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Archive for April, 2008

Blogoversary and Savings Update

April 10th, 2008 at 09:21 pm

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. Big Grin 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

Savings Update

April 9th, 2008 at 05:05 am

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.

Doctor's Visit

April 9th, 2008 at 03:20 am

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.

Bought a New Car

April 8th, 2008 at 04:25 pm

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? Big Grin

So definitely time to buckle down with the budget and keep all of our spending limits intact from here on out.

Car Shopping Begins and Spending

April 4th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

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.

Spent some at the grocer

April 3rd, 2008 at 07:29 am

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.

Not Much Going on Today

April 2nd, 2008 at 04:21 am

So here I go making a commitment to start blogging again and then I spend a day not actually doing anything. Well, I didn't spend money on my day of not actually doing anything, so I suppose that's something.

I have a cold, with a nasty throbbing stuffed up head, which curtailed me driving anywhere but to the school and back today. I had planned on going to the bank and getting money for the kids allowances, going to the chiropractor and paying for a month in advance on the family plan, maybe stopping by the grocery store, but that didn't work out at all. So, no spend day.

I transferred the $2000 from ING to my local credit union for the car payment and it should show up by Thursday which is when DH gets home and we go look at the Escape one more time. I think it's pretty much a given that we will buy it, but we didn't want to rush the decision.

DH is sending me the revised figures of the new take home pay so I can finish the budget and the new 401K access info. Our 401K changed from Vanguard to something else a few months ago. I wasn't happy with that. I like Vanguard. I trust Vanguard. I know nothing about this other group. But the fees are supposed to be lower which meant the company was willing to match an additional 1% at 50% on the dollar, so I can't complain too much. As long as it does a decent job. Just don't know yet.