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Canada Trip

October 1st, 2007 at 01:24 pm

We're back!! And I'm not broke!! I'm so happy! My husband, daughter, my brother and I went to Canada this weekend to visit family and we spent under $150.00!! My brother split the gas with us, which totaled maybe $50.00 each. And then we hardly spent anything there because my cousins paid for everything!! I bought lunch there once, a few coffees on the trip to keep myself away through the 9-hr drive (18 hrs total), and that's pretty much it. We had a blast!!!
Now, the next thing I've got to save for is my friend's wedding, which all three of us are in. Yippee!! I have to go buy my daughter's shoes this week--thank God they're from Payless!! But thankfully this month I have 6 HGP parties booked, which will bring in quite a bit of money to use for the wedding and Christmas gifts (want to get those out of the way).
I've also been looking into Preschools for my 3-year old just so I can get a head start on saving for that (only starting her a year from now), but they're so expensive. $140-180/wk!! That's insane!! And that doesn't include lunch!! I don't know...

Working on it....

September 26th, 2007 at 11:02 am

I haven't written since May, but that doesn't mean I gave up on my finances. I'm still working on my goal of being debt free in 5 years. That's 70k to get rid of in 5 years--seems like too high of a goal, but with the plan I have in mind, it can be possible. My only issue is my husband and I are planning on having another baby by summer of next year, and my daughter will start pre-school September 2008, so that might slow down my progress a bit.
But I've continued to pay on all my bills--all on time too! and I've been able to put $50 away per week for some time now. Since we are planning on having another baby, we decided to go to Sesame Street Place with my 3 year old for the weekend a couple of months ago, and we're leaving for Canada to visit my family this weekend. So, the $50/wk I've been putting away has gone over to those two trips, and my friend's wedding (which all three of us are in the wedding). I know we probably shouldn't be going on small vacations while we're so much in debt, but my daughter's only young for a short time. Kids grow up so fast and I don't want to lose out.
Anyway, I've been working part-time as an Independent Designer for Home & Garden Party and I absolutely love it!!! This past month of September, I made over $1,000.00 in commission for just 4 parties!! Unfortunately mine and my husband's car broke down in the same week, and I had to buy my daughter's dress for the wedding--so I only have about $400 left. It actually makes me sad.
But thankfully, I already have 6 parties booked for October--and those 6 will hopefully give me some for November (I only have 1 booked in November). We'll see!!

It's been a while

May 18th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

I haven't posted an entry in soooooo long....but don't worry, I haven't fallen off the finances wagon!
So much has happened since I last posted an entry. I had to do a little bad thing recently--that was closing my daughter's accounts. She's only three, so as soon as I'm done paying off the credit cards, my main concentration will be to pay her back as if I'm making my credit card payments. But for now, I had to do it to relieve some stress. It had gotten to the point where I couldn't concentrate on anything else accept the bills. So I paid off some of the medical bills and half of others. Right now I only owe about $650 in meds. I'm also caught up on my oil, since I was about 4-5 months behind. And I only owe $400 on my van. The credit cards are still the same, but I've been able to make the monthly payments with no problem. My home equity line is also going down slowly. From each paycheck of mine and my husband's I've been sending $10 extra towards the balance--better than nothing. And I only got a .50 raise in April, but I decided since I was so used to living off of what we were making, I'm direct depositing the $20 into our savings account, so we're starting to build that up a little bit. But the good thing is, last week, I got an unexpected bonus of $2700 from work, so, again, I paid a few more bills, and put $1000 in the savings account. My daughter's b-day is in July and we always throw a big cookout here at home--it's once a year, so I go all out. And whatever's left, the next weekend, we're going to Sesame Street Place in PA as a gift for my daughter. But of course, as soon as I get some money together, something has to happen. The sub floor of my van was apparently rotted and hanging off to once side. So, I had to get that fixed--$658. Then two days later, my hot water heater thingy blew. $350.00. So, the only amount I had to take out of our $1000 that I had put away was the $350 as I had saved $650 from the other part of the bonus that I used to pay some bills. On, not to mention a few weeks ago, the window to my van got shot out by a BB gun at work, so there went another $200, which at that time we had to borrow from my mother in law. Geez...I've decided I'm going to call my priest to have him come and bless our house and our cars.
But on another better note. I've started working for Home & Garden Party part time...it's almost like Princess House, accept the items are cheaper, and you get paid more commission. I make 40% off of what I sell. Well, right now it's just 30% until I sell 1500 in merchandise. I had my first show this past weekend, which was a $558.00 show, so after deducting 15% shipping (which I have to pay), I made $142.00. Not bad for just talking and playing games for about 25 minutes, and then collecting orders and money for another 30 minutes. I really enjoyed it. So far, I have another show next week on May 25th. I can't wait.
So, that's where I stand at this point. Hopefully I'll be able to write more often, but so much has been going on, I'm lucky if I remember to eat.

