Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Its been a while!

Although it hasn't been that long since my last post, it does feel like FOREVER to me.  I have been busy preparing us for my nieces upcoming wedding.  The family and I are excited to go.  I have also been crunching numbers.  I payed off a nice chunk of my medical debt.  We officially have an existing emergency fund.  My goal for 2012 was to have $3000 and we are currently at $1500.  Yay!  There was so much I would have liked to buy with that money but nothing is better than having a little piece of mind.  Hopefully we will continue to build on that and exceed our goal by years end.  I will be updating our debt totals today if not tomorrow.  Have lots of blog reading to do :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fright!

Went to a movie with a friend and went to see The Woman In Black.  I'm normally not a scary movie person but love the time period the movie was in and figured it couldn't be bad if Daniel Radcliffe is in it.  Well, it scared the carp out of me! Love movies where your imagination does the work. Plus I didn't spend a whole lot of money because all I needed to worry about was me! LOL!  Total for my ticket and snacks...$10.50 :) 

Planning my grocery trip...hoping to keep it under $140. Also I'm hoping to be selected for a focus group in a couple of weeks.  If selected its a 1 1/2 hr focus group with compensation being an $85 gift card to our local grocery store! Keeping my fingers crossed.  Also will be listing this weekend and gearing up for my niece's wedding next week. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Copays, Fitness and Sleep

So after yet another doctor visit this week...I received my lab results.  I may have day surgery and also need an MRI.  I'm not excited about either but I need to face not only the financials of it all but the "realness" of it.  I'm a big wimp when it comes to taking care of myself but if I intend on living long enough to pay my debt then I need to take care of myself.  So I'm going to have to work in a few copays into my budget.  Also while at the doc's I was told to bring down my cholesterol.  No surprise and I'm the only one to blame.  I make sure to feed my family right but then I eat like crap. So, I will need to begin some kind of workout regimen. Along those lines I need to get more sleep...I've been a fog and I think its because I'm "burned" out. Time to reclaim my health and start living better!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Another Monday here and I've started my week right ...(sarcastic eyeroll).  I went to the doctor's office bright and early for labwork and then to the radiologist.  Hopefully, all comes back okay.  Besides that, my mom caught me up on some family drama (which thankfully I am not a part of).  And well I decided the first productive thing to do today would be prepare my weekly menu.

Monday - Baked chicken with veggies
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Roast and veggies
Thursday - GF Pasta and meat sauce
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Momma's bday :)
Sunday - Porkchops, mashed potatoes and salad

I'm really trying to utilize what I have more and it seems to be working better than expected. I have felt a whole lot better since I've been cooking more at home.  I don't anticipate needing a whole lot this week from the grocery store so we will keep our fingers crossed. 

I am also trying to list more on Ebay and hope to have at least 25 auctions done by the end of the week.  If that can produce an extra 100 to 150 dollars by Friday that would be beyond great! My jars are looking a little sad. lol.

The above pic was a "rooting around the fridge looking for something to make for dinner" night. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tax Time....time to pay off medical debt!

So its tax time and while acquaintances are planning their next big purchases with their tax refund...I am planning on paying some medical debt.  I'm  actually looking forward to it and hope to not carryover any next year.  A portion of our refund is also going in our emergency fund.  The old me would have wanted to go on a spending spree and then worry about bills but I know that the only way to get where we want to be is to pay, pay, pay off our debts.

I am still in the process of decluttering and find it hard at times because I thought I didn't have any attachments to stuff but I kind of do.  So half the battle is letting stuff go....thankfully I'm not talking about
piles and boxes of things.  Its more like counter clutter and the kiddos old we really need to keep every single vocabulary test? 

On the spending front....I'm doing better on not eating out with the kids and cooking dinner at home.  What I need to work on is planning my gift buying.  Our family is big on birthdays!  I have 7 brothers and sisters and countless nieces and nephews so at least once a month a birthday present is needed.  Of course, if I'm not prepared I do the mad dash to the store for a gift card which in the long run is more expensive.  So, I am going to try and work on that.

Off to crunch some numbers! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

So I'm excited to start the week!  Was a little under the weather last week but I'm hoping this week goes well.

Monday-Garlic Sausage with Veggies and Rice
Tuesday- Valentine's themed Dinner - still undecided
Wednesday- Baked Chicken, Corn on the Cob and Salad
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday- GF Pasta with meat sauce
Saturday - Tacos
Sunday - Every man for himself  :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Grocery Trip

I went last night to the grocery store.  I had my list and a few coupons.  I bought the majority of everything I needed for the next two weeks.  Spent a total of $145.32.  Goal is not to eat out at all for the next week. Going to be listing on Ebay the remainder of the weekend.  Shredded a credit card I "found" in my wallet.  I figured I might as well remove temptation if I ever want to be anywhere near debt free. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Friday everyone!  I have been absolutely loving the weather around here...cold and rainy. Had a dentist visit this morning and I was dreading checkout...thankfully today's charge for a cleaning/filling was $35...YAY!  This afternoon, I am going to do some major food shopping. I was inspired after reading Life After Money's blog and a few others.  I decided to take inventory of what I have and plan/rearrange the menu for the next 7 days.  I'm hoping not to go back to the grocery store till next Friday. I want to see something in the jars at the end of the week! We'll see.  This afternoon, the kiddos and I will be grabbing some pizza and playing some games.  Kiddo 2 brought home a coupon and we'll that helped convince me because I hate paying full price at that place.  I told the Kiddos as long as they did well in school this week then that would be their reward.  They have been really great about not giving me a hard time about not eating out as much and finding something to snack on at home :) 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I've Been Tagged

Shaking the Money Tree tagged me and it's time to answer some questions and pass on the fun. Yay...thanks so much :)

So here are the rules:

#1 - Post these rules.
#2 - Answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you.
#3 - Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
#4 - Tag 11 people and link them to your post.
#5 - Let them know that you tagged them.

