Home > Archive: May, 2022

Archive for May, 2022

Holiday Weekend

May 30th, 2022 at 08:58 pm

I’m so glad that I live in an area where people come to vacation. This weekend was fabulous. I pretty did a staycation right at my home. 


Friday kicked off the weekend with Bible study, Saturday and Sunday were both pool days, self-facial and manicure and today I just relaxed. Time usually goes by quickly but having the opportunity to do absolutely nothing it actually dragged. Lol. 


I also got my itinerary ready for my upcoming trip. After my last trip I learned to plan my days. Day one, they’ll be 2-3 places I’ll visit, I’ve already reached out to a driver for quotes. Day 2, I’m booking a full day tour, waiting to hear from the rest of the travelers. If I don’t hear back by Wednesday, I’m booking my tour, can’t sit around and wait on folks.  Day 3 is a beach day, some window shopping and photoshoot. Day four we head home, so I’ll relax that day.  


I’ll have complimentary breakfast at the hotel. The full day tour includes pick up, ferry rides, and lunch. That’s $245. I think it’s worth it since I’ll be hitting a few islands and chances are I won’t be returning to this country in the near future. Since the family is going on this trip there’s no need to purchase souvenirs. I’ll just get a refrigerator magnet and a beach/pool bag for myself. I’m estimating $600 total and this include the photo and tour. 


This trip was planned and paid for prior to my return from Greece so there’s no backing out. Travel insurance doesn’t cover this type of cancellation. 


I was a little annoyed once I found out about my contract but now I’m excited about going and everything is paid for in cash. 

On a different note, I'm not sure what happened to my Memorial Day post, I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend;however, let us not forget those who made the ultimatel sacrifice.


May 30th, 2022 at 02:57 pm

Looks like the blogs maybe acting up 

Great Sunday

May 30th, 2022 at 02:47 am

Today was such a good day I've been trying not to stress about everything coming my way. 

The HOA sent another letter regarding my roof, this was resolved last year. I'll have to call them Tuesday. 


The day started out with a two-mile round trip,  trip to Walmart. Then I headed to the pool and spent about four hours. I got to read a few chapters of my book while at the pool.  


After the pool, I gave myself a mini facial and then watched “Top Gun” the original. I can't believe I have never seen that movie. 

I ended up ordering pizza, I wasn't in the mood to cook, then applied for a few gigs. Then gave myself a mini manicure. 


It was such a great day

Settlement Check Received, What’s Next?

May 28th, 2022 at 11:05 am

The settlement check arrived yesterday and I decided on the following:

  • Save the HOA and mortgage payment 
  • Pay my tithes
  • Round up my savings to $17,000
  • Round up my car fund to $1000
  • The rest will be used for the kitchen, anything left over goes to the EF. 


I am going with the bare minimum on the kitchen. I really wanted taller cabinets but at this time I need to be realistic, taller cabinets aren't a must it's a want, and costs a lot more. The cabinets are a must, just not the size, they're falling off the hinges. I was going to replace them during the holidays but since the valves gave out, as well as the refrigerator, I decided to just go ahead and do it. 


Home Depot has a credit card offer. I decided to apply, it's no interest for six months on purchases. I plan to purchase the cabinets, and whatever the total amount is, transfer that money to the home improvement account to make monthly payments. Total will be divided by six, so if the cabinets are $2,000 each month I will pay, $333.33. 


When I land another gig before the six months, I'm speaking it, I'll just pay in full and take the money saved and either pay the student loan or throw it at EF, this is all contingent upon what happens with the student loan forgiveness or interest-free extension. However,  if there is no new gig, and I don't think this will be the case, I'll make the payments for six months interest-free since I would have already set the money aside. 


A client that I worked with in the past picked me back up so for about two months I'll have some income coming in, about $4k a month for two months. This money I'm using for the bare minimums (e.g. Mortgage, water, electric) and saving the rest. The good thing is I got my household bills down to about $1500 a month, including the mortgage. It's true what they say, pay off your debt! It makes a huge difference, coming up with $1500 a month is a lot easier than $3000. 


