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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. :-)

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!

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?

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!

I made the new budget

January 1st, 2008 at 04:25 pm

Well, I have completed the new budget and have to say I am somewhat optimistic. I feel like we should be able to work with this. Hubby and I are still looking at a few categories where we can trim the expense--specifically on utilities-electric, cell phone, DSL, and satellite TV. We both get paid this weekend so I will be able to do the first funding of the categories. I cannot wait to be able to enter the info on my spreadsheet!!

I have also done a debt re-payment spreadsheet to include all the debts listed in my profile, with the exception of the mortgage. The way I have the mortgage set up (twice monthly auto-draft) I make an extra principal payment each year. I am going to leave this alone for 2008 and work on applying any extra funds to debt reduction and building up the EF.

I should get an additional deposit from my employer into my SEP IRA--maybe next month. When I get to $2500, I have to look at investing in something for the long term, as it is just in cash reserves now.

My short term goals are to work to stay on the new budget and continue finding ways to save--more no-spending days, find better deals, be a smarter consumer.

Happy New Year everyone$$$$$

2007 is OVER

December 27th, 2007 at 12:07 pm

So, I have a few "year-end" items I want to take care of. I need to get everything downloaded into Microsoft Money so I can get it catagorized. Also, the last week of the year I usually purge the file cabinet and get things in order so tax time will not be near-scary. I need to come up with my specific goals for 2008, which will generally focus on the big ones-savings, debt reduction, and budgeting--all of which I didn't get near as much accomplished this year as I had hoped.

All in all, I am excited about the prospect of the New Year.