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2022 Personal and Financial Improvement Plan

December 23rd, 2021 at 06:06 pm

Notice that I did not call it a resolution. I don't like that word, as that makes it sound like a law, but I am not something to be governed, so I am calling it a plan.  My plan is simple

1) Pay down cc #1 to $00.00 by 03/31/2022.

2) Continue to take out cash on payday for my everyday purchases. Ongoing.

3) Continue to eat super healthy through gardening and buying from local farmers. I am stepping up my gardening game to include sweet potatoes and cucumbers.  Also, I plan to grow a few items in the fall and winter next year as cover crops. Ongoing.

4) Contribute any coupons, rebates, or sales savings to credit card payoff and emergency savings. This is a money game I play. Ongoing.

5) Save up for vacation. Target Date (12/15/2022)

All Kinds of Good News

August 22nd, 2020 at 08:20 pm

Hi, everyone.

Yesterday in the mail, we got a refund check. Woo-Hoo!

So, with this refund, I have a plan to put a small amount in DH's savings he uses for video games, etc. With the rest, I plant to pay off a debt and I will save the rest. So, that's one piece of good news. Woo-hoo!

We also got our house painted. Our house is nearly 100 years old, brick, and was somewhat run down when we bought it 10 years ago. So, we have been gradually fixing it up, replacing windows, replacing aged appliances and HVAC, etc. The painters also replaced some cracked mortar. The original brick was a traditional red brick color and it is now painted a light beige. The paint has improved the appearance and we hope the lighter color will help to repel heat in the summer.

I have been successfully accumulating a small stash of canned goods, extra frozen foods, and meats starting about March when the shutdown happened. This has helped up greatly to continue to eat well and stay healthy while not going into debt or having to order everything online. Stores here have been good about keeping most things stocked, but I have not been able to buy paper towels for over a month. So, it's a good thing I stocked up at Big Lots before that.

I have also been putting any extra funds we have onto debts, into savings, or stocking up on extra supplies.

I also bought supplies to donate to the food bank at the college I work at. It breaks my heart to know that college students could have to choose between buying textbooks or eating, so I help students out a little here and there. I check the clearance aisles at the stores and use coupons or sales to buy canned goods, hygiene supplies, and school supplies. Today, I got a package of Bic pens for free because they were on sale for $1.00 and I had a $1.00 coupon for Bic products. I also went to the only thrift store open in my town today where I bought a new, large box of pencils for 50 cents. I will have quite the haul to take to the college food bank on Monday. It feels really awesome to help others, and I actually get a great deal out of it emotionally when I see the look on the face of the workers there when I donate items like canned tuna.

UFM Update

January 3rd, 2020 at 01:21 am

More good news. A few days ago, I bought a scratcher lottery ticket for $1.00 or $2.00. Today, I found out I won $10.00. So, I am adding $10.00 to the UFM total.

More Paid to Debt

October 26th, 2019 at 08:16 pm

I got a survey payment of $3.00 today. I sent it off to cc #1. Woo-hoo!

Shopping Today

October 19th, 2019 at 07:57 pm

So, my pay raise finally kicked in yesterday and I had a couple of things I have been needing to buy.

One of them is an entertainment center that is open on the back, making it easy to get to cords, etc. Our old unit is an old kitchen cabinet that someone gave to us about 15 years ago! So, one has been ordered and will be here in a week or so.

The second thing I bought was a Serta perfect sleeper memory foam mattress topper. These things are so good that putting one on top of a regular, good mattress is better than buying a really expensive mattress in my opinion. I am sleeping like a baby now and even my chiropractor commented about she could see an improvement.

I also bought groceries, gas, and paid all the regular bills, credit cards, and made savings deposits.

Tax Refund

January 29th, 2019 at 02:10 am

Hi, everyone.

I just went and had my taxes done.

We are getting $1066.00 for our federal return and $118.00 from the state.

These additions alone will bring the car savings up to $7467.08. They said it could take 6-8 weeks to get our return. [Insert frownie face here.] But in the meantime, I will be adding in more to that sum.

As my Grandma used to say, I'm cooking with gas now! Big Grin

Car Savings Increased!

January 28th, 2019 at 10:24 pm

Hi, everyone.

I am making more progress on my plan. I just got a survey payment of $11.35 today. That brings my car savings balance to $6283.08. Woo-Hoo!

