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Anticipating Spending Later this Year

February 11th, 2016 at 08:03 am

We have 2 sets of good friends getting married this year. Within a week of each other. I am already planning for the significantly increased spending during that time.

There will be bridal shower gifts, accommidations/travel and wedding gifts to be funded. Fun times lie ahead financially, but it will be exciting to celebrate with such wonderful people.

I hope to be as frugal as possible with the gifts/accommodations though!

Yesterday's 5 Things - again

January 13th, 2016 at 05:24 am

Tuesday was a good day. I visited the surgeon for my 1 month post-op appointment. I am allowed to resume all activity, which is great, because I can lift & carry the baby again!

-Bing [DONE]
-Doctors appointment [DONE]
-Work 2 hours OT
-List all newborn clothes for sale (too small for the baby now) and list online [DONE]
-Give baby a bath [DONE]
-make lunch for work tomorrow [DONE]

Trying to Sell the House This Year

January 13th, 2016 at 05:21 am

My husband & I are trying to sell the house this year. We want to move from the 2 bedroom townhouse we currently own and buy a bigger place. With a baby, 2 cats & a large dog, we just don't have much in the way of room. We aren't going crazy, but we definitely want to upgrade a little.

This past weekend, we went through the house & put together a pretty long To-Do list to get the house ready. I am hoping to spend as little as possible doing so, but we have a small budget for it and will utilze those funds as necessary to get the house marketable.

Wish us luck! Our goal is to have the list completed by the end of April Smile

Eagerly awaited 1st paystub of 2016

January 5th, 2016 at 07:14 pm

I had calculated an estimate of my net pay after increased medical, HSA contributions and the addition of a childcare FSA. I used payroll city & got a figure.

Today, my paystub went up online & it was within 24 CENTS of my estimate. I can't believe how good that was!

My 2016 budget will not need to be adjusted at all!

Gift Card and Coupon Code Inventory

January 2nd, 2016 at 10:52 am

List of Gift Cards and freebie codes. Please note there are a lot of shutterfly - which I use for family yearbooks, grandmother gifts, etc.

Shutterfly: $20 off code expires 3/27/16
Shutterfly: $20 off code expires 3/27/16
Shutterfly: Free 8x8 Photo Book expires 2/29/16
Shutterfly: Free 8x8 Photo Book expires 2/29/16
Shutterfly: Free 8x8 Photo Book expires 5/1/16
TinyPrints: 20% off plus free shipping expires 2/29/16
TinyPrints: $20 off expires 5/1/16

20% off Gymboree expires 12/31/16
Old Navy Reward: $10 expires 5/31/16

Two Stones Restaurant Gift Card: $50
Bob Evans GC $10
Nail Salon Gift Card: $60
Nail Salon Gift Card2: $60
Barnes & Noble GC: $25
Walmart GC $2.97
Babies R Us GC: $300
AC Moore GC: $20
Home Grown Café GC $10
Christiana Pub GC $10
Skipjack Restaurant GC $10
Skipjack Restaurant GC2 $10
Primo Subs GC $5

Open Enrollment

October 30th, 2015 at 07:49 pm

My husband's open enrollment at his work ended just before mine started, so we had only estimates to compare.

Since he is one of those lucky people that NEVER needs a doctor and I am one of those that goes all the time (thyroid disease, etc), we figured it made sense to have him go through his insurance since he'd never make the deductible.

And I will put my daughter & myself onto my employer's insurance.

I also am planning to utilize every extra benefit that I can. This includes Medical coverage that also provides a contribution from my employer to my HSA of $1500. I am contributing $2500 to the HSA myself.

I am also utilizing the Family Care HSA. Daycare costs will be more than the $5k maximum it allows, so the HSA will be fully utilized in 2016. Work contributes 50 cents to every dollar, so I will put in $3333.33 over the course of the year and they will put in $1666.67. So basically - free money & pre-tax funds to use toward day care!

I am keeping my 401k contributions at 14%, with the 6% company match, that's 20% of the salary.

The increased costs for medical for the baby, increased HSA contributions and the daycare FSA will significantly decrease my take home pay, but in the long run, the savings will be worth it!

Nice Target deal on diapers!

October 18th, 2015 at 02:23 pm

A site I follow shared a nice target deal on diapers!

I purchased 6 packs of diapers at $24.99, plus some diaper cream for $1.27. This gave me a total of $151.21

I then was eligible for a $25 gift card for spending $150 on baby items.

And eligible for $20 for buying 3 diaper packs at once. I earned this twice.

