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Archive for January, 2010

February 2010 Savings Update

February 1st, 2010 at 02:20 am

Regular Savings:
Emergency Fund $3140
Anniversary Cruise $2100
Cushion $780
Vacation 2010 $1075
HSA $660
MN Trip $120
Mexico $600 - Complete
King Mattress $750 - Complete
Big Screen TV $425 - Complete
Total Regular Savings = $9650

Retirement Savings:
Roth IRA $1800
Rollover IRA $1600
401K $8900
403B $7650
Total Retirement Savings = $19950

Total Savings = $29,600
Up $1640 from last month

Current Goal - MN Trip $1000
Can't wait to get the tax return in our checking account and transferred to savings!

The good, the bad, the ugly and the extremely embarrassing

February 1st, 2010 at 01:58 am

Tracked expenses for January 2010
Mortgage $1322.08
Principle Payment Mortgage $630.20
Heat/Electricity $132.19
Cable/Internet $84.50
Water Bill $41.08
Car Insurance (FC on 2 cars) $70.77
Cellphones(2)$92.47
Medical $239.27
Eating Out $319.42
Groceries $107.08
Gym (usually $49) $67.38
Netflix $18.01
Entertainment $1149.03
TV Loan (0% interest) $25.00
Fuel $241.07
Misc $283.22
Triple A yearly dues $55.00
Yearly vehicle registration $65.00
Total = $4942.77

Ugh........so embarrassing! So everything is ok.....except the entertainment (AWWW!) and the misc. Misc was only $83.22, but then I had to pay for that stupid ring warranty ($200). Boo! Entertainement was numerous things, bar, bingo, going out to movies and 3 unplanned trips out of town....We have no children, so pretty much do what we want when it comes to leaving for the day or the weekend. Totally out of control though!
Even with the out of control spending we still continued to contribute normally to retirement and savings, as well as pay additional to the house. I know we can do MUCH better!
Improvement goals for February:
-No eating out unless we have a GC/coupon
-Keep entertainment to under $500 (which would be cutting this months spending in half)
-Keep Misc to under $150

February 2010 Mortgage

January 30th, 2010 at 08:52 pm

Mortgage for February

Balance $136,990.00
+$556.52 Interest
+$381.65 Escrow
-$1322.08 Regular Payment
-$456.09 Principle Payment
New Balance $136,150.00

Additional Principle Payments 2010 = $1086.29
Current Position on Mortgage Amortization Schedule....May 2014...4 years and 3 months ahead of schedule!

Tax Return

January 30th, 2010 at 08:25 pm

OK decided what to do with the tax return and escrow refund: $2575

$975 to MN trip
$400 to repay money I "borrowed" from EF
$400 additional to EF
$400 to mortgage principle for March 2010
$400 to checking from some cushion

And with those deposits I will officially be over $10K and halfway to the $20K challenge! Party!
Of course if will go down in March when we use the money for the MN and Mexico trips......but hopefully we will have some to bring home and that will go back into savings.
Smile

1-29-10 $20K Challenge

January 30th, 2010 at 01:35 am

Current Total = $8955.00
+$50.00 to EF from paycheck
+$50.00 to Vacation Fund from paycheck
-$140.00 to ROTH IRA
New Total = $8915.00

I have officially filed our taxes ($1774 federal and $270 state = $2044). Plus we are waiting for the refund check from our ecrow account ($528) which should be here in just a few days. So that is a total of $2572 coming our way! YEAH! We will put at least $1000 into savings.....after that I am still deciding. I want to put some towards the house and some into checking to give a little breathing room...and more into savings. Got to figure out the best way to stretch this.

I am hoping this will be a no spend or at least cheap weekend. I am going to the gym tonight and DH is having one of our friends over to drink some beer and pay some PS2. Staying out of trouble! Smile

Exciting Escrow/Mortgage News!

January 29th, 2010 at 01:05 am

Got some exciting surprise mail today! We got our Annual Escrow Statement. We just bought our house at the end of 2007, so this is only the 2nd one we have gotten. Last year we got about $100 back at the end of the year, because we had overpaid. This year we are getting $528 back! Whoo hoo! I know it is just our money anyways, but it is money I had already "spent" so I am so pumped! I have not decided for sure what I am going to do with it yet.....but I am thinking some to mortgage principle and the rest to savings......probably mostly to savings. Also our monthly mortgage payment is going down $36 a month starting 3/1/10. So I will continuing paying the same amount and adding that extra $40 (adding $4 to get to an even number) to the principle payment every month. That's an extra $480 per year to the mortgage principle! Whoo hoo! YEAHHHH!

Eating out and other expenses are getting out of control

January 26th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

As I stated earlier this month I got my cash book out on the 1st of the year and have been tracking every penny.....it is BAD BAD BAD how much we are overspending. Now that I can clearly see how much we are overspending I am ready to do a no spend month for Feb to try to get this under control. I am setting a goal for us of 15 no spend days and only eating out if we have GC/coupons that we were going to use, right now I have 3 GC/coupons that I need to use.

