<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Page: 2
 

Viewing the 'Taxes' Category

Payday Entry

May 31st, 2013 at 05:00 pm

So I added the $40.50 in the coin jar and the $31.96 leftover in checking to the EF. Along with the June deposit of $100, which I made today even though it's not June yet, bumps the Emergency Fund to $3844.78., so the normal goal would be to scrape up enough to get it to $4000, but since DH has overtime, June's goal is $5000.

I went ahead and funded my funds as usual today, even though I know that eventually that money will probably be wiped out for the Wisconsin trip. But I'm keeping it in the funds sections anyway until we know either way what is going to happen there. Available fund totals are now $1300 ($1000, if I don't count the meager college fund). This does not count the property tax fund or the propane fund, or any other fund that is a bill paying fund for bills not paid monthly. We'll only be taking from the non-essential funds like Christmas, Laptop, etc.

Here's what came out of today's paycheck:

$300.00 to Mom for June utilities
__90.00 Physical therapy
__39.53 DH Life Insurance
__32.70 Me Life Insurance
__66.62 Car Insurance
__45.67 Old House Insurance
__41.16 Old House Security
_168.00 Storage
_600.00 Mortgage ($224.14 extra to principal)
_100.00 Cash for week
__30.00 Kids Allowances
_620.64 AMEX (gas and eating out)
__72.00 Water/sewer Fund
_100.00 Emergency Fund
__19.00 Garbage Fund
_100.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
__19.00 Dues Fund
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 College Fund
_100.00 Laptop Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
------------
3165.77 Total Paid Out

I have $241 in checking, msot of that will go for groceries and over the counter medicines to restock up after the three of us were ill.

When the mortgage payment hits the remaining mortgage will be under $12K. I am excited. $10K left seems closer than ever

Oh, I forgot, there was also a medical bill of $157.41 for my daughter.

Payday and Musings

May 10th, 2013 at 07:58 pm

Okay, now for all the things that went out of this paycheck.

$1000.00 to Mom
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___35.42 Electric Old House
__757.82 Van Loan (plus extra)
___51.78 Garbage (one extra can this month)
__212.71 Medical
___41.78 Security Old House
___72.56 Internet
__225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Family Plan
__105.00 Propane Fund
___19.00 Dues Fund
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Laptop Fund
__100.00 Vacation Fund (Hawaii 2018)
___28.00 Kids' Allowances
___75.00 Three NZW rabbits from different bloodline
__100.00 Cash for the Week
------------
$3414.07 Total Paid Out

We are down to owing Mom $72,000. That means 6 years left to go, if we continue on the repayment of $1000 a month. It will be gone when we are both 49. Our van will be paid off well before that. After that is paid off we will work on paying off the mortgage on our small farm that we plan to buy once our house sells. And also play mega catch up with retirement. We want to go into retirement 100% debt free, which will make it easier to get by on less. As will raising our own meat and growing our own produce as much as possible.

It feels like we are finally starting to really pull ahead as I plan for future needs and am able to set the money aside each month. We are two paychecks ahead of our bills now and we have half a month's income in the Emergency Fund. It's getting there and each small step I take has built on the last one. Some people may scoff at $10 here or $5 there, but I know. I know from experience that it is the little things just as much as the big things that get you there.

Updating Funds

May 10th, 2013 at 05:35 pm

I added $36 to the Emergency Fund today. It was what was left in checking when the new paycheck hit. That brings the EF to $3642.32. I'm going to bump my May goal up to $3700.

I also funded some funds today, which I'll put the amounts in my payday post, but I thought I'd post my fund totals.

$1000.00 in the Mac Book Fund
__200.00 in the Laptop Fund
__200.00 in the Christmas Fund
__200.00 in the College Fund
__100.00 in the Appliance Fund
__200.00 in the Hawaii 2018 Fund
__100.00 in the Property Tax Fund
__305.00 in the Propane Fund
___89.00 in the HoA Dues Fund

We've got a long way to go on some of these, especially the College Fund, but we will be putting the Christmas Bonus in, as well as most of the tax refund next year (which is ridiculously big because of our HSA that we always manage to use all of).

The Christmas Fund will be augmented by the Amazon gift cards I get from swagbucks. DH's Laptop is limping along and hopefully will continue to do so until I've got the replacement money in place. DD will be getting her MacBook (or equivalent laptop) in August. She's taking some graphics intensive classes next year as a senior. The Appliance Fund is currently earmarked for a chest freezer. Property tax was just paid last month. Propane Fund is just a holding fund until the bill comes and I pay it.

All in all, things are going along pretty smoothly in the Funds department.

Bits and Pieces

April 30th, 2013 at 06:48 pm

I haven't been very together this week. Queen's death, while expected, still threw me for a loop. I've got my equillibrium back today, so I thought I better get my head out of the clouds and pay some attention to the finances. Although they were basically on auto pilot this week anyway. Nothing much happens during the last week of the month. I took care of property tax ($424.58, half year) and the water bill ($144, two months) on Friday which were the only things due. I also had physical therapy on Friday ($90).

