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Archive for February, 2015

Big Vet Bill

February 24th, 2015 at 09:59 pm

There's definitely going to be some budget adjustments for SO and I's joint account. Although, I think we are doing one thing correctly. I have a $200 budget for the pets. Whatever is left after food/pet expenses each month will be put into the connected savings account specifically for the animals. Since we are just starting out, it hasn't built up to anything yet, but I definitely see the need for it. Last week, DD was playing in the snow when we noticed blood. We got him home, cleaned him up, and found a huge gash in his paw pad. By yesterday, it was still a wide-open gap, so I took him to the vet. It cost $245 and poor pup now has stitches in his paw. I'm working from home these next few days to ensure it stays bandaged as he likes to rip the bandages off. I hope it is able to close up and heal as DD is so bored.

Due to SO's large payment in the beginning of the month, we were able to comfortably cash flow it, but I did decide to contribute $100 that was going to go to a cc, so that it felt a little more even.

No More Babysitting

February 23rd, 2015 at 06:38 pm

Last Friday was my last day with the babysitting family. I had planned to roll off at the beginning of Feb. and even tried quitting midway through. At least, it's finally over. I'm grateful for the experience as it allowed me to live rent-free for a year and a half. However, these past few weeks have really put a damper on the experience and I'm really glad it's now behind me.

The $400 I received as my last payment will be split between the Chase Slate and Chase Freedom cards.

I will go for a bit without a second job, but in March, I plan to follow up on a pt position at a cheer gym. Also, if the dance group asks me to return, I will do shows for that as well in the summer.

Planning Fail

February 20th, 2015 at 02:41 pm

The title's a bit more dramatic than the actual situation, but with all the progress I've been making, this kind of irks me...

My office finally moved the water dispenser back to our side of the hall, but it's been out for about a month now. We had one 35-pk of bottles, but that ran out a few weeks ago. SO was kind enough to lend me his All Clear Camelbak (one of his Xmas gifts from me). It purifies the water for you in 1 minute. I've been using it at work regularly. But yesterday evening, I left it at cheerleading practice. So today, I don't have any water in the office. I could just be dehydrated all day, but it's very cold and I can feel my skin begging for water.

Long story short: I have to buy a bottle of water at the cafe downstairs.

It's really irksome because I actually have bottled water at my apartment. 2 seconds of forethought would have saved me $2 and a lot of self-scolding...

Making Progress

February 18th, 2015 at 02:34 pm

I just did a mini-assessment of my (and our) accounts, and I'm feeling pretty accomplished. Even though I went slightly over my alloted V-Day limit, I should have $14 left to send to a CC if I don't spend between now and Friday.

Thanks largely to my tax refund, I've paid off the Amazon, Target, and BOA cards. Chase Freedom only has $100 and Chase Slate has about $950. I anticipate fully paying off the Freedom and paying about $500 to the Slate card by the end of Feb.

SO's large check will go towards our $1500 buffer. I have to review the numbers a little more, but I believe the buffer will be fully funded. There is a $500 deficit between the minimum that we're putting in and the monthly budget I have set up. I base that number solely on what I know SO is able to contribute and not counting any additional contributions he may make. It's not so bad as there are definitely areas where we could cut back in leaner months. Starting with March, I'll share both my budget and our budget as I had to clear it with him whether he was okay with my sharing our finances (he's on board!).

It's going to be close, but it looks like I should be able to stick to our $300 grocery budget too which a huge plus considering we spent $560 last month!

Keep on keepin on...

Weekend Update

February 17th, 2015 at 04:00 pm

Had a wonderful, low-key weekend. SO had to work all day Saturday, so he made me breakfast (using all groveries we had), and had it set up with a single red rose, a bottle of wine, and a really sweet card. He also pointed out that $20 was hard to stick to, and he only had $1.94 left for chocolate, so I would have to wait until the sales on Sunday Smile

I got his stuff on Saturday. I ended up overspending by $4.50 ($20 is really hard to stick to...). I bought him a card, printed out two pictures, and got a small bottle of Maker's Mark whisky. I told him he could go over by that amount, so I received a box of my favorite Girl Scout cookies: Tagalongs.

On Sunday, we went to dinner at his parents' house. We brought DC for them to meet. They all adored her. His parents sent us home with food. Between that and all of our leftovers, we're good through today. I'm going to try and make it through the week without groceries as we're well over half our monthly grocery budget of $300 and still have half a month.

Valentine's Day update

February 12th, 2015 at 05:21 pm

I decided what I'm going to spend my $20 on. I made bang bang shrimp pasta earlier this week and SO loved it. He loved it so much that he requested that be his meal Saturday evening. On Sunday evening, he will cook steaks and stuffed baked potatoes (I plan to work out extra hard Sunday so I can enjoy the heck out that meal!). Since it's supposed to be frigid Sunday, we will be having brunch with SO's family and then probably spend the day indoors with the fur babies enjoying a How I Met Your Mother marathon. (I introduced him to the show and am waiting to watch the last season with him. We're on season 4 right now.)

My $20 will actually got towards next year's gift. I saw online that someone had written 365 notes to their SO categorized into memories, reasons they love them, and quotes/lyrics. I'm going to get a big jar and post-it notes and start this on Valentine's Day. It's inexpensive and something that he will (hopefully) treasure.

For this year, I will get a card and put my crafting skills to use. For the first 2 months or so that we dated, I wrote in a diary about our dates, how I felt, etc. I let him read it shortly after we moved in together and he loved going back over that time together. I'm going to bind those pages together in a mini-notebook, probably with some pictures thrown in.