Update on bills

January 24th, 2010 at 05:35 pm

To Do list of bills:
1) Hot tub repair bill $750 - Paid $250
2) Wisdom teeth removal $143.60 - Paid off
3) Dr bill #1 $141.10 - Paid off
4) Dr bill #2 $59.40 - Paid off
5) Dr bill #3 $94.50 - Paid off
This year I started an HSA for medical expenses, and I found out that I could use money put in it this year to pay bills that I incurred last year! YEAH! So I called the dentists office and had them charge the dental bill to my HSA. So now we are just down to the hot tub bill. I will make another payment of $250 this week and then the last $250 I will pay next month.

Fun free stuff

January 24th, 2010 at 05:30 pm

This week I won a free "Like it" size ice cream from Coldstone from a radio trivia contest. I also got a coupon for a free pair of underwear from Victoria Secret, I will have to go pick those up this week. I have not used my VS card in years so I am always happily surprised when I get free items or coupons.

1-24-10 $20K Challenge

January 24th, 2010 at 05:17 pm

Current Total = $8750.00
+$3.96 Monthly interest on EF CD
+$1.04 Even out amount for EF CD
+$50.00 to EF from paycheck
+$50.00 to Vacation Fund from paycheck
+$100.00 to Retirement hold account
New Total = $8955.00

Wedding Ring Warranty ---- Grrrr!

January 16th, 2010 at 07:48 pm

I went to the jewelry store where my husand had purchased my wedding ring 3 1/2 years ago to get my every 6 month cleaing. The cleaning is free and as long as I bring it in every 6 months for inspection and cleaning the warranty remains active. Well.....during the inspection they told me that my main stone is loose and they need to have the prongs tightened....ok that is fine, should be covered under my warranty... Nope....she tells me the warranty on the band/prongs etc was only for 2 years, the warranty for the diamonds is lifetime. Ugh! So to get a lifetime warranty on the full ring was another $200! So irritated about it. I did pay the $200 to get the lifetime warranty on the whole ring because I will have this ring for the rest of my life, but I am very irritated because the original 2 year warranty was $120, and at that time they did not offer a lifetime warranty.....so I feel like we got ripped off by having to pay that much for only 2 years.....blah. Not a good start to your day when you plan on spending $0 and end up spending $200! I really want this money leak we have going on to quit!

Being an advocate for yourself

January 15th, 2010 at 11:48 pm

DH had a tooth extracted back in the end of October and we are still waiting for the bill. Since I am very detailed with my finances, I always note every medical visit and make sure that each claim is received by the insurance and that I get the EOB and the bill. Well after giving it a couple of months (normally I would not wait that long, but with the holiday season I allowed more time)I called the dental office today. They said that they had sent me a bill, I verified my address and they showed the correct one on file. I am absolutley sure that we did not get a bill because I do the mail everyday and file everyday so there is no way it could have gotten missed. So they are sending me the bill now. I just wanted to share this story because I work in health insurance and I talk to people everyday that don't notice that they did not get a bill and all of the sudden they are getting collections notices. So just a helpful reminder to all is that you can not depend on your insurance or your drs office to make sure that your bills are paid on time. You need to be an advocate for yourself and make sure that everything is taken care of, because in the end it does not matter who drops the ball, you will be the one with a hit on their credit report or a collection agency calling you. Keep track of your appointments, your EOBS and your bills.

1-15-10 $20K Challenge

January 15th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Current Total = $8500.00
+$1.11 Monthly interest on Mattress CD
+$3.89 Even out amount for Mattress CD
+$50.00 to EF from paycheck
+$50.00 to Vacation Fund from paycheck
+$100.00 to HSBC Anniversary Cruise
+$20.00 to get EF to next $100 mark
+$25.00 Rebate from car repairs
New Total = $8750.00

It was a good week for the $20K challenge! We continue to move on up, I am excited that I we are getting closer to the 50% mark.

Biggest Loser Week 8

January 12th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Week Eight
Pounds Lost this week = 1
Total pounds lost = 1
% weight loss = .55%
Place = 3rd out of 6 people

I worked out everyday this week and still only lost one pound....bummer! Oh well still working at it.....

Cash Book

January 9th, 2010 at 05:20 pm

I got my cashbook back out for the 1st of the year, and have diligently been tracking every penny spent. Let me tell you, it is no pretty! It is only the 9th and I am already appalled at the amount of money we have been spending......But I am confident that seeing this in writing will help curb the spending. I know for sure it has already helped with the amount I spend on pop everyday, because I really don't want to write it down everyday, so I have been taking cans from home (.31 per can) a lot more, instead of hitting the vending machine at work (.75 per can/$1.35 per bottle).

1-8-10 $20K Challenge

January 9th, 2010 at 05:06 pm

Current Total = $8300.00
+$50.00 to EF from paycheck
+$50.00 to Vacation Fund from paycheck
+$100.00 to ING retirement hold account
New Total = $8500.00

Biggest Loser Week 7

January 9th, 2010 at 04:42 pm

Week Seven
Pounds Lost this week = 0
Total pounds lost = 0
% weight loss = 0%
Place = 1st out of 6 people

Yup, that's right! I have officially lost -0- pounds and I am in first! Everyone else gained over Christmas and is above their starting weights.....pretty sad Biggest Loser!

