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Archive for March, 2011

Getting closer to next goal

March 27th, 2011 at 04:14 pm

Our next savings goal on the list for this year is the Emergency Fund. Currently it is at $1400, and our goal for the year is $3000.
I had set up savings accounts with ING for our Laptop and Washer/Dryer that are both on 0% financing. So we had $600 in the Laptop savings, and $1200 in the Washer/Dryer savings to cover the full amounts of the 0% loans. But for both loans I have to make the minimum payment, so the balances of each have gone down and now have extra funds in both of those accounts. So I transferred $200 out of each of the accounts to the EF. Now the EF is up to $1800, over half way to that goal! I also have $500 set aside for my MOH duties in May. So far I have been able to hold onto all of those funds. I paid for my dress back in September and was able to pay for it out of checking. I am going to buy gifts this week, but should be able to cover those out of checking as well. Hopefully I can hold onto most or all of the MOH funds and then that can be transferred to the EF as well.

April 2011 Mortgage

March 26th, 2011 at 07:37 pm

April 2011 Mortgage

Here is the extra payment that got applied 2 weeks ago:

Balance $134,097.31
+$419.05 Interest
+$307.59 Escrow
-$1311.16 Regular Payment
-$527.31 Principle Payment (March's PP)
New Balance $132,985.48

And here is the principle payment we are sending in for April with my account number in humungous letters written in 2 different spots on the check, and circled 4 times on the payment coupon.

Balance $132,985.48
-$535.48 Principle Payment ($45 in coin)
New Balance $132,450.00

For those that are wondering....I am STILL argueing with the mortgage company. After I called and talked to a supervisor 9 days ago....he said he would call me back in 2 days. I heard nothing back and have been calling everyday or everyother day and keep being told he is out sick or he will call me back tomorrow. Yesterday I called and asked for the supervisor's supervisor, they said supervisor #1 emailed you that he will call you back on 3/29/11. I never got any email, and let them know how I feel about their terrible customer service. So I will be calling back again Tuesday if I don't hear from him, which I am sure I won't. I think they are hoping I will just give up.....unfortunatley for them they don't know me very well....I might not get my fees back from them, but I will at least get a real answer by the end of this....

$20K Update

March 26th, 2011 at 03:40 pm

Current Balance $13,515.00
-$28.00 to ROTH IRA
+$3.00 Even out Amount
New Balance $13,490.00

ING $9360
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $600.00
HSBC $3530.00
Total = $13,490.00

$20K Update

March 19th, 2011 at 09:46 pm

DH got a check for $10.76 back from the school for buying school supplies, so I transferred $15 to the EF.

Current Balance $13,500.00
+$15.00 to EF
New Balance $13,515.00

ING $9385.00
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $600.00
HSBC $3530.00
Total = $13,515.00

Wendover Vacation

March 19th, 2011 at 06:56 pm

My aunt and uncle have been telling my husband and I how fun Wendover, NV is for awhile now, and apparently last time they went they put us on the mailing list because we got a flyer from Wendover a few days ago.
It is for roundtrip airfair, 3 night stay, and $100 in coupons for free play, food etc. All for only $189 per person! Our trip to Deadwood cost that much and that was only for 2 nights and driving for 10 hours instead of flying for 2 hours. So we decided to do that as an end of the school year/my birthday/our 4 yr anniversary trip. I am so excited! But it is not till the end of May, so gotta cool my heals for awhile. Smile

www.wendoverfun.com


Q and A

March 19th, 2011 at 06:36 pm

Question:
Hey, I was noticing you have your savings at $13K. It seems like no matter how much I put into emergency savings, I can't get it much beyond $500. What is your secret?


Banker Gurl Says:

Well, although we have areas of overspending we still need to work on (eating out, gambling) in general we keep our costs down. We also have no debt other then the house, so that frees up a lot more cash for us, then if we had a car loan, SL or CC to make payments on. You have probably heard the saying "They nickle and dime you to death". My best savings "secret" is that we nickle and dime our savings to death. Everytime we get $5 in a birthday card, $10 rebate, or any kind of "unexpected/bonus money" I always try to put it in savings. I have many friends who only think if you have $100 or more that is what you put in savings. But that is silly, $5 adds up too, and if you only wait till you have $100 to put in savings you may be waiting a long time. If you find $3 in the bottom of your purse that you didn't know you had, put it in savings. Every penny does count, and you don't even feel the "Strain" of savings if you are constantly doing a little drop in the bucket here and there.

Coupons

March 17th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I got a couple of good coupons in the mail that I will need to use:

$10 off a purchase of $50 or more at Famous Footwear
-DH and I both need new tennies for summer, so we will watch for a good sale (FFW sometimes has but one get one free or other good sales) and go get some new shoes.

