Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thrift Store Sale!!!

So, a cute little store has opened up in my little town. Its a small thrifty clothing boutique. Its called The Paper Bag Boutique. We handle the accounts at the bank and when she came to make her deposits I asked how the store was going and she said that she was having a sale today. Fill up a bag and its only ten dollars. I told her I'd stop by as soon as I got off work. What a deal!!

For ten dollars I was able to get, one dress, 3 pairs of work slacks, 5 tshirts for the boys, 3 shirts for me, a pajama set for me, and a few other things. I also got a pair of brand new sandals for $3. Some of the shirts and slacks still had department store tags on them. One of the slacks was a Dockers brand. All the clothing is in near perfect condition.

I love this store!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Checking IN

So, I think March went really well. I thought i had blown the grocery budget but I hadn't. April is going to be a bit more difficult. I took a week off when my kids were sick and that really busted my paycheck.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Financial Peace Jr.

I got this kit yesterday. I'm trying to come up with chores to put on the commission board. Things that are age appropriate and also trying to decide the pay level. What I've got so far is

Making bed, this is ten cents a day.
Picking up toys, 25 cents a day

Sweeping .50
Vacuuming .50

The last two are twice a week chores.

The fines are going to be a real help. Each fine is .50, the offenses are

Not listening
Whining/Fit throwing
Hitting/Kicking or otherwise harming someone.

I figured that the fines need to cost more than the chores.

These are the most basic, and the ones I figure the kids can do. I wouldn't have put vacuuming on there except they surprised me one day and had vacuumed my living room. So, I know they can do it.

I have a 6 year old. A 4 year old, and a 2 year old.

What are everyones thoughts? Suggestions?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Looking forward to April

I can't wait for April to start. I'm excited to get that one debt paid off. I'm also impatiently waiting for the remaining bills for this month to come in.

The grocery store had a case lots sale this week. So I got cases of the foods we use most often. Chili, beans, corn, green beans, juice, refried beans.

I got an official notice of debt paid off from ACS. Filed away and will be kept forever. I had even over paid by 1.55 so they sent a check for that amount too. I can't wait to build my collection of debt paid in full letters. Its such a great thing to see!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Extra money?

So, my paycheck this morning was a bit more than I had budgeted for. Any other month I would roll it into the snowball, but I'm getting my teeth deep cleaned this month and have to pay out of pocket for it. I'm going to transfer it to the money market account so that I know not to touch it. The money market account is where my baby efund is parked.

The panic set in last night. I was up all night tossing and turning wondering if I was going to be able to keep up with the program as the months go by. Crunching numbers in my head all night. I realized though that as long as I'm planning ahead of time what money is spent where and writing it down, then I have a goal to shoot for. On April 1st, I'll be paying off another debt. I have to call and make sure I don't owe anything else on it but by my estimates it will be paid off. Then in May I can start really attacking the snowball, $200 extra dollars on another payment. That will be paid off by august if not sooner. I'm also going to be looking at other ways to save. I am going to cancel my tivo subscription. That will free up an extra $12.95 a month. Which may not seem like a lot but it does add up. I'll be saving the 12.95 a month to purchase something that I really want to get.

I requested to be contacted by the area insurance ELP. I really need to see what I can do about health insurance for myself. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, the $60 a month savings has been split between my three children. $20 to each one's savings account. Once my debts are paid off I will put that payment towards savings. $500 a month until step 3 is completed. Which by my estimates will take 10 months. That is a conservative estimate though.

I can see it. This is going to happen for me. I will be out of debt and I will be living like no one else, and my children will be taken care of. I will retire with dignity. My retirement account has taken a hit, but I'm still young and continuing to contribute. I contribute the minimum to meet the match, but will up that when I don't have to worry about debt payments or living expenses. I can't wait! The end of the tunnel is just around the bend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chat anyone?

I love being able to chat with people, and I d love to chat with people who are living like no one else so later we can live like no one else. Let me know if you are interested and I will try to set up a weekly chat somewhere.

