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Archive for June, 2006

At least some good news

June 30th, 2006 at 12:11 am

37.42
+ 1 for lunch in
+ 1 fod dinner in
=39.42

GRRRRR

June 30th, 2006 at 12:10 am

So I have a friend that is driving across the country with her family (for pleasure). She had plans to stop in and see me. I chatted with her last night on YIM an dshe estimated that she'd be here around dinner time and then we'd hang out for the evening.

So I went to the grocery store and splurged. Not anything too crazy but bought a bunch of stuff in anticipation of her arrival. Stuff I wouldn't normally buy - chips, ice cream (she has 4 boys), extra burgers and dogs, etc. Anyway I spent way mroe than I would have otherwise.

I hadn't heard from her by 6pm and she was still 3 hours away!!! It's not her fault I overbought but she could have called me earlier if she knew she was going to be late. I am pretty annoyed. So she won't get here until 9pm (at the earliest). I have to work tomorrow (it's my last day so I HAVE to go). Besides I left early today thinking she'd be here. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.

It's payday tomorrow but pretty much the whole thing will go toward the mortgage so we have to make what we do have stretch. It's gonna be tight until next Friday. I hope I don't have to wait too long to get my first paycheck at my new job. I was feeling pretty good about our food expenses this month. The first half we were really bad but the second have we did really well - until today's shopping trip. I still think we will at least be LESS than last month and that is a place to start. I think we will be able to do really well in July - esp since now we have all this 'extra' food to use up Frown

It's adding up

June 29th, 2006 at 02:56 am

=34.42
+$1 for lunch in Tues
+$1 for dinner in Tues
+$1 for dinner in today
= $37.42

I didn't buy lunch today, it was company paid for. I don't think that warrants and extra dollar. I also didn't get any walking in b/c I got out of work late last night and had to give ds a bath so no time before bedtime. Tonight I had to pick up DH from the airport. I doubt I'll get a walk in tomorrow b/c we will have guests from out of town.

However, I've had 2 no spend days in a row!!

Rambling

June 27th, 2006 at 01:40 pm

So I only 'came to my senses' about 2 weeks ago. In such a short time I've found that my attitude about things have changes sooo much. I do find that things have been easier to control since DH has been gone. He gets back tomorrow so it will be a real challenge to keep things simple.

DH got a pair of Land's End pants for Christmas. About 3 weeks ago the zipper just broke for no reason. DH shoved them aside to be thrown away. I came across them yesterday and (thanks to reading other people's blogs)I emailed Land's End and told them what happened. They sent me a return form and said I could return them for a new pair. I will just have to pay for sending them back. A few weeks ago I wouldn't have thought to do that, I would have just thrown them away as a loss.

Today I have to clear up some medical expense reimbursements. I am going to the office personally to make sure my claims get processed. I also had a problem with my Child Care Flexible Spending Account. There was still about $85 in there when I gave my notice so right before I left I filed a claim for the balance in my account. I never got it so I will try to clear that up as well. Right after I left I checked online and my balance was zero. SO as soon as they found out I left the job they zeroed my account - but I filed the claim BEFORE I left. Ok, only 2 days before but STILL before I left. They should have sent me the money. Hopefully it won't be too big of a pita.

I also have about $250 tied up in a sharesave program that I am trying to get back. I was told when I left that it would automatically be sent to me but there was some problem with the way they were administering it. SO I contacted my old employer but the CFO is out until tomorrow. I was told they would probably just cut me a check. I want to put that in DS savings acct. I still owe him $300 from what we borrowed in Dec to pay for car ins.

Hopefully DH has not changed his mind about cashing out some of our investments to pay down our debt. If all goes well we will have the cc, boat and truck paid off in a month. The only thing outstanding will be his student loans. He has one loan so nothing to consolidate. With rates going up July 1 I don't know what I can do to make that less.

