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Rant on pay dates

April 23rd, 2007 at 11:49 am

This may seem weird to some of you, but the fact that my husband gets paid on the 15th and 30th really messes with the budget. Our budgeting software (Money) tracks the money from the 1st to the 30th…as one would imagine. However, because of this it looks like we have a negative balance for most of the month. Then on the last day of the month we get paid and interest is credited and *whoosh* we have a positive balance (ideally…there were times when that didn’t happen).

It just makes keeping track of where we are and where we should be more difficult. It also creates a different sentiment. When I look at our budget I see, “oh, we’re only $900 in the hole this month” instead of “yay, we are saving an additional $200 this month.” Not a good feeling or motivator. You wouldn’t think that one day would make a difference, but it does. I also want my budget to match our actual accounts, so pretending he got paid on the first would probably be an even bigger hassle.

We put most everything we can on credit cards, and pay it off each month, so we don’t have to worry if we actually have the money in our checking account at the time or not, especially since we have bills due throughout the month.

Anyhow, I’ll make due. It really just involves an added step of subtraction, but it’s still a hassle.
Thanks for letting me rant. Smile

Grocery Binder

March 13th, 2007 at 09:51 am

I've heard raves about having a Grocery Binder and I've been meaning to give it a try. The thought of getting it started a month before we left was unappealing, but now we're moved and the binder has begun.

First off I am amazed at how different the prices can be from one store to the next, sometimes a dollar or more!! Seeing that for the first time really enforced the fact that I needed this. We also just subscribed to the paper here so I'm looking forward to getting coupons from that. Those things combined along with planning meals should hopefully dramatically cut our grocery bill!

Right now I'm tracking the store, price and size (to determine price per unit). I've already learned to also keep track of the brand (to use coupons!), but is there anything else I should keep track of???

Moving and being responsible

February 26th, 2007 at 07:11 am

My husband and I are moving...tomorrow. A couple of weeks ago we went apartment hunting and we made the responsible decision!!

There were a couple of apartments that we liked, but two quickly jumped to the top of the list. One was a luxury apartment that had a loft, had new appliances, walls we could paint, good location, friendly staff, and just all around NICE! I instantly fell in love with it. The downside was that it cost $1195. My husband's housing allowance is $1100, but when he gets promoted in June, it'll go up to $1275 (Housing allowances...just another perk of the Navy). So it would have been possible to live there, but it would have been a stretch.

The other place was much larger (1400 sq. ft vs 1000) and much cheaper ($839). I wasn't crazy about the closets, the kitchen is smaller than we wanted, and for some reason the counters in the bathroom are REALLY low. But after looking at the apartment again, we realized that we could work around all those things so we got that one!

As it is now we’ll be able to use that $250 excess housing allowance to pay for utilities and groceries. It was tempting to move into the nicer place, but spending all that money would have caused more issues than the low counters and small closets would have. Now we can save for our next move…into our own house!

What to do with $10K?

February 21st, 2007 at 03:32 pm

Alright, since you all are more savvy than I am about where to put money I have a question for you. My father passed away a couple of months ago and he had a $10K life insurance policy that I am the beneficiary of. So now I'm stuck with trying to figure out what to do with the money and several options come to mind:

1. Put it toward our only debt (car loans of $11,750 @ 5.99% and $8,790 @3.59%)

2. Save it for school. I'll be starting pharmacy school soon and it can run anywhere from $12K to $250+K a year (4 years).

3. Start a retirement fund. Right now we have a decent amount of savings, but nothing in stocks and no "retirement account." We've been thinking about starting to invest in something other than savings accounts, but we haven't quite pulled the trigger yet.

4. Spend it all! (Hey, that IS an option, but probably not the one I'll choose.)

My MIL said that I should use it for school since that will ultimately help me with retirement. We've also thought about dividing it up among the three options.

What do you guys think is best? Is there something that I haven't thought of??

Giving this blog thing a whirl...

February 20th, 2007 at 01:54 pm


I'm new to this site, but I'm really interested in personal finance and frugal living stuff.

My husband and I are doing alright financially, but there's always room for improvement!

The good:
-No student loans thanks to the Navy, scholarships, and nice parents
-No credit card debit.
-After being in the red for the first 5 months of marriage we are now in the black!
-Emergency Fund(s) with about 4 months worth of expenses.

The bad:
-Two car payments
-Future college payment/loans (I'll be starting pharmacy school soon)
-No retirement accounts

The ugly:
-Thankfully I can't think of anything to put here!!

Anyway, that's a little bit about me. I look forward to learning from you!

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