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Archive for October, 2017

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 πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ™„. 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.

Sunday Grocery Shopping

October 29th, 2017 at 07:12 pm

Revamped my budget for only one box of contacts vs the 90-day supply. I'm really struggling with this but I'm running low on a few household and personal items that I need to purchase, I had to add these items to the budget. So it is what it is. For me it's all about sticking to the budget.

Following Dave's plan I have a choice of things to do with what's left over in my cash envelopes. One, fund baby step 1. Two, keep the funds in the envelopes as is. And three (this is my own idea), take what's left and divide amongst all envelopes and EF. There'll be about $60 left, that puts about $8.50 in each envelope and towards baby step 1. I somewhat like this idea since the next two week's budget is super tight and it gives me a little extra in each envelope.

Or maybe I can put the funds towards my sinking fund (Christmas). Ugh the pressure.

I have a change jar, full of change and decided to roll them. Well I was only able to roll about $22.50, I didn't have any holders for the dimes so I'll roll those later. I'm adding the $22.50 to baby step 1. I can't wait to hit step one, so I can start tackling the debt.

Our Target run was okay, we got 93/7 ground beef for $2.89 pound (purchased 3lbs) and 4.55 lbs center cut pork chops for $15.15. I didn't think this was a great deal on the pork chops but I needed to prepare for this week's meals. I did return the coupon organizer and got the $8.55 back. I forgot to scan my Cartwheel bar code, there was 5% savings on both the strawberries πŸ“ and the grapes πŸ‡ . When I went to return the organizer, I got the $0.38 back on the items (strawberries and grapes πŸ‡ ) . Once I got home 🏑, I realized I didn't get the 5% on the pork chops either, nor did I use my $5.00 coupon. I hate shopping in a rush. The cashier was standing over me, I think she thought I was going to steal one of the items. I use the envelope system, so I pay for things separately. She reminded me, I didn't pay for the item, I told her nicely that I'd be paying for the item separately. Needless to say, l'll head back tomorrow, for both my 5% off on the pork chops and my $5 coupon.

I found out that Target gives $0.05 for every recycling bag used. I'll start brining my own bags. It's not much but hey, something is better than nothing.

We ended up in Publix, BF spent $82. Mostly on things he liked (e.g chips, cookies πŸͺ, ice cream 🍦). None of the items were eligible for ibotta rebates. I told him that we could get a $1 back on French's ketchup, but he insisted on Heinz. He was annoyed with me because I kept looking for things that may have a rebates, that he was purchasing, so I stopped. It's his money. I did manage to get $0.25 for uploading the receipt. I really wish my fiancΓ© would get onboard with budgeting but he won't. I have told him, that at the rate we are going, we cannot get married. I've explained that finances are a huge issue, for couples and me.

Tomorrow is the day, we go to court about selling my dad's house. I'm just putting things in God's hands, what ever happens happens.

That's it for now.

Throw Pillow Alert

October 28th, 2017 at 04:13 pm

I have always wanted to learn to sew. I'm still teaching myself but I think I am mastering the envelope throw pillow. Made this little doozy for a colleague whose favorite color is blue and she's leaving.



We decided to buy blue items and put in a basket as her going away. Basically we're going to be blue without her, is our theme.

In financial news, I went to Wal*Mart, I needed some breakfast food. I noticed that iBotta had $0.50 rebate on waffles plus $0.25, for a store receipt. So I bought the waffles for $2.38, earning my $0.75 in rebates, over all cost of the waffles was $1.63, not bad.

Mom gave me an 18-count of eggs so that saved me a few dollars. Tomorrow is my Target run, I'll return the coupon book and hopefully get some great deals on meat. Last week nothing was marked down and I'm running low on meat. I'll try a few meatless meals if there aren't any deals. Thanks for the suggestion SA.

On a different note, I realized that the external drive I have plugged into the computer is the culprit as to why I am having computer problems πŸ’». Now I know that once I back my files up, I have to unplug it.

My old boss is still rude. She came into the office and I said good morning twice and of course she didn't speak. I told my new manager and all he could say was, "she lacks management skills." For two weeks she's had a colleague in tears and no one in upper management or employee relations has addressed the issue. I've applied for a payroll position in the company, hopefully I get it and get from under her wrath.

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. πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

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.

