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Where does it all go?Sagegirl's money ramblings
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End of the year..yikes!

December 2nd, 2010 at 03:44 am

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 24th, 2010 at 01:34 am

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 11:34 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 09:22 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 11:58 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 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.

The new budget

July 7th, 2010 at 01:27 am

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 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.

Everything changes so fast

April 3rd, 2010 at 02:57 am

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.