So my total of $151.21 was then reduced by $7.56 for using my Target Redcard (5% off). Final price $143.65 for 6 large boxes of diapers.

I used a $60 Visa gift card that we received as part of our baby shower and I earned $65 I Target gift cards.

Can't beat that deal!!


October 17th, 2015 at 07:49 pm

Yesterday was payday and because there is an extra paycheck this month, more went to non-normal expenses than the monthly ones.

After normal bills, doubling the grocery budget (due to extra baby expenses this month), gas, etc., I was able to:
-put $500 into the new home fund
-put $70 into the EF
-have $200 to new clothing.
-rollover $100 into baby savings (rolled over FB sale income)

Post-pregnancy, thanks to the gestational diabetes, I have lost 30 pounds between my pre-pregnancy weight and today. So I am down 2 jeans sizes & am in need of some new clothes before returning to work. A great problem to have!

Payday Last Week

October 7th, 2015 at 07:30 pm

Last Friday was payday!

Normal bills get paid - car insurance, Netflix, electric and allotted amounts go to sinking funds (Personal/Beauty, Medical, Gifts, Auto, Vacation), and cash reserves are set aside for pet expenses, groceries, gas & entertainment...

I put $736 to the new house fund! big amounts still as there are no daycare expenses yet.

Need to remember how far I've come this year!

October 1st, 2015 at 05:00 pm

Lately, with all the new expenses and how much I am beginning to hate our current home, I am feeling a bit behind with our goals.

But we're not. And I just needed to look back at the changes over the year to see that!

In 2015,

I have:
-Paid off $15,019.95 in credit card debt that I came into the marriage with (Current CC Debt: $0)
-I paid off my car loan $1,595.93
-Purchased a crib $319.99
-Purchased a glider/ottoman $493.98
-Cash-flowed Gutter/Soffit Repairs $1933
-Cash-flowed car repair: $499.67
-Cash-flowed house painting $750

That is total change of $20,612.52 in debt/expenses

PLUS I have put $1500 into the New Home Fund YTD

*Please note that I say a lot of "I" because my husband and I have separate & joint accounts. He and I each wanted to pay off our debt from prior to the marriage. I don't have track of his debt payment, but he is almost done as well!

So what I need to remember, as of 10/1/2015, I have had a positive financial change in the amount of $22,112.52!!!!

Spendy Spendy Spendy

September 9th, 2015 at 02:38 pm

Last few days have been spendy.

Netflix: $7.99
Duck Race Humane Association Donation: $30.00
Donation to an old teacher's Crowdsourcing Fund $15.00
Tickets to Last Comic Standing comedy show (Parents night out in October) $94.00
Photo Book (gift for grandparent) $10
5x7 baby photos for gifts for family members $4.00
Grocery/Baby supply/Household Supplies: $283.16
Postal Service: $14.70
Eating Out: $64.28
Gas: 22.84

However, we still were able to put a bunch into savings!

$1000 into the New Home Fund
$50 House Repairs Fund
$100 Slush fund
$60 2015 Gifts Fund
$20 Auto Maintenance fund

Little One Arrived!

September 6th, 2015 at 11:48 am

My little one arrived August 18th. It was a rough labor, but we both are home healthy & happy.

Both my husband & I have 12 weeks of parental leave. I can't believe its almost a 1/3 over. It feels like we've only been home a minute!

Medical expenses are high - adding the baby to our medical increased our family deductible. Her birth alone met that deductible, but we haven't met the out-of-pocket maximum yet. No bills have arrived for these charges, but I can see them on the insurance website. We have planned for this.

I used some free Shutterfly codes to make some baby announcements. $7.99 out of pocket for shipping - we have a large extended family.

Going into this birth, we knew we would pay the overpriced Newborn Photography offered at the hospital. Well worth it to me as the pictures are taken on the baby's 2nd day and she was perfectly malleable to poses. We have ownership of the prints, the rights, etc. and can reproduce into more prints for Christmas presents for a much smaller cost through an online site. This was already budgeted for as well.

Our household costs have increased some - diapers, wipes, formula. I am attempting to cook again after months of being too sick for it.

I am so looking forward to this next adventure in life!

Last Credit Card Paid OFF!

August 10th, 2015 at 05:47 am

Friday was payday & I sent the last payment to my final credit card carrying a balance (0%) $540.59!

New Balance: $0.00


Painters, car theft/accident, baby coming soon

August 7th, 2015 at 04:34 am

Crazy week. That is the only way I can describe it. With the high risk pregnancy, I had 2 doctors appointments on Monday. My husband & I took off and did the appointments, then lunch out.

