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Archive for April, 2015

More money flowing out

April 30th, 2015 at 05:19 pm

We did pick up chicken yesterday from a local restaurant for $20. I have to say, it was totally worth it as SO and I are exhausted. My brother had also never had this chicken and he loved it. This week has been so tiring. My brother is here to stay with DD2 during the day, so she kind of gets used to a schedule. Both SO and I are crazy busy at work. SO hasn't gotten home before 930 one night this week, and I usually get home about 7 and immediately take over doggy duty. It's been an adjustment having to balance chasing her around with giving DD1 plenty of attention and ensuring DC isn't too stressed. I think we're settling into a routine though.

The other expenses are DC's litter (about $10ish). and a computer chair for my brother. I was planning to pay him for spending the week up here with DD2, but he needs a new computer chair, so I'll be getting that in the next two days as a thank you.

We also still need stuff for the barbecue. I'm hoping that the second half of May will be very low spend as SO will be gone for training.

Financial Setback

April 28th, 2015 at 04:17 pm

So the cards may be delayed a bit longer. My windshield ended up coming out to $415 and DD1's emergency appointment was $160. I also need to pick up DC's litter and we have the barbecue to pay for. I made some adjustments to our May budget to accommodate the extra expense of entertaining.

So much happening

April 27th, 2015 at 05:56 pm

DD2 (Riley) has been home for one day, and she's already exhausting. She learns very quickly but can also be a bit stubborn. She already knows sit, but doesn't like to use the bathroom outdoors. She will go in the vicinity of the potty pads indoors, so we'll just keep at it. She rides really well in the car and did very well at the vet. She's a little squirmy, but overall does great when touching her paws, ears, faces, nails, etc. Her vet visit was less than I thought which is great given what happened Friday...

Coming home from DD1's weekly play date, I stopped short and DD1 slammed into my winshield - hard enough to completely crack it. I'm going to get it evaluated, but am almost positive it'll have to be replaced. DD1 is fine. Took him into the vet Saturday morning. They saw a small blood clot at the back of his left eye and gave him an anti-inflammatory, but otherwise, they said he looks good. He's shown no signs of even a mild concussion (although it's likely that he had one). Needless to say, part of our pet spending this weekend involved seat belt harnesses for both DD1 and DD2. I haven't looked at the numbers yet, but I think we stayed well within our $800 budget.

I also turned down the part-time cheerleading coach position. With DD2 and SO's crazy work schedule/training, it just didn't seem feasible. I did let her know I'd be interested in being involved in a sort of volunteer capacity - that way I can stop by when I can but am not actually committed to 6 days/week, 3-4 hrs./day.

I'll leave you with a couple of pics: The first two are Riley girl. The last one is DD1 and DC - both of whom are handling DD2 like champs.





General Updates

April 23rd, 2015 at 03:22 pm

Just chugging along over here. I've been feeling down lately and really wanted delivery yesterday, but I sucked it up and made dinner. Better for both my wallet and waistline!

SO is fine with me taking out the $790 to pay back to my credit card, so I just need to actually do that. Everything is still on for the pet adoption this Sunday.

Thinking ahead to May, we're going to try and host a barbecue for Mother's Day to introduce our families. Any frugal ideas? We're leaning towards one of the Omaha Steaks packages $60 for a variety of meats, but we'll still need sides, a dessert or two, and possibly some table decorations. My apartment is a little small, so 10 people, a lab, a new puppy, and a cat is going to be crazy, but I'm actually looking forward to getting everyone together. There actually is a park relatively close by, but I don't think there's a grill over there...

Planning Ahead

April 21st, 2015 at 04:59 pm

Our average daily balance is official 1592. I plan to take out $685 to pay back to my Chase Freedom card. This weekend will be very spendy as we'll be getting everything we need to get little Riley set up. I upped that budget to $800 because we will probably also pick up a few things for DD1 and DC so they don't feel neglected. That will leave me with $325 on the Chase card. I want to pay this off by the end of April as I believe I start accruing interest next period which starts May 10. I will pay $220 to it with my paycheck tomorrow. The last $105 will also come out of our account as part of the money that needs to be paid from Dec./Jan. spending. That leaves $395 remaining to be paid back.

