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Archive for January, 2013

Small Victory...

January 28th, 2013 at 08:07 pm

Hi, everyone. I had a small victory. I took $69.22 out of regular savings and combined it with a $36.00 refund we got on car registration. We used the combined amount to pay off an outstanding medical debt. It was not a huge priority to pay it off now, but it was a priority to step up savings and payoff of other debt, which is hard to do when we have money going so many different directions. We have about $200 on another medical debt, which will probably be paid off around May. I am updating my 2013 goals to reflect these debts. Yahoo! It's a small victory, but I am grateful.

2013 Goals, This Week's Plan, and Debt Payoff

January 1st, 2013 at 04:25 pm

1. Pay Down credit card #1 to $750 by 12-31-2013. To do this, I need to pay off at least $100 a month. I will post our monthly progress.

2. Pay off credit card #2 by 12-31-2013. I need to pay off at least $50.00 a month. I will post our monthly progress.

3. Bring car savings to $2,000 by 12-31-2013. I really need to contribute a lot to this one, as our car is going to need replacing in the next year or two. I need to contribute at least $75.00 a month.

4. Minor and major house maintenance and repair. The two big things we are planning for the spring are getting the rest of the tuckpointing done on the south side of the house and planting an oak tree in the back yard behind the kitchen. The cost of the tuckpointing will come out of money we are already setting aside. We need $600 to do that and are setting aside $90.00 a month. It will probably March or April when we do that. The oak tree will be paid for out of our tax refund and money we are already setting aside. It will be about $150.00 to pay for the tree, delivery, and planting.

5. Continue making extra principal payments on the mortgage, even if it is only $5.00 a month. With the rest of our tax refund, we plan to make a large principal payment. We have a 30 year mortgage which we got in 2010. We want to have it paid off several years before I retire so I can ramp up retirement contributions.

5. Increase regular savings to $3,000. I want to have at least $12,000 in regular savings in five years. My expenses are approximately $2,000 a month, but could be cut somewhat in extreme situations. I am going the HR tomorrow in order to increase what I have going to savings out of my pay.

6. Reduce unnecessary spending. I am doing grocery shopping with cash, which has decreased my normally $170 or so weekly grocery bill to around $130. I am even stocking up on stuff I use a lot when I see it on sale or have a good coupon. I am also sticking to my routine of making my own tea at work with my tea bags and travel mug. I bring my lunch to work nearly every day, buying usually on paydays. I also did some gardening this past summer and plan to do the same beginning next spring. See #7 for more on this. These actions have helped to considerably reduce spending.

7. I plan to greatly expand my gardening venture next spring. This past summer, I only did tomatoes and basil and had a ball doing so. Growing my own food was not only satisfying, but tasty as well. I plan to add kale, onions, carrots, peppers, radishes, and spinach to my choices. Doing so will help me to become less dependent on the grocery store during the summer and also eat organically and locally grown food. I plan to continue growing kale next winter also. For some veggies, I will freeze some extra for the winter.

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This Week's Plan

This week I plan on doing some decluttering and gathering together paperwork for our taxes.

My menu plan is basically vegetarian bean soup, salads, dirty rice, and hummus. We normally eat oatmeal for breakfast. Here is the recipe I use for hummus:

Hummus
http://dedemed.com/print/print-recipe.php?article_id=92

I can't find the dirty rice recipe I use online right now. It's like it disappeared and I only have a printout.

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We have been making payments on 2 small medical bills dh had. They are considerably smaller than ones we paid off in 2011, but still have been a pain to get paid off. Now, I finally have a plan to get one paid off in the next week. The bill is $105.22. I have approximately $45.00 in checking right now that I will not use before Friday. Yea, me on vacation not buying stuff unnecessarily! I am going to take the rest out of regular savings. It will only take me one payday (this coming Friday) to make it back up. Paying it off will free up some money every month to put towards the credit cards and mortgage.