Contacts

October 27th, 2017 at 07:08 pm

Contacts
There was a time when I'd buy something and be done with it. No shopping around or comparing prices. I think the only time I'd do this is if it was an item such as a tv or laptop. Now I find myself always trying to get the best deal.

It's time for me to renew my contacts, Target only carries the 90-day supply for about $60 in the store and $84 online, smh. Walmart has the 30-day, for about $35. I decided to check out Walgreens and theirs is on sale with a coupon code for $60. The good thing is I can order from the comfort of my home and have delivered vs going into the store such as Target, waiting and ordering for essentially the same price. Not to mention picking up other items I don't need.

I took a look at the numbers, I'm doing pretty good with out spending. This month was a killer with birthdays, weddings and going aways πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ but for the most part, I'm still wishing my budget (most lines items any). I have about $145 left in my cash envelopes, that's good because next pay period is a really tight budget. I'm thinking about moving some things around such as the contacts, and ordering a 30-day supply from Walmart while allocating the extra $30 not spent for a few household items I need. It sucks because the 90-day comes out to about $20 a box. Decisions.

We received a call from a friend, she's planning a couples retreat and want us to tag along. I initially said tell me when and the cost. After hanging up with her, I'm more like even though it's something we budget for, I'd rather see that money spent on debt. Especially after I've reviewed my CC debt, what I've paid in minim payments and interest thus far😑. So I'll let them know we're not interested.

I'm looking forward to my sixth week of zero balance budgeting. I'm so glad that I've been sticking with it. This last go around was tough but I got through it. Funny thing is, I'll have an extra $33 dollars left in the bank that I can transfer to my EF as a part of baby step 1. Last week I thought it was $55+ now I realized it's about $85 total πŸ˜€. One thing is true, when you're an obedient server of God, He will always bless you with your needs. Something told me to sign up for this Dave Ramsey's class and I did. I also decided to stick to the plan and now I have over $200 left from a previous check, and all bills paid, it feels great!

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.

Pedi Nightmare

October 21st, 2017 at 10:03 am

Computer back up, yay. I'm going to back everything up. I usually backup any way but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I estimated $60 at the salon and that's exactly what I spent. Saving about $30 by simply doing some things at home.

I decided to try a cosmetology school for a pedicure. It's $10 vs $20 not including a tip if I'd gone to a normal salon.

So I go to the school, walk in a thought this place doesn't look that great. Needless to say I sat in the pedi chair, and the young woman came out with a foot spa. I'm okay with the foot spa but the fact it wasn't clean (appeared not to be), through me for a loop. Then she came out with the pedi kit that didn't look clean as well. I'm thinking hmmmm. Finally what did it for me was the dirty towel she had. I took my feet out of the spa, grabbed my purse, gave her $2 for her troubles and left. I'd rather pay the $20 for a pedi than $10 and an infection.
So I ended up spending $24 on a pedi. I'll stick to the places I know of.

Computer Crashed

October 20th, 2017 at 05:57 pm

Well looks like the computer crashed. When we turn it on the screen remains black. I've unplugged, restarted etc and nothing.

It's not in my budget and I'm not considering it an emergency so I won't be replacing it. I may just wait until Black Friday and search for a laptop, unless I start saving for one. Wal*Mart has laptops for less than $200. The good thing is, the job provides us a laptop that I can bring home, sign in and use a Google spread sheet to track my expenses. I'm going to miss the MS Money software I use for tracking spending, but the spread sheet will do until I get my own.

Normally I'd use the credit card and buy one but I refuse to go into debt when there is an alternative. Not sure what the fiancΓ© is going to do because he uses the computer to print his bills for clients. I'm sick of making a way, while going into debt. He needs to step up to the plate. I've told him I am not marrying him if he can't step up.

Different note, mom paid me back the money she owed me. She likes the idea of paying her bills online but doesn't know how to do so. Lol. So she tells me to pay the bill and gives me the money. No worries about her paying me back, she's great with money. So I added this $80 back to my checking account.

I purchased the last item through the checking account today, contacts. I'd budgeted $30 for contacts but it turns out they were $39. After I crunch the numbers, I'll have $57.98 cents left in my checking account. Not sure what I did because I created a zero balance budget and their shouldn't be anything left. Strange. Either way I'm transferring this to the EF, baby step 1.

