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March savings update

March 4th, 2015 at 09:05 am

I recently wrote a post about what our savings goals are for this year. That is, we hope to be able to transfer $1,000.00/month into our savings account each month. As I said in my previous post, we had an unexpected $800.00 medical bill from my husband's surgery that we had to pay, so we were really hoping to transfer $200.00 this month.

Well, after getting paid on Monday, we're going to be able to transfer a whopping $1,060.00 this month! We are turning around and paying $540.00 of that for our phone plans sinking fund. We also just paid $28.00 for school pictures because our daughter has her pictures today.

So, the total amount we need to save for our sinking funds this year (it's changed a little bit) is $6,914.00
The amount we have already saved and spent is $1,233.19
The amount we have in savings as of 3/4/15 is $3,441.84
Our amount left to save is $2,238.97!!!

At the rate we have been going, we just might be able to knock that out after April's savings transfer and our tax refund of $800.00 that we will hopefully receive this month and about half of May's transfer!! As long as the hubs is able to get his 8 hours/week of overtime we should be set. The only scary thing is that his work keeps saying that they are cutting overtime for the week and then they for some reason end up allowing him to work overtime. So fingers crossed that he'll be able to get his overtime for a while.

Refinancing our house... headache!!!!

March 3rd, 2015 at 02:25 pm

Right now our mortgage is solely in my husband's name as he bought it before we got married, which is fine. The interest rate is 5.25%, which stinks! He took his loan out a little over 5 years ago now as a 30 year term. We want to refinance our mortgage and this is the information we have gotten so far.

Hubby did something online and got a quote (I guess) of 3.75% and approximate closing costs of $3,300.00. He wants another 30 year term.

I called a few companies in our state and got quotes of 4% to 4.125% and approximate closing costs of $1,500.00-$2,000.00

I'm actually okay with doing a 30 year term and paying it off as a 15 year term. This way we could extra toward the principal when we can and if anything ever came up then we could stop and plan for it. I really looked at refinancing as a way to save a lot on interest and get the house paid off. Then, when our oldest child graduates high school then we would be completely debt free and able to save for whatever, with an additional $1,000.00 on top of our monthly surplus now.

Husband is looking at it as a way to invest. He wants to invest the money that we will be saving. This is unsettling to me, but I would rather do that then not refinance and not have that extra money each month to do with what we choose. Although, it just extends the loan an additional 5 years and we'd basically be paying the same in interest.

I feel stuck in this situation. Ugh!

When we wanted to pay off our $4,000.00 debt with 0% interest I had a hard time convincing him that we should just pay it. He did finally give in to that, though. I was thinking that maybe talking to a financial advisor would be beneficial for both of us, more settling to the person the advisor doesn't agree with and an actual plan laid out.

I guess I'll just keep praying about it.

No Spend Days for March

March 3rd, 2015 at 07:51 am

I have seen a lot of people doing the No Spend {Month} and always think to myself, Pff… I don’t need to do that! Well, this month I have had a change of heart. I don’t plan to have a complete month of no spending, but I want to limit the days that I do spend. No spend to me does not include our groceries, fuel, and bills. What is in our budget and will count is our entertainment, if we eat out as a family, and my spend money.

I’m doing this because I suddenly realized that I don’t think I have had a day yet this year that I haven’t spent money – unless I don’t leave the house! That is RIDICULOUS!!!! So, it’s definitely time for a change. I eat out for lunch – a LOT, like way too much! Taking food to work with me, whether it be a quick sandwich or leftovers, will help me watch what I’m eating. I’m also hoping that it will keep me from becoming desperate for money in the last ten days of the month.

Sunday was a no spend day for me. Hubby went to the store and bought all of our groceries and then my getting out for the day was taking a walk as a family (including our two dogs). Yesterday (Monday) I had to work and that’s usually when I cave and go get something for lunch. I made it through the day yesterday without even buying anything to drink! Drank water all day!

If figure I’m off to a good start, so I might as well continue with it! My goal is to have 15 no spend days… and I’ve already had two! I usually like to go buy a soda and drink about half of it. That will probably be something I fight myself on this month, but we’ll see!