Our May budget currently has a $800 deficit, but that's because I have no idea what (if anything) SO's commission may be. I'm confident we'll make most (if not all) of it up. Not to mention, I think May spending will be significantly cut back in the second half of the month because SO is away for training. All of his meals are covered, and I will just be home when I'm not working spending time with my fur babies.

My last small CC is Chase Slate. Right now, I'm aiming for payoff by the end of June. However, depending on May spending, I may have enough to pay myself back the last $395 which would wipe out the card in May. After that the focus becomes the couch ($800 left from our joint account) and my last CC ($5600 - balance transfers).

Weekend Update

April 20th, 2015 at 07:33 pm

Had a very nice weekend. Grilled with SO, got to visit with my mom, learned to sew, found out we're approved to take Riley home, and had an amazing dinner out after a hike. My only cost was gas to go home. SO lost a bet last week, so he owed me dinner. I chose Red Lobster and it was amazing. Except that I forgot how big and filling eating out is. No wonder I had gained so much weight! I took home two boxes - half of our lobster pizza appetizer and half of my meal with some salad and biscuits.

With all the food we have in our fridge, I don't have to make dinner tonight or probably tomorrow either! I told SO I have to really focus on my dietbet because I've just been maintaining rather than losing. To help, we went running this morning. He's my own personal drill sargeant Smile

Autopilot fail and awesome news

April 18th, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Apparently, the cost of going on autopilot is about 3.50. I went to visit my mom today and usually fill up my gas tank near her as it's about .30 cheaper. However, I was very low so I planned to put 5 bucks in to get me home and then fill up. When I got to the gas station, I just went into autopilot mode and let the whole tank fill up. That's an unnecessary 3 bucks I just wasted.

In much happier news, the foster mom emailed that she heard we'd been approved!! We still have to wait until next Sunday, but the puppies are back with the foster mom and my girl kept climbing the crate to get out of her puppy pen. So far, I've definitely seen pieces of both the husky and German Shepherd in her.

Another goal down!

April 17th, 2015 at 04:47 pm

Once the transfer clears tonight, we'll have a $1500 buffer in our joint account. The money is showing as available, but it's still pending. Once our daily balance is back above $1500, I will begin pulling money out to pay down my credit card. We had put some of our pet purchases and food spending on my card, so that will be repaid down.

New puppy should be going back to the foster mom today. The adoption has been pushed another week as they got sick again. The home visit went really well, so now I just anxiously await an email on whether or not we've been approved.

Sort of payday, puppy update, and potential side job

April 15th, 2015 at 02:58 pm

SO got paid today. He got his normal check and his commission check. While it was significantly lower than I had thought, we'll still be able to accomplish some stuff. If my math is correct, it covers the deficit from April and gives us an approximate $3500 buffer. Since rent, gas, and verizon all take out before any of our income for that month comes in, this is a good buffer. After those payments come out, we'll have about $1700 in the account until that month's income comes in. Since I have to maintain $1500 in the account to avoid fees, this works out great. I'd like to get us to living off the last month's income for this account as it would be easier to track.

We went and visited potential new puppy again last night. She was obviously feeling much better. She's pretty adorable and I'm already attached, so I'm really hoping the adoption goes smoothly. I've read horror stories about families being so excited to take the puppy home only to be denied with no explanation. Fingers crossed everything goes well!!! We have about $750 remaining budgeted for her set-up which includes an adoption fee of $375 and a vet visit. I already have a crate, bed, and puppy pads (free courtesy of a coworker), so we'll just need food, collar, and toys.

I'm always on the lookout for side jobs related to working with kids or cheerleading. Awhile back, I had heard about an opening for the head coach at a local high school (it happens to be SO's alma mater). After speaking with the student activities director, it seemed way out of my league, but perfect for the head coach I worked with at my last high school gig. I let her know about it in the hopes that if she got it, she'd take me on as an assistant again. She interviewed yesterday and it seemed to go well. So if that goes through, then she'll look to hiring myself and possibly some of the other coaches we worked with.

