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Closer to Pay-Off

February 15th, 2019 at 01:06 pm

One month in I have paid a quarter of my credit card balance. By the end of this month, I plan to add an additional $350. I hope to add a little more than that if the budget allows. My goal is to pay this off by April 30th.

DH started a new job three weeks ago and so far he has worked overtime every day. Needless to say, it is a major boost to our income and has helped accelerate our debt pay-down.

We had to reduce our scope on our side business since DH started his new job. But it was always designed to be a way to make some extra money and as a fall back if we come to hard times, which we just came out of.

I returned to the gym and started doing the classes offered. There is a 6-week challenge which I signed up for and the grand prize for most % of weight lost is $3,000, 1-year free membership, and 5 or 6 free personal training sessions. The buy-in is $35.

Now that I have become a little more fitness- oriented, I did a little research and found cross training footwear geared toward Zumba and Boot camp classes that is highly-rated. Hopefully they will soften the impact on my knees more than my current footwear. They cost $79 on Amazon.

For these type of expenses, I began to use an under-utilized checking account and I call it my "wellness" account to cover things that FSA doesn't (i.e. vitamin supplements, gym expenses, athletic wear and such). I deposit $25 a pay period into this account.

New Client and Stuff

December 14th, 2016 at 05:20 pm

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.

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.

Side Income

October 31st, 2016 at 03:52 pm


Breakfast - The usual.
Lunch - grilled cheese, banana, pear
Dinner - beef stew and rice
Extra food - Halloween candy
Fitness - getting up off the couch several times to open the door to trick-or-treaters.

Well, today is the last day of the month and it is payday for DS1 who does a lot of the inspections. I managed to do three. He did 11 inspections and one shed tear-down and haul (with DS2 as his helper). Needless to say, he had a very good month.

In total, I earned from the side biz $150. He earned $625 and his brother earned $75.

DS1 is in college and has pockets during the day he can do these jobs. The schedule has evening and Saturdays open but most people opt for mid-day during the week.

Stuff to Do Saturday

October 15th, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Breakfast – Omelete and toast, coffee, Good Belly and orange juice
Lunch – Fish and fries
Dinner – macaroni and meat
Extra food - Chocolate candy

Spending :
Gas = 39.45 yesterday
Today will be spendy

This morning, I will take my uncle to his doctor (he is open on Saturdays).

Then my aunt, my mom, DS3 and I will go to lunch and shopping. I need to pick up a replacement cell phone for my uncle and I wanted to buy one for my aunt. I need to research a frugal plan for her.

DS1 and DS2 will be going to a property mid-day to dismantle and haul away an old shed. DS1 is out now doing a home inspection (scheduled for 9:00 am). Then DS1 has to be at his part-time job later at 4:00 and comes home around 10:00 pm. I know he’ll be exhausted.

DH and my co-worker are friends so they are going a couple of hours south of here to my co-worker’s mom. She is in her 90’s and had several falls lately. So they are going to pick her up, secure the home, and she will stay with him until they find a better solution for her (round the clock care).

Storm Readiness

October 6th, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Fueled up cars
Bottled water
Ready to eat meals
Charged up phones and tablets
Secured patio furniture, trash bins, and plants
Caught up on laundry
Medicines ready
Stocked up on toilet paper
Batteries for radio and flashlights
Candles and matches
Books and magazines
Cleaned the house

Now we wait.

Thinking Ahead

September 4th, 2016 at 01:59 pm

Breakfast: 1 Pancake (Kodiak cakes w/matcha tea powder), a banana and coffee
2nd breakfast: none
Lunch: Chicken pot pie leftovers
Dinner: Attended the potluck dinner at church and I brought shredded BBQ chicken and a cherry pie.
Extra food:

I counted all my change jars and it was eye opening. I have over 40! That’s crazy. That does not include DH’s change jar.

I had to buy materials for my side business. A whopping 2.14.

I also bought for my twin niece and nephew at the dollar store a Halloween greeting card and a trick or treat bag for each of them. I also bought a birthday card since that is coming up in a couple of months.

While at the dollar store I went on a spree and bought a dozen each Halloween cards and Thanksgiving Day cards. I am a member (actually this year I’m a board officer) of our church women’s group and part of our ministry is distributing greeting cards to nursing home residents. This is an out of pocket expense for each member and each lady buys a dozen or so cards apiece. This is money that I have budgeted for this. I already wrote out the cards and have them ready for this year. Yesterday’s purchase are for next year. At the dollar store, the cards are beautiful and cost only .50 each. Sometimes I order greeting cards online from Current (www.currentcatalog.com) and take advantage of free shipping.

