip. I will write more in the morning. I really enjoyed my trip, but it is great to be in my own bed tonight. I sure missed reading the blogs for a week, but I think a week without computer access or even turning on the hotel TV at all was great.
Okay, so I'm over in the forums again (I know, I know) and I have finally made it to 100 posts, so I decided to wander over to the 100 posts club and...there's nothing there! I feel cheated.
I checked my credit report last night and my credit score has gone up 23 points to 786. That's not the highest its ever been which was 803, but its the highest its been in a good long while, so I'm pretty happy with it.
I want to keep it pretty high, as we are still hoping to buy a new to us car at the end of this year and I want to stay in the excellent range.
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