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End of the year..yikes!

December 1st, 2010 at 07:44 pm

Getting ready for Christmas but haven't really been in the mood. I think I've been somewhat depressed about the mounting medical bills. I have a $10,000 out of pocket and the chemotherapy treatments are really eating through it. By the time New Years rolls around, I will most likely owe my oncologist upwards of $8k.

But, I have a plan. It is still formulating but I think it's a good one. I will share in the next few days. If i can stick to this new plan, things will be fine.

I am feeling the need to reorganize, renew, and refresh. Or maybe I just need a nap. :-)

Sidebar updated

October 23rd, 2010 at 06:34 pm

I was finally able to get the sidebar updated. Since I only update the 401k quarterly, I was excited to see a nice jump in the balances.

The medical bills have gone up, and I expect that to continue for the next 6 months since I have started chemotherapy. I am feeling okay and tolerating it well. I have decided to get a Flex Spending account through work since the medical will be a continuous expense for the foreseeable future. I had hoped to have this years medical expenses paid before the end of the year, but I don't think it will happen.

I need to figure out the best way to track expenses. I have used spreadsheets, Mint, Microsoft Money, and quicken in the best. I need to pick a method and stick to it.

I am looking forward to the holidays, though I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. Egad!

I love fall!

September 3rd, 2010 at 04:34 pm

It has been hot here in my part of the world. And I mean hot. But, we had a little rain a few days ago, and it has been overcast, and this morning, when I left for work, it was only 74 degrees. Grated it was 6:30 am, but it was glorious. I am doubtful it will stay, but will enjoy every last minute of it.

I will be working on the budget this weekend as payday is next week and I want everything squared away. As we head into fall, I would like to plan for those bigger expenses that I know I should plan for but never do. Here are a few things:
1. Volleyball team expenses for d.d.
2. D.s. 7th birthday party/Halloween. His birthday is 10/30 and we always have a Halloween themed party.
3. Small weekend trip in oct/nov to watch some college football.
4. Christmas

I need to allocate budget amounts and shop early for the best deals. The football tickets need to be bought in advance and I never start early enough on the Christmas shopping.

I hope everyone has a great, and safe, Labor day weekend!

Finding my mojo..

August 29th, 2010 at 02:22 pm

I updated my sidebar of the balances ending August, with the exception of the 401 k's, which I only update after the quarter.

I am disappointed that I am likely not going to hit my debt and savings goals this quarter, although I still have a month to push hard. But, I am refocusing efforts and will see where I end up at the end of September.

I have decided to set up some mini-goals for September:
1. 3 no-spend-days per week or 12 for the month.
2. One date night with d.h.
3. Plan and cook all meals during the week, with dinner out one night per weekend.

It is aggressive for us because the dining out budget has been crazy lately. But, it is the area I want to focus on the most. If you read my previous post regarding dining out and the grocery budget, it is still the cause of the money "leak".

I hope to add another $500 to the savings account this month, which will put me $800 short of my original goal. I think the budget is in need of some tweaks again as well.

Hope everyone is enjoying the waining weeks of summer and are all as excited about fall as I am. Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Looking forward to Fall

August 9th, 2010 at 04:58 pm

The heat is really getting to me. It was 104 today and the heat index was around 112. I am so looking forward to fall..but fall here doesn't hit until end of September or first of October.

We completed most of the school shopping this weekend with the exception of a few odds and ends. We caught some good sales at the outlet mall yesterday and had a gift card from hubby's work so the clothes are bought with the exception of sneakers for dd.

My paycheck and bonus hit the bank over the weekend. I will be transferring the bonus into savings, as well as part of my paycheck to prep for the end of month mortgage payment. I am finding that we are really strapped at the end of the month because I am paying all of the mortgage payment out of that last check. Between hubby and I we get 4 paychecks per month. So I am going to start taking 1/4 of the mortgage payment from each check and putting it in savings until the mortgage is due. We will see how it goes.

The kids will be going to my Mom and Dad's this weekend for one more mini trip before school starts on the 23rd. Hubby and I are going to work on installing the wood floor in dd's room.

