<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Personal Finance
 

Viewing the 'Personal Finance' Category

Closing out the year

December 22nd, 2009 at 07:50 pm

Wow....I have fallen off the blogging wagon. I logged in to update my accomplishments on the 2009 goals - where did 2009 go?!?

I have to say we did EXCELLENT. We beat our goals on 2 of our debts - they are both completely gone as of last Friday!! Wahoo!!! The only thing I didn't do was make Lifetime at Weight Watchers. I am resolved to put myself on my priority list moving forward and I start a new WW session on January 6. I only have 18 pounds to go to make it to my goal and to hit lifetime.

I need to start thinking about 2010 goal publishing. I'll want to keep the emergency fund maintained, 15% to 401(k)and ultimately, pay off this last $26K on my Federal Student Loan. If we could do all we did this year, we can have hope of being debt free by this time next year.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Paid My Bonus to Debt

March 26th, 2009 at 07:06 pm

I just updated the sidebars to reflect paying all of my annual bonus to our debt! Well, all but $742. I used that to pay one of the hospital bills for the birth of my son in January. Once I get that money reimbursed from my Flexible Spending Account the $742 will be heading off as well.

April is going to have about half the debt snowball we aim for - we want to send at least $700 extra to debt each month. As the "geek," I put together our initial written budget each month and April has a couple of additional line items - summer clothes for the family (limited amount & shopping on sales), $110 for one last hospital bill for my oldest son from December 2008 (just now due), and minor planned expenses for a weekend away for my husband for an organization that he volunteers for (a convention).

We still haven't found a newer vehicle to replace my husband's 1990 Jeep Cherokee. We have been passively looking since we don't *have* to replace his car. We are now starting to consider buying a newer Cherokee (1999-2001) and only spending part of what we have saved up in our car fund. That will be that much more money to go toward debt this year. I would love to have our car & my smaller student loan paid off THIS YEAR!

March Goals & A Road Trip

February 28th, 2009 at 05:36 pm

I'm spending my Saturday night preparing for a spontaneous trip to Michigan! We talked about going to see our family during my maternity leave and made the decision late Thursday night. We're leaving in the late afternoon Monday and will drive into the night, stay in a hotel (I'll post if we get our favorite hotel in Kentucky for $25 on priceline) and finish the trip Tuesday morning.

Today is the last day of February and Baby #2 is 1 month old! Hubby did a photo shoot this afternoon and I'm planning on ordering about 25 birth announcements from walmart.com (33-cents each) since that costs less than me handmaking them.

And since March begins tomorrow (where is 2009 going??!!), here are some goals for the month:
1. Send bonus check to debt.
2. Find $50 in snowflakes this month to send to debt.
3. Continue my good progress on Weight Watchers and lose 5 additional pounds.
4. Exercise consistently at least 3 days per week.

.............................

February accomplishments:
- We accumulated $73 in snowflakes for debt
- To date we have paid off 27% of our total debt

.............................

To remind us to be intense on paying off our debt I was silly and created a paper chain. I wrote each month from February 2009-March 2011 on the links and strung it up on the refrigerator. I look forward to watching that chain shrink!! If we pay things off faster I'll remove links from the pay off end and on the last day of each month I'll remove that month's link - today I ripped of February 2009!

The cool thing is that as we've had company at our house they ask about the chain and it gives us an opportunity to explain what we're doing. People really understand when we tell them how many rings would be up there if we weren't so aggressive to keep it to those 24 months we're up against.

New Years & Spending

January 4th, 2009 at 01:56 pm

No real update to post Smile Every Friday I update our weekly spending and hubby & I do our weekly budget committee meeting. Lately we've been doing really well and snowflaking in a few categories.

This past Friday we didn't have any snowflakes. We put on a New Year's Day party for about 10 friends and used grocery money to fun sodas & appetizers. We used our gas money that was underspent to order several pizzas (with a deal) from Dominos. It was a lot of fun.

We should have a good week this week - I'm adding some extra snacks to the grocery list for next week, plus extra soda. I'll be putting together a welcome basket for my sister & BIL. They are moving here to Atlanta a week from Tuesday, so I want to bring them some goodies since they'll have moved 800 miles and won't have a chance to immediately get to the store.

And unless the new baby comes sooner I have these next 2 weeks in the office before maternity leave starts. We should be able to scrap up even more money over my leave since I won't have my full commute to work everyday - more gas money to pay on debt!

Shopping

December 29th, 2008 at 04:36 pm

Yesterday I got out of the house alone for a few hours. My favorite past time, window shopping, kept me busy but I did buy a few things. This weekend my $20 spending money was burning a hole in my pocket. I ended up paying $7 to get my eyebrows waxed, $4 for an iced decaf white mocha, $2 for 2 new eye shadows and $3.99 for hair coloring.

I haven't colored my own hair since high school, but I hadn't had it colored since my son was a couple of months old and he's almost 2. So I took the plunge and colored it last night. It was relatively painless and turned out well. My sister is moving to Atlanta in 2 weeks - not only am I elated beyond belief to have her here, but she attended cosmetology school and can help me do it in the future and will cut & style my hair for me.

................

I ventured into CVS - can't believe I hadn't really done that before. I'm going to try to catch the ECB train; I signed up for their rewards program. Our house is very small, so I don't have a lot of storage space for pantry & HBA items, but we'll see how I do in time. Combining the P&G brand saver coupons from the paper, I purchased items I needed on sale (shampoo, paper towel, body wash) and used coupons. I ended up with $2 in ECBs. I got diapers on sale at Target and ended up spending enough to send away for their Bonus Coupon Books. I'll take all the diaper coupons I can getSmile

http://www.pgeverydaysolutions.com/pgeds/en_US/jsp/EDS_Page.jsp?pageID=Year-of-Savings

.................

Today I spent a few hours in the office. We basically shut down the last 2 weeks of the year, but since I only have 11 days in the office now before my maternity leave starts I have a lot to get wrapped up. I finished off the day tidying my office which always makes me feel a great sense of accomplishment.

.................

Hubby and I spent the weekend getting ready for the new baby. I got the 0-3 month clothes from the attic and washed, plus the bassinet. We rearranged Baby D's room and made room for his baby brother's stuff in the chest of drawers. Otherwise, we're all set. I'd like to find a used double stroller, so I keep scouring craigslist and such.

.................

I need to change my withholdings this coming year. It's silly, but I've been claiming 0 for so long to ensure I get a nice refund, but I'd rather get that money throughout the year to pay down our debt. Does anyone know of a good source for figuring out what will be taken from your check each pay period depending on your withholdings? If all else fails I'll play with paycheck city. I did try the irs.gov calculator to just tell me the number of withholdings, but I didn't find it that helpful.

.................

And thanks for the kind words about my son. He ended up burning his left palm/fingers badly in a campfire (the morning after). We spent a few days at the Burn Center in Augusta and he had 2 surgeries. He's so resilient and awesome and he's just doing so well!