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8 days off & on in the hospital = daily emails from my insurance about claims

June 13th, 2018 at 08:21 am

Oh the joys of being in & out of the hospital - INSURANCE

I am so glad to have some insurance or this could have been a much more financial hit. However, the amount of claims that have been coming through have been insane.

I had an ER visit the day of the dog bite - this includes a doctor billing me as well as the ER.

2 days later, I was back in the ER where TWO doctors and the ER bill me AND I am admitted into the hospital for 4 days/3 nights.

I go home for ONE night.

And I ended up in the ER again where multiple doctors visited me and argued over what to do, so I get their bills plus an ER bill AND I was admitted for another 4 days/3 nights.

During that time, I had hand surgery - so surgery is billed plus the surgeon plus the doctors that visit me again.

The claims are just ROLLING in.

Our insurance has a $2400 family deductible. WE already hit that (with a minor surgery I had earlier this year and this situation). However, we also have a $7000 out of pocket maximum. When all is said & done, we will be hitting that as well.

UGH - but we can use up our HSA and Medical savings and hopefully cashflow the rest.

Sad that essentially the amount of my severance will be used for this though instead of saving it.

Family Heirloom found its way back to me!

June 11th, 2018 at 06:13 am

3 years ago, I was clearing out the basement and decluttered a gossip bench that I inherited from my Aunt Edna. It was in rough shape - the wood was separating, it needed reupholstering and I didn't have the energy, expertise or time to do it.

The lady that took it flips furniture and sent me a picture of the finished product. It looked so nice, but we had nowhere to put it, so I didn't try to buy it back.

There were so many memories attached that I always regretted letting it go.

Fast forward to today. I was heading to Wawa and saw a yard sale in my neighborhood. I decided to stop by and there in the middle of the yard sale was Aunt Edna's Gossip Bench. The EXACT one I had sold. (The seller even named the lady I sold it to).

I hopped on out of the car and bought it back! That is fate for you!


Payday from Old Job!

June 8th, 2018 at 11:43 am

Today was my 'last payday' from my old job. The check included 4 days of work and my unused TOP payoff. No insurance/401k was taken out, so I wasn't sure how much I'd net.

Luckily, the next is 2x what a normal base check from them was. So that would cover our budget for today 6/8 and 6/24! I start the new job 6/18 and its paid every other Friday, but I don't which Friday is a payday yet.

We hope not to use any savings to cover income while transitioning between the jobs, especially since being in the hospital lost my first job and now I am unemployed for 3 weeks.

Then mid-June, I will get my severance, which we are hoping to bank!

Work Clothes Shopping/Spending

June 8th, 2018 at 11:36 am

2 Weeks ago, I went shopping for work clothes. My previous employer’s dress code was jeans daily, so I need several new outfits that I can mix & match without spending an arm & a leg.

I am in between sizes, which makes shopping at goodwill/outlets harder. So, I went around to a few places, brought some stuff home and was planning to keep the best and take the rest back.

Of what I am keeping (already returned the non-keep items) – I hit up Target, Gabes, Kmart & Kohls and got 5 pairs of work pants in varying colors (including 2 lightweight pairs for summer), 3 business dresses, 3 work shirts and 1 blazer for a total of $157.34. Not the lowest prices that I have ever paid, but all the items are high quality and versatile. I might return a pair of pants or 2… haven’t decided yet. It’s a lot of money given I am trying to save, not spend…but I have the funds in my clothing fund. I am good on shoes, mix & match tops, accessories. I will be able to present a very professional look for a long time without buying new clothes.

Rough Couple of weeks - emotionally and money wise

June 5th, 2018 at 10:04 am

My last day at my job was 5/24, a Thursday. I had a half day (paid for full) and then we off Friday. My husband took off with me and we had some time together- lunch out and a movie and had a really awesome time.

Saturday morning, my dog (of 3 years) bit me. He has been having behavior issues, but he was hurt and I reached to help his paw, and he bit me hard. An emergency room visit resulted in my hand getting 14 stiches. $$$ large bill coming

Because of his bite history and the severity of my bite, we worked with the rescue we originally adopted the dog from to address this issue. Unfortunately, after the 10 day quarantine, he had to be put down. We are so upset, but medically/mentally, something was wrong with him. The rescue & vets office agreed. He was sick.

By Memorial Day (Monday), it was infected and I was back at the ER. I was admitted right away and they started me on IV antibiotics. There was concern about possibly doing a surgery, but after 3 days, I was released to go home on Thursday.

Friday morning, I woke up with infection symptoms returning and I was right back in the ER and being admitted. Saturday, I had hand surgery. I was released to come home yesterday (Monday).

So of the last 8 days, I spent 6 in the hospital. That bill will be ridiculous. Our family health insurance deductible is $2400. We used up some of it already, but the actual out of pocket cap amount is $7000.

I am doing better. However, because I could not start my new job on the 29th as I was supposed to, I had to tell them to release and open the position up. LUCKILY though - the company that I really wanted to work for called Tuesday and offered me a position at a salary higher than the original new job offer. I have a start date of the 18th.

I have mobility issues of the hand and hope that my dexterity is better by then. Trying to take it easy is hard!

So because of all this craziness, we have unknown medical bill coming, $361.45 vet bill, and incidentals from eating out, etc. that my husband had to do while traipsing back & forth between home, babysitters and hospital for the last week.

I am very lucky though - my hand will be ok, my family is ok and I have a new job starting. I just have to hold onto that.

Got a new job! Mixed feelings, but at least not unemployed!!

