I am actually excited to be working on budget this month. My son and daughter-in-law have been working on their debt by using the envelope system. While I have a lot of automatic payments I am using a envelope based system with my Excel program. I did not fill up the car with gas but only put in $30.00 which is what I had alloted for gas using this system. Normally, I would just fill the tank and not even think about the cost. It nice to see where our paychecks will be going instead of the ramdom spending we normally do.
I am a pretty good saver until it comes to my little darlings. The older grandson just turned four years old and we are having him a party in three days. Target has been seeing me alot. I just have the hardest time not buying him things. He is always so appreciative just full of thank you's It sure makes it easy to buy for him. State taxes are due in October along with car tags and yearly golf cart fees. I just thoughtAugust was a hectic month. Of course, I felt like I had to to buy a small gift for the one year old. Is love going to keep me in debt?
Ok, so here goes. I did a second mortgage to pay off some bills. One of those being Capital One. It was paid off on 7/28 and when I got my statement it showed that I had a credit of $79.00 due to the early payoff. Well, since it is so hard to get any money owed you from credit companies, I was ordering my grandbaby some new bedding so I just put it on the Capital One card to use up the balance owed to me - to clear it out. Well now when I check my statement the $79.00 credit had disappeard and in it's place was interest fee of $63.00. Go figure. It will now take no telling how many phone calls to get it all straightened out. I truly hate credit cards and will not use them any more after this has been taken care of.
Yesterday was a real spend day. Mom's 78th birthday was yesterday and so we hosted a party for her at our home. It was a cookout and just for family but still it costs for burgers, cake, gifts, etc. While she has most everything this year we bought her a blood pressure monitor that will be very easy for her to use. She just found out about six months that she had high blood pressure. One thing that came from the party last night is that while "playing" with the blood pressure monitor found that mother-in-law had extremely high blood pressure. She does not go to the doctor unless she gets sick and has not been sick in a couple of years so it was a surprise. She is 80 and very stubborn so next challenge is to get her to go to the doctor for a complete check up. August is such a busy month with someones birthday every weekend, mom, grandmother, son and grandbaby so we now just have to get thru this month and then can start saving more.
Spent the day searching for a dress to wear to a friend's evening wedding next weekend. Found three all on sale and shoes to match. Made sure that the ones that I did not want could be returned to the store. Brought all three home and tried them on for my DH - I really value his opinion on what flatters me. In addition to trying on the three new ones I also tried on a dress that had been hanging in my closet for two years. My DH choose the one that had been in the closet. He said he had always liked the way it looked on me. So final saving will be $200.00 the total cost of all the items I purchased that I will return. No new shoes needed as I slready had some to match the "closet" dress. Lesson learned: shop from my closet first.
Well we finally took out a second mortgage. Hated to do it but the stress was making me physically ill. I know some of what we did was stupid - such as taking a couple of bills with a low interest rate and rolling them with all the other into a higher interest rate but if things work out the way I plan we can be debt free in 5 or less years with some savings to boot. Will see our monthly payments drop by $300+ dollars that will be put into saving/investments and what I call keeping our head about water money. My husband was amazed when I showed him the total money that we owed. We had things to show for all of it but still when you owe it you can wish you had never gotton some things. A 10 thousand diamond ring that I did not have to have at all. My DH wears his plan original wedding band. A car that I'm upside in that I can wait to get paid off and then get rid of it for something more practical. Wish us luck, we are going to do it.
Today was a great day at the mail box. My free pair of Hanes underwear arrived but the best was the doggie breath treat for our great dog Bogey. When I got out of the car with the mail, Bogey was there to meet me. She was excited when I told her that she had mail addressed to her. Yes, I know she is a dog but she still gets excited when she gets mail. It's nice to get a little end of the day treat expecially on a Monday.
