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Archive for October, 2005

It's the weekend!!

October 29th, 2005 at 02:26 pm

I haven't had a weekend off in a month, so I'm basking in my laziness today Smile Just kind of puttering around the house, I did put in a load of laundry but that's about all I've officially accomplished. We have plans to go see Wallace and Gromit sometime this weekend, probably tonight. Other than that, it should be an inexpensive weekend.

I got paid on friday, and things are looking good for the next two weeks. I also got my end of the month incentive check, which was higher than expected. The extra went right into savings . . . .

Savings and Spending:

290.00 extra to student loan
57.63 regular student loan payment
262.50 rent (1/2)
67.05 to short term save (total: 416.81 woo hoo!)

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10.28 phone bill
28.21 internet
15.00 cigarettes

196.51 left in budget (15.11 per day)

goal: no more than 17.86 per day

End of pay period wrap up

October 26th, 2005 at 07:44 pm

I'm within my budget this pay check, but I decided to take a look at where it all went Smile 'Cause it's certainly gone now.

Recently, I've been interested in a book called All Your Worth. I think it has an interesting perspective on breaking down the bigger picture. I like the idea of breaking down your finances to 'must haves' (50%), 'savings' (20%), and wants (30%). 30% seems kind of high, but 'wants' is anything you don't need to get by - a cell phone, maybe a second car, cable tv, etc. I still think I'll take a look at it, and maybe shoot for a 50 'must haves', 30 'savings', 20 'wants' break down. Here is my break down of the past two weeks:


Must Haves:
Rent(1/2)/Electricity: 296.03
Regular Loan payment: 100.00
Groceries: 35.48

431.50 or 53% (goal: 409.92 or 50%)

Save:
extra to student loan: 160.00
short term savings: 30.34

190.34 or 23% (goal: 163.97 or 20%)

Wants:
lunch at work/coffee: 29.38
dinner out: 44.00
other entertainment: 68.87
misc: 53.67

195.92 or 24% (goal: 245.95 or 30%)

I think overall I did pretty well . . . Overall I'm pretty happy . . .

Fun ER Visit . . .

October 23rd, 2005 at 03:47 pm

So, things were pretty uneventful all week . . . until Wednesday. I noticed a spider bite on my foot, I didn't actually see the spider but it was some kind of bug bite. It didn't really itch, and wasn't swollen so I just went about my day. Thursday I woke up to puffy and pink toes! I couldn't really walk very well because my toes were so swollen. I ended up going to work anyway, and trying to make a same day doctor's appointment (which was a joke). At about 1 o'clock I realized I wasn't going to get in anywhere, and since the swelling hadn't gone down, I decided to just go to urgent care. Well, my boss didn't like the idea of me leaving early, until I offered to show her my puffy foot. Then she decided that leaving a bit early was okay. Wink

I made it to urgent care, they had me wait and looked at my foot for all of five minutes. I got a prescription for anti-biotics (with the warning that if I break out in hives, come back in right away) and a tetnus (sp?) booster. They told me to cover the bite for a couple of days. I went and filled my prescription and got gauze pads and paper tape so I could rig up some sort of bandage for between my toes (incredibly difficult and kinda funny).

Between the prescription, and a going away party on friday (along with another trip to the grocery store) I've pretty much used my budget until next payday. I'm not sure what the bill for the urgent care visit will be like, it's an in-network hospital though so hopefully that will help. At least my foot is a lot less pink and puffy now Smile

Savings and Spending:

$10 prescription
$35 going away dinner (for old boss)
$4 coffee on Thursday and Friday
$10 tape/gauze pads/ snack while waiting for prescription
$5 grocery store (milk and snacks)
$15 cigarettes

$23 left in budget

Double posting of transactions

October 19th, 2005 at 07:12 pm

Today was fairly uneventful, I was in training all day. You know, group cheers and whatnot. I don't really enjoy training very much. Smile

Once I got home, I went to check my account online to see if my student loans payment had posted. Surprise, surprise! I had a debit transaction double post! How annoying . . . well kind of annoying. I actually work at the bank that my checking account is at, so I just have to have one of my co-workers fill out a form for me and email it in . . . I can't do it myself -- that whole no transactions/maintenance on your own account thing. The money should be back within a couple days, I just hope the fraud deparment doesn't close my card. Sometimes they won't if it's just a posting error, but if they can see that the second posting of the charge was done by actually entering the card number they'll close it out. Which I guess is a good idea in that case.

I don't really get it though, was at a restaurant and the correct amount went thru (29.00) and then the incorrect amount (29.25). Maybe the person who took my slip entered the wrong amount for tip (hence the extra 0.25) at first and instead of correcting it accidently double posted it. I'll have to check the time stamp tomorrow at work and see which transaction actually posted first.

Other than that little surprise, things were quiet today. Spent $2 on a candy bar and soda while in training. I REALLY felt the need for sugar, and they didn't let us have a lunch. I guess we were only planning to be there for 5 hours, but we went for about 6. Not fun . . . .

