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Payday and My Challenge

March 10th, 2017 at 11:24 am

Okay, so I have hit a major snag in my plan to pay off cc #1 this year. So, the story goes that last Thursday, the water heater officially died, hence the removal of $500.00 from the house account. It wasn't something I wanted to do, but by the time the plumber arrived, my husband said it was spewing water out the top of the unit. I have not written the check to cover it yet, but it is covered. Fast forward to Wednesday this week when it was 36 degrees outside and our very old furnace was blowing cold air. My husband called a local company to come out and work on it. They "fixed" it, but told us it has a max life of 5 years left. So, we made a mental note to step up the game on saving for the hvac right away. He scheduled a visit with the same company to come out and do a free in home estimate to replace the furnace and a/c. It was basically window shopping so we would know what to shoot for in our savings plan. That same day the furnace quit again, so we began to look more seriously at the quote. The quote is $4564.00 to replace a/c, furnace, thermostat, and a concrete pad for it to rest on. I still had 94% of the tax refund sitting in savings, as we used $95.00 of it to get a new yard/security light installed. When we finally made our minds to accept the quote, we transferred the rest of the tax refund to pay off a large portion of cc #1 in order to cover the cost of the repair. I am definitely going to step up the game of surveys and rebates and not buying non-essentials, like right now!

2nd 2017 Payday and My Challenge

January 26th, 2017 at 06:17 pm

I am not doing the Uber challenge, but I am doing a challenge to pay off cc #1 THIS YEAR! Yes, this is the year I go debt free of cc #1.

Tomorrow, I get paid again. I have already allocated for the mortgage, cc #1 payment, paid the water/sewer bill, and made a deposit to savings. I still have to buy gas for the car, groceries, some replacement kitchen items, and health supplements.

$3.00 to cc #1 from pinecone check
$79.00 to cc #1 from my pay
$119.00 deposit to savings ($30 to car, $30 to house, $30 to professional, and $29 to medical)

I indicated in my last blog that I removed my husband from my health insurance because the rate went up so high. He is a vet, so he does have access to care, but we won't have health insurance on him anymore. I am saving $29.00 per payday to the medical savings to allow for any significant medical expenses (not co-pays).

I found $.03 on the ground this week. I will use that at the store on Saturday and make a payment equal to the store savings and cash to cc #1. See you later.

2017 Goals

December 30th, 2016 at 05:19 pm

1) Pay off cc #1 by 12/31/2017. To do this, make at least $225.10 in payments monthly ($79.00 per payday from my paychecks and $67.10 from my husband).

I made some significant changes in my health insurance enrollment at work because health insurance premiums for myself and my husband went from $111.00 to $163.00 per payday and my dental went from $0.00 to $6.00 per payday. So, my husband asked me to take him off of my health insurance. This will result in about $80.00 less being taken from my pay each payday. My plan for this "extra" $80.00 is to send $40.00 to cc #1 and put $40.00 in medical savings for any out of pocket potential medical expenses.

2) Continuing contributing to savings as normal.

3) Contribute any survey money, rebates, coupon savings, and credit card rewards to cc #1 payoff.

4) Grow as much of my own food as I can. Buy as much other food from organic local sources. This will help me to eat as clean as I can.

5) I will continue to use a refill fountain cup as a way to challenge myself to spend as little as possible on beverages. I will funnel my savings to cc #1.

6) I will continue to use my pocket change as a way to pay part of my grocery store bill.

After Years of Searching, I Finally Found Something That Works

August 5th, 2016 at 06:06 pm

After years of searching, I have finally found something that works to help stabilize my budget so I don't run out of money before I run out of month. It's so simple that it's scary. It works for me anyway. I think each person has to find what works for them.