This morning Mom and I got started on her clothes closet's. There were three and they were all full. She was astounded when we were done. She was very good about getting rid of things. Found a few surprises such as a nice London Fog coat and a very nice leather coat that she had forgotten about. At this time my car is full, trunk and seat with clothes that I brought home from her house. These clothes will be shared with out local homeless shelter, some will go through a yard sale and some on e-bay. Mom still kept some things that I think she will part with in the next few months. 22 pair of jeans and she wants to get those pared down even more.
We also cleaned up her ceilng fans and other light fixtures. I have been very negligent in helping my mom with her house cleaning chores choosing to just let things stay the way they were since it was comfortable for her. I find that now she is happy that we are doing some real cleaning. It makes me feel better also. Tomorrow is a stay at home day for me to get my own house in order. We will work more on mom's house after that.
Ok, I finally bit the bullet and paid the POA dues. We were holding off on paying them because they simply increased them to pay for the people that were not paying. DH said this was not a fair way to treat those that were paying so we filed a protest. The dues are $150.00 per year which really is not that bad. The POA is now trying to do a better job. I have been really looking at the things we can use what money we have to go ahead a pay off. Will report on that later.
I took this week off work to spend time helping my mom who is 77 declutter. Today we spent most of the day just going thru her cookbooks. I bet we took at least 110 cookbooks to the city library. She kept about 12. I am very proud of her. I also convinced her to finally let me take the encyclopedias that are from the 1950's. They are all going in the trash tonight. We cleaned up her china cabinet which held more junk than anything else. She is feeling better just being able to let go of some things. She still has about 15 different types of bibles but did let go of a few. Tomorrow we will work on her stuff in the closets and dresser drawers. Her house is not air conditioned so today was also a reminder what it is like to like to live simply with nothing but fans going to keep me cool. I have became very spoiled .
A couple of days ago, I took a day off from work to take care of the grandbabies. I was really looking forward to spending the day with them but woke up with a horrible headache and being sick to my stomach. I did not want to cancel so I kept them anyway. Thank goodness they are both such sweeties so we made it ok. After DH and I took them to meet their parents, DH and I went out to eat. We went to the Red Robin and split and meal and had just one soft drink o was able to spend less than $12.00 for dinner. Yesterday, I did have a co-worker pick me up a boneless stuffed chicken that was $18.00 but it is going to make us several meals so it was not too bad. Today, DH was able to find two paid of shoes on a great sale. One paid was Rockports that only cost him $20.00 and they are new just being replaced by a even newer version. Also got DH to agree to drop the lawn service that we have been paying $50.00 per month for. Every little bit helps.
Ok,so now I am desperate. I have decided to try out this experiment. I know it will sound crazy but I am very interested to see how it works.
Here's my plan: I am going to ask everyone I meet to give (not loan) me one dollar. For those that do, I am going to take their name and enter their name along with why they gave me a dollar into my blog.
This should open some interesting dialogue. Would you give someone a dollar just because they asked for it? Would you want to know what they needed it for? Would you be willing to part with a dollar when you are trying to get yourself out of debt.
If asked why I need the dollar my response will be - that I am conducting a social experiment and seeing how willing people are to give a handout for no particular reason.
How important is that one dollar to you.
Ok, maybe being broke has made me lose me mind.
This Is going to be a very long blog since I have been busy the last couple of days. Friday night was our regular date date. We went out for pizza and actually did pretty well. We normally order a large pizza with multiple toppings for the two of us so we can have “leftovers” we also both order either a beer or a soft drink. Well this time we ordered a medium pizza with only two toppings and both had water to drink. We did get one order of garlic bread to share. We got out of there spending only $16.93 that included the tip and we usually spend about $28.00 when we go there. Felt pretty good about that. Even Saturday was not too bad. The pool at our development has been opened and so spent most of the day at the pool while hubby played golf. Nice thing about the pool is that you can get a soft drink from the grille area with free refills and that was nice can also get free ice water. However, I did get hungry and so paid $3.00 for a hot dog. Not real happy with that. Will take my own food/snacks in the future or just run back to my house which is only a couple of blocks down the street. Sunday was a different story, the cupboards were also bare so grocery shopping cost me a whopping $163.00 for two people. I had several coupons for free and two for one items but still overspent. They were purchases for the grandbabies, needed little swimmers for the 8 month old and a couple of toys and new clothes to stay at nana’s house for their visits. Did get some pool toys but that was at the Dollar Store so smart purchase there. I really did not make a grocery list – no time, but I did not using coupons and purchased as many store brands as I could so should have enough groceries for a few weeks. DH did some yard work for his mom and she paid him $100.00 he worked so hard I told him to keep this money – this is his for whatever he needs or wants. He is the saver in our home and I am the spender. He will probably have most of the $100 several weeks from now. Today is a new day and a new start on keeping on financial shape. Going to cancel the lawn service and have the house appraised to get rid of our PMI.
