I am planning on everything being 'back to normal' in 6 months. By back to normal I mean, CC paid off again AND EF back to $1500. Not bad really all around but still longer than I'd like to take off of my regular debt reduction.
Viewing the 'saving' Category
I received a check on Wednesday for the difference that was missing in my check. Of course, not much by way of taxes was taken out of it but at least now I know that I am at the same rate I was getting before, which I should have been. So I went ahead and started my clothing allotment, and wound up paying a total of $400 on my credit card. Not all of that came from this extra check just I was able to add to what I had set aside previously.
In the end, I will always have something extra to pay on my debt I just won't have a clear idea of how much because....
~ I changed my transportation withholding amount last month -but I sent it off straight to the company that takes care of it instead of giving it to HR. Since HR didn't know they were to decrease my transportation amount they pulled out the full amount instead of half. My next check they won't pull out anything to compensate.
~ I want to sign up for AFLAC insurance but the information they give us isn't very clear as far as cost and such so I was waiting til the rep came to discuss options. He will be in sometime next week. That will affect my check slightly.
~ I can contribute to my 401k starting with April's check. That will affect my check starting then.
~ I get a review in March. There's a chance a raise might be involved there.
I think I'm not going to play with my withholdings this year. It's just been too confusing with my pay in general and I would rather just not have to pay again. Though I might check and see if I can just change my Fed to 2 and leave my State at 1. But it will be July before I even consider anything.
Another thing I held out from the extra check I got last week was the entry fee for a half marathon in June. There's a group at my Curves that are going to train together for it. Apparently only the first 3,000 entrants get t-shirts so the gal in charge was encouraging everyone to register online. I get her enthusiasm, this is her first event. But I could take or leave the t-shirt. Still, online is easy so I went through the motions this morning to register only to find at the end that there would be an extra fee of almost $4 for registering online. I decided to leave the fate of my t-shirt getting to the post office and will be mailing in my registration tomorrow.
Tonight is the Oscars and while I really could care less in the general scope of things, the theatre I volunteer at is the only sanctioned Oscar Night Event in the state of Oregon. I think only one non profit in each state is awarded that privilege and this is their third year in a row doing it. It's their biggest fundraiser and rather appropriate since it's the Hollywood Theatre. I will be working there tonight and it will be a lot of fun. They'll have red carpet, paparazzi, drag queens dressed up as famous people doing catty commentary as people arrive, there'll be food, drinks, raffle and silent auction prizes, and I think the coolest of all, the actual programs from the real event will be handed out to the guests. Those were delivered yesterday during our volunteer meeting. But I didn't actually see any of them. We are encouraged to dress up if we want, but we don't have to. We just can't wear jeans.
Now that I'm on the tail end of this saving every extra penny because I'll need it when I transition to my new paycheck kick I have decided to change my EF.
I have three accounts that make up my EF. Two are over $400 and one is over $500. Once I get my first real full month paycheck on Feb 15 I will have a better grasp on what my real income will be and I can start putting money towards paying stuff off again.
The plan is simple...
Until each account reaches $500, at the end of the month I will pull everything over $500 out of my WF account and use it to pay down debt.
Each account (ING, Emigrant, WF) will basically maintain roughly $500 balance so after it reaches that goal, once the total between the three is more than $1600 I will pull out everything over $500 and apply it to debt at the end of every month.
ING gets $20 put in automatically every month.
Emigrant gets at least $20, sometimes more if I babysit or do a Pinecone survey, every month.
WF gets $75 auto transferred every month but that's just because it's one of the conditions for having the type of account I have.
I may suspend the transfers to the first two accounts once they reach $500 and just keep the third one going that way I'm not transferring in and back out every month. That part I have not decided yet. I like to have the habit of socking away into savings but I will still have the auto transfer set up for the third.
I happened to mention to my chiropractor that I am no longer covered under insurance and that now I am paying out of pocket. Her response was that once I get on a maintenance plan (right now I'm on a plan to fix something specific) that they will give me a discounted rate so long as I commit to coming in once a month. I was planning on doing so anyway so that's good. Plus they have like a punch card, come in for 12 months consecutively and get a free massage or something like that. I won't complain!
I also got an email from a friend who can get half price bus passes from her work. She doesn't need hers for Feb so she offered to buy it for me instead. I think it will work since right now I tell work how much to take out for my transportation costs and then just turn in a receipt showing I paid that amount. I sent in the slip today to lower the amount I'm having them take out and since she buys the pass at a store there will be an accompanying receipt that I can turn in. Even if for some reason they don't accept it, it's still a worthy savings. I don't know how many months I will be able to do that but I can change how much they take out from my pay as often as I want. It's way more flexible than my flexible spending account.
At least for the next month or two.
My work provides us with plenty of food for lunch (bread, meat, cheese, soup, fruit, crackers, chips, cookies, string cheese, etc) that I can eat at work without having to bring my own lunch. And it's all free. Of course while doing this, I potentially sacrifice calories.
But I'm heading into a lean pocketbook time while I transfer out of being contract and into being regular employee. Out of getting paid every other week and into getting paid once a month.
