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Tuesday Ramblings

December 5th, 2017 at 07:25 pm

Proud of myself, the office was having their Secret Santa 🎅🏾 drawing today and I told the committee that I was not participating. They continued to try and get me to sign up but I held my guns and said no.

The boss came in with her 2% raise, I felt like crying but I remembered before your blessing you'll go through something. I said a quick prayer, and felt at peace. This manager is the worst, she had another employee in tears and going to therapy but the company continue to allow her bully others. I'll take my 2% with my head up and continue to look for something else.

Today was not a NSD, headed over to Walmart for a few items. I found these neat little gadgets for $10 for my nephews, for Christmas, but was on the fence. Long story short I had the money for it, already budgeted but purchasing would have left me with nothing left over in the gift envelope. I was telling my sister what I bought, she mentioned she bought them one last year so I can take the ones I bought back. Feeling better. So long as I come under, I can throw the amount that's left at CC3. The goal is to never spend every single dollar in my envelopes.

Oops I failed to mention that the linen napkins have been working fabulously. Not saying that I didn't use a few napkins but far less than my normal consumption. I notice the SO took out a roll, I'm waiting to see what he does when we're out and I haven't bought any. Usually I'm the purchasing, he buys the soap, but those $5 can be thrown on my debt.

eBay Post

December 4th, 2017 at 03:21 pm

Well today was the first time that I posted an item to eBay for sell in over 10 years. I had to create a new account, it appears as though my old account was compromised🙄🤦🏾‍♀️.

Hopefully it will sell and I can make a payment to the snowball. I figured I'll post a few more items this week and see how it goes.

Vacation Temptation

December 4th, 2017 at 09:56 am

Temptation is a real thing and we/I have to stay strong.

So last night the significant other came home and mentioned that he wanted me to look for a hotel in Naples or St. Augustine for us to take a vacation over the holiday break. He said if I didn't want to do it, he'd do it. I thought about it and said okay, because I'd love a vacation. This is the first year since we have been together that we haven't taken one.

Fast forward to today. I started thinking a hotel over the holiday will be about $120 per night, that's about $480 for four nights. If we rent a car, that's an additional $300, so call it $800 total to go on this little vacation. I currently owe $960 on CC3, wouldn't it be better to pay off CC3? Hell yeah!
When he comes home tonight, I'm going to informed him that I did not look for this hotel or rental and that I'd like the cash to pay off my CC. That will be the best Christmas 🎄 gift 🎁 ever.

I called the bank about the $12 bounce check fee and am waiting on a callback. So we will see. Update, I got the $12 back. It was Chase Bank that returned due to the time frame. The bank rep suggested that I call the bank for a new check. Thanks for the tip everyone.

Today was a no spend day, so this is my third day 😊. $3 so far will be added to debt snowball at the end of the month. No frivolous spending for me.

I realized that my end goal is to retire at 57. That's just right around the corner but it can be done, so long as I live like no one else.

Finally Reduced the Cable Service

December 2nd, 2017 at 04:02 pm

I normally budget $80 for groceries , I'm thinking about reducing this since I always have money left over each budget period.

This new budget period, I had budgeted $70 for groceries, but I'm going to use $20 for a gift card for the single ladies at church.

I was trying to cancel/reduce some of the cable services. I see that the SO is onboard now. I told him I was going with the lesser plan other wards he can pay the difference. He said to do what ever makes me comfortable. I informed him that I'm good with what ever he decides and to just know I'm not paying for the premium channels for cable. Needless to say he told me to cancel. The bill is still high but it's much cheaper than before. I was told that we'll get a $43 credit on the next bill, that should bring the first bill to $94. Split by 2 that's about $47, yay 😊. The difference of about $67 I can add to my snowball.

Between the two of us, going forward after the credit, the new monthly bill should be about about $80 a piece. The extra $30 I'm saving every month will be added to the snowball. I'm going to look at getting a Firestick, so that I can cancel everything. I'm feeling accomplished.

I had to call Att&t twice to get this done but I hung in there.

Oil Change Savings

December 2nd, 2017 at 05:34 am

Budgeted $65 for an oil change, had a coupon for 3k miles for $19, total with disposable fee is $24.03. I figured even if I got an oil change in another 3k miles it's still cheaper than what I would have paid for the 5k mike oil change.

$41 is left over and I know I should be adding all to CC3 but I'm dividing it up three ways, 10% to the EF, the next 10% to the sinking fund and the rest on CC3

Here is the break down
$4.10 EF
$3.69 sinking fund
$33.21 CC3

New balance on CC3 is $960.05. 😊

I know I know but I keep hearing my dad say, "Amber, what ever money you get, put a little up, even if it's ten dollars. Once you see it get to a certain point you're not even going to want to touch it." He did something right, retired early, rental property etc.