Finally Friday has arrived. My DH has been on vacation all this week so he has been getting some well needed home time. We often forget that way of the ways to take care of ourselves is to have some time carved out just for us to do nothing but want we enjoy doing. It's also nice that he looks forward to me coming home from work. Today since it has been slow at work, I have been putting all our known expenses for the month on the calendar. Good news is together we have a great income. Bad news is we still spend way over what we make. We are trying to do much better. I am cutting everywhere that I possibly can. One positive thing is I have eaten lunch at work every day this week. I used to eat out every day. I have a really good feeling about that. I also called and cut our cable down to just the basic channels. Now if we can just do more about our gas consumption.
It never fails to happen. I had lost my clip on sunglasses that came with my prescription glasses. They were made to go with the glasses so were a bit expensive. After tearing the house and the car(I thought) apart. I finally bit the bullet and got another pair from my eye doc. $50.00 I would have rather not spent. On the way home from work today creeping out from the passenger seat there they were, the original pair. I had convinced myself they were a part of the Disappearing Object Theory. Guess it was instead a part of the not putting them when they belonged when I used them the last time. Oh well, now I have two pair. Hopefully I can take better care of my things and won't have to replace anything else like that. Feel like that $50.00 just flew bye bye.
Ouch – cancelled those extended channels
I am not as brave as some on the boards. I did not think I could go without cable cold turkey so instead; I just called and requested that the extended channels be removed from our bill. This will be a $30.00 per month savings. I hope we can survive not having the extended cable. I don’t mean to whine but we are a family of channels surfers. I guess with a lot of reruns now it the time to be without them.
I left the high speed internet alone but may drop it down to a lesser speed internet and save another $10.00 but right now I really like the fast speed because I am online quite a bit.
I just sold another item on E-bay so more to add to my savings. I am trying a new way of thinking and as I get the money I hope to pay it on a bill. I feel that will keep me more motivated if I used the money to pay something immediately instead of just saving it. I think that will keep me wanting to sell more on e-bay and not practice daily spending.
Yesterday I was talking to a neighbor who is a stay at home mom. She recycles everything and was taking about taking her cans in once a month and getting $5.00 for them. Some of the ladies in our group were laughing but I was very proud of her. She just has a bag she keeps in the garage and that is where she puts all her cans so it makes it pretty easy. I think I am going to try this. 5 bucks is 5 bucks.
I am really working on more no spend days also.
It seems like the more we try to get our debt under control the more it controls us. Just going thur our bills today since payday was this week. We both get paid every two weeks. It seems like each utility bill has had an increase - not so much for usage but taxes, service fees, etc. Although each one is just a few dollars it sure is frustrating. I am trying hard to keep my savings jar going and sales on e-bay are helping. DH and I discussed today the cable bill. It is now $92 per month and that does not include any movie type channels. We do have our cable internet and it is $39.00 which is a portion of the bill. The remainder is basic, few extended like HGTV, Liftime, etc. We may have to go back to very basic cable. I feel like I am just throwing money away.