Weekend and Allergies

April 13th, 2015 at 02:28 pm

Had a very nice (relatively) low-spend weekend. I went to see the cherry blossoms in DC on Saturday. Before I left, it occurred to me to pack lunches for myself and my friend so we'd be less tempted to spend money. Since I drove and provided lunch (sandwiches, chips, bananas, and cheese sticks), my friend graciously offered to cover parking, so in all nothing out of pocket other than gas and food already paid for. Saturday evening, SO had one of his half-season games. He gets 4 buddy vouchers, but since he wants to use those for his dad and best friend, he offered to pay for my ticket if I wanted to go. We took snacks and drinks out of our entertainment budget, so that was $35. We also had his best friend's birthday party Saturday night. On Sunday, I spent the afternoon at the dog park. Trying to get in as much time with DD1 as possible before new puppy comes in.

On Sunday, my allergies hit pretty darn hard. I have terrible allergies year-round and take 4 medicines (plus an inhaler as needed) regularly to control them. It still isn't doing the trick. I looked like Rudolph and was miserable. Here's hoping today is better. Although I already have a headache...

Life's stressing me out

April 10th, 2015 at 01:47 pm

I think the stress is getting to me. Despite eating well and getting a fair amount of exercise, my weight isn't dropping. I'm also losing my motivation to do anything and even got spendy these last few days. I dropped $57 on new clothes (5 blouses and a jumpsuit) and $67 on a living social deal for a car detailing. My car is now fully mine and is excessively dirty given how much I live out of it during the winter. Detailing my car has been something I've always wanted to treat myself to yearly, but this is the first time I'm doing it in 4 years. I think once I get all of the junk out of it, I'll feel much better.

On a happier note, heading into DC tomorrow for the Cherry Blossom Festival. It should be a nice day, and I've never seen them so I'm excited about that.

(Potential) new puppy is feeling much better. We won't get her until the following Sunday, but I was really hoping to finish out the approval process this week because that would be a huge weight off my shoulders to know we're already approved. However, since they knew she was ill and not going home this week, the volunteer delayed getting to me, so our home visit is next Thursday instead.

Easter Weekend and Big Change Coming Up (Hopefully!)

April 6th, 2015 at 01:10 pm

Easter weekend was nice. My mom made it safely to the Phillipines. She was worried since there was a typhoon near there when she was leaving, but all is well. SO had to work both days, so I planned a little fun for Saturday night. We have food coloring and 4 dozen eggs. I decided we'd channel our inner child and color eggs since we eat the hard-boiled ones anyway for breakfast. SO hadn't done this since he was about 8. His eggs were very childlike, but adorable Smile He also worked on Sunday. I'm a little peeved because it was a gorgeous day, and his was one of the only places open for Easter. The GM, who decided to stay open, didn't even bother to come in which really upset me because that just seems like terrible leadership. I think SO felt bad about it because he suggested we walk the dog over to the nearest shopping plaza and have dinner out. Since we rarely eat out and we were walking, we decided to indulge ourselves a bit. We also left the waitress a sizable tip as we were the only outdoors customers, and she was so kind both to us and our dog.

We also met the potential new puppy. The one I'd had my eye on based on pictures and what the foster mom said, wasn't feeling well. She was curled in a ball and sleeping, so we met another one of the females. She was very cute and sweet. However, when the foster mom roused the one we wanted to see, things changed. SO was holding her, and he just pointed at her and said 'This is Riley.' This week we'll go through the process which involves an interview and home visit. If we're approved by the board, we'll get to take her home next Sunday. I'm a little concerned about the home visit. This agency is really adamant about placing dogs with the right homes, and so can be a bit selective when it comes to approvals. My concern is that our apartment is a bit on the small side. While there is definitely space for another large dog, I can see where some people may disagree. My feelings on it are that because the apartment is small, I am forced to make sure they get out and about to expend their energy. We have already set up her crate and plan to make sure the person doing the visit understands that we know what we're getting into. SO and I both raised large dogs from puppies, so this isn't our first rodeo. And by the time, she's fully grown, we'll only be a couple of months away from moving into a larger home. Fingers crossed it all works out!

