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airline tickets

May 28th, 2012 at 02:41 am

We need to order airline tickets to travel back to Wisconsin for our son's wedding next month. It's been sort of touch and go as to whether we'd able to afford the trip, which is why they haven't been ordered yet.

I am just wondering if anyone out there knows of a site to buy cheaper tickets? We know about kayak.com, expedia, travelocity, etc. we've checked BJs but it wasn't cheaper through them.

Any other ideas?

ING Direct

March 10th, 2012 at 04:40 am

Who has experience with them? I am thinking of opening an online savings account, but they require you to link your checking account, and I'm just a little nervous doing that.

Ideas Needed to Build EF

September 23rd, 2011 at 02:41 pm

Hello all. I don't think I've blogged since before we moved to Florida. We arrived safe and sound, but the car we put so much money into before we left finally died on Sunday, so now we have a car payment. *Dislike* but what can you do? A car is a necessity here.

Because of the move, our savings account was pretty much depleted, and we need to build it up again.

I am looking for ways to build up the EF. I am available during the hours when my kids are in school, but need to home when they come because my son has autism and needs me here. Babysitting is out because my husband works from home full-time and he can't have kid noises in the background.

I've considered freelance writing work. I'm a good writer, but I have absolutely no experience in it nor a degree in journalism or English, so I'm not even sure if I could get a gig doing that.

So I am looking for ideas, good survey sites you use, etc. We've pretty much sold everything we could on Craigslist before we moved here so that's not an option. I've looked for a part time job in the area but no one is hiring. I've looked into working for Disney, but you need full availability 2-3 days a week, and with us only having one car, and living 50 min away from WDW, it wouldn't work out for taking the kids to and picking up from school. And we can't afford the expense of 2 cars right now.

I'd really like to pursue the freelance writing thing; I get job postings for different assignments on Facebook, but I'm not sure what the best route to take would be for that.

3 days 17 hours to go

July 19th, 2011 at 04:50 am

I notice my 2-yr blog-o-versary was July 15, and once again I've missed it :-) We are moving to Florida this Friday; it's hard to believe it's finally here. We've got some big expenses coming up, and really I'll be glad when this move is all over with and we can get back to normal. Our new normal :-)

We've been able to get rid of at least 60% of our belongings. You wouldn't be able to tell that from the pile of boxes in my house, but I shudder to think how many boxes there would be if we had kept it all. We will be paying $3400 to move from Wisconsin to Florida, but we will get a refund if our weight is below what was calculated, so I'm really hoping that's the case.

We've lost a lot of money in car repairs--well I shouldn't say "lost" but you know what I mean. We brought the car in last month expecting to pay around $300-$400 and spent $900. Then a couple of weeks ago we had to bring it in again and spent another $450. I'm thankful we had the money, but it was money that was earmarked for furniture, so I'm afraid we won't be able to replace a lot at first. I'm not even sure mattresses for the kids will happen at this point for a couple of weeks. They may have to get used to their airbeds for a while :-)

We estimate our expenses will be a lot lower in Florida than in Wisconsin. We currently pay $130 per month for water. In Florida, it will be $20/month. Our electric/gas bill here averages between $250-$350, depending on how hot or cold it is. In Florida it will be about $120 a month for electric, and no gas bill. Even cable/internet is $45 cheaper, and of course no state income tax.

I was a little annoyed tonight, because we did our change of address for the post office, and it gave us a coupon for one month free plus free installation of cable/internet, but you have to mention the coupon when scheduling the installation, and its not valid on prior scheduled installations. :-( Hubby is going to try and call and see if we can get the coupon applied, but chances are they won't budge. If it were me, I'd just cancel and wait, because the coupon is good until the end of September, but he needs internet for his job, and we can't chance that it won't be installed in time. Lesson here: if you're moving, do not set up your cable/internet until you've done the change of address with the post office. Chances are you'll get a coupon. :-)

One of the things I'd like to do once we move is work for Walt Disney World. Part of me wants to apply now, but we'll be living about 20 miles away, and I have to make sure that it wouldn't conflict with school schedules, and I don't want the pressure of having to unpack boxes and work right away. We only have 1 car, so it makes it a little tricky. And I don't want to take on another car payment just yet. I'm enjoying being car payment free at the moment!

We're mostly packed; right now I'm working on the cleaning. I like to leave it in roughly the same condition as it was when we left it, and in this case maybe even a little better because the old renters did not do a very thorough job of cleaning it. I'm hoping to get our security deposit back on Friday; it's what he's done in the past, but the lease does say it will get mailed. But it said that before and he gave it to us right away. So we shall see, I guess!

Thanks for reading--I do plan on being more active once we're settled. I probably will pop on before we leave and let you know how much was in our piggy bank. I've been selling stuff on Craigslist ever since January, and all that money plus any change we've had has gone into our piggy bank, and I'm really curious to see how much is in there. We've only had to dip into once when we needed cash, and that was only for $10.

Grocery shopping & new goals

April 11th, 2011 at 03:12 pm

I dropped my son off at school, and then I went grocery shopping this morning for the week, and discovered I really like doing it at this time. I'm out anyways, the store is not busy, and I'm home before 10 and still have the rest of the day ahead of me. It didn't seem so much like a chore as it usually does.

My new goal is to only eat out once every two weeks. Lately we have been doing it way too much, and my checkbook and my scale has not been too kind to me lately.

This ties in with my next goal, which is to have $10,000 in our moving account by the time we move. This is a very achievable goal if we don't waste our money before then. I'd also like to pay down the credit cards, which have an approximate balance of $850. We'll see. Right now it's more important to have the cash available than it is to have the cc paid off. Ideally they will both happen, but the emphasis will be on bulking up the deposit account.

We did sell our car, and paid off our car loan, so we are officially car-loan free! What a great feeling, first time since 2006. We do intend to replace our car in a year or two, but want to have a nice downpayment (if not all) to do it with.

Easter shopping is all done, so the rest of this week should be no spending.

We're definitely making progress with our boxes, and hope to pack up quite a few this week. The master bedroom is done, so now I'm going to concentrate on the kitchen and sunroom. I think we've donated enough to Goodwill to open up our own store! :-) Basically, if we don't love it, we get rid of it. It doesn't matter how much we paid for it, it doesn't matter if we used it in the past, or might use it in the future, it has to be something that has meaning to us or that we use on a regular basis to make the cut. And that doesn't cost too much to move. One thing this move has done for us is really to prioritize what's important for us. And what's important is not our stuff.

Moving to Florida

March 11th, 2011 at 05:15 am

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.

I'm back,

December 29th, 2010 at 07:12 am

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.

long time no post

July 10th, 2010 at 06:14 am

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. :=)

spending & freebie

July 17th, 2009 at 05:38 am

Spent $34.10 in the grocery store.
I did use my cloth bags and received .15 credit (5 cents per bag), and also used a coupon for .40. so .55 savings.

Received free in the mail a collapsible cooler. This was not something we ordered or even expected, but it was on our "to buy" list next week for Disney. So wow, we saved $20 today with that!

Paid $50 extra to 401K loan.