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Archive for October, 2015

Back to Reality

October 30th, 2015 at 06:10 am

The trip was amazing. I was surprisingly good about tracking my spending in YNAB for most of the trip. I fell off a bit right at the end. I'll have full numbers this weekend, but I did pretty well. We didn't even end up using all of the stuff we had (the $50 Palms comp and the Shark Reef passes).

Sedona is amazing and I feel so much more prepared now that we've met and booked all of our vendors. Now things can slow down a bit. I have a quick trip up to Boston next weekend to go bridesmaids' dress shopping.

Now that DF and I are living off of last month's income, I really hope we can buckle down and start saving up. I'll have a few weeks before cheer starts up, so I'm hoping to do some research into crock pot cooking. I'd like to do a whole lot more soups and stews in the winter, so my goal is to make that as easy as possible. Any tried and true recipes would be greatly appreciated!!

Paid Marriott CC and question about statement closing

October 19th, 2015 at 08:31 am

I paid off the Marriott card with DF's money. Our cycle closes on Friday, and I wanted to charge all the wedding deposits which we're paying on Thursday. Should I just pay it off immediately even before it actually posts since I don't want it to reflect in the statement. DF is considering a car purchase at the end of the year, and since this reflects on his credit as well, I'd like to start showing minimal utilization.

Money In and YNAB

October 16th, 2015 at 06:14 am

DF's paycheck hit yesterday. While still pretty good, we were actually both disappointed with it. His original pay stub indicated that his gross was about 12k. About a week ago, he comes home with bad news: apparently, the company has been calculating incorrectly and his adjusted gross was about 3k less. This means I won't be able to do nearly everything I was planning, so we had to adjust a bit. With his paycheck, I'm going to zero out our Chase Marriott card before the closing date. And we're going to move to living on last month's income. Now, obviously we can't live off what he made in October in November, so I'm tweaking it a little. We're going to have enough to cover everything in our standard budget as is. I'm going to work off of that. If we can stick to our budget, than anything DF earns that puts us over that threshold will go into wedding savings. Our standard budget has a $1200 deficit after accounting for what I consistently put in ($1400). DF has lately been making way more than that amount, so fingers crossed that that continues!

I bought YNAB yesterday. This weekend, I plan to actually take the class and then fresh start both budgets as I'm pretty sure I've been handling credit cards wrongly. Then, we'll download on DF's phone and be off!

Upcoming Payoffs

October 15th, 2015 at 08:18 am

I hope it doesn't seem like I've completely fallen off track with the debt pay-offs what with the wedding and the upcoming trip. I've just had more things on my mind. I do have several payoffs coming up, but it definitely does not look like I'll be able to do it all by 30. Granted, the 30 plan came about when I was still single, living rent-free, and only had 1 pet. My, how things change! I'm thinking the new plan will be all consumer loan debt, leaving both DF and I with just my student loans in terms of debt.

Anyways, my 401k loan will be up in November adding $250/month back to my account. As punishment for taking it, I did force myself to pay it back in addition to my regular retirement contributions, so I'll still be saving 10% after the loan is done. The loan I took for my mom (2 years ago, not the recent one I denied her) that she pays will also be up in December. While this doesn't add anything back to my budget, it does increase my credit score. I also think I will be able to pay off 2 credit cards in full by March or so (the Chase Freedom and Slate). Chase Freedom just became interest-bearing and has $1500, so that will be the first to go, but I won't be able to do it in a single month. Slate is about $700 and still has no interest until May or so. After that, I'll just have the one credit card with a balance of $4500.

Weddings are expensive

October 14th, 2015 at 06:07 am

Obviously, there are more frugal ways to have a wedding, but I do want some sense of grandeur and fairytale. Our guest list ended up at 155. For a destination wedding, I highly doubt we'll top 100 (if that!), but I have to plan for everyone as a worst case scenario. So far, anticipated expenses look to be about 25k. This is with solid quotes on the venue (already deposited and includes floral, cake, and officiant), DJ, photographer, and caterer. About 7.5k is a random estimate on the rehearsal dinner (5k) and alcohol (2.5k). After looking into the rehearsal dinner a bit more, I think it'll be more around 2k (much less if I go pizza rather than BBQ which I'm leaning towards since I'm feeling more and more like we have to invite all guests who will be in town). I did decide to do away with any sort of excursion, but figured I'd extend an open invitation to a scenic picnic area for our rehearsal 'dinner'. I am also covering my bridesmaids' hair, make-up, and nails. The nails we'll do there as a girls' outing. My cousin (who's recently become a viral sensation for his celebrity recreations) has graciously agreed to do all hair and make-up. I offered him $200 and to cover his room. To me, that expense is worth it as he's ridiculously talented and I'm terrible with both hair and make-up (luckily, my fiance isn't marrying me for my looks!). I'm really hoping that I overestimated everything and it comes in closer to 20k (our original budget). Our goal is to cover the vast majority of expenses ourselves. We only plan to ask parents for help if it's really needed.