2019 Financial Plan Progress

January 25th, 2019 at 01:37 am

I get paid tomorrow. This is my progress of my 2019 Financial Plan.

1) Transferring $80.00 to car savings, bringing the car savings balance to $6251.73. Woo-Hoo!

2) Payment to cc 1 $20.00. I will be paying an additional $93.81 on February 1.

3) Coupon savings and cash paid to grocery bill $11.00. I transferred this amount to car savings and it is included in #1 above.

4) I am also using the money I normally use to pay for mowing in the summer ($50.00 every 2 weeks) towards the car savings until we buy a car. After that, I will pay it towards the credit card. That $50.00 is in addition to what is listed in #1 above.

2nd 2017 Payday and My Challenge

January 27th, 2017 at 02:17 am

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 31st, 2016 at 01:19 am

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.

52 Week Challenge Progress

July 20th, 2016 at 01:17 am

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 ... Credit Card Balance ... Ugh!

June 28th, 2016 at 10:59 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.

More Snowflakes for the 52 Week Challenge

June 6th, 2016 at 02:04 pm

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 3rd, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Hi, everyone. I used cc #2 recently to buy something and got 1.5% cash back. Woo-Hoo! I have already requested a credit to the account to help pay off the balance that is there.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2198.63

$2.60 rewards from cc #2

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2201.23

Payday, Snowfalkes, and the 52 Week Challenge

June 2nd, 2016 at 11:58 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 05:49 pm

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, Snowfalkes, and the 52 Week Challenge

May 5th, 2016 at 11:14 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 08:23 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.


Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1788.20

Pinecone Check $3.00

New 52 week Challenge Balance: $1791.20

52 Week Challenge Progress

April 14th, 2016 at 12:25 am

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.

52 Week Challenge Progress

April 9th, 2016 at 02:18 am

Hi, everyone.

I just got a rebate of $18.02 for a purchase I made earlier.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1583.91

rebate $18.02

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1601.93

52 Week Challenge Progress

April 7th, 2016 at 09:20 pm

Hi, everyone.

I just got my deposit.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: 1388.91 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 7th, 2016 at 12:02 am

Hi, everyone.

I just got an email that I have $5.00 coming from 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 and Shopping Success

March 26th, 2016 at 08:57 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 12th, 2016 at 08:49 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 9th, 2016 at 02:26 am

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.

Another Payday and 52 Week Challenge Progress

February 26th, 2016 at 01:07 am

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

January 31st, 2016 at 09:40 pm

Hello, everyone.

I feel so blessed. I use cc #2 monthly for paying one bill. We also occasionally charge other things to it and it has rewards points which you can cash in for credit, a check, gift cards, etc. I don't like gift cards because they sometimes have fees attached to them or are limited to a specific store. They also have expiration dates and I don't have the time to keep up with such things. I would rather have a credit on the account if I have a balance or a check that I can deposit and spend however I want to. Today, I logged into the account and found that I had 5,000 rewards points. I cashed them in for a credit on the account because I currently have a balance. I am counting this as found money on my 52 week challenge.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance $573.04

cc #2 rewards points $25.34

New 52 Week Challenge Balance $598.44

52 Week Challenge Progress, Tax Refund, and Other Stuff

January 30th, 2016 at 09:48 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.

Payday and 52 Week Challenge Progress

January 28th, 2016 at 07:35 pm

I get paid tomorrow. I have already paid both cc bills, allocated for 1/2 of the mortgage, and made out a deposit to savings.

Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $379.04

cc #1 payment $50.00
cc #2 payment $20.00
House savings $30.00
Regular Savings deposit $40.00
Professional savings deposit $20.00
Escrow savings deposit $2.00
Tax/AAA Savings deposit $7.00
HVAC Savings deposit $5.00
Slush Deposit $20.00

New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $573.04

52 Week Challenge Progress

January 28th, 2016 at 02:38 am

Hi, everyone.

My cc #1 bill came due and of course, interest on top of the balance. The current balance is $4339.00. I recently cancelled a magazine subscription that I decided I did not want. Because the 1 year subscription had not even completed yet, the gave me a refund in full! Woo-Hoo! That totally surprised me, because I only contacted them to make sure that would cancel it. This is great news. I immediately sent the $39.00 for that to cc #1, bringing cc #1 to $4300.00.

Prior 2016 52 Week Challenge Balance: $340.04

Magazine Refund $39.00

New 2016 52 Week Challenge Balance: $379.04

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