Update to this post, ugh.
Just was told that there are a number of things wrong with my car 🚗 . I need to replace the timing belt, gasket, mounts, and some miscellaneous stuff. Total estimate is $1,020.73, over my EF 😡. This I'm sure is accurate I haven't replaced any of the things mentioned before.

I had to take $25 out of another envelope because the place where I got the oil change did not have change. I guess everyone uses credit cards 💳 . Well I went to Walmart to get change for a $100 and was told by the cashier that she could not open her till. I purchased a pack of gum, then returned it so I could get the change and boy was she mad. Oh well no need to spend money on an item I don't need.

I'm putting off the car repair until January. Only reason is that I'm due a two percent raise that will be retro'd back to July, the end of this month, and I should see a couple of hundred dollars. Murphy sucks but hey. Just glad that I will be able to cash flow the repairs vs using a credit card. I've got to look for coupons on the repairs and maybe get an estimate elsewhere. As I'm typing this Jack the mechanic at the shop hands me his card and says he does side jobs if I'm interested. That made me feel a little better but I don't know.

Oh and the $30 spent on the game that the SO was to give me his $15, well he's not going because he's working today and I never got my $15. Lesson learned, get your money up front.

Wow He Pullef it Off

December 1st, 2017 at 05:10 pm

I couldn't wait until Sunday so I pulled next week's debt BINGO number and that number was 20. I applied this amount ($20) to CC3 and got the balance down to $999.26. The goal was to get this debt below $1000 before the end of the year. I'm so excited. My new goal is to be at $500 by the end of December, with a pay off in mind for January. I can't believe that I would have three CCs paid off by the end of January.

I hate I fell off and racked up CC2 the late part of this year but at least I got back on the tracks and am trucking along.

I noticed the SO seems to be really down. I don't push the issue any more about the budget and getting on track. He's paid out this week almost a $1,000 and and I think he is feeling the pinch. Today the rent is due, along with the electric, water and plot. I normally feel bad asking but it is what it is. I need the money to send off the payments. When I get home today, I'm simply going to ask him for the money so I can drop the checks in the mail, not my problem your mother is running a business and not paying you.

Update to this post.
Today was suppose to be a no spend day, the free blue Berry pancakes 🥞 were disgusting so I ended up spending $4.53 at the office cafeteria. Next I had a craving for a soda so that cost me $1.50. I added $6 to CC3 for the wasteful spending, new balance $993.26.

The SO came home with his share of the rent, electric ⚡️ and water 💦 bill. I was actually floored and was tempted to ask how he had pulled it off but opted against it. I ask and then there is a sob story making me feel guilty, I then say don't worry I got it until XYZ ,next thing I know I'm annoyed. I'll pass, give me your money and I'm done. I'll remind him that the plot bill is due (6th).

Paid down CC 3

November 28th, 2017 at 01:37 pm

So the checks cleared, super excited.

I deposited $8.50 to the EF
$3.83 to the sinking fund, and then paid $72.68 on CC3, my new balance is $1024.91 😀. The goal is to have the balance below the $1,000 mark by December.

I really think that this will happen, matter of fact I know it will, Thursday is payday, and I've budgeted an extra $67 on the snowball😀.

I really feel like I am making some traction. One of my colleagues wanted to go out for happy hour, I thought hmmm why not but then I said nope. I have $25.50 left in my fun money and I've decreased this amount for the next budget period so I'm not wasting it on dining out when I have leftovers.

I'm trucking along solo. I asked the fiancé if he was ready for the budget meeting last night, I was planning on asking those questions I think Credit Card Free, DW or Out of the Dark had mentioned and he said no. Oh well, he can't say I didn't try and that he wasn't told that I was not marrying him if his and/or my finances weren't in order.

I can say this, when you have a budget, pay your tithes and stick to the plan, the raise you've been wanting and haven't received is no big deal. Things are falling into place and I'm excited. I know I have a little way to go but CC3 will be paid off in January, I can tackle CC4, the house will sell in February and most of the debt should be gone 🙏🏾

Tackling CC3

November 26th, 2017 at 09:58 am

My fiancé said that it was my turn to treat for breakfast, woke up and cooked breakfast 🍳 . No need to spend $35 eating out. We usually rotate but this debt has to go. When asked if I was really cooking breakfast, I said yep and reminded him that I have over $78,000 in debt and that I'm Dave Ramseying. He didn't say a word, and just smiled. I've learned that I can only do what I can for myself. I'm still going to have the weekly meetings so long as he wants to and ask the recommended questions.

In financial news, I saved $55 by washing and coloring my hair, I did the following with the money saved:

* $5.50 EF
* $4.95 Sinking
* $44.55 CC3

Next I was so excited to start the debt BINGO game, that I couldn't wait to pull this week's number, that was $15. So I paid $15 on CC3.

