<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: July, 2007
 

Archive for July, 2007

July update

July 31st, 2007 at 10:18 pm

This turned out to be a big spending month. We bought a new dining room set, a laptop, and spent about 100-150 more than budgeted for entertainment (Harry Potter book and movie, rollerblades, etc).

It's time for my monthly checking account drain. This month it isn't very impressive, only about $150. This is due to the fact that we had been saving money in the savings account and now instead of swapping the money I'm just moving the excess to checking. So we still have about 1K to add to our savings accounts.

I'll be updating the sidebar soon, but our downpayment fund increased from 24% of our goal to 25% and with some shifting of funds we now have almost 1300 for our 2008 roths. We also paid $100 over the minimum on my car which will have it paid off a month earlier and save almost 80 in interest.

Not too shabby. Next month our goal is to not be crazy with our spending again and try to put as much as possible toward our cars!

Drug store runs

July 29th, 2007 at 04:02 pm

Went to Walgreens and using coupons saved 10.55. At CVS I saved 18.70.

New additions: $ 29.25
Previous total: $737.54
Total, since 4/15: $ 766.79

saving addition

July 26th, 2007 at 02:37 pm

Today was the last day of classes so I sold my textbook back and got $32.50 back, about half of what I spent.

Yesterday when we went grocery shopping we saved about $7 from coupons.

New additions: $ 39.50
Previous total: $698.04
Total, since 4/15: $ 737.54

Bored with saving

July 25th, 2007 at 08:01 pm

Does anyone else ever feel this way? For most of the past year a significant portion of my time has been spent tracking spending, setting up a budget, determining the best plan to save money and pay off our debts, and learning the best ways to do this. The past couple of months we’ve set up a plan which is really simple to stick to and allows us to allot money towards our goals, specifically paying off our cars, retirement and a down payment. With that plan I feel like the only thing I’m doing is waiting until the end of the month so I can transfer the money to the appropriate spot. I feel like I’ve learned a lot of the basic stuff so now I’m just waiting for enough paydays to pass that we’ve got everything paid off and our savings accounts are grown.

Part of me feels like I must be missing something since it’s all just automatic and I don’t have to actively do anything. I am still tracking our spending, but it isn’t taking as much time, nor providing us with as much information as it once was. We are saving for a down payment and retirement, and are planning to pay off our cars early. Am I missing something? Is there something I should be doing? Or are we just to the point where our finances are taking care of themselves? Sort of an odd thought that everything is figured out we just have to wait it out.

Challenge update

July 24th, 2007 at 08:44 pm

I did shopping today to get all the good deals. I did pretty good today. At Publix I saved 6.38. The items I bought at CVS retailed for over $50 and I only paid 2.92...half of which was tax. Then Walgreens I saved $11.81. This is a total of $66 in savings.

I haven't been getting many surveys from pinecone lately and I'm a little concerned about that. I used to get surveys every week if not more frequently. Maybe I'll ask them about it. Another one of my survey sites seems to be doing pretty well though with about $20/month.

New additions: $ 66.00
Previous total: $632.04
Total, since 4/15: $698.04

Our semi-wild spending

July 24th, 2007 at 12:51 am

This hasn't been a great month as far as spending goes particularly in the entertainment/leisure and household areas of the budget.

First we spent $80 and bought roller blades. We have used them 3-4 times, about once a week, and we plan on also using them in the future, but they were pretty much an impulse buy. They are great exercise though!

The new Harry Potter book was another unexpected expense. Well sort of. We knew we were going to buy the book (DH would have gone crazy otherwise), but we were planning on getting it from Barnes and Noble and using our gift card. We had saved the gift card for this purpose. Well apparently this book was in much higher demand than DH expected and we weren't able to reserve a copy from them. So we had to go to another bookstore and pay for the book out of pocket.

There have been a number of other little things that we've spent money on like another book, a trip to the movies, and a visit to a museum. We're about $100 over budget right now, but we are also currently under budget in other areas.


