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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.

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

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

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 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.

52 Week Challenge Progress

February 27th, 2016 at 07:38 pm

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $835.14

Pinecone deposit paid to cc #1 $3.00
Spent pocket change on part of grocery bill, so I am making matching payment to cc #1 $7.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance $845.14

Tuesday is my husband's monthly payday, so he will be making a payment to cc #1 also. I will also get a deposit from mrrebates for almost $11.00 that I will send directly to cc #1.

Woo-hoo! It just keeps rollin' on in!

Another Payday and 52 Week Challenge Progress

February 25th, 2016 at 05:07 pm

Hi, everyone. I get paid again tomorrow, so I have already allocated funds to go to savings, debt, and bills. My retirement comes out of my pay before I see it.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance $678.14

Deposit to Car Savings $20.00
Deposit to Regular Savings $40.00
Deposit to House Savings $20.00
Deposit to Professional Savings $20.00
Deposit to HVAC savings (eventual replacement) $3.00
Deposit to AAA/property tax savings $4.00
cc #1 payment $50.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance $835.14

I found a penny in my desk at work today. I will use it to pay part of my grocery bill Saturday.

I am going to do a pantry challenge, as I think I have been spending too much on food and need to scale back to pay more on debt. I have been really busy and stressed out with a big project at work, the biggest part of which will not end until about the beginning of April. In an effort to keep myself sane, I need to get out of my building at lunch and think about something else. I need to find a way to do that involves buying less stuff when I do it. I can't do the usually obvious things like bringing a sandwich or some kind of pasta/rice dish from home, as I can't eat grains. I think I will try to do something like buying a vegetarian salad and taking a package of tuna and some fruit with me. That makes my salad at least $1.00 cheaper. I can also use my fountain card (I already do most of the time). This strategy should help me to still say sane and get a break from work while also not breaking my budget. Big Grin

52 Week Challenge Progress

February 19th, 2016 at 03:23 pm

Hi, everyone. I have been using my fountain card more this work and thus, saving even more money, so I am sending more to cc #1 just because I can. I love that.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance $673.14

cc #1 extra payment $5.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance $678.14


Tomorrow, I will be using some pocket change to pay for part of my grocery bill. I will send an amount equal to that to cc #1. I have no idea how much it is. I love playing these games.

Item #5 on my goals list is well under way. I have been growing kale and green onions all winter and they are still growing. I had arugula and lettuce for awhile, too, but eventually, they died. Too cold, I guess. Right now, I have more seeds on my back porch being warmed by a warming device usually used for keeping lizards warm, but it was the best thing I could find for sprouting seeds. It seems to work well, as I already have calendula and bee balm (both herbs) sprouting. I also have tomato seeds, but no sprouts yet.

52 Week Challenge Progress, Tax Refund, and Other Stuff

January 30th, 2016 at 01:48 pm

Hi, everyone.

My husband gets his monthly check on Monday. When it clears, I will send $66.70 directly to cc #1.

Also, the mortgage payment clears on Monday. It is already allocated for.

I will have another Pinecone deposit soon and I will send it directly to cc #1.

I used $7.63 of spare change towards my grocery bill today. I made an equal payment towards cc #2. I charged a small amount to it and need to get it paid off soon.

We went to have our taxes done today. We will get $1095 from federal and $137 from the state.

I will probably be able to cash in my rewards points on cc #2 later next week. I am probably going to ask for it as a check, as I don't do gift cards.

We need to have some work done our car that will cost about $700.00. With the remaining $531.00, I will make a large payment to cc #1. With the earlier $66.70 payment and this payment, the cc #1 balance will be about $3600. Woo-Hoo! This is awesome. This will go a long ways towards paying off cc #1 this year.

I will post updates later.

52 Week Challenge for 2016

December 31st, 2015 at 11:29 am

Hi, everyone.

It looks like everyone who participated in the 52 Week Challenge in 2015 had tremendous progress on their goals. I, for one, have really enjoyed the 52 Week Challenge this year and also the support from all of you on my goals. My goals listed below for 2016 are primarily concentrated on debt payoff again, but I will also be saving money too.

1) Increase my retirement contribution by 0.15% in January.

2) Continuing contributing to savings as normal.

