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Archive for November, 2016

Windfall

November 27th, 2016 at 12:30 am

Check out my sidebar. My father in law sent us a $5k gift for Christmas (!k for DH, DSs and me). My uncle gave me $120 which will be $30 each for me and the boys. So that adds $1,030 to my emergency fund, catapulting my balance from $1,000 to $2,030. I'm so excited! I will reach my goal way before June 30th!

I am very thankful!

Reached First Savings Goal

November 22nd, 2016 at 01:25 pm

As of today, I reached my goal of $1,000 in emergency savings. That is approximately one month of my share of expenses. That does not include my husband's share.

Next goal is for three months of my share of expenses and I only have $2,300 to go. I set my goal date for June 30th of next year but I think I can get it by March or April.

I started this journey in September and I was able to meet this before the end of November.

My hope and prayer is that I will not need to tap into this.

A different goal:
I want to start a new car fund. My car can likely function for another 5 years so I want to start equivalent savings program as though I am paying a car payment. I will likely have enough for a down payment by the time I am ready to buy.

Ambitious Savings Goals

November 17th, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Ambitious for me. I sat down yesterday and put together our monthly expenses (bare bones expenses). Then I expanded the list to 3-months, 6-months, and 12-months. I decided, that even though I have debt, I need to make a serious effort to save beyond my initial $1,000 for emergencies. My goal is to continue saving to reach these milestones. My husband and I are at the age that layoffs, injury or illness can seriously impact our life. We are truly living paycheck to paycheck. My sidebar is updated with my savings goals. I'm very close to goal #1 and once I reach that milestone, I will put it in a CD. I truly hope we don't ever have a need to touch it.

In other news, inspections for my side biz are picking up from one of my clients. More money!

Warning - Rant Post

November 16th, 2016 at 02:32 pm

Health:
Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, coffee, Goodbelly.
Lunch: Overnight Oats and Orange juice.
Dinner: Unplanned.

Well we are in the middle of open enrollment at work and of course, the company said there would not be any premium changes. Yay! Oh, but wait, later they come to say that premium stays the same if you are union. If you are under SCA (Service Contract Act), the premium increases.

There has not been a wage increase for SCA contractors for the entire eight years of the Obama Administration. So, while everything else goes up, my salary has stayed the same.

So, with employee and children, the increase amounts to $74.02 per pay period or $148.04 per month. Swell! And we have a new insurance carrier. Luckily my husband has a job and carries his own insurance. Spouse coverage is insanely expensive.

I now have to figure out how to live on $148.04 less per month while trying to get ahead.

Veterans Day and Discounts

November 14th, 2016 at 01:05 pm

I received a free haircut at Great Clips and I got a 25% discount on my purchases at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I'm a veteran.

I bought some Christmas gifts and spent $160.
Went out to lunch with my mom and the boys and spent $60.

I know it is late but all veterans and active duty military personnel, first responders and their families for their service and sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy in our country.

Under $14k

November 7th, 2016 at 03:46 pm

Health:
Food: Over the weekend, I ate like a fool. I don't even remember what I ate. Weekend food tracking is tough.
Fitness: Sunday went to the gym for cardio.

Paid bills since it was payday on Friday. Credit card #1 is now under $14,000. So far this year I paid just over $3k on the card.

I am considering consolidating CC1 and CC2. CC1 has a lower APR and is fixed. I would like to wait for a promotional rate and get my balance lowered on both before I do this.

I anticipate next payday to be short since I had to take a couple of days off. Hopefully, I can make do with the shortage (about $160 less).


Almost at Goal

November 5th, 2016 at 04:40 pm

Health:
Breakfast - Coffee and a biscuit
Lunch - Not sure yet
Dinner - BBQ (DH is grilling tonight)

I completed one inspection today so that is $50 for me.

Savings:
I decided to combine my emergency savings with my healthcare savings. The healthcare savings was really another emergency savings for the days I take leave without pay. The amount in that pot of money was at $190. So as of today I am a tad over $100 away from my $1,000 goal. I transferred $700 to Capital One 360 so it would grow a little bit faster because the interest rate is .75%. My credit union rate is .25%.



Spending and Saving

November 4th, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Health:
Breakfast - The usual
Lunch - Leftover quesadillas
Dinner - Black beans and rice

Yesterday's Spending:
Walgreens = $22.97

Savings update:
$25 automatic deposit to savings on payday
$16.69 dividend check from Publix
$41.69 total deposit to savings

Has anybody heard of the 21-day fix containers from Beachbody? Walgreens has the el-cheapo version for $9.99 plus tax. I bought that on a whim along with some stuff I planned to buy.

Here is the link to the 21-day fix https://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/21-day-fix-simple-fitness-eating.do

Analyzing Last Year's Spending Trends

November 3rd, 2016 at 11:44 am

Health:
Breakfast - The usual
Lunch - Scrambled eggs on toast and a banana
Dinner - Homemade chicken pot pie
Snack - Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Crackers and a coke.
Fitness - 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes personal trainer.

Yesterday's Spending:
1-liter Coke = $1.07
Gas = $20
Check for niece and nephew's birthday = $40
Total = $61.07

According to Mint.com, here are my Spending Trends from last year (2015):

Category Spending
Uncategorized $8,390.50
Auto & Transport $6,065.27
Home $3,662.39
Bills & Utilities $3,565.28
Fees & Charges $3,080.93
Education $2,314.57
Food & Dining (most purchases) $2,092.08
Business Services $1,750.35
Shopping $1,417.68
Health & Fitness $1,315.34
Gifts & Donations $340.00
Personal Care $80.97
Entertainment $71.05
Misc Expenses $16.00
Total $34,162.41

I'll have to examine the uncategorized and miscellaneous spending in particular to figure out what that is. But this gives a picture of what my annual spending is. If I am to put together an effective emergency fund and retirement fund, this is a good place to start.

Savings Recap for October & Food Flakes

November 2nd, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Health:
Breakfast - The usual
Lunch - Leftover quesadillas (from last night's dinner) and a pear
Dinner - Chicken and rice
Snack - Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Crackers with some low-fat cream cheese.

Savings Recap for October:
Starting balance = 412.89
Ending balance = 687.00
Total savings deposits in October = 274.11

Some deposits were snowflakes (money from my aunt and my dad). The rest was on my own.

Goal for November = 100.00 (2 paydays).
Goal for December = 213.00 (3 paydays).

Food Flakes (total = $22.20):
From some coworkers, I received ...
a box of Kashi Teff Thins Crackers valued at 4.19
a box of Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Seeded Flatbread Crackers valued at 3.49
three lbs of Seattle's Best Medium #3 Coffee valued at 4.84 each or 14.52 total.



Interest

November 1st, 2016 at 11:51 am

Health:
Breakfast - grilled cheese, coffee, Good Belly
Lunch - overnight oats and orange juice
Dinner - not sure yet
Fitness - 30 minutes cardio (that's the plan) and 30 minutes personal trainer.

Well, today is the first of the month and I got my interest payout of a whopping 11 cents (.25%) in my savings account. At least that makes a nice round number of 682.00. My goal is $1,000 by December 31st so I have five more paydays to go (two in November and three in December).

I lost track of my change jar total. I've been adding here and there.