Vacation/Planning Trip

October 13th, 2015 at 08:30 am

The big trip is next week. I'm really looking forward to the time off. We have a lot lined up. Here's what we have planned in Vegas:

Hotels:
Monte Carlo (5 comped nights)
Elara (3 nights gifted to us from DF's parents)

Food:
Mirage Dinner Buffet (2 passes from MyVegas)
$25 at Serendipity ($12 - Groupon)
$20 at Ketchup Premium Burger Bar ($8.25 - Groupon)
$20 at Bonnano's Italian Restaurant ($8.25 - Groupon)
Caesar's Bacchanal Breakfast Buffet (55.20 - Groupon)
$50 at the Palms (Las Vegas Advisor Coupon)
Either $75 Luxor Steakhouse Credit or 2 more buffet passes (MyVegas)
$30 at any Total Rewards restaurant (Social Rewards)

Entertainment:
Nathan Burton Magic Show ($20 - Groupon)
Beatles Love (2 free tickets through MyVegas)
Thunder from Down Under (2 free tickets through MyVegas)

Gambling:
$50 FreePlay (MyVegas)
Numerous Match/Free Plays (Las Vegas Advisor Coupons)

*I am also treating my mom to a spa treatment while DF and I are in Sedona.

For the Sedona portion, here's what we have planned:
1 night at a resort (Cap. One Venture Rewards Points)
Car Rental (Marriott Rewards Points)

October Budgets

October 9th, 2015 at 10:59 am

These will be a little different than normal. We have a dual-purpose trip planned, so I'll have less debt payments in order to cash flow the Vegas part of the trip for myself and my mom. DF had a really awesome (I mean, AWESOME) month, so we'll cash flow the Sedona part of the trip, move to living on last month's budget, and jump-start our wedding savings.

Below are our October budgets:

My Account
Capital One Savings: 25
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 88.68
Navient Loans: 152.35
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 150
Wells Fargo: 50
Food/Gas: 90
Misc: 50
Mariner: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 0
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 60
Vegas: 554
Apartment*: 1400

Our Account:
Rent: 1600
Electric: 140
Gas: 80
Verizon: 95
Groceries: 300
Entertainment: 1000
Wedding: 2000
Miscellaneous: 50
Pets: 200
Chase Marriot: 300
Capital One Venture CC: 100
Wedding Savings: 2000

The apartment under my account is my contribution to our account.

September Numbers

October 9th, 2015 at 10:49 am

*Budgeted numbers in parentheses

My Account
Capital One Savings: 25 (25)
Netflix: 7.99 (9)
Insurance: 88.68 (88.68)
Navient Loans: 152.35 (155)
ACS Loan: 169.70 (170)
Phone: 149.25 (150)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 0 (0)
Food/Gas: 138.57 (90)
Misc: 31 (45)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Chase Freedom CC: 120 (100)
Chase Slate CC: 30 (25)
Capital One Venture CC: 207.51 (0)
NFL Points CC: 60 (60)
Car: 0 (0)
Misc: 35.82 (0)
Entertainment: 35.88 (0)
Taxes: 152.39 (0)
Wedding: 0(0)
Vegas: 132.20 (0)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)


Our Account:
Rent: 1591.23 (1600)
Gas: 52.12 (80)
Electric: 123.10 (140)
Verizon: 93.12 (95)
Groceries: 425.79 (300)
Entertainment 390.72 (100)
Misc: 245.22 (0)
Couch: 649.95 (650)
Pets: 418.95 (400)
Capital One Venture CC: 0 (100)
Chase Marriott CC: 2332.49 (2495.24)
DC United Tickets: 165 (165)
Wedding Savings: 300 (500)

It was an okay month. Still way too spendy, but better. I do want to change the way I account for cards because in reality, half of my accounting from other categories goes on the cards, so it's not a true picture of it. Our miscellaneous spending was pretty much all wedding-related, so I'll break that into it's own category next month. I also added temporary Wedding and Vegas categories to my own budget to account for my spending in those areas.