3) Continue making cc #1 payments of $100.00 per payday and also $67.48 out of my husband's monthly check.

4) Contribute any survey money, rebates, etc. towards cc #1 payoff.

5) Grow as much of my own food as I can and buy as much other food organic as possible through local or other sources. This will help me to eat as clean as I possibly can for my own health. I also intend to save some produce as I possibly can with a Foodsaver. I know I can do carrots this way.

6) I will continue using the fountain card as a way to challenge myself to spend as little as possible on beverages while I am at work. I will funnel my savings to cc #1.

7) For awhile, I have been using my pocket change as a way to pay part of my grocery store bill. I will continue this.

Here is the link to the chart you can use. I did not use the chart, as I needed to contribute specific amounts to accomplish my goals of debt payoff.


Who would like to participate in 2016?

2016 Goals

December 21st, 2015 at 05:10 pm

My resolutions, financial and otherwise, will be:

1) Increase my retirement contribution by 0.15% in January.

2) Continuing contributing to savings as normal.

3) Continue making cc #1 payments of $100.00 per payday and also $67.48 out of my husband's monthly check.

4) Contribute any survey money, rebates, etc. towards cc #1 payoff.

5) Grow as much of my own food as I can and buy as much other food organic as possible through local or other sources. This will help me to eat as clean as I possibly can for my own health. I also intend to save some produce as I possibly can with a Foodsaver. I know I can do carrots this way.

6) I will continue using the fountain card as a way to challenge myself to spend as little as possible on beverages while I am at work. I will funnel my savings to cc #1.

7) For awhile, I have been using my pocket change as a way to pay part of my grocery store bill. I will continue this.

Payday and 52 Week Challenge Progress

December 19th, 2015 at 10:53 am

Hi, everyone.

It was payday yesterday for me, so I have already allocated for 1/3 of the mortgage (in a 3 payday month), allocated for car insurance, and paid the electric bill. I also found a penny on the ground outside a store today. I used $0.69 I had in pocket change to pay for part of my grocery bill.

I got my latest mortgage statement and I paid $155.36 in principal last month. Woo-hoo!

So, here are my update 52 Week Challenge numbers.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5592.82

$20.00 slush deposit
$40.00 regular savings deposit
$50.00 cc #1 payment
$155.36 principal paid on mortgage

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5858.18

I will delay making more cc #1 payments until the end of the coming week because of some other expenses.

I will not be going anywhere for the holidays or having company. My challenge for the next two weeks will be to make as many meals as possible from the food I already have. I will have about $135.00 unexpected expenses at a chiropractor in the next two weeks and want to make sure that does not impact the food budget or other areas unnecessarily.

As part of my recent exercises in gratitude, I have come to realize that whatever my problems, I am incredibly blessed. I have a husband who loves me, friends, a job, a car to get around, money to buy what I need and some of what I want, and the ability to grow food. In the past six months, I have donated food, pet supplies, household goods, clothing, and other items to 1) my college campus's food pantry that serves students in financial need, 2) a local domestic crisis center, 3) the local humane society, and 4) my college campus's office that serves international students.

52 Week Challenge Progress

December 12th, 2015 at 11:01 am

Hi, everyone.

I sent an extra $5.00 payment to cc #1 "just because I can do it." I also used pocket change of $2.14 to pay part of my grocery bill, lessening the amount coming out of checking.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5580.68

$5.00 extra payment to cc #1
$2.14 pocket change for grocery bill

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5587.82

52 Week Challenge Progress and Other Stuff

December 5th, 2015 at 04:48 pm

Hi, everyone.

After creating my budget for my 3 paycheck month, I decided to make a $100.00 payment to cc #1. Woo-hoo!

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5471.68

$100.00 payment to cc #1

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5571.68

Today, I also used some leftover pocket change to pay for part of my grocery bill. It was a small amount and I can't even remember how much, but I try to do this every time as it lessens the amount coming out of the checking account for the purchase and empties my purse of excess change. Woo-Hoo!

I also plan to start my own seeds for a vegetable garden. I need to check on the exact time I need to start that, but I plan to plant the seeds in old egg cartons and put the cartons under a plastic container to make a mini greenhouse so they stay warm. Starting my own seeds will save me some money in the long run and also result in an increased harvest due to planting them earlier. Big Grin I have not done this before, so I need to read up on it. This is a frugal activity, but requires some work on my part. Wish me luck.