I know the Total Money Makeover states to stop at a $1000 to the EF but I am so scared that something will happen and I'll be back to the credit cards 💳, I want to be able to cash flow everything. I'm only adding to the EF, if I save money like above or come into extra cash. No funds are earmarked for the EF when I create my budget.

The sinking fund I had to create, insurance is due in April and in January my HR certifications are due, I want to have something towards these things.

Went by mom and picked up the pink bows, there was no way I was going to buy any.

Decluttering = Cash

November 25th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

So because I didn't want to go out today and be tempted to spend money, I decided to stay home and clean, one of the things, one does when they're broke 😀.

I put the Christian tree up and decorated with the new ornaments, I lost that battle but that's a different story. My mom has a few pink bows I had given her years ago, so I'll pick them up to put on our tree and give her my res ones. Compromise = my sanity and money saved.

I decluttered our living room. There are pictures everywhere and I can't stand that. They get dusty and I'm the only one cleaning them. So I packed them up. I told my SO last night that I wanted to do away with all these photos everywhere.

Next I tackled my desk, and though I am not quite finished, I am pleased. In the mist of my decluttering and cleaning I found a check from AFLAC dated in 2013 for $75, I'm calling them to see if they'll reissue. There's no note to cash within a certain period, so I'm wondering if I can cash it. I also found another check dated, I think in 2015. This is actually a post office money order, I wonder if I can cash this? I'm calling the post office to find out. The next item found is was a $40 lottery scratch off, yay. I took it into the convenient store and cashed out.

I know how some of you feel but tithing is important to me, so I asked for $5 in ones, took my tithe of $4 off and paid $36 to CC number three.

BINGO and Debt

November 24th, 2017 at 05:21 am

Reviewed my envelopes and I have $346 left in all. Not sure what I started out with because a few dollars rolled over and I forgot to jot down how much. I know for the new budget period I withdrew $400. So I can say I've only really spent what carried over. A new period starts on the 30th. The goal is not to let this balance go under $300.

Every week I transfer the loose change to the change jar, this week it was $2.33. So I can say I'm doing pretty good.

I went to JC Penney's because they had men's holiday pajamas for $5. Every year I buy the fiancé a pair as a Christmas gift, I usually spend about $25.

Prior to heading to Penney's I visited the Ebates site because I wanted the 4% cash back, but then noticed the store was charging close to $4 to ship to the store and $9 to ship to the house. Since I was heading to my mom's and Penney's was on the way I stopped by. Picked up two pairs, one for next year. If we're not together I'd give them to my nephew as his gift. I'd budgeted about $100 for him for Christmas but so far has only spent a total of $22. We agreed to keep things at a minimum. I tried to get him to go with the no gifts, but since he's just starting on this process of saving and budgeting, I knew I had to give a little or I'd lose his interest. Compromise 🙄.

I do have one other item to purchase for him, either a watch or cologne and I'm done. I'm sure I can get a good deal on the watch for about $30 leaving me with about $50 to throw at CC2. The kids ( nephews) are getting magazine subscription for $15 each a total of $45 and my neice gets the free $25 MyPoints gift card. My other nephew who is older will get a $25 gift card and I still should have $25 left to throw at the CC2. Though I budgeted $150 total, this is 4x less than I normally spend, I'd like to stay under $125. Next year they'll be a sinking fund for the holidays.

All in all it was a pretty good day. I don't plan on leaving the house for the next two days, saving on gas ⛽️. I also picked up dinner for the next few days from my mom, so I'm good.

Now that I'm Dave Ramseying , lol, I've been on every money site, blog and Facebook group page there is. I saw this yesterday.

It's a BINGO card to save money, each week you pick a number and dump it into your savings. For me challenges are my motivation, so rather than throwing the funds at savings I'll be throwing it at my debt (CC2). There's even a zero to give you a free pass. So starting Monday, I'll be doing this. I realized that the money will be coming from my fun money.

Tough Journey

November 23rd, 2017 at 05:20 am

Finally figured out how to check out audiobooks from my local library. I drive a hour each way to and from work so this will be perfect.

I've checked out Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and Robert Morris' "Blessed Life." I'm excited about listening. Years ago I checked out Dave's book but just couldn't get into it. So I'm trying it again.

I'm revamping my budget again for the 100th time. I have a few items coming up that I need to cash flow so I'm adding the sinking fund. Dave says it's okay for a few items but don't go overboard while on baby step 2.

I've decided to take the first 10% of my income and tithe, this is not an option. Any money that comes my way, 10% will come off top for tithes. The 3:10 rule has proven to be 100% correct and I'm only about a month in. The next 5% (half of 10%) that comes off top is the sinking fund. Following 2.5% will go towards debt, and all else is budgeted to line items. I simply have to make it work. After reviewing there's no fun money in the pot for the next pay date. I'm okay with that.