May 16th, 2018 at 05:58 am

I have been on a few interviews in the last month. The one that I really liked the job and location of was 2 weeks ago. Still no response, but this is typical for the industry/company. At times, you won’t hear back for 2 months.

Last Thursday, I interviewed at another position with a company that is in a less desirable location. The company is a bit in flux in changeover – they are moving sites from other cities to my state to put all the talent in one area. I was offered the job on Monday. I took it, but am still continuing to look for the right job for me.

Pay is good, Time off is low – 18 TOP days (Sick & Vacation combined). The commute is rough and long.

My last day at my current position is 5/24. I start the new job 5/29. So I will get to bank my severance. That makes me happy.

I am a little sad about taking this position. However, I plan on making the most of it! It’s a job and it pays me and I will not be unemployed! I say that’s good news. Who knows, maybe I will go in and love the job after all.

That being said, I am still looking!!!

26 Days Left at Current Position

April 28th, 2018 at 01:14 pm

Down to the last bit of my current position. I took a break from job searching, but was back at it. I ended up interviewing on Wednesday at a local company 5 minutes from my current employer last week. I had to ask them to make accommodations for me as they wanted to do the interviews (with 2 different managers) on Thursday the 26th, but I already had a medical procedure scheduled for that day.

I really feel the interviews went well, but they had more on Thursday. I hope to hear back in a week or two.

I applied for 2 other jobs, but the business locations are further away. One of the girls on my team had an in with the one company and already interviewed for a different position there and got it. Its a newer company where they don't do remote, strict schedule, etc. I have had it so easy at my current job, its going to be a stretch if I have no flexibility for appointments, etc.

Since I had my procedure on Thursday and took my first vacation day of 2018, I took the Friday off too. It was my birthday.

The procedure went really well and I was able to see a movie (Super Troopers 2) and have lunch on the Chesapeake Bay with my husband on my Birthday.

Its been wonderful to de-stress. And to not work OT this week has been a blessing as unrelated, I have a sinus infection & ended up on antibiotics yesterday.

Good things:
Saving all OT, job interviews, back up plan if not finding a job right away, the little cc debt we have is 0% and when I find I job, will be paid off asap with savings. All of these things are good!

I am just trying to look at the positive as much as I can!

Doing Math and preparing for my job to end

March 27th, 2018 at 06:07 am

My last day of work is 5/24, which gives me 4 days into the paycheck period. Each pay period is 2 weeks, which is how I budget the household. This last check will also include 6 days of TOP time that I rolled over from 2017 and 12.5 TOP days there will have been earned & unused in 2018. This will come in the 6/8 pay period and is enough to replace my normal base pay income from the 6/8 and 6/29 pay periods.

My severance should hopefully arrive before 7/6 (if not, we will pull from savings). Then the severance (after estimated taxes) should cover the pay periods of 7/6, 7/20, 8/3 and 8/17.

If we get uber-frugal, we can definitely make that last a LOT longer!

My goal though – is to NOT use up that severance money and hopefully be able to put some if not all of it away. I have the ability to get a contract job within a few weeks of my last day at my current position and have that as my last resort plan, if I do not find a permanent position.

I was way over stressed, but running the numbers and knowing how much we have in savings plus how long the severance will last us makes me feel SO much less anxious.

I really want to BANK that severance, but if I dont, at least I shouldn't have to touch the savings!!

3/16 Payday and Savings

March 16th, 2018 at 06:36 am


Working in the right direction.

In the last week or so since I posted last, I have attended another professional networking event and informal job fair. I have talked to recruiting companies, beefed up the resume more, etc.

Our industry has gotten weird where right now, most of them do contract to hire jobs. They take on a group of temps for a project, then keep the best of them to go full time. So you’re faced with no benefits for up to 6 months during a contract.

I am in the lucky position of being under my husband’s insurance, but others in my office are single parents, etc. It’s a devastating idea they face.

As for me – I am working OT, but trying to still take care of myself. This paycheck (3/16), I received 37 hours of OT, plus my bonus and this is what I budget as my extra paycheck of the month since March has 3 pay dates for me.

Because of this – taxes were high, but my net was nice as well. I was able to pay some normal bills and put away a lot of savings.

· We put $230.32 to the vacation fund – meeting our family goal of $800.
· We put $1064.68 towards the $2k goal of ‘new to us car fund’
· We put $2600 (the bonus after taxes) to the EFund
· We put $600 (extra paycheck money) to the EFund
· I paid the new windshield bill of $188.33 and $30 Local Professional Group Membership
· We also paid the $581 vet bill for the dog (annual visit plus sedation for a procedure)


New Savings Balances:
Total Emergency Fund: $30,126.79 (Cap One 360 Efund: $6415.79 +MTB Efund $19,703.xx+4008 Cash in Safe)
Vacation Fund $800
Slush Fund (Vet, EZ Pass, Sewer, etc) $116.21
Home Repairs $213.12
Medical $136.57
Auto $39.33
Membership $143.88
Clothing $105.68
2018 Gifts Fund $1067.87 (most of it comes from alternative income – surveys, rewards, etc)
Nephew Car Fund $981.91
Daughter Savings $471.67
Savings attached to checking $500.79

Job Search - resume, interviewing and using transition benefits!

March 2nd, 2018 at 06:06 am

May 24th is coming up soon. That will be my last work date. I will get a paycheck on Friday 6/8 that includes 4 working days (5/21-5/24) and any unpaid time off earned (I have 6 rolled over days and by 5/24, I will have another 12.5).