I think it will really help me out when it comes to budgeting money for food. The past couple times I have had money left over from the food budget. I think it could be even more if I start intentionally eating at work more often.
I'm flying to my dad's tomorrow. There's going to be soo much food. I'm a little concerned to be honest. But if I can just keep a large glass of water near me and refill it often, perhaps I won't eat as much. We'll see.
Happy Christmas everyone!
I just updated my October totals. My EF looks like it went down $100 but considering I had to pull a COBRA payment of $420 out of it, it's not really that bad. I'm still over $1000 and my dad is going to try helping me out with December's COBRA payment.
My debt did increase by a good chunk. Mainly due to buying new clothes for work, buying some furniture for the apartment, and buying plane tickets for my brother and I to go to Dad's for Christmas. I have stopped carrying my credit card in my wallet because it was too easy to just put random other little stuff on it as well. I will have that one paid back off by the time I get my tax return and my brother finishes paying off what he owes me with his tax return.
The new job is going well. As far as my budget concerns go I'm still ahead of the game. I currently have bills paid up through Nov 20th and I get another paycheck Nov 9th.
Once I get a full paycheck from work (right now I'm anticipating that being February 15th) I'll have a better idea of how I can start back into intentionally paying stuff down. Until then, I'm just saving what I already had set up in my budget to save and putting everything else to paying stuff ahead, or at least marking it as paid in my register. Plus I still have a $100 cushion that I haven't had to tap into yet.
I won't be getting paid for Thanksgiving holidays (2 days) nor Christmas (1 day) plus I'm taking Christmas Eve off so I'll have about 4 days that I won't get paid for total. Which is about $200 on each check. Fortunately it's spread out a little. So we'll see when those checks arrive how that affects things.
I found out that COBRA doesn't include dental like they thought so my actual payment is less. Which means I need to call the dentist and find out how much it is out of pocket to pay for a cleaning and possibly postpone my appointment until I have insurance again.
I reached my EF savings goal. However, until I get hired on directly I'm going to keep mad saving. I have a feeling I'm going to need it.
First day of work went well.
I have about $25k in my current employer's 401k program. It's all money I've invested, so I'm fully vested as my current employer doesn't do any matching. I was thinking about just leaving the money where it was at until I actually get hired on in 3 months and see what their plans were like. But I'm also contemplating rolling it into it's own account and just leaving it.
Any thoughts on that? Preferred companies to work with?
$80 total, $60 from friend paying me back for concert ticket and $20 from my Monday night child care. All went straight into Savings. I also initiated the transfer of $100 from checking to savings today. Makes my total in savings finally well over $1000 which is good but I know it won't stay that way for long.
My checking account with Wells Fargo is only free on the condition that I have a direct deposit of at least $100/mo. My final paycheck from current job will deposit on October 5th meeting that requirement for October. I also just got the directions on how to sign up for direct deposit at the new job. It takes two pay periods for it to become active so it should be on in November and all will be well as far as my account goes. I also have an allotment that goes in from my brother who's paying me back that happens to be $100. I don't know if that counts as direct deposit or not. Still can't believe this is my last week here. I've been here over 10 years.
For a multitude of reasons, I have decided to quit my Sunday evening childcare job. It brought in $25/wk. I think I'll be ok without it as I never include it in my budget. I did it for about a year, that seems to be my limit on extra stuff. Ah well. I still have my Monday evening childcare job which brings in $20/wk.
Today was payday. It's my second to the last paycheck from my current employer.
I paid all the bills I had to. Set aside money for a trip to Seattle next weekend (I'm carpooling so pitching in a little for gas). Set aside money for next month's bus pass that I'll need for new job (friend works someplace she can get one for half price and she won't need it for October so I'll be buying it from her at a discount). Paid off the small current balance on CC2 that's normally kept empty. And had $102 left over that's earmarked for savings but won't actually transfer until next week.
My roommate and I are throwing a party this weekend. We're going shopping tonight for food and other stuff for it. I have $32 from babysitting and what was left over from food and gas last paycheck. That should be plenty, especially since we're splitting the bill and we won't be buying any alcohol.
I am so paranoid about having enough money to pay for insurance and the other half of the month's worth of pay I'll need to come up with end of January that I've decided to charge some things. Specifically my clothes for work. I will be looking for good deals and such but for the most part I just want to go shopping once and not have to worry about work clothes for a while. I'm ok with paying interest since I know that worst case, I'll pay it all off with my tax return. Which means only a couple of months. If I find that I have more than enough money saved up to cover things then I'll pay it off sooner.
My current 'work clothes' are the same as my everyday clothes. Casual, jeans, tshirts. New job is in an office building with a business casual dress code. Granted, one of the programmers was in my interview wearing cords and a tshirt but I'm not going to be working for him. I have my interview clothes (one pair of slacks, one nicer button down shirt) and possibly one other top that would be acceptable. Past that, nothing. I hate shopping for clothes, with a passion. But I need to do it. This weekend I'll start out at Value Village and Goodwill. Next I'll hit up Ross and Marshall's. After that it just depends on how much time/energy I have to take on the rest of the Maul (Old Navy, Gap, Macy's, Nordstrom's, Sears, etc). Might check in at Avenue as well since that's where I got my slacks and they fit really well, just a little pricey even if I did get them on sale.