Lastly, I got home really late. We have a wedding to attend so I'll be going to the salon tomorrow. I did budget this cost in. I'm in need of a hair cut and color, but there is no way am I going to spend almost $100 tomorrow. So I permed/relaxed my hair, and colored it. That's saving me about $35-$45. Tomorrow I'm estimating $60 for services, that will include the cut.

The wedding, I budgeted $50 as a cash gift but I'm going to check out their registry tonight to see if I can find items for about $25 total.

That's it for me right now.

Spending by Category

October 19th, 2017 at 06:05 pm

It's the end of the week and I reviewed my spending. I'm happy to say that I'm within my budget for this pay period.

The only thing that jumps out at me and I've said this before, are those darn credit cards. $744.01 in minimum payments πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ™„



Cable is high so I'm going to have to reach out to the company to reduce the service.

I have a 2002 Toyota Camry, 200k+ miles with full coverage, I am thinking I should just get the state required, that will cut my bill down. I'm always nervous about not having enough coverage but the car is only worth about $3,000, if that.

I've applied for another position within the company, it's more money and exposes me to payroll. I think with my benefits background coupled with payroll it would give me a little more leverage. Fingers crossed 🀞🏾.

The boss had an employee in tears three weeks ago, me about two weeks and this week another colleague. It's crazy but they keep her. Hopefully I'll be gone soon.

The church will be hosting another FPU class, so I have signed up again. I really like the class and it's really making a difference.

That's it for now.

Dining Out

October 18th, 2017 at 06:21 pm

Well my new boss (J) has come to the party, he realized that our old boss (D), is a nut.

He came into our office complaining about her. Smh. It's sad because J is a super great guy, very knowledgeable but once again, D can make you feel little. I'm praying that J stays but something tells me that if D continues on the path that she's on, he'll be gone.

I've been applying for jobs, but honestly, I love what I do and the people I work with, it's just D. She was promoted, not due to her knowledge or lack of, but who she knows. Sad, just sad.

On a financial note, we went out to happy hour/dinner at Bone Fish yesterday. I had the $15.99 meal with a $3.50 drink, total $19.49, plus $5.51 tip. Oops I did not calculate the tax. I was going to treat my colleague but I thought about my envelope and spending the $25 I had already accumulated, it actually annoyed me, so I opted out. Dave Ramsey was right, when money leaves you it hurts.

Today we all went to chili's and I spent another $20, thank goodness for my budget envelopes. Even though I'm within my budget I hate spending money eating out. I told the girls that was it for me.

So I'm updating my spending spread sheet and balancing my accounts. I realize I have $66.68 in my checking account that I have for fun. So I transferred $30.68 to EF, that's for baby step 1. I would have transferred all funds but I like leaving a little something in this account.

Ive signed up again for Dave Ramsey's FPU. I'm really enjoying the class and need that extra support

No Spend Day

October 16th, 2017 at 06:04 pm

First day in weeks that I did not have a day in that I spent money. I'm soooo happy. πŸ˜€

I looked over my budget and what I've actually spent, so far I have over budgeted by $10.44. Hopefully I can continue on this trend for the remainder of the month. What ever money is left from budgeted expenses, I'll just add it to the EF.

Though I haven't cut up the credit cards πŸ’³ yet, I've given them all to my BFF today. I told her that no matter what do not give me those cards πŸ’³. One thing with her is that she is great at keeping me accountable. I can honestly say I haven't used the cards since April until the hurricane in September. I told her that if a storm comes and I ask for it, she should remind me that, that's what the EF is for.

This journey is tough but I know I can do it

$744 a month in CC

October 15th, 2017 at 06:16 pm

Sitting at my desk updating my spending spread sheet and realized I spent almost a grand on paying CCs.

It is absolutely ridiculous what I pay in credit card debt. This pay period alone I paid out $744. I'm so disgusted. I don't even know what I bought and when. πŸ˜‘πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

$744 can be used for other things like saving for a house, car and retirement and I'm paying this amount on DEBT!

I think the positive thing out of this situation is that I realize it's ridiculous, I've stopped using the CC and I at least have money to pay the bills every month.

Once I hit baby step one of the Dave Ramsey plan I can start tackling this debt, I can't wait.

I've upped my saving amount from $30 to a $100 the next pay period. Reducing spending in other areas.