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Back from vacation with money to spare!

August 17th, 2009 at 09:41 pm

Hooray! We had a fabulous vacation and actually came back with money unspent! So $250 of that money is going into the Emergency Fund.

July was also a 3 paycheck month so I sent a bunch into the EF from that also. Our EF is doing really well and I am hopeful we will achieve our goal of a $10,000 EF by 12/31/09! We just need to average $750/month into it for Sept, Oct, Nov & Dec to make it to that goal. Smile

Enter to win the happiest quilt!

July 29th, 2009 at 05:24 pm

Over at Marie-Madeline Studio, they are having a contest to win one of their quilts and it is just about the prettiest, put-a-smile-on-your-face quilt I have ever seen! Yup, it is the one shown here. Wouldn't you agree?

Stop by

Text is and Link is to enter the giveaway now thru August 8th.

I hope I win...but good luck to you all as well!!! Smile Big Grin

Haven't been posting

July 25th, 2009 at 09:54 pm

I have been slacking on my posts lately, but I have been trying to update my sidebar regularly, so my EF has been growing which is good. I've been doing horribly with my tracking.

Summer is always the hardest for us since my DH does not work in the summer so only one paycheck. My boss tends to take quite a bit of vacation time in the summer so my check is usually a little anemic as well. So, I love summer but my pocketbook does not! Wink

We have a family reunion vacation planned (and saved!) for August so we are really looking forward to that, especially since it is in the budget and we should not have any problems going over the amount we have put aside.

Wow! Amazing shopping week!

June 7th, 2009 at 12:51 am

Well, I had 30 coupons for the Bayer meters this past week (which made them free and my state does not charge tax on these items so absolutely FREE!) and used every last one of them plus gave a few away to the cashiers who rang me up so they could also have $10 Walgreen money to spend. Smile

Including the Ecotrin I bought as a $2 moneymaker, I ended up with about $260 in Register Rewards!!! That is just amazing to me. I have never been a Walgreens shopper but I am pretty sure that this week has converted me! *lol* I will be giving away the meters to family members with diabetes as well as donating a load of them around town so nothing goes to waste.

I put a little money into the Emergency Fund this week:

FT JOB: $5.56
PT JOB: $143.30

Total EF: $4,981

Exciting Walgreens Week coming up

May 29th, 2009 at 03:14 pm

The week of 5/31 has a few nice deals especially if you've been collecting coupons.

$10RR wyb $10 Bayer Diabetes monitor - these boxes should have a full Mail in Rebate inside the box, so you can actually MAKE $10 on this deal. Sweet!

$2RR wyb $2 Ecotrin aspirin - there was a $2/1 coupon in last Sunday's papers so you can MAKE $2 on this product as well.

$2.29 Domino Sugar 5-lb bag - there was a $0.30/1 coupon in last weeks paper to make this $1.99 which is a pretty good deal on sugar around here.

I'll be doing alot of Walgreens shopping this week! Smile

May EF Boost

May 29th, 2009 at 02:52 pm

PT Job: $435.51
FT Job: $7.17
Refund Ck: $3.25
Total Added to EF: $445.93

EF Balance @ 5/29/09: $4,832

EF Addition

April 26th, 2009 at 07:46 pm

$501.65 from PT job
+ $5.56 from FT
$4,386 Total EF Balance

I need to buy our DD a bunch of stuff for summer camp. This will be her first year going away to camp for 3 weeks, so she needs quite a few things. Hopefully next summer will be cheaper because she will have some things from this year. I already bought her 2 new swimsuits, a sun hat and some new summer clothes. I have also been stocking up on sunscreen as we must send that with her and she is very pale so she will need lots. I have a feeling this is going to end up costing way more than I expected.