Not counting the need to buy more professional clothes even.
I talked with former co-worker about unused vacation time, then checked out the internet for laws. Apparently employers are not required to pay out vacation time unless it's specified in the employer policy (or whatever it's called). Yeah so it's not in our policy and I'm not sure I want to play hardball to force them to give it to me. Unfortunately I was sort of counting on having that money to pay for stuff like COBRA.
Contract work is usually paid weekly, or every other week. New job pays once a month on the 15th. I'd be contract for three months then switch to the other. Depending on how the COBRA thing works out I might be ok. But it means I'm going to not work so hard at paying stuff off and just save save save save. But budgeting for once a month pay will be interesting.
I'm going to talk to my dad and step mom and see if their offer still stands to help me out with medical stuff. Even if they could just cover one month of COBRA it would be a huge help.
Depending on when insurance would start at new place (sounded like pretty quick from what I've read) I might be able to get away with only one month of COBRA.
Of course, this is all hypothetical since I don't have the offer yet. When I spoke with former co-worker he said that one of the guys from my interview was in meetings all day on Friday. Hopefully that means they've decided to hire me. *cross fingers*
Ok so I think I've got a plan now for my car situation. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who knows a thing or two about cars. He said it's really not that big of a deal, so long as I keep on top of the oil. So here's what I'm going to do...
First, pay off my small loan. It's under $600 and I think I can make quick work of it and free up the $60/mo payment.
Second, get my EF up to 1000. It's almost there, just needs a little nudge.
Third, start saving every extra bit in a Savings account earmarked Car Fund. Once it hits 5000 then stop and continue on with my mad crazy paying off debt. That way, when the time comes that I absolutely positively need to replace my car, I've got a nice chunk to work with.
I just got paid today. After paying all my bills, and allocating money off to various categories, I still have $200 left over. Wow that's a good chunk of change. I am going out of town this weekend, and splitting the gas with a friend of mine. We are staying at someone's house so no hotel charges. Then later this month I'm going to Seattle and again, staying at a friends place. Those trips combined should not total $200 in gas but I'm leaving it in my bank account to cover whatever expenses come up on those ventures. Whatever is left come next payday will get applied to my small loan.
More on the car. First post over here.
The options for rebuilding/replacing the engine are $2200 to rebuild or $1900 to replace with a good used engine.
So I'm not going to do either, the car's barely worth $2000.
I could start saving like a crazy person and buy another car in a few months when I have a good chunk of change. Or...I could go car-less and buy a bike. I'm really not sure which way I'm leaning towards. Right now I'm doing more of the not taking my car on long distances (meaning this weekend's roadtrip will be in my friends car instead of mine) and making sure there's plenty of oil on hand.
I only live a mile from work right now. This other job is a little further but I'd take mass transit anyway, or carpool with my roommate.
My first attempt got lost in the ether...
My brother made his first installment to me of 2500 in cash. Its going in the bank today and as soon as it's registered as being deposited (it's cash so that should be almost immediately) here's how it's going to be dispersed:
220 - Wells Fargo Savings to pay back what I'd drawn specifically for him over the course of the year.
709 - Pay off credit card that's supposed to be cleared off completely.
1500 - Put on student loan that's at 13% (current total about $2131)
And the rest (about $70) will be used to buy gifts for my ex-roommate's bridal shower and wedding that's coming up fast.
It'll put my EF really close to my goal of $1000. It'll put a huge dent in my highest interest debt. It'll make it so I have a limit on what to spend on gifts. I will probably still charge the hotel room but I'm sharing it so it'll get paid off right quick.
I am SUPER excited right now!!
My brother and I made arrangements for the rest of his debt. He will repay me $100/mo starting in September and continue in that fashion until he gets his tax return. Then he'll pay the rest of the balance, or at least another large portion of it.
..even though I'm bummed I'll be practically draining it next month. I had a teeth cleaning appointment today and was gently reminded that I do need to get a crown for the root canal I had done last year. I also have a small cavity that needs to be filled. They didn't charge me for today's appointment, which is odd because usually I have to pay the $50 deductible for my x-rays. But I'm not complaining too much, they'll bill me later if necessary.
I got the numbers for the work to be done. $690 for the crown, ins will pay 50% after the $50 deductible has been satisfied so that's $370. $170 (a little less but I rounded up because I couldn't remember) for the filling, ins will pay 80% so that's $34. Total out of pocket $404. Total in my Medical Savings account $353.
I was anticipating paying the $50 deductible for today's visit plus my regular payments for prescriptions (but I got my most expensive for free this month that was unexpected). So I didn't deposit any into my Medical Savings figuring I'd just have to pull it back out anyway. I have $134 in my bank account earmarked for Medical.