I've paid off over $30,000 in debt before so I know I can do it. It took me about 2 years to do it.
I'll continue to budget some fun money, other wards I know if I don't I'll fall off the wagon. And I know this through trial and error. I realize a pay period here or there without fun money isn't going to kill me.

Pay day is next Thursday and my envelopes are pretty stuffed, I'll take some of this a pay down CC2, others I'll keep in my envelopes, paying for those things coming in January. January is going to be a really tough month. I have certifications that are due, license, tag for car etc.

Today of course will be a no spend day. Heading to mom's for dinner and then back home. I may wash my car, that's filthy. Hmm I'll wash it at my mom's and the five dollars 💵 I would have spent will go towards CC2 💳 .

The journey to a financially sound life hasn't been easy, I've made some bad choices, received some tough love and even doubted myself. But I think back to when I originally started this blog, it was tough then too; however, I made it through and for that I am grateful and thankful for this blog, and my extended family who never give up on me. Though my SA blog family at times may sound like a broken record, and you might even say to yourself, I've told her this before but you all keep reminding and pushing me, and I'm thankful for that.

Lastly I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

Linen Napkins

November 22nd, 2017 at 03:24 pm

Surfing the blogs and came across a post on using linen napkins vs paper towels, not sure why I haven't thought of this. I have a ton of linen napkins that I use when hosting. I'm going to buy about ten for every day use.

The young lady we donated the food to just got a tv. My coworker gave me a 32" tv for her. That just made my day.

I ended up eating out to day at McDonald's, I wasn't too happy with this but oh well.

Jumped the Gun 😡

November 21st, 2017 at 01:08 pm

So before I read everyone's responses I jumped the gun and did the below with the extra funds. I was feeling good about it but then thought I should have read the responses to my blog about the found money first and did what was recommended. That by the way was to apply all of it to baby step 2. 🤦🏾‍♀️

Found $60
$6 went to tithes (took this from my budgeted pocket money)
$5.40 went to the EF
$4.86 sinking fund ( car insurance, license & tag, and sorority membership)
$49.74 on CC2 debt snowball

In the end, I was able to get the CC2 under $400, I was hoping to do that before the end of the month. New balance 393.53 😀 New goal pay $93.53 on CC2 by the end of December.

Hopefully by January, I can cash flow my license and tag on my car.

Found $60 Now What?

November 21st, 2017 at 07:58 am

So late August I started FPU and I'm glad I did. I won't say it's easy but hey.

In addition to this I started the 3:10 challenge recently. For three months I will give God what belongs to him (10%) and see if He doesn't bless me ( Malachi 3:10). Well I'll say this every dollar I have received, I have taken 10% right off the top and here are those blessings:
* Found $5 in my purse 👛
* Found a $22 gift card

Today I found $60 in a binder that I was cleaning out to create the fiancé's budget planner. Funny thing is, I had this binder since 2014. You can rest assure I took the $6 off the top. I bought tickets to a football game out of my recreation fund and am considering putting the $16 back or just paying the full $54 on the CC.

I also thought about this
* 10% to tithes ($6)
* 10% to EF ($5.40)
* 10% to sinking fund ($4.86)
* Remaining to debt ($43.74)

I know Dave says $1,000 and then tackle the debt but for me I'd like to keep contributing to the EF even if it's a small amount. My car is very old and I'd like to be able to cash flow the next one if Murphy comes. In addition to the sinking fund, I have a few items coming next April like the car insurance. Oops I forgot my renewal for my tag and license is in January, I'm going to need the cash for that too. So I figured a little here and there should do it.

Budget Meeting

November 20th, 2017 at 06:38 pm

Our second budget meeting went okay.

Initially the fiancé seemed annoyed but as we starting talking he came around. I explain to him that I did not want to get married unless 80% of my debt was paid and 80% of his was paid. He agreed.

He struggled with my zero balance budget. I explain to him that he did not have to work his budget the way that I do but just wanted to show him what a budget was. He thought that we would be combining income and debt. I told him it wasn't recommended since we weren't married. We reviewed the irregular income budget sheet that Dave provided and he likes that.

I decided to create a budget folder him, that way he can see his progress. I felt bad because he wants to this this "together" thing but it's best that we both get things under control before we combine anything. He's not computer savvy at all, so each week we will work on his budget, and I'll create the spreadsheets. His biggest problem is his mother not paying him, he really needs to nip this in the bud.

Today was a no spend day. The boss took us out to lunch. Only problem was the sandwich I had I think went bad. 🤦🏾‍♀️ It's turkey, with honey mustard no cheese and was on the ice pack. It still looks good but I don't know.

The interview didn't go to well. I wasn't too excited about it anyway and really didn't want to go. I have another one lined up next Wednesday.

Tuesday Ramblings

November 20th, 2017 at 11:21 am

Revamped my zero balance budget next pay period to include a sinking fund, particularly my car insurance. I totally forgot to sign the new contract providing me basic coverage, so I'll take care of that tomorrow. Items that I need to save up for that is consistent is the car insurance on both vehicles, sorority chapter dues ( thinking about not renewing).