52 Week Challenge So Far

April 4th, 2015 at 01:32 pm

Hi, everyone. I used change in the amount of $0.71 to pay for part of my groceries and lessen the amount coming out of checking. That's good, because checking is a little low. I am going to put it toward cc#1.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1237.48

$0.71 change used for groceries

New Balance: $1238.19

52 Week Challenge Progress

February 9th, 2015 at 01:15 pm

Prior Challenge Balance: $501.48

Transfer From Slush to cc #1: $20.00

New Challenge Balance: $521.48

52 Week Challenge Progress

May 24th, 2014 at 08:41 pm

Hi, everyone. I made a payment to cc #1. The balance is actually a little different than it is in my sidebar. Ugh. I also cashed in a winning lottery ticket. I cashed in my pocket change at the Coinstar. I took the money from both and deposited it to checking and set up a payment to cc #2.

Prior Challenge Balance: $2162.46

$40.00 payment to cc #1.
$8.00 cashed in lottery ticket, paid to cc #2
$3.00 cashed in all my pocket change, mostly pennies, at the Coinstar, deposited to checking, sent payment to cc #2

New Challenge Balance: $2213.46

52 Week Challenge Progress

April 28th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Hi, everyone. My stepdaughter, who lives with us, gives us money for rent, etc. twice a month. Much of the time I put it towards a credit card or other debt. This time, I am putting it towards the Challenge.

Previous 52 Week Challenge Balance $1726.07

$20.00 rent money from stepdaughter deposited towards house savings for new window (brings house account balance to $140.11)

Also, while rummaging through my purse for a deposit slip this morning, I discovered an envelope with $4.00 in it I had earmarked to put into savings, except somehow I never deposited it. It goes to my Challenge, too! I deposited the whole $24.00 this morning. That brings the house account up to $144.11. Woo-Hoo! I only have $80.89 to go on the funds needed for the new window.

This brings my new challenge balance to $1750.07.

Car Died, Another Payday, More Debt Paid Off

July 19th, 2013 at 03:07 pm

Well, about a week ago, the head gaskets in my car blew courtesy of a little plastic thing around the coolant hose that fell apart, causing the car to overheat. I had to almost completely clean out the savings in order to buy a different car. I suppose the really good news is that I had the money sitting there and while I didn't really want to use it, it was necessary. It is not easy to get around where I live without a car.

Also, one of dh's hospital bills is paid off. I printed off the cleared check a couple of days ago. Woo-hoo!

My current challenge is to continue to pay off credit cards and medical bills and build up savings to where it was before. I think I will also do a pantry challenge to see if I can make lunches to take to work for the next 2 weeks out of what is in my pantry and freezer.

I will also be getting a raise, but I am not sure when to actually expect it. That will help me a lot with my goals.

Major Savings on Grocery Shopping Today!

November 9th, 2012 at 04:44 pm

I had the afternoon off and decided to do grocery shopping early. I usually do it on Saturday. Apparently, I had previously loaded e-coupons for $3.00 off meat if I spent $15.00 on meat and also a coupon for chicken and totally forgot about it. There were various other small ones, too and they all totaled to $13.20. But where I normally used to spending $80-$100 at that store, I spent $59.76! It was funny, because I had looked at the clerk's monitor and saw 70 something dollars. So, I was searching through my wallet to get out four twenties. When I looked back up, it said $59.76. What a surprise. At Dollar General, I spent $18.65 using two coupons. At another store, I spent $20.45. At Big Lots, I spent $2.50. I didn't spend much there, but they are the only ones in town that carry the brand of bread my husband eats. It does not have HFCS in it and he is trying to lose weight, so I make a special effort to buy it. Altogether, I spent $106.42 and most of it was in cash. This dependence on cash for grocery shopping is good for me. It makes me think about what I am putting in my cart. And I wasn't depriving myself of anything and even stocked up on dishwashing liquid (bought at Dollar General for $1.00 minus $.50 coupon), more dried beans, and extra canned tuna. I'm loving this.

I took my coin jar to cash it in. I had a total of $2.02. I split up the $2.00 and deposited $1.00 each to the house account and trees account.

