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Archive for November, 2007

Yay! Back on track.

November 21st, 2007 at 09:57 am

So I finally updated my ticker. The problem being that for some reason I ended up spending money on one of my credit cards so I wasn't actually making progress. Now I am going to have to look at the last two months and figure out what I messed up in my budget so it doesn't happen again.

Oh now I see it, out to eat and helping my friend out longer than I thought I would have to. Well, the out to eat is to expected, we just switched from $250 per month to $100 per month and I never do well during the initial transition and the other is over. So my budget should be fine now.

On a positive note, this month I have done extremely well and next month is when all of my husband's cards and one of mine get paid off. I am definitely going to enjoy that.

So for those of you curious, here is what my new budget is going to look like:

Savings $25
IRA $100 (still debating taking this to $200 prior to paying off next cc)
Utility $50
Phone $84
CC#2 $700 (CC#1 will be gone in one week)
Electric $90
Cable $62
CC#3 $150
CC#4 $200
Groceries $250
Entertainment/Travel $100
Lunch/spend money $100
DVD rental $10
Student Loan $194
Bus Pass $54 (or whatever the price rises to since it should be going up in Jan)

Husband's will be:
Rent $700
Eating Out $100
Down payment savings $800 + bonuses and extra pay periods

I love my friend but...

November 20th, 2007 at 09:24 am

So this weekend, I called up my friend to see how her new job is going since this was her first week and she told me she had to call me back because she was in the middle of signing paperwork for leasing a brand new car. What!!??!!

This girl had been at my house the weekend before to learn whether she had enough to pay rent because of the transition but she is going to lease a new car?! My dh and I look at each other and just shake our heads and promise ourselves no more money will be given to her to help her out. We aren't paying for her mistakes.

The news gets a little better later on, she got turned down for the lease because her credit is only 620 and now she is across the street trying to buy a new car. She's upset that she has to buy one because then "she will have to mess with selling it while it still has a loan."

1. Why can't she keep the car until it's paid off. (I never got a real answer to this one)

2. Why can't she save up a down payment so she doesn't have to worry about being upside down in the loan when she sells. Answer: she wants it now because all of a sudden she just can't wait for a car. Okay...

The good news is she kept the payments at $200, the bad news is its a 6 year loan and she will pay $4,400 over the life of the loan for the privilege of financing. She also thinks she will only keep it for 3 or 4 years. Given her driving history, we figure she will total it in 2...

She has no EF, the credit cards are maxed, she just started this job a week ago but she couldn't wait two months to get her feet under her.

Sadly, for her, this is making progress and she will be able to afford the car payment. The question is, how many other things will she decide she can afford until she can't afford anything?

Whew, that was a lot of groceries

November 16th, 2007 at 08:12 am

So, given that my cupboards were bare, I went a little nuts getting groceries. I spent $133 and got $210 worth of groceries for my trouble. Its nice to have food in the freezer again and in the pantry. Got to say though, even with my husband to help, those groceries were a pain to get home. Its the one time I miss having a car.

Currently looking like we will spend about $220 on groceries this month. Definitely not bad and a far cry from the $600 per month I use to spend. In fact, for the previous two months I averaged $250. Woohoo. I think I am finally getting our food budget under control.

So
fix my clothing budget, check
fix my food budget, check
fix my out to eat budget, check
fix my miscellaneous budget, needs work

My miscellaneous budget this year to date was atrocious. I definitely need to work on that. I think I have a plan that should help but we shall see...

Grocery Shopping the Thanksgiving Sales

November 15th, 2007 at 09:19 am

Oh yes, I remember doing this with my mother. What fun we had going to three different grocery stores to get all the loss leaders. Tis that time of year.

I was a little surprised that the only store without a card system had the worst prices. I had always been told that getting rid of card sales resulted in cheaper prices but obviously not. They only had 2 decent items.

So that drops me to only two stores. My normal store and one that I will only shop loss leaders at because their off brand is nasty so only name brand stuff from them.

Now, unfortunately, my normal store is tricky. They like to mark up prices to put things on sale. But they have enough real deals and a good off brand that I just avoid the false sales and call it good.

I need to restock and so I am actually thrilled with the sales. I have an empty freezer and my pantry isn't far behind. I think I will be buying an extra turkey, I really can't beat $0.32/lb for meat.