In addition to the part-time gig, I also picked up a few more articles that pay about $100 an article, these cover my grocery and household cleaning items. 


I'll continue to look for contracts and full-time work but I'm praying for contracts only. 


Oh one more thing, thank you to Lots of Ideas, DW, and all those who read my blog. You all are amazing. You provide such sound advice. I'll be checking those SS future payments and figuring out what I need to do. 


I'm not sure who told me on one of my investment posts to focus on index funds, ut i did. I had been following VTI and took the plunge to pick up a few shares, not much because I couldn't afford a lot but a few. It was a fund that I was watching for some time anyway, and when things took a dive i remembed the commen about index funds  and  jumped on it. I'm glad to report that VTI is doing extremely well. I know it will have its ups and downs but over the last week, I've seen positive gainsand. I have to laugh who would have thought that six months ago I’d be using the language “positive gains”. Lol. 


I can't wait to be able to start back contributing more than the $100 a month to my IRA, I got my eyes on another fund, that's been doing great. 


Thank you all for your help and support. 

Saving & Debt Payments

May 27th, 2022 at 11:33 am

I received my $800 payment from my long-term client,  paid my tithes of $80 and I have $720 left. I plan on keeping $500 in my checking account and using $200 towards savings and debt.


I always struggle with how much to save, pay towards my snowball but for savings I decided to round up and for debt I decided to round down. 


So for today I will be saving or paying the below: 


$29.63 EF

$13.04 car fund

$16.96 baby EF 

$15 vacation fund 

$50 student loan

$68.59 mortgage 

$20 IRA 


I'm so upset that I won't be meeting my June goal of paying off my student loan; however, I have to remember that I came a very long way and by the grace of God I was able to do what I have done. Actually, the goal was to pay it off by December but I was doing so well that I thought jube would be the month. 


I think that when I get the settlement check rather than paying the September mortgage and the November HOA, put that money aside. My thinking is I should land a job/contract by then and the money saved I'll just throw it at my student loan. If I don't get a gig well at least I know I have the money. 


Seems like saving and paying debt is the story of my life. I can't wait to reach financial freedom. But is that such a thing? 

Free Food

May 26th, 2022 at 06:32 pm


God is such a blessing. I’m a big believer that when you do the right thing, blessings come. 


A former co-worker that I stay in contact with visited with me yesterday. I had gotten her a small token from my trip. She always tells me how good God is and that she’s praying for me. We had such a great conversation, pretty much about everything. 


Anyway she had mentioned that she goes to the food pantry because she still hasn’t found work. She also mentioned that she is now vegan and that when she gets meat she gives it to her neighbors. 


Well today she called and said she had meat for me. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently at the party your can’t pick and choose everything is in a box. So rather than trashing she shares. 


The funny thing is I walked to the grocery store looked at the meat and thought this is so expensive, I’ll wait until I go to Wal*mart and low and behold she calls to tell me she has meat for me. 


God is awesome. 

Productive Morning

May 26th, 2022 at 01:43 pm

All before 9 am I managed to walk two miles going to the grocery store, complete an article for a $100 gift card, send two follow-up emails, apply for a few jobs,  updated my MSMoney software with my spending and updated my planner. 


I was able to pick up some BOGO items, rice and cereal. This works out because I can add the cereal to my hurricanes supplies. I also picked up some grapes, total spent was  $8.30. So essentially I got five items at about $1.66 each. Not bad given to cost of food. Next week I’ll have to drive because water is 3 for $10 and I’m stocking up for hurricane season. 


By walking to the store I not only get my exercise in but save on gas as well. 


Getting back from vacation was tough, adjusting to the time change and just getting back to the groove of things was so challenging. I really was demotivated to do anything these last few weeks. 


Credit Score

May 25th, 2022 at 04:56 pm

Checked my credit score and I'm at 845. I can't believe it. I know Dave Ramsey is against credit scores but I'm here for it. I have paid off a ton of debt that has helped this number increase. Periodically I use my credit cards and pay them off immediately so that they don't close. 