I do plan on going to the chiropractor soon which will be $20 plus I'll be paying for my brother to go as well and I think they're regular visits without insurance are $45 so that's $65 I'll need. I will probably refill two other prescriptions this month, that'll be $15. Plus I have a doctor appointment in a week which is another $20 co-pay. I get paid tomorrow which adds $35 to my Medical amount available. So that leaves $69 for Medical in the bank at the end of the month when all is said and done. Plus $353 in savings that's $422 or just barely enough to cover my dental visits in June. I also intentionally set the appointments for after my first June Pay Day which introduces more money from my budget to put towards it.
All in all I won't be completely draining the account but I'm really glad it's there. However, it does cause a little bit of panic since I have some tests coming up that I know I'll need to pay for at some point. Perhaps it'll be built back up again by then.
I will pull whatever I'm anticipating needing out of the account when necessary. I will not be charging anything. That is the goal. Although if I estimated incorrectly I may need to temporarily charge something just long enough for money to transfer out of ING.
Seems like forever since I've blogged. Probably because I had a four day weekend (burned up my last two vacation days) and haven't really been around the computer much.
I found out that I'll be reimbursed for most of what I spent on food for the baby shower I helped co-ordinate last Saturday. I knew that the soon-to-be grandmother had sent a check to the gal organizing everything but didn't know how much. I spent about $48 total and the organizer bought stuff too. Turns out between the two of us we only spent $16 more than what the grandmother sent us so we split the difference. I was planning on donating $20 to the cause so that works fine for me. She'll give me the check on Thursday.
I also still had money from the cash I got paid last week Monday so I included that in my Tuesday Deposit. Total to be deposited is $75, would have been $100 but the guy who pays me on Sunday didn't have a check with him so I'll get it on Wednesday.
I have decided to join eHarmony. The guy I have dated a couple of times from the free communication weekend isn't working out and they're having a special (that they run often apparently) where you can get three months for the price of one. I'm not actually committing to it until I finish sorting out the guy but I took the $60 out of my Tuesday Deposit so I'm still putting $15 into savings today.
I just got an email from the gal in charge of the Monday childcare that I've been doing and it might actually turn into a regular thing. As much as I'd love to pick up every possible extra dime, I can't commit to every week and keep my sanity. Especially since I'll most likely be doing Wednesdays as well, the first three of every month. So I think we've decided on every other week, with a second person helping which actually drops the pay from $25 to $20 because she only has $40 in the budget for child care. But I'm ok with that. I also told her I could be a backup on the off weeks in case something happens at the last minute with the regular sitters.
One of my drugs is coming out with a controlled release version (meaning I would just have to take one a day instead of two a day). Apparently not all insurance companies are covering it so I called mine today to see if it was. It is but on the most expensive tier, I pay $35 for it now and it would be $50. Since I take other things twice a day it's not that big of a deal for me to continue taking it twice a day. But I will have my dr write me out a prescription for it because I'll be getting a coupon for a free 30 day supply from the manufacturer. The other good news with that particular drug is it'll be coming out in generic soon too which means it should drop in price from $35 to $10.
And in non-financial news, I'm doing the Photo 365 thing too. I included the link in my links section but here it is: http://picasaweb.google.com/ldyfaile/Photo365 I plan on updating it as often as I can. I will take a photo a day just might not upload it that day. It looks like you can subscribe to a RSS feed as well for it. I love Google.
My Tuesday Deposit doubled this week. I got a call yesterday while I was at work asking if I could babysit last night for a meeting. Two and a half hours and the pay would be $25. Rock on. Added that to my Tuesday Deposit and I put $50 into my Emigrant account.
I had a nice little panic moment this morning when I realized that my loan payment was due yesterday and I wasn't sure that I'd made enough payments. See, I get the money that makes up the loan payment at different times and since I now I can make payments online I make smaller payments as soon as the money comes in. Fortunately I did in fact make over and above the required payment last month. Phew. I figured I did but since it was on automatic (after a fashion) I just wasn't sure.
Speaking of automatic, I read The Automatic Millionaire. Eh. Some of his ideas I already use/do. But I have to laugh at the house idea. I totally agree, if you're paying $1500/mo in rent you might as well own a house. But I rent a cheap apartment and I share the rent with a roommate. I pay less than $300/mo just for 'rent' alone. Not counting my cell phone, my total 'house costs' are $350. I am NOT going to find a mortgage payment that low. I do want to own a house someday. But after all my other stuff gets taken care of.
I'm slotted to babysit again for the next two Mondays plus the next two Wednesdays. Yipee for extra cash! I am not complaining in the slightest.
(but first, to whoever posted the recipe for the crockpot pizza.. I overthink when I read recipes, the 12 oz of cooked noodles is that 12 oz before cooking or after??)
Yipee payday is here! I really don't know why my Jan 20th check was one number and my Feb 20th (and March 20th) checks were another. A smidge higher, by a little less than $10. Odd. But I still budget off the lowest check I receive so we'll just forget about it for now.
I paid all my bills. Yay! I figured out how to pay my Citi loan online. I have to transfer from external source to Citi checking and then from Citi checking to Citi loan. Pain yes, but it still beats the check getting 'lost' in the mail. Not that that's ever happened to me or anything.