Maybe we can share chat handles? Mine is on msn and gerr1271 on yahoo.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Total Money Makeover

So, I had a subscription at one point to TMMO. It's 9.95 a month and I canceled it. I've been debating for the last few months on renewing the subscription, so I sat down and looked at my budget. I have a subscription to Netflix and Tivo. Both of which really aren't helpful to my pocket book and I'm debating on canceling either or both of them. I figured if I'm going to spend $5 on netflix and $12 on tivo that spending $10 on TMMO shouldn't be a problem. After all, one is going to help me in the long run.

This morning I logged in and renewed and updated my steps, I've paid off some small debts since I had been on there. I like seeing the progress and I love the forums and chatroom, its always fun to get that WAY TO GO!!! when you accomplish something. I also love being able to bounce ideas off of other people.

I have found that creating a budget each month is working. I had an epiphany this morning while filling out the gazelle budget on TMMO, I could make the numbers work. I have a zero based budget. Its become natural for me to sit down at the beginning of the month and write out the budget. I usually use the gazelle budget lite on dave's site while I'm at work and print it out, then go through and double check it. Its happened slowly and without me realizing, but I have a budget that works.

I still love GNUcash for tracking purchases. Its a lot like quicken in that it offers dual entry accounting.

I'm such a number nerd. :D

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Forecasted Debt Free Date

My forecasted debt free date is January 2013. I'm hoping it'll be sooner than that, as thats just following the snow ball and doesn't take into account extra payments like when the tax refund comes in.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And here we go

I just paid off another small debt. Original amount was $214 for a medical copay. That is now taken care of. Getting momentum definitely helps with this paying off of debts.

Friday, February 27, 2009

March Snowball

Lex $600
United educators $1200
Mountainland $1200
Sallie Mae $6500
Cavalry $13000

March Budget

Income $1500

Tithing $120
Savings $60

Rent $339
Electric $60
Gas $40
Internet/Phone $83
Cell $50
Fuel $20
Food $91
Personal $60
Medical $60
Debts $500
Student loan $100
Lex $200 (snowball)
United Educators $50
Mountainland $50
Cavlary $100

"I must have raised you right"

No. I don't think that is a true statement.

My mother said that to me the other day. She was amazed that I had money in savings and had been paying off debts and had not bounced a check. My mom thinks nothing of bouncing checks actually. To her its just a part of life. She rarely knows how much she has in her account, she doesn't keep track of it and she doesn't use her internet banking to verify her funds.

When she said this to me, I thought, thats not it. She raised me poor. I grew up knowing the value of money, we didn't have much. We did without, we knew what having money meant. My siblings and I are all pretty good with our money. We may be considered tight fisted although we do spend it when we have it. I make sure my bills are paid before I spend money on toys. I've found that doing things this way gives me more money to spend on the fun stuff. I recently built a computer that if I had purchased prebuilt would have been close to 3k. I paid a total of $600 for it.

Growing up poor made me realize that money doesn't grow on trees. That hard work goes a long way. Doing without things that you don't really need, eventually pays off.

I recently started school. One of my previous student loans automatically went into deferment. I didn't ask them to but they did anyway. I plan on still paying it every month, because I don't want to have any debts on my slate.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm excited to be debt free. I have one huge debt that is a huge stupid tax. It was a van that was voluntarily surrendered and I still owe 13k on it. And that was after the auction. My current plan has that debt paid off in two years. I hope to have it out of here sooner. Thats actually the next debt I need to work on I think. I'll have to recheck what I have.

I use open office and I found a wonderful template on their website for debt-reduction. Very well organized I think with lots of good tips.

I"m using my tax refund to slowly pay off all debts. I put 1k in savings. I'll be posting March's budget in a few minutes. Rent had gone up, but utilities will be going down since the weather is getting nicer.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One Debt Down!!

I did it! I paid off one of my student loans. That's $1500 less on my debt list.

Feels a little lighter now!

Monday, February 2, 2009

February Budget

oops skipped January. Oh well. Pick up and dust off.


Income: 1200

Tithing 120
Savings 60
Rent 277
Electric 66
Gas 65
Phone/Internet 83
Cell 60
Groceries 140
Fuel 20
Envelopes 180 (recreation, personal, medical)

Paid $199 on debts this month on top of paying off one of my student loans completely.

Also spent money on a few toys. Building a computer again, also bought a really really nice camera.

I have been making a little bit of money on the side repairing computers. I have an account at another bank that I put that money in. Its harder to access since I don't have any checks or a debit card for that account.