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Three Phase Plan update and other stuff

January 19th, 2007 at 07:58 am

Phase One. Eliminate CC2.

COMPLETED!!!

Phase Two. Build up EF to $1,000.

Between the three accounts, taking out a little for airfare and adding in regular budget amounts plus extra my savings has increased by $129.83 since the end of last month. Rock on. Granted it's not the expected increase of $155 but considering I pulled out $90 I know I totally would have exceeded the expected.

Phase Three. Pay off as much of CC1 as possible by 4/15/2010.

Statement balance difference: +$1,758.15
Total payments: $523
Total charges and fees: $248.70

Previous potential balance by 4/15/2010: $3,916.24
New potential balance by 4/15/2010: $6,701.73

Right now only $2,141.74 to go before things get back to normal. This includes the $2,000 balance transfer I did for my brother. Hopefully he can start paying me back soon so I can eat away at it faster.

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I updated my Quicken balances. It now shows a payoff date of 2/1011 but that's because I don't enter in the lower interest rate because that only applies to a small portion of it. The interest saved now it shows as $781.42

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Since my raise won't be in effect til next month, I'm really glad I held out $60 to cover the budget. I didn't really need all of it though. But I'll still do it next month til I know what my actual amounts will be. I wound up with $48 left over, I like to keep $20 as a cushion so I transferred $28 to savings since that's the Phase I'm in right now.

And I found out that I can't get glasses at the cheap place I found online. Frown My prism is too heavy. So looks like I'll be staking out LensCrafters and Binyons after all looking for a good deal.

Postponed...

January 18th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Just got word that reviews have been postponed for a couple more weeks. There's a few things in the works that will potentially have an impact and until more is known then everything else is on hold. Ah well. So I won't really know the impact of my raise (if there is one) until Feb 20th. Sort of a bummer but whatever. It's all good still.

I didn't drive the past two days so that was nice for saving on gas. And now there's four of us all together that carpool to a meeting once a week so with the rotation it means I'll only have to drive once a month. That's nice because it's a bit of a drive out there (from 30th to 162nd with no easy freeway travel so it's all surface streets).

I am anxious for my check tomorrow. It'll be the first with my regular withholdings. I suppose I could have left it as it was and just changed it at the end of the year but I'd rather rip the bandaid now than later.

I decided to not do the cruise I was contemplating next January. Whether or not the band I like will be one of the many included, I have a better vacation to plan for in March of 2009. It'll be a sort of graduation celebration for my best friend so we're planning on doing things up right. I figure, if I can save the money and pay cash, then I can splurge on things I wouldn't normally since it'll be a special occasion. We'll see how that goes. I have a thought about how to fund the vacation account but I'm not ready to actually start it yet.

I will be riding up with my best friend's parents in March so I can help her pack and move to Utah. I put in my vacation request and it was approved. Now all that's left is to buy the plane ticket. Soon as the $90 transfers from Emigrant I'll do that. Southwest has an awesome deal right now, I can get a one way ticket for just under $90 from Salt Lake to Portland. I'm buying it now (has to be purchased by Jan 22nd to get it at that price anyway) and if something comes up and I don't go now I can use that later on another flight with Southwest. Right now that'll be coming out of my EF but my hope is once I get my vacation fund set up I will be able to pull that sort of thing from there instead.

Payday and Paid back.

January 5th, 2007 at 08:39 am

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, envelopes, and oranges.

January 3rd, 2007 at 12:17 pm

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..

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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.

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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.

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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.

It starts today.

December 29th, 2006 at 01:30 pm

I deposited the balance transfer check on Tuesday because I knew K'd need the money by Friday and I wanted to give it plenty of time to clear, yet at the same time I didn't want to deposit it too early because that would mean more interest.

His monthly expenses are $689.
$275 rent
$100 phone
$40 electric
$74 bus pass
$200 food

Now his food budget he claims is more than he needs. I think that's because he's doing the bachelor thing of just eating a couple conveinence store hot dogs a day and counting that as good. But I want to make sure he has enough just in case.

