Home > Archive: November, 2019

Archive for November, 2019

Friday Ramblings

November 29th, 2019 at 10:26 am

I’ve been wanting a laptop for personal use, then that want turned into a need when I got the consulting gig.

I went into Walmart today to get $5, Christmas PJs for my great nephews, a tradition, and a tv 📺 for my mom, she was to pay me back, I didn’t get the tv, Walmart was out. Well low and behold Walmart had a HP laptop 💻 for $149. I checked the specs and the reviews while in the store and they were pretty good, so I purchased it. I didn’t need anything fancy, just something I could take along, type notes, track things etc. This laptop will come in handy for my site visits to the facility for sure. I was told I could use this purchase as a business expense. I’ll have to check with the accountant since I’ll be using it for both personal and business, primarily business though. I’ll also have to adjust the budget, rather than paying $730 on the CC 💳, I’ll be paying $581, since I bought the laptop.

On a different note, yesterday was pay day 💰 I was surprised to see my money hit the bank on a holiday. I paid bills, the minimum on CC10, I’ll be adding the extra payment next week. I entered my student loan and car insurance payments into the registry, so that I have a better idea of my balance.

Things are a little crazy but hey, over all I had a good holiday.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28th, 2019 at 04:22 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to my favorite frugal family, Saving Advice Bloggers.
🦃 🍁

Apple Watch ⌚️

November 25th, 2019 at 01:52 pm

Patience and hard work really pays off. I have been wanting an Apple Watch for quite some time, however not willing to pay the $400+ for one. Plus I wasn’t willing to finance One through my cell phone carrier, or put on a credit card.

My employer has a wellness program, in that I can participate in wellness activities, earning points that equate to dollars that then turns into gift cards. I earned enough points to purchase a brand new Apple Watch. Target now has the series 3 on sale for $169.99, I was able to get my watch, that I’ve been wanting for quite some time, using gift cards while staying healthy.

Next I’ll be cashing out my points for an Apple ear pods.

Merry Christmas 🎄 to myself and I didn’t spend a dime, only needed to love a healthier lifestyle.

Student Loan Saga

November 24th, 2019 at 09:33 pm

Just adjusted my budget and I’ll be able to drop $700 on CC10. I’m so excited.
I think this card will be paid off by March and I can finally, start tackling my student loans.

I just want to cry, I was feeling like I’ll never be able to start tackling the loans. If I hadn’t gotten hit with the legal bill earlier this year, this card would have been gone in June. I know I can’t/shouldn’t beat my self up about it but I just can’t help thinking about the what if’s.

I’m estimating it will take me 6-7 years to pay off the student loans, that’s $10k a month. If I can keep the side hustle for at least two years, it will take 4-5 years.

Fingers crossed that all go as planned

Student Loan Saga

November 24th, 2019 at 09:33 pm

Just adjusted my budget and I’ll be able to drop $700 on CC10. I’m so excited.
I think this card will be paid off by March and I can finally, start tackling my student loans.

I just want to cry, I was feeling like I’ll never be able to start tackling the loans. If I hadn’t gotten hit with the legal bill earlier this year, this card would have been gone in June. I know I can’t/shouldn’t beat my self up about it but I just can’t help thinking about the what if’s.

I’m estimating it will take me 6-7 years to pay off the student loans, that’s $10k a month. If I can keep the side hustle for at least two years, it will take 4-5 years.

Fingers crossed that all go as planned

Saturday Update

November 24th, 2019 at 04:56 am

My Friday night’s ritual, usually consists of a shower, review my cash envelopes and balance them, then get excited when I come in under budget, lol. I do this every Friday. I love tracking my spending. Even though I’m still trending to come in under budget by next pay date, Friday, I get a big kick out of where I am with my spending each week.

This week wasn’t too bad, when it came to spending. I did cave in and buy a soda and dined our yesterday.

Yesterday’s spending
$31.98 oil change
$17 dining out (lunch and dinner)
$6.66 personal care
$4.24 cleaning supplies
$65 Gift ( fruit basket for someone who is wrapping up chemotherapy)

So far this month, I’ve had 18 no spend days and managed to drink much more water this week.

Using my planner 📒 have been very helpful, with tracking habits.

