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Pay day and catching up a little

April 3rd, 2015 at 05:40 am

Thursday was another no spend day. I think that makes 4 this week. That's pretty exciting! I didn't go to Mom's house or the nursing home because I was just too flipping tired to do much at all.

I did make a delicious crustless broccoli quiche and between that and the soup I made Wednesday, I shouldn't need to buy any meals at work and there's no excuse to do the "I'm too tired to cook, let me just grab this on the way home" thing. I don't do that often but need to do it even less often. The quiche is also marvelous for a quick breakfast and it freezes, travels, and reheats very well.

I needed to do laundry yesterday but plumbers were working in the laundry room all day so I hand-washed two shirts, an apron, and some stockings and hung them to dry. I have clean pants so I'm good to go for today and tomorrow. Since Sunday is Easter and the store is closed, Mom and I are going to have dinner at her house. I'll take my laundry over there that morning and get it tended to. Yeah, I'm 52 and take my laundry to my mother's house but I go there several times a week and it was her idea years ago for me to do that. To wash and dry in my complex costs $1.25 a load. That doesn't sound like much but it really adds up so I'm thankful Mom doesn't mind me doing laundry at her place. I buy the detergent and usually wash, dry, and put away at least two loads of hers while I'm at it so it helps us both.

Today is pay day! Once I confirmed my pay was in my account, I paid the rent and water which came to $587.00, $21.32 to my Chase credit card bringing the balance to $100, and later today will pay $80 to Target. That's an account Mom and I both use and pay, though I generally use and pay more than she does. Once the $80 is paid, the balance will be $2,797.12. I really want that one gone but right now am doing well to make the minimum and a little more when I can so I suck it up and deal with it. I paid the electric bill of $54.87 Wednesday and paid my internet bill last week so after I make the Target payment this afternoon, I won't have any bills due until the end of the month. Wooohooo! I need to go to the bank on the way to work for cash to fund my grocery and gas envelopes.

After the funk I found myself in when the ex died, I didn't care about bills. I paid them but wasn't concerned if they were late and I indulged in a little too much retail therapy, eating out, and general irresponsibility. That put me behind and led to more stress, just deepening the funk. I'm so glad I'm back on track with logging income and expenses and using my envelope system. Doing those things doesn't give me more money but it ensures the bills are paid on time and the necessities are covered. I still run with just a small amount of money in my checking account but I have some money in savings, bill payments are timely, I have food to eat, and a job I love or least like a lot most of the time so I feel grateful! The stress level is decreased and that's a very, very good thing.

This site is so motivational and y'all just rock! It's difficult for me to read some of your blogs because I don't understand stocks, bonds, and having large sums of income or large sums of savings but each of you is inspirational, nonetheless, and I thank you.

Happy Friday!

Update on work, eating at home, not smoking, etc.

February 4th, 2012 at 05:56 am

I haven't posted in a bit. I've been pretty busy with work, though. It's going great now that the wild and crazy season is behind us. This week I was only scheduled for 22 hours, though, which isn't enough. My boss wrote me in for four more hours then another 14 hours. That put me at 40, which is what I'd hoped for. Unfortunately, Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and by Friday I was sicker than a dog. I went in anyway but they sent me home after two hours. So much for that 8 hour day on my pay! I work today, though, for six hours and I hope they let me stay the entire time as 32 hours are definitely better than 26. The month of February is historically slow so the hours will be slim and I'll be grateful for any and all I get!

I'm doing well without cable TV. The fact that I still pick up TNT, CNN (a little snowy but quite viewable), and a few others helps. Not sure how I'm still getting them but I'm glad I do. I don't watch much TV, though, and when I do it's usually a Law & Order episode I've streamed via Netflix on my PS3.

I'm very tired of my too large cell phone bill and want to go back to a prepaid phone. I'm just about at the point of paying the $200 to get out of the contract. I have a Straight Talk phone I bought months ago when I was having issues with Verizon's service. I used it for a month and it's now inactive. I can port my current Verizon number to it but it's not an easy phone to txt with and since I do txt a bit I need to be able to do that easily. So, perhaps I need to find another Straight Talk phone that's a little easier to txt with. The biggest problem with Straight Talk, though, is that it doesn't seem to work that well when I travel to Austin. Of course, I only do that once or twice a year but it's a five hour drive and I take some back roads and a working cell phone is a thing of beauty on those drives! I'd hate to have car trouble on one of those back roads and have no cell phone. Hmm, what a quandary.

I haven't been out to eat in awhile. Quite awhile. I'm still spending more than what I like on groceries but a lot less than what I was on eating out so that's a good thing.

Today is Day 50 of not smoking! Yes, I haven't had a single cigarette or puff from one for 50 days today. Smile I've saved about $425 by not smoking, too! That's nothing to sneeze (or cough) at. Wink

Quiet weekend off but educating myself about IRAs and other investments

January 22nd, 2012 at 10:05 am

I'm off again this weekend. Oh my, this is the third one in a row! I work the next few but sure have enjoyed these breaks.