The severance will be 10 weeks of pay, minus a higher tax rate at both federal and state levels. This will come on a regular pay period date at least 30 days from when I get some paperwork back to them after 5/24. so I might get the check on MAYBE 7/6 or 7/20.

In the mean time, I have had my resume out there. The job market in my state is very much a microcosm. There are many employers, but they all are in some state of transition. There are hundreds of people looking for jobs in my particular industry right now.

So any job gets a TON of applicants. I have had 1 interview (via a reference from a friend) but the position and I were not right for each other. Still - it was a good learning experience and great practice.

My employer gave us access to a career transition company with options. I chose a 3 month option that lets me call & talk to people, take classes, get my resume gone over, etc. I also have access to a much stronger job posting group. At the end of the 3 months, I still get lifetime access to that group and its a really good deal!

I know I have to be proactive. I am looking outside the box for jobs, been networking, etc. My husband was saying I have made this my 3rd job. In some ways, he's right!

2 weeks ago, I sent them my resume, got feedback, revised & submitted again. Once I revised a 2nd time and uploaded to job search sites, I started seeing MUCH better matches.

I attended a Personal Branding seminar (webinar) last week that was very informative.

This week alone, I have spent HOURs working on the job search/prep. Many of the hours have been paid time as well, which is a benefit in itself. This is the only week where they will hold on site seminars in our building, but it is awesome they did it for us.

Monday - I went to a 3.5 hour local Chapter event of a professional group I belong to. I know many people on the board and I networked my behind off. I would say this was the largest event they had and at least 65% of the room were people looking for jobs. However, it doesn't hurt to keep your face out there, which is what I did. The event also came with free dinner (and they encouraged taking leftovers home).

I also started an online webinar (on my own time) for Six Sigma training - this would be good for my resume. I'm going to keep going on that one this weekend.

Tuesday - My office hosted the Career Transition Company hosted a 2 hour Resume Writing Class (during paid time). I also did a Webinar regarding Networking with LinkedIn (1 hour and per company policy, on their time)

Wednesday - I had the 2nd of 3 in office Trainings - Interview Skills and did a 1 hour Webinar for online networking

Thursday - the 3rd of the 3 in office trainings was - Networking and did a 1 hour Webinar for connecting to jobs via their site.

Today I am going to work on a few action items from the classes, but no more trainings, etc. today. I need a mental break.

I also have a pre-interview call set up with a potential employer on Monday, so this weekend, my goal is to research the company and gather any info on the position as well as put together some info about myself to really align why I and my skills are a good fit.

We know we can't plan when we get job offers, but it would always be ideal to be able to work until 5/24, get severance, and start a new job a week or 2 later. The chances of it happening like that are not as likely.

That being said, at this point, because the salaries in our industry were inflated for a while and because I will go back to a salary position without OT eligibility (I had a special circumstance at my employer), we will be taking an income hit. I hope to not just take a job with a low salary just to take it. I hope to use the time I have left in my current position and my severance (if I have to) to find something in the salary range that we are comfortable with.

Stress, Sickness and Job Search, Oh my!

February 18th, 2018 at 03:20 pm

I have been putting so much pressure on myself. The job is ending in May, I currently have unlimited overtime and I personally pressure myself that every hour unworked is $31 (after tax and 401k) 'lost'.

I have been working between 10-20 hours of OT a week, but it just isn't always possible or healthy for me to do.

Two weeks ago, I worked 24 hours of OT. This last week, I was planning 20, but life kept popping up. I started stressing myself out and my anxiety and health made it known.

Monday - I worked 4 hours of OT (because I was able to work remote that day). I also had a panic attack - my first real one versus just high anxiety in about 6 years. Not pleasant.

Tuesday - I worked 2 hours extra. I was fighting a cold and was also prepping for a last minute interview on Wednesday

Wednesday - My very flexible boss let me start work at 6am and end early so that I could go to physical therapy (for a reoccurring issue) and for a 2+ hour interview and still have an evening with my husband for Valentines day. He made steaks at home and it was so nice!

The interview was strange (its been a while) and stressful and I definitely feel that neither of us (the job nor me) were good fits with each other. Still - good practice!

Thursday - I had a horrendous day at work (high maintenance people). My husband was trying to help me and wanted to use a gift card for dinner out. I wasn't feeling my best, but thought getting out was a nice idea, so we had dinner out and when I came home, I couldn't force myself to do any overtime. At this point, I definitely had a cold or something.

Friday - My work announced a 3 hour paid early out for the holiday weekend. Payment of OT changes with this type of perk, so I was already sick and just said "for my health, I am abandoning any goals of OT for this week". My husband was happy to hear that. I was still sick, was able to get out of work at 12 and since I was to pick up my daughter from daycare in the afternoon, I chose to go to the movies.

Took 2.5 hours for myself and watched Black Panther. It was such a good movie!

Brought my daughter home after, my husband made dinner & I went to bed early.

Saturday - I spent the day on the couch or in bed sick. I still was feeling like it was more of a cold/bug than anything else, but I wasn't feeling any better.

Today, I woke up and it was like a truck hit me. I went to the urgent care up the street. An antibiotic and steroid later, my severe sinus and ear infections are being taken care of. $7.50 for copays for the meds. I will get a bill in the mail for the visit later.

Tonight, my husband is going with friends to see the same movie I saw on Friday. My daughter and I are having girls night. That means my behind is planted on the couch watching old episodes of Monk and my 2 year old is playing with some of her Little People toys. I broke out some resale ones I had bought at a deal and was saving for such an occasion. Hours of independent play for her!

