<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Category: Uncategorized

Viewing the 'Uncategorized' Category

A nice tuesday . . .

April 18th, 2006 at 09:01 pm

Today was very nice at work, busy but not crazy. Getting home was a bit rough, we have the Chinese president in town and all the various security seriously messed up my bus schedule.

Rather than wait will the throng of people at my bus stop, I decided to check out a near by clothing store. I have a gift certificate that still had a balance and is almost a year old (I'm not much of a clothing shopper).

I ended up finding a really great pair of cropped pants that fit really well and were on sale. I still had to pay a little over the amount of the GC, but not bad at all. I hate clothes shopping, so if I have the money I'll generally just buy what I find. I think the last time I bought some form of clothing was a couple years ago when I bought a new swim suit.

Anyway, some other spending, but not bad.


Tues, 4/18:

$7.00 cigarettes
$13.05 clothing

$141.82 left in budget 'til 4/27

Work shenanigans

April 17th, 2006 at 08:51 pm

Long day at work. We're going through a bit of a management transition and so are understaffed. Our new manager doesn't technically start until May, but has been in to help out.

I'm thinking I'll need to sit down with her and discuss my duties and how much authority the previous manager granted me. We had a staff meeting today, and I was left completely out of the loop as to what was going on - even though I am a manager, just the lower-rung manager. It's frustrating, because now after working hard at my position I have to prove myself all over again. Fun times Smile

I'm sure it'll all work out for the best, I just get frustrated if I feel like I'm not appreciated. We'll see how things go . . .

I was paid last Friday, here's how the budget for two weeks breaks down:

$855.63 pay

$262.50 half of May rent
$100.00 regular private student loan payment
$176.54 extra private student loan payment
$270.00 "spending" budget

My spending budget is a bit high this pay period because we planned a stock up trip to Costco. So far things are looking good, definitely some spending but I have stayed in budget.


Fri, 4/14:
$2.00 coffee
$6.00 cigarettes

Sat, 4/15:
$70.00 groceries (Costco)
$5.69 drug store (toiletries)
$15.99 dinner out

Sun, 4/16:
no spending

Mon, 4/17:
$2 soda
$6 cigarettes

$161.82 left in budget 'til 4/27


Sat, 4/15:
$0.50 drug store savings

$0.50 to be used 4/28 for extra student loan payment

March Final Numbers

April 16th, 2006 at 10:20 pm

So, I have the final numbers for March. It was kind of a weird month, but good. I get paid every other week, so March was one of those months where I get three paychecks. That skewed some of my percentages, but in a good way Smile Here's the break down of my budget:

Must Haves (goal 50% or $1360.35)
~ Actual: 31.9% or $868.79

Save (goal 30% or $816.21)
~ Actual: 48.2% or $1312.59

Wants (goal 20% or $544.14)
~ Actual: 19.9% or $540.91


Here's the break down of debt/savings in March, and the change since February:


~ $18.64 short-term savings
(down $93.42 - used for planned Dentist visit)
~ $1.01 long-term savings
(no change)
~ $1,029.50 IRA
(up $8.26)
~ $3,334.83 401K
(up $340.26)
~ $376.29 vested Pension
(up $35.96)

Total Savings: $4,762.36


~ $819.14 Private Student Loan 1
(down $836.05) Smile
~ $3,229.66 Private Student Loan 2
(down $30.79)
~ $8,250.79 Government Student Loan
(down $71.68)

Total Debt: $12,299.59

My private student loan is getting so low! It should be paid off in May. Very exciting.

I'll post later with my new budget for the next couple weeks.

Finished taxes :)

April 12th, 2006 at 10:00 pm

I finished my boyfriend's taxes this evening. I did my own a while ago, but had been putting off sitting down and doing his. He really would do his own taxes, but since I volunteered the first year we were together it has kind of become my job. Yep, I'm the organized, dependable one in my relationship . . . The one that remembers taxes are due soon, or that we really should mail out those utility payments Wink

Both of our taxes are so simple though, it really doesn't take that long. A W-2 and a couple 1099s and we're good to go . . . He does have to pay this year, same as last year, but it's what we expected so no big deal.

