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Archive for July, 2008

Ten Things That Helped Me to Survive Financially

July 27th, 2008 at 08:37 pm

1. Short Term Savings Account
This one was particularly true when my husband and I were making payments on a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. We were over $50,000 in debt when we started and were required to make payments of $550.00 a month or risk being taken into court and sued for amount due. Having a short term savings account helped us to weather numerous emergencies, like flat tires, being sick and needing money for co-pays, etc.

2. Doing Surveys
Of course, doing surveys does not net a lot of money like an extra job, but it does give you an occasional $5.00 or $10.00 here and there. I even got $50.00 a couple of times. Another time, I got a really nice case for my laptop computer.

3. Online payment for credit card
Doing online payments for the credit card means I pay less in interest. It also allows me to make several small payments each money when I get survey money, rebate money, etc.

4. Shopping at Discount Stores
Shopping at stores like Dollar General has allowed me to keep more money in my pocket where it belongs. This is especially the case lately when the prices for groceries have been going sky high. For example, in the last year, Hellmann's Canola Oil Mayo has gone from $3.19 to $5.91 in my local grocery store. Ouch. Unfortunately, this brand in not available in Dollar General, but a lot of other things, like Heinz Ketchup, Jiffy Peanut Butter, white vinegar, raisins, pork and beans, Manwich, etc. are available there. What floors me is that the only people I buy food for are me, my husband, and our 2 cats. Yet, there are some weeks, even when shopping at Dollar General, I wind up spending $100.00 on us. Don't get me wrong. I make a list and get what is on the list. I use coupons when the item I need is cheaper with a coupon than any other brand is without a coupon. I also bring my own shopping bags, for which I get a discount. In other words, I don't buy junk food, ice cream, cookies, a lot of red meat, etc., all things which tend to be expensive.

5. Taking My Lunch to Work
Taking my lunch to work saves me at least $30.00 per week easy. I work at a college campus and if I eat in one of the campus eateries, I pay around $6.30 to eat lunch. If I make my own lunch and bring it, I can usually do so for around $1.50. Big savings and less headache for me. In addition, I can also make my own iced tea and take it in a thermos, saving me around $15.00 per week. Wow.

6. Realizing That I am Not Alone.
Regarding finances, it seems that no matter the pay scale, my friends, family, and co-workers are all feeling the pinch in their finances. Most people point the price of gas as the cause, but it is more complicated than that. The value of the dollar is going down - a lot. That impacts the price of food, airline tickets, gas, and anything else you can think of. The support I receive my friends, family, and co-workers is phenomenal because we all seem to be in the same boat. No one pressures anyone else to "go to lunch because we deserve it."

7. Keeping a penny jar.
It probably sounds silly, but I keep a penny jar. Okay, so it's actually a can that my mother used to keep buttons in. But, I keep coins in it. Whenever my purse starts to get a little heavy from the coins in it, I empty them into the can. Once in a awhile I have to raid it for something - like right before payday when my checking account is running on fumes. But for the most part, I am able to accumulate coins in it and then cash them in and deposit them to my checking. I use that to make an extra payment to the cc.

8. Having my retirement deducted from my paycheck.
I admit it. I am weak. If I had to make direct payments to my retirement every month, I probably would not do it. Having it directly taken out of my pay by my employer has disciplined me. I love it. And I love the idea of retirement.

9. The feeling I get when I successfully make a debt payment.
I love the feeling I get when I successfully make a debt payment. It's even better when I pay off a debt in full. Wow. The freedom that paid-off debt gives you is better than... well, a lot of things.

10. Living Close Enough to Work to Walk.
I have not been doing this long enough to realize all of the financial benefits. However, I have not had to buy gas in a week and a half. I am also more physically fit from all the walking. I will do a review of spending after about 2 months to see how it is all going, but I do expect to benefit from it in several ways, including have more financial freedom to pay off debt and increase savings.

Another Payday More Prosperous

July 27th, 2008 at 06:00 pm

Hello, everyone. I got paid again on Friday. My retirement (403b) is automatically taken from my pay and deposited for me. Good thing, too. I am not tempted into spending it. My portfolio is now a little over $12,000. Hospital debt #2 is now down to $998.58. Woo-Hoo! I also send the cc $40.00. $10.00 of that came from one of my survey places sending my survey loot. I just cashed in points totaling $6.40 from a another survey place this morning. It will probably take a couple of weeks to get the check and I will zip it off to the cc at lightning speed.

I transferred $30.00 to savings. Now that I have moved into my new home that is only a few blocks from my work, I am hoping to see some huge dividends from that. Obviously, gas savings will be one of them since I am walking to work. (I have not had to buy gas in a week and a half.) I am planning on saving back a little more than I was normally from each paycheck and dividing it between savings and the cc. I haven't figured out how much yet, though. Big Grin

I learned something important recently when doing a cc payment. It is possible for me to schedule a cc payment when I do it online. That way if I have deposited a survey check or something that I know will clear in a certain period of time, I could schedule the payment for after that. Way cool! That way I would not be tempted to spend it for something else.

Another Payday... And I am More Prosperous

July 14th, 2008 at 12:49 am

I got paid again on Friday. This is the first paycheck with this year's raise. Basically, I have about $35.00 more net pay because my retirement contribution is a percentage of my pay instead of being a certain amount, so it went up too. I have paid off more debt on my cc and hospital debt #2. Bill for Hospital Debt #1 should come in a couple of days and I will make a payment on it.

This picture is not of my furballs, though mine have actually done something like this when chasing after flies in the house. The cat that is jumping actually looks a little like my cat, Morgaine.

Moved in!!

July 8th, 2008 at 02:57 am

Well, we are moved in, but it will take awhile to get everything situated in the house. So far, I have had two workdays where I actually walked to work. Way cool compared to burning fossil fuels to make the trip. So far I think I have actually saved money because I didn't go anywhere near the convenience store I usually stop at. That's my main vice. Even though I only lived 3 miles from home, between the truck and car, I was somehow paying around $100 a month just in gas. I expect that to decrease by at least 1/2. One of my in-laws said "but you're farther from the grocery store." Well, yes that is true, but I go to the grocery store once a week and work between 5 and 6 times a week. Duh. Do the math.