I was off Friday, too, and a friend and I went out for lunch then to the tiny asian market in our town where I spent $16 on some things I want to try then to a newish coffee shop that opened a piece down the road. I spent $3 there. The owner of the shop said she recognized me, asked if I work at a particular Starbucks, and told me how impressed she is with the service I give and experience I seem to have. Aww, that just made my day! She basically offered me a part time job, too, but it won't start until May if it happens. I think I'd like that, though. I gave her my number and told her to call me if she needs some part time help.

I stayed home yesterday so it was a no spender and later today I'm going to a friend's house to watch football. I'll probably buy a Diet Pepsi to take with me but other than that, there should be no spending. Yaaay! Speaking of Diet Pepsi, if I get one it will be my 4th in 3 weeks! I've cut way back on them.

By the way, I still haven't had a smoke. Today is day 37 and I haven't spent about $314 on cigarettes!

Okay, so someone I know online is educating me a bit about Roth IRAs and other investments. You know, over the years I've tried to learn a little here and a little there about investing but I've never been able to put it to use. Or rather, I simply didn't put it to use. I won't be able to act on this until later this year but I plan to open a Roth IRA, most likely with Vanguard. I did check my 401(k) this morning and found out it relied too heavily on common stock so I changed that. Meh, it's something.

I've spent a good deal of today reading about IRAs but now it's time to do laundry and clean the place!

Have you walked away from cable television?

January 3rd, 2012 at 08:03 pm

I'm on the verge of canceling my cable television. I'll keep cable internet as it's one of very few internet options where I live but I can save somewhere near $38 a month by giving up the television option.

Update - I just called the cable company and I currently have "enhanced" cable internet. If I get rid of the cable TV, the monthly cost for just the internet will be about $90 and there's a one time fee of $45 billed to me. The total bill is about $116 a month so I'd save only about $26 a month by getting rid of the cable TV.

The only thing that's holding me back is uncertainty about whether there's enough web based viewing options to satisfy me. That might sound silly but let me explain. I very rarely watch local news or any news. I get almost all news online. I don't watch shopping channels or cooking shows and only rarely watch the occasional comedy show. So what do I watch? Movies and what I call "The Law & Order channel", TNT. I also watch USA and History. I like series like 'Bones', 'Lie to Me', and 'The Mentalist' and am into biographies and history shows, also. I'm not necessarily opposed to other shows but find myself drawn to shows like the aforementioned ones and am not sure there are enough shows like that with web based only viewing.

I have Netflix and at the moment have both streaming and DVDs but am going to streaming only this month.

So, have you given up cable television for web based viewing? If so, how has it worked out for you? I'd really like to do it!

Quick wrap up of 2009 & today's spending

December 31st, 2009 at 02:19 pm

Okay, so this year was good, bad, and even ugly financially.

The Good:

The man person's business is doing pretty well and pays most of the bills. I'm still working at the job I've had for two years and we manage to save a good portion of what I bring in or we use it for "fun" stuff.

In May of 2009 I opened a 401(k) with my employer and while there isn't much in there, it's something. I also have a very small pension amount with them. I doubt that I'll be with the company for 20 more years but who knows? It could happen.

We're about 1/3 of the way to having a fully funded EF but feel pretty good about what we have in it now. Even the amount we have gives us some security.

We rarely are late to pay a bill now. When it does happen, it's because I simply forget to deal with it, not because we don't have the money.

Our credit reports look a hell of a lot better than they did two years ago.

The Bad:

There isn't much in my 401(k) or pension account. Yeah, they've only existed for a few months but I want them stuffed with goodies..now!

We're only 1/3 of the way to having a fully funded EF. I want it fully funded..now!

Once in a while I'm forgetful and we don't get a bill paid on time. I want to have no bills to pay..now!

Our credit reports, while looking a lot better than they did two years ago, still have a hickey or two on them. I want them cleaned up..now!

Okay, so I'm a little impatient.

And the Ugly:

We have that $45,526.52 hospital bill to tend to. We have a payment plan set up with the surgeon but will throw extra at it and are paying on the pathology bill and will throw extra at it, too, but that hospital bill just looms over us as we try to figure out the best way to deal with it.

All in all, I'd say 2009 was a good year for us financially. Not spectacular but better than 2008 and certainly much better than previous years.

And here's hoping the upward trend continues in 2010.

Oh yeah, here's today's spending:

Laundry - $2.50
Cigarettes - $4.70
Denise Cell Phone - $80 (this is normally around $45 but I got a new phone and part of the monthly charge was pro-rated so this bill was higher than usual)
Americano to have while washing clothes - $2.11

Figured out how to keep track of expenses!

December 30th, 2009 at 10:41 am

Our expenses for December ended up being very close to what we had on the planning sheets we prepared at the end of November and that's a good thing, indeed. But I've been agonizing over finding a better way to keep track of expenses. It dawned on me, finally, that I already knew the way to do it.

Some years ago the man person created a Filemaker database for me to keep track of blood sugar readings, meals, exercise, medication, physician's visits, etc. and I still use it. It's great and it's so easy to sort and find things. Why not do the same for expenses? Duh! I could even use it for income.