I have a skeleton budget on a 4x6 index card for the entire month with all usual expenses: mortgage, electric, gas for car, gas heat, groceries, insurance, cat food, savings deposit, and credit card payment, etc. Whenever a new payday rolls around, I use a new index card for the budget for that payday with the expenses and amounts for the next two weeks based on the skeleton budget referred to above. For each item, I have an amount budgeted for that item. Whenever each one gets paid, I mark through it and add the date paid. If I only use part of the allotted amount, I mark through it and add a note with the amount left in that category. If I am at a store and want to buy something out of the ordinary, I can check my card to see how much I have left and what I need to leave room for so that I know if I can afford to buy the item I want. It is for this reason that the budget be on an index card so that it is portable. I can keep it at all times in my purse. I found it does not help to have a budget on my computer because I can't see it when I really need it.

I have been doing this for about 6 months. At first, it was difficult, because I would want to buy something and see based on my card that I could not afford it. It helped me to really distinguish my wants from my needs and make better choices. I have also paid down my cc #1 from nearly $5000 to about $2900 in just around two years in a two adult, one income household.

Another cool thing I have been doing is to use the amount I save at the grocery store and make an equal payment to cc #1. I also use pocket change to pay part of the grocery bill and so I also make a payment to cc #1 equal to the pocket change amount. Sometimes, I don't really save anything, so I don't make a payment.

52 Week Challenge Progress

July 19th, 2016 at 06:17 pm

Hi, everyone. I have been doing really well with unplanned spending and also using cash for purchases like iced tea at the convenience store. Because I am doing so well, I am sending an extra $5.00 to cc #1.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2818.93

$5.00 extra payment to cc #1

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2823.93


The cc #1 balance is now $2963.30!!

52 Week Challenge and Payday

July 14th, 2016 at 07:15 pm

Hi, everyone. I get paid tomorrow and so I am sending more money to debt, savings, retirement, and regular expenses. I have already written a check for deposit to savings reference below, paid the gas bill, allocated for 1/3 of the mortgage, and made a payment to credit card #1. I also wrote a check for payment on plumbing work we had done, but that is not a debt.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2583.93

$40.00 regular savings deposit
$25.00 car savings deposit
$25.00 car savings deposit
$20.00 slush deposit
$5.00 escrow savings deposit
$5.00 medical savings deposit
$5.00 hvac savings deposit
$5.00 professional savings deposit
$5.00 AAA/car tax savings deposit
$100.00 cc #1 payment

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2818.93

I forgot to say that this month is a 3 paycheck month for me, so I have allocated extra funds towards savings and debt repayment. After buying groceries and other necessities, I will contribute more to debt repayment.

52 Week Challenge and Payday

July 1st, 2016 at 02:05 pm

Hi, everyone. I got paid today, so I am sending more money to debt, savings, and retirement.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2367.23

Regular Savings Deposit $40.00
House Savings Deposit $25.00
Car Savings Deposit $25.00
HVAC Savings Deposit $5.00
Medical Savings Deposit $5.00
AAA/Car Tax Savings Deposit $5.00
Escrow Savings $5.00
Extra Left in Slush From Last Payday Sent to cc #1 $20.00
DH's Payment to cc #1 $66.70
addendum: Slush Deposit $20.00

cc #1 balance is now $3067.30!!!

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2583.93

52 Week Challenge ... Credit Card Balance ... Ugh!

June 28th, 2016 at 03:59 pm

Hi, everyone. My credit card payment came due again on Friday and despite all the hard work I did at paying a good off, about $30.00 in finance charges were added. It's not even close to maxxed out. I think I need to verify the interest rate, because it's supposed to 12.9%, so the interest amount seems high. This interest brings the balance to $3157.00. Ugh!!!

Anyway, I recently got a Pinecone check of $3.00, so I sent it directly to cc #1.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance $2364.23

$3.00 Pinecone payment applied to cc #1

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2367.23


After the payment, the cc #1 balance is $3154.00.

I should add to the above that no recent purchases were made to cc #1 which did not get immediately paid for.

Payday and the 52 Week Challenge

June 16th, 2016 at 05:40 pm

Hi, everyone. I get paid tomorrow, so I am sending more money to savings, debt, and retirement.