STMT's questions are:

1) What is one small difference you do to make money changes in your world?
     Hope I'm answering this right...I make fewer trips to the store which in turn saves me money and
     hopefully will help pay down my debt quicker. 

2) What piece of advice would you tell 22 year old you?   
      My advice would be to remember to have patience!
3) What free entertainment makes you smile?
     Walking along the helps me realize what a great little city I live in :)

4) If you had the choice of $1000 a week for 10 weeks or $10 000 all at once, which would you take, and why?
      Definitely would do the $1000 per week for 10 weeks.  It would ensure I spend it wisely!

5) What is one thing you purchased in the past that you wish you hadn't?
      An Air Swimmer!

6) What one piece of advice would you give someone heading into their first adult job/career?
     Put  money in a 401K and create/add to your emergency fund with each paycheck.

7) What book would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
     Bridget Jones' Diary

8) If you could go back to the past and have coffee/tea with 1 person, who would it be?
     Either one of my grandmothers...never met them.

9) What is your favourite season and why?   WINTER!

10) Cat lover or dog lover?   Cat lover for sure

11) If your life were a movie, who should play you?
       Ideally Sandra Bullock...who doesn't love her..or Melissa McCarthy...she's hilarious :)

Okay here are my 11 questions!

1)  What one money lessson do you think all parents should teach their children?
2)  What is your one indulgence?
3)  Is your spouse a saver or spender?
4)  Who is your favorite movie actor?
5)  Are you a left or right brain thinker?
6)  If applicable, what college did you attend?
7)  Next book you'd like to read?
8)  Coupon clipper or not?
9)  Favorite genre of music?
10)  Best money saving vacation?
11)  Favorite current TV show?

I tagged four (sorry was pressed for time) :

Steady Plodding

A Want Not A Need

The Single Saver

Head Over Heels In Debt

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend and Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday!  Eating a donut...yum :) Watched the Superbowl last night and Mr. Man was happy the NY Giants won :)  We had a low spend weekend.  We did some light food shopping and ate at home all weekend!  Today, I need to buy Kiddo 2 some jeans for a school program tomorrow.  I had found a pair for 9 bucks but they did not fit.  So I'm returning them today and hoping to find something at a reasonable price.

I photographed and listed a few items yesterday and already have a bid on an item! Hope to list at least 10 items today.  I also will be working on our taxes...boooooo!  Have been getting the redecorating bug so I may move some things around. 

Menu Plan Monday
Monday:  Pork Steaks with Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday:  Chicken Stirfry

Wednesday:  Jambalaya

Thursday: GF Spaghetti

Friday: Chili

Saturday: Eat out

Sunday:  Leftovers

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturdays, Pay Cuts and Debt!

So glad Saturday is here :)  I still have a bit of money in the jars so I'm happy.  I sold three items on Ebay.  I put my profits, which were $35, towards credit card debt.  Planning on listing more today. Its going to be necessary more than ever.  Mr. Man received word on Friday that his company was doing away with customer service bonuses.  So that amounts to about a $500 pay cut a month!  I can understand cutting his pay for underperforming but he overperformed in customer satisfaction and they decided to do away with the program.  Unfortunately, we are being held hostage by our debt and finding another job that pays the same is near impossible. Now more than ever he is determined to get rid of our debt.  His father had some great advice "Look at your budget and see where you can tighten the belt to make up for the pay cut."  Obvious advice but since it came from Dad it had a more "lightbulb" effect for him.

We have some expenses coming up (Kiddo 1's birthday, niece's wedding and my h.s. reunion). For Kiddo 1's birthday I'm considering a pool party at our indoor city pool.  Plenty of entertainment for the kids and easy birthday eats (pizza)!  For my niece's wedding, we will be staying with family so no hotel cost.  We had volunteered to help her with cost and already have sent her the money so no stressing about that.  All we need is dress clothes which I will be getting this month. For my high school reunion, I paid in advance for our tickets so we need a new dress shirt for Mr. Man and some spending money for the reunion weekend.

This week, I am going to ramp up my listings.  It will be hard timewise but I know I can do it.  I'm also going to try to do more surveys. I had not had time lately but its easy money so I need to pick that up again whenever I have a few minutes here and there.  Before I forget its time to update my debt without further ado...

Mortgage           $92,237

Auto Loan          $22,460

Loan -                $6570

Credit Card A -     $8401

Credit Card B-      $4835

Credit Card C-      $1933

Credit Card D -     $1844

Credit Card E -      $1296

Credit Card F -      $1822

Credit Card G -      $1129

Credit Card H -      $1175

Medical Bill -            $963

Medical Bill -            $544

Misc. Medical Bills - $154
Total                   $145363

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pain, problems and patience

So this week has been interesting.  Decided to stop by my dentist's office to make an appointment (since I was in the neighborhood). Unfortunately I left with an extraction. It was painful but tolerable. They had time to see me and I was in need of a visit. Also, Kiddo 2 has been having a rough week at school and homework has been especially challenging. Within that I've had my parents to check up on, Mr. Man asking about our taxes and tons of organizing to do :(  I would love to hide under the covers right about now but I can't so I have to settle with venting here!

Filled the jars today and already spent a good amount.  Mr. Man likes that we made it through the week without dipping into our small reserve. Glad our first week made a good impression :)