$28.78 for 3 pairs of shoes

April 11th, 2009 at 07:37 pm

We took a trip to the Payless Shoes in the mall today. I had acquired 3 coupons for 20% off one purchase and they all expired tomorrow so I did not want them to go to waste. All 3 came from those "catalina" machines that print coupons after you make a purchase at a store. In this case I got 2 from the grocery store and 1 from Walgreens over the last few weeks.

My DD always seems to need new shoes so we put the coupons to good use. She ended up getting a pair of rain boots (she went right out and made sure they were up to snuff as you can see in the picture), a pair of dress shoes and a pair of sandals. These are all things she needs and will get lots of use out of, plus both the rain boots and the dress shoes were already on sale before the 20% off. I think we did really well (even for Payless) since we got 3 pairs of shoes for under $10 each.

New car = depleted EF

April 4th, 2009 at 09:36 pm

Well, those problems my DH was telling me about proved to be costly. We put over $3,000 into the car back in August and this time around it was going to be over $1,000 with no telling how long these repairs would make her last. The poor car has been a trooper and given many years of faithful service. This was my very first car and it has a special place in my heart. A 1999 Saturn SL2 I bought new when our first child was just 6 months old. It has over 170,000 miles on it now and is a real eyesore since someone decided to use it as a canvas for their "keying" while I was in school a couple years ago. I am sort of sad to let her go, but that is what we must do. We're going to place an ad on Craigslist as well as put it out on the street with our contact info and we'll see if we can get a couple hundred dollars for the poor old dear. She does run, and maybe someone who has a mechanical sense will pick her up and make her new.

We went today and got hubby a new 2009 Civic LX at a great price. We pulled $3,000 from the EF as a down payment. of course, our car insurance will be going up as well, but since I used a good amount of this year's tax refund to pad the Freedom Accounts, we have plenty to meet the new obligations.

Time to start up that EF mountain again!

Small EF addition

April 3rd, 2009 at 02:47 pm

I mistakenly added an extra $10 to the EF last week, but have decided it can stay there. Plus, I added the interest from ING and my local CU accounts.

New EF balance: $6,870


March 27th, 2009 at 01:27 am

My EF is edging closer to my goal of $10,000. I am fairly sure that once it reaches $8,000 I will start to split my PT job money (that now goes 100% to EF) 50/50 between EF and my $11,000 loan. However, my DH now tells me that he thinks his car is "dying" and will need lots of work. Not what I want to hear right as I am so close to a fully-funded EF!!! If you recall this is exactly what happened last year when we got the $5,000 EF fully funded, and it is the same reason I decided to go for a more robust $10,000 EF this time around. *sigh*

Anyway, on with the good news. Since my last EF update I have put 2 PT checks into the EF plus some extra from the FT job, so my new EF balance is $6,851.

Coupons in the mail

March 25th, 2009 at 02:03 am

Today I received a big, fat booklet full of coupons from Proctor & Gamble. This is a booklet that was offered a little while ago through their website and their monthly newspaper insert - you had to buy $50 worth of P&G items *before coupons*, mail in the receipts with the items circled and they would send this booklet.

After coupons I paid basically nothing but tax for the products I purchased (mostly Duracell batteries that were on sale at CVS for $3/pack and I used $5/2 CVS coupon and $1/1 manufacturer coupon so paid nothing oop for them). It probably took 6 weeks from the time I mailed my forms but now it is here just in time for K-Mart super doubles this week! Hooray!

Another boost to the EF

March 13th, 2009 at 04:12 am

I put my paycheck from my PT job into the EF, so it is now just over $6,300. Once it reaches $8,000 I think I will split the PT job income 50/50 between EF and the new $11,000 personal loan. I'd like to have that loan paid off in 12 months if all goes well.

Got my loan so bye-bye CCs

March 11th, 2009 at 06:20 pm

I went down to sign for my loan at the credit union today. I asked to see my credit score since I haven't pulled ours in a couple years, and my Experian score is 813 which is excellent. I expected it to be high 700s or low 800s so no surprises which is a good thing.