Hope everyone has a great week!

The source of the leak

July 25th, 2010 at 04:52 pm

I am working on scrutinizing the daily spending. The biggest cause of money "leak" has been my grocery buying schedule. I buy groceries a week at a time. I plan meals through Friday. But I don't go shopping until Sunday. So, saturday comes around and there are no groceries in the house. So we end up eating meals out all weekend. Major leak!!! This week, I got groceries on Friday night and we have not eaten out this weekend. Problem solved.

My next goal is to scrutinize the "fun" money. I need to find more family friendly activites that are free or low cost. Fortunately, we live in a very family oriented and active community. We have a lake, trails, great rec center, decent library, and the city as well as our community organizations provide lots of free or low cost activities. I will be working on scheduling are fun outings around those activities.

The third goal is to start scraping all extra money into savings. The savings accounts need to be bulked up in a desperate way.

It should be an interesting experiment to see how many "leaks" I can find and plug.

Saturday what-nots

July 17th, 2010 at 03:24 pm

Went and got a haircut today. A little shorter but nothing crazy. Also bought a gift for my nephew's 7th bday. DS is heading over tonight for a sleepover so it will just be me, dh and dd. We are going to go to a ball game (minor league baseball). Should be a fun night.

Sat down and paid the medical bills yesterday. Still on track to get everything paid before end of year. The goal is to keep all deductible and coinsurance balances paid during the current year without carryover. There should be a few tests I won't need next year (bone marrow biopsy) so next year will be a little less.

I am hoping we don't melt tonight at the game. It's gonna be a hit one!!

Another day, another dollar...

July 13th, 2010 at 06:30 pm

Work has been going well the past couple of weeks and I think things are starting to settle. I am glad I made the decision to stick it out during this rough patch. Things seem to be turning around and my work life has become more manageable.

On the health front, I am currently doing some infusions for a low iron level. My next visit with the oncologist is 9/10. If things are holding steady, then I will continue to avoid chemo a bit longer. We are hopeful it will be a year or more before I need anything like that. And I am hopeful that the longer I can put it off, the faster medical science can work to my advantage. That magic leukemia pill has to be just around the corner. I am sure of it. :-)

Another payday this Friday will allow for a nice deposit into the savings account. This is the payday for medical bills and I will split $250 between the labs and the radiology department.

Today was a no spend day. Tomorrow I will need gas for the car as I have some work travel to do. I may have a cheap lunch out since I will be on the road a bit.

Hope everyone's week is going well.

The new budget

July 6th, 2010 at 06:27 pm

Friday is payday for me and, in a wierd way, I am looking forward to paying bills. I have the new budget fine tuned and am looking forward to start on some of our new savings goals. It is helpful that hubby has 3 paydays in July. With the last of the catch-up mortgage payments made on 7/2, we should be looking good this month.

I have decided to try a budget with a mixture of auto draft payments for regular utility and savings payments and a cash-plan (or envelope system) for variables like groceries, entertainment and dining out. We will see how it goes.

I am thankful that we don't carry a ton of debt. We do have the one credit card which has $3500 on it. Paying it off in 12 months is my goal. I want to reduce the balance by half by Christmas. I am confident we can do it.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point where I feel good about the money we are making and I am confident we can accomplish the goals we have set. I have had a shift in priorities in the past couple of years. Having security and the possibility of retirement is more important than immediate goodies, fancy cars, or trips I cannot afford. It has taken us 15 years to get here.

Better late than never, right?

New month

July 5th, 2010 at 03:05 pm

I had a nice 3 day weekend for the holiday...back to work tomorrow. I have decided to stay at my current company for primarily 2 reasons: 1. I really do enjoy my work and my coworkers and I just need to adopt a healthier attitude and manage my stress level. And, 2. I have worked 15 years to get where I am at now. To just walk away would be sad. I have decided that I will continue where I am at and reassess in January-if things are better then great. If not, then I will make a decision.

On the home front, things are going well. The July 1 mortgage payment included the last of the "catch-up" so going forward we are back to the regular payment (when hubby was laid off last year, mortgage company put us in forbearance which allowed us to skip two payments, since he is employed now, we are not eligible for renegotiation on the monthly, so we split the back payments into 4 and have been paying an additional $650 per month to catch up". With that done and paid, I feel like we can move on.

