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Archive for October, 2011

What's coming up in the next 6 months

October 29th, 2011 at 01:13 pm

Here's what's coming up that I am budgeting for:

November:

Thanksgiving. Budget $20.00. Decided to have a more relaxed holiday this year. Yes, I am staying home and cooking. I might go to my brother's for dessert. I already have my turkey, bought on sale, in the freezer and most all the fixins from harvesting and canning this fall. Just need to decide on desserts.

December:

Two birthdays: Budget $75.00 each. We will go out to eat and they will get a gift.

In the past, I have spent a lot of money on Christmas. I buy for my children (26 year old boy with his fiance, whose 24, a 20 year old girl and 17 year old boy), my husband, my oldest son's dad, 7 nieces and nephews.


So far I have gotten a few good deals.

Brita Water Faucet filtration system: $2.00 money maker after coupons and rebate. (son and fiance)
Nalgene water drinking bottle, free with $4.00 S$H.
Vintage carpet bag purse, $19.99 (daughter's birthday)
Hanes sweatshirt $1.06 (husband)
Nightlight $6.35 (daughter)
Total Money Makeover Book $10.60 (oldest son)

I do have specific items that will need to be purchased for my family, so I am watching for the deals.

We are also putting together a food gift basket for a needy family and are buying a couple presents for the children on the needs list at our church.

January:

My month for Bunco. My theme is Hawaiian and my budget is $50. I found the cutest plates, cups and napkins at the dollar store. I will make a dessert and have coffee, water and a virgin pina colada drink. Just need to find the gifts, which after the holidays will be a great time for this.

February and March:

Baby shower in March for my future granddaughter. I already have some of the plans figured out. I need to figure out a budget and start looking for what I need in January, February and March. I would like to have yellow daffadils and pink tulips, but all that is in the stores right now are mums and poinsettas. Once Christmas is over, all the spring stuff will come out and get me inspired.

April:

Easter and the planning of the 2012 season opening of the beach club.

Well, that is a far as I can get right now.

A Glance at my Budget and Efforts

October 25th, 2011 at 07:39 pm

My total living expenses, which are regular bills, debt repayment, groceries and gas, comes to roughly $2500 a month.

My Income is:

$1575 directly deposited into my checking from my regular job.

$170 - the house I clean twice a month (I am adding more houses after the holidays).

$3,379.46 for my 2011 summer seasonal beach job (Memorial Day to Labor Day, which includes what I charge to clean the club for rentals). This was directly deposited into my savings account for my emergency fund. I have dipped into this cash to pay property taxes, and the most recent $1000 for the items listed in my previous entry. I now need to rebuild.

$20/day for each 2 hours in the morning I babysit the children next door. This is sporadic and usually comes to between $120 - $200 extra each month. This job runs through the school year. I have been putting this money in a seperate savings. I should have somewhere between $1200 and $2000, by the time the school season is over in this account.

I get sparadic amounts of money from my husband when he is working. I try not to rely on this income, and use this for any extras (savings, gifts, debt repayment, whatever is needing to be paid). I would like to try to allocate different amounts of this money to different categories (rebuilding my emergency fund, Christmas, debt repayment, etc.) This is the biggest part I am working on.

Debt Repayment Goal:

I have not been using my credit cards and slowly paying down my debt. I plan on using my 2011 Income Tax return to help eliminate debt. I might also use the money I am saving from babysitting to put towards my debt next June, once I re-evaluate where I am at after I apply my income tax return.

My snowball says a little over 4 years if I keep paying what I have allocated each month, but if I add some windfalls, I will be out of debt earlier. My goal is to not have any debt come January 2013, which is 15 months away. I know it sounds ambitious, but it is a goal that I think I can attain if I just stay focused, or at least have eliminated a good size amount of.

I have reduced my spending on groceries, but have found that lately I have been spending more due to my stocking up with using coupons, which in the long run will save me money.

My recent purchases was Shampoo/Conditioner. They were on sale and I had 20 B1G1 free coupons, so I took advantage of the sale and stocked up. This saved me over $90 and I am hoping to repeat the process when our stock gets low again.

I also purchased a 40lb box of chicken. The chicken is fresh, not frozen, all natural with no hormones or antibiotics for $1.49lb. I will be doing a chicken prepping day for the freezer on Thursday. This saved me almost $80.00. I am hoping to make it to the next chicken sale, but I am also contemplating purchasing another 40lbs right now.

I gardened this year and put up some foods from our efforts. I am still needing to make some apple butter and more strawberry jam, once strawberries go on sale.