CC Payoff Progress

February 11th, 2015 at 06:01 pm

Got my tax refund in today and immediately made progress towards getting the credit cards paid off:

Kohl's - 0 (CLOSED)
Target - 0
Bank of America - 0 (Transferred 1000 to the NFL Points card and paid off the rest)
Chase Freedom - 84.36
Chase Slate - 939.33 remaining
Total Rewards - 0 (CLOSED)
NFL Points - 5783.45 (2 balance transfers)
Amazon - 0 (Will be closing once the final payment posts)

I will use the money from babysitting to finish off the Chase card and beef up the e-fund. At the last minute, I decided to use the tax money all towards the cards, but I do want to make some progress on the e-fund.

Finally! January Numbers

February 10th, 2015 at 07:17 pm

Well, this was certainly eye-opening. A couple of things I took away from this:

1) I spend a lot more in general than I think I am.
2) The grocery budget needs a lot of work. (I had thought we were doing so well with eating at home...)

This is painful to share, but here's January's spending:

Savings (BOA) - 25
Savings (Cap. One) - 30
Insurance - 84
Phone - 159
ACS Loan - 170
Wells Fargo Loan - 50
Mariner Loan - 100
Navient Loans - 152
BOA CC - 175
Target CC - 46
Amazon CC - 25
Chase Freedom CC - 125
Chase Slate CC - 25
NFL Points CC - 50
Netflix - 8
Food - 554.63
Gas - 49
Clothing - 7
Bank Fees - 10
Pets - 923.41 (Pet fee for apt., DC's set-up & adoption fees, vet visits for DD and DC)
Car - 639 (New tires and oil change)
Misc - 425 (Furniture incl. delivery tips, family loan)
Entertainment - 12.50

One last note: A lot of the pet, furniture, and food spending went on CCs. SO and I agreed that once he started receiving regular paychecks (beginning in Feb.), he would help pay those things off. He's getting a rather large paycheck Friday which we will decide together how to best allocate to everything.

Significant DB progress and Valentine's plans

February 8th, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Snafu asked about my V-day plans which coincidentally go with one of my goals. SO and I decided to do a sort of joint big gift towards our health. He gave me his fit bit and we'll replace it with a smart watch for him which he'll pay for. He's definitely the flowers type, so I asked that we limit a small token of appreciation to 20 bucks. I haven't decided what I'll do for him, but since he's working, I'll probably put my 20 to making him a special dinner.

The fit bit has helped enormously with my awareness. I was really upset about missing my first goal, but since using it, I have been consistently dropping .3-.5 lbs a day. I'm less than 3 lbs. from my goal and feeling great about my chances to get there.

One Goal Done! And progress on others...

February 6th, 2015 at 07:24 pm

I deducted 200 bucks from my paycheck and budgeted it based on that. There is officially a $200 buffer in my account that I will just ignore for future budgeting. I have not had time to call yet, but I will this weekend about having the overdraft fee waived.

My emergency fund will be at $500 once my tax refund goes through. That money will also help significantly with goal 2 to reduce my credit cards. If all goes well this month, I will be able to pay off four of them and only have two left.

Using up old gift cards

February 5th, 2015 at 06:04 pm

For several months, I've been trying to figure out how to use 3 gifts card with $2 or less. They've just been sitting in my wallet. Yesterday, after some googling, I found that I could purchase e-gift cards for Amazon and credit them to my account. I now have about 5 bucks sitting on my account for whenever I next need something from Amazon and less clutter in my wallet!

Taxes Done

February 4th, 2015 at 06:39 pm

I'm getting a larger than normal refund which is nice considering I had two extra jobs and was worried I may actually owe money. My refund will 1253 for both federal and state returns.

I've already allocated it to the following: 500 to rebuilding EF, 500 to reduce Chase Slate, and the remainder will be fun money which I may split between our anniversary trip and spending.

I have wanted a FitBit for awhile, but SO recently loaned me his indefinitely. We're thinking we'll pitch in on a smart watch for him reset the FitBit for me to have.

Change in Plans

February 3rd, 2015 at 01:42 pm

I had planned to work on the credit cards before anything else, but I just messed up. A few weeks ago, I wrote a check for DC's adoption. Normally, I'm good about tracking those things, but with all the stress of these last few weeks, it totally slipped my mind. So this morning, when my bank account was -86, I naturally freaked out. I have 45 in my linked savings and will get cash out of my other savings to cover the remaining difference, but the damage is already done as the check hit yesterday and they've already charged the overdraft fee ($35). This completely changes my February budget.

My new priority is the $200 buffer which I will take from Friday's paycheck. It means some of the cards may not get paid in full this month. No interest is accruing on one of them, so that will be my last priority.I will certainly still try to have all 3 paid, as I will be babysitting for half the month. I also plan to do my taxes this week, so depending on if/when I get a refund, that will help as well.

February budget

February 2nd, 2015 at 04:53 pm

I haven't added up the January spending yet, but I do know I still have work to do. I also lost my first month of my 6-month dietbet. Not the greatest start, but I am 1/6 of my way to my 10% goal...

This is random, but I so enjoy looking at this February on a calendar because it is exactly 4 Sun-Sat weeks. Below is my February budget:

BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 84
BOA CC: 165
Navient Loans: 175
Amazon CC: 150
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 158
Wells Fargo: 50
Target: 207
Food/Gas: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 25
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 45
Apartment*: 1400

If all goes well, Target, Amazon, and BOA CCs will all be paid off completely. I will then close Amazon and put the BOA away.

*I keep SO and I's joint budget separate from my own. If he's okay with me sharing, I will post that budget in a separate post. The line here is my contribution to that account which covers rent, utilities, the couch, pets, and our groceries.