In other news, I went over budget Frown Well, only by $1.59 but still. I had been doing so well. I blame work, but really I shouldn't have bought coffee on Tuesday. It was my own fault . . .

In my defense, it was a crazy day. You know how you walk into a bank and there are all these workers at desks? Yeah, well, my branch normally has 4 or 5 of us to help the "platform" side. Not on Tuesday. Nope, Tuesday it was just me. Yep, just little me to do the job of 4 people. And only 2 tellers for half the day! We normally have 5!! So, yeah, I shouldn't have bought a coffee, but I reeeeaaalllly enjoyed it at the time Wink



Tuesday, 4/11:
$15.00 cigarettes
$3.99 coffee

Wed, 4/12:
no spending

-$1.59 in budget ending 4/13

New goal for savings

April 10th, 2006 at 05:08 pm

I had the day off today, and spent it relaxing on my deck (it's sunny here!! yeah!) and doing some financial upkeep.

I posted earlier that I may have to adjust money that is set aside for the dentist and our vacation in June (I call this "short/term savings" just 'cause I use that title for expenses I have to save up for and are planned but aren't regular expenses - such as vacations, gifts, dentist/doctor, etc.). Anyway, I figured I can adjust to setting aside $45 per paycheck instead of $38. That'll be $135/month and will safely fund the vacation and the dental bills.

I will have to lower my extra debt payments, but I'll still pay off my private student loans in May and October. I had planned on paying the second in November, but with all the extra payments I have been making it moved back a month.

In other news, I decided to give ebookdrop one more try. I still have a few books that I don't want to go through the effort of listing on half.com or ebay since they would get very small amounts. I'll send one in tomorrow, we'll see how quickly I receive payment.


no spending

$17.40 left in budget 'til 4/13


$1.19 ebookdrop

$3.68 to be used 4/14 for student loan payment
$1.19 pending

Catch up post . . .

April 10th, 2006 at 12:03 pm

Well, I haven't posted in a while. First, I've been really busy at my job and had family visit this past weekend. Second, our computer has been down some of the time. My boyfriend built his own computer and over the past couple of weeks has been upgrading the operating system and various other things. Meaning quite a bit of the time, I haven't had internet access at home.

Since it's been so long since a post, I don't think I'll update with all the spending on a daily basis. Suffice it to say, things are going well. I was paid last Friday and stayed in budget until pay day. This pay period (ending on the 13th) still counts towards "March" since March was one of those weird months where I had three paychecks.

Here's a break down of my third check spending:

$838.30 paycheck
+ $100.45 end of month incentive check

$397.75 Short-Term save (vacation, dentist)
$290.00 Private Student Loan #1 extra
$250.00 "spending"

My private student loan payment was actually $421.82, the extra breaks down as follows:

$290.00 planned payment (from 3/31 paychecks)
$81.82 savings (previously itemized)
$50.00 credit card cash back check

balance on Private Student Loan 1: $819.14!! (down $836.05 in March!)

I'm on track to pay off this loan in May, but things might get a bit tight. My Short-Term Savings (above) are earmarked for a dental bill (which is about $30 more than planned) and our trip in June. Depending on plane ticket prices, I may have to pull some planned debt payments. We'll see how that goes.


left in budget 'til 4/13


to be used 4/14 for student loan payment

The weekend is over . . .

March 27th, 2006 at 08:31 pm

We had a nice weekend. My boyfriend and I went out to dinner on Saturday (a rarity lately), and in general relaxed this weekend. He's travelling for work all this week, so I decided it's time for a bit of spring cleaning.

My boyfriend and I have different ideas of what "clean" is. In general, he's kind of a messy guy, but will do his share of housework. He just decides things are in need of cleaning waaaay after I think it has to be done. The studio he lived in before we moved in together was just crazy. I think I mopped the floors more than he did . . . and he lived there for four years before I met him. Crazy stuff . . .

Anyway, I figure since he's out of the house, I'll do a real spring cleaning this year.

Spending has been okay, still underbudget. I need to make a small grocery shopping trip, and have to bring some type of appetizer to a work function on Friday. Other than that, no planned spending until payday on Friday.