Yesterday I cashed out at Swagbucks for a $5 gift cared to Amazon. I haven't really been paying much attention to SB this month, so only got $10 in GC's. Today they seem to be giving double points for everything so I've got SBTV running in the backrgound. I have just been more busy this month than usual and not wanting to waste so much of my free time on it.

I got 11 cents and a sheet of address labels from some charity I have not donated to in over ten years. I have written them and asked them to stop sending me appeals so they don't waste their money on me, but they don't listen. I have no compunction against using what they send. I donated well to them for five years, but my charitable contributions are focused elsewhere now, locally. Anyway, that is my fifth or sixth dime this month.

I added $12.26 to the coin jar today. I had a lot of ones in my purse.

I stopped by the feed store and bought a 40 pound bag of rabbit pellets. It is $14.99 plus tax, so $16.29 altogether.

I paid the AMEX off ($271.92) for the month. I need to make a large payment to BoA VISA, but I need to balance the checkbook first. With the large amount of overtime money in the bank account, I haven't been balancing daily like normal, so I'm a week behind. I'm nowhere near overspending or anything, just need to know exactly where I am at so I can figure out how big the payment can be.

My electric bill has been moved from the 7nth to the 13th. They have changed how they bill, so last month's was a little higher to compensate for the extra week. Now it's back to normal and I do like that it is away from the first week of the month. I really don't like anything being due then, because that is when all the autopays come out and I don't want to think about having to write out a check. Their website sucks, they use impossible to decipher captchas, and the amount is variable from month to month so I don't autopay or pay that one online.

I have made it through my second day of no eating out and sticking to the meal plan. I've been wasting more money than I want to think about on takeaway and last minute grocery runs for deli food because I have been under the weather and haven't felt like cooking. I aim to get that back under control. I am sure I will stop feeling better eating homecooked food again, too.

I guess that about catches me up. At least I can't think of anything else for now.

It's Been a Few Days

April 14th, 2013 at 08:53 pm

Had a bit of a shopping spree. Only it was at Goodwill so it didn't cost very much. DD got 3 lightweight sweaters, a cute turquoise empire waisted spring shirt, and a 3/4 length lambskin jacket. I got two 8 x 10 tarps, 5 wide mouth pint jars with rings and lids, and DH got a thing to help his laptop fan work more efficiently. Hey, it's a big shopping spree for us! We spent $53.72.

I need the tarps for the rabbit shed to hang on the walls behind the cages to protect the walls against sprayed urine. Yesterday I picked up two rabbit cages at a feed store near the ranch we get our meat at. We were on the way back from our ranch trip and there has been a shipping delay on the cages we ordered and we can't really wait much longer to take the kits from the mother rabbit. I just need to pick up a couple of feeders tomrorow and we can start taking the babies away.

When we are at the feed store they inquired about our rabbits and I left contact info, because they are interested in buying them to sell as pets. Of course I told them we are just getting started, so it wouldn't be for a while. Someone is going to call me.

I just find it interesting that through no effort on my part whatsoever we have people that want to buy our rabbits for pets or for food. I guess they are right when they say word of mouth is often enough. Of course, this first batch is for us, but we should have a new batch of kits in about 4 weeks.

There are some pedigree NZ Whites on offer in the next county so if the cages come in time, I may see if I can get a couple more adult does. Then I can really get into production.

It snowed here yesterday morning. I don't even know. It was just a light dusting, 1/2 inch or so, certainly not a blizzard, but hello, it's the middle of April. This is so not on.

I think I will pay property tax tomorrow. The courthouse is next to the library and I have a book on hold to pick up so might as well combine trips, even though tax isn't due until month's end. Not much point in waiting. I just want it done because the last two years I waited until the last minute and then had to pay it online, along with the online charge for doing so.

I've not been as chatty over here. That's mostly because I've been talking about the farm stuff over on the other blog, trying to mostly keep this one on the financial front. If you want to catch up with that stuff you can visit me there at [url]http://whendidthisbecomeafarm.wordpress.com/[/url]

Supposedly the house will be done by the first week of May. I'm still not holding my breath. It would be nice. That's an excellent time to put it on the market. And it'll be move in ready. But they've been pushing the date out and out and out since this began, so who really knows? I just want to be done with it.

I got another $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks. I haven't been very focused on it this month. My account balance is now $120.

DH's mother gave us a camera so now I don't have to worry about saving up for a camera. Which is nice.

Oh, and I found a dime in the parking lot today. It went to the coin jar.

