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Archive for December, 2015

2016 Planning and other stuff

December 30th, 2015 at 06:10 pm

I've been thinking about 2016 goals,but before I outline them here, I want to get my thoughts down on paper, so those will probably come this weekend. We have a lot coming up in 2016 that will change my debt payoff plan.

I've also had some unexpected medical bills come at me out of nowhere, so I'll have to factor in a plan for those.

I didn't manage to save much for the wedding this month, but that's because we diverted that money ($2k) to DF's car deposit. I did buy a lot of wedding things though, and we paid cash for those. We also should be able to sock away about $300 to the wedding savings, so that's a start.

I just bought a plane ticket to visit my cousins and aunts in Denver. On Frontier, it was $50 each way after I joined the Den Deals ($50). Since we're hoping to get super cheap Frontier deals to Vegas for the wedding, I figured the Den Deals membership was worth it for one year. I'll cancel prior to the end of next year to avoid the renewal fee. My cousin is doing my hair and makeup, so we'll do a trial run then. Family time and a wedding task checked off - done and done.

Seriously Slacking

December 22nd, 2015 at 03:36 pm

...on the updates. I think I've been doing okay money-wise, although there was definitely some unbudgeted spending. Now that DF's car is figured out and Christmas gifts are all bought, I'm going to do a fresh start on YNAB and go from there. I'm going to make a weekly IFTTT recipe (if possible) to remind me to update it. I really think it would be useful if I could just get it updated consistently.

My birthday was yesterday and it was really special. DF took last Sunday off to spend with me since he basically has no more days off until January 8th (except Christmas). On top of that, he managed to get out of work early and surprised me at home with flowers and a bottle of wine. He took me out to dinner too. That guy is truly something special Big Grin

For my birthday gift, DF got me a phone. They were B1G1 and we also got a tablet, so I managed to snag some nice Xmas gifts for my mom and brother with little out of pocket.

Giving back and small tree

December 11th, 2015 at 02:29 pm

Even though money is really tight right now, I still feel it's important to be charitable. My company does an angel tree each year, and I normally go way overboard in helping make some child's Christmas bright. I had originally planned to not take a whole child and rather contribute an outfit or some other clothes to a coworker's child. However, there was a two year old who wanted very reasonable gifts, so I ended up getting her tag. She's getting a giraffe tricycle ($30), a doll and stroller ($25), and an outfit ($10). It's about half what I'd normally spend, and should still make her very happy. Being one of those children in that program growing up, I truly feel blessed to be able to help out.

I got a small tree and decorations for it at Target ($20). I feel a little guilty about the purchase, but I'm sure once it's up, my guilt will disappear.

Too much happening

December 9th, 2015 at 02:54 pm

Even with the wedding planning hiatus, I feel like I have no free time. Winter cheer has started up, so yesterday was babysitting, work, cheer, and then work again (we had an evening deployment). Finally ate and got to sleep around midnight and woke up this morning at 6 for babysitting.

DF's car came into the dealership. He's beyond excited. I believe he's going to try and finish up the deal this week. He's also in the middle of applying for a promotion and has a severely injured toe.

We've been doing pretty good with food, but I actually forgot my lunch today, so I'll have to buy (McD's 2.50 burger and fries). Tonight's dinner will be the leftover scalloped potatoes and drumsticks. Tomorrow is shrimp fettucine. On Saturday, I will attempt my first turkey ever. Wish me luck!

From my financial side, I plan on putting 1k to our wedding savings this month, plus paying off the Marriott card which has our catering deposit on it. That should be almost equivalent to the amount we need to save each month in order to handle the wedding ourselves.

I have $100 in babysitting money and $60 in rolled coins to throw into our wedding fund too, so I'm really hoping that the savings will start to accelerate these next few months. I've talked to DF, and we've agreed to just pay the minimums on my debt since he's already well aware what he's marrying. We're going to divert all my over-minimum payments, plus babysitting money (~1200) to wedding savings. That plus his contributions should put us in a pretty good place.

Christmas Party and Togetherness

December 7th, 2015 at 08:25 pm

My company had its Christmas Party this weekend. It was a lot of fun. We even lucked out and didn't have to shell out any extra money for drinks. We each got two wine and beer tokens, but some of our partners were more than generous and picked up tabs. DF and I actually ended up having a bit of a fight due to something that happened. It's so comforting to know that even when we argue, there's never any doubt that we'll be fine. We had a long conversation and of course we're stronger for it. Right now, he's sick so I'll be stopping to get some groceries for broccoli cheddar soup.

December Plans

December 2nd, 2015 at 02:58 pm

December's shaping up to be an incredibly busy month. I've sort of given myself leeway to take a break from wedding planning minus little things here and there. Come January, I'll jump back into it because that will be 5 months! In the meantime, I'll have plenty to enjoy in December.

Social Events: DF and I are not overly social people. It does help us to keep the going out spending in check. However, this month we have so many things: two friends' birthdays, my birthday, another friend's holiday party, and my company work party. Not to mention potlucks and whatever we contribute to Christmas dinner with families. Plus, a planned date night (Star Wars at the movie theater that serves dinner).

Frugal Activities: I've been trying to come up with some fun Christmas-y stuff to do to get us in the spirit. We'll spend one evening decorating the apartment (no tree, but lights and stockings, plus gift wrapping) and singing (DF loves him some Christmas music). Another thought I had was to make hot chocolate, hop into the car with the pups, and just drive around looking at lights. There's also a house around here that does the whole Christmas light show, so we'll probably make that it's own night as it's further away. Another thing we are doing is rewatching all the Star Wars films. This isn't quite so frugal as I did end up having to purchase the set in order to have them, but DF's face lit up so much that it was more than worth it. I purchased the two trilogies separately as that was cheaper than the whole boxed set. Each one was $45 on Target. I bought them on Cyber Monday (15% off each) and then used my brother's employee discount (5%) and my Target Red card (5%). It came out to around $70, just more than $10/movie for both the Blu-Ray and DVD copies. That and popcorn is going to make for some amazing nights snuggled in (especially with all the rain we've been getting). We actually started the first one last night and Blu-Ray quality is amazing!

The last big thing happening this month is DF's car. He worked his butt off last month and made some pretty good money. It actually would allow us to hit our wedding savings goal this month when combined with what I'm putting in. However, we're going to see whether that money would be better spent adding on to his deposit to lower his monthly payments. DF's only debt is his car and ring payments, so we're trying to figure out the best course of action there.