By far the biggest expense has been our dining set. We have been wanting a new dining room table for a while and come the end of August it would have become a need. His parents and sister are visiting and our current table only seats 4. We've been saving $100 a month for the past couple of months in preparation for the purchase. Well we went looking this weekend and the first ones we were looking at were going to be about $1400 for the table and 6 chairs. We finally went to Ashley Furniture and were able to get a table that we liked better for just over 1000. It's nice that we already have about $300 saved up from it, but the other 700 is going to come out of next months "profit" so that means less money to go toward our cars.

Despite these set backs we should still have a profit this month and next month so that means that extra money will be going into our Roths and down payment funds and toward our cars. It just may not be as much as it could have been.

More grocery savings

July 18th, 2007 at 08:52 pm

Went to Publix today and with some of their buy one get one free sales and $2 in coupons the receipt states I spent $21 and saved $22! Not too shabby. Now, I probably wouldn't have spent $43 on all that stuff, but someone would have! That savings will be added to my challenge

New additions: $ 22.00
Previous total: $610.04
Total, since 4/15: $632.04

Grocery Shopping

July 17th, 2007 at 09:14 pm

Went grocery shopping today and saved 8.44 with coupons. Several of the things I bought were on sale so I really saved even more than that, but I don't have a record of how much. This trip shopping was supposed to be a stock up trip, but I once I was there I realized that we didn't need a whole lot. So that helped with the spending.

New additions: $ 8.44
Previous total: $601.60
Total, since 4/15: $610.04

CVS/ WAG runs today

July 15th, 2007 at 05:58 pm

I went to CVS and they are having Loreal Vive shampoo and conditioner buy one get one free. I also had two coupons for buy one get one free. I went there today and got four bottles and only had to pay tax! I also did another one of their deals and got $15 ECB which can be used in future weeks. Between the coupons and sales I saved 31.96!

Next I went to Walgreen's and stocked up on some pens and 3x5 index cards. I saved a total $9.17 and even though I spent $3.61 I didn't pay anything out of pocket since I have a gift card from them.

I'm adding the savings from both of these to the challenge.

New additions: $ 41.13
Previous total: $560.47
Total, since 4/15: $601.60

Real Life

July 6th, 2007 at 02:16 pm

DH and I have been attending church online. Now, before you start thinking I'm a cult member let me tell you a little bit about how we got involved. We were stationed in Corpus Christi, TX and started going to Real Life Fellowship and immediately fell in love with it. When we moved to Florida we were sad that we would be losing this great church and that we would have to find a new one. About the same time that we moved, Real Life started up an online "campus". It can be found at: www.reallifeconnect.org

They tape one of the Corpus Christi services and play it online Saturday at 7pm Central and Sunday 11 am Central for the world to see. There also is a chat room feature where you can talk with other people who are watching the service and also with Chris, the online pastor.

I think this church would be great for anyone, but I see it fulfilling a very special role in the military. First of all, I know for the past 2 years while training DH has hardly lived in one spot for longer than 8 months. Repeatedly finding new churches is hard and frankly we haven't always done it. With this online church you can still be connecting with the same people no matter where you are living.

My favorite reason though is that families can still attend church together while deployed. I know that having that shared experiences even while he's gone would be special and nice. We already have at least one member who is stationed in Bahrain.

The two services are Saturday at 7 pm Central and Sunday 11am Central. Check it out yourself at Real Life Online www.reallifeconnect.org or pass it on to someone who might be interested. DH and I usually attend the Sunday service if you want to say hi!

June update

July 4th, 2007 at 02:31 pm

DH and I were out of town for pretty much the last week and a half of June so we didn’t do to well keeping track of our spending. While we went home (Oregon) for a weekend we didn’t really spend any money—-one of the perks of being with the parents. Last weekend we went off for our 1 year anniversary and we spent quite a bit of money, but almost all of it was covered by a gift from our best man. This month we also moved quite a bit of money around that also messed with our budget numbers. We opened Roth IRA accounts with Vanguard and maxed them out. So no hard numbers to post, but we did good this month.