We will be setting up some more aggressive repayment and savings goals for the remainder of the year. I will update the side bar when the plans are finalized.

Hope everyone had a great 4th holiday!!

Decisions, decisions

June 22nd, 2010 at 04:03 pm

I mentioned in my previous post that I was considering a job change, being unhappy with the management position. I need to clarify that I have been with said company for 2 years. I was promoted to a supervisory position in the fall of 2009. I am finding management difficult and stressful. The stress of my job in addition to my current medical issues have me exhausted all the time. I was considering the job change as away to help reduce stress, along with eating healthier, getting excersie, etc.

I interviewed at a different company today. It would be close to the same pay, taking into account the bonus structure. But I would not have to manage any employees and the place is a more low key than the more fast paced, aggressive environment I am in now. There are obvious pros and cons. It will require a lot of thought.

Money wise, things are going well. I have a new budget in place that we will be using starting in July. July is a 3paycheck month for the hubby, so that will help pad the new plan. The goal is to automate as many bills as possible to avoid late fees, etc.

I am off to heat up left overs. Hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Moving on

June 15th, 2010 at 03:05 pm

I have decided that the promotion at work (and it's subsequent huge pay raise) has done more harm than good. I am uptight, stressed out, and a ball of nerves all the time. I think if I still had the same stamina I had a year ago, I might could make it work. But I don't. And it is really making me unhappy. So I have decided to look for a job that is less stressful. I think it will make my home life better. I also think it will help with my overall health concerns (fatigue).

I have a lead on a job that pays about $3 less per hour but have a nice, attainable bonus structure. With bonuses, I could make more than I make now. But I am just looking at the base salary from a budgeting perspective. I think it is doable. I will interview next week and see what happens.

I need to be more aggressive with the savings goal. The medical debt is going down slowly and but needs to be more aggressive also.

All in all, I think things are going well and we are on the right track.

Everything changes so fast

April 2nd, 2010 at 07:57 pm

Well, the first quarter of 2010 is behind us already. The recap:
Good News: Got a big raise recently that make a huge impact on the savings front. We plan on socking away the difference and replacing my hubby's truck (he drives a '94). Will replace with another good used truck with no car payment. Because I am allergic to car payments.

Bad News: Medical debt reached $2K in 1st quarter due to a recent leukemia diagnosis. No treatment yet as stage is early. Repeat work ups every 3 months but I have met my deductible so....

You never know what life is going to give you. You just have to take it in stride. That is my philosophy.

Today anyway.

Brrr I'm Cold

January 4th, 2010 at 03:51 pm

Fingers feel frozen. Can't warm up. Wish I had some chili...

I have decided to track my no-spend days. Today was day 1. Took a nice breakfast (oatmeal with almonds) and lunch (pita sandwich and yogurt) to work today. I even took snacks to prevent trips to the vending machine. So, no spending today. It feels good.

I have planned all the meals this week and did my grocery shopping yesterday accordingly. Tonight it is grilled pork chops and veggies. Not chili, but pretty darn tasty.

My Microsoft Money if refusing to cooperate and load my accounts. I considered a switch over to Quicken, but decided over the weekend to continue just using my spreadsheet. It has been working well over the past few months that MSN Money has been difficult.

DD and I made $40 pet sitting over the holiday. We split it and mine went into the change jar. Once I hit $100 in loose change, I am going to open another savings account.

First date night of the year scheduled for this Friday. For my birthday, I got tickets to see one of my all-time favorite musicians. I cannot wait. Working on lining up babysitting.

This weeks organization focus is the living room. It appears we may be under invasion by a mad army of Legos.

Fresh start

December 28th, 2009 at 04:09 pm

Well, I have been away a while but things have improved since I was last around. Hubby got a job--he was officially unemployed for 18 months. He is working for a smallish start-up company gaining a foothold in green business. He is making much less money but loving it. Less stress and he feels good about doing something worthwhile.

