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Archive for September, 2006

Savings Game

September 30th, 2006 at 08:47 pm

Hi, everyone. Well, the most frugal thing I did today was save $15.69 on my grocery purchases today. I used 3 coupons, two of which were doubled. A lot of meat was on sale, which is good because I buy a lot of meat. I also took my own bags, which gave me an extra $.20. The best purchase of all was Cottonelle bath tissue triple roll package. It was advertised on sale at $5.99. Original price was $7.99. I had a coupon from couponmom.com for $1.00, so it was $4.99. Wow!

I work in a library and am on the Friends of the Library board. We had a book sale today to raise money for the organization and we made $222.80. I donated about 9 books to clear to rid my house of stuff I wasn't using and bought 4 others for $.60.

The bad thing is that I incorrectly estimated the time it would take me to get my shopping done, so when I got back from shopping, I had to take a shower and get dressed. I didn't have time to eat lunch at home, so I ate at the mall where we had the book sale. I ate cheap and good for $6.02.

Gas Bill Conquered!

September 29th, 2006 at 08:08 pm

Well, today during a lull at work, I signed up for the equal payment plan for my gas company. My monthly payment will be $95.40, which is more than the $18.46 I paid this past month. But, I won't be paying $200 per month this winter.

This past Saturday, I deposited an extra $20 I had from an out of town trip back into my checking. When the deposit cleared, I went online and made an online payment to the credit card. $20 more paid on the debt! Woo-hoo!

I get paid again on October 6th and already have mapped out exactly how I am going to spend my money. I found a budget spreadsheet on the internet, which I modified by adding a column to show how much I allotted for food, for example. I added another column to show what I actually spent for each pay period. I have created an allotment for savings for long term savings and short term emergency savings.

What Frugal Thing Did You Do Today?

September 25th, 2006 at 08:42 pm

The most frugal thing I did today was to enroll in the average payment plan for my electric company. My husband kept saying they wouldn't let us do it because we hadn't lived here long enough. Well, I did it online and in about 10 minutes. So, no more surprise $219 electric bills. When I was done, the program told me the average payment I would be making would be $99. Talk about savings!! Wow!

Next on my agenda tomorrow night - call the credit card company.

The Truck is Paid Off!

September 25th, 2006 at 07:05 pm

Howdy, neighbors! My truck is paid for in full. Woo-hoo! Well, I feel like going out and celebrating, but now it's time to start paying off the rest of the debt. My husband and I recently went out of town and I took some cash with me for smaller purchases. We had $20 leftover. I deposited it back to checking. When the deposit clears, I will make an electronic payment to the credit card.

Well, I have to go for now. I wanted to share my win with all of you. Thank you to all of you for your encouragement.

Ongoing Trials and Tribulations

September 20th, 2006 at 07:58 pm


Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for the suggestions. I will implement some of them right away. As for being in the army and doing for my country, well I didn't. My husband was not injured in any war. He had a bone tumor in his leg, which necessitated surgery that made it so he could no longer lift more than 30 pounds. I married him almost 20 years after that surgery occurred.

$2218 is my net income. I know when I add up all these expenses, it seems like I have about $500 left over, but when it comes right down to it, I sometimes have about $20 left right before my paycheck. That's why I am really trying to pay attention to where the money goes. No more elusive atm withdrawals where you say "what did I use that money for?" I will use checks and debit card only so I can track exactly where it went.

Our electricity bill is very high this month. It was even higher, $219, last month. We have done everything to get it down. We bought CFLs for almost every light in the house. We bought a programmable thermostat and some kind of film to put over the windows that filters out heat and light. I went to the laundramat to dry clothes because the dryer was heating the house up. And we decreased the amount of cooking we did. After all that, the bill only went down $6. I was pissed. Well, I guess in another month or so, I will be crabby about the gas bill.

The groceries are high, too, and I am doing everything I can to keep it down. I am using coupons and intentionally looking for meat and stuff on sale. But, I really think is a lot more expensive than it used to be.

I will call the credit card company about the rate. My husband doesn't think Capital One, our company, will lower the rate because they are notorious for having inflated rates anyway.

This picture says pretty much what my mood is today. I feel like the computer and the world is peeing on me. Oh well, another day, and only $1.06 spent. Woo-hee!

My Journey Towards Freedom From Debt

September 18th, 2006 at 06:04 pm


Hello. This is my first blog entry. Currently, I have $50.74 in my savings account and owe about $900 on my credit card. I also have about $4000 in medical bills from mine and my husband's medical emergencies earlier this year. In 2001, we had declared Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, which is a debt management plan. We paid faithfully on our debt for 3 1/2 years and the rest was discharged in July 2004. We were doing great up until March this year when my husband had to go to the hospital 5 different times for 1 medical problem. I also had to have surgery. These expenses ate up what savings we did have set aside for emergencies. The $50.74 is what I have managed to piece together since. I realize this is futile given the interest rate I am paying on my credit card, which I only recently discovered is 18%!

My husband is a disabled army vet and so there are certain kinds of work he can't do, like lifting more than a certain amount of weight or being on his feet a lot. Beginning with my final payment on my truck this Friday, I will be putting my best foot forward to rid myself of this debt for good and go towards financial freedom. My husband posted a question about our situation to a forum he is a member of and was advised to check out work at home opportunities. I found a website for that http://www.wahm.com. He is checking that out to see if there is any way he can make some money that way. There is a Starbucks close to us and he is going to see someone there as soon we get our car back from the mechanic.

I have worked over and worked over our finances trying to pare them down and this is our monthly income and expenses. We are spending a lot on cell phones. I saw something on someone else's blog about skype, which we are investigating as a replacement, but our contract does not run out until December. We have not dined out in about a month, so this is accurate. This internet does seem high, but it is the cheapest internet around here except for dialup, which DH does not want.

$2218 my income
$425 rent
$49.95 internet
$69 cell phones
$240 food (groceries)
$213 electricity
$20 gas bill
$80 gas for truck
$200 truck payments (last 1 is 9/22)
$20 hospital bill #1
$50 hospital bill #2
$20 doctor bill #1
$20 doctor bill #2
$69 truck/car/renter's insurance
$25 Netflix
$40 credit card
$40 regular health care bills

I investigated skype last night on the internet and found it costs about $37 per year, which is next to nothing compared to $69 per month. So that would definitely be a step in the right direction. I hope my husband can find some kind of work soon, any work.

I you have any other ideas about something I could do, please pipe in. I am all ears and will consider any ideas.