The painters came to paint the living room, downstairs hall, stairs and upstairs hall. It was a 3 day job. They repaired some loose drywall and did ceilings & trim including the high ceilings around the stairway. This was worth every penny of the cost & was cashflowed!

Tuesday, I left the house at 6;45 for work only to discover that my car was not parked where it had previously been. I looked around & found it DOWN THE STREET IN A DRIVEWAY AND SMASHED INTO ANOTHER CAR.

Apparently someone had attempted to steal the car (although no broken windows, etc), got it started and then the security features kicked in & the car turned off. So it coasted straight into the neighbor's car.

My car had a few minor scratches on the bumper. The neighbor's drive side door & side panel were dented in. It took 3 hours for the police to come, do reports & fingerprint.

The insurance got someone out the next day to look at my car. I had to sign paperwork & get it notorized over the theft attempt. That I handled (free notary) at the bank yesterday.

So *hopefully* the car situation is pretty much complete. I don't think any repairs to my car would even meet the $500 deductable. So getting it repaired doesn't make much sense, but we'll see.

Yesterday, I heard from my OB's office. Because of my high risk pregnancy, we are likely going to have to incduce a day or 2 before my due date. So I have an induction set for the evening of Tuesday 18th, with hopefully a delivery date of 8/19. Finger's crossed!

So currently, the house is a mess from all the stuff being moved around for the painters, I still have a few more things to deal with with the insurance, the baby is coming in less than 2 weeks and I am feeling a little unsettled. I need to get the house in order this weekend! Smile

Payday Tomorrow!

July 23rd, 2015 at 02:16 pm

Tomorrow is Payday. My check went online yesterday, so I was able to pre-budget with OT.

After I pay normal bills out of this paycheck: Cell, mortgage, cable, water, etc.

I will be putting aside:

$40 for Gas
$60 to Gifts savings
$5 to Clothing savings
$209 for entertainment
$20 to Auto savings
$100 to House Slush Fund
$50 to House Upkeep Fund
$20 for pets
$231 for groceries
$88 to maternity/post maternity clothes
$775 to my last cc debt
$735 OT toward 2016 gifts fund (goal now met)

An update on my last credit card:

Bal starting 7/1/15: $2225.56
7/10 Snowball $802.27
7/12 Entertainment overage $20
7/22 OT leftover $50
7/23 Entertainment overage $19.70
7/24 Snowbal $775

TOTAL July Payments: $1,666.97

New Balance: $558.59

Friday's Paycheck

July 8th, 2015 at 05:47 am

Paychecks went online and I was able to see the full amount I will be netting with my Overtime.

After paying normal bills - Car insurance, netflix, electric, trash, etc., I have:

$35 Gas for 2 weeks
$25 personal items
$15 Medical Savings (ING)
$5 Clothing Savings (ING)
$13 Memberships Slush Fund (ING)
$22.40 Old Navy purchase payoff (more tank tops/lounge pants for maternity and after the baby comes)
$270 Daycare deposit
$200 Entertainment expenses
$165 Overtime to 2016 Gifts Fund [Goal before Mat Leave is $900]
$800.60 to Last Credit Card Debt

Current Priority Financial Goals:
1. No New Debt
2. Payoff Last Credit Card
New balance after $800.60 payment = $1424.96
3. 2016 Gifts Fund - Goal of $900
New Balance after $165 transfer [$165/$900]
4. Repay Clothing Purchases
DONE for the moment, another purchase will occur
this week due to needing nursing friendly clothes
5. Savings for Home Repairs - Drywall/Painting. No
estimated goal yet - waiting on estimate

Today's 5 Things

July 5th, 2015 at 03:53 pm

Although I had a few days off, nothing really was accomplished off my ever-growing To-Do List. I am focusing on what I DID get done today.

1. Movies & lunch with friends
2. Do 2 loads of laundry
3. Clean kitchen
4. Clean off coffee table
5. Change sheets
6. Prep for work tomorrow
7. Enter mycokerewards
8. Do Bing

Interesting Tidbit - Lifetime Earnings from Social Security Administration

July 5th, 2015 at 07:37 am

I recently came across someone who was talking about their lifetime earning calculated by the SSA.

I signed up with them - it shows estimated SS income, etc. I just zoomed in on the Lifetime Earnings - I started working in 1996. During the last 19 years (from part time high school to today), I have earned (per their calculation of Taxed Social Security Earnings), $582,582.

Very interesting to think what I have earned over all this time and where I am financially today!

Lots of Budget Changes - forcasting potential budgets

July 1st, 2015 at 04:57 pm

The 2nd half of this year is bringing many financial changes for my husband and I.