Financially, him having a job and having a few paychecks under our belt feels wonderful. I have big plans for the coming year and have decided to do my goal setting based on quarters. So, I have set my goals for the first quarter of 2010 (see sidebar) and am feeling pretty good.

I had a rather large, old debt hanging over my head from previous years that I decided I wasn't going to carry into 2010. I owed $1800 and in November decided I didn't care if we had to go really cheap on Christmas, I was paying it off. Paid $900 in November and have paid $500 so far this month. I have an automatic draft coming out on 12/31 for the remaining $400.

And, it got me to thinking. We survived those big payments. I think I have made saving money harder than it needed to be. I have gained some perspective in the past couple of months. I am going to continue plugging away at debt and I am going to start building up the savings account. Since hubby gets paid every other Friday, we happen to have an extra Friday in January. And that check will start the new savings account.

I am excited about the prospects that the new year will bring.

Happy New Year everyone!!

My Mid-year update

June 24th, 2008 at 11:11 am

Well, since Merch has gotten the ball rolling, and with others joining in on the fun, I thought I would do my June update and mid-year goals assessment.

As far as my goals on the side bar--
1.Hubby is still job hunting and it is going slow. Financially we are doing fairly well, all things considering. He will find something but it is just going to take some time.
2. I paid off credit card ($97), personal loan to Mom ($303), made a small medical bill payment ($24.42) and made a collection payment ($150.00). So that means I paid off $574.42--57% of my goal!!
3. Still sitting at 26 lb weight loss. I plan on getting back to the gym starting next week.
4. I have opened the Roth accounts but they have not yet been funded.
5. We had the plumber come replace the leaky faucet near the deck, so we plan on starting the demo tonight and will hopefully be able to get the boards replaced this weekend.

I feel like we have made some good progress so far. I am planning on coming up with new goals for the next quarter but will have to give that a little thought.

I start my new job on Monday and am looking forward to getting done with my training (3 weeks) and jumping in to my new auditing position. It will be a transition, no doubt, but I am up for the challenge. Benefits will kick in at 60 days, so only 2 more Cobra payments!

Moving on and misc

June 19th, 2008 at 09:31 am

Well, I decided to accept the job offer from my former employer. The benefits are too good to pass up and with hubby still job hunting, the benefits are a major plus. I am excited but was dreading telling my current boss. He made me feel guilty for a day or so, which made work this week very depressing, but he is over it now. I will miss him but am excited about this new opportunity.

On the financial front, I received the reimbursement check from the auto carrier covering my auto accident I had in 2006. So it is in the bank and waiting disbursment. $1000 will go to the EF to get that started. $600 is going toward rebuilding our back deck that is rotting under our feet. The rest will just sit for a while and we will decide later what we want to do with it. My stimulus check for $1800 is set to be mailed on 6/27 and we will sit on that until I figure out how I want to disperse it. I get paid tomorrow, hubby just got 2 weeks of unemployment check so I have to sit down and pay bills tomorrow.

We are supposed to go over to my sister's tonight for a cook out and swimming. Hubby and the kids will go over in the late afternoon and I will meet them there after work.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Job interview

June 11th, 2008 at 02:18 pm

I have a job interview tomorrow with my old boss at her new place of employment (she has been there over 3 years). She is hiring for what I do and has been trying to get me to come work for her for a while. I blogged this in my last entry. So, anyway, I am going to meet with her tomorrow. I am not nervous about the interview because I have know her for almost 9 years. But the idea of a job change still gives me butterflies. Here is my abbreviated pros/cons list for leaving my current job:

1.I like my current boss--he is a decent guy.
2.The job I m applying for adds an extra 10 miles each way to my commute.
3.It is only 10 cents more per hour than where I am at.
1.Full Benefits at new place-health/dental/vision/401K/disability
employee gym.
2.They give monthly bonuses (up to $300) for meeting goals, have quarterly incentives, and yearly reviews for raises (I haven't had a raise at current emplyer in 3 years)
3.I could gain some new skills and sharpen the ones I used to have--current boss still uses ledger cards for crying out loud-I have lost all my electronic billing knowledge.

