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Viewing the 'Laptop Fund' Category

Vacation Musings, Computer Issues, and Broken Camera

March 25th, 2013 at 09:12 am

With the final numbers in, we spent $7,521.76 on our vacation to Disneyland, about $2000 more than I had bargained for. This trip was for seven people (we paid the way for my SIL and 2 nieces). It was a once in a lifetime trip, one they would never have taken on their own due to divorce and the subsequent poverty it brought into their lives, and I think it was well worth the expense to give them this opportunity.

That being said, we may end up carrying a small balance into May. I will be trying my best to pay it off before the due date on April 21st, though. I have paid $5030 of it so far. DH is going to use his miles to get a few free tickets for work, and he has one free hotel stay for frequent visits, so the money that would go toward that will be used to pay off the vacation balance.

I may dip into the EF to pay it off sooner, though. I am used to living with a $1000 EF, so if I use $2000 of it to pay on this, it'll bring it to $1000 again, then I can start rebuilding it. We won't be doing a big vacation again until 2018 or 2019, so and I will be saving up for it starting in June.

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DH's DVD player in his laptop went out so he will now be using the old portable DVD player up at work. I have to start saving up for a new laptop for him. His has other problems as well and it has really been limping along.

My own laptop will have to be taken in as soon as spring break hits. The built in mouse has quit working and I have to use a plug-in mouse with it. My laptop is still under contract so that won't cost anything, but I can't afford to be without it during regular school hours since I use it in homeschooling my son.

If I take it in the Friday before spring break, I should have it back by the Monday after spring break. It usually takes 10 days to fix something since they send it to Seattle. I just hope they can fix it. I know they will replace it if they can't, but it is such a major hassle to transfer everything off one computer and on to the next one. And this one isn't even a year old so I really hate the idea of them not being able to fix it for such a small thing.

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I have been thinking that if we get enough money when we sell the house we will pay off the van. I send in close to $800 a month on van payments (extra to principal), and it would be really nice to knock that payment off. That would mean no debt (besides what I still owe Mom, but that's not on a credit report) going into buying a new house and getting a mortgage. It would also give us more wiggle room to save money and pay for college.

Mom has said we can stay here as long as we like, so we may take an extra year to add money to the downpayment so we won't owe so much when we buy a new house.

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My camera quit working sometime between when I packed it for Disneyland and we arrived in California. I'm not sure how it got damaged since it was in my carry-on. MIL gave each of us $100 before we went on vacation and I didn't spend mine, so I may go to a couple of the pawn shops and see about buying a good camera for very little money.

I use my camera almost daily and I don't like not having one. I don't have to have a top of the line one, but I'd like something more than my cruddy dumb phone camera, and I'm not about to upgrade to a smart phone just for the camera. I've owned my digital camera for ten years or so, and I really hate that it broke. It is possible they could fix it, but I doubt they could do it for less than what getting a new one costs. That is something that really bothers me about technology these days. Oh, well. What can you do?

Out of Credit Card Debt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 13th, 2013 at 12:01 pm



It is official. The tax refund hit our account this morning. I just paid off the Chase VISA. We are officially OUT of credit card debt! After 10 years of being in it, and the last 7 of working very, very hard to pay it off, we have fired our last shot at the Evil Empire and we sunk their battleship.

And now it's time to start to upgrade our rickety picket fence (baby EF) into a wall of stone. I added $1000 to the EF, put $1000 into the MacBook Fund. The other $1903 I'm not sure what we are doing with yet, we're waiting until after vacation, so I transferred it to ING with the rest of it, just so it's out of our account and can't be frittered away.

The new EF amount is $2835.35. I am adjusting my goal of $1900 by the end of February to $2900.

And cue music...

I'm walking on sunshine, woo ooo,
I'm walking on sunshine, woo ooo,
I'm walking on sunshine, woo ooo,
And don't it feel good!

Payday Spending and EF Update

February 8th, 2013 at 06:18 pm

Today was payday. I added $110 to the Emergency Fund bringing it to $1835.35.

Bills paid out today were:

$1000.00 to Mom
__100.00 to Chase
__757.82 to Van loan
__570.00 Mortgage
___25.00 Kids' allowances
___44.87 Phone old house
___72.56 Internet
__110.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 Garbage (HT)
___72.00 Water/sewer (HT)
__100.00 Property Tax (HT)
__100.00 Propane (HT)
__100.00 Miscellaneous and Groceries
---------------
$3071.25

I also set aside $90 for physical therapy. Both the mortgage and the van loan had extra sent to principal. When the mortgage hits it will put it just under $14K left.

I need to come up with $64.65 this month to hit my EF goal of $1900 by the end of February. I added $13.03 to the coin jar, what was left of my miscellaneous money from last week.

I also filled up the van with gas, $49.79, but that went on the AMEX which gets paid off at the start of every month now.

Other than milk, I shouldn't have to buy anything for the next week.

DS needs new tennis shoes. His feet have grown tremendously. I will inherit his current ones. They are very nice Nikes that just happen to fit my feet. Hand me ups, I guess. I will probably get shoes for him next payday, not this one.

My first mammogram went okay. I don't know what I was being such a scaredy cat about it for.

Down Doobie do Down Down

January 18th, 2013 at 01:18 pm

So today is payday and the first thing I did this morning was to pay $2609.14 to the Evil Empire. This brings the BoA VISA card down to $2000 even. All of the autopays for this month have gone through now except one that will be $120, so VISA amount payoff will actually be $2120. That brings total credit card debt down to $7100.

After my final payment of $2000 next week the BoA card will be paid off and will only be used for autopays and DH's plane tickets, hotels, and travel food.

Then the only card we will have left is the Chase VISA, with $5100 left on it and it has a 0% interest rate through the end of 2013.

Money Out this Payday:

$2609.14 BoA VISA payment
__125.00 Half year dues
___44.87 Old House phone for security system
___72.00 Water/Sewer (Old House) to the Holding Tank
___72.56 Internet
___37.68 Garbage
__100.00 Emergency Fund
__135.00 Paying Back the Mac Book Fund
___45.00 Allowances
__300.00 Farm money for meats
__100.00 Miscellaneous (toiletries, OTC medicine)
---------------
$3641.29

The Emergency Fund now sits at $1670. I am $30 short of my January goal, but that should be no problem to meet.

Today's check was 3420.49. I already had money saved for the dues, the garbage, and the water/sewer. I also had some money left from last week.

After paying everything I will have $146.59. $90 of that will go to physical therapy on Friday, so really $56.59 until next payday.

The plan so far for next Friday is $2120 to the BoA to pay it off, $200 to the Vacation Fund, $100 to the property tax fund, $570 to the Mortgage, $100 to the propane fund and $200 to the Mac Book fund.

February 1st will be the start of the new Budget Template and I am setting up a spreadsheet for that to let me know where I'll go from there.

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
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$2860.88

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)
----------------
$3075.09

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.