I made my Tuesday deposit of $50 and deposited $12 left over from gas last check into my 'visit friend' fund.
The statement at Citicards hasn't shown up yet so I'm holding off on depositing that check. I won't be waiting til Tuesday next week to take care of my balance transfer check.
I turned down an extra $25 for babysitting this Thursday night. I meet every Tuesday and Thursday with people from church. The every Tuesday is something I can miss and if the right opportunity presents itself I will miss it. But the every Thursday is more of a close knit accountability thing and I need to try and be there as much as possible. Perhaps over the summer when we don't meet as often, I can pick up some extra work.
This Tuesday is a little off. I didn't get paid on Sunday, the guy had run out of checks, so I'll get double the next time I work which isn't this week but next week. I did get $5 from Creation Rewards and I got my $100 tow reimbursement check from insurance. Plus since it's near the first, I have my roomate's rent check.
$5 went to Emigrant. $100 will go to Wells Fargo. And rent of course goes into checking.
I will probably be getting gas tomorrow and since they wiped out my change in the ash tray I have to start over again. So from my change bank I pulled 3 quarters, 2 dimes, 1 nickel, and 4 pennies to seed my ash tray again. In Oregon you can't pump your own gas and usually the stations I go to you just pay the attendant not a cashier with a drawer. So I try to make sure I have enough for exact change and try to remember to tell them to not top off.
The cost to file state taxes electronically, $29.95. The amount of my refund, $18.
I waited for the 1098 showing mortgage interest I paid last year...and it didn't matter. I cut way back on charitable contributions last year so itemized deductions weren't really helpful this year.
So apparently I cut it pretty close as far as state goes when I adjusted my withholdings. But I'm ok with that. This year however, I will be more cautious and not change my withholding status until July. My part time job, which wasn't counted for 3006 because I didn't make enough to warrent a W2, I expect will be a factor for 2007 taxes since it's taxed at a considerably lower rate. I just want to make sure I cover my butt, even though I know that student loan interest will probably save me.
Federal return will be $574. I'm going to take the $74, add a dollar to it, and donate $75 to Kiva. The $500 I am not sure how it will be used yet. If my brother's GI Bill kicks in then it will go first to savings and if it exceeds my goal of $1k then I'll put the rest to my highest % loan. If the GI Bill doesn't kick in, I'll probably be using it to fund March living expenses for my brother and hopefully it will kick in in April. He'll have his federal return back as well so he will be kicking in a portion towards his living expenses.
In other news, my brother has a learning disability. We knew that but he had a session today with someone who thinks he might qualify for a program where the school will pay for him to be tested to find out exactly what his issue is. If he gets into the program he'll take special classes geared towards his learning ability and his books will be covered. That would be way cool. Just have to wait and see how things fall out. Fortunately he has teachers who are helping to direct him properly, without them he wouldn't have even known that the program existed.
They do a really good job of guiding you out of the exam and into the optical shop. And y'know what? If I had my old insurance policy I totally would just get them there because it's easy. However, I don't have my old insurance policy and they charge extra for things other optical shops don't. Fortunately I got out of my appointment at 9:40 and had to be to work at 10 so I was able to avoid wasting the gal's time helping me find frames.
I did get a copy of my prescription and found out that I shouldn't get the polycarbonate lenses anymore because of my prescription. So that settles that, I was debating about the poly or the hi-index. I guess it'll be hi-index then. They cost a bit more but if insurance does reimburse me anything it'll totally be worth it. I'll go pick out frames tomorrow evening.
I made my Tuesday Deposit today for a total of $30.05. $25 from childcare, $5 from Pinecone, and the nickel from Bank of America. I didn't think they'd send me a nickel check but they did and I deposited it. I transferred the $30 straight to Emigrant. The nickel can stay in my checking account.
I'm doing an extra night of childcare this weekend, on Saturday. A gal I work with on Sundays asked if they could 'hire' me for Saturday so I don't know what I'll be paid but I will be paid. I'm anticipating $25 like normal.
Friend of mine picked up these cube things at Home Depot for storage and they worked really well in her closet. You can find them at HomeDepot.com search for 100377339 it's not exact the ones she got are only 12" and brown not blue. But they were only $2.50 each. I need some serious help with clothes storage so I might pick some up for bulky stuff that takes up too much room in my dresser.
I just checked my student loan online. The little one isn't a federal one so it couldn't be consolidated with everything else. I got annoyed that the payment was never really the $50 they claimed it would be and it kept fluctuating when the interest did so I started paying $60/mo instead. Right now they say I'm paid ahead enough that I could skip a payment. I ignore it for now, I figure at some point I might take advantage of it but not right now. Finally though after five months of actually paying attention to what they say my payment should be it finally changed. From $52.99 to $51.89. I am curious to see how it fluctuates so I'll continue to keep an eye on it. I figure every 8 months or so it should change either by them pushing the payment due date out another month or by the amount of the payment due.
