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The source of the leak

July 25th, 2010 at 11:52 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 10:24 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 14th, 2010 at 01:30 am

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.

New month

July 5th, 2010 at 10:05 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 11:03 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 10:05 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.

Holding ground

April 29th, 2008 at 08:33 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 07:56 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 08:54 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 08:03 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 06:55 pm

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.