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.
Viewing the 'saving' Category
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.
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.
Looking at my budget last night I realized that I am on paper always at -$80 every month. This doesn't really show up because my on paper budget is based on the amount I was getting before I dropped my 401k down from 8% to 3% and before I changed my withholdings from 1 to 2. I actually balance out right now. Come January I will be moving my withholdings back to 1 because this was the first year of testing my theory on how to basically not get a refund but also not owe on taxes. On the one hand, I know I'll be ok because of how my pay/budget plays out (on the 5th there's always extra money from being on call, and on the 20th I always hold out money for things that I can't pay for all of out of the 5th) but on the other I don't know what my new 'pay' will be until January 20. I don't like those kinds of unknowns.
Of course the other potential bright side to this is we get yearly evaluations and raises in January so there's the possibility that my raise will have kicked in by then. But still. It makes for a long hard look at my budget. Fortunately I really do have some wiggle room as what I pay on some things is more than required so for a couple months I could get by. Plus I do have extra money coming in, at least $25/wk from one job and an as yet unknown other weekly amount. But I don't want to stop the momentum.
I splurged on some tea yesterday. I love rooibus (sp?) tea. It's not caffinated (I'm supposed to avoid caffiene) and has a very nice flavor. A friend of mine gave me a $5 off gift cert for an online tea company and I bought their sampler pack. I have a loose leaf teapot waiting to be purchased at Amazon for when I get my next $20 Amazon gc. But in the meantime, the tea's on it's way. It came to $9.75 and came out of my 'Personal' money.
I met a friend for breakfast today. I went low key (and healthy) and got oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar, soy milk all mixed together and a couple slices of apple and banana on top. It was only $4. I had water to drink and left a dollar tip. After grocery shopping yesterday and eating out a couple of times already I have $57 left to last til the 5th. Next shopping trip list has already been started but nothing is necessary yet so I'm going to go on Saturday. Although, I am picking up Papa Murphy's pizza for potluck tonight, that'll be $7 and will come out of my grocery budget.
I'm not preparing Thanksgiving Dinner. I am bringing a dish though, the ingredients that I needed were picked up last night. I'm hoping there'll be some leftovers I can come back home with (of my own dish that is). If not, that's ok too. Small price to pay for Thanksgiving Dinner.
I filled up on gas and have $17 left over as well. We'll see how long the tank lasts. I am going to just wait til it gets to half (really 3/4ths the way my tank works) and put the rest in at that point. The way gas is going up it'll probably take it all. But I don't have much by way of long distance driving to do for a while at least.
I picked up the yummiest bread. I'm working really hard at exercising and eating healthy with the overall intent to loose weight but that's not the direct motivation. Someone mentioned that sprouted wheat bread is better so when I was at Trader Joe's I picked some up. It's only 90 calories, .5 gram of fat, and 2 grams of fiber per slice. It is heavy but it doesn't taste nasty like I've experienced before. And it costs about the same as the other Sara Lee Delightfuls bread I was getting before. It's twice as many calories but the rest of the numbers are the same. And according to http://www.traineo.com I'm not eating all the calories I should be anyway.
I'm really curious to see what my numbers look like at the end of the month. So I'm waiting with baited breathe to be able to post new numbers. It's all a waiting game for me. I wait for the next paycheck. I wait for the next Tuesday Deposit. I wait for the end of the month. So I guess technically next I'm waiting for another Tuesday Deposit.
I dropped $161 into my bank account today. $10 for something I'll be paying for for the beachhouse trip and $151 for CC2. I actually made the payment for $153 because when all was said and done there was $22 and change left in my bank account and I like to just leave a $20 and change cushion. I requested the dividend check from CC2 today so I should see it potentially by the end of next week, definately the first week in December. I'm going to laugh if CC2 is completely paid off by the time I get my hands on that check.
I just opened a second ING account for medical savings. I have lots of things coming up to pay for, new eyeglasses in January, eye exam, sometime next year I need a crown, not to mention whatever tests need to be run for my heart. This month was the first that I didn't have to use the money allocated in my budget for 'medical'. Ok, let me rephrase that, this was the first month I didn't have to use any money aside from my regular medications.
So it occured to me that instead of leaving it in my checking account where I can 'borrow' from it, I should move it to a savings account. But not my emergency fund because I want to keep it seperate.