Tomorrow is a bank holiday. Technically, we are off work. However, I will likely do a little OT - the only OT I will do this week though. I need to get healthy.

Still on for the job search - Work has given us access to a company that helps with the process and I was able to have my resume reviewed. I also am doing some webinars regarding personal branding, etc and am getting that resume out there!



Crunching Numbers and Making Hard Decisions

January 30th, 2018 at 05:51 pm

So my job is coming to a close. I will have been with the company 5 years in April. Although other groups have been let go, mine has NOT been given 90 day notice.

We have been promised 90 day notice, plus 2 weeks severance per year (which means 10 weeks for me as my 90 days would be after my 5 year anniversary).

I also have 6 rolled over TOP days that will be paid out.

Each month, I accrue 2.5 TOP days that will be paid out if unused.

My company also hands out bonuses in March, not end of year or January like most companies.

HOWEVER, many people are job searching at once. I am overpaid in the industry and with market saturation, I will not only lose 20-30k in unlimited overtime, but at least 10-12k in base salary.

I have a lead on a job through a friend - slightly out of my immediate wheelhouse, but in the same industry.

Here's where the gamble comes in.

In a perfect world, I would work out my 90 days notice and net approximately $12k from severance and TOP time, PLUS saving unlimited OT for the next few months AND getting any (possible) bonus in March. Then magically hop onto another full time job.

If I get an interview (likely given my connection to the group) and get offered the job in say the next month. I won't be bonus eligible. I would lose any severance offer and not be able to save up OT for the next 90 days or so. But I'd have a job. A stable job and could continue to look for something more interesting and higher paying.

I also know, that in the worst case scenario, I stick out the term until completely being severed, that I could do short term contract work until I find a full time position. But I'd be competing against a lot of people for full time jobs.

There is a mystery meeting on Friday this week. It might be to give final notice to those of us without end dates. But I don't know as the person 'hosting' is not in the chain of command for our group.

I kind of hope it is giving us the notice - because then if I get the offer, I have some possibility given the length of time companies take to actually start jobs, I might make that severance package.

So many what ifs and part of me really wants to gamble for $12k NET plus at least an extra $800 per paycheck in overtime for another 4-5 paychecks PLUS a potential bonus.

But would potentially having no job after be worth that price?

Stewing on things right now. Talking to the hubby and applying all over still. We'll see how things go, I guess.

Update on Job Situation and Action Plan

January 22nd, 2018 at 05:31 pm

I still no end date, but I am really betting that we will get 90 day notice in March, with a June End Date. At this time, I would get 10 weeks of severance (based on time with the company), paid out for any earned TOP time (accruing 2.5 days per month).

I am actively looking for Full time work, but knowing I have some time, I have been a little choosier. I have had several offers for contract work, which could turn into permanent, but until I get an end date and closer to it, I wouldn’t take that. There are always contract options in my industry.

My family all went onto my husband’s insurance, knowing that I would be ending my relationship with the company mid-year. That will be helpful.
I am saving all overtime and since I don’t know when that OT could end (as my employment comes to an end with the company), I am attempting to push myself and do 20 hours a week.

I also will be saving all of my 3rd paycheck in March (minus budgeted gas, groceries and a little spending money).

We are also in budget lockdown. We are very social people, so we’re going from going out a LOT go going out, with coupons/ specials 1 time a week and hosting people over for things like game nights.

Losing this job, I will be losing around 20-30k a year in OT, plus I will likely be taking a pay cut as pay is oversaturated in my industry right now. Saving is important to help with this transition!

I also am doing everything I can for some extra money, which will go to my 2018 gifts fund and if I can swing it, a mini vacation as we haven’t had one in about 2 years (except for a couple of weddings in 2016).

It’s stressful, but my husband & I are working as a team to make it as easy a transition as we can!

Savings Totals Update

January 22nd, 2018 at 10:16 am

EF1 $1903.84
EF2 $18,117.66
Slush Fund (Vet, HOA, EZ Pass, Annual Bills) $562.47
Home Upkeep $112.91
Medical $106.40
Auto $71.19
Longwood $117.70
Clothing $85.54
2018 Gifts $754.10
2017 Gifts $30.83 (holding for niece’s savings)
Nephew Savings $980.33
Daughter Savings $450.94

Grocery budget & meal planning

January 19th, 2018 at 11:05 am

It’s insane how much we have been spending for a family of 2 adults & 1 child for household, diapers and groceries. So far this month, we have spent $432.18. We have roughly $70 left in the budget for January. This spending doesn’t include pet supplies.
Yesterday, I did a LOT of stocking up – we had eaten down our freezer stash in December. So we needed to stock up on meats, fruits & veggies, diapers and basics.
I am meal planning my booty off. With a 2 year old who demands dinner the second we walk into the door on a work night, I use meals I made & froze or easy meals during the week. So that is what I am concentrating on. These meals will take us well into February.
This weekend, I am making lots of meals for the freezer. We will also grill some chicken for snacks/lunches for the week (we are doing Weight Watchers & trying to eat healthier).
I plan on making Korean Spicy Pork Loin Saturday night. Leftovers will also be frozen and I am going to try to make a healthy 2 ingredient bread recipe – I am going to make garlic sticks and pizza crust. Wish me luck!
Once all of this is cooked – we will have a freezer full of:

3 Family meal servings of meatloaf muffins
2 Family meal servings of Taco Meat
2 Family meal servings of Sloppy Joe
2 Family meal servings of honey sesame chicken
2 Family meal servings of barbecue chicken
1 Family meal serving of Korean Spicy Pork
4 Family meal servings of Potstickers (premade frozen)
1 Family meal serving of fajita chicken
2 Family meal servings of Turkey meatballs

On days I work remote, I cook a hot meal – so that will be when I do a balsamic honey pork chop and some pretzel crusted Dijon chicken. We also have turkey meatballs in the freezer (precooked) and will use that with pasta one night.

