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Archive for September, 2006

End September: Begin October

September 29th, 2006 at 07:19 pm

I'm ready to take a look back and another look ahead!

CC payoff goals:
My goal for September was: $2,768
My actual amount was: $2,984

This is a difference to my benefit of $216! Pretty good!

October's goal is: $1300.
Additional goal is to pay off CC1!

Big payment!

September 29th, 2006 at 12:36 pm

I just hit "send"! $2000 off to CC1! That leaves $748 remaining on the card and if I had another penny to pinch, I'd do it. But I don't, so I just need to be patient. It will be paid off within the next two weeks if I get my money in the mail. I can not wait to be down to just one card.

It was suggested that I split the large card into smaller parts. I considered that, but I have another plan instead. The large card is 0% interest, so having the balance sit there is not a problem. We are going to pay a tad more than the minimum on it each month while stockpiling as much as we can into our ING account. So now instead of PAYING interest, we will be EARNING it. And according to the calculator, we'll be EARNING it to the tune of $848 from now until June. I am very excited about getting to watch our money grow instead of deplete.

Tomorrow....big payoff day!

September 28th, 2006 at 11:05 pm

Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for! I get an extra paycheck tomorrow, and that along with budgeted money from DH's other job, I will be paying off...[drum roll please] $2000!!! [and the crowd cheers wildly!!!] Big Grin That will leave us with only $700 on CC1! That will easily be paid off in the near future. DH's job owes him money for our cell phone to the tune of $400.00. (4 months worth) I just need DH to send in the information!!! Mad I'm getting really aggravated with him about this. My job owes me $425 reimbursement for a college course I took. I just signed up for a second course that was $400, so $25 can go to the CC. In other words, I just put the new class on the CC, so this reimbursement will basically cover this course. My point is, of the $700 remaining, $425 is coming to me soon. And within the next 2 weeks I see $516 coming in from income. We will basically have CC1 paid off very soon.

I don't know why that's so important to me exactly. Once this card is paid off, we still have a card with $20,000 on it! That's no small potatoes. I guess it's just that it's a goal I set, and my plan was to accomplish that goal by the end of October and we are accomplishing it early in October.

We are struggleing to stay within budget now that I am back to work. I went out to eat with co-workers yesterday. It was the entire speech group, and we only do that once or twice a year. While there, I ordered an extra appetizer to bring home to DH. I like to do that for him. I'm tired and just don't feel like cooking or I don't feel like eating what I have, so we order out. It's a horrible habit. Life is stressful at the moment, and I am one who turns to greasy food when I'm stressed. Wink Bring on the Chinese! Why is that comfort food? I'm not sure, but it is.

Tonight I've asked DH to return home from his church job with a coke. I just really need a coke. LOL! Most women would want a beer! Me? I gotta have my Coke!

Looking ahead to completing Sept. goals

September 22nd, 2006 at 05:38 pm

I'm looking ahead. My goal for September CC payoff is $2,818. So far, as of next Friday, my actual payoff will be $2,934. So, I am counting my chickens before they hatch, but I am track for reaching my goal! It may be even better than that. I'm afraid to send the amount I should today because my bank is not showing the amount I think it should. I have to wait until Monday for the dust to settle.

I just can't wait to get CC1 paid off! We are so close!!! So close I can taste it! I just have to wait it out. In fact, I think that in 3 weeks it will be paid off.

I'm not updating my debt tracker yet though. I need to have a little more patience. I really should wait until I actually hit the /send/ button before doing that.

Ok, so back to work...

Dreaming up numbers...what else is new?

September 22nd, 2006 at 12:29 am

Ooooh, free time on my hands. What to do? What to do? Oh yes! I can blog! Big Grin

I've been playing with numbers again! I'm so excited! We're going to start to see some progress now!

Upcoming payments:
Friday (tomorrow): $300 from DH's pay
Wednesday: $316 from church pay
Friday: $1500 from my pay! EEK!! So excited! It's a three pay month, so it's extra money in my budget!

That is so exciting! I also just transferred $1400 from our high interest card to our 0% interest card. The 0% card is now officially maxed out! Frown But, after next Friday, we should be down to $400 on the high interest card. That will leave a maxed out card of $20,000 and I'm excited! Only one CC! One very large CC, but still...one CC.

