Friday, December 5, 2008

December Budget

For December:

Rent $277
Electric $49.80
Gas $33
Frontier $83.70
Verizon $59
Geico $51
Tivo $12.95
Netflix $5.33
Nails/Blow $60
Fuel $40 (if that, gas prices going down, and I'm not doing a lot of traveling)
Food $100
Tithing $120

Total Expenses : $891.78

Income Estimate:
Child Support $597.30
Wages $600

Report on last month. Did really well, keeping in budget. Spent about $200 on Christmas presents. I was very excited that Target was offering their Black Friday sales online. Didn't have to worry about crowds.

Everyone Enjoy your Christmas holiday!!

and remember the Zions tool, My Gift Planner to help you budget this holiday season!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November Budget

Here's what the budget for November looks like:

Rent $287 ($10 late fee that couldn't be avoided)
Electric $67.83
Gas $23
Cell phone $61
Phone/Internet $50
Car insurance $51
nails/blow $60
tivo $12.95
netflix $5.33
Fuel $40 (yay for lowering gas prices)
food $100

total $758.11

Income estimate:
Child support $597
Zions payroll $714
Total: $1311

Friday, October 17, 2008


Ok, my friend Ellie tagged me awhile back. And I guess I should do something with that. It sounds like a fun idea and a good way to get publicity for blags. Here's the rules:

Here are the rules to the tag:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
5) Let them know they are tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger (who tagged you) know when your post is up

Hmm, 6 random things about me

1. I love the english language. I love the complexities of it, the history behind it. I love to play with words and I love to write. On car trips I read every sign, forwards and backwards. I know that the town 20 miles away from me, Egnar, is Range backwards. I wonder if that was on purpose. I read a book once where the Hero was named Ward. He was a cowboy, and his name backwards is Draw.

2. I love computers. I've started a fairly nice collection of slightly working machines. My neighbors know me as computer lady. When my neighbors have a question, they ask me. And they know if I can't fix it, I can refer them to someone who can.

3. I have a passion for classic cars. I own a 1984 Mercedes. I love the body styles of the old cars, especially the 60's era Mustangs. My brother has a 1969 Mustang Coupe. I'd love to eventually get a 1966 GMC stepside pickup.

4. I have more friends that I've met on the internet than I have in real life. Some of my best friends live on the East Coast, and I've never actually met them. I probably never will, but it shows how powerful the internet is in shrinking the world. I would have never met them otherwise.

5. I watch way too much tv. I have my favorite shows though and they change from season to season. Some that I like are Lost, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, Supernatural, Smallville, Pushing Daisies, Chuck. And reruns of Friends, MASH, Scrubs, Perfect Strangers, Are you Being Served.

6. I love webcomics. Particularly XKCD and Questionable Content.

I'd like to tag Crandall, who is one of my greatest friends and a great conversationalist, and one of those friends that I met online. I'll also tag Rob, who is my pseudo-brother in law. His posts are interesting and thought provoking. This is sad, I don't know any other blags that haven't already been tagged lol.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saving money- the geeky way

At the moment, I have 4 computers in the house. All working, all in fairly decent condition. All running stable operating systems. The question is, how can you be saving money if you're plunking money down to get these operable and licensed, etc.

The answer: I'm not.

Here's what I have: 2 desktops and 2 laptops.

One desktop was a free promotional item from my phone company. Its a dell optiplex, simple, its running Windows XP home edition.

One desktop was something I"ve had for a couple years, that wasn't working very well. Its a built computer so there's no brand label on it. Its running Kubuntu O/S

The newer laptop is my HP, runs Vista. And all the headaches associated.

The older laptop was one of my moms. A few years ago, my brother stepped on it, while it was open. The keyboard is wonky, the power button bar is touchy, and the hard drive was toast. Put a new hard drive in it, straightened the keyboard, and loaded Kubuntu as well.

Kubuntu. One of many Linux distros. Linux is an open source O/S. It can be slightly intimidating for someone used to Windows. But there are actually many flavors that make the transition easy. Kubuntu is one, Ubuntu, Knoppix, etc. There are many, so if you're interested click onthe link in the title of this post and see what there is.

A great thing about linux, is that most if not all of the applications and programs are at no cost. Many of the most used applications are included with each distro, but some you'll want to add.

When I installed Kubuntu on my desktop, it had Open Office pre installed. OpenOffice is an open source office suite. I had to download Firefox. The browser included was fine, but not what I'm used to. I've been a Firefox girl for years. I also downloaded Thunderbird as my email client. There are many options out there but I stuck with what I know. For the kids I downloaded a few games. There are so many it was hard to choose, but I picked a few that I thought the kids would like.

Now you all know how excited I get about finance programs. Free ones especially. I put a program called GnuCash on here. Its easy to use, keeps track of finances, debt reduction, itemizes, does business accounts, auto budgets, allows editing, and that's just what I've played with so far. It also makes it easy to reconcile the account. I like being able to forecast my account, spending every dollar on paper, before the month begins. I think I've got this down. I've slipped on keeping track and my budget, and have sat here and wondered where my money has gone. I think though that I'll be able to get my finances in order again, and get my E-fund funded.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Making cutbacks: revisited

Remember a few posts back I mentioned that I had cutback on my landline plan? I thought the savings would be about $40. I got the bill the other day and I was surprised and pleased to see that instead of the usual $120, it was $48. A savings of $70!!!! So, now my living expenses look like this:

Tithing: $120
Savings: $200
Rent: $277
Food: $100
Electric: $60
Gas: $50 (I'm just paying a flat amount, its actually about $12 for the summer months)
Cell: $60 ( I found out I get a 17% discount through work)
Landline/Internet: $48

Total: $918

Plus $100 in debt payments.