Each week, I will meal plan out of what we have to work with, and there will always be room to switch things around.

This week:
Sat 1/20: Korean Spicy Pork Loin (leftovers will go in the freezer), brown rice & veggies
Sun 1/21: Beef taco salad
Mon 1/22: Fajita Chicken & peppers
Tues 1/23: (husband’s late night): Fend for yourself – (ends up being potstickers a lot of the time)
Wed 1/24: Turkey Meatballs & pasta
Thurs 1/25: Balsamic Pork Chops
Fri 1/26: Sloppy Joe & pasta

Meal Plan

January 16th, 2018 at 07:56 am

Monday: Sesame Chicken & Brown Rice
Tuesday: Dinner for Breakfast (egg muffins & potatoes)
Wednesday: Turkey Meatballs
Thursday: Barbecue Shredded Chicken
Friday: barbecue pork chops
*can be switched around as needed


Breakfasts: Egg Muffins & potatoes obrien, fruit
Lunches: Chicken Breast sandwiches and small salad (all pre-packed)

2017 Retirement Numbers

January 16th, 2018 at 07:46 am

2017 401k Personal Contribution: $16,802.21
2017 401k Company Match: $6300.80
TOTAL 401k Contribution $23,103.01

*this does not include the #s for my husband

Meal Planning

January 9th, 2018 at 10:08 am

Sunday, I took Fridge and Pantry inventory, did some grocery shopping & did a meal plan. My husband & I are both doing Weight Watchers – which I don’t find to be any more expensive really – BUT I do have more convenience foods – like natural apple sauce cups & no sugar added peach and pear cups for grab & go fruits. And of course, we have the 2 year old to feed. She’s going through a picky stage.

I use Aldi as much as possible for meats, staples & fruits/veggies. Then Walmart for the most part. Sometimes based on ads, I hit up other places.
This weekend, I spent $54.56 at Walmart & $55.62 at Aldi. We did a lot of stocking up too.

The Meal Plan for Dinners:

Sunday: Turkey Meatballs and pasta
Monday: Buffalo Shake N Bake chicken. My husband had jalapeno potatoes as a side and I put mine on a salad. The little one was hungry early, so I fed her a meatloaf muffin from the freezer.
Tuesday: (Husband’s late night at work) So we usually fend for ourselves. I am thinking leftovers from the freezer
Wednesday: Apple & onion pork chops & brown rice
Thursday: Shredded Barbecue Chicken from the freezer
Friday: Sloppy Joes
Saturday: Hubby has plans to watch football, so I am making a Chipotle Salmon Burger and the little one will have a chicken patty and pasta.
Sunday: chicken tacos

In addition, I worked remote today, so didn’t prep any meals for breakfasts or lunches yesterday like normal. This is really important since after almost a year since the announcement that our work is closing later in 2018, the cafeteria on site closed as of 1/1. So I already packed lunches most of the time, but now I have even bigger reason to J

So tonight, after making dinner, I prepped a few salads – some regular veggie only and a few with baked chicken, salad, celery, hot sauce & light blue cheese dressing. These will be my lunches.

Then I made egg muffins with a little light cheese, bacon pieces, onions, peppers, eggs + egg whites and light milk - they came out super fluffy!

I also cooked some frozen potatoes o’brien, added some extra onions and portioned them out for breakfast.

Snacks are packed – turkey pepperoni, applesauce, pears, banana.

I also have a bunch of aluminum water bottles that I reuse – I fill them in the beginning of the week for grab & go.

2018 Financial Goals and Vicarious Financial Position

January 1st, 2018 at 09:42 am

My husband’s job is very stable. However, my work announced in 2017 that our work site will be closing in 2018. 400+ people at our work site. Many have already been given their severance and left. Several groups are still in the office. My team specifically is training a group to take over our work in another site, but the training is not going quickly. Upper management has no real idea what we do, so there is a very good chance that they will end our group before the other group has the required knowledge). So that should be interesting.

Of the people on the team in our state (8 plus our manager), 2 were given 120 day notice in November. They were the low performers. We have been ‘promised’ 90 day notice plus severance of 2 weeks per year employed. Which would be 8 weeks for me.

I have been applying without any luck. Part of it may be the last quarter of the year usually has businesses in my industry in hiring freezes and partly that there are a LOT of people in my field looking for jobs at once in a small area.

My position on the team has special knowledge and I am a Senior (assistant manager), so my position will likely not be eliminated until almost the end (HOPEFULLY). I am looking and have been doing insane amounts of overtime while I can.

This crush of OT + stress of losing my job has led to health problems, stress and all kinds of not fun things. I have to limit the OT for mental and physical health reasons in 2018.

The result of my losing my job is that I was in very specific industry sweet spot where I had responsibilities of a salaried person, but because of a job classification, was deemed hourly and given unlimited overtime.

My salary was also high and overpriced for the area.
Therefore, we are expecting a significant income loss. I will lose 20-30k in OT income plus I will likely lose around 10k in salary income. This is a horrible hit for us. We will persevere though!

That being said, my goals for 2018 are very fluid, financially.