I have also been thinking about changing around my cable/landline/internet package. Right now I pay about $1,900/year, which I think is outrageous, but that is what is offered in our area. I did find some information on a Roku box (roku.com) and using online streaming with something like hulu and possibly using a converter box for the regular tv channels, like 2, 4, 7. I could eliminate the cable tv part, my home phone and upgrade our cells a little, and just use internet, which would bring me to around $600/year for all above. Does anyone do this here and could give me more advice?

Passive Income

October 25th, 2011 at 07:30 pm

Adding $3.00 from Pinecone to my passive income total.

Previous Amount: $273.69
Add monies: $3.00
New Total: $276.69

Now that the Dust has Settled

October 24th, 2011 at 03:38 pm

My checking account is now back to functioning. But, during the hacking and down time, I drew $1000 of my cash in my savings and left the minimum so not to get any fees. I will be using this checking and savings to the bare bones until I figure out a change.

The $1000 cash I took out of the bank had to cover some emergencies while my bank account was down. This was pretty much all of my emergency fund. Now to rebuild. Below is where it went. Funny how the emergencies know right when to hit. This is the breakdown.

$400 to cover the rest of the month's bills and groceries.

$400 to pay for a new fuel pump for the neon. The neon's fuel pump went out during the time of my bank account being hacked.

$60 for towing, which was re-imbursed.

$25 into a wedding card along with a gift for the bridal shower that I was unable to attend a month ago, because I was working. Got that delivered.

$40 into another wedding card attended over the weekend.

$60.00 for my 40 lbs. of Zaycon chicken purchase which I pick up Wednesday evening. Thursday is my chicken prep day. I'm actually thinking about ordering another one. Then I should be all set through the winter for chicken.

On my to do list for the week.

*Prep chicken - I have my plan hanging on my fridge. I will post a seperate entry for my chicken prep day.

*Work on bagging more leaves and taking them to the compost pile.

*Paint bathroom until I can save money to re-do the drywall next spring.

*Make crockpot apple butter and get it canned.

*Possibly can strawberry jam, this week or next.

*Re-do my budget plan and get posted.

On a good note.

*The neon is running. Thank goodness it didn't break down on my daughter at midnight on her way home from work, but instead broke down on me 1/2 block from my home.

*$3.00 to my passive income total from Pincone.

*We got through the disaster of no checking and survived.

My debt is below $13,000.00. Yeah.

Chase, your letting me down

October 15th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

So, it has been a week since my account was hacked and it still isn't corrected. Really, Chase, you are one of the largest banks and you can't get my bank account corrected.

You were told three times which debits were not mine and then you credit me for merchants I use. Then you have to re-debit it so they can get paid and finally you are getting the debits that are supposed to credited back into my account, but I am still in the negative.

Step up the pace.

So, I am feeling a little apprehensive about using this account at all even though you said you have sent me a new debit card, which I haven't received yet.

I have bills to pay. Do I pull my account out from your bank and go somewhere else. Ugg.

My Coupon Binder - just getting started

October 13th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

So, I have been organizing my office/home life to make better use of my time and money. Some posts back I posted a pic of my new office area.

Today, I am gonna show pics of my Coupon Binder.



This pic above shows the inside cover of my binder where I store my coupons for the different types of shopping, like bed, bath and beyond, not just grocery.



This pic shows coupons for Meijer.



This pic shows coupons for Kroger. I also have two other sections. One for Walgreens and Walmart and one for CVS and Rite Aid.

I do shop at five other stores, but they are only for specific items, like ACO for bottled water and coffee, the Dollar store, K-mart for water softener salt, Sheenas at certain times of the year and Costco for parties. If these areas become larger, I will add a section for them.



This pic is a section in the back of my binder where I have information of projects around the house to get done and coupons for those in page protectors to the left and to the right are outfits that I like that I try to put together when I am shopping at thrift stores.

Through the middle of my binder are all the coupons that are not store specific, but manufacturers coupons in ten different categories that are stored in baseball protector sheets.

Also, in the back of my binder I have a page for coupon lingo and my menu planner pages.

I ordered some specific coupons off of ebay yesterday and I am pretty excited to get started on my extreme couponing for normal people.

My Bank Account was Hacked

October 12th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I check my bank account pretty much every day and yep, on Monday when I checked, my bank account had been hacked.

Somehow, someone, was able to get my debit card number and my security code and charge hundreds of dollars. Well, good thing there is fraud protection and all of my money will be credited.

Just a bummer not being able to access any of my money this week. I do, however, have a little bit of cash stashed just in case.

I am actually only out $50 some dollars. I opted out of the overdraft protection (because I never do overdraft my account), so none of my money transferred from my savings account into my checking account. My checking account just went into a negative balance. The bank said that once everything comes off pending, they will be able to credit it all back and reverse any overdraft charges.