He had about $142 left over from his last full paycheck and today his final paycheck for about a week was deposited which added another $232. All told he was going to be starting out January at $373, only $320 short of his monthly expenses.

I created a sub ING account for him and had deposited $1320 into it (holding out the $680 for January in case he really needed it all) earlier in the week. This morning I transferred $360 bringing that account total to $1680 plus I withdrew the $320 and deposited it into his bank account.

He hasn't received the paperwork yet for his GI Bill. Once he gets it, fills it out, and sends it back it'll be 3 months before it kicks in. So right now it looks like I'll need to be supporting him til April.

School costs are $880 for the semester plus books. Someone he works at at the bar might have the exact books he needs so books might not be an issue this time around. Only half of the money is due Jan 22nd (two weeks after classes start). The rest is due in February sometime.

If there isn't any more influx of cash then I have enough to cover him until the end of February, then I'll have to start dipping into my reserves. There is hope though. He works at a bar sometimes on the weekends and he can use that money instead of what's in the bank to pay for food. And he had an interview last week someplace that is pretty low key and he'd have plenty of time to study while at work. So there is the possibility of him not having to completely rely on what I've got. He hasn't heard back from the interview though so we're not really counting on it yet.

He also was palmed money from our aunt when we were there on Wednesday so he won't be dipping into his account quite yet. The plan right now is to spend cash first, and that as little as possible. When the first half of school is due I'll look at his bank account, calculate how much he needs for food til the next deposit by me at the beginning of February (using a rate of $7/day), and hope that there's something left over to put towards school so I don't have to pull the full amount out. It's entirely possible if the bar is busy on the weekends and he gets to be a server.

I'm really excited about him starting school. I think it'll be a lesson for him in more ways than one.

The payment will be going up on my CC that I did the balance transfer on, but right now I'm already paying about $160 more than the required minimum I should be able to absorb any extra that the minimum increases. Plus once he starts getting his GI bill he can start paying me back which will just go straight to the CC.

I am charging him interest and the fee that was incurred to do the balance transfer. Of course the downside to all of this is it'll increase my debt by $2k. *sigh* That's more than I've paid off since I started really concentrating on it in September. But it's ok. It will be taken care of in short order, at least as far as the actual debt going down on the CC. I have every confidence in that.

One day after payday and the food money is mostly gone!

December 21st, 2006 at 11:52 am

But I'm not panic'd. Not yet. The reason I spent most of it was for Christmas Eve dinner and I'm expecting there to be plenty of leftovers to get me through.

I have $17 out of $100 left. I do still need to pick up some green beans for Sunday and fruit for lunches. But the fruit I usually only buy a little at a time so it doesn't go bad before I can eat it.

I'm really excited for the meal on Sunday. I bought an 8 lb ham and I think there's going to be 7 of us eating. Ham, a stout and cherry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with toasted almonds and garlic, rolls (gluten free), pumpkin pie, sparkling cider. I think someone's bringing a salad.

I also got gas. I figured that as long as the price hasn't hit $3.079/gal then I'm still safe telling them to 'fill'. Unfortunately I only got 19 mpg last tank. I do a lot of city driving...ah well.

I was able to stash away $6 for my trip to Seattle in March. That makes me happy. We'll see if I can actually hold onto it...

Three Phase Plan, December update.

December 20th, 2006 at 08:30 am

Phase One. Eliminate CC2.

COMPLETED!!! I was very much expecting to have to pay a little bit of interest on this month's statement but it is all $0.00! Wheee! Onto Phase Two officially!

Phase Two. Build up EF to $1,000.

Between the three accounts, taking out unexpected loans and adding in regular budget amounts plus extra once Phase One was unofficially completed my savings has increased by $205.33 since the end of last month. Rock on.

Phase Three. Pay off as much of CC1 as possible by 4/15/2010.