I just got done setting up the transfers to the 2 cards this loan will pay off. I sent a little extra to cover interest accrued so we'll see how close I was in figuring the payoff amounts. I can't wait to see zero balances on them both!

On the other hand, I am resetting my ticker to the new loan amount- $11,000 so no more "paid in full" on my debt ticker. Alas, soon it will read "paid in full" again so I am not going to be sad about it. I am just really happy to have a plan and some extra income to make the debt payoffs go faster & faster. Smile

One debt PAID OFF & CC change of terms

March 6th, 2009 at 02:55 pm

I am heading to the credit union right now to pay my loan in full. This payment will now be rolled into my next debt, but I am still not sure which debt it will be.

I am going to request another personal loan at the CU so that I can consolidate 2 CC's - CC#1 is $6800 at 12.99% and CC#2 is $4200 at 9.17%. (We will still have one CC with a largish balance that is a fixed promo rate of between 3-5% which I am just praying will not change.) The CU's best personal loan rate right now is 7% which I should qualify for with my credit score, so that is better than 9% and 13%, but I still wish it were lower. Then again, beggars can't be choosers, eh?

My DH and I both got "change in terms" letters from Capital One yesterday which made us think it would be wise to move most of our CC debt to a fixed loan. It certainly looks like CC companies plan on raising interest rates into the stratosphere over the next few years. I would think that we are both excellent customers in the eyes of the CCs - have kept a large revolving balance over a period of many years and have been paying slightly more than the minimum each month but I guess that's why we received these notices since they think they've got us pretty well stuck...fortunately they are wrong and we are paying off debt rapidly these days and we do have options.

Hubby's notice says that, as of January 2010, his rate will be jumping from 9.17% to prime plus 14.65% (which would be equal to 17.9% right now, so it basically DOUBLES the current interest rate) and my account (which is at a zero balance and I do not use) says it will be changing to the same terms as of April 2010. Given these drastic changes, it certainly looks like the perfect time to be moving these accounts to a fixed rate loan at the CU.

I am just really relieved that we are in a good financial position right now and are on our way to being CC debt-free.

ING Interest added

March 2nd, 2009 at 04:41 pm

Thanks to compounding interest (even if it is only 1.85% now) my EF is at $5,830 today.

Unexpected paycheck

March 2nd, 2009 at 12:50 am

I received a paycheck in the mail yesterday afternoon from the 1 day/week job that I no longer work at. Apparently my very last day was not accounted for on my previous paycheck from them and I never noticed. I was happy to have this extra money to deposit in the bank. I split it between EF and my personal loan that will be paid off with my FT paycheck on the 13th.

New EF balance: $5,822
Personal Loan: $230.10

Do you have a Favorite CC?

February 28th, 2009 at 05:40 pm

Okay, I am in the market for a great CC. I am really not interested in a new account, but my 0% offer on the FIA card ended last month and is now at 12.99% which is way too high. I asked at my credit union and their lowest rate on personal loans is 7% which I think is exorbitant considering the lending rate right now is around 0% for banks and credit unions and my current personal loan with them is at 6%. I was really disappointed. Anyway, I was just over at comparing transfer offers, but thought you all might have some great suggestions to help me narrow things down.

My credit is excellent. Although I have not pulled my scores for about a year they should continue to be in the 780-800 range. I was just thinking that if I could find a card with a nice transfer offer plus a great all-around card I would keep it as my one card after everything is paid off.

I'd love to take into consideration all of your suggestions if you have a card you think is pretty great, but I am leaning toward a "rewards" card of some type since I do not currently have one and if I'm going to keep it later on I'd rather use it to get rewards in return...preferably cash since I can't think of anything we would want all the time otherwise. But, again, I'd love to hear all opinions. Smile

Received tax refunds from fed & state

February 27th, 2009 at 09:28 pm

Okay, I decided to use the Federal refund to pad my "freedom account" (a Mary Hunt, Debt-proof Living idea where all money for intermittant but expected expenses is kept). We've got loads of different categories to save for in there such as my DD's summer camp, car repairs/oil changes, gifts, etc. So that big chunk makes me feel much more in control of those expenses and ready for when they come due.