Today I lounged around, didn’t leave for a thing. Watched a little news, finished reading “Debt Free Forever” and started “The Uncommon Millionaire.” What I’ve found is that the financial books I am reading are the same for the most part; however, I always learn something.

SO Update

November 23rd, 2019 at 12:45 pm

SO called this morning in tears. He said that his life is in shambles. He told me he sits and looks in the space that he’s living in and it looks a mess, because he doesn’t have a drawer to put his clothes in. He also said, he understands why, I wouldn’t want to be with him, and that if he was a woman, he wouldn’t want to be with him either.

He went on to say, he has nothing. He’s lost a ton of weight, over 15lbs, was extremely sick a few weeks ago and is to have out patient surgery but he doesn’t have the money (no insurance) to have the surgery. The mother is still not paying him, and the side jobs he gets, he’s barely making it.

The daughter with the baby needs counseling, I’ve told him over and over to get it for her, she’s extremely promiscuous, get her tested for STDs, and put on birth control. I’m not sure if he doesn’t want to face the truth, doesn’t have the money, or both.

It’s sad, though he’s super nice, but he’s ignorant when it comes to the mother and the daughter. I just simply listened. Once he was done, I told him, once you get angry, you’ll know what needs to be done and do it.

I’ve dated momma’s boys but this is absolutely crazy, he’s so afraid of upsetting her and the, that he can’t see he’s becoming unhealthy, mentally, physically and emotionally because of it.

He did thank me for being a friend.

Financial Advisor

November 19th, 2019 at 11:13 pm

As you all know, I’m trying to learn more about investing. I’m not quite ready yet, but would like to learn.

I met with a financial advisor today who told me, that I can take my rollover IRA, that I’ve contributed funds to after taxes, and roll back into my 401(k) on the job. Now, I’m not that knowledgeable but to my understanding this is a no-no and can be viewed and double dipping. I remember reaching out to a Fidelity adviser who informed me it wouldn’t be best to do that.

What’s your thoughts? I’m just looking for your input, and will definitely review on my own as well.

Electric Bill is In and It’s Down

November 16th, 2019 at 10:36 am

I love having the ability to track my electric bill daily, it helps me to manage my usage.

Yesterday was closing and I was at $69, I figured by time the bill generated today it would be about $72. Well I logged in and the amount due was $71.84. Yay!

On average I think the bill was about $130 a month. When SO other left, it was August and that bill was $158.67, the bill has consistently decreased since he left. I’ve seen about a 45% decrease. Honestly all my bills have decreased since he left, water, electricity, cable even my food and household items purchased have decreased. Though we lived somewhat like roommates, he cost me money. Honestly, though we remain friends, I’m glad he’s gone. That’s a different story.

I can’t wait to see the bill next month. I’m in Florida so we don’t have much of a winter ❄️; however, there are days in that it’s nice and cool and I can open my windows vs using the AC.

I’m considering a timer ⏱ for my water heater. Unfortunately, after I YouTubed how to install, I think I’ll feel more comfortable with an electrician installing vs. myself. I’m also considering a smart thermostat for the home.

Escrow Update

November 15th, 2019 at 05:06 pm

I had this escrow thing all screwed up. My analysis was completed and there will not be a no refund. Apparently I’m required to keep a certain amount in this account. 🙄🤦🏽‍♀️

My mortgage did decrease by $3, however.

I balanced my cash envelopes and under budget in all categories, that’s a win.

Friday and It’s Pay Day

November 15th, 2019 at 10:19 am

Today is pay day, and I can’t wait to Stuff my cash envelopes.

I’ve created the budget for this pay period; however, my cash envelopes are pretty healthy so I’m sure I’ll be returning some cash back to the bank and adding the extra to the EF. I’m staying focus. Refunding my EF, tackling the CC the student loans, in that order.

I woke up at 3 am, checked my accounts and the direct deposits hit. I paid the following
$951.10 mortgage
$200 extra on CC10 💳
$50 plot
$195.51 tithes

I saved a total of $344, this include the EF, sinking funds and IRA. I was able to bump my IRA, doubling, my contribution. I decided anytime I get a raise or bonus I’m adding to the IRA.

I checked my electric bill, today is the last day in the billing cycle, my current usage is $69, by the end of the day, I’m anticipating my bill should be about $72. I’m so excited. My bill has never been this low. I’ve managed to knock my electric bill down by more than half since the SO has been gone.