The plan as it stands right now is if I have a dr apt that month, I'll keep the budgeted money in my checking account until after the apt. Spend whatever I need to up to the budgeted amount and whatever is left over, if anything, gets transferred to the medical savings account. If I don't have a dr apt that month, anything not going to medications gets transferred to the account. That way when I finally get a bill for tests and the like, I have some place to draw from.
I waited til after my dentist apt today to actually open the account. My cleaning was covered 100% but I didn't know if I was due for XRays or not. I wasn't. So the account has been initially funded with $100. Since I haven't seen anything from my ins yet about the Echo I got in July, I doubt I'll get a bill from the clinic this month.
It's payday today. It actually went surprisingly well. This is the first paycheck where I'm actually paying two of my bills instead of using them as part of the payment of my CC1. I had earmarked more money than necessary for some of them. Others had credits I wasn't expecting. So it all rounded out to not bad.
All bills got paid and leaves 20.03 cushion
I'm anticipating a nice deposit for Tuesday to pay towards CC2. I have the following in hand to pay:
30.00 From paycheck
5.00 Pinecone check
And the following potential:
20.00 Babysitting Friday night (guess)
50.00 Childcare on Sunday (they didn't pay me last week so I'll get double this week)
30.00 Childcare on Monday (extra $5 for what I gave a parent for change last week)
Grand total of $135 potentially to pay on CC2. I checked the calendar and there are exactly 4 Tuesdays between now and 11/20 so I'm ok to make a payment every week. That's exciting too. I can only make 4 online payments per statement period.
Once my statements are available online I'll be updating my Three Phase Plan.
I just spent $3.15 at the store. I bought bananas and milk. I like to have a banana when I first wake up because I'm usually So Hungry and it helps take the edge off. Then I can wait to have breakfast for a little while. But they go bad so fast that I only buy 4 or 5 at a time and today I ate my last one. The milk we have in the fridge is almost bad, trying to use it all up before it goes bad but in the mean time (since I haven't checked it this morning) I picked up a half gallon to make sure we have some that's good in the fridge. Between my roomate and I we don't really drink a lot of milk and we alternate buying it.
That leaves me with $9.72 and I still need to buy oil for my car. It won't cost that much, I plan on buying 3 quarts which at most should be $6. But this is my cushion money, I'm really dissapointed that I had to break into it. However the bright side is, I'm not pulling from Savings and I'm not charging.
Speaking of pulling from savings, my savings accounts are going to take a hit next month. For my birthday I am going to get my annual hair cut and perhaps some highlights. I only do it once a year so I don't mind getting it done at the salon. If it was an all over color I'd do it at home. I don't know how much it will cost, I have the number to a recomended 'hair god' so I'll check his prices. I know I can go to Master Cuts and get it for reasonable but it's my birthday so I want to splurge a little. Last year though, I spent $140. I can't really justify that this year. I know the guy charges $25 for a cut, which is annoying since it's really just a trim because I'm growing out my hair. So if the highhlights are more than $50 I may just bag it all together, go to the beauty school and get a cut for $3 (with coupon) and go to Master Cuts for the color ($25). Even with tip it shouldn't come to $50.
Then of course there's the tires. I can only put that off for so long and I decided that I would just get them in November because that's generally when the rainy season starts here. That's going to be at least $140 for two and I have looked around to get the best price but I have specialty rims which require specialty tires. *sigh* This is the first time I've had to replace them since I bought the car a little over three years ago.
I think I can handle the hit to savings though, it's grown since last month so it should be able to cover everything without draining it completely. Since I have three savings accounts and I'm a silly math person, I think I'm going to withdraw from each account using a weighted average so in a sense, each account will be withdrawn from evenly.
ING interest does that. I got an email today saying that someone had used a referral (Thanks Jeffery!). I opened an Emigrant Direct account via the Saving Advice link and sent in two referrals, figuring it'd be a while before I saw anything happen there. Imagine my surprise when I checked my email this morning and there was a referral bonus posted.
I checked on the balance of the account because I was curious to see if it had actually posted yet (as opposed to just a notice that I would be getting a bonus) and not only had it posted but I earned $0.50 in interest last month! On just $150! Now I remember why I wait until the first of the next month to do my NetWorthIQ, so I can include the interest earned in my totals.
My Wells Fargo savings account finally went up to $0.02 a month now that I have $160 in there. I can't wait to see the returns on Emigrant.
It's probably silly to some to have three savings accounts but here's how I break it down.
