$28.86: pants for hubby for business trip
$10.52: Hubby's meal in Wisconsin. Will be reimbursed through work
$23.60 gas (not a full tank)
$70.74 cc payment
$10 sunpass (prepaid tolls)
$25 dr co-pay
Viewing the 'Personal Finance' Category
Without warning. I logged on online as I always do, and one of my checking accounts is missing. Now I'm not too concerned, because we had no money in it. We opened it in September, and we had until November to set up the direct deposit. Which we haven't done yet for various reasons, so there was a negative balance of -23 in there due to monthly service fees. We hadn't used it in a couple of months. I guess I'm more upset they closed it without warning, because what if I had set up direct deposit in there? I'm going to wait until tomorrow to see if it's still missing then deal with it.
One of my goals here this year was to be more active in my blogging. Well, I've failed that goal miserably, but it's for a good reason: we are pushing up our move to Florida from 2013 to this summer, July 2011! We are very excited, and have been in serious declutter mode. We have really evaluated what our belongings mean to us, and only those items we really love will be making the move with us.
We are using professional movers for the first time, which has been a learning experience in itself, and a costly one, I might add. We have done U-Haul moves for all of our previous moves (4 total), but felt the magnitude of this move required a different approach.
Financial goals basically include socking away as much money as possible, and paying off our credit cards before the move. (approximate balance: $700) This is very do-able. We are moving very little furniture and will need to re-purchase it once we are there, so we definitely need to pad the account as much as possible. In case you're wondering, the furniture is old and not worth moving long-distance. Our oldest son is not moving to Florida with us but keeping an apartment here, so he will get most of our furniture. What he doesn't want we are giving away on Freecycle or selling on Craigslist.
Yesterday I balanced the checkbook. Not so unusual, except I had been spending money for the past week and had no idea if we were positive or negative. As I was recording entries, I had this sinking feeling that kind of resembles terror, as in OMG what if we don't have enough to cover the rent check I just mailed?
Well, thankfully the balance is positive. But this spurred my first goal, and that is to not be in that position again. I intend to keep daily tabs on where we are in checking, or at least every time I spend money. This includes balancing my checkbook to the online statement, which is balanced to the penny. I also want to update Quicken, which I stopped doing in June, for whatever reason. I'm curious to see what I spent in the different categories for the year. And maybe I don't want to know. :=)
I think I may start a binder, or maybe a computer file, to keep this information in. I'm trying to go paperless as much as possible. But a binder may satisfy my inner organizational geekiness, and help keep me more accountable. (I can ignore a computer file, but I can't ignore a binder).
now I hope that I can stay. I love reading all your entries, but sometimes I feel intimidated because I am not even close to doing as well as some of you in terms of my finances.
I do say that we are entering 2011 in a much better financial position. The garnishment is done. The payday loan is paid off. Those 2 things were huge in terms of reducing our income.
My goal for 2011, which coincidentally was my goal for 2010, is to get us in a better place financially. This means pay off the credit card bills, and start building savings. We still live paycheck to paycheck, and I want to get away from that.
I will post specific goals in a day or two, but I just wanted to pop in and say hi to all.
I see I am coming on my one year anniversary of my blog, and yeah haven't posted hardly at all. Bad me. I think my last post talked about the garnishment and how we needed to bring money in.
Yes, the garnishment is still there, though I'm expecting we should be done with it in September, or at the very latest first part of October. I will be very glad to be done of it, because we'll gain the full amount of the paycheck back, but most importantly it will be done with.
My husband got a promotion in March, so our income is almost where it was pre-garnishment. However, also in March my husband's brother died, so we needed to take out a payday loan to cover our expenses for traveling to the funeral. We are still paying on that, but hope to get it paid off in August.
We are trying to get current on our bills. Each month we manage to pay our bills right before disconnection. It's very frustrating, especially when I know if it were not for the garnishment, we would not be behind. But whose fault is that? Yep, mine.
It's not all bad news, though. I did set some financial goals this year and amazingly enough we have met some of them.
1) get current on our bills. Ok, still working on that one.
2) Close a bank account that we never use. DONE.
3) Save $300 and open a savings account. Well, we sort of did this one. I set the amount at $300 because our bank charges a fee if we fall below this amount. We did not save $300 and we do not have a savings account. However, we did open a second checking account instead because the bank paid us $100 to do it. So this will be our savings account, and there's no worry about maintaining a balance. We have $25 deposited into this account every paycheck.