This budget, I included the Christmas fund, only $150. This is for three nephews and fiancé. Fiancé is still up in the air. Today is our weekly budget meeting and I'd like to remove this item. Things aren't going well for us and he knows that I'm not planning a wedding until debt is gone, his as well as mine finances are in order. I really want to discuss how I'm feeling tomorrow, I pray that I get the courage to have this conversation.

I read in one of the Dave Ramsey budgeting groups that I should try a visual, so today that's what I'm going to do. I really hope he's not doing this because of me but for himself as well.

Different note, normally for Thanksgiving I buy a ham, turkey and all the sides to cook. No one ever comes to our house, I just like having my own meals. Last year was the first year we actually had company. This year I'm going to my mom's. I don't know what has come over me but I hate spending money. Though it would cost roughly $25 to buy what I'd cook, I just think it is a waste since we throw out so much food anyway. Besides my mom and his mother cooks a big meal.

I washed my own hair, saving $45 so I paid this amount on CC2, new balance $443.00.

We ran out of ink and since I don't print that much, but still do, I told the fiancé I needed $20 for ink. He's the one that print out bills for his clients. I'm always the one buying, not this time. The ink was $30.47. He gave it to me. I can kick myself because I've told him for weeks we needed ink, did a search and if you order online at Walmart it's $17.97 🤦🏾‍♀️🙄 I hate stupid spending.

I have a job interview today, I know the position calls for more skill,and years of experience but I figured why not? I think the new manager, who I love is looking for a job, can't say I blame him.

Mid month update

November 18th, 2017 at 05:52 am

Cleaned out the refrigerator and had to throw out a half a chicken, five pork chops, rice and left over Chinese chicken. I thought, how shameful. There's someone out there who could have used this food.

I told the fiancé that I will no longer buy and cook these meals. I generally buy the bulk of the groceries and cook, so that he has something but so much of it goes to waste.

My nephew's girlfriend works for a meal prep company and any left over she shares, at least twice a week. I often get these meals and this too goes to waste, because I've cooked and will pack what I cooked for lunch but no more. I'll be eating my free meals, and if the fiancé refuses, that's his choice. He can spend his money buying groceries.

Last budget period I think I spent only $4 on groceries because I stuck with buy, only what you need, and now I'm sticking with buy nothing since you're getting free meals.

Long story short, Dave Ramsey says while going through this process it's rice and beans, I get free meals that are delicious so it makes no sense to spend the money. Here are a few of the meals.

In financial news here's the first half of the month spending. Not so bad this pay past period.

Oops before I forget, I took the $35 budgeted for my contacts and paid on CC2, new balance $488.04. I'd budgeted $45 this week for my hair for the holiday, I don't think I'm going so I'll be throwing this amount at the CC2 as well. Can't wait for this card to be gone.

Baby Steps

November 17th, 2017 at 03:15 am

So the holidays are coming and I decided to budget a few dollars each pay period. I spoke to the fiancé and told him I wanted to not spend anything on each other but if we did, keep it under $100. Of course he wants to exchange gifts.

Well I ordered the myPoints Macy's gift card for my neice, $25. I set aside $40 this pay period to order a men's sport coat for the fiancé through Macy's. Well I found a gift card I had, and the jacket that was originally $200 cost me $17.67, sweet. I went through the Ebates app and got $1.61 back. Paid cash for by the way lol.

So all bills are paid. This pay period I spent a total of $936.02 on CC/other debt, I can't wait to get these little bugs out of my hair. A total of $215.32 was paid on CC2, this was all extra. I'm officially starting baby step 2 of the Dave Ramsey plan and I'm excited. It took me two months to fulfill baby step 1 but at least I'm there.

I'd budgeted $35 for contacts but decided to hold off again from purchasing, I'm thinking of throwing the $35 towards the CC debt. Reason why I haven't is, a young woman lost her fiancé, she has two small children and she's struggling. I'm thinking about taking this money and buying Thanksgiving dinner for her. I'd budgeted the $40 for gifts and still have $22.39 left that I could use to help her out as well. Everything is on sale and I'm thinking we should be able to get a decent meal for her.

That's it for me, I'll be updating my totals this weekend and sharing.

Monday Ramblings

November 1st, 2017 at 06:54 pm

I have gotten to the point where I absolutely hate buying anything not on sale. It burns me up to purchase items at full price.

I went into Walmart for a few items, one being a box of tissues. iBotta has a $1 rebate when you purchase two boxes of Kleenex. I almost purchased the Kleenex, but something told me to check the price of the Puffs tissues instead. Well it turns out that it's cheaper to buy the Puffs without the rebate. I almost threw them in the cart when I decided to check the Target Cartwheel app and low and behold there was a manufacture coupon for $.25 off Puffs. I only need one box anyway so I'll wait until Sunday to pick up the tissue with the Target run.