Sat, 3/25:
$3.99 coffee
$26.95 dinner out

Sun, 3/26:
no spending

Mon, 3/27:
$4.00 coffee
$15.00 cigarettes

$50.31 left in budget 'til 3/30

A sunny weekend!

March 25th, 2006 at 02:53 pm

It's actually sunny here! We'll see how long it lasts, but right now I'm starting to form grand plans for yard work. My boyfriend and I moved into a rental house a little over a year ago. You can tell at somepoint someone cared about the yard, there's tons of terraces and great plants, but right now it's overgrown. We made a dent last year, but hope to get it into good shape this year. And it's finally getting nice enough! Yah!

Overall, things are doing well here financially. My last student loan payment went thru, I now have just $1237.41 on my first private loan! Very exciting. I'm right on track for paying it off in May.


Wed, 3/22:
$3.99 coffee
$2.00 soda
$2.00 groceries

Thurs, 3/23:
no spending

Fri, 3/24:
$15.00 cigarettes
$2.00 soda

$102.25 left in budget 'til 3/30


Fri, 3/24:
0.06 brick and mortar checking acct. interest

$81.82 to be used 3/31 for student loan payment


Back from the dentist . . .

March 21st, 2006 at 03:45 pm

Alright, back from the dentist, but before I tackle last night's dishes I wanted to post my spending update. It's not very pretty, but my savings is going well. Go figure Smile

The good news is, even with all my spending lately I'm still doing well percentage wise (percentages don't add up to 100% because the month is not over):

Must Haves (goal 50%)
~ Actual: 47.2%

Save (goal 30%)
~ Actual: 29.9%

Wants (goal 20%)
~ Actual: 14.2%

So overall things are going well this month. I just need to get back motivated about the little things that can add up.


Fri, 3/17:
$14.00 cigarettes
$3.99 coffee
$9.00 lunch
$16.62 groceries

Sat, 3/18:
$3.99 coffee
$15.00 lunch with friends

Sun, 3/19:
no spending

Mon, 3/20:
$3.99 coffee
$17.17 drug store (hair products, snacks)
$2.98 coffee
$12.26 groceries

Tues, 3/21:
$15.00 cigarettes
$2.00 snacks

$127.24 left in budget 'til 3/30


($25 ING new account bonus received, unused)

Mon, 3/20:
$0.39 drug store sale savings
$6.37 grocery store sale savings
$50.00 HSBC new account bonus

$81.76 to be used 3/31 for student loan payment

Crazy spending . . .

March 21st, 2006 at 09:32 am

Sometimes I do this to myself, I just got paid so I feel like I have money. I bought lunch and coffee the last few days at work and it just adds up. I'm down to $142.24 (from $250) in my spending budget. This is supposed to last until 3/30! I'm sure I can make it last, but still.

Last night after work I knew I had to go grocery shopping. I don't own a car, and I take the bus to work. I have two options for grocery stores in my neighborhood that are within walking distance of my bus line and my home.

One store is closer, but doesn't really have good prices for everyday foods. They do have a great produce section, and good prices for fresh items (fish, produce etc).

The other store is farther away, but tends to be cheaper. It's about 6 extra blocks, which doesn't seem that far, but when you're lugging a gallon of milk and groceries it can seem like miles Wink

I generally decide which store to go to based I what I need, and I knew I was stocking up on basics like milk that would be cheaper at the store that was further away.

Well, I actually motivated myself to go to the store farther away, despite being tired and just wanting to veg at home. Turns out everything I had planned to buy was on sale! Yeah! I ended up saving $6.37 on a $12.26 bill. I guess that sort of makes up for spending to much on coffee and whatnot. I'll just have to watch spending the next week or so.

I'll update with specific spending amounts later. I have today off, but have to head to the dentist for a cleaning Smile

New payperiod . . .

March 19th, 2006 at 04:02 pm

I got paid on friday. My check was a bit higher than usual because of overtime. I split my extra overtime between short-term save (earmarked for dentist bills and an upcoming vacation in June) and paying off my student loan.