$10 off at Red Lobster when you use your Discover Card. The lobsterfest commercials on TV are killing me right now! So I am super happy we got a coupon/reason to go now! Smile

Free travel size item of your choice at Bath and Body works, no purchase necessary.

Guess I better hit the mall soon!

Little Update

March 17th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I added $35 to the EF just to get my total to a nice even number.

Current Balance $13,465.00
+$35.00 to EF
New Balance $13,500.00

ING $9370.00
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $600.00
HSBC $3530.00
Total = $13,500.00

Mortgage Drama continued......

March 16th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Today I did all the crummy paper work and faxed it into them. Ten min later I get an email that says they can not refund my fees since my account number was not on my check. I looked back and I have NEVER once written my account number on my check (but you can bet I will in the future) and not only have I NEVER written the account number on the check......the PAYMENT COMES WITH A PAYMENT COUPON WITH THE ACCOUNT NUMBER!!! And even if it didn't, type in my freaking name, match the name, spouse and address on the check to the loan number!! But anyways, it DID come with the loan coupon, so that is total BS about the account number. I called AGAIN today and spoke to a manager who didn't seem to be as useless as the others I spoke to and he is going to research and call me back. In the mean time, I sat in the driveup line for 20 min this morning at my local bank waiting for them to open at 7:30am and deposited $1000 to get me back in the black, but had already gotten $60 in fees. I called my bank to make sure that no checks had been sent back and they said no, and they OFFERED to credit back the fees without my even asking! LOVE my BANK! So I got the $60 back and now the fighting with the mortgage company is just on principle. If I get my $60 back I am going to but everyone at my bank some DQ!

New Mortgage Numbers March/April

March 16th, 2011 at 12:37 am

March Mortgage

Balance $134,680.00
+$420.88 Interest
+$307.59 Escrow
-$1311.16 Regular Payment
New Balance $134,097.31

April Mortgage

Balance $134,097.31
+$419.05 Interest
+$307.59 Escrow
-$1311.16 Regular Payment
-$527.31 Principle Payment
New Balance $132,985.48

$20K Update

March 16th, 2011 at 12:24 am

Current Balance $13,230.00
+$100.00 to Anniversary Cruise
+$25.00 to EF
+$25.00 to Home Improvements
+$85.00 to Retirement Hold Account
New Balance $13,465.00

ING $9335.00
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $600.00
HSBC $3530.00
Total = $13,465.00

This will probably have to go down temporarily to cover this mortgage fiasco, but we will see. Either way it would only be temporary.

Crazy F'en Mad!!!

March 15th, 2011 at 11:54 pm

I may explode from anger! So I checked my checking account about 16 times today to see if the mortgage checks we mailed on 3/1/11 has been put through....all day they have not gone through. I get home and check the mortgage website and BAM there they are...ok that's annoying since yesterday when I called they said they had not received them yet....but now they are showing posted on 3/14/11 (the day I called) whatever. I call the mortgage company and the girl tells me they did not have them when I called (at 5pm?!) but they must have gotten them right after that. I argued with her for a few minutes that I did not understand how it takes 14 days to get my payment, but was going no where so I said fine and got off the phone. So if they just got them then I have a day or a few to get the extra money into my checking to cover the 2nd payments. So I go to look at my checking account to see what I need to cover them.....and lo and behold the checks have already gone through my account! WHAT! NOT electronic debits, the ACTUAL CHECKS and I can already see the images of them, and on the back they are stamped RECEIVED 3/8/11!!!!! OMG SOOOOOO MAAAAAD! So I call back and I am just fuming and trying to remember that the girl I am talking to didn't so this, so don't kill her. So she tells me again the checks were just received yesterday, I tell her that is not physically possibly for the checks to be received by them, ran through their bank, and then ran through my bank(local bank) in 1 business day, and also your stamp is on my check. She can not give me a good reason why that would have happened, keeps telling me it should have been credited within 24 hours, yada yada. So I tell her, now I am going to be overdrawn tomorrow because I was not planning on having both payments go through my account, and although those checks did not overdraw my account, I have 4 withdrawls coming out in the morning and even if I wait at the bank in the morning for them to open, the bank is on real time, so any autowithdrawls will come out first and I will have 4 overdraft fees now. So she tells me I can print off the copy of the check showing it was received on 3/8/11, and print of my account history showing that I was overdrawn and then fax them in with a note asking for the OD fees to be returned to me. UGH what a hassle!! So I got her name and employee ID and said I would do that but also explained to her that I should not have to do that since they messed up and kept my check on the shelf for a week........I also demanded my $12.50 fee back (the one I had to pay for making the last minute fee to my mortgage yesterday), I told her to credit that to the mortgage principle. Supposedly she is going to take care of that. Blah, so I am dreading tomorrow morning, cause even if they do reimburse the fees it is super embarrassing, annoying and just aggravating!
So now my regular payment was credited to March, the principle payment was credited to March, and the 2nd payment I made was credited to April, so I don't have to make a payment till May.