I'm hoping that once I get this debt paid off I can get a rental property, so I want to maintain my score. 


I remember just a few years back being in the 600s. 


May 25th, 2022 at 09:32 am

Well I received an email that my settlement check after legal fees is $9800. First thing I’m doing is paying my tithes, one extra mortgage and HOA. Then socking a little to my EF account. 


Now I’ll start pricing out my kitchen cabinets. I’m estimating about $1500 total. Appliances are on the high end, I’m not sure if I’ll get used or not. I also have to replace all the valves in my home because they won’t shut off from the inside.  I’m hoping I come in under 5k for everything. We will see. 


I’m glad to be getting this check but upset that everything in the house is falling apart, well seems like it anyway. 


I applied for a few positions, reached out to a friend who is a recruiter and shared that  I’m looking for work, and I also reached out to the guy who got me the NY gig, and asked that he keeps me on his radar for any upcoming projects. Hopefully something pans out. 


I’m enjoying this little respite though. I feel like I need a break coming from Europe (jet lag), and dealing with all the home repairs that greeted me upon my return. Yesterday I spent the day at the pool, it was just me and I loved every minute of it. Our community pool can be busy so I'm thankful for the days when it's only me. 

Another Mass Shooting

May 24th, 2022 at 09:24 pm

I'm so over these mass shootings I can scream. One can be pro-gun and pro-gun control. I'm sick of seeing these kids murdered. 



Monday Updates

May 24th, 2022 at 12:58 am



First thing I did this morning was submit my monthly invoice to my long term client for $800. I then reviewed and updated an article that I’ll get paid $100 in gift cards. 

Next, I applied for a few jobs and consulting gigs. I’ll be honest, I want to do consulting work. I’m praying that this pans out and is long term. I do not want to go back into the office. I like working for myself, it’s the flexibility I enjoy most, as well as the money made. 


I’ve decided that before I do anything when I get the settlement check I’m going to pay my September mortgage, and an additional HOA payment. I’d rather be ahead on the payments since I have no clue when additional funds will come in. The remainder I’ll use to replace the valve, kitchen cabinets and paint. Though this was to be done late this year or early 2023, with how crazy things have been going I’ve decided to just take care of it. 


I went to my first white cost ceremony, it was absolutely beautiful, I'm so proud of my friend. She's been accepted to the anesthesiologist assistant program, keep her in prayer, I know this will be tough. 


Walking vs. Driving

May 22nd, 2022 at 01:51 pm

I forgot to add garlic to my shopping list when I picked up groceries from Wal*mart yesterday, so I grabbed my keys and walked to Publix. 


I needed to go to the bank as well and it’s in the same plaza so it worked out. 


The walk is about two miles total/round trip. I’m so happy to have done this, one it keeps me on track with my walking/exercise routine, and secondly I’m saving on gas. 


Wal*mart is a bit too far to walk, about 3 miles total. I tried that walk last week and was exhausted. I’ll walk to Publix if I have one or two items to pick up or if I need to go to the bank. This should help with gas. Now that I think about it, I have a Wal*mart grocery center that is much closer than their super center. That’s about a mile each way, I’ll go there instead. 

i like the idea of walking vs. driving. I've been considering doing this for quite some time and now I'm finally doing it. 

Meal Planning & Wal*Mart

May 21st, 2022 at 09:01 pm

After the refrigerator went out, I had to throw everything away, chicken, salad dressing, ice cream, etc. 

I’m annoyed about this but what can I do. 


I took today to plan my meal for the week, I decided on spaghetti with a salad, and chicken and rice. 


After figuring out what I would be preparing, I decided to order online for pick up, this way I’m not tempted to add anything else to my cart. This is the first time I’ve done this with groceries. It was pretty easy, I’m just waiting now for an alert that my order is ready. 


One thing I did do was place my order through iBotta. iBotta had $4 cashback on orders over $35 placed through their app. I checked the prices via the Wal*Mart app first because some stones going through iBotta are more expensive. I’m glad I decided to go through iBotta because every little bit helps. My order was $37, with the rebate it’s $4. 