Here's the break down:

$42.46 'savings'
+ $1.88 left over in previous budget
- $25.00 ING account opening bonus (pending, not received)

= $19.34 extra applied to debt

$840.62 paycheck (+$19.34 from above):

$262.50 1/2 of April rent
$57.63 regular gov. student loan payment
$194.49 extra private student loan (planned $160, $34.49 from extra savings and overtime)
$76.00 short-term save (planned $38, extra $38 from overtime)
$250 "spending" for next two weeks


I still have $25 pending from ING Direct. It has actually been deposited to my ING account (which is why I had added it to the totals for 'extra savings'), but it's not available to withdraw until 3/22.

Received ebookdrop payments :)

March 15th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

I just went to check my email after posting, and I received all 3 of my pending ebookdrop payments (via PayPal).

I'm thinking there must have been some kind of problem on their side, maybe with how many people were using them. I don't know, makes me kind of wary that it took me this long to receive payment when previously I got payment much more quickly. I think I may check and see if any other books are 'wanted' and maybe send one just to test.


$1.92 ebookdrop (1/26)
$3.52 ebookdrop (1/31)
$5.95 ebookdrop (1/31)

$42.46 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Still feeling sick

March 15th, 2006 at 08:29 pm

I'm still feeling a bit sick. I have a cough and just haven't really gotten over being sick last week. Mainly just tired.

I went grocery shopping last night, overall a success. Saved some money and stuck to the list Smile Well, I did splurge on one thing. I bought a big bag of roma tomatoes. I love tomatoes sliced with a bit of salt and pepper. For $2.39 I probably got about four servings. In fact, after typing this I'm going to go have a couple Smile


$39.82 groceries

$3.99 coffee

$2.88 left in budget 'til 3/16


$4.85 grocery store card and 1 coupon

$31.07 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Dentist today and other spending

March 14th, 2006 at 04:55 pm

I'm on such a bad roll lately. I didn't realize todays dentist appointment was actually a procedure, next week is the cleaning.

It actually worked out alright, they thought they would have to do a crown, but ended up just doing an onlay (kind of like a partial crown, a little piece that's cemented on the biting surface of the tooth).

Since it didn't take as long as it would have, my dentist asked if I wanted to go ahead and replace two fillings in the surrounding teeth. These were planned for a couple months from now because both fillings have been around for a while and are starting to decay around the filling (apparently fillings actually have a lifespan, who knew?). Fewer dentist visits is always nice.

Total cost was $552.60 rather than the $547 they estimated, but that's for essentially 3 procedures. Yah!

I stopped off at the drug store to pick up some toiletries (deodorant on sale, and hair product). I had planned on going to the store, but I think I'll wait and go later tonight. I still had a numb mouth and just wanted to head home.


$15.53 drug store
$0.01 to brick and mortar savings account (realized I had let it sit at zero, and didn't want it to close)

$50.54 left in budget 'til 3/16


$0.50 sale savings at drug store

$26.22 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Loooong day

March 13th, 2006 at 09:19 pm

Silly me remembered there was a staff meeting today, after calling in sick on friday. What I didn't remember was to check and see if it was before or after work. Yeah, it was after, but I showed up before. So an already long day became even longer because I was just silly.

Spending was a bit high today because in my rush to make it to what I thought was a morning staff meeting, I forgot lunch. Oh well, frustrating, but I have some wiggle room in my budget (even though I get paid in just a few days).

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and the whole day off. I'm planning on sleeping in. No expenditures for the dentist, since I get two free cleanings a year.

Spending and Saving:

$10 groceries

$9 lunch
$15 cigarettes

$67.58 left in budget 'til 3/16

Being sick saves me money :)

March 12th, 2006 at 10:11 pm

I've been sick the last few days. I finally felt better today, and I got out of the house for the first time since Thursday. I called in sick on Friday, and spent most of Friday and Saturday sleeping.

This was a very frugal weekend. Part of that was being sick, but today my boyfriend and I went for a hike in order to get out of the house. This evening we had friends over for dinner. No expenditures since everyone brought food and we used what we already had in the house.

I made an extra payment to my student loan. Last paycheck I only made an extra payment of $130 instead of $160, since I knew I had some bills coming up. I stayed way below budget though, and decided to go ahead and make the additional $30 payment.