Guess What?

November 13th, 2019 at 11:33 pm

Guess what? I may have an opportunity to pick up another consulting gig. It’s a smaller company, and I will be their virtual HR practitioner. Because it’s a smaller company, and I won’t have to go in, I’d charge $200 a month. I pray I get it. That would mean an extra $1,000 a month total.

Other news, I’ve told my sister to stop calling me about things that are on sale, well she called today about QVC’s special value, a Roomba 🙄🤦🏽‍♀️. I just told her okay and hung up.

I’m so glad that I’m in a better place with my finances.

Today I did dine out, $8.51, I just felt like Mexican food and I was tired of eating the left overs from Sunday. I’ll freeze the rest of the leftovers tonight

Saving, Budget and Poshmark

November 13th, 2019 at 01:10 am

Took a look at the budget and I’m now able to bump my IRA contribution by an additional $25, it’s not much but hey it’s better than were I was, $0. This will bring the monthly contributions to $100.

I’ve also decided that any additional income, such as the consulting gig, I’ll take 10% of that earnings and add it to the IRA. The remaining will still go to the goal of savings six months of expenses for emergencies, once completed I’ll then tackling the CC and student loans. So long as I stay focus on this plan, I think everything will be good.

Next month I’m anticipating about $910 for the consulting. We’re adding a training so that’s the extra income.

Lastly, I sold an item on Poshmark, the buyer gave me five stars ⭐️, and I was able to cash out my $4.05. Selling on Poshmark is a very slow process but at least it’s extra cash for things I don’t want.

Happy Veterans Day!

November 11th, 2019 at 11:05 am

Happy Veterans’ Day to all who have served.

Sunday Updates

November 10th, 2019 at 05:40 pm

My ending EF balance December of 2018 was $8197.69 my goal is to not only get back to this balance but surpass it.

As you all know, I had the emergency legal fee of $5,000. I was so close to hitting the 6 month savings goal and then boom 💥. I am thankful that I had the money to pay 💰 the lawyer.

I checked the EF and my balance is $5,559.87, I’m estimating by the end of December 2019 my ending balance would be about $6900. 🤞🏾

There’s so many things I want, and to do but I realize, I need to stay focus. Focus on one thing at a time is a must. First thing is, I need to keep socking money into the EF, the goal is to have 6 months of living expenses, that’s 12k. Plus a little extra, for legal fees, until this issue with my brother is resolved. I’ve been laid off 3xs and thankfully I had money saved. Right now the average time to find a job is about 6-8 months.

I’m still throwing extra at the CC, about $300-$400 a month, hopefully by March/April this baby will be gone.

Next, I know my car will need to be replaced, she has 259,000 miles on her. I love that car (Camry) and I pray she hangs around at least two more years but at so many miles I don’t know. The goal is to have about $5,000 saved, so that I can buy a car cash.

Lastly, it’s the student loans and the mortgage. If all goes well, and I hit my EF savings goals by February, pay off CC10 by March/April, I can pay an extra $400-$500 a month on the student loans , an extra $100 a month on the mortgage, and bump my retirement contributions. That’s the plan.

In other news. SO has been extremely sick. I personally think he didn’t go to the doctor because he has no insurance or the money. He finally broke down and went to the hospital 🏥 yesterday. I told him, if what he was experiencing wasn’t life threatening, that they would stabilize him and send him home 🏡. And that’s exactly what happened. The ER doctor 👨🏽‍⚕️believes he has an ulcer. I told him that as well. The stress he’s experiencing is off the charts.

Any way they gave him two prescriptions and told him to follow up with a gastroenterologist. The prescription was $200, I offered to pay. It’s the helping others in me. He opted against it. I went online and found a prescription discount drug card, with the card, the prescription dropped to $29.

I’m praying for his sake, he gets his life together.

Friday update

November 9th, 2019 at 02:22 am

Checked my savings tracker and I’m...
* at 67% of my 6 months emergency fund savings goals
* 11% of my home repairs savings goal
* 11% of my new car/car repair savings
* 67% of my Christmas savings goal
* 75% of my professional development

This week I had five no spend days, and I only ate out once. I also had one item to sell on Poshmark, and cashed out $16 of rewards from BoA. I took my car to be repaired, nail in tire and the shop didn’t charge me. Winning 😉

I also updated my cash envelopes and I still have $293 left, awesome.

