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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?

It's been a while....

February 13th, 2015 at 02:22 pm

It's been over a year since I have posted here. Life got busy with wedding planning, baby, work, and life in general.

I like to think that we have come a long way since then. So, I'll tell you all where we are today. When I started this page, we owed my husbands attorney (for visitation with his daughter) approximately $5,500.00. We then found out that there were some fees at our county's courthouse that my husband was suppose to pay and didn't realize it. Those fees added up to $214.24. We then had to take a class through our church before we got married. That class only cost us $30.00, the problem was that my husband thought I had paid it and I thought he had - lack of communication.

In January of this year, we owed his attorney $3,800.00. She accepted $3,000.00 as a payoff. I paid the courthouse and the gal for our pre-marriage class in the second half of January and we sent a check to the attorney on January 21st and it cleared the bank on the 26th.

Therefore, as of January 26, 2015, we are debt free except our house! WOOT WOOT!!!! No better feeling!

Now, my husband bought his house in 2009 before we got married for $88k. That loan will be $80k by Summer. The interest rate on that is 5.25%... YUCK! After we have funded our "sinking funds" this year we will be saving $2,000.00 to refinance our house. We hope to pay the house off in 15 years - before our son graduates high school. Smile

We have $70,000.00 to our name. This includes husbands 401(k), both of our Roth IRA's, and other investment accounts we have. It definitely feels good when you hit a savings milestone. Helps us see that we're really getting somewhere.

My husband is a little discouraged as our budget will always be tight until there is no more child support or house payments. That day will be amazing, but I try not to think about it too much as we need to enjoy our lives now and the time we have with our young kiddos.

I hope everyone here had a wonderful and productive 2014 and that 2015 holds great things for all of you!

Job update

January 30th, 2014 at 08:44 pm

Haven't been posting very well lately. Most of you may have seen that my current boss was going to cut his hours, which obviously cuts my hours. One of my co-workers let me know about a part time job. It is at our local District Court. I got the job! And I start on Monday, February 3rd! I'm so excited! It is very part time, but that's okay. They offered me $1.00 more than what I am making at the law firm. Then when I talked to my boss at the firm, he matched it. Woo hoo!

In March, I will also start working at our YMCA's daycare. My son can also come with me after 5:00. So, I'll be getting paid and have my son there! Smile It doesn't start until 3:00 in the afternoon and I will be off work at my other two jobs every day by 2:00, except for the first Monday and Tuesday, and fourth Monday every month.

In the end, I will be making more then what I make now!!!! It seems like everytime our family has a set back, God gives us an even bigger blessing! Smile

Can't wait to start the new job on Monday!!

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! :-)

Losing income

January 15th, 2014 at 08:29 pm

I work for an attorney. He is county attorney of two counties and he also works at a private office with two other attorneys. I work at his private office. He told me today that he is going to be doing estates only and will be working out of one of his county offices so that he doesn't have any overhead expenses. He wants me to handle his estates, but that doesn't leave me with much of an income. I am wanting to stay working for him so that I can have that small income and basically work my own hours. I would also like to find another part time job that cover the rest of my income and be off by 2:30 every afternoon so that we can cut out daycare costs. I'm not sure that this is really realistic, but I guess this is my chance to try and find something that works more with the hours I want.

I'm a little excited to be able to be home with my son, but worried about income. UGH!!

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!

Weekend To-Do List

January 4th, 2014 at 07:35 am

Take down Christmas decorations []
Clean kitchen []
Organize/fold kids clothes []
Fold my clothes []
Take FOCUS "test" (for marriage prep) []
Second marriage prep meeting with our priest []
Going to get the hair done []
Make pottery pot with daughter []
Order college books []

Not a huge to-do list this weekend!

More Christmas gifts

January 2nd, 2014 at 08:51 pm

Late presents I got. The Advocare 24 day challenge for Christmas! I am going to look through the guide tonight. I hope to lose 10 pounds before I have to be in my cousins wedding on June 28th and lose 20 pounds before my wedding on September 13th. My Grandma is giving us her treadmill because she never uses it. That will make it so easy to do a couple miles a day!

And I have some Jillian Michael's videos I can do. My aunt also has a video that she really likes.

I don't stick to workouts very well though, we'll see how this goes!

My fiance and I lost a son August, 2010 due to Anencephaly. This is where he did not get enough folic acid from me in the very early stages of pregnancy. Anyway, my mom gave me a bracelet that has that has charms inside a glass circle. The charms are a heart that says "In Memory of" and then a "J" for his name with diamonds, a little kid with his months birth stone, and a cross. It was sooo lovely. Smile

Had the best Christmas yet!