May 20th, 2022 at 10:42 am

It was bugging me that I couldn't pay the typical amounts I normally pay on my student loan but I wanted to pay something so $25 it was. The new balance on loan number three is $7,950. 

I figured something is better than nothing. 


I get a check from another client this month for $800, I'm going to use this for some of the repairs I have to have done around the house. I wish so badly I could throw this at my debt but here we are. 


Other financial news. I had to get gas yesterday, to fill up my Camry, it was $71.00. I couldn't believe it. Two years ago it was about $30. I'm so thankful that I'm not driving into work, this would kill me. I would have to fill up weekly, now it's every 30-days or so. It might be longer because I now walk to the grocery store. 


I also went to Walmart. I noticed my waterpik stopped working so I needed a new one, cost me $40. Then I needed a filter for my sink. The new faucet didn't have one, and there were particles in the water, that was $30. SMH. 


Next I needed detergent, bleach, and dishwasher liquid, all in all I spent almost $90 on four items. My God! I don't know how families are doing it. 


Things are not going to get any better. I've been saying since 2020, that we are in a recession; it's just that most of us aren't feeling it and now we are starting to feel it. I'm so nervous about what is to come. 


I need to start preparing for hurricane season, because not only are things scarce they're expensive. 

And It Continues to Rain

May 20th, 2022 at 01:47 am

Well I have to get a new water heater and change the valves (all) in the house. 

The plumber came out and capped off the ice maker, the water wouldn't shut off because the valves are old. Like the handyman, he told me to change the valves. He stated that he shouldnt have to go outside to turn the water off. He changed the one in the kitchen and told me to do them all. 

This has been one heck of a week.

Everything is falling apart. My kitchen cabinets are barely holding on and I was trying to hold out until the end of the year, when I paid off the student loan, but I'm going to just take the settlement money and get the water heater, cabinets and valves.

I have needed a new bedroom set for a few years, now the bottom drawers are collapsing. Why now I don't know.  

This really sucks. Life 

I Need a Break

May 19th, 2022 at 02:04 pm

I really need a break. Today my waterpik stop working, this will cost another $30-$50. 


Then I went to the bank to exchange my euros only to get there to have left some of the money. SMH. 


Groceries are so high, I have to start getting prepared for hurricane season, water has skyrockted. It's a never ending story. 


I have no idea why all these things are happening but they are and I'm exhausted.


Edited to add I now need a new water heater  

When It Rains It Pours!

May 19th, 2022 at 10:22 am

When it rain it pours. 


Yesterday I was able to get a used refrigerator. Well, my ex came by to help me put the old one out before picking up the new one. 


While doing so we found a copper line running from the refrigerator. I told him it had to be the ice maker. Well, he called his brother who is a handyman, and he tried walking him through how to disconnect by turning the water off. He (ex) couldn't find the valve and I told him several times to just leave it. I'll have the company (appliance store) to deliver and pay, they should know how to disconnect. 


Long story short, he called his cousin who walked him through, cousin is a plumber, and now I have no running water in the kitchen. I told him a 100xs to just leave it. Apparently, something is clogging the pipes. I really didn't want to be spending any extra money. I don't fault him because my dishwasher stop draining some time ago and my ice maker stop making ice so it was bound to happen but why now? I can't help but think if he had just left it alone as I instructed I would have water and a least when the appliance company came if the water had stopped I could pay the company to fix it right then and there.


More money being spent. Unbelievable  

Quick Update

May 18th, 2022 at 10:38 pm

Well, I paid the HOA and COBRA bills for three months. I paid two months on the mortgage because the website didn't update and I want to make sure my payments are applied to both June and July, before I pay August. 


I'm so glad I did this because I don't know what may happen as far as income goes. 


I also purchased a used refrigerator for $214 with tax. Thankfully my ex will pick it up for me, so there is no delivery charge. Though it's not the color I was looking for I'm glad I was able to get a good used one. 