Hope you all have a fabulous March!

Savings plan

February 18th, 2015 at 02:35 pm

At the beginning of January we were able to transfer $3,200.00 into our savings account. After that we paid some of our debt from this account ($3k to be exact), leaving us with only about $200.00. At the beginning of February we transferred $2,800.00 into savings. After I get paid on March 2nd, I’m hoping to at least transfer $200.00 to savings. Our goal is to put $1,000.00 into savings each month, but my husband had surgery last May and we ended up having to pay $800.00 this month for something that insurance would not pay.

My husband came to me and said, “The bill they sent said we can just pay $200.00 each month until it’s paid…” I cut him off and said, “NO! Pay it now!” I think he was going to go on to say “but, we should pay it all now, don’t you think?” (Or something like that). I was annoyed by the fact that we had to make this payment and just wanted it out of our lives instead of more debt two weeks after we had officially gotten out.

Basically, the $1,000.00 that we were hoping to transfer this month has been cut with hopes of just $200.00 because of that $800.00 bill we had to pay. Hopefully, we won’t have any other surprises and can continue to transfer $1,000.00/month to savings after March.

We might slow down toward the end of the year when we have the sinking funds funded and have saved up enough money to refinance because right now my husband works 2 nights a week overtime (minimum) so that we have that $1,000.00/month surplus. His normal shift is from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. When he stays over he is there from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., which gives him 8 hours of overtime a week. He also wakes up with our son every morning while I’m at work. He is such a trooper for all he does!

2015 Financial Goals & Sinking Funds

February 17th, 2015 at 09:00 am

Our goals for 2015 are pretty basic, but important. This will be our first official year of putting our finance together as a married couple. So, we hope to be able to achieve these goals well before the end of the year – based on how we are doing so far.

#1 Become debt free except the house - $4,044.24
#2 Fund our sinking funds - $6,814.00
#3 Save enough money to refinance our house - $2,000.00

We completed goal #1 on January 26, 2015. We had an attorney from my husband’s custody case for visitation with his daughter from a previous relationship. After that case taking two and a half years (insane!!!!) he paid his attorney over $9,000.00 in total. We had $3,800.00 left at the beginning of 2015. His attorney told us that she would accept $3,000.00 as a payoff amount! He owed $214.24 to the courthouse for that same case, which he thought he had already paid but hadn’t. We owed a gal that did a class for us before we got married (it was required) $30.00. We took that class in August of 2014 and as our finances weren’t combined at the time, we both thought the other had paid it. Once I realized she hadn’t been paid I delivered the $30.00 to her home in person. So, all of that was paid in January of this year. Debt free!!!

Here is a list of our sinking funds for this year:
1. Personal Portfolio $2,000.00
2. Christmas $500.00
3. Vacation $1,000.00
4. Phone Plans $1,000.00
5. Car Insurance $520.00
6. Car Registrations $200.00
7. Kids birthdays $500.00
8. Clothing $500.00
9. Summer lessons $80.00
10.Vehicle Maintenance $300.00
11. Sports/Dance/School Pictures $180.00
12. Software for taxes $34.00
TOTAL $6,814.00

We have already paid out $645.19 out of our sinking funds account, which leaves us with $6,168.81 unpaid. Sitting in our “sinking funds” savings account right now is $2,920.18, which then leaves us with only $3,248.63 to save. We are hoping we can have everything saved for our sinking funds before June and then we can save the $2,000.00 for the refinance over the summer.

There are a few items that we forgot to include in our “sinking funds” account. Those funds are family pictures, pets (shots and grooming), gifts for people outside of our home (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc.), and holidays (Halloween costumes, fireworks for the 4th of July, etc.). I figure that after we add all of that in our “sinking funds” amount would have been around $8,000.00 for this year. We will add them in for next year, and don’t worry, our kids will get to dress up and go trick-or-treating, the dogs will get their shots and groomed, and other couples will get their wedding gifts. We simply forgot them this year. We will probably handle them just as we do the other sinking funds, but we may not finish funding the account that extra $1,200.00 until after we do the refinance.

Is the total amount of our sinking funds insane or what?! Do you have sinking funds?