Yesterday I did our normal monthly checking account drain. Since I did in the beginning of July, and July is an odd month, all of that money went to pay off our cars—$1,500! This paid off a huge chunk out of my car loan, about 18%. We also put $125 to our dining room account and $125 toward our 2008 Roths. Frankly I was happy that we were putting that much toward the car, but at the same time I was a little nervous about not specifically putting any money away toward savings. But come August, we’ll be saving all of it. So it will all work out in the end. Besides, if something catastrophic happens, we still have our EF and down payment savings accounts we can raid.

So I am really excited to see the balance of the cars continue to fall. Even if we only pay the minimum balance from here on out, we have already saved a year-and-a-half of payments!

coupons and surveys

July 4th, 2007 at 02:29 am

Went grocery shopping tonight. We were in desperate need of food since we had pretty much been out of town for a week and a half and since we are having people over tomorrow for dinner we had to pick up some extra stuff. Using coupons I saved 9.25 so that will go to the challenge.

I also got a check in the mail for $24 from doing surveys. I love getting those checks!


New additions: $ 33.25
Previous total: $527.22
Total, since 4/15: $560.47

Change to how I divvy up money

July 3rd, 2007 at 08:12 pm

A while back DH and I had a money date and determined how we were going to divide up our surplus each month. Since that time we have added some new goals so we needed to fix our plan accordingly. So here is our new plan:

Between the 1st and the 5th of each month we will drain the checking account down to our 'buffer level'. That money will then be divided up accordingly depending on if the month is an even month or an odd month.

Even months:
*$100 will go to our dining room table fund
*Half of the remaining amount will go to our down payment fund
*The other half will go to our retirement sub-account (for our ’08 Roths)
*The interest earned on the savings account will also be put in the retirement account
*We will pay the minimum on our car loans

Odd months:
*$100 will go to our dining room table fund
*$100 will go to our retirement fund
*The interest from the savings account will go to our retirement fund
*The rest will be applied to our car loans…mine specifically since it has the higher interest rate.

I like this new plan because it means that each month we are putting away money for our Roth IRAs and saving up for the dining room table.

Challenge Addition

July 2nd, 2007 at 05:15 pm

Gosh I've been really bad about updating and tracking my challenge money. Over the past few weeks I've gotten $29 for surveys and a $10 rebate. I also got my first rebate back from Walgreen's, but since that is in the form of a gift card I'm not going to count it for the challenge. Hopefully I'll get better about doing and tracking challenge again!

New additions: $ 39
Previous total: $488.22
Total, since 4/15: $527.22

Wonderful weekend

July 2nd, 2007 at 04:18 pm

Today is DH and my 1 year anniversary. It has been a fun and wonderful year. Our best man gave us our wedding gift a couple of weeks ago and he said that the money must be sent on something frivolous. We decided to spend it on a weekend away. Friday we drove up and had lunch in Savannah, GA at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House. If you ever have the chance to go there, do it! It serves up traditional southern food family style. The tables seat 10 people and you meet people from all over the country. We had a very nice meal with a young couple from Michigan, an older couple from Pennsylvania and a family that had just moved nearby.

After lunch and wandering around Savannah some, we headed up to Beaufort, South Carolina. We spent the evening wandering around the shops in the downtown area. We also went and saw Ratatouille which DH has been dying to see. Saturday we went to Hunting Island and hung out on the beach. Then we had dinner in the historic district again. Every chance we got we walked through the waterfront area because the area was just so beautiful. There was so much water and lush greenery.

We really had a good time this weekend and it was a good way to celebrate our first year of marriage.

Fully funded Roths!!

July 2nd, 2007 at 01:38 am

I've been talking about setting up Roths for DH and I for several months now, but this week everything got settled financially and we opened, and fully funded, Roths for both of us. Since the money didn't get posted until the weekend we only have $4K in there right now, but I'm looking forward to seeing it (hopefully) rise with the market!

We decided to go with Vanguard and their target retirement accounts. I liked that it was balanced and we don't have to think about making it more conservative as we get closer to retirement. This month when I do my monthly rearranging of funds I'll earmark $100 of our extra money for our Roth saving sub-account. While its only a small amount it will get us started on our 2008 contributions. Somehow we'll have to find 10K to max it out too!