So, anyway, I will go talk to her about it. She and I live in the same suburb and can could feasibly carpool a few times a week and share gas expenses.

In other news, I got a settlement offer from an auto accident I had Christmas Day 2006. (short story--guy made an unprotected left turn in front of me-no turn signal on his side-BAM-totaled my car that I had just paid off the previous month). Anyway, after reimbursing my group health plan that paid some expenses for my injuries, I would get a check for $2359--the least they could do for ruining my Christmas, right?

Considering a Job Change

June 5th, 2008 at 08:38 am

A previous supervisor of mine has been trying to get me to come to work for her for about 3 years--I keep declining because it is about 10 extra miles a day commute from what I do now. But, with hubby being unemployed and us losing all of our decent benefits we have had for the past 10 years, I am actually considering it. She has awesome health/dental/vision insurance and 401k, cafeteria plans, etc. I have no benefits or sick/vacation time where I am at now (very small employer). It makes me nervous to think of a job change. I am doing the pros/cons list right now and will post it later. She is a great person to work for and I enjoyed the 5 years that we worked together, which would be a big plus.

This would also allow hubby to lower (somewhat) his needs as far as employment goes. He would love to find a telecommute position so that he could work from the house and we could forgo daycare ($570 per month). Plus, he has had a blast being home with the kids. He has spent the past 12 years of our marriage in jobs that require him to work long hours and be on-call often. He has never had this much time with his kids and he is loving it. Although I do think he is ready to find something "professional" to do. Smile

May totals--not so shabby

June 2nd, 2008 at 09:40 am

Well, all in all the May totals were good. We are starting June with a balance forward of $1066.85. I have a check due me today from my part time job which will add another $445.00. Then I get paid from my full time job on Friday $1079. This week's payment priorities are mortgage ($1247) and utility bills (water $87 and electricity $195). So I am feeling confident--today anyway.

Hubby's job hunt has stalled--he sent out another 3 applications and resumes but hasn't gotten any interview requests. The tech field has totally dried up around here, at least in his area of expertise. His unemployment payments are coming in timely and are helping out nicely ($378 per week) but it would be nice to have something steady. We are managing pretty well right now, all things considered and I am proud that we have been able to really focus on the financial situation. The lay-off caused us to really analyze what was important and what we were wasting money on. We have the budget wittled down and though there are still areas that could be improved, I am impressed at how easily we are adjusting to the sudden "one income" situation. Things could definitely have been worse.

New goals for remaining weeks of May

May 19th, 2008 at 08:28 am

Well, I have decided that with the current financial situation (hubby's layoff) that I prefer to make short term goals. So I am making a plan for the next two weeks to finish out May in the black (hopefully).

Projected income:
1.5/19 Hub Unemployment $378
2.5/23 Me FT job $982.00
3.5/27 Hub Unemployment $378
4.5/31 Me PT Job $404.00
5.Refund check Ins $459.00
Total $2601.00

Right now, my biggest worry is the payment for our COBRA insurance, which is due 6/1 and will be $1996.00. We will probably be able to squeak by, but it definitely doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room. Hub has decided to look for a part time job (he can work a certain number of hours a week and not lose is unemployment money). We will see what happens.

IRS strikes again

May 16th, 2008 at 01:26 pm

For those of you still unstimulated, like me....

From Yahoo News:

If you have your hopes set on a big "economic stimulus" payment arriving in your bank account any day now, you might have to wait a bit longer. The IRS has announced that a subset of taxpayers is affected by a glitch that is delaying rebates sent to them.

The issue affects people who used a service or software program to do their 2007 taxes and opted to have the fee for those services deducted from the stimulus payment and sent via direct deposit. A bug (which the IRS has not elaborated upon) means those payments will now have to be made via a check sent via postal mail.

In addition to this bug, the IRS has confessed that 1,500 checks or direct payments were sent to the wrong taxpayers. While some reports blame this problem on a computer glitch, the IRS says that it can't necessarily pin the issue on a computer problem. Check any payments received carefully to make sure they're actually yours.

