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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.

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.

Christmas is over and I am beat

December 26th, 2007 at 08:08 am

We had a really nice Christmas but, as usual, once it is all over, I am ready to move on. I always look forward to the New Year--always the optimist that we can start over, change bad habits, set new goals and actually stay on track. I am considering what goals I want to set for the New Year. It will take some thought.

Christmas and payday

December 21st, 2007 at 08:27 am

So, today is payday. Hubby's check was already direct deposited and my 1/2 mortgage payment has been deducted. (I pay every other Friday which creates one extra payment per year toward principal.) I will get my check deposited today then I have a dividend check that should arrive today. I might possibly get a Christmas bonus check also (I got $500 last year, but it depends on how well the company has done this year--hopefully I will get one but I am not going to totally count on it.)

We have several gifts left to buy--we just have not had the time. We are more than half done and have done well with the Christmas budget. We never over-spend on our 2 kids and my hubby and I do not buy for each other. His parents are deceased and he is an only child, and my family draws names (so we will have 2 people to buy for). The only other gifts we buy are for the neice and nephews. We usually do pretty well on the budget at Christmas because there is not a ton on our list. We should be able to knock this out tomorrow.

I have to sit down and figure bills tonight and then make my grocery list--the Christmas Meal with my family is at my house this year. We are doing a brunch--everyone brings a dish and we will do the main dishes. Should be fun. I want to try to get a gingerbread house kit for the kids to do as an activity, but I will need to see what I can get on sale.

Just getting started

December 19th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

I am new to this site but not new to this delimma. I try so hard to live within budget and try to save but after 18 years of living on my own (married for 11 of it) I have nothing to show for it. I am tired of feeling like we are always struggling to make ends meet. My hubby and I make decent money--not a lot but we are not poor. And we never have anything left over. And I know that has to come to expenses. So, starting today we are going to be looking at where every last dime is spent. I have tried (unsuccessfully) over the years to track this but something has to change. I need to visibly see where it is all going. I have the checking and savings accounts set up in Microsoft money and now I just need to start tracking. and, I need to come up with ideas to make the money last longer. The budget belt is about to be tightened--as far as it will go.

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