I also just payed for a college course using the CC. I know, I know! Throw the book at me! But here's my reasoning. The card is almost paid off and we're going to use it for gas once it is paid off. I get rewards for using the card, including $.15 off each gallon of gas, but only if I use the card. My school district is reimbursing me the money in October. The time is just slightly off, which irritates me, but what can you do? I am expecting reimbursement for my last class (which will cover THIS class) in October. I have to sign up for the class now. And, as far as classes go, I am trying to get all of my +30 hours in before January of 2009 to get a $10,000 raise. If all goes according to plan, at that time we can live off one salary, invest the other, and be completely debt free except for a mortgage payment. And the mortgage is on track for paying paid off by 2013. Not bad for a family currently sitting on $22,354 in CC debt!

Sent another $45 to the CC

September 18th, 2006 at 10:33 pm

I got paid for my September flute lessons today. I sent another $45 to the CC. I'm starting to get confused. Right now, I send off the money and then immediately come and track my progress before the money clears. So the CC company says I owe $22,600 (or so), but I know I owe $22,354.02. Sometimes I can't remember if it is reading what the company thinks I owe or what I think I owe. I should probably only record what the CC says and just be patient.

Anyway you look at it, the numbers are going down and that is a very good thing!

Plans, plans and more plans

September 16th, 2006 at 05:26 pm

I am such a planner! I sat down and wrote out my monthly goals again. I said I wasn't going to...but I did it anyway. I put it all in an Excel worksheet, which is my favorite program in the world! I typed in how much money was going to come from each source and how much it added up to and put in some formulas and (VOILA!), I have a beautiful, easy to follow plan! It keeps track of all the figuring for me so it doesn't have to be in my head! All I have to do is plug in the numbers every time I send a payment to the CC's.

I also made a spreadsheet to show me exactly what I will have in my checking account through November by tracking my salary and bills. It's very easy to do from that account because 95% of the bills that come out are fixed and my salary is always the same.

That first CC of ours is going away so very slowly. I know that my goal is to have it paid off by the end of October, but that just isn't soon enough for me.

More money! Wahoo!

September 15th, 2006 at 12:06 pm

Today is pay day! I changed my W-4, changing it from married-at-single-rate to just "married". What a difference! My paycheck was $100 more. That's $200/mo! So I just went to my bank site and set it up to automatically pay the 0% card's minimum payment of $190. That way, I will never default on it.

Also, I have decided that once the other card is paid off, I am going to throw everything I can into my savings account which now earns 4.55% interest. So now, I have the minimum payment set up and can just throw everything I can into savings, which earns interest, until I have enough in there to pay off the debt. All must be paid by October 2007 to keep the 0% interest.

Everything seems to be falling into place and my goal money seems to keep increasing. I think my budget is a little too tight right now though. I think I am not going to increase my previously posted goals because they are just GOALS. It will feel good to reach them...and better to exceed them. My plan gets me out of debt by this time next year or better and that is good enough.

Two weeks from today I get to send my entire paycheck to the CC. I can't wait! It's a "three paycheck" month, so next week's is extra the way that account works.

Exhausted

September 15th, 2006 at 12:42 am

Oh my goodness! My neighbors had conflicting schedules tonight and needed to me to watch their children. Combining their children with mine, I had ages 2, 4, 5 and 6...all boys. The 2 and 4 year old are their's and they ran me absolutely ragged! I fed them all dinner and that went fine. It was when we were heading out the door for my son's ball practice that things got horrible. First, the 2 year old wouldn't come upstairs from the basement. When he did, it was because he had pooped in his pants. At the same time, my 5 year old cut his finger (just a papercut) and was crying. Poopy pants....crying 5 year old...poopy pants...crying 5 year old. Which was more important???? So I plopped the 2 year on the toilet, ran upstairs for a band-aid, cleaned up the 2 year old and then put the band-aid on my son. Crisis averted.

At the field, I couldn't keep the two year off the field or out of the mud. The 4 year old ran into the parking lot while I chased his brother. My son kicked their son. It was just a barrel of laughs!