If you have received a check or inaccurate (or duplicate) direct deposit, you are required by law to mail the check back to the IRS and/or report the issue to your bank. If you spent the money, you'll have to pay it back as well.

Finally, the IRS said today that 350,000 households aren't getting properly credited for children in the payments. Makeup checks will be sent out in July.

This isn't the first time the IRS has screwed up rebate payments. In 2001 it sent half a million taxpayers notices of impending rebates (in a similar stimulus/tax relief scheme to what we have this year) that they would never be receiving.

Still haven't gotten your payment? Best not to try calling the IRS, which is now dealing with a reported 2 million incoming phone calls a day. Instead, check the IRS.gov website and consult the payment schedule on this page. And be patient.

UPDATE: The IRS writes to say 1,500 taxpayers are affected, not 15,000.

Keeping the faith

May 14th, 2008 at 08:01 am

Hubby's old supervisor (from 1 year back) called yesterday and asked if he is still looking for a job. He said the place he is at now is hiring and had hub send over his resume. Old supervisor says the pay is about $5K less than he was making when he got laid off but the benefits are really good, which would make up the difference. I am hopeful for this. He had two emails from places he sent out to yesterday expressing interest. We will see what happens.

Today, I am in the process of making a list of bills to pay, in order of urgency, and income I have coming in. I have been calling around tracking down refund checks I am owed for various things. I wish the tax rebate would show up--it should have been here last week according to my calculation. But it hasn't shown up yet. I tried calling the IRS but that was a complete waste of 20 minutes of my life.

An upside to hubby being home during the day is that dishes and laundry are done everyday. Plus, he makes me lunch of sandwiches or leftovers and coffee everyday. I enjoy seeing him and DS at lunchtime everyday. I live close enough to work that I can go home at lunch.

I am really anxious for him to find work so that I can start making a dent in that medical debt and start beefing up the savings. I have all these great plans waiting to be executed--as soon as we can get out of "survival" mode.

Better than -0-

May 12th, 2008 at 02:12 pm

Well, hubby received his first state unemployment payment since becoming "a man of leisure". State of Texas sends debit cards, not checks, and weekly amounts are direct deposited onto it each week. So that is helpful. I am still waiting on my stimulus payment, which I thought would be direct deposited last Friday but, alas, no sign of it. I have a $440 check coming from my part time job, so all in all, we are surviving. He sent out 6 more resumes today and hopefully will get some interviews from those.
In a related note, we thought we were going to have to take DD out of gymnastics until hubby found a new job (fees for classes are $135 per month for 4 hours a week). But, her coach, who has a 6 week old baby, traded me class fees for babysitting two days a week. So DD was able to continue with classes and helps me babysit the baby. A side benefit is that she is learning to "work" to get the things she wants. A good lesson I think.
I feel optimistic that things will be looking up for us soon.

Holding ground

April 29th, 2008 at 01:33 pm

Well, this is the second week of Hubby's unemployment. So far we are managing, but it has only been a little over a week. We have done a great job of trimming discretionary spending and I have been doing well with the grocery shopping and cooking every night. DD has handled it fairly well, only getting upset once about not going to gymnastics classes in May. I told her if Dad started working again in May, then she would likely be able to return to classes in June, which satisfied her. I actually think she will enjoy the break--two extra "free" nights a week.

Hub got all is unemployment paperwork done on line and they have already mailed him a confirmation with an estimated payment amount. He has to attend a job fair type thing for our county sometime in May. He sent out four more resumes today and I am hoping something turns up. He has not had many interviews and there just don't seem to be many tech/telecom jobs in our area right now.

My part-time job (pet sitting) has picked up so we will have that additional income and we are preparing for a garage sale sometime in May. Right now we are current on all of our bills and are making plans for each new week on how to save/earn money.

He and I agree that while his unforseen unemployment sucks, and while we wished we had more in savings, we are better off than some we know. We are not in danger of having our utilities shut off, we have relatively low debt, and our mortgage is current. Things could be worse. On the upside, we are communicating much better about our financial well being, reviewing the checkbook and bills together, and planning together--which is not something we have always done. We are a team and we are lucky to have a happy healthy family.