Old 52 Week Challenge: $2229.23

$40.00 regular savings deposit
$20.00 car savings deposit
$20.00 house savings deposit
$5.00 hvac savings deposit
$5.00 medical savings deposit
$5.00 tax/aaa savings deposit
$5.00 tax prep savings deposit
$5.00 escrow savings deposit
$50.00 cc #1 payment
$20.00 xfer to cc #1 from last payday's slush

New 52 Week Challenge: $2364.23

This brings cc #1 down to $3123.75!!! Big Grin

More Snowflakes for the 52 Week Challenge

June 8th, 2016 at 05:44 pm

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2224.23

payment to cc #1 $5.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $3193.75

More Snowflakes for the 52 Week Challenge

June 6th, 2016 at 07:04 am

Hi, everyone. I am celebrating here today! CC #1 balance is under $3200! Woo-hoo!

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2221.23

$3.00 Pinecone check

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2224.23

New cc #1 balance: $3198.75

More Snowflakes for the 52 Week Challenge

June 4th, 2016 at 11:14 am

Hi, everyone. I sent $20.00 to cc #1. This brings to cc #1 balance to $3201.75.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2201.23

$20.00 payment

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2221.23

Payday, Snowfalkes, and the 52 Week Challenge

June 2nd, 2016 at 04:58 pm

Hi, everyone. I get paid tomorrow and so more money is going to savings, retirement, and debt.

Old 52 Week Challenge: $2041.93

Regular Savings Deposit $40.00
Car Savings Deposit $20.00
House Savings Deposit $20.00
Medical Savings Deposit $1.00
Tax/AAA Membership Savings Deposit $1.00
Tax Prep Savings Deposit $3.00
Escrow Savings Deposit $5.00
DH's payment to cc #1 $66.70

New 52 Week Challenge: $2198.63

This brings cc #1 balance to $3221.75.

I have a Pinecone deposit coming in a day or two. I will send it directly to cc #1 when I get it.

More Snowflakes for the 52 Week Challenge

May 31st, 2016 at 10:49 am

Hi, everyone.

I checked my checking account today and found a $0.99 rewards deposit. We get these when we shop at certain stores. Of course, I sent it directly to cc #1.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance $2040.94

$0.99 rewards deposit

New 52 Week Challenge Balance $2041.93

This brings cc #1 down to $3288.45.

DH gets his check tomorrow. I went send $66.70 of it to cc #1.

Payday and Other 52 Week Challenge Stuff

May 21st, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Hi, everyone. I overspent some last week, but I am determined not to let it get me down. I was sick with a sinus infection and eating badly, so I wound up buying things I probably did not need. I will be eating a lot of things from my garden for the next couple of weeks. I did use $0.42 pocket change to pay part of my grocery bill today. I will send that same amount to cc #1.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2040.94

$40.00 regular savings deposit
$50.00 cc #1 payment

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2130.94

Here are my meals for the coming week:

1) Thai Curry Salad - http://www.thecandidadiet.com/thai-cucumber-salad/

2) Cabbage Marsala and a steak - http://www.thecandidadiet.com/cabbage-masala/

3) Salad with mustard tarragon dressing and salmon http://www.thecandidadiet.com/spring-salad-mustard-tarragon-...

4) Thai Red Curry Chicken http://www.thecandidadiet.com/thai-red-curry-chicken/

5) Breakfasts - eggs, chicken, and smoothies with spinach, spirulina, almond milk, seeds, and stevia

6) Roast Beef and vegetables

7) Paleo Shepherd's Pie http://paleogrubs.com/simple-shepherds-pie

8) Baked Chicken and Vegetables

9) Chicken Stir Fry

10) Tuna Salad

More Snowflakes for the 52 Week Challenge

May 10th, 2016 at 08:38 am

Hi, everyone. I got another snowflake in the way of $3.00 from Pinecone. I sent it directly to cc #1 before I had a chance to spend it on shiney baubles. Woo-hoo!