• I have a goal of an average 15-20 OT hours per 2 week pay period while at the current job
• Continue monthly networking events
• Revamp household budget
• Meal plan weekly in an attempt to lower all household expenses.
• Continue tracking all personal and household spending
• Complete cash only gifts/holiday spending in 2018
• Find a new job
• No new debt
• Payoff existing debt
• Post here weekly at least. Helps for accountability
• Continue 16% 401k contribution personally until new job/budget reset

2017 Financial Goals Final Update

January 1st, 2018 at 09:15 am

Financial:
1. Get Renter Out – COMPLETED – Had to go through full eviction process. No recouped rent obtained
2. Sell Townhouse – COMPLETED 11/29/2017
3. Cash only gifts/holidays/Christmas. I include all birthdays, holidays, cards, Christmas, Thanksgiving groceries, my daughter's birthday party in this category, so it seems big. I need to add $1249 to this fund in 2017 – COMPLETED within budget
4. Pay off small debt at 0% before it runs out in 2018 $3481.09. Part is medical expenses that I am hoping to just cashflow paying the card for instead of using funds from my HSA. But we will see. – PARTIALLY COMPLETED – moved to another 0% card some balance due to financial changes through year
5. Keep up OT to pay Rental Townhouse Mortgage so we don't have to utilize any further savings – COMPLETED until Sale process
6. Add to Emergency Fund by $5000. Stretch goal is $8000. This would be significantly dependent on goals 1 and 2. – COMPLETED AND EXCEEDED $17k saved
7. No new debt [FAIL – small amount]
8. Continue FB sales of household and baby items. - COMPLETED
9. Continue 16% of salary to 401k - COMPLETED
10. Continue contributing to Childcare FSA for $1666.67 contribution from employer (Automatically set up already). - COMPLETED

Financial Updates (from EOM Aug/Beg Sept)

September 12th, 2017 at 06:38 am

401k Update (Self only)

Personally Contributed $11,710.92 YTD
Company Matched $4,391.84 YTD

TOTAL Contributions YTD: $16,102.76


RETIREMENT UPDATE
Current Personal Retirement Balance Total (without Spouse) $141,464.07 (UP from $119,755.27 on Jan 10th)



Health SAVINGS UPDATE
H.S.A Cash Amount: $43.24
H.S.A Investigated Account: $1743.20
Y.S.A (H.S.A) Account: $1916.36

Health Savings Accounts Total: $3702.80


Non-Mortgage DEBT UPDATE:
CC B (0%) $6,281.41
CC P (0%) $2,171.38
CC W (0%) Furniture Purchase $1754.35
CC B (PIF Monthly) $48.48
CC AZ (PIF Monthly) $66.31
CC T (PIF Monthly) $208.44

TOTAL: $10,530.37

SLUSH FUND SAVINGS UPDATE (to be used throughout the year as irregular expenses occur):

Facebook Kid Sales (sale & purchase of items for the 2 year old via yard and FB sales) $199.50
Facebook House Sales (sale & purchase of items for the house) $41.00
Clothing Fund: $60
2017 Gifts Fund $1271.00
2018 Gifts Fund $140.13 (all from free sources of income)
House Slush Fund $329.94
Home Upkeep $52.29
Medical Slush $93.26
Auto Slush $320.84
Membership Slush $52.48
2017 Gifts Fund $1271.00
Car Insurance Savings $195 (paid bi-yearly)


REGULAR SAVINGS:
Joint Savings: $500.19
EF1 Savings: $13,000
EF2 Savings $3855.03
2018 Gifts Fund $587.23 (all from free sources of income)
Nephew UGMA Acct: $947.74
Daughter UGMA Acct: $300.01
Daughter 529: $752.81
CC Repayment: $184



Hello Old Friend(s)

July 5th, 2017 at 07:38 am

It has been quite a while since I have posted and I am sorry for that. Things have been crazy lately and I have been 'triaging' some of my priorities. I have quite a few updates and a goal to post much more regularly, so please don't mind the looonnng post.

I am writing this in a bit of a stream of consciousness, so bear with me.

*Short Sale on Townhouse (non-primary residence) is going slowly. The paperwork requires that we apply for a loan modification, although I will not qualify at this time (see bullet #2). Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Its a long and frustrating process, but I am dealing with it pretty well.

The mortgage company asks for bank statements, so I was incredibly annoyed to find a $1125 deposit from our previous property management company in my account last week. They accidentally applied someone else's income into my account (because of having the same last name). So because they couldn't figure out how to reverse the payment, I had to cut them a check to get it out of my bank account. They provided me documentation to send to the bank as well, since it was their error.

We actually have an offer on the house for the short sale, so hopefully we can present it to the bank soon!

*For the 1st time in my life, I am being 'let go' from my job. Its a weird situation - to save money, the company is pulling out of my state. They announced our site closure a little over a month ago and it will be closed by mid to late 2018. Different areas/people will be given 90 day notice at different times.

For my very specific and small job function team, we are currently starting training of employees in another state that would be the team taking over the work. Until they are up and running well, we would not get 90 day notice. Politics of the office - our bosses' boss hates our management team for various reasons and wants our state's site gone ASAP and has said as much directly to our group. Upper management said we'd likely go in mid 2018. She said, and I quote, her goal is "the end of 2017."

So that being said, we (my family) will lose my salary, my substantial overtime income and more at an undisclosed time. I have only been with the company 4 years, so my severance (after the 90 day notice) would be 8 weeks. The competition of 400+ people from my job site all looking for jobs at the same time is not worth waiting for that type of severance, so I am looking now.