Wells Fargo - Tied directly to my checking, my overdraft protection (they charge less to pull from savings than to cover it themselves), and my immediate OMG I Need Money For This Emergency Now (auto breaks down, etc) needs.
ING - Opened a while ago and have just set up an auto transfer of $10/check that way it's a set it and forget it type thing. I also have a scheduled transaction in Quicken so I don't have to enter it every month. Sometimes there's money left over from my Personal fund from the check before, like right now there's $4.48, if I don't wind up spending it tonight it will get transferred to ING.
Emigrant - Recently opened with the original thought of just putting all my extra child care earnings in there and watching it grow. That idea's been re-assessed but it still is only funded by extra earnings just not by all of the extra earnings that comes in. I know it has a higher interest rate than ING but I just don't feel like changing what I've already got set up.
Those three make up my Emergency Fund. ING and Emigrant are the main interest earners but I feel safer having some of it in WF and available for immediate withdrawl should the situation warrent it.
I'm really anxious for payday. Not in the 'I'm broke I need more money' way but rather in the 'I can't wait to see how much I can throw at a credit card' kind of way.
I get extra money every check on the 5th for being 'on call'. It's not much, just $35/night to answer a cell phone between the hours of 6 pm and 5 am. After taxes it's closer to $17.50/night. So I never budget for it. It just goes towards whatever it needs to.
I guessed, based on last month's total. But I don't know if I had more nights or less. Normally I just have one night a week which means 4 or 5 nights a paycheck but now and again I cover for vacation or whatever so sometimes it's as many as 8.
If I did the numbers correctly, I'll have an extra $160 to throw at CC2. That really excites me since my Three Phase Plan is banking on $160/month and this is only the first paycheck of the month. I cannot wait to get out from under this! So, time fly to Thursday so I can make some headway.
Oh and that customer training gig has been postponed til next week I think. The gal that I'll be training is their main cashier, and she needs to train a newly hired cashier before she can devote time to training for inventory and the like. So they want me up there as soon as possible yet have to wait for the other training to finish. Which means, I can include my trip to the customer under my regular fuel budget and take the reimbursement and throw it at CC2. Sweet!
The excuses were plentiful. Ranging from 'it's too confusing to figure out a goal time frame with people paying me back for stuff' to 'I don't really know what I want to do with this extra money so why bother'.
But I did it. I sat down and worked out exactly how I wanted things to get paid off. I figured out roughly how long it would take to do it, at least for the first phase. And it actually looks do-able. Nothing like a plan of attack that might actually work. I'm basically trying to get as much taken care of before I make the last payment on my consolidation loan.
My ideas and plans keep shifting but once I put them on 'paper' they seem to solidify a little more.
I put my Three Phase Plan on a Google Spreadsheet, a link can be found under Sites I Frequent. I plan on updating it whenever any of the three phases changes. The hope is that any dates or figures listed are worst case senarios. I know I will have Phase One completed before the end of February but going by what I know I can count on, that's the date that presents itself.
As for the things I know I need, well I will put off getting two new tires until November. I have enough in savings now to pay for them but I want to wait until the last possible moment to pull that money back out. And the Bed. Well, we'll just see where my Emergency Fund is at when September '07 rolls around.
I'm waiting for my Emigrant Direct account to be set up. In the meantime, I'm wondering if this sort of saving for a large ticket item is prudent at this juncture. It was one thing when potential childcare opportunities were sporatic but now I've got one set in stone and some of the sporatic are potentially more regular.
I'm wondering if I shouldn't either make it part of my Emergency Fund, the money I'm setting aside in Emigrant. Or if I should just use it to pay off debt. Basically, I'm looking at a guarenteed $100/mo (although don't know about the tax ramifications yet) plus potential for extra. Since it's guarenteed, I have a hard time saying I'm using it for something frivolous, like a bed.
Or perhaps...I should change it from Bed Fund to Necessity Fund. A good bed is a necessity but so are tires. I can stash the excess money away and just use it for whatever Necessity comes up. Like for example, I need two new tires. I was going to pull the money out of my Emergency Fund, but it's not really an Emergency more of a Necessity. At some point too, I imagine my car will give up the ghost. Once it does, I will only have my Emergency Fund to use for a downpayment. But if I have money in a Necessity fund, that could make things a little brighter.