See, if just have to talk myself into a positinve state of mind occasionally Smile

Gaining Perspective

April 16th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Well, Hubby has had a few emails from prospective employers regarding his resume, but no interview dates yet. He has sent his resume out to about 40 places, including placement agencies and headhunters. In the meantime, we are making drastic cuts to the budget, virtually eliminating ALL discretionary spending. Worse comes to worse, he will get a job in the evenings, anywhere that will hire him, just so we can have some extra money coming in. We will withdraw DS from his preschool and he can stay home with hubby until hubby finds a job. That will save us $570 per month in daycare expenses. I guess this is an awesome opportunity to teach the kids (and ourselves) what is really important and how really all we need is each other, food, water, shelter, and electricity. Right now, I am seriously beating myself up for not being further along in my savings goals, as this is the prime example of what you establish that EF for. But, no use crying over spilled milk, so they say (not sure who actually says that!) Right now I gotta get tough and resourceful. Hopefully this unemployment will not last too long and we can get back on track. It does, however, make me that more determined to get our financial "act" together so that I don't have to go through this kind of stress again.

My nerves are shot!!!

April 7th, 2008 at 01:54 pm

Hubby called me at the office this morning to let me know they had a meeting at work this morning and he is being laid off, effective 4/18/08 (nice two weeks notice). He is a contract employee, and the contract he was working on was due for renewal in June, but they decided that they are terminating the contract effective 4/18. So I am now stressed out, although I am trying to remain calm. He knew they project was likely to be "non-renewed" come June, so he had already been sending out his resume.

My Mom always tells me "things happen for a reason" and I am trying to trust that, but it is hard to find a way to find happiness right now.

Cutting back

April 5th, 2008 at 01:03 pm

So, hubby has done a good job of cutting our phone, DSL, and satellite bill. They are currently separate bills totaling approximately $188 per month. He is switching us over to a new company that can provide the same services, all on one bill, for $99 per month. So, starting next month, we will be saving $98 monthly on that. Also, he reprogrammed our programmable thermostat since the weather is finally getting warmer. So, we have had windows open and ceiling fans going most of today and it is almost chilly in here. Now we have to work on all that pesky "phantom" electricity we lose in the wall plugs.

Where has the time gone?

April 2nd, 2008 at 11:55 am

Well, I am back after a two month hiatus. Things haven't greatly improved--I wish I could say I have made such good progress. but, I haven't gone backwards so I am at least holding ground. We are in the process of going over the budget with a fine tooth comb. I have updated my version of Microsoft Money and am working on getting everything updated.

Right now, I am stressed about the economy and hubby and I have decided to take an aggressive attempt to find ways to "bulletproof" ourselves so that this down turn doesn't hurt as much. This will include reassigning financial "duties" between us. I am going to be in charge of weekly bill paying, investments and insurance and the food budget. He will be in charge of trimming utility cost, car maintenance and gas conservation, and home improvement projects. We have a budget we are tweaking right now and I will port it on my blog as soon as I feel it is ready.

Our priorities right now are building the emergency fund and reducing our discretionary spending. We are also really analyzing needs vs. wants and trying to get back to a more simplistic way of living. It is truly a work in progress.

Moving right along...

January 3rd, 2008 at 09:24 am

Well, Happy Jan 3rd everyone. Hubby and I had a nice discussion last night about energy savings. We made a list of the things we want/need to accomplish in order to get more energy savings, both consumption savings (going greener) and therefore more financial savings. This we are concentrating on keeping the thermostat lower (programmable thermostat is set at 65 from 10 pm to 6 am, and 69 from 6 am to 7:30 am. it goes back to 65 during the day, until about 2:45 when it goes back up to 69 in time for daughter's return home from school. Hubby changed the filters this past weekend and we have replaced another 4 bulbs with new energy-eff compact flours. We have several more to go on this.

So we are concentrating on electricity this month, then on to water.

I finished the budget and "debt reductions" spreadsheets but have been tinkering with them the past few days. It all looks pretty good so far. This weekend is the first payday to log in, so I am looking forward to seeing how I will divide it out and fund everything.

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