Right now, as I relax and type, my 6 year old is reading to my 5 year old. Is that sweet or what? I just really needed a break.

Today was not entirely frugal etiher, and I feel guilty. I had a stressful day at work. My supervisor called a mandatory meeting for all speech therapists and psychologists and I couldn't make it because I had parent meetings scheduled for the same time. I couldn't cancel with one day's notice. I explained it to my supervisor and she said it was fine and just to come late. So in the middle of one of my meetings, my supervisor's secretary called wondering where I was. I had to re-explain myself, and though she understood, it made me nervous for the rest of the day. I stopped at McDonald's because I was feeling the need for something bad for me. That was the splurge. I'll feel better after I tell DH I did that. I haven't seen much of him today. He's off at his second job at the church right now.

Well, I need to go listen to my son read. I can hear him from here and he makes me so proud! He's such a great reader for such a little guy!

More money each month

September 11th, 2006 at 03:50 pm

I decided to take on another flute student. It's a huge decision because I'm basically only doing it because it's more money to throw at debt and it's easy money and it's something I really enjoy. But, I have to be committed to this student as long as she wants to stay with me and she's in the 6th grade. This could be a 6 year committment. But, I know her mom really well and she assures me that her daughter is a good student.

So, that is another $60-$75 per month. I may just put that money into my savings account so that it is there when I need it. I have over extended us with my high standards for paying down debt, which is what gets us into trouble. There is no room for error in our budget. I could just cut down on a payment one month, but that does bad things to me psychologically! LOL! $60 wiggle-room every month is nice. And yet, that's only $15/wk wiggle room. Perhaps both my flute students should be wiggle room money. No, I already figured that money into my monthly goal money.

I will get there! I just have to keep plugging along! Rolling, rolling, rolling!

September 11

September 11th, 2006 at 12:01 pm

Today is going to be a difficult day, and I can at least take comfort in knowing I am not alone. I work in the schools and the children in 6th-8th grades have only a vague recollection of the day. The staff keeps up a happy front and I have a hard time doing that. I feel like I'm in a fog.

Our son celebrated his fifth birthday yesterday. I've heard so many people say "Has it been five years already?" We will never say that. When my son was one week old, it had been a week since 9/11. When my son was one month old, it had been one month. I marked each month for the first two years of his life, as mothers do with their infants. Now I mark each year and even each half year.

I have yet to celebrate his birthday AFTER 9/11. Like if his birthday were to fall on a Friday, most parents would celebrate Saturday or Sunday. I just feel an intense need to celebrate BEFORE 9/11 because my baby was born before that time. He was born into a world of security and peace.

I will never forget waking up in the hospital bleery eyed with my newborn who had slept in my arms all night. My husband flipped through TV channels looking for something to have on in the background while we couldn't take our eyes off our new son. We came across a news story about a plane that hit one of the towers and I told him to turn it off. He didn't and five minutes later, we watched live as the second plane hit. It was horrifying. My hormones were all off as it was and I just kept thinking about what kind of a world I had just brought my newborn into.

I didn't like being in the hospital that day at all. It was such a big building and everyone had a fear of public places that day and for a long time after. We heard a sonic boom around 10:00 AM and could only imagine what it was and it seemed so close. We were in a fairly large city and it scared us. Later we learned it was the sound of a couple fighters leaving the nearby air force base.

My heart is certainly not in my job today.

Number woes

September 9th, 2006 at 12:05 pm

I'm feeling depleted.

The finance charge came through on the 0% interest card. We switched to 0% interest but it came with a one time 3% charge of $550. So the balance went up. That's frustrating, let me tell you. But in the end it will save us money. To stick with my plan, somehow I have to come up with an extra $550 and I'd like to find it this month. On an already very tight budget close to Christmas time, that is not going to be easy. I already came up with $100 though in the form of a check from Verizon. Sometimes nice surprises come in the mail.

And sometimes not so nice surprises come in the mail! Like city taxes I forget about year after year. I always forget that taxes for the city I work in come from my pay, NOT the city I live in! Doesn't that suck?! So I owe taxes quarterly to the city I live in and the bill came yesterday.