I will have the credit card debt paid off by the beginning of August.

Baby Hopeful will be arriving towards the end of August.

My husband & I both get 3 months parental leave.

We will be adding insurance for the baby.

Out next big financial goal is savings towards a new home.

November begins Daycare expenses.

January 2016, we will be increasing HSA contributions and creating an FSA account. I will be contributing $3333 pre-tax and my company matches $1667 for a total of $5000 for the year.

However, because of how the FSA reimburses, we will have to cash flow the daycare costs and will utilize the reimbursements to replenish cashflow.

So I have multiple paycheck budgets set to accomidate all the changes.

First, my current budget will transfer the $1550/month that was going to debt repayment toward the New Home Fund

The next budget adds in daycare costs, which decreases the snowball to the New Home Fund.

Then I have my 2016 estimated budget which includes the increased HSA and the FSA.

Its fun to plan! But I HATE seeing expenses going up and money in my snowball decreasing. I can hope that 2016 allows for some OT, even with the new baby Smile

Midyear update on 2015 Goals

June 27th, 2015 at 06:06 pm

2015 Goals:
1. Contribute $8k to 401k [AT $4091.47 AS OF 6/27/15]

2. Company 401k Match Goal - $2770 [AT $2004 AS OF 6/27/15]

3. Pay off CC TY $1087.11[Paid off Feb 6th]

4. Pay off CC FR $5762.60 [Paid off Mar 6th]

5. Pay off CC BA $9257.35 [BAL DOWN TO $2225 AS OF 6/27/15]

6. Pay off Car Loan $1595.93 [Paid off April]

7. Cash Only Gifts - Birthday AND Christmas [ON TRACK]
8. Spouse Paying off the last of the credit cards he
came into the marriage with. [ON TRACK]

June Last Credit Card Paydown

June 27th, 2015 at 05:42 pm

Starting Balance June 1, 2015: $3,969.96

6/12 Payment $775
6/15 Payment $59.40
6/26 Payment $40
6/26 Payment $813
6/27 Payment $57

Total Payments: $1,744.40

New Balance : $2,225.56

GOAL: Paying off before 8/21 due date - right on schedule!

Planning for Payday!

June 24th, 2015 at 05:41 am

Friday is payday & my check image went online last night. It includes a LOT of overtime (28.25 hours to be exact).

After paying normal bills - cell, mortgage, cable, water, etc., I am budgeting the following:

Gas $40
Auto Savings - Gifts Fund $60
Clothing $8
Entertainment $226
Auto Savings - Car $20
Snowall to last credit card $775
Camera payoff (no interest) $590.95
TD CC Payoff for normal expenses $70.60
Savings Fund from OT $150
Slush Fund for home $100
Home Repairs Fund $50
Pets $20
Groceries $231

After all that, I will have just the 1 credit card balance, which will be down to $2360.56!

Weekend Doings

June 14th, 2015 at 04:33 pm

Friday night, I stayed in and watched tv. No big spending.

Saturday, we went & saw Jurassic World, which was super fun. We had lunch with friends and then went to a bbq with another set of friends. Busy day!

Last night & today, I have been battling Morning (all day) sickness. I made it out to breakfast for my dad's 70th birthday. My mom picked up the whole tab despite our asking her not to.

I found some energy later in the day to splurge on a mani/pedi. I had a discount card and paid cash out of my entertainment fund. It was a nice way to relax in this heat while pregnant! lol

Tonight, we are watching Netflix and then Game of Thrones. I got 3 hours of OT today too.

My goal of OT for the upcoming week is 15 hours. We'll have to see how it goes!


June 12th, 2015 at 05:21 am

Today is Payday and I already have bills set up to be paid and then cash budget lines for certain catagories.

Car insurance: $161.25
(includes prorated amount as I
changed policies/companies. I will get a
rebate from my old policy of about $40 in a
few weeks)
Netflix: $7.99
Medical Slush Fund: $15
Last Credit Card with Balance: $775
Credit card with entertainment purchases: $65.40
Memberships Slush Fund $13
Camera purchase (no interest) $345
Gas: $33.39
Auto Slush Fund: $20
Home Repair Payment (0%): $150

Still have in budget:
Gas Overage $1.61
Personal Items $15
Entertainment $200.75
Trash: $40 (pay $58.50 quarterly)
Mortgage (half) $489
Electric $140
Pets $92
Vacation Fund $20
Misc $10
Groceries $288.88 (had overage from last month)

Last Credit Card Payoff - May Update

June 2nd, 2015 at 03:29 pm

In May, I put $1709.94 to the card, leaving a balance of $3,969.96.

