No spending yesterday.
My dad gave me $20 to take my mom to her doctor's appointment.
2017 had its ups and downs.
The ups -
Our trip to London. A dream come true for me.
Our middle son turned 21 and our youngest turned 18.
Our oldest son got his first full-time job at Amazon. All adults now in our household, which is rather bittersweet for me.
The downs -
My husband lost his job in September (just before Hurricane Irma) so we are struggling a bit. Fortunately our side-gig ramped up quickly after the hurricanes so it helped our financial situation. It is starting to slow down.
My mom's cataract surgery did not go well and required a second eye surgery.
I gained nine pounds since August and I have felt down in the dumps pretty much since September.
I hope for a 2018 that has more ups than downs.
No spending yesterday.
I called my bank to check on my variable interest rate, which is greater than the 15.4% I had on the side bar. The current rate is 16.15%. The bank was able to lower it to 12.65%. I was told they could only do this once per year so I can call again on 12/29/18 to have them lower it once again.
Here is a perspective on what my balances were a year ago and today.
NOV 2016 = 86,735.14
NOV 2017 = 84,213.18
NOV 2016 = 17,764.25
NOV 2017 = 15,990.72
NOV 2016 = 13,928.46
NOV 2017 = 11,564.48
*** NOT TRACKED IN 2016
NOV 2017 = 8,315.19
Goals for 2018 to bring CC2 to zero. CC1 down to $6,000.
Hope you all had a nice summer!
I've been contemplating cashing in some of my IRA to pay off CC2. I can afford the penalty. But I can't continue this treadmill anymore. I have to pay off something. There will still be a large balance in my IRA account.
Once that is done, I need to get down to business to pay off CC1. My goal is to have it paid off by end of Summer of 2018.
All that will be left is my student loan and mortgage.
Time slows down for no one and I am no exception. I can't believe my last entry was February.
Lots of things have happened and hopefully I can recap goings-on.
DS2 moved out back in February to live with his grandparents (my parents). Needless to say it was prompted by a disagreement between him and DH but since then things between them have improved. It was a very tense time and I hope to not re-live that again.
DH and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and we went to London. Wow! We loved it there and we even saw Queen Elizabeth. It was a fluke because we were just meandering around until we reached Buckingham Palace. Then next thing, her motorcycle detail drove out to the street to block traffic then her green car (Bentley?)drove out slowly. We actually saw her face! What a thrill!
We took a bunch of photos on DH's cell phone. When we came home, we showed a few then we decided to transfer the photos to our laptop so we can create an album. Well, somehow, the photos did not transfer and we lost all the photos. We are trying one more thing and if that doesn't recover the photos, then they are lost. Needless to say that I am devastated about that. All the fun we had and nothing to share.
So.... Here is some advice from a hard lesson learned for those about to embark on a trip of a lifetime like we did: backup your photos somehow, like upload them in the cloud, Facebook, email to yourself each day of your trip.
Another lesson learned: Walking in a metro city is not the same as walking in your neighborhood. It is more intensive, so if you are middle-aged and chubby like me, or simply not accustomed to lots of fast pace walking on sidewalks, side-stepping, mini-sprinting so you don't get hit by a car ... don't underestimate how bad you will feel at the end of the day. Be sure to pack some muscle cream or those back patches. And take care of your feet. By the end of our trip, even with comfy shoes with good support, my feet looked like I trekked the globe barefoot. Take an extra pair of shoes with support inserts. I plan to bring one of those little inflatable foot tubs and some Epsom salt next time I travel.
Crossing the street? Look RIGHT first! If you look down at the sidewalk curb, you will see that printed as a friendly reminder!
In England, they don't use washcloths so be sure to bring if you use them for showering.
I don't know where people there do their laundry because we did not see one single laundry mat in London and our hotel didn't have one. A good thing we brought one of those Tide Pods with us. I punctured it and poured the detergent in a ziplock bag. With that we did our laundry in the sink.
The Oyster Card is a must-have to get around. The tube is remarkably easy to use. It was DH preferred way to get around.