Missing Mortgage Payment -----GRRRRR!

March 14th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

So I went to deposit our Deadwood money in the bank today and when I got my receipt I was surprised at how much we had in our checking account. So when I got a chance I went online and checked our internet banking and saw that our mortgage payment had not come out yet! We mailed it on 3/1/11.......so I called the mortgage company and they said that they had not received it. So I could pay by phone ($17.50 fee) or by internet ($12.50 fee) or I can wait and cross my fingers that somehow the payment gets applied by tomorrow otherwise I get a late fee ($50.00). UGH! So I paid by internet, but just made the regular payment, and did not make my principle payment because if the checks are received then they will get cashed too and I didn't want like $4K coming out of my checking account at once. The rep I talked to said if they do receive the checks they will cash them and apply them to Aprils payment. BLAH so irritated by the whole deal. Guess we will wait and see what happens now. Frown

$20K Update - Remaining $500 from Deadwood

March 13th, 2011 at 08:14 pm

We decided what to do with the last $500 from the trip
$200 to Super Secret Stash
$200 to Lawn Mower/Vacuum Savings
$100 for DH to play with

Current Balance $13,030.00
+$200.00 to Lawn Mower/Vacuum Savings
New Balance $13,230.00

ING $9200.00
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $600.00
HSBC $3430.00
Total = $13,230.00

We are not tracking the Super Secret Stash on here as part of savings, but it is up to $1000 so that is awesome!

Back from Deadwood - Winners! :)

March 13th, 2011 at 02:34 am

We are back from Deadwood and had a great time! It was super fun and I am sad that it is over already. We ended up bringing home $1500! YEAH! And that is all extra money for savings! We are still deciding what to do with all of it, but I have $1000 of it already transferred to savings.
We almost always play penny games. We had 3 awesome wins. $270 on Lord of the Rings betting $1.20 a spin, $300 on The Big Money Show betting .60 a spin, and $436 on Fortunes of the Caribbean betting .60 a spin.
I sent $750 to our "New Car" savings to meet the goal for the year, then sent $250 to the EF, which is the next goal on the list. So $500 left to decide on. I will talk to DH tomorrow and decide what to do with that.

Current Balance $12,000.00
+$750.00 to New Car from casino win
+$250.00 to EF from casino win
+$30.00 Even Out Amount
New Balance $13,030.00

ING $9200.00
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $400.00
HSBC $3430.00
Total = $13,030.00

Wow, so we just got to $12K a week ago and now we are already over $13K, plus ING accounts hit $9K!
P A R T Y !
Plus we still have $800 in the Super Secret Stash and $500 to decide on from Deadwood. We are really rolling towards the $20K goal!

Off to Deadwood!

March 10th, 2011 at 03:00 pm

Yeah the day is finally here! We are off to Deadwood today! We have all of our money set aside already, so don't have to take any out of savings for the trip. Everything we bring home we will put into savings for our next goal which is the "new car" fund. The goal for that account right now is $2000 and we are currently at $1250, so I am hoping we will bring home enough to finish that account, but we shall see! Fingers crossed for good luck!

Cheap-o Undies

March 10th, 2011 at 02:45 pm

I went and used my Victoria's Secret coupons. Good for 1 Free Incredible Hip Hugger, the 2nd coupon was for $10 off any purchase. So the first pair was free, $11.50, then I used the $10 off coupon on another pair for $11.50. So I got 2 prs for $1.50 OOP!

My Grape Koolaid Rugs :(

March 7th, 2011 at 01:53 am

My upstairs bathroom has a nice fresh spring theme. The walls are a spring green, shower curtain is white, spring green and lavender. All of the accesories are lavender, rugs, toothbrush holder etc. It's super cute and probably my favorite color scheme in the house. So DH was cleaning the bathroom while I took a nap (ok that makes me sound like a jerk already). I got up from my nap and went into the bathroom and the rugs went from lavender to grape koolaid while I took a nap. Frown Apparently he washed the lavender rugs with the black rugs from the second bathroom.....the black rugs had never been washed as we just remodeled that bathroom about 6 months ago, and we never use it. So blah. I am super bummed out and we got in a fight about it, I was way more irritated then I should have been. The rugs were a house warming gift from a friend and had been purchased at Kohls, but I know they no longer have that color because I had checked before and was told it was clearanced out a few years ago. I went to Target and the only purple they had was a Royal Purple. My Mom suggested I go look at Walmart, so I will try there too, but it's not looking good. And I know from buying the black rugs they are expensive...I got those on a great sale and it was still like $50. Anyways I guess I am more sad at the way I handled it then at the actual rug situation. I should have sad, "Oh dang, it was an accident, thanks for cleaning the bathroom" Instead of "Awwwwww......and it doesn't look like you swept the floor?!" Well you live and learn. I apologized to DH and am gonna work hard to not over react next time.