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2037.94

$3.00 From Pinecone

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2040.94

This also brings my cc #1 balance to $3304! That's the lowest it has been in maybe about 2 years?

Payday, Snowfalkes, and the 52 Week Challenge

May 5th, 2016 at 04:14 pm

Hi, everyone.

I got some snowflakes earlier this week, so I am reporting that and amounts for my payday tomorrow. I have decided to save in advance for our fees to have our taxes done, as every year, it seems to creep up on us and I wind up taking it out of regular savings - not good. Here are my numbers:

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1791.20

mrrebates rebates totaling $11.04
cc #1 DH's payment 5/2 $66.70
regular savings deposit for 5/6 $40.00
slush deposit 5/6 $20.00
car savings deposit 5/6 $30.00
hvac savings 5/6 $7.00
2016 tax prep savings 5/6 $6.00
AAA/prop tax savings 5/6 $10.00
medical savings 5/6 $6.00
cc #1 payment 5/6 $50.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2037.94

This is amazing. I have saved or paid off more than $2000 and it's not even June yet!

I am doing a food challenge this week and next to see how little I can spend on food for my lunches and such. I am growing my own kale, lettuce, and green onions, so I have plenty of makings for lunch during that time. I will have some pocket change to put towards my grocery bill and will send the matching amount to cc #1.

I also have a $3.00 payment coming from Pinecone, but I will add it in when I get it.

52 Week Challenge and Upcoming Snowflakes

April 27th, 2016 at 01:23 pm

Hi, everyone. I just got a Pinecone survey check for $3.00 and sent it directly to cc #1.

I also will have some other snowflakes coming soon in the way of DH's payment to cc #1 in the amount of $66.70 and my rebates for mrrebates of around $11.00.

Awesome!

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1788.20

Pinecone Check $3.00

New 52 week Challenge Balance: $1791.20

Mortgage is Down!

April 26th, 2016 at 06:34 pm

Woo-Hoo! I got my mortgage statement a couple of days ago and it is now $64,776.75! Woo-Hoo!

Here is Snoopy dancing his happy snoopy dance to represent how I feel today. Big Grin

Payday and Other 52 Week Challenge Stuff

April 23rd, 2016 at 01:28 pm

Hi, everyone.

I just got paid yesterday and have already paid all bills due, including car insurance, 1/2 of the mortgage, water/sewer, cc #1, and made savings deposits.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1604.93

Regular Savings Deposit $40.00
Car Savings Deposit $20.00
House Savings Deposit $20.00
cc #1 regular payment $50.00
Toluna check paid to cc #1 $25.00
Pocket Change Paid to Groceries also paid to cc #1 $13.43
Shopper Card Savings Paid to cc #1 $14.84

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1788.20

This also brings the cc #1 balance to $3389! Woo-HOO!

52 Week Challenge Progress

April 13th, 2016 at 05:25 pm

Hi, everyone. I got a payment from pinecone today, so I am sending it right to cc #1 before I have a chance to spend it on shiny baubles. Big Grin

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1601.93

Pinecone payment $3.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1604.93


Also, I apparently miscalculated what the balance on cc #1 would be after an earlier payment. After this $3.00 payment, the balance is a whopping $3467.42!



I am going to start setting aside funds each payday, about $40 or so, to get invisalign braces next year about this time. It is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and I have just finally gotten fed up with the problem. I will put the money in my medical savings.

Payday and 52 Week Challenge Progress

April 7th, 2016 at 06:19 pm

Hello, financially savvy neighbors! I will get paid tomorrow and have already paid all bills due, including phone/internet, electric, gas, and 1/2 of the mortgage.

Here are my 52 Week Challenge numbers.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1393.91

regular savings deposit $40.00
professional savings deposit $40.00
car savings deposit $20.00
house savings deposit $20.00
slush deposit $20.00
cc #1 payment $50.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1583.91

Also, my payment of $31.31 hits cc #1 tomorrow, which will bring cc #1 balance to $3519.69.