I also am doing as much OT as I can to save up. My overtime is covering the rest of our normal household bills and my husband is using his salary to build an emergency fund in an account in his name only. This is his money as far as the mortgage company is concerned as he is not named on the townhouse mortgage and deed and they stated having his income in the calculations would be messy, so this is considered fine with them.

Once my job is being eliminated, that OT would not be able to be considered in calculations anyway, so saving a bit from it now is appropriate.

* Our baby girl is almost 2 and definitely not a baby. Things are changing day to day with her. She's feisty and fun. She turns 2 in August and we are planning a birthday party at home, keeping it very simple with friends and family coming over. Hotdogs, sides, cake. We have a very small budget, but a big set of guests. It should be perfect.

I already bought her 'big' gift for her birthday. An excellent used condition Strawberry Shortcake tricycle! Super cute and she will love it as her favorite thing to do is 'go outside!'. $12 out of pocket, can't beat it!

*We have made the choice to continue saving for retirement at our current rate. With my overtime, it increases significantly every extra hour that I do. We are very happy with the #s

* I joined Weight Watchers in late April. I really didn't get on the program until early May, but I am doing well. I have lost 24.2 pounds. I had some ups and some downs, but the overall loss is phenomenal to me. I fight against some thyroid issues and not having the time I'd like to incorporate a ton of exercise, so I am very happy with the results. My husband joined me in mid-May and is doing well too.

* Groceries/eating out/meal planning: Our grocery bill has increased a bit since we are trying so many new things/recipes. Our eating out spending has gone significantly down. Overall, the $$ is going in the right direction and I am getting to try a lot of new and fun meals!

Additionally, I have been packing breakfasts and lunches for work. That has helped with the WW and with saving money.

I have lots more to talk about, but those are the big things Smile

Rental Townhouse Update - almost up for sale

April 11th, 2017 at 10:56 am

Last month, we evicted the tenant and will likely not see that money back (although garnishment paperwork is in submission) It is what it is.

That being said, we are cash flowing the mortgage from my overtime and now cash flowing electric and water for the townhouse as well. We had to do some spackling/painting and pay a handyman to fix the front door frame, which was severely damaged by the tenant.

The house has been cleaned & carpets shampooed. I contacted a realtor who will be taking pictures today, so hopefully the house listing gets online ASAP.

April Goals Better Late than Never

April 7th, 2017 at 07:02 am

1) OT Hours Goal: 30 hours
2) Savings (not including sinking funds, 529 or kid savings). $300
3) Debt Repayment (0%) $200
4) Cash flow rental townhouse mortgage payment (from OT) $1009
5) Sell a min of 5 items on FB Sales Site
6) Pack lunches of 15 In-Office days in April, I will pack 12 times
7) Continue tracking all personal & household spending
8) Professional Tasks:
a. Complete 1-2 webinars
b. Update resume
c.
9) RENTAL UNIT:
a. Place for sale
b. Keep upkeep
c. Pay electric & water

10) Keep up calculations for utilizing OT to keep on track to max out 401k this year
11) Research larger house purchases:
a. Fence
b. Blinds for family room
c. Pressure washer
d. New bed & frame for master bedroom

March Goals Update

April 4th, 2017 at 12:03 pm

1) OT Hours Goal: 60 Hours this month to cover mortgage on rental that is being prepped for sale, $300 per paycheck into savings and a 1/2 of the car repair I put on a 0% card [NOT MET – WORKED 44.92 HOURS OF OT IN MARCH]

2) Savings: $1046 (including Savings but not sinking funds, 529 and Kid Savings). [Actual Savings: $1410.03]

3) Debt repayment $400 (including the partial car repair) [Actual Debt Repayment: $551.05]

4) Cash flow Rental Townhouse Mortgage Payment: $1009 (from OT) [DONE]

5) Sell 8-10 Items on FB Sales Site. Baby items plus household items [DONE – sold over 52 items]

6) Pack Lunches a minimum of 3 times a week (only work in office 4 times per week, work 1 day remote) [FAIL]

7) Do Alt Income tasks (Bing, mypoints and mycoke rewards) [DONE]

8) Continue to track all personal & household spending (I don’t bother with DH’s personal spending – no need to know how much he spent on lunches, etc when it’s his fun money) [DONE]

9) Professional Tasks:
a. Mail Professional Membership recertification paperwork [DONE]
b. Complete 1-2 webinars [DONE]
c. Update resume [FAIL]

10) RENTAL Unit:
a. Complete repairs [DONE]
b. Meet with realtor about putting up for sale [DONE]

11) Meet Tax Professional – Appointment set for 3/7/17 [DONE]

12) Keep up calculations for utilizing OT to keep on track to max out 401k this year [DONE]

13) Research/plan for bigger house purchases: [FAIL]
a. Fence
b. Blinds for 1 room
c. Pressure washer
d. New bed and bed frame for master bedroom

Taxes - Do you ever REALLY pay attention to how much you pay?

March 9th, 2017 at 08:16 am

So last night I dropped off my taxes to a professional. The very first time that I have not done our taxes. This year, we bought a house, put our townhouse up for rent, had non-payment from renter and a few other out of the norm financial items that led us to take the advice of a professional for this year's taxes.

I know from talking to friends and family and from reading blogs, that a lot of people focus on the amount they owe or are being refunded when they file their taxes. I know I am guilty of it, but I really want to take a hard look as the dollar amounts we pay in taxes – Federal, State, Local (if applicable), Social Security and Medicare.

We do pay attention to what is withheld versus what is estimated to be owed. Our refunds have usually been within $500 or so. Last year, we had a slightly larger refund. This year, I’m not sure how its going to turn out.