So, I sat down and made a list of the things I need it to have and he's pondering it for a day or two before he gets started on it. Apparently its better to get it right the first time than to revise the thing once its done.

I can't wait until it's ready and I can start entering things into it. I'm turning into quite a numbers geek. Wink

Received itemized statement for the man's recent heart procedure = : {

December 23rd, 2009 at 11:46 am

Jiminy Christmas! The itemized statement for the heart cath, stent placement, and slightly over 24 hour stay at the hospital is 4 pages long and that's with a small font! I haven't a clue how we're going to pay this bill. If we give them $200 a month it will take a little less than 19 years to pay off. *sigh* We can afford to send them that but anything we pay is going to eat into money we should be saving/investing for retirement. Grrr, just when we're starting to get ahead!

Damn you, life! Wink

A little admiration & almost a no spend day!

December 11th, 2009 at 03:45 am

I have serious admiration for the young man in this story:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/1115004.html

He must have some serious moxie and I hope he does beautifully in school, work, and life!

Would/have you gone to such lengths to prevent or eliminate debt? I haven't and although I'd like to say I'd be willing to go so far, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and I can admit that. I'm just sayin'....

On a more personal level, yesterday was one of my set NSDs. I almost made it but not quite. When I got to work I discovered that something was desperately wrong with the heat in the store. The section I work in was hot and I mean hot! It had to be at least 82 or 88 or 112 and even with a couple of the front doors open it stayed hot all day long. Yes, ALL DAY LONG, from 7:30 to 4:00 PM! It was so hot the customers didn't stay long at all and they complained and complained.

I'd taken chili to work because chili is good in cold weather and even though in the midst of that heat and sweat I didn't want chili I ate it when lunch time came. I couldn't bear the thought of more water (since I'd been drinking it a good portion of the day to keep from dehydrating) so I bought a glass of tea. Yes, on a NSD I bought a $2.15 glass of iced tea. And damn, was it good!

Oh well, I tried and will try again today, even though it isn't Tuesday or Thursday. Wink I only work a 4.5 hour shift and I don't have anywhere else to go so I should make it today.

Keep your fingers crossed for me! Smile

Back to the basics for 2010 & $146.13 in change!

December 7th, 2009 at 02:21 pm



Actually, we're starting a little early with a checklist of financial things to do now and in the coming year. One of the more important tasks was to revamp our zero based budget to reflect the changes the business has undergone in the last year.

So, this morning I dug out the Dave Ramsey Monthly Cash Flow and Irregular Income Planning sheets and we've spent most of today, in between patients, coming up with figures to put on those sheets. Since our income and expenses vary substantially we budget a little over what the average for each expense is and any surplus goes in a separate envelope in case we need it for the same expense in the near future. It's a little complicated that way but we don't come up short on any bill payments. We're just about finished with the Monthly Cash Flow sheets and will work on the Irregular Income Planning tonight.

We also hauled 27 lbs. of change to the bank to be rolled and deposited into our main account. They charge 10% to roll and wrap the change but neither of us is too enthused about doing it and it's worth 10% to not have to do it. The man person guessed there was at least one hundred dollars and I figured the total would be over $125 but I just checked the bank account and discovered $146.13 was deposited. Sweet!

More on 2010 finances later...

Spendy weekend. Ouch!

December 6th, 2009 at 06:51 pm

We went to Natchitoches, Louisiana this weekend for the http://www.christmasfestival.com/. For those who don't know, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-A-Tish) is where the movie, Steel Magnolias, was filmed. It's also the man person's home town. We don't celebrate Christmas in any way but this festival is a big deal in Natchitoches and we like the fireworks display and enjoy seeing his family so we decided to take the three youngest kids, 19, 18, and almost 17 for the weekend.

We stayed with the man person's aunt and cousin which negated the expense of a hotel room. Thank goodness! We managed to find a free parking spot with a walk of a few blocks to the festivities. The last time we went to the festival there was no entrance fee but apparently, in an effort to keep out the riffraff, they've implemented a paid armband system. Just to get in to see the parade on Front Street cost $48 for the 6 of us!

Unfortunately, the parade was quite a disappointment. It was very slow and the participants lacked enthusiasm. The marching bands didn't perform much and the ones who played their instruments appeared to not enjoy it and in my opinion, marching bands should be energetic and excited! Of course, the weather was cold and they walked at least three miles, literally, to the spot where they started marching. Maybe they were just exhausted by the time we saw them and the fun had worn off. Regardless, the parade was one of the worst I've ever seen.

After the parade we hung out on the hill across from the stage and listened to Ronnie McDowell, the singer. We'd hoped to catch the several different bands until the fireworks display a couple of hours later but the cold finally got to us and we wimped out after being at the festival for only 6 hours. But between armband fees, food, hot chocolate and coffee we spent a little over $100! Ouch! $100 for a festival we didn't even enjoy much!

The kids may go back on their own some time in the future but the man person and I probably won't. Each time we go it's less impressive than the last time we went and it's simply not worth the money anymore. However, if you're in that area any weekend between November 21st and the first weekend of January, you might want to check it out. Just make sure you bring layers of clothes and plenty of money!