Cha ching

June 27th, 2006 at 01:30 pm

$31.18 Beginning
+$1 for lunch in
+$1 for dinner in
+$1 for walking
+.24 in pennies found in desk drawer at work
=$34.42

Tightwad Gazette

June 26th, 2006 at 02:54 pm

I borrowed The Complete Tightwad Gazette from the library this weekend. Some of the things in there are a little too much for me but there is some useful information. I particularly enjoy that she lives in Maine so there are alot of references to Maine and people writing in from Maine. Maybe I'll see one of my relatives in there!

More money added

June 26th, 2006 at 01:08 am

Beg 27.41
+$1 for lunch in
+$1 for dinner in
+$1 for walking
+.77 found in gues bedroom
=$31.18

Woohoo, it's adding up!

White T-shirt!!!!!!!

June 25th, 2006 at 01:15 am

So DS' school wants us to bring in a white t-shirt b/c they are going to tye die shirts for the 4th. Do know how hard it is to find a plain white t-shirt for a little boy? First of all, he really doesn't need any new shirts but OK, they are doing it at school and it will be a cool shirt.

I go to Wal-mart and they have exactly what a want for $2.68 but not in his size. The only other alternative there is to buy a 5-pack of undershirts for $6. I don't need 5 shirts!!! I only want 1. I don't know any other parents to call up and see if they want to split the cost. I need to have it by Monday. If I had more time I might check out goodwill but I have DS to myself and no way would he bear with me through a digging trip. Besides, what are the chances that a white t-shirt survives a toddler? There is another Walmart further away that I can hit on my way home from the zoo tomorrow. Other than that I'm lost.

On another note I broke my 'no more $$ on groceries this week.' I am a popcorn addict. I come by it honestly, my dad has eaten popcorn every night that he's home for years and years. I usually get microwave popcorn. I've been going without b/c I don't want to spend the $$. But I seriously miss it and am craving it. What to do? I spent .95 (including tax) on a 2 lb bag of popcorn and I'm going to make it the old-fashioned way. Yes, I caved but to me it's worth it and I'll have my popcorn for a fraction of the price. Baby steps...

Only $1 today

June 25th, 2006 at 01:09 am

Beg: $26.41
+$1 eating lunch in
+$1 eating dinner in
-$1 for buying a bag of popcorn
=$27.41

6/23/06

June 24th, 2006 at 01:19 am

Only +$2 today. I didn't get out for a walk today.

$24.37 beg bal
+1 eating lunch in
+1 eating dinner in
+.05 found in my desk drawer
=$26.42

This site must be rubbing off on me

June 23rd, 2006 at 06:23 pm

I went to the store and stuck to my list: milk, bread and fresh fruit. Spent $9.16 (saved $2.61 with the shopper card). That is it, that is all I'm spending on food this week - probably until next Wed or Thursday. DH comes home Wed so we'll see how it goes.

I found myself taking a quick trip around the grocery store and grabbing the coupons. Why? I don't even use most of those items. I guess the best one could be the cereal coupon. 75 cents off 2 boxes but I might find a really good deal somewhere and be able to use the coupons. Now what to do with those ketchup coupons....

Progress

June 23rd, 2006 at 01:32 am

I was going to come on and write that I had a no spend day but that's not really true. I had to pay $5 to DS' school for extra activities they had this week (a magician and petting zoo). He really enjoyed them and I don't spend much money on him so I won't complain.

I came home for lunch and had PBJ and made dinner while I was here. I have more than enough food to last until DH is home. I am almost out of milk and only have 2 pieces of bread left but I was allowing myself milk, bread and fruit. We are out of bananas too. I've tried a million times to feed DS canned fruit and he just spits it out - except mandarin oranges. He loves fresh fruit though so I will 'splurge' on that. I think if we're creative there is even enough food to not buy anything next week either except maybe milk. I will have to talk DH into that though since he comes back Wed. He is kind of a food snob whereas I don't really care that much. If I can show him how much we will save maybe he will be on board.