Savings and Spending:

$2 candy/soda


$102 left in budget

Mmmm, soup

October 17th, 2005 at 04:19 pm

This weekend, and the start of the week was good and bad (financially anyway). I went grocery shopping - spent $36.00 - everything I bought should cover for at least a week and a half, so that's good. Saturday night my boyfriend and I went out (we have been hermets lately). Not an entirely good thing for the budget, but I should still be on track as long as I reign in spending on snacks/coffee while at work. I don't know if it's the change in weather, but the last couple weeks I've gotten back into a habit of getting coffee at work. Rainy days, and dark mornings just make an afternoon coffee seem like a good idea Wink

Other than that, things have been pretty mellow. I put a couple books on hold at the library, but I'm not sure when they'll be available. Did laundry, and cleaned up around the house. I paid my regular payment on my student loan, and am still waiting for the extra payment I made to go through.

I made a double batch of black bean and corn chowder for dinner tonight, and lunches for the week. I bought the makings for lentil soup too, but I realized that I don't have enough containers to freeze the lentil soup individually (the chowder is in individual containers and ready for lunches). So I just cut up all the veggies for soup, and will make it later on in the week.

Savings and Spending:

$100 student loan payment (in budget seperate from 'spending money')
$36 groceries
$29 dinner/drinks
$15 cigarettes

$105 left in budget

Electricity bill and Amazon . . .

October 15th, 2005 at 04:50 pm

All in all a good day so far. Went to work, spent money on coffee (my bad), came home and started paying bills. Extra on student loan, check. Electricity bill, check.

I put some extra into savings. I decided the little amount of money in my bank savings account is for Christmas and my next dentist bill. So far I have $275 for Christmas, which should just cover my plane ticket to BF's parents. Now, to save for gifts Smile I also have the $90 covered for my next dentist cleaning (I'm over my plan limit, but would rather just stay on a cleaning schedule than wait for the new year).

I also paid off my Amazon purchase on my CC ($14.75). Kind of expensive for one book, but it's my sister's book so I figure it's worth it Wink

Savings and Spending so far:

$50.00 (save)
$160.00 (debt payment)
$67.27 (electricity bill/coffee/book)

$185 left in budget

Budget problems . . .

October 13th, 2005 at 12:09 pm

Since I have today off, I've been going over my budget for my next paycheck. I get paid every other week, with a small bonus check at the end of the month (generally around $100). I've been using an excel spreadsheet to track my budget and various debts/assets for a couple of months now. I find it helpful to write down what I'm spending on everything, and then track different categories.

My general budget includes loan payments, rent, and "spending." I tend to have a problem with my spending category. Right now that includes all utilities, groceries, entertainment, and other expenses. I have a hard time breaking it down in my actual budget. I know what I generally spend each month on different categories, but I seem to have problems trying to fix the amounts in my budget. I always seem to go over in one category, like groceries, and under in another. I've been good at not going over my budget for "spending" but I've been trying to work on being more specific in my budget. For now, I'm trying to track different categories and see how much I spend on each.

This is an example from my budget for this coming paycheck (tomorrow, woo hoo!):

Budget: $820 (for two weeks)

262.50 rent (1/2 for next month)
100.00 regular student loan payment
160.00 extra student loan payment
250.00 spending
48.00 savings

Any information you guys have about how you break up your budget would be helpful. Smile

Overall I'm feeling pretty happy about the next few weeks. I have to pay the electricity bill, but other than that I shouldn't have any utility bills coming in. I'm making a larger payment on my student loans, which I'm very happy about. I'm just wondering how to break down my categories more. It would be nice to say, $$ for groceries - $$ for utilities etc. I guess I'm just not quite there yet. Oh well . . .

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*edit* my total debt/savings break down:

Total Debt:
$3443.00: private student loan 1
$3413.00: private student loan 2
$8460.00: government student loan

Total Savings:
$1105.00: emergency fund
$366.00: regular savings
$1740.00: 401k







Savings and Budget Plan

October 13th, 2005 at 10:50 am

Hi everyone . . . I've been checking out this forum for a while and decided to finally register and post Smile

I'm currently working on my finances and budgeting. Over the last few months Ive been working out my budget, and seem to have been somewhat successful on getting my finances in order.

My main goal is to pay off those pesky student loans Smile Right now, I have 16,000 in student loan debt to be paid off. I don't have any credit card balances.

Really, I'm trying to work on my financial peace of mind. I've saved up a bit of an emergency fund and am contributing to my 401K. I would like to pay off my loans, and work on a down payment on a house.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself. I should hopefully be posting more in the future Smile

Goals:

Pay off student loans starting with private loans (7K) and then government loans (8K).

Continue 401K contributions, and either increase percentage contributed or start an IRA in 2006.

Continue working on "emergency fund" and cushion in regular bank account (for those small, but non emergency expenses like doctor/dentist etc).

Save for a down payment on a house.

Met goals:

Make a budget I can keep to in a month - somewhat met Smile

Hit $1,000 in emergency fund and set up a higher earning account than a regular bank savings (go Emigrant Direct!)

Pay at least 150 extra on student loans each month.