Dietbet and grocery shopping

April 3rd, 2015 at 04:25 pm

I lost this month's round by .3... .3 lbs!!! I was bummed but this is about long-term. Realistically, I only have 3 more lbs. until my 10% and that is my end goal weight. It's actually a bit under where I want to maintain. Those last few pounds are always the hardest, but I'll keep plowing away.

SO and I went bulk shopping yesterday. I increased our food budget to $400 for this month. We spent $300 at BJ's. The goal is to use the remaining $100 to round out our meals each week. In future months, I expect to put our grocery budget back at $300. We got laundry and dish detergent and paper towels on this trip which account for about $50 of the total amount. SO and I each get one 'throw-in' during joint trips. SO picked a pretty expensive item, so we'd have been even better had he not gotten it. It was meal replacement bars. While expensive - $20 for 12 - SO loves them and often does not have time to eat the lunch I packed him. I'd much prefer him have these on hand rather than come home 12 hours later having had nothing since breakfast (which he's done several times).

April Budgets

April 2nd, 2015 at 08:02 pm

Below are my budgets for my own account and our joint account:

My Account
BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 84
BOA CC: 33
Navient Loans: 152
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 132
Wells Fargo: 50
Target: 49.60
Food/Gas: 100
Misc: 67
Mariner: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 148
Chase Slate CC: 260
NFL Points CC: 60
Apartment*: 1400

Our Account:
Rent: 1650
Electric: 140
Gas: 80
Verizon: 96
Couch: 1020
Groceries: 400
Entertainment 75
Misc: 0
Pets: 900

The apartment under my account is my contribution to our account. For my account, I added in a miscellaneous fund for those random things that keep popping up.

The big changes are to our account. Our budget is much more than normal due to SO's stellar month. The three big goals are to have $1500 in our account after all of April's budget is deducted, pay off the couch, and fully fund new puppy. Any additional funds will go towards paying me back, but there's not too much urgency in that. May and June may be a little tight because SO will be at training and not working per se, so I think the higher we can make our buffer, the better.

March Numbers - Our Account

April 1st, 2015 at 04:19 pm

Our numbers:

Item: Spent (Budgeted)
Rent: 1573.62 (1650)
Electric: 122.37 (140)
Gas: 69.59 (80)
Verizon: 126.36 (127)
Couch: 150 (150)
Groceries: 343.39 (300)
Entertainment: 78.88 (75)
Misc: 166.85 (0)
Pets: 69.85 (200)
Total: 2481.06 (2722)

Our numbers came in well under. However, I still haven't started putting aside the deficit from the $200 pet budget for future emergencies. SO had a really amazing month, so his next paycheck should give us a legitimate buffer in the joint account. The one we'd had in there sort of disappeared because February was a really tight month. My first goal for his paycheck is to put in $1500 plus whatever deficit is needed to ensure our account covers our $3540 budget for April (more on that separately). If there's anything left, I'll begin paying myself back for Dec./Jan. spending.

March Numbers - My Account

April 1st, 2015 at 03:55 pm

Here's how March shook out...

Item: Spent (Budgeted)
BOA Savings: 25 (25)
Capital One Savings: 30 (30)
Netflix: 8 (9)
Insurance: 84 (84)
BOA CC: 32.67 (0)
Navient Loans: 175 (175)
Amazon CC: Closed!!
ACS Loan: 170 (170)
Phone: 159 (157)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 0 (0)
Food: 148.11 (50)
Gas: 92.58 (50)
Clothing: 11 (0)
Pets: 15 (0)
Miscellaneous: 73 (0)
Entertainment: 24 (0)
Taxes: 13.74 (0)
Chase Freedom CC: 454 (226.47)
Chase Slate CC: 105 (330)
NFL Points CC: 60 (70)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)

Next month, I will be making a few adjustments. I'm going to budget a set amount for variables which will include Clothing, Pets, Misc., Entertainment, etc. My budget is very bare bones and outside of required payments, I only budget $100 for food/gas. I always have expenses in those other categories, but never really knew how to budget for them, so I think I will try having a single variable line item, but still track spending in each category, so that I can better refine my budget in a few months.