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Trying This Again

January 18th, 2012 at 07:00 pm

I have good intentions of blogging but then I never seem to do it. I love reading other posts, because they really do inspire me, but it never seems to go much farther than that. I have the "spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" type of thing going on.

So I will start by confessing that I do not have a written budget, I do not have an EF, and I am probably one step away from disaster. But still life goes on.

My goal for this year is to pay off my credit card bills and set up an EF. But yeah, I have no game plan as to how to reach this goal. So I figure the best place to start is by blogging here.

48 days

June 3rd, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Until we move from Wisconsin to Florida! Yeesh! I'm excited but I am so tired of living among boxes and packing boxes and dropping stuff off at Goodwill and listing on Craigslist and Freecycle only to have no shows all the time ....etc :-(

We've been doing this since January, and while it is nice to have time to sort through all our junk, it really is a long haul. I will be glad for when it's over.

We've had some unexpected expenses pop up (always, right?), mostly medical. Right now I am soaking my foot because I had an ingrown toenail removed today. Minor surgical procedure, which I don't even want to know how much will cost. And I know we will need to bring in our car in to be serviced before we leave. We've already put $600 worth of repairs in March, and I know we'll at least need to get the exhaust looked at as it's sounding a little loud lately. But the car is paid for, no more loan payments! yay! so even though its a '98 it's still running well and worth it to put money into it. We've been a one car family for about a month now, and its really working out well.

Hope you all have a nice weekend Smile

Grocery shopping & new goals

April 11th, 2011 at 08:12 am

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.

I'm back,

December 28th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

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 9th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

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. :=)


January 9th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

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.

spending & freebie

July 16th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

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.