On an upside I will soon start a training program to teach online classes. That will be good 'extra' money to help pay everything down.

+$3

June 23rd, 2006 at 01:27 am

+$1 for making my own lunch
+$1 for making my own dinner
+$1 for walking tonight.

I think that brings me to $24.37

Jumping in

June 22nd, 2006 at 01:00 am

I'm glad another poster asked the question about the 20 dollar challenge so now I know what it's all about. Might as well jump in. I'm starting tonight. I don't use many coupons so that will make it tough b/c it seems many people take the savings from those. I guess that gives me incentive to find some. I will give myself $1 for any lunch or dinner not eaten out. I will deduct $1 for every lunch or dinner I eat out. I don't have much control over DH so I will not include him as he eats out lunch alot and there's not much I can do about it. But I DO have control over my lunch and OUR dinner. So that will be my criteria. I will also give myself $1 for everytime I exercise, whether it's taking DS for a long walk or a regular workout. So today...

$20 to start with
+.37 for stamp saved sending birthday gift early with DH instead of mailing it later
-$1 for lunch eaten out
+$1 for dinner eaten in
+$1 for taking ds for a long walk
=$21.37 total

I will try to keep a monthly total and then 'pay' myself at the end of the month.

It sure will be interesting to see how this all adds up.

Plodding along

June 21st, 2006 at 02:19 pm

Well, I had to go out to lunch yesterday b/c it was the Finance Director's birthday lunch and I'd feel like a jerk not going. Esp since I just gave my notice. So I got the soup and salad.

Got the credit card bill yesterday! We got charged finance charges and a late fee. I checked my checking acct and it took 3 weeks for the check to clear! I know I paid it on time so I called up this morning and explained and I have been credited the late fee and finance charges. The bill was more than I expected though. We just got our plane tickets for Christmas. We had a $300 voucher from when we had been bumped and a $75 off e-cert for not taking a hotel room. Well I used both and I didn't get credit for the $75 ecert. I called Northwest Airlines and they said because I purchased multiple tickets it wouldn't allow me to use the ecert. It has to be used on one ticket. In order to use it I'd have to cancel my current reservations and rebook separately and pay the change reservation fee of $25 per ticket. Not worth it. Maybe I can sell it.

DH leaves today for a fishing trip with his dad and brothers. FIL turned 60 last year and his bday present from the boys was taking him on a fishing trip wherever he wanted to go (within reason). So they are headed to Maine for a week. The charge for the rental car came through and one night hotel. I think he still has to pay his share of the lodge but he has the cash to do that. I think I will still be able to pay that cc off in full this month. I just won't be able to make as big a payment on the cc with our balance on it. DH didn't cash out our investments yet to pay everything off so it won't get done until he gets back.

I have to get a gc for my friend's daughter's bday. I will also have to spend $$ for lunch because I won't have time to go home. I have to take a short lunch today since I have to leave early to take DH to the airport.

Starting tomorrow I am trying for a week of MINIMAL or NO spendning while DH is gone. I think I can get by with the food. At most I will need milk, bread and fruit. I will scrounge around for the rest. The hardest will be this weekend since I will have DS to myself. I think Sat morning we will go to the library and maybe the park. Sunday I think we'll go to the zoo. We just got a family membership as a gift so it won't cost anything. I will pack a few snacks.

One step forward, 2 steps back

June 20th, 2006 at 02:10 am

Well....

Good news first. I came home for lunch and just had a sandwich, crackers and water. Then I realized I need contacts so ordered them. $90 I had not planned on spending. Then I came home and paid bills. We have $20 in the checking acct until Thursday. I think we should be ok. We just filled up with gas and got some milk at the store. Other downers - got the bill for the car registration today - another $78 I had not planned on spending this month. Good news is I checked my student loan balane online and I only owe $179 which I will pay off at the end of this month.

