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Archive for January, 2015

Small Choices

January 28th, 2015 at 02:09 pm

On the way in this morning, it was seriously cold and I really, really wanted a Croissanwich from BK. Then, I remembered that SO sweetly packed my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The bagel would be warm, and my office has free hot chocolate as an extra warming treat, so I avoided stopping. It occurred to me that life is a series of small, but smart, choices and that's what adds up to a lifestyle change!

On a side note, this also helps with my Dietbet goal. I'm pretty sure I'll make it, but my weight goes up 3-4 lbs. during the day, so it's pretty hard to tell. (My first round goal is 4.4 lbs.) This morning, I was 135.6; I need to reach 134.4. Over these next few days, I will weigh in every morning and if it hasn't gone down .3 lbs., then I will need to start my day with a workout. If it's where it needs to be, then I get an extra hour of sleep Smile

2nd Chances

January 26th, 2015 at 08:38 pm

I posted a review about my experience at the vet on Yelp. They reached out to me today and have credited the remainder of the office visit back to me. Since they reached out to me and made it right, I've decided to give them a second chance as SO's pets have all gone here their entire lives. SO will be taking DC in this Thursday.

I'm not liking all the spending this month, but this has been an abnormal month with DD and DC joining us and SO's income not quite leveling out yet. Hopefully, in the coming months, I'll see some real progress on some of my goals.

It's payday! (And it's all gone...)

January 22nd, 2015 at 05:55 pm

I so long for the days when money stays in my bank account for more than a day. Half of my paycheck immediately went to our joint account. With the remaining half, I paid several credit cards and loans. I have about $60 in my account left to cover any gas/miscellaneous spending for the next 15 days. Looking at my schedule, I don't foresee any spending needs other than gas which won't be until near the end of that timeframe. I've pretty much cut out all eating out/random spending. The only thing we will really be spending on is the occasional pantry supplement for meals and supplies for DC (who comes home today!!!). These types of expenses come out of the joint account.

This weekend will definitely be low-spend as I will be spending most of it getting acquainted with DC and the rest of the time giving DD attention.

Pets are expensive

January 20th, 2015 at 02:42 pm

I took DD (for me, this will be dear dog) to the vet this past weekend. There's nothing wrong with him, but he was due for his annual check-up and I figured it'd be nice for the new vet to get to know him (he did also end up needing a vaccine). I was a bit ticked as the receptionist told me there was a coupon online for a free first visit. However, they ended up charging me for the visit. When I pointed it out, they only credited me 21 bucks of the 108. I asked why it wasn't applied to the office visit ($58), and she said something about the vaccine. However, the vaccine was still $30. I think they used the coupon to cover the cheapest item which was the nail trim ($19). Accounting for tax, that seems like that's where the 21 came from. I really wish I were better at speaking up in situations like that as I am really regretting not pushing for the $58 to be credited back.

In other pet news, I don't believe I've ever mentioned DC (dear cat) before. In addition to DD and the (future) puppy, SO and I have decided to get a cat. After several conversations, we thought it best to bring in DC first. DD has been up here about a week and is settling in pretty well, so we've started looking at cats and have found one we really like. We took DD to Petco the other day to look at her, and she seemed really curious about him, but not aggressive. When we took DD away, she was very playful interacting with us. Thursday, we will be meeting her outside of the cage (without DD), and at that time, we will decide whether to bring her home. SO's family gave him some gently used cat items, and my coworker is generously donating things as well, so hopefully expenses won't be too bad.

As previously mentioned, all pet expenses are shared between SO and I and will come out of our joint account.

Free Lunch and Housewarming Party

January 15th, 2015 at 03:36 pm

There is such a thing as a free lunch! We're being treated today for our work on the re-appraisal. SO actually packed me lunch this morning, but my pb&j with frozen bananas will have to wait until tomorrow.

This Saturday, we are throwing an impromptu housewarming party. It will probably be about 10 people. Any suggestions on frugal, delicious servings? SO mentioned a couple of his friends will probably bring something along, but I feel like we should have some sort of entree/food available as his friends always feed us full meals when they have us over.

Need to buckle down...

January 14th, 2015 at 02:44 pm

...on the dietbet goal.

With the crappy weather and my insane schedule, I haven't had any time for workouts. Since my weekends are free, I'm going to double my workouts/intensity in the hopes of kickstarting my weight loss. Fortunately, it's only 3 lbs. to go, but I'm not as far along as I'd like to be.

I've been pretty proud on the financial/food goals. We've eaten out less than 5 times since moving in. And I'm staying the course with budget. I did notice I'm filling up more than I usually do, but since it's so cheap. It's coming out to spending about the same amount.

Credit Card Plans

January 8th, 2015 at 06:41 pm

A lot of my posts haven't really laid out my plans for debt reduction, so I thought I'd give a little rundown of my credit card situation...

As I mentioned before, the whole churn thing is not for me, and in doing that, I ended up in a bit of mess.

I currently have the following cards open:
Kohl's - 0
Target - 156 remaining (Just paid the last statement balance of $45)
Bank of America - 1033.88 remaining (Just paid the last statement balance of $174.11)
Chase Freedom - 4665.94 (4500 is awaiting a balance transfer to NFL Points)
Chase Slate - 989.33 remaining (Just paid an extra $100)
Total Rewards - 0
NFL Points - 0 (Will be increased once balance transfers go through)
Amazon - 256 (I will pay this off this weekend with my babysitting money and close it right after.)