Payday was today. I can't tell by this check what my regular pay will be because of the extra that's included from being on call. That will have to wait for next check. But perhaps I'll get my review before then, that would be nice.
When all was said and done, even with holding onto $60 for bills on the 20th, I still had $117 left over. More than enough to pay those extra things I needed/wanted. I'm going to call and schedule an oil change next week, giving me the weekend to try and find my prepaid punch card. Because if I can find the punch card that's one less thing I have to pay for. I decided to wait on the yarn store. I went ahead and spent the gift card I had for there to start on socks and I still haven't gotten whatever my best friend is sending me for Christmas. But I don't need the needles just yet so they can wait.
I did get a nice surprise in the mail. My uncle finally sent me the money to pay me back for the concert tickets. Total was $82.43, he sent me a check for $100. Since I'm stashing away extra unexpected money, I deposited $80 back into savings and kept out $20 to go towards my Zoo pass. That makes my total so far $45 and a Zoo plus pass is $59 so I'm almost there. As long as I can get it before summer so I can take advantage of the concerts then I'll be happy.
All the medical type things I have to pay for this month look like they'll be covered above and beyond what my budget is. That makes me happy, more to go into my medical savings account. But it's staying in checking until I'm done with appointments and prescriptions since there's a couple extra this month. I need to call the dentist once I have $500 in that account and find out how much my portion of a crown will be. The temporary seems to be holding ok at least.
401k meeting was today. Our funds got bought by Wespac although the transfer hasn't happened yet so we can't actually dictate what money we want to go where until that happens.
They have quite a few options to choose from, all but like three of them were in the 4s and 5s as far as star rating on Morningstar is concerned. Because we're an institution there's no fees on trades so we can log on every day and change things if we want. Once it's all set up of course.
I think I've decided what I want to do. I took the little risk assesment quiz again to see where I fell and I'm still in the 'Balanced' range. Basically 60% stocks and 40% bonds. I picked out about 4 stock funds and 1 bond fund. I plan on putting $4k into each stock fund and the rest into the bond. Now it's just a wait and see..
I sort of use Quicken as my envelope system. I make 'future' payments with amounts I'm setting aside for use later. For example, I hold out $100 for rent out of my check on the 20th to go towards the next month's rent so I enter it as a payment on the 4th of the following month and then use the Ending balance as what I pretend my actual bank balance is.
I am out of gas. I had to run errands this morning and used more than I'd planned. I've put in all of my gas budget, the last bit was enough for 2 gallons which is about 40 miles of all city driving. I'm up to 26 miles driven so far, and have at least 21 to go before payday (Friday). So I 'borrowed' $40 out of one of my 'envelopes'. I'll put gas in tonight or tomorrow morning and fill it. Then I'll pay back the 'envelope' on Friday as soon as I get paid. It really struck me as funny how ingrained I've gotten to pretending money isn't in my account, I was actually panicing trying to figure out how to do everything I needed to on fumes.
I don't plan on doing this often but it's nice to have that 'oh yeah' moment.
Anyone have tips on how to keep oranges from going bad? Normally I only buy enough fruit to get me through the week but I only had my Costco card to buy food with so I bought an 8 lb bag of oranges. I've eaten 4, and have had to toss 4 because of mold. There's 5 left, well 1 in my lunch so that one's ok but then 4 more at home.
I suppose I could keep them in the fridge but my teeth are sensitive so I don't think about putting fruit in the fridge because I can't eat it right away. However I could just store it in there and it should be room temp by the time I eat it at lunch. Hmm. Anyway.
On last thing. My best friend is moving from Seattle to Utah for 18 months to go through a Nursing program. She's very excited about it and I don't know that I'll get to see her as often because of it. I'm working out my schedule for the end of my vacation time and I got a schedule from her of their tenative move plans. Her parents are driving up from CA and towing a UHaul trailer (though it'd be more cost effective to pick up the trailer in WA) and then they'll spend a day packing it, another two days driving, and then a day unpacking.
I wanted to go help her move, it's a big life change and I really support her in it. But original dates made it impossible. However it looks like it just might work out. I could catch a ride with her parents as they pass through Portland and fly back from Salt Lake. Right now tickets are $137 for one way and according to Farecast ticket prices will be heading back up in the next 7 days so buying it now is a wise move. Of course the ticket is non refundable but I'm going to call and make sure I'm reading it right, that I can use it for another ticket on that airline later if I cancel it. I figure I'll probably be making at least one flight out to see her in the next year if nowhere else.
I'm going to wait to actually talk to her about it before doing anything since it's still dependant on when her dad can get time off work. It's also dependant on when another friend's baby arrives because the front part of my vacation will be spent helping that family. It would mean dipping into savings to pay for the flight.
I went to my aunt's last night for dinner because another aunt and her new husband were visiting. Dinner was wonderful and if I didn't already have a bunch of leftovers in the fridge, I could have come home with more. Instead I insisted she send as much as possible home with my brother, the one who's out of work and who I'll be supporting for the next three months (or rather from now until three months after his GI bill paperwork gets sent in). She also tricked him into accepting $75 by palming him some cash with a $5 on the outside so he accepted thinking it was just a couple of bucks, but there was $50 total in hand plus $25 in a card she'd already planned to give him.