Online earnings

January 22nd, 2014 at 09:18 pm

Since my hours will be cut back drastically in less than a month I decided to see what online surveys were all about. Earned $10.72! :-)

Expenses for the year (outside of our monthly budget)

January 8th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Fiance and I looked at some expenses we will have this year that are not monthly, just one time/once a year expenses. This is what we have

Surgery: $4,500.00
Recovery time from work: $5,500.00
College Books - Spring term: $100.00
Dress Shopping: $300.00
Cousins baby shower gift: $20.00
Sisters baby shower: $400.00
Sisters baby shower gift: $200.00
Retreat for marriage prep: $360.00
Roof: $1,500.00
Trip out of town for cousins bachelorette party: $200.00
Daughters birthday: $200.00
Fiance's vehicle registration: $200.00
Wedding gift to friends: $50.00
Lincoln trip for cousins wedding: $300.00
Wedding gift to cousin: $50.00
Sons birthday party: $250.00
Vacation: $500.00
My vehicle registration: $200.00
Christmas: $500.00
My Roth IRA: $5,500.00
Fiance's Roth IRA: $5,500.00

WOW! That's $26,330.00!! So much stuff going on this year! And I guess we decided to wait on gutters until we do siding, which will hopefully be next year!

I said I wanted to purchase my college books for this semester last weekend, but I will do it today. Hopefully it comes in under that $100.00!

Change cashed in/Splurge

December 10th, 2013 at 09:28 am

I usually spend cash for as many things as I can. I save all of the change to pay daughter for her chores and then anything above that I put into my 6 month-old sons piggy bank(s). Well, his bank(s) were full so I deposited into my savings account that I don't really use and it earns a little bit of interest. The balance on that account is $65.66!

And then I splurged a little bit. I knew that Dave Ramsey was coming out with a new book that he and his daughter wrote, it comes out April, 2014. I saw on their facebook page that they were letting people pre-purchase it and then you get the Financial Peace Junior now and the book "Smart Money Smart Kids" in April. That was $35.00. So I'm waiting for Financial Peace Junior that we will use with our daughter. I probably didn't get much of a deal, but I was going back and forth on whether or not to purchase Financial Peace Junior because I really want it. So, I got it!

I have had a bit of a spending problem lately. Ugh! I think it's because it's end of the year/Christmas and I'm stressing out over getting my college classes done.

2014 Financial

December 4th, 2013 at 09:50 am

2014 Financial:

My Income: $1,300.00/per MONTH (after taxes) – Yuck!
Other income: $1,500.00 – tax return
$1,000.00 – other

Monthly Expenses (does not include savings, retirement or college):
Bills: $400.00 (Cell phone, internet, tv, gas, electricity, water, car insurance)
Fuel: $120.00 (My fuel)
Groceries: $100.00 (I only pay a small percentage of groceries)
Babysitter: $50.00 - $65.00 (Depends on how many days and how long. I pay 35% toward babysitter. We will have to switch babysitters in June, 2013, so we’ll see if it becomes more expensive.
Misc.: $80.00
TOTAL: $670.00 - $685.00
Other:
Will be left with about $500.00/month for retirement/college/savings

Random expenses in 2014:
1.Wedding Gifts = $100.00
2.Wedding Travel = $500.00
3.Car Registration(s) = $500.00
4.Kids’ birthday parties = $300.00 ($150.00 each for cake & ice cream, party supplies, presents, etc.)
5.Vacation = $500.00 (Not sure we’ll take one)
6.Clothing = $500.00 – we are all really in need of some clothes!
7.Home (random doings) = $150.00 – the house is so blah right now!
8.Birthday gifts/Graduation gifts = $150.00
9.Christmas = $400.00
Total Random = $3,100.00

Investments in 2014:
College:$300.00 for the year (fiancé does another $300.00)
Retirement:$5,500.00 for the year (fiancé max’s out his Roth also)

Savings will go toward:
Shoulder surgery: $4,500.00 $4,000.00/$4,500.00
Recover time: $5,500.00
Roof: $2,000.00
Gutters: $1,200.00

I don't know how to manage next year:
1. Throw tax return and other at retirement so I don't have to budget so much for that - if I do that I'd contribute $58.00/week to retirement; or
2. Throw tax return and other at random expenses so that they are covered and we don't have to worry about it. Save monthly for retirement and surgery, time off, and house improvements; or
3. Throw tax return and other at surgery, time, and house improvements so we can get that out of the way.

