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Things are getting crazy

June 18th, 2018 at 03:08 pm

It's the end of the school year here and that brings a lot of expenses with it.

Signed my son up for basketball camp - $110. It's the only camp he does over the summer and we are trying to keep him from playing video games 24/7, plus the exercise is good for him and he really enjoys it. I know I am rationalizing why I am spending the money on camp but I am not ready to start depriving my kids.

Starting gathering ideas for my daughter's high school graduation party. I lot of things I will be able to do myself but some will require outside help and therefore, money. We are keeping it simple but even simple has a price.

Getting my haircut today - first time in 4 months and believe me when I say I need it! I did budget for it so that's a step in the right direction Smile

Extended family went to a burger joint for Father's Day dinner yesterday. Mu husband has 2 sisters, both of which have their own families. Can you believe neither sibling offered to pay for their father's dinner? I couldn't believe it. I, of course, wasn't going to let them pay, it was Father's Day after all. $58 on dinner. I was half tempted to text the girls after and tell them they owe me half of what their parents had.

Getting burned out on mystery shopping. I did just get another $43.32 but it's so time consuming. I am still going to do it but I think I have to cut back a little until I get through grad party planning.

Still looking for a personal loan to consolidate my debt. Changed garbage companies last week which will save me $100/year. I also reviewed option for gas and electricity supply charges and am confident I am getting the best rate. Next up, ditching the land line and looking into options for decreasing our cable bill.


June 12th, 2018 at 04:02 pm

Got my cell phone reimbursement from work today. They don't reimburse much but it's something. Adding $38 to my Discover Loan.

Also got another mystery shopping payment. Another $20 to Discover.

I am busy trying to find a reasonable personal loan to pay off my credit cards. I haven't found anything lower than what Discover is offering so I might just go with them. And then cut up everything plastic!

I am getting antsy because it takes so long for these small amounts of extra cash to come in - I feel like I am fighting against the interest on my credit cards and every measly bit isn't helping much. Plus it's so hard when things always seem to come up at the last minute. I need to do some better planning.

My goals for this week are:
1) contact another garbage company to see if I can get a lower rate
2) contact the gas and electric company to get a lower supply charge
3) cancel my land line

Father's Day, the last day of school, my daughter's high school graduation, and my anniversary are all coming up in the next 2 weeks - it's a busy time and I am afraid it will be an expensive time.

Ugh, maybe updating my sidebar will make me feel better.

Budget item and a Question

June 6th, 2018 at 05:48 pm

I forgot to add an item to my budget. I've been doing a lot of mystery shopping lately and totally forgot to account for the cash I must spend up front. It isn't a lot and I do get reimbursed but I think I should plan for it. Oh well, this is all a process, right?

I received my first check for mystery shops done in May $57.45 going straight to the Discover Loan. I am expecting at least one more payment from a different company next week.

The question I have is in regards to my Discover Loan. Do you think it would be wise for me to transfer my credit card debt to another Discover Personal Loan? I like the loan for it's low interest rate (8.49%), the ability to pay it off early, and the fact that I have the payments automatically deducted and I just forget about. My balance never goes up.

If I did transfer I would only have one loan to throw extra payments towards and hopefully never use my credit cards again.

What do you all think?

Saturday shopping

June 3rd, 2018 at 02:25 am

Busy day running errands today. I did some grocery shopping today as well as a Target run for a few household items that I needed. I tried to be very mindful of the new budget I've given myself and I think I did an OK job.

My first stop was at the supermarket. They had a few things on sale that I wanted to pick up and I was able to find coupons for the other things I needed. Before savings my bill as 110.26. I saved 38.91 by using my store bonus card and 4.50 using coupons bringing my total to 67.09. I got milk, bread, eggs, 5 sirloin steaks, cereal, apple sauce, cheese sticks, cottage cheese, veggies, baked beans, Gatorade and some chips for lunches.

This particular grocery store gives discounts on gas so I managed to get 10 cents off each gallon. I needed gas so I stopped on my way out and filled up my SUV for 51.12.

Next I went to Target and picked up some storage bags, garbage bags, some frozen chicken nuggets, chicken strips and frozen tilapia. I got $10 in gift cards for a future purchase and I used 2 gifts cards ($15) that I had previously earned towards this trip bringing my total to 31.62.

So I have 101.29 left in my grocery budget and 48.88 left in my gas budget. I think I can make it until the 15th with this Smile

I completed 3 mystery shops between yesterday and today. Just finished submitting my reports. I have 3 lined up for tomorrow. It's good to be busy! My neighbor asked if my husband and son would weed her garden - they went over today to do it and I helped out too. She offered to pay us so I figured I would pitch in and help. She will be coming over with the money tomorrow.

I have more clothes to get together tomorrow to drop off at the consignment store as well as make homemade applesauce with apples I have before they go bad and complete my mystery shops. It's shaping up to be a very busy weekend!

Payday is here!!

May 31st, 2018 at 05:08 pm

Phew, just made it! We've been running out of things at home - I know my family will be delighted when I get to the grocery store Smile

I get paid on the 15th and last day of every month. Here is my budget for the first pay period of June:

Pay 1628.12
Left Over 30.66
Total 1658.78

TIAA Loan 190.62
Capital One 80.00
Citibank 150.00
Life Insurance 77.00
Gas and Electric 291.75
Kohls (pay off) 56.38
Cell phones: 199.73
Total: 1045.48

Left over: 613.30
Gas: 100.00
Groceries: 200.00
School Lunches 42.00

If all goes according to plan I should have 271.30 to throw at my Discover Loan on the 14th!

I am excited to see if I can do this Smile

I also signed up for a few more mystery shopping jobs. Can't wait until I get paid for those in June.