We flew with Norweigan Airlines and we recommend it. They don't fly from our own airport so we drove a couple of hours away to the airport they fly from.
My goals are:
Lose 6 pounds this month.
15 no spend days.
I received two free loaves of Pepperidge Farm bread from a friend.
I heard that there will be an Aldi store coming soon near my neighborhood. Yay!
There are two birthdays in my family later this month: my mother and DS1. We normally go out to eat so I will need to be careful of my intake on those days.
I will contact my CPA for an appointment to get our income taxes done this month. I would normally do this myself but when it comes to a small business, I don't want to take any chances and make any mistakes. It is very much worth it to me to have a professional handle it.
Where to begin! Well here goes:
Unsubscribed from Comcast internet service. ($89/mo).
Unsubscribed from AT&T cell service family plan ($223/mo).
Subscribed my parents to Consumer Cellular 1,000 talk minutes for $30/month. I bought them flip phones for $30 each.
Subscribed myself and DS2 to MetroPCS for $50/month. Once DS2 finds a job, he will get his own account.
DS1 subscribed to MetroPCS independently for $30/month. We all scored free phones and transferred our phone numbers.
DH still hasn't converted yet. It takes awhile for him to convert.
Before: 223 AT&T + 89 Comcast = $312
After: 30 (Consumer Cellular) + 50 (MetroPCS) = $80
Total Savings per month = $232
As for income taxes. Still waiting for DH's W2 in the mail.
I joined Weight Watchers for $45 for 3 months. I have lost 6 lbs so far.
As you can see from my sidebar, I have a hefty credit card balance to pay.
I have a 720 credit score. With that, I am looking for a credit card with the following features:
1. No annual fee.
2. Balance Transfer with 0% APR.
3. 24 month term minimum on 0% APR.
4. The most likely card that would grant $20k credit.
I am prepared to pay $400 per pay period ($800 per month) before the end of the term to get this albatross paid off.
If you are perusing the rates for a card similar, will you send me a link?
Well, I met my goal last month with my own money for my $1,000 emergency savings and my FIL gifted each of us $1,000 for Christmas.
I decided that in my Capital One 360 savings accounts needed to be fully funded.
Car insurance (due in March) = 500.00 (added 242.55 to meet goal) Deposits from my paycheck will be toward September's payment.
Gym annual fee (due in October) = 175.00 (added 118.95) I can cut this deposit in half since the next fee is due in October 2018.
CCW Club Dues and Extras (due in July) = $60.00 (added 53.80)
DS Guardianship and Senior Year = 500.00 (added 406.28) The "fully funded" goal is actually the rock bottom amount I needed. I am sure I will need more.
I will still contribute from my paycheck but I feel secure in knowing that these funds are set aside for the near future.
In the meantime, I still have the $1,000 rock bottom for emergencies.
My hopes are that in 2017, I can be a savings rock star like the rest of you superstars!
Has anyone ever heard of the website "Goodreads"?
They do not sell books but instead they are a site where people review books. You can also create a "want to read" list and also keep a list of books you have already read.
On the site, there is a link to books that the authors or publishers giveaway. I started last week entering for the giveaways and already won three books!
Check it out at www.goodreads.com
Just got a new client at the beginning of the month and have completed two inspections so far. I haven't invoiced yet but plan to at the end of the week. Nice to have some more $$$ coming in! Blessed!
In other news, I cancelled my personal training because my insurance premium has increased. So I am postponing using up the rest of my sessions for January (after the holiday eating extravaganza). I haven't been tracking my food and I know I am eating way too many goodies.
One of the department stores nearby is closing because they are not renewing their lease at the shopping center. So...everything is reduced drastically and I bought a Queen size comforter set and additional pillow cases. Regular price was $249 for the whole thing. Price I paid was $90 and change. It was a planned buy as in, I have been wanting to buy a new set for a couple of years but the price was way too high for a quality set. Our bed looks beautiful.
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!
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 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!
Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, coffee, Goodbelly.
Lunch: Overnight Oats and Orange juice.
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.