The state refund was about 1/3 of the federal and I split it like so:
10% fun money - 5% for me and 5% for hubby
10% charity - split between 6 different places we give to
40% EF
40% debt - this brings this debt down to just under $284 and should be paid off with my next paycheck!!! WooHoo! Big Grin

It is exciting to see such nice progress and feel a little bit more secure in our future finances.

Money to EF

February 20th, 2009 at 03:54 pm

I just got my last paycheck from the old 1 day/week job, and I put the dollar place and change from FT job so new EF Balance: $5,467. Smile

Beautiful Valentine Roses

February 14th, 2009 at 02:49 am

My husband and I usually don't get crazy over V-Day. We'll use it as an excuse to have a nice dinner or buy a card but not too over the top. Well, this year I was sad because my hubby was going to be away for V-Day weekend. Right before he left this morning I got a delivery from ProFlowers - 2 dozen red roses and a box of chocolate truffles! I was extremely surprised and thrilled. A couple hours later another ProFlowers delivery arrived - this time for our daughter, a dozen multi-color roses! Then this evening my daughter and I went to have dinner at my in-laws and guess who had just received a beautiful bunch of tulips from her son?! Needless to say she was thrilled as well.

I've gotta say, hubby definitely scored mucho points today! Big Grin

Walgreens Free After Rebate stuff

February 12th, 2009 at 12:26 am

Thanks to BlueEyes' blog and all her talk about the rebate money she has been saving in her "Extra Income Fund", I decided to stop being so darn lazy and try my hand at the Walgreen FAR items this month. I think I did great!

Revlon concealer pen $7.49
Revlon lipgloss $9.99
Zucol cold relief $7.99
Thermacare heat wrap $2.49
Fructis shampoo $3.99
Total rebates I will receive back: $31.95

Total I actually spent thanks to manufacturer's coupons and a $5/25 Walgreen coupon my dad got in the mail: $19.95

Profit: $12.00

HOORAY!!! Big Grin

Edited to ask: Why isn't the hyperlink I made to BlueEyes blog working??? Frown

Survey money to the EF

February 10th, 2009 at 01:56 am

I got paid for 2 Pinecone surveys this week plus $15 I requested from Lightspeed survey. I also had $3 sitting in my PayPal from a Pinecone survey I did at the end of December, so $24 to the EF. That pushes me over the $5,300 mark on my way to $10,000. Smile

My Federal Bailout Proposal

February 7th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Okay, so first I need to clarify and admit that this is really my darling husband's bailout plan...and it is limited to the credit card banks and automakers. I just thought it was so excellent I had to post it on my blog. Big Grin

Bailing out the credit card banks and the big US automakers:

Step 1: Federal government pays off the outstanding debts on all customer credit card accounts and auto loans for the big companies that are requesting bailout money.

Step 2: Citizens whose credit card and/or car loan accounts are paid off by the gov't are given low-interest-rate federal loans for the balance that was paid for them. They no longer owe anything to the CCs or automakers.

Step 3: Citizens pay off their debt directly to the government each month.

Step 4: People who "opt-in" to this program are not allowed to take on any new debt until the federal loan is paid in full --- excluding mortgages, and car loans for those who were not part of the car loan bailout.

Step 5: Everyone is happy. The citizens are paying off their credit card and auto loan debt at a lower rate, without extra fees and penalties, and not able to get into further debilitating debt. The banks and the automakers get their bailout money. The government throws money around like they enjoy doing.

Win-win-win as far as I can see.