AND I overdrew on my account by a whopping $1.39!! I am so angry! So I now we have a $9.00 fee on an error of $1.39. That's what I get for taking my checking account down to nothing between pay periods all for the sake of throwing every penny at the CC's.

I'm feeling very crunched at the moment. We were down to absolutely nothing in the house to eat last week, so we ate out several times. I went to the grocery store yesterday and spent $120 of my $200 budget and then gave another $20 to my son for school lunches. That leaves $60 for the rest of the week should we need something.

I have many, many financial things to figure out in my head right now. I'm not sure where a lot of things I need money for are going to come from with the budget so tight. I may need to loosen up a bit and not expect to be able to throw so much at the CC. We need money to keep up with what we have too.

Year's plan for getting out of debt

September 7th, 2006 at 02:54 pm

I was obsessing while riding as the passenger to Gatlinburg and came up with monthly pay down goals to get us out of debt by June of 2007. Here' s the breakdown:

GOALS:
September: 2645
October: 1260
November: 1260
December: 1545
January: 1260
February: 1260
March: 2825
April: 1260
May: 1260
June: 1460
July: 1760
August: 1510
Total: $19,305

This does not include our tax return or DH's raises, so I am confident that if we meet or excede these goals, we will achieve pay off by this time next year!

This is all possible because DH took on a part time job. Thank you DH!

September plan

September 7th, 2006 at 02:30 pm

I have a plan! I love plans!

Current totals:
CC 1 $-138.42 (Yes, that's negative)
CC 2 $4,666
CC 3 $18,200
Total: $22,727.58
(It's actually less...my last payment hasn't cleared yet)

1. Transfer $138.42 from CC2 to CC1 which brings CC1 to a 0 balance.

2. Pay $2,745 to CC2 over course of September.
CC2 $1782.58

3. Transfer CC2 balance of 1782.58 to CC3
CC2=0
CC3=$19,982.58

This plan gets me down to just one card by the end of September and that one card has 0% interest until October 2007. Phew! It's working....we're getting there.

Hard at work

September 6th, 2006 at 11:25 pm

I am hard at work trying to figure out this whole couponing thing. Right now, it is fun. But I can see the fun waning and then where will I be? It takes me forever. I don't feel like spending money on a coupon organizer when I am not even convinced I will continue. And I am not patient enough to stick each coupon in its own sleeve of a photo album. Therefore, I am spending forever hunting through my coupons and matching them to sale prices. I haven't found any truly great deals yet except things I will never use. But, like I said, the search is amusing me for the moment. But I am spending way too much precious time on it.

I think I wrote that we fixed the drippy water problem. We turned off the water underneath the sink. Today I did even better than that. I figured out that I can leave the cold water available and it does not drip. So it is only the hot water that is the problem. I wonder if my energy bill will now go down since hot drip water is not running down the drain.

I hate these days when no money comes in. I feel inactive in my money quests. I think that is why I enjoy the couponing. I feel as though I am doing something.

Back on track

September 5th, 2006 at 11:18 pm

We just got back from a 3 day weekend in Gatlinburg! I didn't want to write on line that we were doing that. I have been dreading it because I knew we would be spending money, instead of throwing it at the CC's. But, we have come back not too worse for the wear.

We had a great time! Our biggest expense was food, of course, and Christmas gifts. Gifts were budgeted for the first time ever so I had a blast at the ornament section of the Christmas store! If any of you were there, I was the one holding up the line to get them all personalized! LOL! DH bought some gifts for me at the Boyd's Bear factory and in downtown Gatlinburg, so I know this is going to be a great Christmas for me too. Big Grin We really did have a great time. We took cash and almost made it on cash only. We put the rest on the CC BUT as soon as the charges show up online, I am ready to transfer the exact amount to the card from our savings account where our Christmas funds sit. Big Grin It's a plan!

I am excited about September's pay off!
August goal was $630.
Actual August payment was: $1030.42! Really great!

September's goal is: $2645 (I get an extra pay this month)

We finally figured out how to turn off our kitchen sink, so no more dripping water! LOL! I was disappointed that with all the collecting of drip water this month, my bill was $1.00 higher. Frown Confused Oh well. Now it is not dripping and will hopefully go down.