Yesterday was such a wonderful day. Our grandbaby is 3 1/2 years old and it was our first long car trip with him. We took him to a zoo two hours away. We had all the great plans of taking a picnic lunch and not spending very much money but due to poor planning it did not work out that way. He pretty much has us wrapped around his fingers so we had to take him to McD's for breakfast and was was $11.00 for three of us. We then had to pay a toll for the turnpike which would have been $4.50 total but on the way home my DH took a wrong turn it so it cost us another $1.25 for the toll. The cost to get into the zoo was $16.00 for the three of us. I could have passed him off as a two year old but I am just too honest to do that. Of course there was the money spent at the zoo gift shop $11.00 for rubber animals. Snacks at the zoo were also expensive and of course it took another full tank of gas for the trip. Was it all worth it?? You bet. Sometimes we just have to remember that time spent with the people we love is worth the cost. We could have saved money but I'm not carrying any quilt on this trip. Of really good piece of luck was I had taken my wedding ring off on the way to the zoo to apply some hand lotion and had put it in the seat next to me. After we had parked and gotten inside the zoo I noticed that I had forgotten to put my ring back on. My DH went back to the parking lot to get it for me. As I was getting out of the vehicle it had gotten knocked out of the seat and it finally found it on the ground next to the front tire. Thank God he found it. It was insured but still I did not want to lose it. I will have to be more careful.
Normally each Friday night my DH and I have out "date night". We had decided last night to forgo date night because we are taking our g-baby who is 3 1/2 to the zoo tomorrow and know we will probabably eat at least one meal out. I got a call from a neighbor that they are hosting a cook out tonight. So we will go there to join in the fun. I was e-mailing my DH about what to buy from the meat market to put on the grill and then thought, hey I don't have to to that. We have two small steaks in our freezer that were given to us by a friend the food business so I will simply put those in the micro to defrost and that will be our meal at the cookout. Each person is bringing a side and so bread was needed. I could not get to the discount bread store so I purchased some Challah from the local bakey for $4.99. Not too bad for a meal tonight. The money I am saving from not having to buy something for the grille will be added to the money jar.
Another e-bay sale. Not going to get rich by any means but I am selling a few items and every dollar is going into my money jar. I am finding this e-bay thing pretty easy to do. When I have a couple of free hours, I am taking photos and writing up my description. I try to do at least 4-5 items at a time. These are all items I have around the house that are no longer being used. I am going to do more clothing than I have been and see how well that goes.
I did it again. Went to TJ Maxx last night just because I had not been in close to three weeks. I just wanted to get out of the house for awhile to take my mind off of my mom being ill. I don’t know what it is about that store but I always make a purchase there. Last night was no different. I found a really cute skirt and top that together cost $40.00. I justified the purchase because my DH told his mom we would go to an anniversary party with her this weekend and I didn’t have a thing to wear.
When I got home, my husband was still out playing golf so I casually threw the bag under my desk. He hates it when I got to the Maxx. I kept feeling guilty about this purchase and this morning found the perfect dress in my closet to ware to the party. Today I spent my lunch time today returning the purchase to the store. Whew, I sure feel better now.
Note to self: If I have to hide it from my DH not a good purchase.
Sure you have! I find it funny that when a department store such as JC Penney’s has a sale (which in my area is constantly), they will always tell you at the end of the purchase how much you have saved by buying on sale. You have just saved $200.00. Never mind that you have just spent $75.00 on items that you really did not need. Don’t buy on sale unless you have a need for the product and can be sure that you are getting the best price. As with a lot of things that we buy on sale, if you can do without it, it’s not a smart purchase.
Reading one of the other blogs made me realize that I have had my first non spend day. It does feel good. I ate breakfast at home, lunch was leftovers eaten at work and we had DH's mother over for dinner at our home. It helped that we have carmels at work that are free for the staff so that was was sweet tooth fix. I did almost borrow from a co-worker to buy a soft drink but had water instead. I just can't believe that I got by without spending anything.
My mom has to go the hospital tomorrow to have a test that will take 3-5 hours to see how well how well her blood flow is. Last week was when she found out that she had diabetes. I had used up all of my vacation days until June 1st but my boss is allowing me to take a PSF day which can be used with management approval for paid sick family days. This really made me feel good as I have to take her to the hospital and will need to stay with her during the testing. I hope everything works out ok for her.