I don't have my whole week's menu figured out yet, but I am going to having the following:

1) leftover pea soup from last week. This was my first venture into making pea soup. All pea soup I had ever even smelled just had an awful smell and so I wouldn't even try it. I decided to try making it myself and it turned out wonderful. That will make 3 lunch meals for me.

2) Broccoli slaw with albacore tuna and garbanzo beans. It probably sounds a little weird, but it's quite delicious. I mix in some mayo and some kind of seasoning. This will probably make 2 lunch meals for me.

Last Week a Costly Week, Another One Coming Up

August 26th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

It's a good thing I had a plan on how to spend my "extra" pay this month instead of just spending it willy-nilly because I get paid ever 2 weeks rather than twice a month. The first thing involved the fact that we had a water filtration system hooked up to our kitchen faucet and had had for most of the two years we have lived in the house. The water from the filter creates too much pressure in the faucet and so it leaks. The first thing the plumber told was that we will definitely need to replace the faucet, but first he hooked up the filter to a separate water line which involved drilling a hole in the stainless steel sink to the left of the faucet. That stopped the cause of the leak and it works great. It cost $150 and that came out of the money I had planned on putting into the house savings account for last payday. The plumber said if we buy a Delta faucet, it will have a lifetime warranty and will probably cost around $150, maybe less. We will get that with my next payday on the 31st and can install it ourselves. In addition, our dishwasher died last week. We bought a new dishwasher with our credit card #1. We also have to pay to have it installed. I will work hard to get cc #1 paid off quickly. To help that along, I will use what I planned on being an extra principle payment to the mortgage to go towards cc#1. In addition, the $40 that is auto deposited to regular savings on payday I will divert to cc#1 in addition to the $150 payment I was going to send anyway. Because we are a little skinny on our bank account, I decided to do what I could with our meals to use up what we already have. The hubby also specifically requested we eat entirely meal-sized salads for our dinners, which made this even more of a challenge. It is really weird of him to request salad at all, but for every dinner meal is odd. I am not complaining, though, as he is not a veggie eater.

1) Eggs and ham - 3 meals

2) Oatmeal. Side of grapefruit with stevia. Side of ham. - 4 meals (I already had oatmeal.)

3) Chicken salad with apples, ginger, mayo, ginger, onion, and celery. - 3 lunch meals for me (I already had mayo and chicken.) http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-salad-my-way/detail.asp...

4) Kale salad with beef, olive oil, cider vinegar, strawberries, walnuts, and salt. - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/kale-and-feta-salad/detail.aspx (I already had kale, olive oil, cider vinegar, and salt. I am leaving off the feta cheese because I am allergic and substituting strawberries because I could not find currants. I will add some beef strips.)

5) Flat Iron Steak and Spinach Salad - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/flat-iron-steak-and-spinach-sal... (I already had red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar instead of wine. I left off the cheese. This one was delicious. We had it last night.)

6) Thai Salad with whole grain rice and chicken. - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/thai-salad-with-whole-grain-bro... (I already had olive oil, garlic, onion, chicken, and peanut butter.)

7) Green Salad with Tomatoes and Squash, and either chicken or ham - 1 dinner meal - (I just made this one up. We already have lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, ham, and chicken to make it.)

8) Quinoa and Chicken/Tuna Salad - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carons-kickin-quinoa-salad/deta... - 1 dinner meal (We already have the quinoa, mayo, lemon juice, black pepper, chicken, and tuna. I haven't decided whether to make it with chicken or tuna, but either way, it should be good.)

9) Leftover Baked Chicken. Cucumber Tomato Salad. Side of apple. 1 lunch meal for me.

10) Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad Slaw. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-chinese-chicken-s... 1 dinner meal - (We already have the ginger spice, and olive oil. We are substitution lemon juice for lime juice and white onion for scallions.)

Got Paid Again and Other $ Stuff

July 21st, 2012 at 01:21 pm

Hello, everyone. I got paid on Friday. I also got official notification that I got a raise of about $1100 per year. Not spectacular, but it is definitely something. I put more money into savings. I have paid the credit card #1. Credit Card #2 does not have a payment due until next month. I bought groceries. Hubby and I have to make a day trip out of town on Wednesday. I will send more to the credit card on Wednesday.