Statement balance difference: -$293.12
Total payments: $523
Total charges and fees: $229.88

Previous potential balance by 4/15/2010: $6,096.99
New potential balance by 4/15/2010: $3,916.24 (I'm going to start using Quicken's figure for this)

Right now only $992.91 to go before things get back to normal. Unfortunately that won't be lasting long. I'll be cashing a check next week for $2,000 balance transfer and will be adding a few more dollars to the mix.

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I updated my balances in Quicken. It still shows the same payoff date of 10/2010 but now it shows the interest saved as being $472.34. I'll take what I can get.

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I got paid today. All bills are paid and my cushion left in the account is $18.65 It'll be interesting to see if we do get a Costco Cash Card after all since the guy who makes Costco runs went yesterday on his way home from work. If we don't, I'll be stretching that food budget creatively. Smile

And that's that.

December 5th, 2006 at 06:35 am

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.

Not looking quite so rosy for the EF this paycheck

December 4th, 2006 at 10:33 am

Weekend was a blast. The place we rented was cute and tiny. We had just enough room to sleep and hang out. Probably wouldn't have lasted too much longer than we did though, good for weekend jaunts. I got paid back for a chunk of what I spent on food. I had put $13 from my own cash into the pile of things to deposit so that took care of my part. I had $10 in my account from one gal to pay for the wood stove except we didn't actually use it so that went toward's her $14 and she'll give me the other $4 on Thursday. One gal wrote me a check for $14. One gal had bought about $15 worth of food for the weekend so she balanced out. That leaves two gals that need to give me money and about $32 outstanding total.

I spent $5 on our way back at the cheese factory and $5 once I got home towards the Christmas Tree that my roomate bought. The gal who's car I rode in wouldn't take money for gas.

This morning I fought hard to wake up and wound up sleeping in over an hour. Fortunately my 'wake up time' is way way early so it didn't exactly hurt me however when I got out of the shower I found a text from my brother K asking to borrow $100 for rent. By the time I actually got the message I'd have to leave right then in order to not be late for work because I had a deposit to make into my account before withdrawing and depositing it into his account. So I didn't make breakfast, I did grab a slice of cold pizza though to eat in the car, and I didn't make lunch, but I did grab a granola bar and two clementines.

I made it to the bank, deposited $193.39 out of which I took the $100 to drop in my brother's account (at a different bank that's fortunately only two blocks away from mine). But then I remembered that I didn't bring lunch and would need cash for that too. So I pulled a $20 out of the ATM, I'll pull $20 less tomorrow for food money.

So now I'm $132 short for this next check. I'll get $32 back later this week which is good, but the $100 will be a while. I'll have extra cash on my paycheck tomorrow which hopefully will absorb the whole short amount, plus I'll be getting a check from my roomate tomorrow for rent and her part of utilities. I was really hoping though to put a good chunk away into savings. $55 of what I deposited today came from childcare and survey so that did go into my Emigrant account. If nothing else, that account will grow exponentially.

Then of course there's the unplanned for Christmas gifts. The gals I went to the beach with decided it'd be fun to exchange names for giving gifts. For someone who didn't plan on buying any gifts this year that means it'll have to come out of tomorrow's paycheck as well. I don't mind, actually I have a great idea and I've set my own limit on how much I want to spend but we'll see what happens. And I need to talk to my roomate and find out if we're exchanging gifts this year. We haven't in years past but since she's out of school now she's really going all out for the holidays this year. So another potential gift to buy. Fortunately my family decided to not exchange gifts this year.

I'm planning on doing something for Christmas Eve Dinner but I think I can take care of my portion of it by using the Costco Gift Card that I get from work for Christmas. Assuming we actually get them this year. I'll ask people to bring a dish as well so I won't have to come up with everything. It should be fun.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see how December turns out for EF growth. As long as I can at the least make the minimum expected deposits ($155/mo) then I'll be happy. But if I can do more I'll be very happy.