I'm back

March 15th, 2007 at 10:04 am

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything and so much has happened since the last time I've been on. Unfortunately nothing too great, but oh well...that's life sometimes!
It all started off with my daughter and I both getting the stomach bug, then she got an ear infection, and I got a sinus infection, which went away, came back, and brought along with it bronchitis--double whammie this time!! So, between doctors, walk-ins, and prescriptions, I've spent a good chunk of change. When I went to the walk-in I had to refuse the x-rays because I have a $4k/yr deductible, so I'd have to pay for them out of pocket. I learned my lesson--I still have $1600 of medical bills to pay...I wasn't about to tack on more!!
But anyway, I'm back to work and feeling much better (damn cough won't go away though).
Well, before we all got sick, I decided to call one of my credit cards (the one with the highest balance) that I hadn't paid since October 2006. I know...bad, bad, bad...but with the foreclosure of our 3-family and all the stuff that came our way last year, there was no way I could make that payment. Well, they got me on a 5-yr plan where I'll pay $243/month with 6% interest (way better than what it was). Unfortunately, having that extra $243 payment a month leaves us with basically nothing!! I did our budget, which includes all the bills, mortgage, $75/wk for groceries, $120/wk for gas, and $40/wk spending cash. After all is said and done, we have $97 at the end of the month.
So, after that happened, and after reading All Your Worth (great book), I called around for auto and home insurance quotes. And I'm happy. On the home insurance, I'm going to save $100/yr (not much, but it's something), and on auto $80/month (yippee!!!). So that will help quite a bit.
So what does this all mean? I NEED A PART-TIME JOB!!!!! I had a second interview last Saturday at REMAX for a weekend position, but haven't heard back yet. Should I call? Or does it make me sound pushy? Then I had an interview w/Lowe's (which I really want--more hours and time and a half on Sundays), and on Tuesday they said they were going to run a background check--does murder come up on that? lol.....JUST KIDDING!!! So, how long does it usually take to do a background check? Should I call them too? I don't know....I think I'm going to have to start stripping soon!! JUST KIDDING AGAIN!!

Eye openers

March 7th, 2007 at 05:44 am

For the past week or so, I've been pondering everything!!!! And thanks to Imasaver and I-78's blogs, I've learned a lot to help me on this journey. First, I'm going to be e-mail Imasaver about the surverys she does....$10 here and there helps quite a bit and adds up. I-78 mentioned a book, "All Your Worth"--so instead of buying it, I went to the library this weekend and grabbed it. I'm halfway through already. The book states that a healthy financial balance to life is %50 (of your income) Must-Haves, %30 wants, and 20% savings. The book gives you a few worksheets to calculate what your balance is, and sadly enough, my balance as it stands right now, is 74.5% (ouch), Wants %16, and Savings 9.5%. Obviously, I've got a lot of work to do, and a long way to go, but I have to understand that it can't be done in one day. But I've got to start somewhere. I've got a car loan (which I don't pay interest on, thankfully), that I pay $100/month, and I have a $900 balance. If I get a part-time job, that's getting paid off sooner than 9 months. Today, I'm going to shop around for cheaper car insurance (I paul 277/month for full coverage on two cars). It went up from 187 to 277--no clue why!! And then I'm going to look at a cheaper cell phone plan with the same company since I'm under contract. And of course, homeowner's insurance. So, we'll see what I can figure out.
Also, yesterday, I spent NO MONEY!!!! I put $2.00 in the jar since I didn't buy coffee. My hubby however spent $15.00 ($10 for gas, $2 for coffee, $3 for beer). Not bad for one day!

Long Weekend!!

March 6th, 2007 at 09:19 am

Well, it's been a few days since I've been able to post anything. My grandfather got transferred to a nursing home for rehab, my daughter and I both got the stomach virus, and most likely my husband will too. So, it's been a crazy weekend.
So, just to update on our recent expenses, etc.
3/1/07
Me: $2.00 coffee
$31.49 Quicken program
$5.12 cigarettes

Hubby $2.00 coffee
$10.00 gas
$6.00 food for John (disabled kid he takes care of)
$3.00 beer

TOTAL--59.61--ouch!!

3/2/07
Me: $2.00 coffee
$ .50 newspaper

TOTAL--$2.50

3/3/07
groceries--46.76 (not bad)

3/4/07
cigarettes--5.35
library late fee--10.00
Total: 15.35

3/5/07-NOTHING!!!! SICK AS A DOG!!!