Well, I wish everyone luck and patience because I am pretty sure its going to be scary out there. The sales in my area began yesterday and today is payday for a lot of people in my area (15th and 30th are paydays, not sure why everyone is that way but it really is most people).

Let the madness begin! So how many of you aren't going out again until Jan 2?

A look back through 2007 *Rant*

November 12th, 2007 at 11:35 am

Hmmm...not pretty. I just added up all of my expenses and I am not impressed.

So for 2007, on my end of things I have only been paying $140 per month on credit cards which covers only interests...So yea, I am not digging deeper, but I am not making progress either and now I can see why. No wonder people resort to cutting the cards up.

*Sigh* Two steps forward, one step back. At least my dh will be debt free as of January.

The good news is that eating out is no longer my budget killer...the bad news is that my toys now are the budget killer.

The good news in that is that I no longer have any toys I want..the bad news is that I am sure something else will come along to destroy my next budget. Grrr.

Okay, enough self-pity. This is what I will do. As of Jan, I will make sure the budget will have room for entertainment, clothing and "miscellaneous" expenses by using this year's expenses as an example. I have seen where I can downsize and will accordingly do so.

Christmas shopping is almost done

November 12th, 2007 at 07:13 am

So we decided that husband gets a new laptop (well sort of, new to us for $100 bought from his work) and I get Pride and Prejudice theatre tickets. Big Grin We are happy and won't be getting anything else for ourselves. Now we just need to buy for his family. I can't believe the holidays are already upon us.

We will be making Thanksgiving dinner for my friend who will be taking care of our puppy while we are gone for Thanksgiving. Funny part is, that is still cheaper than paying for the vets to board him.

Esearch.com

November 7th, 2007 at 03:23 pm

Boy, I should start paying attention to things that promise me money. I just received $2.00 today in my paypal account from Esearch.com. It was only when they mentioned for what survey that I remembered it. Well that's nice at least. Not that I know what I am going to do with $2.00 in my paypal account, lol. I will probably wait till I get another payment and then cash it into my account.

I am an idiot

November 7th, 2007 at 09:20 am

So I noticed with one of my one survey companies, surveyspot that their question section kept mentioning my account but I didn't have access to a member's area. So, looked a little farther down this time and realized that they did have a link to a member's area and that you had to request them to cut you a check (this little thing only took me two months to figure out *sigh*.)

So now I have a $37 check for my first round of surveys coming to me. I figure I will use survey money to supplement my out to eat budget since I really love eating out but its way too expensive.

Anyone know what clothes actually last?

November 6th, 2007 at 12:16 pm

I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but I tend to wear out clothes. I wear them until the hems shred, the fabric stretches beyond recognition and holes appear everywhere. I hate clothes shopping so I keep trying to find brands that hold up over time and I have got to say, they all fall apart equally fast. It doesn't matter if the item cost $2 or $100, I have had both disintegrate equally fast.

So, obviously I am going back to cheaper clothing to avoid the break down issue becoming a money drain issue but I really do hate clothes shopping so frequently. Anyone have any brands that they think will hold up so I don't have to replace them constantly? Keep in mind I have a professional job so my clothes need to be somewhat nice but nothing to spiffy. I am a pretty casual girl.

Well, any suggestions?

New Goal and New Strategy

November 1st, 2007 at 01:55 pm

In a little over a year, my credit card debt will drop to $3k. Yes, you heard me right I am going to pay off over $14k in the next year (which sadly is what we paid off in cc debt last year and no we didn't accumulate any new on his side of the equation or mine. We really did start out with that much debt.)

Originally the plan was to pay off only 2 cards, pay min. payments on the last 2 and save the remaining amount of money for a downpayment. However, with more money coming in, we can now afford to have me focus on aggressively paying off my remaining credit cards and leave my dh to save the down payment.

Definitely feeling better about our progress.

Almost Done with CC1!!

November 1st, 2007 at 12:22 pm

I don't know about you guys, but I am incredibly impatient. On December 1 I will get to pay off my first credit card of 4. The next one drops in April. Its going to be such a relief to have those gone. And my dh's last credit card will be gone in December.

Its going to be so nice seeing that down payment for a house start growing in January.