Next I got four boxes of hand wipes. I buy these anyway and iBotta had a rebate for $0.75 when you buy two. I bought four not realizing I should have put them on separate receipts, ugh

I think I'm going to create a grocery list of items I frequently purchase, so that I know where to buy things and if it's worth it when iBotta or Cartwheel has a rebate.

My goal to to start living frugal, sometimes I think I'm being cheap but I need to sock away cash and lower my debts. I'm thinking about adjusting the budget so that I'm leaving below my means, meaning reducing my check by an additional $100. We'll see, maybe once I get this debt paid off

Budget off a little

October 31st, 2017 at 06:38 pm

New zero budget balance period kicked off today. Normally I look at what I did for the previous period and estimate my spending.

I'm annoyed because two items I budgeted were off and I'm generally right on. The JCP bill last month was $119, this month its $121. I didn't purchase anything so not sure why it's more. Though it could be because there are more days in the month this last billing cycle. I know it's only three dollars but it annoys me. I paid the bill in advance so I'm waiting on the statement to review. Unfortunately I can't view online since I'm still receiving paper invoices. And I'm not changing it, ink is expensive.

Next the truck insurance is usually about $80, this month, the renewal, it was about $92, $12 over.

I picked up my mentee tonight and we headed over to the free fall festival at the church. She brought her nephew, who was such a good kid. I enjoyed it and was glad it was free. I have to start looking for free things for us to do, it was getting way too expensive. I don't mind spending the money but not too much.

Last item on my list are the contacts. I tried ordering through iBotta so that I can get the 3% cash back but I'm running into some issues. I did get $0.10 from a Walgreens purchase. I think I might just write them regarding the contacts.

Walgreens Dilemma

October 31st, 2017 at 03:04 am

Ordered a photo book online Walgreens.com, I received an order confirmation via email that everything would be ready at 4:10pm. Needless to say, about four hours went by and I had not received my order is ready for pick up email. Called Walgreens, and was placed on hold, then told I couldn't pick up until tomorrow. I explain how important this is, that my confirmation email stated 4:10 and that this item was gift. I'm placed on hold again, then told the order is ready and was misfiled.

Head over in the freezing cold, stood in line for 20+ minutes, then provided the photos of something I did not order. The guy apologizes, then leaves and never comes back. A Megan then pops up, asked if I was waiting on the photo book, I say yes, she then tells me I have to pick up in the morning because no one knows how to create the book and that the person who does, isn't answering their phone. By this time I'm furious, she tells me she'll give me a discount and that the photo guy comes in at 4 am. I'm going to be furious if these photos aren't ready.

Revamped the budget for the 100th time 🤦🏾‍♀️🙄. I realized I did not include CC2 payment of $25 that's due on the 20th. I get paid on the 15th and 30th of every month. I like to pay all bills due within those pay dates, trying to stay ahead of the game. Though the bill isn't due until 20th, after the 15th, as my dad always said, "the best time for a man to pay his bills is when he has the money."

Monday Updates

October 30th, 2017 at 10:44 am

Well a new zero balance budget will start tomorrow. I decided to keep what's left in each envelope with the exception of the change ($4.45). Total left over was $66.45, not bad. I added the $4.45 in change to my change jar to be rolled up and deposited to the EF fund (baby step 1).

I went back to Target, to get my $5.00 back on the coupon I failed to provide yesterday, as well as my $0.76 for the pork chops I bought. I feel better now about yesterday's meat purchase. Over all I think I saved $7 on my meat purchases.

I went into JCP to find a scarf for a colleague who is leaving, I really didn't want to spend more than$10. I found some lovely scarves, but I just did not want to spend the money. While in Penney's I shopped around, and found one scarf for $2.52 and the other for $4.20. Not bad. I love a great deal.

Our court hearing had to be rescheduled due to an emergency 🚨, im waited this long so it shouldn't matter for a few more weeks.

Great while it lasted

October 28th, 2017 at 03:44 am

Well I thought I'd have a few extra dollars left over, but I realized that's not the case. I forgot about my plot bill, $50. Oh well it was great thinking that I had the monies left over lol.

After remembering about paying for the plot, I was trying to figure out why the bank account when balancing was short $16. Well I ordered checks. After the money order debacle with the land lord, I decided to send her a check each month. It cost me $38 to stop payment on two money orders. Had I written her a check it would have been $25 for one check. I don't use checks for anything else. Now that I do have them though, I think I'll use it for my tithes at church. That will mean 3 checks a month and I have a 100 checks so that will last me a while. I'll put the $16 back this pay period. Ugh now I have to rework the budget. 🤦🏾‍♀️

Meanwhile, I'm wrapping up a few loose ends before payday Tuesday. This has been a really crazy last two weeks with spending. It was mostly gifts, ugh! Though I knew these expenses were coming and I had budgeted for it, it's still annoying that over $150 was spent on gifts. Christmas is coming and my budget is $300, that's it. So the next few pay periods I'll sock away for it. Good thing is, I have mypoints points for a gift card for my neice, my nephews are small so I can get little things that they'll like. And the BF will get cologne and a sport coat, that's it. Wish I'd started earlier with my budget but hey.