3 paycheck month

February 1st, 2009 at 02:34 pm

January was a 3 paycheck month for me. We use YNAB to budget, but are used to being allotted our "mad money" every 2 weeks. For this "extra" paycheck I'd love to be able to put the whole check toward EF or split between EF and our smallest debt (the personal loan that is down to $1,486). I can not wait to pay that loan off! I have been paying $230/month on that which is the minimum plus $103 from a loan I paid off prior to this one. Once that one is gone I will add the $230 to our next debt in line and really get rolling. Smile

Anyway, I ended up taking 1/2 of our usual amount of "mad money" from this extra check instead of the whole amount or nothing. My DH is still not happy to have his mad money cut in half, and I tried to explain the concept of the "extra check". He is not happy but he is living with 1/2 the mad money for the next 2 weeks until I get paid again.

Reducing AGI - any ideas?

January 29th, 2009 at 03:43 am

My hubby is in school so we need to get the taxes done and fill out the FAFSA as quickly as possible. I am awaiting one W-2 as well as the forms from DH's school telling us how much we paid last year in tuition & fees.

I have been playing with the numbers and it looks like we made a lot more than we ever have before - which is great! Smile 2008 was my first full year as a hygienist so that is the reason we did so well, but I am worried now that we may not be awarded as much as we need for DH's school for the '09-10 school year. That is why I am looking for ways to lower our AGI.

I thought if I put in a bunch to my Roth IRA that it would reduce our AGI but when I try that in our tax software it does not change anything. I was sure that would work so now I am not sure how to proceed.

We do not own a home so no mortgage stuff for us. We do have a child but she is school-aged so no child care expenses. Do you happen to know another way to reduce our AGI?

New PT job & CVSing

January 26th, 2009 at 01:59 am

I took the new job and will be starting in 3 weeks (gave the current PT job 3 weeks notice). The new job will be 6 or 7 hours/week compared to 4 or 5 at the old PT job. I can't say I am looking forward to working more hours, but I am happy that more money will be put into the EF each pay period! Smile

I am currently planning this week's CVS trip and there is turning out to be many more good deals than I first thought. Now that I have been collecting the coupons each week for the past few months, and buying a few of the big city paper each week (which has better coupons) I have access to more of the great bargains that come along which is nice.

Oh, and absolutely no change in my weight since I first posted. Frown I'm going to continue to eat better and try to exercise more. Hopefully I will see better results soon!

Offered another PT job

January 20th, 2009 at 01:40 am

Well, as I reported awhile back I have been working an extra part time job and putting all the cash toward our EF. It has been working out well for that purpose but I have unfortunately been unhappy with the actual office environment for quite a few reasons. I think I'll skip the specifics since you never know who is reading, but suffice it to say that I have been liking the paycheck but not the job.

I got a call from another office I have temp-ed at a few days in the past. They are looking for someone for the same day I am currently working at the PT job. It really seems like it would be a good move since I got along very well with the staff during the time I have worked there and it is very close to my house. I have a meeting with the dentist in a few days to discuss the job, so I am not getting my hopes up just yet. If it works out I'll probably be working more hours so building that $10,000 EF even faster! Smile

I got a raise!

January 16th, 2009 at 02:58 am

Oh, I am so happy! I didn't even have to ask. My boss gave everyone a raise for the new year. Smile Smile Smile WooHoo!!!!

I'm not sure yet, but will probably just allocate this as I would along with the rest of the paycheck. I don't think I have the patience to separate it out every week. It is not a large amount but anything in this financial climate is GREAT!

I am still putting all of my second job paychecks toward the EF, plus any rebates, etc., and it is coming along really well. I am definitely going to try to get it to $10,000 ASAP so I can use those monies for quicker debt re-payment.

***Happy Dancing***

Ryan is born 1/5/09

January 10th, 2009 at 09:32 pm

Little Ryan was born HEALTHY after many months of health scares by the doctors. My girlfriend was told at 20 months gestation that this baby had an incurable and deadly disease...after months of prayers this little boy has no signs of that problem. He will be monitored, but everything looks VERY good for his healthy and happy future! Smile


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