I also took my spare change for the last couple of weeks and cashed it in. I divided it up and deposited it into the car and house savings.

My meals for the week include:

1) Oatmeal with stevia, almond milk, flaxseeds, and cinnamon. Orange. (4 meals)

2) Eggs and ham. Side of oatmeal. Grapefruit. (3 meals)

3) Goulash. Side of steamed veggies. (3 meals)

4) Chuck patties. Side of steamed veggies. (1 meal)

5) Green salad with chicken pieces and greek dressing. (1 meal) This is a dinner meal for me and dh.

6) Green sald with garbanzo beans or canned chicken. Added tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. Vinegar and oil for dressing. (3 meals - lunches)

7) Baked breast of chicken. Side of steamed veggies. (1 meal)

8) Chili with beans. (2 meals)

9) Egg salad with crackers and veggie pieces. (2 meals)

Got Paid Again and Other $ Stuff About My Amazing Day

July 7th, 2012 at 11:56 am

Yesterday was my first payday of my employer's new fiscal year. I guess my pay raise must have gone through because my check was $29.75 higher than before. Woo-hoo. I will start putting even more into savings that I have already been. I will also increase what I am paying to the credit card.

My regular savings account is up, as are my car, savings accounts, and retirement.

I bought some angus chuck patties on sale and with a $1.00 coupon at the store. That in itself was very good, but it gets weirder. The patties were 2 pounds of frozen meat patties packaged in a box. The original price was $8.99. There was a sign that said they are on sale for $7.99 and I had a $1.00 coupon. I am thinking this is a pretty good deal, because I had wanted to buy some hamburger and these were chuck patties, not regular ground beef, so I bought them. Then, I noticed my receipt said I was charged for $8.99 minus the $1.00 coupon. I approached Customer Service to make them aware of the problem. Apparently, the patties had been on sale, but someone forgot to remove the sign. I thought they might give me the $1.00 back, but I didn't expect anything else. Then, the lady told me they have a policy where if a customer catches a mistake, the customer gets the item free. Yes free! I said that's terrific, because I wasn't expecting anything more than $1.00 back. I told the dh and he thought it was great, too. With $3.00 out of the $6.99, I bought some fresh spinach, oregano, and parsley at a different store.

I also cashed in a lottery ticket for $4.00. I added that to $3.00 more dollars I had just laying around. Along with my normal $20.00 each deposits to the house and car accounts, I divided up the extra $7.00 between the two accounts.

Here are my meals for the coming week:

1) Stir Fry made from leftover rice, squash, and tomatoes. 2 meals. This stuff would have gone bad soon if I had not done something with it, so this is a real boon to my budget!

2) Meatloaf. Side of steamed veggies. 2 meals

3) Spaghetti with rice. 2 meals

4) Baked chicken breast and steamed veggies. 2 meals

5) Green salad with tuna or garbanzo beans. Side of apple or orange. Side of raw nuts. Iced tea. 3 meals

6) Angus chuck patties. Side of steamed veggies. 2 meal

7) Eggs and ham. Oatmeal. 3 meals

8) Oatmeal with side of ham. Side of grapefruit. 4 meals

9) Tuna salad with raw veggies. Side of apple or orange. Side of raw nuts. Iced tea. 2 meals

Progress on 2012 Goals

March 25th, 2012 at 07:53 am

Since it is almost at the end of March, I thought it good to do some analysis of my progress on my goals.

2012 Goals and Plan
1. Pay Down Credit Card to $300.00 by 12/31/2012

As of 3/25/2012, this debt is $1626.00. I have not been paying this down at the speed I want. I keep needing to use it, but then I pay it back right away. Ugh. I will get there. I keep having to remind myself.

2. Bring car savings account up to $2000.00 by 12/31/2012

As of 3/4/2012, this account is $633.51. I haven't made much progress with this one, either, because of needing to get tuckpointing done on the house. I will try again this coming payday to put more aside for a replacement car.

3. Complete some minor, and major, maintenance on the house. See the Home Maintenance Challenge list for details on this.

We made significant progress on this.
- Replaced spray nozzle on kitchen faucet.
- We have replaced more than a dozen CFL and incandescent bulbs with LEDs. More to go.
- Some tuckpointing has been done. More to go.
- Non functional garbage disposal has been removed. We didn't need one anyway.
- Composting begun. Progress ongoing.