For some reason I just feel with the sudden influx of extra money, that I'm being irresponsible to save for a Bed. But just for a general, all purpose 'larger items that are bound to come up' it seems to make more sense in my HeadSpace.
I think I need to think more on this.
I suppose the stupid mantra that's behind this all is a signature line I saw on the creditboards a while ago that states 'a penny saved is a penny not going towards paying off debt'. I realize the importance of some savings, which is why I'm working on building my EF, but in my head, anything more than that is frivilous.
But on the other hand, I like to have backups for my backups. For example, I know that I spend a little bit of money so I created a 'Personal' category in my budget and if I don't spend it all it goes into my savings when the next check arrives. But on top of that, I also try to give myself a cushion in my checking account of another $20. No reason, just mainly so it doesn't turn out that I get down to a whole $0.10 in my bank before the next check arrives.
I like the idea of an EF but I'm worried about potentially spending it for non-emergencies that seem like emergencies at the time.
Just got off the phone with the gal I interviewed for about a week and a half ago. It's a pretty simple job, infant childcare for a church, two hours on a Sunday afternoon. Pays $100/mo. I don't even have to change diapers, just make sure everything's bleached before the kids get there, keep the kids occupied during the service, and make sure the right kid goes home with the right parent. I think I can handle that.
The only question I have is where to put that money. I'd said any extra babysitting money would go to the bed fund, but this is regular work even though it's extra work. I think what I'm going to do is this... put all extra income money into my Bed Fund account up to $100/mo. Once I've deposited $100 whatever else comes in will go to emergency fund savings. After all, if I start saving now, and put in $100/mo, I'll have $1100 just in deposits by the time Sept '07 rolls around. And I'd decided I only was going to save $1000 max for my new bed related purchases.
I don't know how they are going to pay me, if it'll be once a week or once a month. I'm also starting an 8 week, $20/night, 1 night a week child care job on Monday. That one I know is paid weekly, and I might not be needed all 8 weeks.
It's kinda nice trying to figure out what to do with the extra money. I know if I don't plan specifically what to do with it, it'll just get spent and I need to avoid that.
Once EF and Bed Fund are at their goal levels, any and all extra will go towards debt.
-6.55 left over from last check *
100.00 Rent (save for October)
60.00 Student Loan
121.00 Personal Loan (save for October)
170.47 Timeshare (hopefully not)
65.01 Electric (equal pay plan)
40.00 Gas (car)
30.00 Personal play money
50.00 Croatia Trip***
Leaves: 23.49 when all is said and done
* I sent in a check for $20 for an application fee in March. Turns out I didn't need to pay it, but they've not returned my check nor cashed it. So I pretend it's still there but allow myself a $20 cushion before pulling extra cash from savings. I was not overdrawn.
** Part of that payment is made up of my Cell bill and Cable bill money. If the timeshare does go away I will pay cash for my cable bill this time around (not due til Oct 9 so it can wait) and next month pay cash for both. The goal is in October to still be able to pay $250 towards CC1 while paying cash for the other two bills.
*** Went to Croatia in June for a mission trip. The plane tickets were more than anticipated so teammember wound up charging the difference. We are trying to figure out ways to raise the last of the money due ($5500) but until then we each pitch in monthly towards the minimum payment. Teammember says I don't need to contribute for a couple months because I keep giving her double what she asked for initially from each of us. I tell her to take all she can get to throw at it. I'm working on her though, she did call and get the interest rate lowered by 3% and as soon as the new house she bought craziness settles down we're going to start looking at other options to perhaps transfer the balance to a lower interest rate card.
Soon as I hear that the transfer has processed for my timeshare I plan on taking that $170, putting $61 towards the cable bill, $30 to pay back a friend for ticket she bought me, and $80 towards CC2. Plus my brother gets paid tomorrow so any money he starts paying me back will also go towards CC2.
I need one new tire. Which really translates into two new tires. I know I really should replace all four but I just can't do that. Two will just about break the bank. The rims that my car came with are specialty. Which means the tire is not standard and costs a little bit more. Considering that I've had the car for three years and haven't had any tire trouble that couldn't be easily fixed, I consider myself lucky.
When I got a flat fixed at Les Schwab they showed me how one of the tires really needed to be replaced. I had him look it up to see how much it would cost. For two tires it'll be $140. I checked around and it seems to be an average price.
I really should get the new tires before the rainy season hits full on. It's been raining the past couple of days but then it'll be nice for another week (if the forecast is anything to be believed). So it's not a necessity yet. But by the end of October I definately need to get them.