Staying on plan!


May 29th, 2015 at 04:50 am

Today was Payday.

I paid:

-The Rest of the Glider/Ottoman (orig $493.98)
-$780 to the Last Credit Card Balance
-$75.48 to cell
-Mortgage payment
-Cable bill
-Water bill

Auto Savings Scheduled to be pulled:

-Gifts $60
-Auto Expenses $20
-Slush fund $100
-Home Upkeep $50

Cashflow to be spend this pay period:

-Personal $18.18
-Entertainment $220
-Pets $23.01
-Groceries $223.52
-Amazon Subscribe & Save Groceries: $53.06

VERY Productive and Fun Day

May 24th, 2015 at 04:23 pm

Today was both productive and fun. I accomplished a lot and got to spend some time with my nephew.

-I made a full breakfast for us (no eating out)
-Ran dishwasher
-Cleared out photos from phone/Cloud
-Replied to Craigslist responses
-Made grocery list
-Activated new credit cards (renewal cards)
-Paid all but $30.xx of glider/ottoman off credit card (will pay the rest long before the statement even closes
-Ordered toilet paper & paper towels off Amazon (found good deals, time to stock up).
-Paid nephew to do some heavy lifting. He's looking for odd jobs to get some extra money. So I paid him $25 to bring Christmas/Wrapping/Gift Closet items to basement from soon to be baby's room (requiring lots of trips), to bring trash/recycling from basement to cans outside and to bring up items for FB/Craislist meets and to put them in the car. Well worth the money, because he EARNED it.
-I broke down boxes from basement for recycling
-I bought us lunch at Burger King ($9)
-My husband and I rented a movie with the nephew to spend some time hanging out with him ($2.99 - entertainment money)
-I went to the ATM and deposited cash to go towards the baby items
-I met a FB person to sell mini frames
-After the day, I dropped my nephew off at my parents. We brought the dog to say hi Smile
-Got gas on the way
-I unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded any dishes from the sink
-I had another person buy a not great quality side table for $5. I did also show off the hutch in the basement to the guy. He was interested in any other pieces we had.
-I listed another piece on Craigslist today.
-Played with the dog
-making dinner at home

Its been a great day!

Money changes 2014 and 2015

May 22nd, 2015 at 08:14 am

Total Debt Paid in 2014 13,372.03
Total Wddng/Honeymoon Cashflowed 2014 11,000.00
House Repairs Plumbing 2014 5,375.90
House Repairs Basement 2014 6,350.00
Car Loan Paid in 2014 4,125.93

TOTAL Money Change in 2014 40,223.86

Debt paid to Date in 2015 (5/20/15) 10,259.99
Car Loan Paid off 2015 1,595.93
Crib Purchase - cashflowed 2015 319.99
Glider/Ottoman - cashflowed 2015 493.98
Gutter/Soffitts Home Repair 2015 1,933.00
Car Repair - cashflowed 2015 499.67

TOTAL Money Change 2015 to Date 5/22/15 15,102.62

New Retirement Balances

May 19th, 2015 at 03:56 am

5/19/15 Total: $84,246.46


Revisiting Sinking Funds - share your thoughts

May 11th, 2015 at 11:45 am

I am revisiting my Sinking Funds

I have:

1. A Slush Fund - this is made up of all our Once a year costs:
-Vet for Cat 1 ($200-250/year)
-Vet for Cat 2 ($200-250/year)
-Vet for Dog ($200-250/year)
-HOA Fee ($150/year)
-Sewer bill ($200/year approximately)
-Misc Insurance ($80/year)
-TOTAL $1180/year (put away $100/month).

2. Vacation Fund - $20/month - Only planning little long weekends from time to time

3. Home Upkeep/Repairs Fund - currently saving $50/month, but have utilized lately and balance is low.

4. Gifts fund - $60/month and is supplemented with 'free money' from Bing, rewards, etc. This covers birthdays, anniversarys, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween (costumes), wedding showers, baby showers, etc. We are extremely generous with the nieces/nephews and supplement sports and activities, so the 'costs' are a little higher than if we were just buying small presents.

5. Medical Fund - currently only $10/month. We have funds provided by work into an HSA and I put $33/check pretax in as well. It covers deductables, etc.

6. AAA/License Renewal/Inspection - $15/month

So we have had a lot of large home repairs, lately. However, what do you all budget for normal upkeep, repairs, etc? Do you have slush funds for this?

I am attempting to figure out the right number for our family.

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