I got the news that the payment for my settlement was received, after legal fees I'm expecting about $8500. I'm just going to save this money. 


I also saved a total of $433.27, I rounded up to the nearest $50 for all my savings account. I'm a big believer of putting something up, no matter how small for rainy days. So, I wanted to make sure I socked away something since money will be right. I'll update my sidebar later. 


Lastly, in regards to finances, I have about 310 euros left and will exchange those tomorrow for US dollars, I checked and it will be $308.


In nonfinancial news, one of the travelers I went on the trip with, admitted that the trip was poorly planned and that he too was very disappointed. I was really surprised because I thought it was just me. He stated that there were quite a few days that he was very upset with us not spending any time at some location visited and also that we had too many things planned for one day. 


That's it for now. 


May 17th, 2022 at 09:07 pm

So I get home and now my refrigerator is out. I went to two used appliance stores with no luck. Now I'm looking into purchasing a brand new one and they're not going to be available for some time. This is so frustrating. Thankfully I have a small one in my home office. 


Yesterday, it cost me $60 to replace my driver-side seatbelt latch. It was acting up before I left and I was planning on ordering upon my return but I thought I had sometime. Anyway, it gave out, and thankfully it was in stock and the SO was able to install, so no labor fee. 


Murphy seems to be hitting me from all sides. I'm happy for my EF but it makes me nervous when I have to use it. 


Its only Tuesday and I already feel like giving up. 


Feeling Down!

May 17th, 2022 at 01:41 pm

I decided to pay three months of mortgage, HOA, and COBRA. After my conversation with the TPA yesterday, he informed me that it appears as though my contract will be ending. I was really hoping to have paid off my third student loan by June but looks like this won't be happening. 


I'm so bumbed by this. I really wanted this loan gone by June. I feel I worked so hard to have come to halt. I know should be thankful for what I have paid off so far, and I am but I am still hurt by this. 


May 16th, 2022 at 10:00 am

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have had traveled abroad, though the trip was not what I expected, to say I've been to Greece is a plus.  

After traveling for 23-hours, I can say I finally made it home. After a review of things, I found that I am at fault, rather than relying on others to plan the trip, I should have been more involved in the planning,  asked a ton of questions, and shared my expectations. 


What I learned was that you can’t travel with everyone, including friends. One traveler was solely traveling for social media likes so we would get to a location after traveling for hours only to spend thirty minutes for a photo-op, while the other was so “cheap” and inconsiderate of time, that the trip ended up costing way more than I anticipated/budgeted (penny wise pound foolish).


Things were so poorly plan; for example, I didn’t get the itinerary, that I asked for multiple times, until the day before (couldn’t make heads or tails of it once received),  there was only one key to the places we were staying so it forced us in many cases to travel together, also transportation wasn’t figured out prior to the trip, so we wasted a ton of time trying to get transportation. At one point we couldn’t even get a rental car. 

 I take responsibility in this, I assumed because I had no experience traveling internationally and they did, that things would be great, and that a plan would be set in motion.
 You don’t have to have travel abroad to plan things accordingly. Lesson learned. 


My next trip is to the islands, this one is with family. Lodging and transportation are already arranged. The good thing is, if I want to go off and do things on my own I can. I’m actually planning my days and the things I want to do and see. I found a local driver, at a reasonable cost through a travel group, identified things I want to see and made a list. I’ll be mapping things out, so I can get a clear picture of how long it will take to commute to significant sites and estimate costs. 


Now it’s time to tackle my finances. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the person that I was working with,  my biggest contract, is no longer with the organization, so I’m not sure where things are. I have a call tomorrow to touch bases with the TPA who got me the gig. Fingers crossed because I was relying on this to pay off student loan number three(3), now I’m going to pause the extra payments until I get definite answers and a feel of how things will go. 


Because of this, I decided to pay June and July’s mortgage, HOA, and  COBRA. Though I have a great deal of savings, I don’t like to touch it, and I only want to in case of a real emergency like no money coming in, and since I have the money to pay these things (I received my last contract payment before I left), I am. You never know. 