Some stuff we need to have done this year include:
- Getting gutters cleaned in spring and fall.
- Begin garden (tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, kale, onions, garlic)
- More tuckpointing
- Set aside funds for getting windows

Farther Future Projects:
- Install rain water barrels under gutters
- Need to renovate and expand the bathroom
- More insulation
- New windows throughout
- Want extra freezer to store made ahead meals and meat bought on sale
- Install renewable, sustainable power source
- install greenhouse to south of house

4. Increase house savings account to $500.00 by 12/31/2012.

As of 3/25/2012, this account is down to $367.12 due to the tuckpointing, but I will build it back up. I need to get at least another $2400 for tuckpointing on the entire north side of the house and the top part of the south side. The east and west may need to be done also, but the north and south are worse.

5. Reduce unnecessary spending.

I have been done a lot better with this one. I have been making my own iced tea at work every day for about 2 weeks now. I usually one splurge when I actually buy lunch out. I think I am down to about 1 soda every other day and drink homemade juices every day.

We have replaced more than a dozen CFLs and incandescent light bulbs in our house with LEDs. We have seen significant reduction in energy usage, but won't see the difference in our bill until July because we are on a level payment plan.

I have taken my lunch to work every day except on paydays when I splurge a little bit. My "splurge" is usually a salad from the salad bar at the pizza joint down the street from my work. ;P

Payday Again

October 28th, 2011 at 05:30 pm

Well, I made it to payday. My challenge was to make it without using the debit card or credit card. The credit card stayed safe and snug, but my husband was sick and I had to take him to the doctor, so I did use the debit card. I think I did use it for a couple of other small things, too, but I used cash for everything else. Woo-Hoo!

I am going to take my pocket change to Coinstar tomorrow. It should be around $3.00 or so. I will add it to my car account. I will also add another $20 to the same account and $20 to the house account.

Now that my regular savings is up over $1000, I decided to divert the normal $40 I have been putting in there every payday to paying down the credit card. I fought very hard to get it up over $1000 and plan on maintaining that.

My retirement is also up. Woo-hoo!
My husband will go to make our mortgage payment on Tuesday. Yea!

Here is what I would like my retirement to be like.


October 5th, 2010 at 05:47 pm

Well, I did finally get a paypal payment from cash4books.net for a book I sold them. I put it into the Spare Change/Conference Challenge. I am seeking other sources of possible books. It's kind of hard right now, though, to do anything with this. Last week, my hubby went to a nearby town to take our car tax and registration payment to be applied. Normally, I mail it, because we never normally go there and it would have been late if we had not have taken it there. Anyway, on the way back, the car died on the highgway, but he was able to get it off the road and call AAA for a tow. Anyway, I took off work a little early on Friday anyway. Because of having no car, I knew I would need to get groceries on Friday, because the city bus does not run on weekends. I live in a small town and it is a miracle we even have a bus. So, because of my car dying and needing an $800 repair, my hopes of shopping yard sales for books to sell are shot out of the water. Apparently, I am not the only one with car and other mechanical problems, though. I was talking with a couple of friends today who were telling me of similar problems. Must be something in the air. Anyway, I told the hubby that until we get hospital bills #1 and #2 paid off, we are going to occasionally have little problems like this because we don't have a lot of wiggle room. He said that it sounds like we need to pay them off with the tax return, but I told him by the time the tax return gets here, #2 will probably be paid off. #1 will have a couple of hundred left on it. I think with whatever is left, we should put 1/2 into the regular savings and 1/2 into the house savings. After living in our house for a year, we can also get level payment plan on the gas and electric, so then gas and electric won't be such a problem.

Payday and Other Stuff

September 30th, 2010 at 08:32 pm

I get paid tomorrow. I have made a payment on Hospital Bill #1, bringing the balance down to $297.58. I also paid the water bill. I am also supposed to get an extra payment on my paycheck. It's not overtime, but part of a pay raise from a union contract that was not finalized until after the beginning of the July 2010 beginning of the fiscal year. My savings will be $151.15. We also got a check in the mail from a utility company for $104.00. We also got a bill from another utility company that says "no payment due."

Woo-hoo! I'm on cloud nine!

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