I got $25 as well in my card. Sweet! I was talking to my best friend on the way home and she mentioned that I should hang onto it for my Zoo Pass that I really wanted but no one got me (well I didn't want any one person to get it for me but rather said I was accepting donatations towards it). The other thing that I really wanted was a set of Denise Interchangables (knitting needles). I have a $25 gc for a local yarn store and they sell the needles there for $50. So that would make up the difference. However, the way my friend was acting on the phone I have a feeling she >might< have gotten that for me for Christmas. I haven't gotten her gift yet but she said it'd be showing up after Christmas. And it's one of those things you can't take back so I'm going to wait and see before doing anything.
I decided I really wanted the Zoo pass but I don't want to pull the rest ($34) out of savings. So I'm sticking the $25 in my dollar jar and any time I babysit and get cash for it (instead of a check) then I'll add it to the $25 til I get to $59. I should have it all in time for the Summer Concert Series.
I'm planning a trip to Costco on Saturday. I realize that it's probably a suicide mission but I have things I need to get, staples for lunch that I'll be running out of. There's only $5 left in grocery money so I'll be using my $50 Costco Cash Card to stock up as much as possible. I did a quick inventory of breakfast and dinner items and I should be good til the 5th. Plus some of the items I'll be getting at Costco are dry goods and will help future grocery budgets since I wont' have to buy those items for a while.
I have a list of items to buy with my 'extra' money this next check instead of putting it into savings. Why is it that savings is so much harder to push paying into than credit cards? Anyway, I knocked one thing off that list this week. I was talking to someone about wanting to get a wireless card for my desktop and how since I have a $20 gc for Best Buy maybe I'd pick one up there. I started looking on eBay and found a new Linksys card for $19.96 after shipping with BuyItNow and decided to just get it now. Then when I went to pay, I was reminded that I had $9.99 sitting in PayPal that I'd forgotten about. So it really only cost me $9.97. I took it out of my 'Personal' money. The rest though will probably cost more than I'll have coming in so they'll have to wait til the next month. The list is:
- Oil Change (sucks because I still have one that I've prepaid but I can't find the card that shows it, who knows I might find it before the 5th, $20)
- Concert tickets (I'm restraining myself and not spending $40+gas to go to the Seattle show and only going to the Portland one which is $14 but I'm taking my dad and buying his ticket so he can't back out of it so that'll be $28)
- Home Depot (Damp Rid refill and container, and a staple gun about $30 total I think)
- Classmates 3 month membership (I have this strong desire to reconnect with people I knew before leaving for college, someone on there is trying to contact me but I won't know who without getting a membership so I'm getting the lowest level possible. $15)
- Yarn store. (If I do get the needles I wanted then this will actually come out of my gift card and I'll just get yarn for the socks I want to make, otherwise I'll be buying the needles I want. $25)
All told that's $118. And I'll probably only have about $87 extra. But I also changed my withholdings back to 1 so that might change too. So we'll see what gets held over for February.
I'm anxious for Monday, I really want to see how things look for the end of the month as far as Net Worth is concerned. I was hoping I'd get my uncle's check for the concert tickets I bought for him before the end of the month since I pulled that money out of my savings. But I don't know that that'll happen. There's still three more mail days though so it's possible.
Figures, just when I get used to checking things online for my 401k and actually keeping up with it, we change companies. There's a meeting on Wednesday where we will 'learn about new options and investment opportunities '. Not only that but they scheduled the meeting to start at exactly when I get into work so I need to make sure I'm early that day. *sigh*
I had a nice holiday. I'm planning a trip to Costco to spend my cash card on things that I need to stock up on food wise but can't because I have $5 left in my grocery money to last til the 5th because I spent grocery money on Christmas Eve Dinner. Not regretting it in the slightest just stating fact.
ETA: Looks like this new company has accounts similar to Vanguard and others where it's more agressive in the beginning and then gets more conservative later. I'll find out more details on Wednesday. I'm actually looking forward now to this meeting.
Post #2 today.
I was just sitting here, minding my own business, when 'Santa' came by and dropped off a $50 Costco Cash Card on my desk. I promised to keep his identity a secret, even though y'all dont know him.
Of course, I already bought the ham last night, spent $20.04 on it. *sigh* But that's ok. I'm not taking anything back and I don't have time to go to Costco before Sunday anyway.
So it'll go in my wallet and hang out with the leftover 'grocery' money and if I'm in dire need of anything after I run out of what's left, perhaps I'll use the cash card to stock up.
In other news, while I am starting new meds tomorrow (I pick up the Rx tonight) I don't have an appointment to see my doctor again until next month. I have a lab appointment next week but that doesn't require cash at time of service. That makes me happy in the 'I might actually have some money to transfer to my medical savings account this month after all' kind of way.
I took my change into the bank today. Came to $18.72. That's not a year's worth, I know I took what I had collected in a couple times over the past year. But I do want to see how much change I do save over a year so I'm starting with a clean slate. Mostly.