Planning and budgeting because the money is going to start flowing from now until the end of the year.

While in Miami, I may get some Christmas shopping done at the Miami International Merchandise Mart (www.miamimerchandisemart.com). I LOVE that place because it is really affordable for high end things like handbags, fragrances, jewelry and clothing.

My first gift purchase is a shirt called a ‘guayabera’ for my dad for Christmas and it came from my Christmas fund. Finding a long-sleeve one is not easy but I found one with very good reviews on Amazon. He wears the short-sleeved version every day. So anyway, my dad’s gift is purchased and it came in yesterday.

Gift ideas:
I saw on a commercial on TV for the ‘Neon Glow Twister Tracks’ for only $20 (http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Mindscope+Neo+Tracks+Flexible+Raceway&FORM=HDRSC2). I think I may get that for my nephew who will turn four in November for his birthday. I will have to find an equivalent gift for my niece (his twin). On the other hand, I may wait until Christmas to send it so that they have presents from me under the tree. And for their birthdays I may just send money and a card for each of them. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that right now. I also plan to send them each an Advent Calendar (the kind with chocolate). I usually send that around Thanksgiving.

I’ll have to think hard on what to give my mom, DH and DSs. Believe it or not, my DSs love the $9.99 gift card from Great Clips! In the past, I got them each a card and loaded it with the equivalent of five haircuts. I know they will each get that.

DS3 is the next one to have a birthday at the end of this month. We will likely go to Adventure Landing (www.adventurelanding.com)? DS3 turns 17.
Niece and nephew twins birthday is early November and they will turn four.
DS2’s birthday is early December and he will be 20. He enjoys the Japanese Steak House so we may celebrate doing that.

Holiday Planning:
Halloween costumes and candy: We get invited to two parties a year and I half-way manufacture our costumes. This year, DH and I are going as Beetlejuice and Lydia. The boys have long past stopped dressing for Halloween but they may dress up if they go to the party. If they opt to stay home, they don’t mind passing candy. Lately there haven’t been too many trick-or-treaters.

Thanksgiving dinner: I am planning my Thanksgiving dinner budget. I think we may be having other guests this year. My worry isn’t the food expense as much as the space. We live in a very small home so I don’t know how we’ll accommodate everyone.

Christmas: My mother usually does the dinner. Now that she is getting older, I may need to step up this year and do a greater share of things. So I need to get the usual menu together and budget for the meal. Of course, gifts.

Her Name is Hermine

September 1st, 2016 at 11:36 am

We are still under tropical storm watch even though Hurricane Hermine hasn’t made landfall yet. We are making basic preps. We do not know yet if schools will close tomorrow and whether or not DH and I need to report to work. Though we are located at the southern end of the storm when it passes through, the possible impact on our area could be tornados, intense rain and flash flooding. I understand that Hawaii is getting a double hurricane at the same time. Louisiana is still reeling weeks after their storm. Pray for all those impacted by these storms.

Health yesterday:
Breakfast: Overnight Oats and coffee
2nd breakfast: cheese omelet on 1 slice of toast
Lunch: Greek salad and apple
Dinner: ‘Brown Dinner’ (Salisbury steak with mushrooms, onions, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans)
Extra food: banana and 3-2-1 brownie (http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cakes/patti40/3-2-1-microwave-cake/)

Snowflake: Amazon credit of 5.99 for selecting no-rush shipping (for Prime members). Promotional credit expires on December 7th so I need to remember to order something else on Amazon before then.
I got this for ordering my dad’s Christmas gift yesterday.

Financial Goals:
I’m following Dave Ramsey and working on baby step #1 – save $1,000. I'm already a third of the way there!

At the same time, I am working at paying off my debt but I am thinking that perhaps I should pay the minimums and become more aggressive with savings deposits in order to reach $1,000 by December 31st. The last quarter of 2016 I will devote to doing this. I have some money crunching to do but I think I may be able to achieve this in four months.

Come January, I will devote 2017 with baby step #2 – paying off debt as aggressively as I can. My smallest debt also carries the largest interest rate, so I may just go with the debt avalanche method. Dave Ramsey’s method is the debt snowball.

I am so glad I started this blog. This has helped me tremendously these last few days in getting my financial perspective together. Thanks everyone for reading and for your encouragement!