Rango!

March 5th, 2011 at 11:45 pm

My husband and I went to the movie Rango today. It is an animated movie and it was really cute. It has a lot of adult humor, but those jokes would be way over most kids heads so was good for kids or adults.
We used free movie tickets I had earned for donating blood. Then we used a rebate we had for Menards to get candy, and the candy was even on sale too! So the only thing we spent money on was one pop for me and one popcorn for DH - $7.50. Ouchie! Someday I will break the habit of having to have a pop at a movie. Smile

2 Free Matinees - Saved $13.00
4 Boxes of Movie Candy, paid .06 OOP - Saved $3.62
Total saved = $16.62

Total spent $7.50 for popcorn and pop + .06 for candy = $7.56

$7.56/2 = $3.78 a piece for movie and snacks

Savings Tips 5-7

March 5th, 2011 at 03:17 am

5) Don't use stamps, and if you do, buy forever stamps. I bought 100 forever stamps in May 2008. I still have about 20 left, and right now we only use 1 per month and that is for our mortgage payment. Everything else we pay online for free except for our electric bill. They do not have an online payment option, but they do have a drop box at the grocery store by our house, so rather then mail it in with a stamp we just drop it off there when we are getting groceries. When these stamps are gone I will buy another 100 forever stamps and they should last me another 4 years or more. Also watch for stamp prices to go up and make sure you buy before the increase.

6) Don't spend money on personalized items that you can get for free or cheaper for normal items.
Examples:
- License Plates - You already have to pay registration fees, don't waste money paying for vanity plates.
- Checks - Many banks offer free checks if you get the plain blue or gray checks. Why pay for ones with the Flinstones or puppies on them?

7) Avoid bank fees. Overdraft fees, ATM fees, LOC (Line of Credit) fees, interest. They are all stupid ways to spend your money. An easy way to avoid a lot of fees is to just keep a checkbook register. Either paper register or on Excel or mint.com. Whatever works best for you to make sure you know what is in your account. A LOC will keep you from becoming overdrawn, but most have either a yearly fee, or a fee every time it is advanced. LOC also usually accrue interest while you are using the funds. I avoid this by keeping my own LOC called my cushion (see my post called "My Cushy Cushion") so if I make an error in my register or we just are a little short when a bill is due I know I have an extra cushion in there to cover it till the next deposit.

$20K Update

March 5th, 2011 at 02:47 am

Current Balance $12,080.00
-$112.00 to Roth IRA
+$7.00 Even Out Amount
+$25.00 To keep above $12K
New Balance $12,000.00

ING $8170.00
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $400.00
HSBC $3430.00
Total = $12,000.00

One of my auto deposits to my ROTH IRA came out today and took us under $12K....awww! Don't want that to happen, so I made a random deposit just to keep it at the $12K mark.

March 2011 Savings

March 2nd, 2011 at 01:03 am

March 2011 Savings update
As of March 1, 2011:

Regular Savings:
Emergency Fund $1045
Anniversary Cruise $3430
Home Maintanence $90
Cushion $1380
HSA $3750
New Car $1205
New Lawn Mower (cash) $400 - Complete
MOH $515 - Complete
Laptop $605 - Complete
Washer and Dryer $1200 - Complete
Vacation - $2530 - Complete
Total Regular Savings = $16,150.00

Retirement Savings:
Retirement Hold Account $970
Roth IRA $3170
Rollover IRA $1375
401K $13,815
403B $10,000 (est)
Total Retirement Savings = $29,330.00

Total Savings = $45,480.00

Up $2165 from last month. Wow it is amazing to think we could hit the $50K mark in just a few months! Smile Feeling very proud of DH and I right now. Smile

$20k Update - We hit $12K!!

March 2nd, 2011 at 12:52 am

Current Balance $11,890.00
+$20.00 to New Car Fund
+$85.00 to Retirement Hold Account
+$6.19 ING Interest
+$28.81 Even Out Amounts
+$50.00 Detention Money - to Lawnmower fund
New Balance $12,080.00

ING $8250.00
Lawn Mower/Vacuum(cash) $400.00
HSBC $3430.00
Total = $12,080.00

Whoo hoo! $12K! Feels great to get past the next $K mark! Also am happy cause even if we had to take some out of savings for something we would hopefully be able to stay over $10K now since we have a little wiggle room.