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Archive for August, 2006

Every bit helps

August 31st, 2006 at 07:59 am

Not much to report on the financial front. We've been a bit more loose on the spending in the past week and after this weekend I need to tighten up the reins again. Nothing too extravagant just ate out once or twice that was not planned. I've received some free samples in the mail - I love opening the mailbox to freebies!

So the boat is officially paid off. I called up and got the payoff amt and then received a $20 check for overpayment. ummmm, why give me the amount to pay it off if that's not the right number? Dunno, but that $20 check will go into savings. Last weekend I deposited a whopping $38.50 into the savings acct for a $5 survey check, an $8.50 rebate check and just a plastic cup full of coints. Not too shabby. So far (with this $20 check) I'll have upped our savings by about $70 for very little work. Speaking of which I have about $20 of rebate stuff to send out.

Another thing I'm doing is the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. I have daycare deducted from my paychecks and when I get reimbursed I will put that money into savings. I was already putting some into savings (that will end up being used to open a Roth IRA) because I am not eligible for the 401K plan at my new job until Oct 1. So instead of squandering the money I am putting away for another kind of retirement savings. BUT, my FSA check will end up being $60 more than I normally would have saved so that extra $60 is another easy way to save. In total that is about $130 'extra' saved this month that didn't take much thought and didn't hurt at all.

I'll continue to find things to do. I started my 3rd job this week (or training for my 3rd job) so my time is very limited.

Started teaching last night

August 22nd, 2006 at 11:00 am

Well, I started my second job last night. Teaching at a local community college. I was soo nervous at first! But, I think it went ok after I got used to standing up in front of everyone. I think I will like it and I'll certainly like the extra $$ coming in that will pay for our vacation next year : )

Next week I start training for my 3rd job (yikes!) The training lasts a month and is unpaid but if I make it through, then I can teach online classes. I am going to VERY busy this semester!

Not much else going on. I am going shopping for a few new shirts after work. I have a $30 gc I will use but I'm sure I'll have to spend more than that. That's ok, because I have some 'misc' money set aside so NOTHING WILL BE CHARGED. The credit card balance is zero and it's going to stay that way!!

Good Mail Day

August 19th, 2006 at 11:24 am

Today I got a Ban sample, a $5 check (my first paid survey!) and 2 coupons for free Mann's sugar snap peas. That's alot nicer to open than bills!! : )

Productive day already

August 19th, 2006 at 07:50 am

Well, I put our old loveseat on freecycle and dragged it to the curb. It's not pretty but still could be used if slipcovered or something. I hope someone comes to get it. I called and got the payoff amt of the boat loan and I wrote the check! All that is left is DH's student loans YAY! Now I just need to get the laundry started, go to the post office and go to the bank. So much still left to do....

Pay Day!

August 18th, 2006 at 09:01 am

It's finally payday. I say that because we only had $10 or so left in the checking account and I'm tired of eating PB&J. Last paycheck I transferred extra into savings and we just barely squeaked by. This weekend will be fairly expensive. I am going to pay the mortgage (early) to get that money right out of the account. We are getting together with neighbors (the first time ever socializing with them) and they ordered crabs (the wife is also from Maryland) so that will be expensive. So, we will need to keep the rest of the weekend pretty cheap. I reconciled the bank acct last night so I will be in good shape to pay bills and budget the rest of the money for the next 2 weeks.

I start my 2nd job (teaching at night) next week. Oh and training for the online classes starts next week, too. BUSY BUSY BUSY. I will have THREE jobs. What have I gotten myself into? Oh well, it's all for a good reason. The money is not the primary motivator. I'm thinking of making a career change (to teaching) in a couple of years and this will be a good test as to whether I really like it or not. We'll see... the extra money will saved for next summer's trip and the rest will go toward paying DH's student loan. I also got my signing bonus today so I will write the check to pay off the boat tomorrow. Woohoo!!! Now the only debt (besides mortgage) is the student loans. I am going to pay those off ASAP. Then start socking the $$ away so we will be financially stable if/when I take a huge paycut to teach.

I love Target!

August 16th, 2006 at 08:22 am

I'll be honest, I used to shop Walmart more than Target. Target stores are nicer, cleaner etc but I thought Target was more expensive. And it is... on some items. I have been hitting Target deals and coupons for the last couple of weeks and have found some AMAZING deals.

Ragu for 44cents/jar
Free Oreos (11 cent overage)
Free Goldfish
Diet Coke 3.50/case (AMAZING for around here)

I guess it pays to shop around! I think I'm going to go get some 25 cent Twix today.