Tonight we went to Wal-mart for our weekly grocery shopping. I also had an item that I had bought two months ago that was still in my closet with the tag attached. It was only $4.17 but still better to return it than to just keep it and not use it. More money added to the savings jar. Only extra expense was that we got $20.00 cash to give for a graduation gift. Wish we could have given more. I guess I better start thinking about my goal for the savings. Do I want to use it to pay off some debt or keep it as a safety cushion as we pretty much put all out extra money into our retirement fund.
Second item sold tonight on e-bay. Awaiting payment and then that will be almost $25.0o to add to my savings. Feeling great about that. Tomorrow night I am going to list some more items that are just sitting around the house collecting dust.
Well, I have mailed out my second item sold on e-bay. I am starting to get the hang of the whole e-bay thing. If I can just stop buying on e-bay I'll see a profit. No, really, I am doing pretty well with not buying anything. It is more time consuming than I thought it would be but I will keep it up just because any money coming in helps. I will put the money in my money jar. There are so many things coming our of our paycheck, we may still be a bit in the red. What did everyone do for the graduates that you recd' a invitation from. We normally give $30.00 is a fair amount? I guess I will buy a few extra graduation cards on sale so I will have them next year at this time. My car is in desperate need of an oil change and wheel alignment which I guess I will have done tomorrow. Really, can't put it off any more or I may regret it.
My mother found out of Friday that she has not only high cholesterol but also diabetes. This was really a downer for her. She did find out that the problems she was having with walking very far is possibly related to some type of blockage in her arteries and may be very treatable. She is taking Lexapro for her depression (she still says she was not depressed) and that is helping. We had looked at senior housing on Friday and I thought that was going to be done deal but now she tells she it is too soon for her to make a decision about moving. That was hard news for me to hear as I wanted her closer to me so I could check on her more often. She still has the right to make her own decisions and I just have to accept that. I know it will be very hard for her to give up her home to move to a smaller place. It is just a matter of time.
My DH and I are paying for a lovely home on the golf course. We have lived there for two years and we have a great network of friends from the old neighborhood that also moved there. So what's the problem? This house is eating our lunch. All the bills are so high with this larger home and the travel distance to our work is also longer. We have been having a serious discussion about selling this home (I should say our dream home) and moving to a condo with less yard, better commute and hopefully alot less upkeep money wise. We would like to have some extra money for travel and basically just extra money to do things we can't afford to do now. Also another benefit of the changing housing would be that we would be very close to both of our mother's that we are the ones who they both depend on. Only drawback right now is the real estate market in our area is the pits. Nothing is moving at the golf course because it has been so overbuilt. Not sure what we will decide to do. Just nice to know we have options. Trying to do better with spending. Not touched my money jar which is a very positive things for me. I have surprised myself that I have not "borrowed" from it for something I wanted. Last night we dined out for our Friday night date (on Thursday) since I am doing so things for my mom today and tonight. Spent only $14.00, we shared a meal from the appetizer menu and also were able to get two for one marguaritas. Had a very relaxed time.
Sooner or later the bills come due. I had ordered shutters for our home. I made sure that the money I got from my credit union was earmarked to pay for these shutters. Half of the payment has already came due and been paid. The rest of the shutters will be installed tomorrow and the balance is due. Our home mortgage had jumped $200 a month and it has put us a bit behind this month. My only option now is the keep the money for the shutters in the checking account and pay for the shutters with a 9% interest credit card that I have been trying to pay off. I feel like right now it is more important to keep a cushion in our checking acount until the next pay day and then send a check to the credit card company for the amount of the shutters. I love the shutters but should have waited a while before making this impluse purchase. I love my DH but he lets me buy what I want and that sometimes leaves me spending too much money. I have been doing better though as at least now I am putting some money away in a cute little box at home and not taking it out for anything. I am still taking my lunch to work so I think I will actually see more of a money saving once I get over this addtional money for the mortgage. I am at least keeping a spending book and know where the money is going. Baby steps for me.
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