Deposited $50 that went straight to my Emigrant account. I'm pleased to say that my EF balance has grown a fair amount, even with paying cash for something that I'm waiting for a reimbursement check on. My new credit card statements should be available tomorrow so I'll have a better idea of where everything stands then. I'm really excited to see the results.
Deposited $11 to cover the excess I spent for last minute baking. I have $6 left in my wallet, about $2 of which will be spent tonight picking up one last skein of yarn to finish a blanket I'm knitting. The rest will go to my Dollar Jar which is money I'm trying to save for a trip up to Seattle in March.
Dr's apt went ok. I paid my co-pay while I was there, the way they do billing annoys me so if I have it I'd rather pay it then. They had me take a trip down to the lab for some blood tests. I'll find out tomorrow if I'll be starting on a new med or not. I've been having random dizy spells and the new med may just enhance that so they want to check the levels of a few things. No new appointment has been made yet, it all depends on the results of the bloodwork. If I go on new meds that means I'll be going in more often for appointments while they work me up to the right dose.
I got my balance transfer check in the mail yesterday. It's how I'm going to be supporting my brother til his GI Bill kicks in. I won't be depositing it until it's actually needed, which will be before it expires in about 80 days. I don't want to incure any more interest than necessary. His last day of work was Friday, the contract ran out officially. School starts January 8th. He works at a bar when needed on weekends, last weekend he made $80 between the two nights he worked. He is going to be filing for unemployment today and he had an interview on Sunday. I feel confident he'll have me paid back in short order, once his GI Bill kicks in that is. Now if we can just make it til then on whatever I've got and whatever he brings home in the mean time.
But it didn't work out. *sigh*
I had to call the doctor's office to have them call in a new prescription since my refills ran out. The nurse asked if I wanted a 90 day or 30 day so we tried for the 90 day prescription since it would work out to cheaper in the long run and if insurance refused it it would automatically revert to the 30 day no harm no foul.
I was a little nervous about this refill because I had forgotten to give myself some leeway between when I ran out and when I got the refill and literally took my last pill this morning, I take one in the morning and one at night. So I ducked out of work briefly to go pick it up, figuring that if there was any problem at the pharmacy the doctor's office would still be open to fix anything.
Got to the counter and wound up actually being helped by one of the pharmacists instead of a tech. He looked high and low and couldn't find record of my prescription anywhere. I explained that I couldn't autorefill it and had the dr's office call that morning around 9:30 and the light went on, he remembered taking the call but wasn't sure what happened after that. So I got to wander the store for 10 minutes hoping that when I went back there would be a refill for me.
I got back just in time, as I got to the front of the line I heard the pharmasist call my last name and put something on a shelf. *phew* Unfortunately it was my regular 30 day because my insurance doesn't do 90 day. Ah well, I'm not really complaining but it sure would have been nice.
I have a dr apt tomorrow, it'll be interesting to see if I get started on new meds.
Tomorrow's Tuesday Deposit will probably be my last this year. I got paid on Sunday for the 17th and the 24th. I have one potential babysitting gig on Friday but it might get canceled. So I'm packing up my change (all but enough to do 10 loads of laundry) and will be depositing that into my regular savings account when I go to the bank tomorrow. It's not much but I'm curious to see how much change I can actually save in a year, especially since I'm using cash for groceries now. Which means I need to clear out my change since it's end of the year roughly.
We had our work Christmas Pizza Party today and nothing was handed out by way of 'bonus'. Usually we get a Costco Cash Card with $50 on it. I was sort of counting on that to buy stuff for Christmas Eve Dinner. But I'll make it work out anyway. I wont' be going shopping until I get paid on Wednesday. There's still time for it to be handed out too, like possibly with our paychecks on Wednesday. Just have to wait and see I guess.
My deposit today will be $126. I have another $15 cash that I've decided to keep onhand because I'm going to a birthday party on Wednesday and while I don't want to spend much I'd rather have cash than use my debit card. Plus I'm paranoid about not having enough money for groceries the rest of this pay period. I was planning on spending about $11 cash at birthday dinner last Sunday but the guy's parents wound up being there and since the 'party' was so small they picked up the tab.
I'm transferring $100 to Emigrant and the rest is staying in my account for buffer. Since I was only counting on $25 to deposit I'm ok with not putting it all in. Plus any excess after the next paycheck will wind up in savings eventually. But if I need it I'd rather not have to transfer it out again.
Total cash on hand now is $31 for food and $2 for gas. I'm totally fine on gas til the next paycheck.
Did my bills/budget this morning and I have $58.04 left after all is said and done. There are a couple of things on my 'Christmas List' now to buy so I'm going to keep that money out and available. Anything over $20 when my next paycheck arrives will go straight to savings.
I did put $10 into ING (auto transfer) and $10 into Wells Fargo (manual transfer) since those are budget amounts. And I received a $10 check yesterday from Certified that once deposited will go to Emigrant for a total so far of increase to savings of $85. I'm definately on my way. I can live with that for now.
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