Rebates

August 15th, 2006 at 06:12 am

Well, I'm fairly new to this whole coupon/rebate thing. I have gotten some pretty good deals. But now is the part I'm dreading....chasing down the rebate checks. I got the Rite Aid one very quickly..and you can do it all online which was easy and fast. Walgreens...well, I'm still waiting for my check. I can check the status on the system and it looks like it was generated a couple of weeks ago. I guess I will give it a little more time then start chasing it. This is what I was afraid of...that I wouldn't get the checks and therefore am not really saving money.

We've been doing pretty well with keeping the spending down. A few little things have popped up but we really have cut back quite a bit. I even put most of my last paycheck in savings. With the exception of being a little tight on money this week we've barely noticed not having it. I'm hoping we can make it to Thursday (DH's payday) without having to transfer any $$ from savings. I don't think we will be able to do much with this week's paychecks because I will pay the mortgage. Still....that was like $750 that I put away that we barely missed. I know not all months will be like this but I am going to do what I can.

Shopping Savings?

August 11th, 2006 at 06:43 am

So I went to Walgreen's to get some cleaning/house stuff that I saw was on sale. I knew I had some coupons but I hadn't taken the time to 'match' them to the sales. Here is how I did:

I got Pledge, Pledge Wipes, Scrubbing Bubbles, Glade Glass Fragrance thing, and a Glade Wisp Fragrance thing.

22.35 Shelf Price
-2.40 WAG Advertised Savings
-9.49 MFG Coupons
=10.46 Paid in the store
- 7.00 rebates
=3.46 total paid + tax of course

Feeling pretty good about that. However, I didn't need the Pledge, the Pledge Wipes or either of the fragrance things. I do RARELY buy the fragrance things and I have enough Pledge - esp considering how infrequently I dust. Did I really save money considering I didn't really need to spend most of that? The only thing I really wanted to get was the Scrubbing Bubbles which was .49 after coupon and rebate. So I saved a bunch but spent an addt'l $2.97 that really was unnecessary. I am trying to figure out the best way to work the 'Buy $20 worth of x and get $10 back' I THINK I have coupons for about 7.50 so I would basically get $20 worth of toothpaste, deoderant etc for $2.50 after rebate. I already have enough toothpaste, etc to last a while should I go ahead and spend the $2.50 even though I don't need to. It's just so hard to say 'no'....

How much do we have?

August 10th, 2006 at 11:30 am

Ok, I sort of had an epiphany of sorts. I realized I really don't know how much money we have. I guess I really need to figure this out so I can see our overall financial picture. Things I know?

Credit Union approx $ 970
Bank Savings approx $10,725
Checking approx $ 450
My 401K approx $40,000
DH 401K ??? maybe $14,000
EF MF approx $28,000

I know DH has a Roth IRA out there and I am starting one this year. He also has a few other accts hanging around with some unknown amounts. Maybe around $12K. I think I ought to track those down. The Credit Union savings will have another $2500 added to it by the end of the year but we will use some for our bi-annual car ins and Christmas. The rest will go toward my Roth IRA. The Bank Savings is going to pay off the boat loan next paycheck and the remaining will be for some home repairs.

Other debt (besides the boat loan which will be paid off by the end of August): approx $15K of DH student loans and approx $206K mortgage. I'm not overlyl concerned about the mortgage at this point but those student loans need to go! They will be paid off in a year or so. We didn't want to reduce our EF by too much (just took out over half to pay off the Truck Loan and credit cards). We can handle the mortgage and student loan payments. Then after the student loans are paid off we will throw all our money back into savings and trying to reduce our mortgage. One baby step at a time... Our savings just seem sooo small. Esp our retirement accts. We are both putting in 10% right now and we will bump them to 20% after the student loans are through. I just feel like we will never have enought to retire... AND what about college for our child/children? Oh, it's sooo overwhelming.

PROGRESS!

August 9th, 2006 at 11:16 am

Ok, since I started this sometime in June we have paid off all our credit cards and the truck. As soon as I get my signing bonus (should be next week) we will also pay off the boat which only leaves DH's student loans. I just made a payment so that will bring the total to around $15000. I'd LOVE to get it paid off in a year but we're probably looking at 14 months. Ohhhhhhh, it will be SOOOO nice to just have a mortgage. By that point we will have made some decisions about the future regarding whether or not we want to move, or if DH wants to go get his doctorate. But at least we will be in a good position to make some changes.

Other things....I've been getting free samples and coupons in the mail. I can't wait to see what July's numbers look like. I will try to see how we did tonight.

We have a pretty good savings. About 6 months of expenses in mutual funds with another $5000 or so in a local bank. Some of that is earmarked for some home repairs though.