Lastly I called the bank regarding the escrow account and I was correct. The analysis will take place in December, a check will be issued, about $2,200.

Consulting Check Came In

November 8th, 2019 at 01:07 am

Received my first consulting gig payment today, $800. I’m so excited. My mind is all over the place on what I should do, save, debt, retirement. I realize that I really need to stay focus.

I decided to deposit the funds into my savings account and not touch it. One, my legal situation with my brother hasn’t been finalized as of yet, and the goal was to beef back up the savings to at least 3 months of expenses before I tackled the debt, gazelle intense. So the key is to focus.

I’ll stick with bumping the savings, plus I’m not sure how consulting will impact my taxes.

I was playing around with the MSMoney Software and I can track so many things regarding the consulting gig. I can track projects, mileage, invoice and document payments. I was worried about how I was going to account for these things. Feeling great about this.

Other news, things were crazy at the office, I ended up missing lunch and buying a $3 slice of pizza 🍕 on the run 🙄🤦🏽‍♀️

I sat in on Vanguard’s webinar EFT vs mutual funds, I think I’m more confused than I was prior. But I’m determined to learn more about investing

Tuesday Updates

November 6th, 2019 at 03:30 am

Day three for me and it’s been a no spend day. I also stayed away from sodas today 🥤 😃.

Regarding the consulting gig, I’ve managed to crank out three policies and a non-compete agreement. Thursday I go in for my weekly check in, hopefully things will go well. I’m keeping a spread sheet of my time, and mileage.

Friday, I have a HR conference, and looking forward to it. One, I always love learning, and two, I just need a day out of the office.

Health news, I finally got my mammogram done. For some reason I kept forgetting about this 🤦🏽‍♀️🙄. My employer has a wellness program, I received 400 points for completing the mammogram. I’m hoping to earn enough points to get an Apple Watch ⌚️. Right now I have a total of about $225 in gift cards in wellness credits, and $50 with Fetch. Not bad.


November 5th, 2019 at 10:25 am

Yesterday was a great day, no spend day and no dining out.

I sold an item on Poshmark as well.

I have a question, do you all think they’ll be another recession? If so, what do you think will be the cause? I saw this question on Twitter and was wondering everyone’s thoughts.
I personally think it will be a recession caused by fear. I’ve noticed that the job search has slowed down, people are staying put, it also seems as though people are buying less. I don’t know, I’m no economist

Budget Review - October

November 3rd, 2019 at 11:36 pm

Finally reviewed the October budget. Here are the numbers

Monthly income $3901.18, about a $100 less than I had budgeted for.

* Gas was $50 less than budgeted
* Electricity was $9.31 less than budgeted
* Water was $11.32 less than budgeted
* Charitable donations were over by $74.02, this was the Boy Scout donation and a charity brunch. I definitely have to watch this
* Dining out was over by $34.00, this included a surprise dinner with friends
* Gifts were also over by $37, I’d forgotten about the Halloween costume for my great nephews
* Groceries were under by $21.81
* Cleaning supplies under by $12.93
* Car insurance upped by $4.14. I’m going to start paying this every six months for the discount
* Hair care jumped, I forgot to include my monthly hair cut, and a special event I attended. I was over in this category by $165

I met my savings goals for all accounts except for my personal checking.

I’m a little disappointed with the budget, the hair care ( I can kick myself for) , donations, gifts and eating out line items killed me.

Lazy Day

November 3rd, 2019 at 07:33 pm

It’s been a lazy day. It’s been raining all day, and I just don’t feel like doing a thing, but I had to truck through it.

First, I hit Walmart and picked up groceries, $26. I used Ibotta pay to get the 1% cash back. It’s not much but he my it is free money, no matter small, it is worth it.

I then purchased a few personal items totaling $6.98. I like keeping my items separate when shopping, because I use the cash envelopes system.

After purchasing my items, I sat in the car and scanned my receipts, lol. I don’t know why but I enjoy scanning for points immediately.

I then headed over to Murphy USA for gas, $30. I have enough points for 80 cents off but I’m waiting until a week in that I do a ton of driving to use the fuel points.