I think I could cash flow us through fiance's time off work for surgery if I throw it at retirement. I just don't know the best way to go about it.

Fiance will also help with everything except my portion of college, and retirement.

Any ideas?! We have a lot going on next year!

GradSave and Bonus/Raise

November 12th, 2013 at 07:54 am

Fiance got a raise of $0.52, plus a $200.00-something bonus last week!!

And sons gradsave account has been set up for less than a month and now has $50.00 from Grandma! He just turned 4 months old yesterday. It has already been very exciting watching him grow.. smiling, laughing, cooing, rolling over, eating some rice cereal.. I just love him!! :-)

Some good news!

October 23rd, 2013 at 11:37 am

Fiance got a letter last month from his bank that he has his mortgage through. The escrow payment is changing...not sure why. But his monthly payment will be $50.00 less a month (starts in November) because of escrow going down. He also gets his surplus returned to him, which is $224.15. What good news! :-)

Also, last year we had to buy a refrigerator because ours broke on us and fiance put it on his Sears credit card, it was no interest for a year and we had no emergency fund back then. Last payment is this month, so that will be another $70.00/month!

Shoulder Surgery

October 16th, 2013 at 11:53 am

Hope everyone has had a fabulous past couple of weeks. It has been a while since I have posted anything. Haven’t had much going on, just very busy being mommy and working and trying to keep up with the mess at home… haven’t been very successful with that. And homework…well, that’s not doing itself, unfortunately.

Anyways… on another note, fiancé wants to get shoulder surgery done in JANUARY of 2014 . Evidently, he can’t stand the pain anymore… shucks! Our plan is to come up with $10,000.00 for this. He has done some research and believes that after insurance pays, we will have to pay somewhere between $3,000.00 - $4,000.00 in medical bills. His disability insurance will cover 66% of his income for the time he will be off. We expect him to be out of work for 3-6 months… I’m crossing my fingers that he will be able to go back to work sooner than later. We estimate about $6,000.00 to cover the rest of his income. These figures and time-frames are just what we are expecting. We are not for sure on anything as we have not talked to a doctor yet. Fiancé is suppose to be contacting the doctor he wants to see to schedule an appointment in January.

My goal before I knew about the surgery was to have $2,000.00 in my savings account by the end of the year. Now that we are planning on the surgery, that money will go towards that.

How we plan to come up with $10,000.00:

Money already saved: $1,974.00
Only $24.00 to reach my goal of $2,000.00!

Money from tax returns: $2,000.00
We usually file as soon as we can

Other money we will receive: $1,000.00
2 bonuses = $500.00 each bonus/$1,000.00 total (One bonus in December and one in March)

That’s $2,500.00 by January (money we have already saved and at least $500 from one bonus) and $3,000.00 more by March for a total of $5,500.00. The other $500.00 for bonus will not be until March. So in order to come up with the other $4,000.00, we will probably stop funding our retirement accounts beginning next year until everything is taken care of. That should give us at least another $800.00 per month next year. We will have to hit our retirement accounts hard after that. I would still like to max out my retirement in 2014.

Hopefully we can both save a little bit yet this year. We both usually get about $200.00 each for Christmas, so that would be an extra $400.00. I will also get paid for the sick days that I do not take this year. We only get 42 hours a year for sick time and as of today I have used 10.5 hours, so I still have 31.5 hours available. But then again, we do still have two and a half months to get sick and 3 co-workers have been sick this week already. But if I can keep the bug away, that would give me a few hundred extra bucks at the end of the year. I estimate that we could easily come up with an extra $500.00 with Christmas money, sick pay, etc., by the end of the year. And if we don’t use all of our Christmas budget, that would help!

What a headache! I was definitely hoping to get the housework done outside before surgery... oh well!