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Archive for January, 2014

A week controlling what I can by eating in with healthy substitutions

January 29th, 2014 at 07:17 pm

There is nothing more that I can do about my job situation other than what I am already doing. It will end when it ends. Instead of obsessing and hoping that there will be more money all I can do is work with the money I know I have.

I finally just decided to allocate my remaining paychecks on:

1) Building a Dental Fund, I will have insurance soon but dental insurance is iffy and I have a lot of repairs. I'm thinking 800-1000 would be a good start.

and

2) If there's something left over, I'd like to pay off enough on the car (~$900) so that there wouldn't be negative equity should it require a repair that is not covered by my warranty and so costly that I'd just need to trade it in for a new one.

Now that that is settled in my mind I have realized that I have to take steps toward my next goal which is being more healthy in general. Since I've been somewhat successful at money and often tell myself that I can't afford food that I want to cook, I am going to call my own bluff.

For the next week beginning today I am going to eat in. If I conceive of something I'd like to eat out I will just make the at home equivalent instead ensuring that it has nutrients and protein. This is great financially because in most cases it will be about half the cost.

At the end of the week I should I have proved to myself that I can eat healthy for what I can afford comfortably for groceries.

Today I have already talked myself out of eating a croissant or cookie from a coffee shop by subbing it with a PB & J Sandwich. And I will be making a cheese pasta dish at home with a side of beans instead of ordering a little bowl of mac and cheese from Panera.

With this switch I have saved myself from spending about seven dollars and insured that I am not a hungry raving mad lunatic. I think this change might get addictive...Smile

Yey for payday and good habits

January 24th, 2014 at 08:03 am

With no more balances on the credit cards I've quite enjoyed paying in cash and sticking to a budget. Something I never thought I would say!

Just got paid and despite choosing to save over making as big of an extra car payment I feel great. My EF is finally at 2K again and my savings account is getting ever closer to that 4 months worth of expenses goal. Things are progressing toward ending in my project but the likelihood of being called back for another seems good. Whether that happens soon I don't know.

My resume is out there and I'll network but now that my financial habits seem to be well established I think its finally time to start to focus more seriously on health goals. I've used what I've learned to sticking to financial habits to set some doable and easy to keep up fitness goals.

I'm thinking they will serve me well if I stick to it.

It's funny to think how far I've come in a year. I went from not having any savings and no job to a part-time job to this wonderful project that I took on which has allowed me to pay off my credit card balances, create an EF, increase retirement contributions and develop a budget that even allows me to save toward goals like paying off my car loan early.

This whole experience has just been fantastic and I know that no matter what happens I will stick to the plan. So refreshing to be here. The first step is always hard but to be here after a year feels fantastic. Thank goodness I took the initiative to make it all happen.

One last dilemma I have though is that if I have a month left I know I can use the next paycheck toward debt. And the last one toward bills.

My goal is to pay off the car but the student loans are not really shrinking. I might have 700 extra to put toward a debt in the next check (after taking out money for retirement, goals, etc.)

So knowing the situation would you:

A - Put the money toward paying the car currently at 5305 with 10% interest

B - Put it toward the smallest of the student loans (1K) with 6.55% interest

*All my student loans are federal loans

Hickups in the plan

January 21st, 2014 at 06:26 pm

Well our project has gone over budget so I might be out of this job quicker than planned.

The good news is that I have saved enough to have my bills paid til March after I get this weeks paycheck plus a 3 month buffer beyond that should unemployment not be an option.

My husband also started a new job with more pay and has been steadily paying off his highest interest debts. So he can now help carry me should unemployment not be an option.

And I still have my part-time job to bring in some money to try to live off my own savings for a while. And of course my shiny new toy is now completely paid off. I will need some new accessories but those are easy enough to come across frugally.

I'm hoping that even if it takes a while to get a new job I can somehow still reach my goal of paying off the car this year but well see how it goes. Nothing is set in stone and I've made some fantastic financial decisions and finally been able to conquer my credit card debt and get my expenses down to a more than reasonable level.

I'm am so happy I have not only stuck to the plan but been able to achieve goals I've longed to reach for years including getting a fancy new camera! Smile

Learning how to play with my new toy

January 15th, 2014 at 04:30 am

I went to my last class and it was so helpful now I am super happy that I made the investment into this kind of camera.

I can just think of all the pictures I can take all the memories I could capture. I can't get accessories yet but as soon as my next check comes in I can buy things for it again Smile Anyone else enjoying their Christmas toys?

Back on track

January 10th, 2014 at 08:47 am

It has been a crazy December having a balance that seemed to replenish itself every time it was paid off. But now its January and a new year.

The camera is now paid off and even though it was a low paycheck I was still able to put a tiny bit toward savings and the car goal and retirement.

Have to say I'm not doing too bad. Hopefully this cold will taper off and then I can put in some overtime hours to get closer and closer to my goals before my job goes away.

Things seemed bleak there for a while but they are okay again. I'm half way through my house organization project and I'm okay with not being able to finish it due to lack of finances.

For one thing I'm not sure of what I want to buy and for another I'm thrilled that I am right back on the if I don't have the money than don't buy it plan.

I'm just happy to know that even if I do get a little of track I can get right back on again. The other good news is that I have been saving money and working toward my goals for so long now that it feels weird to not put away money toward them.

I'm thinking that by allowing myself to get that camera I can focus again. Before it seemed like an endless tunnel of no fun and like I would never be able to get what I want to get and only things I need. But by allowing myself to get something I've wanted for two years it seems that I feel a little more upbeat now and happy.

I have also decided that at some point soon I will allow myself to buy some clothes as I have very few. Yes I need to lose weight but I need to have something to dress myself in the time being! Hope everyone is doing okay in the post holiday/trying to keep up with their resolutions January.

Yey

January 6th, 2014 at 03:44 am

Figured out all kinds of budget things. SO happy that I'm still on track.

Close to reaching 4 month goal, might reach my 2K goal for IRA within a few months.

If I find a way to make an extra payment on my car every month I can pay it off by the end of the year! I think it might be doable even if I lose my main temp gig.

I'm hoping it will all pan out. Paid up on car insurance for a while too. All in all things are looking up.

Oh and my camera class is soon too. Kinda nervous but excited to learn.

Shucks

January 2nd, 2014 at 06:13 pm

Well it turns out I didn't have as much as I thought I did in the next check to pay off my new camera. It's okay though I'll just do it in two payments it won't be due until the end of this month anyway.

Other than that no hickups in the plan. Still putting money away paying off loans etc. Looks like I'll be employed til Feb. The goal is to save up another months worth of expenses and send more extra payments to the car.

Jan is a wash due to the new toy but Feb should be good maybe after all this there will be another job. One can only be hopeful!