Its definitely worth it to get discounts, and to call companies to see if you can get a better deal.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thrift Store Findings!

Shopping at thrift stores can be a very rewarding experience. Our local one is Cindy's Seconds. I usually walk past her store on the way to or from work. I usually don't go in, but sometimes she has things on the sidewalk in front.

A few weeks ago I was thinking "It'd be nice to have a coffee table" and the next day I walked past her store, and there was a coffee table sitting out front. Decently priced at $12.

Very handy to have. This is where I usually have my laptop, and as you can see, the Wii wheels for mariokart lol.

I've been needing a dining set for awhile now. I've been saving up, figuring I'd need at least $150 for a decent set. Today, again walking past Cindy's, she had a table sitting out, with four chairs and a leaf insert for the table. Price $75.

All in all I am pleased with my findings. I also bought a children's hutch for $15.

I also picked up a few outfits for the kids, those were .25 each. It's been a productive day!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Getting Gazelle Intense

I'm ready to knock this loan out! Its a small student loan, my last statement states that I owe $1404 on it, with the minimum payment being $50 a month. When my e-fund is fully funded, I'll start paying $250 towards that loan. In the meantime, I'll add an extra payment each month. So that shouldn't take long to knock out. I can't wait to get started! I've also listed a few items on ebay. That can get addicting. Hopefully they'll sell. I've been looking all over for things to sell, mostly good conditioned clothing and gently worn items.

Does anyone have any ideas of what could be easily parted with? Any body need something they're willing to purchase?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Financial Peace University

I went to the first class and it was great. I missed the second one, but I've been working through the workbook and learning a lot about myself and my money habits.

Its hard being a single person and trying to budget. Because there is no built in accountability partner. I'd like this blog to be part of my accountability system. Posting all of my financial oopses may help me to not make them anymore. And to my readers, feel free to give me a swift kick in the pants if you see me needing one. LOL, be gentle though.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Making some cutbacks

So, I've been looking for ways to save money, I'm really starting to feel the panic set in of having enough and being able to pay for everything. So, I called the phone company to downsize my landline. I was paying for long distance that I wasn't using so I just wanted to go back to basic. Will be saving about $40 a month. I'm going really gung ho on savings. Putting $50 a week in a savings account, so $200 a month. I'm contemplating giving up having my nails done, I love it, but its really draining my cash flow. So, redone expenses budget

Tithing $120
Savings $200
Rent $277
Electric $70
Gas $50
Groceries $100
Phone/Internet $90
Cell $60
Fuel $100
Blow $50
Debt payments $200

I think that's it, but if anyone has any other ideas feel free to let me know

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I'm going to the Dave Ramsey Live event this Saturday!! I am so excited. I got discount tickets through work, and we were given permission to share the code, so if any of my readers are going to be in Salt Lake this Saturday, the promo code is ZIONSFPU

I can't wait! And I also found out that they are offering Financial Peace University at the CEU campus in Blanding. I'm going to go to that, the preview class is this tuesday.

Now for my personal update. I moved to a place that offers cheaper rent, I'll be saving close to $200. I am rebuilding my e-fund, paying minimums on my debts and getting things organized again.

I used the Economic Stimulus Rebate to pay some things down and get caught up on others. I'll be getting a bonus from work soon and will use that for the same thing.

If anyone gets a chance, listen to some of the podcasts of the Dave Ramsey show, especially on Fridays. Its very inspiring!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Saving money around the house

One area that can be very helpful in saving money is being able to sew. There are quite a few household items, that are very simple and easy to sew. Things like sheets, washrags, even a simple quilt, pillows, curtains.

My friend ellie is very very talented with her sewing machine. I usually ask her for help and tips from her. Her blog is in my favorites blog list, she's attached parent She has a wonderful post with a sew-along for sheets for a toddler bed that stay tucked in. They are really easy to make, and soo handy to have. I made some for my kids, and it really makes changing their bed sheets much simpler. It was also much cheaper than purchasing them at a store. I found the material for $1 a yard and its very good quality.

Curtains can be made quite simply, and often with just an old flat sheet, just hem an inch at one end, with a space large enough to accomadate a curtain rod.

There are many ways to save money around the house by making things for daily use.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Slacking, for shame

I've been terrible, about blogging, about finances, even my house has suffered. We've all been sick and trying to recover from a stomach virus that has attacked a cold, its not fun.

I haven't been keeping very good track of my finances, at least, I haven't been writing what I've spent down, I've been estimating in my head. I splurged this last weekend though and bought a cell phone. I probably could have gone without, but I've had instances where my car doesn't start and I need to call for help. Having the cell will make me feel at least slightly more secure.

Christmas was a blast. I had a budget set for christmas, with the idea that the less toys the kids got the less cluttered my house would be on christmas day. My community had different ideas. Every day for about a week before Christmas, I"d find a bag of wrapped gifts and boxes of food on my porch. So my kids got a bunch of gifts, they got to the point that they didn't want to unwrap anything else. One of the really fun gifts was a gift card to the grocery store, in the amount of $200. Now the challenge with the grocery store gift card, is that it has to be spent all at once, so, I went to the store armed with my grocery list, decided to stock up on paper goods and other supplies. Even with my list, I was about $15 short of the $200 goal, so I bought a video, which I don't usually do at the grocery store because they are usually overpriced. But it was worth it, I bought a veggie tales video, and the kids love it, and it has a good message and fairly decent songs.

This is a very disjointed and unorganized blog, but I think it will help me get back in the swing of things.

Next time I'll discuss saving money around the house.