I will come home again tomorrow for lunch. I just have to make sure I get up early enough to eat breakfast so I don't grab something on the way again. The bad news is that with the new job I start soon I won't be able to get home for lunch. The (sort of) good news is that there really isn't anywhere to eat out around there (it's in a bad area of town) so I will have to bring my lunch. I have already invested in a good insulated lunch bag.

Ok, not great

June 19th, 2006 at 04:18 pm

Well, we ended up taking the truck to Nashville because with the carseat in the back of the Civic my MIL and I would have been SQUISHED back there. Also, FIL is 6'5" so we would have been packed in there. Ok, we took it for comfort's sake. More the IL's than ours. They paid for almost everything, not fair to make them uncomfortable when we drive around. Besides gas we didn't spend too much. We bought 2 breakfasts and a couple of drinks. Then I spent $18 on a bday gift for a friend. We came home with $$ leftover from our $100 cash that we brought. Not too bad for 3 days away from home.

I made some progress with DH and I think I've sold him on this whole debt free thing. We currently have about $60K in our nest egg (not including any retirement) and we are going to cash out half. With my signing bonus next month we will be able to pay off the boat, truck and credit cards. Then we are going to aggressively attack his student loan (about $15500). I am going to try my best to pay it off in a year but that may be setting myself up for failure. WE talked about having all debt except the mortgage paid off. Then taking another year to save as much as possible. In year 3 we can sell the house and buy a more affordable one with a small mortgage (no more than $50K) and I can teach. Whew, it will take a lot of work but I hope we get there. It's nice to have him on the same page. I hope we can stay there.

Now today I had to run out of the house and spent $3.70 on breakfast. not only a waste of money but unhealthy too. BAD!!!

DH goes out of town for a week on Wed. I will stock up on a few basics (fresh fruit, milk and bread) and then I'm going to really try to spend ZERO on food until he comes back. I will just scrounge around home and eat up anything we have there. It may take some creativity but I think I can do it. Oh I may have to buy some ground beef but I think it's fairly cheap at Aldi.

Starting over

June 15th, 2006 at 07:48 pm

Well, here I go. Offically. No turning back now.

Goals:
Short term – Lower our food bill. We spend a ridiculous amt of $$ on food for a family of only 2 ˝ people. I think last month we spent around $750 including eating in and out and I think some months it has been more. CRAZY!!! I tried coupons for a month but didn’t save enough to cover the cost of the papers every week. There were 2 weeks where there were no coupons that we would use. If I could get the Sunday coupons somewhere for free then it would be worth it.
Mid range goal – Lower our debts and save enough $$ to allow me to take a lesser paying job. One that has a better schedule and is more family friendly.
Long-term goal – save for DS college and retire early (I am 34 and DH is 35)

We are not doing well this month. I set up a budget at the beginning of June and last night I tracked all of our spending so far. We're overspent in gas and food for the first 2 weeks. On top of that DH's paycheck is less b/c we forgot that his stipend for lead instructor ends at the end of the semester. It will pick back up again in August. So the class he is teaching this summer will not be 'extra' it will just replace the stipend. Sigh.

My biggest problem (besides debt and our extravagant food spending) is to get DH on board. I have been trying to prepare him for this but he just isn't willing to make any sacrifices. He SAYS he understands and wants to keep to a budget but in practice doesn't want to be inconvenienced. He has grown up privileged and isn't used to cutting back. This may be an uphill battle. I need to get him to focus on the big picture so he can see that what we're doing is leading us to a better future.

One small victory. We are going to Nashville this weekend to meet up with the inlaws. Upside is they will pay for almost everything. Downside is there still will be some unplanned expenses. Like the gas it will take to get there. John wanted to take the truck and I said it would be much less expensive to drive the Civic. He complained b/c it's not as comfortable for a 3 hr drive (he is 6 feet tall). He finally relented and we will be taking the Civic. We got $100 for our anniversary. I saved that check and cashed it so we have some $$ on this trip. Hopefully we can keep our spending to a minimum.