I am also looking hard at any way to lower my AGI to pay the least amount of tax as possible. Right now, my husband & I contribute to our 401ks, but not to the max for both of us. We contribute to a H.S.A, and a Childcare FSA. My goal this year is to try to contribute to IRAs for both of us and this year I am hoping to max out on my 401k at least.

Still – seeing the hard #s of what we gross, what we pay in taxes and what we actually net is eye – opening.

Do any of your take a hard look at the dollar amount and/or percentages paid?

March Goals

March 6th, 2017 at 11:53 am

1) OT Hours Goal: 60 Hours this month to cover mortgage on rental that is being prepped for sale, $300 per paycheck into savings and a 1/2 of the car repair I put on a 0% card

2) Savings: $1046 (including Savings but not sinking funds, 529 and Kid Savings)

3) 3) Debt repayment $400 (including the partial car repair)

4) Cash flow Rental Townhouse Mortgage Payment: $1009 (from OT)

5) Sell 8-10 Items on FB Sales Site. Baby items plus household items

6) Pack Lunches a minimum of 3 times a week (only work in office 4 times per week, work 1 day remote )

7) Do Alt Income tasks (Bing, mypoints and mycoke rewards)

8) Continue to track all personal & household spending (I don’t bother with DH’s personal spending – no need to know how much he spent on lunches, etc when it’s his fun money)

9) Professional Tasks:
a. Mail Professional Membership recertification paperwork
b. Complete 1-2 webinars
c. Update resume

10) RENTAL Unit:
a. Complete repairs
b. Meet with realtor about putting up for sale

11) Meet Tax Professional – Appointment set for 3/7/17

12) Keep up calculations for utilizing OT to keep on track to max out 401k this year

13) Research/plan for bigger house purchases:
a. Fence
b. Blinds for 1 room
c. Pressure washer
d. New bed and bed frame for master bedroom

February Goals - Update

March 6th, 2017 at 11:37 am

1) OT Hours Goal: 54 hours in the month FAIL: 27.80 hours. Was sick the first week of the month and did not worry about doing OT.

2) Savings: $1046 (including House Savings, 529 and Kids Savings); Actual: $1061.64

3) Debt repayment $100; Actual: $157

4) Cashflow Rental Townhouse Mortgage Payment: $1009 – GOAL MET

5) Sell 5-10 Items on FB Sales Site – Sold 2 items and a 10 pack of clothes

6) Meal Plan all 4 weeks - FAIL

7) Limit lunches out to 4 days in the month - FAIL

8) Do Alt Income tasks (Bing, mypoints and mycoke rewards) – Did, but not consistently

9) Continue to track all personal & household spending (I don’t bother with DH’s personal spending – no need to know how much he spent on lunches, etc when its his fun money) - DONE

10) Keep within budget for Atlantic City Trip. Budget $200 for DH & I. We have a free room, are bringing drinks & food, have coupons for meals and are planning on only playing a few penny slots and enjoying time with our friends. - DONE

11) Professional Certification Tasks:
a. Attend Chapter Event - DONE
b. Complete 2-3 webinars - DONE
c. Sign up for recertification & start paperwork (once work pays) – DONE (Work submitted payment as well)

12) RENTAL:Unless paid up by Day 11 after court date (where the renter agreed to all amounts owed and the judge said we have the right to evict), the PM company will fill Writ with courts for 24 eviction. That would be on Monday the 6th, so wish us luck - DONE - Eviction complete. Repairs started and hoping to put on market asap

13) Set up tax appointment - I normally do our taxes, but with the rental, the rental income loss, etc, I am going to a professional for this year only - DONE

14) Start sale process on townhouse - Pending

15) Keep up calculations for utilizing OT to keep on track to max out 401k this year - DONE

February Update:

March 6th, 2017 at 11:23 am

Retirement Update Balance as of 3/1: $128,841.71 (not including Spouse’s retirement funds)
CC Debt Balance as of 3/1: $2470.86 (all 0%)
Sinking Funds Balance as of 3/1: $2195.78
Daughter Savings: Balance as of 3/1 $213.67
Daughter 529: Balance as of 3/1 $549.65
Savings Accounts: Balance as of 3/1 $13,789
Health Savings Account 1 (invested) Balance as of 3/1 $1799.67
Health Savings Account Balance as of 3/1 2 $803.21
Cash Savings (FB Sales) Balance as of 3/1 $259.50
2017 Gifts Fund Balance as of 3/1 $1271
2018 Gifts Fund Balance as of 3/1 $37.01
Total Alt Income in February: $79.01

Updates

February 11th, 2017 at 05:08 pm

I was sick a week and half ago - lost OT, because I took 2 days off to recover. So my OT goal for the month will likely not be met. I am fine with that. OT is a luxury, not a necessity Smile

I am selling a few baby items this month & am gearing up to put together Groups of summer baby clothes to sell in lots. Hopefully that will bring a few bucks in.

My husband and I went to Atlantic City with some friends for Superbowl. 4 couples, 3 free rooms. We splurged on valet parking ($10) and gambled a little (with planned cash) and had some food. Spent about $200, which was the max amount we had budgeted. So that was a win. We had a blast!

Today, our one friend helped my husband load up and unload a bedroom set from some friends nearby. It was sitting in their basement and we needed a guest bedroom set. A queen bed frame & headboard, a night stand and a dresser and mirror/shelf top. $30 approximately spent on a truck rental and maybe another $20 on dinner for the friend who helped us move. Great deal for us! I hope to take pictures once its fully set up.


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