This week I worked out 4 days and will work out this weekend as well. My DH joined the gym now too, and it really helps me to get there.

Oh and also the real Biggest Loser started this week on NBC, and that is always a big motivator.
I am hoping to lose 30lbs by our Mexico trip in March.

Running the tax numbers

January 7th, 2010 at 12:49 am

I plugged in what I have so far for taxes and it looks like we are getting about $1800 back from federal, I did not do state yet, but usually get about $100-$200 back. Once I get my forms I will efile.
So the first $1K I am going to us to reach my first savings goal of the year, MN trip $1000 (already have $105 saved for it). The remaining $800-$1000 I am still deciding on.....here are my options:
1)Add to EF, this is my 2nd savings goal of the year, and adding $1k to it would get me 1/2 way to my goal for the year of $5K
2)Pay to mortgage principle, this would take about another 6-7 months off the life of the loan
3)Put in checking to give myself a little more wiggle room.....I tend to put too much in savings and towards the mortgage and leave too little to work with so a little more room would be nice
4)Last option is a combination of 2 or more, like 1/2 to the EF and 1/2 to the mortgage

I am leaning towards #1, but am open to suggestions! Smile

1-6-10 Free Stuff

January 7th, 2010 at 12:35 am

I have not signed up for any free samples in a while but have still been getting some here and there in the mail. Today I got:

Free sample of the new poptart flavor....GRAPE!? I will try them and let you know what I think, but a little nervous about it....

2 Free makeup samples from Revlon

Thanks to the FIL!

January 3rd, 2010 at 06:13 am

DH was visiting his family out of state and his Dad always takes such good care of us. He came back with a jumbo pack of tp, 8 pack papertowels, 2 bottles of dish soap, bottle of Drano, 3 boxes kleenex, shampoo, razors, shave foam and deoderant for DH, a jug of laundry detergent, box of dryer sheets, 2 boxes cereal, 2 packages of chicken breasts, 2 packages of bacon, 3 brick cheeses, 1 bag shredded cheese, 2 bags frozen vegetables, case of moutain dew (for me!), 2 boxes crystal light mixes, a big bag of pistachios, plus a check for $150! Gotta love that! So we are WELL stocked for some time!

January 2010 Savings Update

January 3rd, 2010 at 04:53 am

Regular Savings:
Emergency Fund $2885
Anniversary Cruise $2000
Cushion $740
Vacation 2010 $820
HRA $0
MN Trip $50
Mexico $600 - Complete
King Mattress $750 - Complete
Big Screen TV $425 - Complete
Total Regular Savings = $8270

Retirement Savings:
Roth IRA $1620
Rollover IRA $1720
401K $8900
403B $7450(had wrong est last month)
Total Retirement Savings = $19690

Total Savings = $27,960
Up $3520 from last month

Last months goal, Mexico, has been met!
Current Goal - MN Trip $1000

January Mortgage

January 3rd, 2010 at 04:35 am

Mortgage for January

Balance $138,000.00
+$560.63 Interest
+$381.65 Escrow
-$1322.08 Regular Payment
-$630.20 Principle Payment
New Balance $136,990.00

Additional Principle Payments 2010 = $630.20
Current Position on Mortgage Amortization Schedule....January 2014...4 years ahead of schedule!

This is our biggest principle payment to date!

Biggest Loser - Week 5/6 Weigh In

January 3rd, 2010 at 04:28 am

We did not have a weigh in the last 2 weeks, one week the person that weighs us in was gone, and the next week I was gone and I bring the scale. So 2 weeks with no official way in, I have more or less been staying the same, probably gained a few lbs over Christmas. But it is a NEW YEAR! I love the start of the year, it is soooo refreshing to have a new start. DH is joining my gym on Monday, he does not need to lose any weight, but would like to start running regularily again. I am happy that he will be there to encourage and motivate me to keep going. He is going to be my "trainer" until we go to Mexico in March. I am also excited that the actual "Biggest Loser" show starts again this week. That is always a great show to watch while I am on the ellyptical.

OT Project has ended

January 3rd, 2010 at 04:11 am

Well the OT project has officially ended with the end of 2009. I ended up putting in 72 hours of OT in 8 weeks! Wowsa! I must say I am happy it is over though, the money was very, very, nice......but I was definitely getting burned out.
My regular position will have some OT in January, but probably only 4 hours a week or less, so that will be more managable.

1-2-10 $20K Challenge

January 3rd, 2010 at 04:03 am

Current Total = $8275.00
+$3.52 Savings Interest (pathetic)
+$21.48 Even out amount
New Total = $8300.00

DH got some money for Christmas that I was hoping to put in savings as well, but we just have too many bills right now, and went out of town for the weekend so had to put it in checking for now.