The good news is, a former client reached out to me to work on a project for a few weeks. We are scheduled to chat some time this week. This should bring in about $2-4k a month. I’ll throw a little at the student loan but I won’t be as aggressive. I’m just thankful for income. It seems like God is always one step ahead of me. 


That’s it so far, I’ll update my expenses and share over the next few days. 

Ready To Go

May 14th, 2022 at 08:08 am

 I honestly cannot wait to go home. Today we fly out at midnight, then there is a eight-hour delay, smh. I had no idea this guy booked a return flight with an eight hour delay. I was reading one hour, but clearly I was wrong. He is so cheap, this  is not being frugal. In my opinion cheap is when one is a penny wise and a pound foolish. 



Yesterday  we went to a shopping area and was to meet up in a hour. Well, guess what they were almost one hour late returning. I started to catch a cab but didn't because I didn't have a key to get into the Airbnb. 


There were some good days; however for the most part I've been ready to go. The way things were set up I actually spent more than I had budgeted and spent a tremendous amount of time wasting time. We wasted a ton of time, having been here for 18 days, it's ridiculous. On average we spent 5-6 hours just commuting 


Now I see why a friend of mine travels alone. I think I'm going to do this. 


Vacation - Long Post Alert

May 13th, 2022 at 07:12 am

Long post alert! 

Whew, I’m still on vacation and I’m so looking forward to going home. 


This trip started out very rocky, but is ending pretty good. One thing I’ve learned is to be mindful of who you travel with. 


First, I’d asked the group for our itinerary, multiple times. The people I am traveling with are international travelers so I trusted their judgment. Long story short, I didn’t receive the itinerary until the day before we left and couldn’t make heads or tails of it. So I decided to go with the flow. First sign this would be a mess. 


Next, we were scheduled to leave for the airport at a certain time but left late. I hate rushing but okay. 


We landed but had no transportation to our Airbnb. My second clue was that this would be a mess. It was late and one of the travelers was attempting to barter with a taxi, in the cold late at night mind you, over 7 euros that would have been split 3 ways, for a total of 2.33 Euros. The taxi ended up leaving us and taking someone else, he found one that was the seven euros less than he wanted to pay. 


The next issue, as we couldn't get into the Airbnb, when we finally did the place was filthy, but I made it work since we were only there a few days. 


On day one, after a 16-hour flight and no rest, the group decided to tour. So I went along because of the way things were set up, if they locked the door, there was no way for me to get out or turn on the lights. Fire hazard, πŸ™„ I had no choice but to go. 


We had no car so we walked everywhere for hours. My legs became extremely sore to the point I thought I was going to have to go to the ER. I texted my niece who is in health care and she told me to put on my compression socks. That made a huge difference, but I was still sore. Long story short, the group could care less about my legs and wanted to walk 40 minutes to catch a $12 bus to take us two hours away because paying a cab about 100 euros, which would be split was too much. Thank goodness it was too late to take the trip. 

There's a second piece to this but too much to type. 


Needless to say, we left that location and headed to the next. I decided to hire a personal driver for a few hours since my legs were still somewhat sore. I'm glad I did. I got to see so much vs had I been walking with them. 


To wrap things up, we spent more time in vehicles (e.g. Cars, cabs, ferries) than touring, seeing the area. I feel like I missed so much. One day we visited two sites for a total of two hours, about one each but we spent a total of 8 hours on the road. I'll make another post about this later. 


Financial news 

While on vacation I got word that the HR manager who wanted to hire me full-time is no longer with the company. I'm nervous because I make about 8k a month with them. Fingers crossed that this contract doesn't end. 


So for now, I'm going to slow down on my student loan payments. I'll still pay extra but the kit is aggressive. 


I picked up another contract for about 2-3k a month but this will cover my everyday bills. 


I had booked my trip to Turks & Caicos already so too late to cancel. The total for that trip is $1000. I'm traveling with my family so no drama there