I have $162 in my local savings account (the rest is in ING). So I have enough to cover the cost of the tires, but it will definately drain my local savings. Something I really would prefer to avoid. If I wait til end of October, I should have $222 in my local savings which would mean pulling money out for the tires wouldn't totally spend every dime I have.
I wish I got the paper so I could see if/when my size goes on sale. But for now, I think I'm going to wait.
I got a letter yesterday from Citibank stating that starting sometime in October they're changing the 5% cashback for grocery/gas purchases to 2% and the only 5% cashback will be at participating network stores. Which would be ok if I could buy food and gas at Target but I don't/can't. So starting in October I will go back to using cash for food/gas and leave my Citi Dividend card for playing Balance Transfer games to get things paid off sooner. At least in the mean time I should have enough to get a cashback payout before they switch. I think I'll wait to get the payout until I stop using it for food/gas purchases that way I don't have any potential reward just sitting there not able to be cashed out because it's not at least $50 yet.
I deposited another $5 check from Pinecone Research today into my local savings account which brings that account to just over $100! Yay! Unfortunately I really need new tires, at least two. I was hoping to get my savings up to $400 before the rainy season hit just in case I go in to buy two and they insist that I need four. *sigh* The downside of having specialty rims means specialty tires. The car came that way, it's not something I added. The last time I was at the tire store to get a flat fixed they said one of my tires really needed to be replaced and that for two it'd be $140. I will shop around once I have the money and try to find a good deal.
Just out of curiosity, since I can't view it, does my bio show up on the right? I was curious to see how it looked but even if I log out it doesn't display it. And I can see everyone else's.
ETA: Figured out the Bio thing. I didn't have anything in the Author Name field and once I put something in there it showed up.
I walked to the gym and back (1.1 miles each way) because I woke up at 5:45 and actually got up. I walked to work and back (1.3 miles each way). I did my 30 minute workout. Lots of exercise! Yay!
On my way home from the gym I found a nickel. Then in the mail another $5 from Pinecone Research which will be deposited tomorrow into my savings account. Whee. No spending today except in the form of gas to class. I figure since my friend drives us to go watch Buffy for free in downtown, then I can drive us to class. It seems like a fair trade. I have no plans Thurs or Fri night (yet) so hopefully I can not drive anywhere til Saturday morning. We'll see. I love finding time to walk places. Now let's see if I can find time to do my German homework.
Met a friend for coffee this morning. I'm not supposed to have caffiene so I would have just ordered a house decaff but when I got there, he was already there with his order and there was a line at the counter. Knowing he was on a tight schedule I just sat and we talked for almost an hour. I walked out of there without spending a dime! Of course I was exhausted by 11 and had a small cup of regular coffee from the breakroom, free but I shouldn't have had it. Though once in a while is ok.
At the Pampered Chef show I decided to spend a little more than I was planning on. And then I saw that the shipping had gone up by $1.25. Sheesh. Ok whatever. Anyway I ordered two items, it came to $18 including shipping. There were other things that were tempting but I didn't want to spend more than $20 total and I didn't.
I didn't pick up TP when I was at the store yesterday because Safeway doesn't have any 12 double roll (or 24 roll) packages for less than $6 and I know I can get MD 12 double roll for $4.99 at Fred Meyers. Silly to hold out for a dollar but the chances of me driving by a Fred Meyers at some point before we run out is great so it's not like I'm going out of my way for it. On my way home from the PC party I passed a Fred Meyers so I stopped for bread, tp, baby carrots, and salad mix. Came to $12.28. Change goes in my sunny day coin bank and $2 goes into the dollar jar leaving me with $5 til the 20th.
I need to go shopping on Friday for more fresh stuff. Argh! I'm trying really hard to eat healthier, and I loose weight when I eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. But it's so expensive! It's driving me nuts. I might see if I can go with my friend to Costco and possibly fare better there. I try not to buy too far ahead with fresh stuff because it goes bad before I can eat it usually. But now that I'm intentionally eating more of it perhaps it's not so bad. Work is offering a business membership for $40 but I think I'm going to pass on that and just hit up my friend to take me along next time.
We'll see. I may have to break into my dollar jar to finish out the month. Or my gas money. I'm not going to my brother's after all and I'm trying to make the gas I have stretch til my $10 Shell gascard from MyPoints comes in the mail.