Quick budget question

May 30th, 2018 at 02:50 pm

When you all create your budget do you include things like laundry detergent and paper products in with your grocery budget? Or do you create a separate line for it? If you separate it out do you then go through your receipts and allocate each item to either grocery or household stuff?

I have always included these items in my grocery numbers but now I am thinking that it isn't a fair representation. But it also seems like a lot of work to allocate each item to a category.

Interest Rate Update

May 29th, 2018 at 01:39 pm

Updated my sidebar with current interest rates...ugh. Hopefully that will help motivate me Smile

It was an awesomely relaxing weekend and guess what? I didn't spend any money!! Stayed home most of the weekend to get caught up on laundry and cleaning the house. Took several long walks with my husband and puppy. Son had a friend over and went to my in laws for a cookout yesterday. My husband and I went to the movies on Sunday but I had a free movie ticket that was given to me at work for completing a project and a gift card left over from Christmas. 2 movie tickets and a package of Twizzlers...free! Time spent with my husband...priceless.

I get paid in 2 days and can not wait! I have had about $30 sitting in my checking account for the past week and it makes me very nervous to have so little. My family is waiting for me to go grocery shopping as we are running out of stuff. When I get home tonight I am going to sit down with the ads and do some menu planning and make my list. I am excited to see how little I can spend!

In scary news, my husband got a letter from the bank he has his car loan from saying someone put a lien on his car. Like I said before he pays his credit card in full each month and doesn't owe anyone anything. He has been confused with someone else in the past due to having a fairly common name and that is what we are thinking this time but it's still annoying that he has to try to prove that he isn't who they are looking for. Last time this happened he had to go to court with a lawyer to prove he wasn't the person they were looking for.

Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend!

The Ugly Truth

May 25th, 2018 at 01:28 am

Posted the ugly truth over on my sidebar. Ugh, it hurts to see the actual numbers. I have a long road ahead of me but I am determined. I am going to use the Snowball method and get my Discover Personal Loan out of the way quickly. It should be gone by July. It will be good to see one less thing over there on the left Smile

I conducted an audit for Field Agent tonight which will bring in $3.00. I also scored free hot dog rolls using coupons.com. Perfect for the coming weekend. Earned .27 completing a survey. A drop in the ocean.

Thank you!

May 24th, 2018 at 03:43 pm

Huge thank you to all who have commented and made me feel welcome!

Trust me when I say I know I should tell my husband about my situation. I know it isn't fair to keep him in the dark. I guess I don't want to because he is very good with his money, pays off his credit card in full every month. I don't think he would understand and I think it would make him angry. I dug this hole, I am going to try really hard to get myself out of it. If a time comes when it looks like there is no way out I will confide in him, but I have to try on my own first.

Here are some ideas I have on how to get started:

1) reviewing my monthly budget I know I can cut back on food. Between groceries, school lunches and the occasional dinner out I have $640 budgeted to feed a family of 4 (one of which is a 13 year old boy who eats alot)! I would like to get this down to $440 to start with - giving me an additional $200/month

2) ditching my land line - $25/month

3) bring clothes to consignment store - between my stuff and the kids I think I can get $30

4) I do mystery shopping and can bring in $100/month

5) I use Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Saving Star - this usually brings in $20-30/month

6) I use Inbox Dollars and complete surveys - $10/month

7) I get reimbursed for a small portion of my cell phone bill through work - $9.50/month

I am sure there are other areas of my budget that can be cut too. So far I am at $394.50/month I can throw towards debts.

My monthly budget currently looks like this:

Gas/Electric 278.00
Water 28.00
Garbage 45.00
Cell phones 199.73
Cable/phone/internet 153.00 Subtotal 703.73

Gas for car 250 Subtotal 250.00

Groceries 450
School lunch 90
Eating out 100 Subtotal 640.00

School stuff (not lunch) 30.00
Amazon Prime 9.00
Sports 11.00
Entertainment 35.00
Cash on hand 80.00
Miscellaneous 50.00 Subtotal 215.00

Life Insurance 130.00
Car Insurance 90.00 Subtotal 220.00

TIAA Loan 190.62
Discover Loan 371.74
BOA 100.00
Citibank 150.00
Capital One 200.00 Subtotal 1012.36

I make about 3250.00 a month and 3041.09 goes out leaving me with 208.91 to throw towards debt - if nothing comes up. Add that to the 394.50 additional I am going to try to make and I have to say, it's pretty impressive! Now if I can just stick with it!

Newbie :)

May 23rd, 2018 at 07:44 pm

Hi All,

I might be new here but debt is something I have struggled with all my life.

A little about me: Mom of 2 - daughter is 17 and son is 13. I work full time and graduated from college with a BS in, of all things, Finance! I am very independent, hard working and, when it comes to most things, responsible.

I have close to 20K in debt - mainly credit cards. I need to find a way out of this hole I have created for myself before...my husband finds out. Yes, you read that right. My husband doesn't know I have this debt. And I want to keep it that way. Actually I want to pay it all off before he finds out. You might be asking, how does he not know?? We have been married 13 years and from the start we have kept our finances separate. He pays for the mortgage and taxes. I pay for the utilities and food. He pays for our son's karate and I pay for all the kids clothes, school lunches, just about anything else that they need. He pays for his car and his car insurance. I pay for mine. It's a system that has suited us well except for the fact that most months I don't have enough cash on hand that I end up charging whatever the kids need.

With all that said, I am super determined to make this happen. I am going to scrimp and save and throw every dollar I can find towards my debts. I am not bringing this into our retirement with me. I have about 18 years until I retire - more than enough time to dig myself out but I want it gone sooner rather than later so I can save myself from the increasing anxiety I feel when I check the mail or the phone rings or my husband talks about money.

I will post my budget and debt amounts soon. I hope you all will hold me accountable and help me find some ways to save.