Lastly; as I am updating my debt snowball spread sheet, I realize that what I pay in interest is far more than what is applied on the principle. Though I knew this already, I think it just annoys me to see it on paper. My ahhh haaaa moment. I've got to get this stuff paid off or I'm going to die a slow death in debt.

Eye Opener

October 22nd, 2017 at 06:50 pm

Today's Target run, wasn't too great. We got two pounds of 96% fat free ground beef for about $8. I only buy meat that's on sale with coupons. I was somewhat disappointed but hey, something is better than nothing.

I also ended up picking up a coupon expandable organizer for $7.99 to use as my cash spending envelopes. I think this will be better than the actual envelopes I use. I'm always looking for the right envelope to take the cash out of, sometimes I take from the wrong envelope, and so on. So this may help in the budgeting area. Hmmm as I'm typing this blog, I realize that the Dollar Tree, dollar store, may have the item for a $1, if that's the case I'll take the other one back.

After Lucky Robin's eye opener about my pedi, I decided to revamp my budget. First I'm taking 10% off the top for my tithes at church. I will add to the EF for baby step 1 and then the remainder towards everything else.

Follow up.
Well I wrote the first few paragraphs earlier, so here is what happened since then.

I found the coupon book at Dollar Tree, I'll use for a few weeks before taking the other back to make sure it holds up.

I have updated my zero balance budget, putting my tithes first and then the EF. I had to cut my pocket/recreation funds but I'm okay with that. I'm loving this zero balance budgeting, the envelope system really works.

Thanks for holding me accountable everyone as I take this journey to financial peace.

Numbers are in - first time budgeting

October 13th, 2017 at 06:18 pm

Last year I was really slacking with my finances. I wasn't balancing my accounts and Go Daddy charged me $180. Didn't catch the charge until about four months later. I thought, I had cancelled the service, but low and behold they charged me again. Ugh! Thank goodness I'm on top of things now, I jumped right on the phone and called them. Now I'm waiting for my refund.

Meantime this charged caused me to go over my limit on the CC incurring another fee😡. I'll be reaching out to BoA to get this taken care of first thing in the morning.

Some good news, I took a look at my spending habits for the last two weeks and I did pretty good for a first time budgeter (new word)lol.

The pluses (+) mean that I actually had money left over and I did not go over my budget.

The negatives (-) represents the amount I went over what was budgeted, so here we go.

Charity +$20
Groceries under budgeted by -$3.57
Savings balanced
Housing balanced
Utilities -$5.56
Personal +$40.85
Debt CC +$26.00
Insurance +$63.36
Medical +$35
Transportation balanced

I'd say I did pretty good as a first timer. I prefer the per pay period/zero budget vs by month, that seems to work for me and provide me a sense of accomplishment.

Another good note I received my Wal*Mart Saving Catcher credit and was able to get my nephew tablet for his birthday for free. Not bad.

Zero Balance Budget

October 7th, 2017 at 04:44 am

I hae created my 10/15 - 10/31 zero balance budget and realized a CC that I had planned to pay has no monies due, I've already paid it. So the $54 I budgeted I'll put in my EF. I'm still working on Dave Ramsey's (DR) baby step 1.

For the pay date 9/15 - 9/30 I still have $80 left over for car insurance that I thought was due. I have my dad's truck and it's $80 a month. I'd budgeted the money and went to pay but nothing was due. I'd already paid it. I decided to put this $80 into my sinking fund (car). My car is old, 2002 Toyota with over 215,000 miles. I have to start socking some funds away for when the time comes. Hopefully I'll get at least another 5 years.

I'm following DR advice utilizing the zero balance budget and the envelope system. I have the following left to last me until next Friday, October 13th.

Groceries starting balance was $80, ending balance $50.13. Not bad, I'll be adding another $80 on Friday.

Personal (e.g gifts, toiletries hair) starting balance $145, ending balance $55.48. On Friday this envelope gets $200. There's two birthdays, and one wedding, I have to buy gifts for. Plus there's bosses day. Ugh. I hate that we are going into the holiday season.

Transportation started with $80, I have $20 left. I will be adding another $80. This envelope is strictly for gas ⛽️, my commute daily to and from the office is 60 miles. I wish I could work from home just one day.