Once home, I prepared dinner, chili. I made a large crockpot full for $7.98 for all the ingredients. Good thing about paying $7.98 for an entire pot is, it will last until about Tuesday or Wednesday.

Washed a load a clothes, hung them up to dry. My dryer is still on the blitz, I think it’s the element, I’ll be picking up the other from my uncle Saturday. To be honest, I don’t mind the line drying.

Now I’m just watching Magnificent Seven
I’ll probably take a look at last month’s spending and budget, this evening.

Satisfaction Surveys

November 3rd, 2019 at 05:47 pm

Just curious, do any of you complete the satisfaction surveys found on your receipts? I just recently started and was wondering who actually complete and if anyone has actually won anything?

No Spend Day

November 3rd, 2019 at 03:45 pm

Yesterday was my first no spend day in a while and the first for the month of November.

Today, I have a few errands, groceries to pick up, gas and return $20 to my checking out. I’d over budgeted cash for my personal care envelope.

After that it’s just rest mode. I have things to do but just don’t feel like it, but I’ll tackle this evening.

The parity I went to last night was nice, I was over dressed but hey at least I didn’t buy anything to wear.

As we move into the holidays, I’m hoping this does not become a spendy kind of a year. I’ve been saving but I just got invited to a good family friends daughter’s baby shower. I knew she was pregnant but for some reason a shower didn’t cross my mind lol

Then there is work

Property Taxes, Insurance and Escrow

November 2nd, 2019 at 08:09 pm

Ugh received my tax bill and it’s $2,000, the ad valorem crap that’s on the invoice, I voted no on before I owned a home. It ticks me off that people don’t educate themselves before voting on things. That’s a different topic.

My insurance renewal came in at about $950, not bad compared to other rates.

Now when I check my escrow account the balance is about $4200, so it’s obvious I’m well over. Now I need your help. Given this years taxes and insurance is about $1200 less than estimated. What should I expect? 1) will I get the money back? 2) Will it rollover to next years and my monthly payments reduce? Or 3) I’ll receive a refund, and payment will still reduce?

Next I have an event tonight, I’m wearing a dress in my closet. My sister calls to tell me she found me a jumpsuit. I tell her I don’t have the money and I’m wearing my dress. She insists on buying and I pay her back. I told her no. What is wrong with people?

Side Hustle = Exhausted

November 2nd, 2019 at 04:12 am

I came home and crashed. The consulting gig wore me out this week. I’ve got to figure out how to manage this or I’ll get discouraged. I sent my invoice off today, they have ten days to pay.

I’ve been using Google’s drive to track the hours worked with them, my mileage and tasks I’ve completed. I also created a shareable folder for the Company in that I will download items.

I decided the first few checks with them I’m going to save. I prayed about this and something keeps telling me to save the money.

When the legal stuff started, I had to literally deplete my savings, and though I’m not back to where I was initially, I’ve managed to bump it up, quite a bit. I’ve decided that extra cash, will go to putting the savings back to the $6,000 (three months of expenses) plus an extra two in case anything legal pops up, so $8k is the cut off. Once I’m there, I can start tackling the CC. I’m still paying extra but for those of you who follow me, my peace of mind means everything, slow and steady wins the race.

I haven’t heard from my attorney so I figure no news is good news. I really feel comfortable with her, and I’m not worried.

Other news, because I’ve been so busy with the consulting job, for two days I ate out. November was suppose to be no spend month 🤦🏽‍♀️🙄. I’m getting back on track.

Yesterday was pay day, and I always look forward to filling my cash 💰 envelopes ✉️ but I was so tired, I came home and crashed 💤.

SO stopped by to trim my hair and I was too tired to get up. I slept for about four hours. Now it’s midnight and I’m tackling the envelopes ✉️

I did speak with SO after I woke up for a few minutes. I thought when he came in, and spoke it sounded as if he was crying but honestly I was so exhausted I couldn’t move. When we spoke, after I woke up, he told me that when he looks in the mirror he’s disappointed in himself. I shared with him, the good thing is, you have the opportunity to make a change. I’m praying for him. I know he’s capable but fear holds him back. Other good news for him, is that he was so frustrated with the mother, she didn’t pay him again, that he told a client to make the checks payable to him. So there’s hope. I want to say that this woman hasn’t paid him in about two months. She’s actually gotten worst since he and I broke up.
I’m afraid he’s falling into depression