Oops. I forgot to add my regular savings deposit of $40.00. It is an automatic transfer, so I forget about it sometimes. I have adjusted my numbers.

52 Week Challenge Progress

April 7th, 2016 at 02:20 pm

Hi, everyone.

I just got my epoll.com deposit.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: 1388.91

Epoll.com deposit $5.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1393.91

This brings my cc #1 balance down to $3551.00.

More Snowflakes Coming Soon...

April 6th, 2016 at 05:02 pm

Hi, everyone.

I just got an email that I have $5.00 coming from epoll.com. Woo-hoo! It will take a few days to get it and when I do, I will send it directly to cc #1.

I also just finished a Pinecone survey. I will probably get $3.00 for finishing it.

52 Week Challenge Progress

April 5th, 2016 at 05:23 pm

Hi, everybody.

DH got his regular check on April 1st and paid $66.70 to cc #1 with it. On Saturday, April 2nd, I went shopping and used $15.77 in pocket change to pay to the grocery bill. With coupons and sales, I saved $15.54 on the grocery bill.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1290.90

DH's payment to cc #1 $66.70
cc #1 payment from grocery savings $15.77
cc #1 payment from pocket change paid to grocery bill $15.54

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1388.91


I also accumulated enough rebates at mrrebates to cash in. I will get my funds May 1st and send it directly to cc #1.

52 Week Challenge Progress and Shopping Success

March 26th, 2016 at 01:57 pm

Hi, everyone.

I did my grocery shopping today and saved a total of $19.08.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1271.82

Pocket Change Paid to Grocery Bill $.01
Penny Found On the Ground Paid to Grocery Bill $.01
Savings From Shopper Card and Coupons $19.06

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1290.90

After getting home from the store, I sent $19.08 to cc #1.

Payday and 52 Week Challenge Progress

March 25th, 2016 at 03:58 am

Hi, everyone. I have been paid today, so I have allocated more money for debt, savings, retirement, and bills. Here are my numbers.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1091.82

Regular Savings Deposit $40.00
Car Savings Deposit $20.00
House Savings Deposit $20.00
Professional Savings Deposit $40.00
Slush Deposit $20.00
cc #1 payment $40.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1271.82

I should be getting my Toluna check any time. It is for $25.00. I previously wanted to use it for cc #1, but I will be attending a conference in a nearby town in April. I have most of the funds set aside already in professional savings, but need more. I really did not think I was going to get to go. I am also going to pay whatever savings I have at the grocery store to cc #1. I will also use some spare change to pay some on the grocery bill and do the same with it.

Mortgage is Down!

March 18th, 2016 at 05:07 pm

Hi, everyone!

My mortgage is now under $65K! Woo-Hoo!

Payday and 52 Week Challenge Progress

March 12th, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Hi, everyone. I got paid yesterday and so more money went to make payments on debt, retirement contributions, and bills. Here are my numbers so far.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $925.82

slush fund deposit $20.00
regular savings deposit $40.00
house savings deposit $25.00
car savings deposit $25.00
professional savings deposit $20.00
escrow savings deposit $3.00
hvac savings deposit $3.00
extra on shoe allocation sent to cc #1 $30.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1091.82

And in other excellent news, I really, really needed a new pair of Asics tennis shoes. Because of feet and leg problems, they are the only shoes I wear and mine are about 1 year old. My husband found a new pair of all black ones on Ebay for $59.99 with free shipping. This is a pair of shoes that normally costs around $150.00 in the store, but I usually look for last year's model. I had allocated $90.00 for the purchase already, so after looking at my budget, I plan to put the rest on cc #1.

52 Week Challenge Progress

March 8th, 2016 at 06:26 pm

Hi, everyone.

I got a deposit of $3.00 from Pinecone today. I am sending it right away to cc #1 before I have a chance to spend it on shinies.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $922.82

$3.00 Pinecone deposit

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $925.82


This also brings cc #1 to an all time low balance of $3615.25.


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