Recreation/pocket money has $95 left. I'm surprised with this. I thought for sure I would have blown through the $100 set aside in the first week. DR was right, it's a different feeling when money leaves your hand vs swiping a card 💳 . You are very conscious about your spending. The upcoming budget period, I had to cut back in this category, due to all the upcoming CCs bills. I'll be adding $115 to this envelope. How I see it is, if I stay on this track, I'll have a nice chunk of change in this envelope and I could splurge at the end of the year. I'd like a new pair of earphones (wireless) and a new iPod.

Cleaning supplies started out with $25 and I still have $25. I'll be adding nothing to this envelope for the next period.

Only thing that gets me down and a tad bit discouraged is that the BF is not participating in the Financial Peace University activities. I need the class but he needs it more than I do. I've told him, I will NOT get married if his finances aren't improved. Just wasting my time but that's a different story.

Today I'll review my weekly spending, sew a few pillow covers for gifts, and do a little work for the office so that I can catch up.

Had a phone interview with a recruiter. Position is closer to my house paying about $15k more. She liked me and will be moving me forward to the hiring manager.

What's Happening in My World

October 5th, 2017 at 06:37 pm

Things have been a little low key today.

Super busy at the office, one fire after the next. One of the girls offered to take me out for happy hour, she knows that I'm on a strict budget. Even though I budgeted $100 for dining out and entertainment for two weeks, I still said no. I didn't not want to spend my money on eating out. Dave Ramsey is really working on me. My co-worker insisted and stated she would buy so I finally said okay.

Upon arrival to Chili's 🌶 I ordered from the bar menu and ordered fries, a drink and wings, total about $17. I offered to pay for my meal, she insisted that I do not, so I left a $5 tip. I'm things worked out the way they did because I still have $95 to last me until next Friday. 😃

After leaving chili's I filled up my car 🚗, $27. I'm hoping that this last until next Thursday because I only have $20 left in this week's budget for gas ⛽️.

I've completed my zero balance budget for the next pay date. Things will be tight. I have a wedding (gift 🎁), two birthdays (🎁); Halloween 👻(🎁) Boss' Day (🎁) and refill on contacts. Because of all these up coming items that cost money, I had to cut some things short. For example, my dining out/ entertainment and saving contribution amount was decreased 😢.

Since I'm all about saving, I did a little research and found a cosmetology school that provides pedicures for $10 vs the usual $20. I'm going to give them a try.

Lastly, I have a phone inter tomorrow. I love what I do now and the people I work with, but the director of the department makes things extremely difficult.

That's all I have for now.


September 21st, 2017 at 09:55 am

Today was a busy day. I'm working from home today but am able to get some other things done well. I'm really feeling accomplished.

I've updated my side bar with the exception of my savings accounts.
I'm mad at myself because I put CC 2 back in my purse and charged it up again. But putting things on paper hit home for me.

Last night I worked on my first zero budget and it was a struggle but I completed the second one for the next pay date in half the time.
I also created my cash envelopes, so that I can stick to the budget, once it's gone it's gone.

Financial Peace University: Week 3

September 20th, 2017 at 07:38 pm

Week 3 of the financial peace class and it was tough.
Well I'm actually behind due to the hurricane.

This was my first time ever creating a zero balance budget. But by doing so, it really put things into perspective. The idea of telling my money what to do vs it telling me is so rewarding.

I actually put everything on a spread sheet vs the paper method, that way each pay date, all I have to do is key in the budgeted amount, the formulas are already there to take care of the calculations.

It has sadden me to say that the fiancé has yet to participate, other than going to the class. I told him we are wasting our time planning a future when money is the number one reason for divorce as well as our problems. I can give you the tools but it's up to you. I've told him what he needs to do with his business as far as the mother not paying him, he refused to do anything. I signed us up for a class, in hopes to get things in order and he refuses to participate. There's nothing else I can do.

Tomorrow I'll review my spending thus far, create my zero balance budget for the next pay date, create my spending envelopes, balance my checkbook and update my sidebar.

For me blogging helped me out of debt the last time, I felt committed to the group. I know what to do but I think FPU will speed up the process.

On Track to Financial Peace

August 31st, 2017 at 06:14 pm

Started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at church two weeks ago and I absolutely love it.

I've created my budget and I'll using the Montana checkbook register method vs the envelope system. Today was pay day, and as my dad use to say, "the best time for a man to pay his bills is when he has the money."

So today I paid bills :

* $50 EF
* $25 church
* $152.12 car insurance (really need to look into getting this lowered)
* $450 rent
* $50 my plot bill ( wanted to be next to my dad)
* $119 JC Penny credit card ( really need to pay this off)
* $54 HSBCbank

I did not buy breakfast today or lunch so I'm adding $2 on a CC and $2 to the EF. Why the small amount? Well every little bit helps and I was able to pay my debt down this way.

Oh I should be going to court in October to finally get the approval to sell the house, fingers crossed 🤞🏾

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