And to my jar--I must say, I'm very happy so far.
Friday, I took my grandmother to the hospital to see my grandfather, and then he was transferred to the nursing home, so I was with her basically all day. She gave me $10.00. That same night, I went to a meeting for a Portuguese dance I am in and was reimbursed all expenses for the clothes and alterations we had to get, which I wasn't expecting seeing as though last year we were not reimbursed. So, I got a total of $162.00 and I'm still waiting for another $65.00 for the alterations, which I hope to get back this weekend. Plus my husband and I had decided that whatever work day we don't buy coffee, we'd put $2.00 in the jar. And, also whatever day I do not have a cigarette (I'm trying to quit), I would also put $2.00 in the jar. I did not buy coffee yesterday and didn't have a cigarette--so that's $4.00.
Starting: $25.00
Adding: $176.00
Ending: $201.00

Oh, and I went on an interview this past Friday and was told I should have an answer by mid week this week--it's for a part-time administrative position for weekends! Wish me luck!!

On my way

March 1st, 2007 at 05:55 am

Last night my husband and I started our savings jar! I'm so excited he's on board. We started off with $20.00 and by the end of the night we already had $25.00. My grandfather's really sick in the hospital and I went to pick up my grandmother and bring her home. She gave me $5.00, so I put in the jar!
Plus we spent $18.16 last night.
Me: Husband:
coffee--$2.00 coffee--$2.00
dinner--$11.50 beer--$2.66

Much better than the day before!! Tonight I don't expect to spend any money thankfully!!

Husband's on Board

February 28th, 2007 at 01:37 pm

I must say, I am very excited!! Usually I'm the only one who thinks about our finances, where's the money going, who are we paying, who are we not paying, etc. Well, I've been really bored at work today and have been reading other people's blogs, and I was very inspired by one of them that I think will help my husband and I actually put money away, even though my original goal was to pay off debt. But I guess you can do both at the same time.
So, I called my husband because I was absolutely amazed that this particular person was able to save a little over $20k in one year, and she only started off with $20. So, as of tomorrow, my husband and I are going to start our new challenge.
Every time I save at the grocery story, I'm taking that cash and putting it in a jar. Everyday that I don't buy a coffee, I'm putting $2.00 in a jar, every change I find, goes in the jar, any unexpected monies that come are way, in the jar--you get the picture. I doubt we'll reach $20k like that person did, but anything right now is better than what we have. And the more money I save, the more I can pay off--and then start all over again with the saving. It's just a vicious cirle, but I'm really excited about all of this and hope that we can stick to it!

And again, any helpful tips are very greatly appreciated!

P.S.--I've only spent $2.00 on coffee so far today, and my husband $15.01 on gas. I know those totals are going to change by the end of the night because we have to get takeout for dinner, and off course, hubby's beer!! lol

Not good

February 28th, 2007 at 06:21 am

So, I just started this blog yesterday and already I've received a lot of great tips on ways to save and get rid of debt. thanks to all!!
But, so far on my first day of tracking my daily expenses, my first thought was ouch!!!!! Here goes:
diapers--$13.48 (buy 1, get 1 50%-CVS brand)
gas-- $20.00
smokes-- $5.12
car wash-$8.00
coffee-- $2.00
Vit. H2O-$1.49
TOTAL----$50.09

Husband
lunch--$2.00
coffee-$2.00
beer---$3.00
TOTAL--$7.00

My husband did a lot better than I did. So, I determined the unnecessary spending, on my part anyway, were the cigarettes (time to quit), car wash, coffee, and Vitamin Water. It's definitely going to take time, but I will definitely be making an effort to cut down on the extras.

Wish me luck!!!

Introduction

February 27th, 2007 at 11:32 am

This is pretty cool....I read about financial blogs in our local paper and how people basically counsel themselves in getting rid of debt and eventually actually putting money away. So, I thought I'd give it a try and see how it works out.
My husband and I are in major debt. We recently lost a 3-family to foreclosure and that put is in the hole--big time. So, my goal for this coming year is to pay off atleast 10 of our smaller bills so that way I can concentrate on the bigger ones after.
So, here goes!! These are our debts.
credit cards--$9,829.21
$12,105.06
$186.01
$233.10
$450.95
car loan $900.00
overdraft $1,493.01
medical bills-$363.95
$132.48
$310.00
$302.42
$262.20
$237.96
home equity $58,000.00
grandparents--$5,500.00
mom $1,500.00
Total--$91,806.35

OUCH!!!! It hurts to see that figure. So, my goal is to pay off all the medical bills, car loan, and the 3 smaller credit cards. And hopefully when I get my taxes done (eventually), I can pay my grandparents whatever I can.
So how's that for debt!!! I'm really hoping this works because I hate to know that all our money goes towards bills and not savings.