I've already started the process to close Kohl's and Total Rewards. I will pay the remainder of my babysitting money (an expected 400) to BOA and then transfer the remaining balance to the NFL Points card. At that point, I will put the BOA card away for good (I don't want to close it as that is my longest card.). In February, I will pay off the Target and Chase Freedom cards completely. Those I am also keeping, but will refrain from using until I get a handle on paying off the balances in full again. After that, it's extra payments to Chase Slate until paid (goal is May) and then closing that one. And then extra payments to NFL Points which will be paid in full and closed by March 2016 (well before the no interest period is up).

Financial flub and furniture updates

January 7th, 2015 at 04:42 pm

We messed up Frown Technically, it was SO, but we're in this together, so I'll say we. To be fair, it was an honest mistake. Apparently, Navy Federal has two account numbers. On NYE, he set up the rent and Verizon payments. He used the account number listed on our bank statement. Yesterday, we found out our rent payment was returned and since it was now past the 5th, we also owed late fees in addition to the insufficient funds fee. The account number on our check is different from the one on the statement... We immediately called Verizon to see if we could back that payment out before it got returned, but we were unfortunately too late. Verizon wouldn't do anything about the insufficient funds fee (20), but I was able to resubmit the payment in time to avoid late charges as it was due yesterday. I spoke to the apartment manager yesterday and he said he'd see about getting each of the charges halved (it was $40 for the returned payment and $212 late fee). As of yesterday, the returned payment fee was halved. I'm not sure if that means they won't be reducing the late fee or if they're waiting for my payment to clear first/still deciding. I'll follow up with it in another day or so.

As for the furniture, the mattress delivery was cancelled due to weather (not their fault, but still extremely frustrating...). Rescheduled delivery is tomorrow. But the awesome news, we invested in a couch (12 months 0% interest) and weren't expecting it for about a month, but I just received a call that it was in!!! Delivery is scheduled for Saturday. Payments for the couch are out of our joint account, and I plan to pay it off in 8 months just to be sure there are no residual amounts by the year mark.

So, by the start of next week, we should have our bed, couch, and my dog!!

Mattress Nightmares

January 5th, 2015 at 05:51 pm

Imagine this, you invest in a relatively cheap, but nice Ikea queen bed frame, build it the first night you move in...only to find out the mattress and box spring you have are a full. Bummer, but oh well. SO felt terrible about his mistake and realistically, the queen works better because I already have an 80 lb. lab and we're getting another dog down the road (and yes, they are/will be bed dogs). Keeping this in mind, we decided to look around for a nice, inexpensive queen mattress. We found one relatively quickly at the PX on his base. Under 400 for a Serta basic plush mattress. We went ahead and bought it and planned to pick it up the following week. Well, they had other plans. The PX called early the next week and said they wouldn't deliver the mattress as the only one left in stock was damaged. We could get a refund or put in for a transfer from another base. Transfer wait time? Two weeks (side note: the other base is less than an hour away...). After researching some other mattresses, we decided to just wait the two weeks. Since I was getting antsy, I called last week only to find out our mattress has been available (Thanks for the phone call guys!). SO has been working like crazy and has to be the one to get it, so he finally had some time on Sunday. I called several times last week to work out delivery times as they only deliver certain days. The final plan was for the warehouse to deliver it to the PX on Friday (their last delivery day), and we'd pick it up from there on Sunday. I call Sunday morning to verify it's there, and the guy's response: Uhhh...yeah...I see the email for delivery, but it doesn't look like it was actually done... He calls back a few minutes later with happy news: our mattress is in the PX and can be picked up. Crisis averted! ...Or so we thought. SO and his dad pick up the mattress. We get home, unload it, SO and his dad take the other one and tree to the trash bin, and his dad returns home. SO goes to put the bed together, and...

They gave us a full! About every cuss word imaginable went through my head...

After a very angry, but patient phone call, they are delivering our correct mattress first thing Tuesday (their first delivery day) and taking away this one. Until then, we are sleeping on a plastic wrapped mattress as the other one is already in the trash :/

Irrelevant, but prideful side notes: our heat is still off, we avoided the urge to just order pizza and eat our disappointment away, and tomorrow makes a month of pure bliss Smile

January budget

January 2nd, 2015 at 07:09 pm

In keeping up with my goals, here's my projected budget for January:

Joint Account: 1400
BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30 (Divvied up through several accounts)
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 87
BOA CC: 175
Navient Student Loans: 155
Target CC: 200
Gas: 110
Food: 25
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 159
Wells Fargo Loan: 50
Mariner Loan: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 45
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 40
Amazon CC: 40

Ugghh...all those debts are painful to look at it. In January, I plan to close the Total Rewards and Kohls credit cards (both at 0 balance). BOA and Target will be paid off in full since those accumulate interest. The others will be a slow and steady race.

I also found out where both of my missing checks were, so those will be allocated to the pet fee for our apartment and my new tires. If there's any left, we may go ahead and do the Costco membership.

I also have 0 plans for the money from babysitting, so I plan to throw that straight at the credit cards. It'll be a couple hundred in December and about 400 in January.

Just a note on the food...I gave myself a bit of a budget, but the majority of our food spending will come out of the joint account.