Today I found two of my great nephews birthday gifts at Walmart for $5. I’d budgeted about $25 each, I’m feeling so excited. Though one’s birthday is the end of February and the other is in May, I just feel really great that I was able to score such a great gift at a low rate. It’s a Discovery STEM kit.
I also polished my nails, something I missed doing. They came out great and I saved about $15 doing it myself. 💅🏾
Viewing the 'Budget' Category
Ended the month with a bang.
For 31 days I challenge myself not to eat out and did just that. It was tough but I did it. So I transferred $31 from my cash envelopes to a saving challenge envelopes.
My word of the year is Fearless, the challenge was to save the amount corresponding with each letter (number) of the alphabet. For example A is the first letter so $1, F is the 6th so $6. Doing this I saved $61 and to my challenge envelope.
Next I started the 52 week challenge and socked away five weeks. I’m trying to figure out how I can go backwards.
Total for January’s challenges $107, not bad.
I’m pretty sure for January I came in under budget in most categories, knocked out about $800 in debt, and saved at least 20% of my income. I’ll be reviewing my budget today but I’m sure my numbers are pretty accurate.
These little challenges help me to prepare my meals at home and to come in under budget with my cash envelopes. I plan on challenging myself each month socking away the challenge money in an envelope. I can’t wait to see how much I save just from challenging myself. I think I’ve regained my motivation.
In my head, I say take the money saved at the end of the year and have fun, but my heart says, throw it at debt. Debt sucks
Freezing. Tuesday we were told to buckle up and watch out for falling iguanas. Well yesterday it was in the 40s 🥶 and the iguanas 🦎 were everywhere 🙄🤦🏽♀️
Having been born in Florida and lived here my entire life, 40s is like below zero for me. However, I put my PJs on, loaded my bed 🛌 with blankets and guess what? I was okay. I thought I’d wake up freezing and too nervous to get out of bed to turn the heat 🔥 on, but I didn’t.
The blankets definitely kept me warm. If I can keep this up, my electric bill should be really low, like $40 bucks.
It’s been a game for me to keep my electric bill down, I love the challenge of getting it lower, I average about $10 less each month.
Other news, day 23 and I did not eat out, not even a soda 🥤. I’ve been doing very well, I’m striving for 31 days.
I’ve also had about 21 days of not spending money as well.
Today I received my reimbursement of $160 for my professional certification, I’m so exited. I can officially stop this sinking fund now, I’ve met my goal of $500. The $25 I was throwing at this account will go to the car fund since I literally cleaned it out last month with close to a $800 repair.
Tomorrow is pay day and I came in under budget by $87 with my cash envelopes. I transferred $41 to my challenge envelope for January, brining my total cash saving for the month so far to $94.
Oops lastly, I decided to create a few charts to track my payoffs, thanks for the tip everyone. I’ve also decided to use undebit, I’m feeling excited about it.
So far this month I’ve paid off $664 on CC10, things are really moving along in the credit card 💳 front.
I’m also participating in a few saving challenges, word of the month, no dining out and, 52 Week Challenge.
Basically the word of the month, you select a word and the corresponding letter of the word in the alphabet you save. For example your word is save. S is the 19th letter, A is the first, so I’d save $19, and $1.
For each day I do not dine out, I add $1. I’m taking the funds from my cash envelopes ✉️ , forcing me to try and come in under budget.
I’ll admit, it’s been tough but I’m liking it, the challenges that is.
However; I have a question, how do you all stay motivated? I’m so tired at times. Though I’m paying off debt, my student loans continue to grow, and on paper the debt seems to not decrease. Last year was the year I was to begin to tackle the student loans, then I got hit with the lawsuit. At times I feel defeated. I know I can do it, but lately I’m just bummed about it.
And the dryer issue continues.
I called a second electrician come out and check the electric, I’m just paranoid, and he said all was fine. He didn’t charge me a fee for coming out so I tipped him $20.
The second dryer I receive was used and the other one was over 10 years old, so it must be the dryers. All in all this has been a headache.
Though I have the funds in my home repair account, I’m going to try and pay with cash using the money from the side gig to purchase the dryer. I was hoping to throw that money at CC10 💳 but Murphy decided to visit. These last two months I’ve shelled out a ton, but I’m thankful I have the cash. My washer has been on the brink as well, it’s not draining some times, fully. It’s over 10 years old.
After reviewing the budget, I have about $900 extra. I’ll use this to get the new dryer and washer. I was going to buy used, but I’ve had nothing but problems with this last dryer.
I need to save the money in the home repair account to get the shutters placed on the villa before hurricane season kicks in.
The electrician did tell me to keep the plugs for the appliances because now when you buy any appliance the plugs don’t come with it, 🤦🏽♀️🙄 what a rip off.
I ended up decluttering and throwing out some things in the laundry room. I found a ton of paper towels 🧻 and plates. I’ll throw them in my hurricane supply container.
Well final cost to repair my car $776.26
The funds actually came out of the sinking fund that I save for car repair and a new car. I sort of feel defeated but I am thankful for being able to pay cash for the repair. I literally knocked my car sinking fund down to zero. I went ahead and got my headlights cleaned, cost was $80. It had become increasingly difficult to see at night. I’d tried the toothpaste remedy and other stuff but nothing cleaned them. Pray fully I can the get the sinking fund back up.
Today was pay day, and I wasn’t able to add extra to the CC 😢. So I’m feeling really down.
Needless to say, I socked away about $344 to sinking and emergency fund.
Added to my IRA. I almost changed the amount by $25 less, but opted not to. I need to stick with the plan, of bumping my IRA contributions every year.
I paid a few miscellaneous bills, and tithed. Today I’ll be stuffing my cash envelopes.
Next month is a better month. I should be able to throw about an extra $300 to the CC, and $400 to my car fund.
I set the bar high for 2020, the goal is to pay off $20k in debt. I know it’s going to be tough but if I keep a lean budget, blog so that I’m held accountable, I think, no, I know I can do it.
I’ve got to stay focus and determine as it pertains to paying down debt and saving. Though this year wasn’t too bad, I just feel like I should be further along
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.
$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.
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.
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.
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
$200 extra on CC10 💳
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.
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.
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.
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.
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