Bits and Pieces

March 1st, 2013 at 05:03 pm

After my deposit of coin jar money yesterday and my weekly $10 auto deposit to savings, plus today's interest at ING, my Emergency Fund is now at $3021.46. My February goal was $3200, so that was met. My goal for the month of March is to get the Emergency Fund to $3200. I am not being overly aggressive this month because we're going to Disneyland. So that will be the usual $100 transfer to the EF, plus the four weekly $10 auto transfers. That'll leave me with $38.54 to scrape up.

We received our property tax in the mail and it's gone down by almost $200 for the year. That means I only need to be budgeting $71 a month for property tax instead of $100. I am going to put the additional $29 into the college fund each month along with the $100 from the Vacation Fund I am eliminiating and the $50 from the laptop fund and the $50 from the appliance fund. So $229 a month will be going into the CF, plus any Christmas bonus DH gets this year and next year's tax refund. That should cover a year at the community college and text books.

One of the courses DD is taking next year at the high school is worth 5 college credits, so that will be one less class to pay for. She is getting pretty serious about doing the peace corp after 2 years at the community college before coming back and completing college. She'll come back from that with $7000 for school, teaching experience, intensive foreign language training, and the ability to live on a budget in a third world country, all things which should bode well for her future. I would like her to go to one of the Chinese language countries as I think Mandarin would be of most benefit to her future, but it's her decision to make.

We have made the decision to start raising rabbits this year and not next. It is a big decision, but my mother was very excited about the idea of doing it. I thought she'd be down on it, but she wants us to raise them and some meat chickens and take out her large flower garden and plant it in vegetables this year. So, I am really getting just about everything we want for our homesteading ventures.

I think part of why my mother is so on board with all of this is because the way the economy is going she doesn't think she'll be able to afford to buy food, just to grow it. I have told her that we will always make sure she is provided for, that's what you do for family, but she still worries. There is a sharp rise in prices right now and there will probably be an even sharper one in a couple of months, so I don't really blame her.

I paid out $90 for physical therapy today.

Tweaking the Budget

February 28th, 2013 at 04:59 pm

I'm not sure what we would have done this year if we hadn't managed to get the credit cards paid off when we did. We have lost $600 every 4 weeks to the 2% rise in taxes. Previously that money was going to pay down debt. Our plan for this year had been to start contributing to the 401K. Now it's going to pay for a government retirement program that has no chance of even existing when we are old enough to get anything back. I feel like they are taking our retirement away from us twice. One by not allowing us to have the money to provide for our own retirement, and two, by feeding it into a system that will be bankrupt long before we ever see our 60's or 70's. It is frustrating.

Our 401K is not the greatest, it has NO matching at all. But it is a tax shelter. Just one we can't afford to contribute, too.

I am trying to rethink a lot right now. The idea of cashflowing college for the kids is still, maybe, within reach. It would be so much better if there were jobs available. If I knew they could save a couple hundred dollars a month towards college I wouldn't worry so much. Even my niece, who did manage to get a job last summer, only gets about 3 hours a week because retail is practically moving backwards right now.

So anyway, changes I will be making starting after March is to eliminate the vacation fund of $100 a month. This one is going to just have to last us for several years. And that's okay. It's a luxury and vacations were completely financed by us (no vacation benefits). If we hadn't been saving so long for this one and already had most of it taken care of, I'd seriously think about cancelling it.

I will be cutting the laptop fund down to $50 a month and I will be cutting the appliance fund down to $50 a month. Both were previously at $100 each. Once I know what the property tax is going to be this year I can make an adjustment on my property tax fund. It has been approximately $1060 per year for the last several and our tax assessment went down. They should send out the bill soon. Right now I am setting aside $100 a month, but when I know what it actually is, I will cut it accordingly.

Once mid-April arrives I can turn off the furnace at the old house, which will mean no propane costs. Propane has jumped dramatically this year. We keep the furnace on until there is no chance of the pipes freezing. Also once they are done with the repairs to the old house I can have the water/sewer shut off, saving me $72 a month.

The four person cell phone contract we are on expires this summer. With DS being homeschooled there is no reason for him to have a cell phone anymore. He is always with me or his father or his grandmother. The only person he ever texts he can IM as well. Honestly I wish there were an unlimited texting only plan, no phone calls, because that would be the best thing for our needs. DH and I use Skype when he's in Alaska.

I think when we do move I am going to up our laying hens and start selling eggs. Just one of those sign in the front yard things. If I can make enough to pay for feed for them and some broilers that would cut our food costs dramatically. Also starting to seriously research rabbits. I've talked about it off and on, but it's time to get down to the knitty gritty on it.

If eggs pay for feed I can cut our grocery budget by $200 a month. Then maybe we could handle college and retirement.

I keep trying to keep myself focused on the fact that we are out of credit card debt and we are comfortable. It is mostly luxuries I am looking to cut. It is not necessities. But we've only gotten to have luxuries recently so it is hard to have worked so hard to get here and then feel like the benefits we should have been reaping have been snatched away. We feel the loss of that $600 a month. But I imagine there are a lot of people out there that feel that 2% even deeper.