4) Enter checkbook into Quicken. DONE. I'm kind of anal about making sure our account is balanced. We don't have overdraft protection on our account, and it's vital that we don't bounce a check. So I keep pretty close tabs on it. My checkbook register needs to match the online numbers, which need to match the Quicken numbers. LOL
In other news, my parents are still not talking to us. Kids are taking it hard, especially my son, who is autistic and can't figure out why Grandma and Grandpa don't like us anymore. I'm over it. Well as much as one can be over something like that. (For those who don't remember, we were renting from my parents, they refused to landlord repairs, so we moved out in Dec last year and they took it personally).
I had been going to a private university but financial aid kind of dried up, so I am transferring to a state university to finish up my degree. Tuition is a third of the cost, and while the private school is better, I have to go where I can afford to go.
We're still making plans to move to Florida in two years. Had it up to here with Wisconsin weather, want to go where it's warmer and of course closer to Disney. (My husband and I are huge Disney nuts).
Guess that's pretty much it. I've written a book already, and I really hope to be more active. I've been reading, just not participating. :=)
I can see it's been awhile again since I've blogged. Just thought I'd share a little of what's been going on in our lives. Late October we made the decision to move. The house we were living in was owned by my parents, and they did absolutely no upkeep on it at all. It was a rent situation, but they wanted us to throw money into repairs, general upkeep, etc. We didn't mind doing the little stuff, but things like the furnace and roof were a little beyond our responsibility. After a couple of years telling them the roof was leaking, and having nothing done, we finally decided that it was time to move out. Needless to say, they didn't take it very well and disowned us. Lesson from this: never have financial dealings with family.
So November was spent packing and preparing for Thanksgiving, and packing. We moved Dec. 1st into our current home, and we are happy here, still a rental situation but we know the landlord well and he is awesome.
So 2010 comes in, and we were happy to get a fresh start to the new year in a new house. Well hubby's paycheck hits the bank on Friday and it is $335 short.
Yep, a garnishment. We had no notice it was coming. Yes there was a judgment for this bill but it's about 8 years old, and quite honestly we haven't made it a priority to pay it off. So yes, it's our fault but sure doesn't make right now any easier. We're probably looking at this going on for the next 9-10 months.
We have no savings, no EF, no credit cards (which I guess is a good thing in the long run), and leaves us with not having enough money to pay our bills, or conversely, if we pay our bills, not enough money for essentials (like gas, food, toilet paper....)
So our options are to increase our income or decrease our expenses. We are working on both. Hubby is waiting on a job to be posted that is "his". Long story short, he applied in June, interviewed in July, and then issues with HR (and budget issues) has delayed it so far. He has already been told by his supervisor that the position is his, he's already doing the work of the job. It should be an increase of about $10,000 yearly, which should, if nothing else, bump us back up to where we were, even after the garnishment. I've applied to Walmart, and am looking to see what else is out there, but really there's not a lot to be had. My trouble is, too, that I haven't worked since 2004, been going to school part time as well as taking care of my children, 2 which are special needs. That gap doesn't look good with employers.
So our other option is to reduce expenses. Unfortunately there's not much to reduce. Our cable/internet/phone is all bundled together through Charter, and we can't stop cable without stopping the other 2, and that's not an option, as hubby works from home 3 days a week, and my daughter attends virtual school. We need the internet. I am looking at reducing our car insurance payment, by lowering deductibles. I have a meeting scheduled with our agent next week. I've cancelled the YMCA membership, which kept costing us overdraft fees because I'd always forget about it. We have a cell phone, but we're under contract, so to cancel that means we have to pay an early cancellation fee up front, so that makes no sense to do that, either.
We will be getting approx $1700 back on our federal tax return, and some on state, so that will help to get us caught up on our bills, and will also get rid of that awful check cashing loan we have out.
So we are literally just treading water here, trying not to drown in the process. To top it off, the coffee maker stopped working today and the deep fryer is missing. It's a little thing, I know, but on top of everything else that's been going on, it's just too much. Right now we're of the mindset, ok what else is going to go wrong? Waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.
So that's my update. Definitely not a pretty one, and really really hoping that we can bring ourselves financially out of this mess and in a better place. Ironically that was our new year's resolution: to become financially better. Now I'm not really sure if that's going to happen. No way we can save if we can't even meet our basic essentials each month.