I already received my bonus for opening an account with ING Direct. Still waiting for all the processing with HSBC.


$5.19 cigarettes
$6.62 groceries

$30.00 extra student loan payment

$101.58 left in budget 'til 3/16


$0.50 grocery savings
$0.22 ING direct "test deposits"

$25.00 ING Direct opening bonus

$25.72 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Various spending and account bonuses

March 8th, 2006 at 10:17 pm

Nothing too exciting going on here. I did clean up the house a bit this evening, and get some laundry done. Always a nice accomplishment Smile

I've been going over my budget to see if I want to adjust things a bit because of my raise. I'm still undecided. I'll probably up my student loan payments a bit, but I'm still not certain what the change in take home pay will be. I think I'll what until I have a clearer picture of things.

Also, I signed up for two account bonuses. One from HSBC for $50 for opening a checking account, and another from ING for $25.

The HSBC account is a checking account that I plan on using in conjunction with my HSBC savings account. The checking has a minimum balance OR direct deposit requirement in order to waive the monthly fee. My work allows me to split up my direct deposit to multiple accounts, so I'm going to set it up to send my short-term savings to the HSBC checking. Then I'll just transfer the money to the savings account in order to earn more interest.

Savings and Spending:

$4.00 snacks at work

$3.99 coffee
$6.00 cigarettes

$148.89 left in budget 'til 3/16

Monday again

March 6th, 2006 at 07:40 pm

We had a nice weekend with my parents. Lots of relaxing and visiting. Some spending, a quick run to the store to get beverages and ice cream, but overall pretty good. My mom always packs tons of food along when she visits. I keep trying to convince her that we do have grocery stores here Wink

Work is going alright, kind of hectic still. I'm sort of looking for a new job, more like keeping an eye out for something interesting. I've also signed up for some internal training that should help the overall job outlook (always good to learn new things).

Saving and Spending:

$20.05 groceries

$3.99 coffee Frown
$15 cigarettes

$162.88 left in budget 'til 3/16

It's the weekend!

March 3rd, 2006 at 07:57 pm

My parents are visiting this weekend. Strangely they visit fairly often (they only live about 5 hours away, and enjoy the drive). My boyfriend finds it sort of strange. I think his parents have visited us once in the 5 years we've been together. He does get along with my parents, and always enjoys when they visit and especially that they bring their dog along. I grew up with the same type of dog as he did, so he always messes up and calls my parent's current dog by his (now no longer with us) dog's name. Cute Smile

I was paid today, but the money went out remarkably fast.

Here's a break down:

$804.66 paycheck . . .

$262.50 half of April rent
$38.00 to short-term save
$100.00 to regular private student loan payment
$130.00 to extra student loan payment (plus 0.50 from sale savings at the drug store)
$274.16 for "spending" over next 2 weeks

And now to the scary amount of spending today . . .

$28.21 internet bill
$15.00 cigarettes
$4.11 phone bill
$3.99 coffee
$6.39 lunch
$12.04 girly supplies at drug store

Really my spending wouldn't have been bad except for my crazy poor planning . . . We ran out of coffee this morning, and so I bought my own once I was at work (right when I was doing a good job of NOT going to the coffee shop). Then, I realized I had forgotten my lunch and ended up spending over $6 for a sandwich and some chips. It was annoying because it was a totally unplanned expense, and normally I ALWAYS remember to bring my lunch. Then, I had a bit of a girly emergency and was completely unprepared while at work. I had to run to the drug store, and it's not like I was really shopping around for sales . . .

Eh, oh well . . . I'll just try and be careful from now on Smile

$201.92 left in budget til 3/16

Edit: I totally forgot that I got a raise. Yeah, 19 cents more per hour. Sheesh, they couldn't even round up to a quarter.

February Recap . . .

March 3rd, 2006 at 07:00 pm

Overall February was a good month. I received my tax return and put that directly towards debt. This is also the first month I have tracked "extra income" and put all of that towards debt as well. This could be coupon or sale savings, overtime, bonuses for opening accounts, or selling items (such as books).

Here's the break down of my budget:

Must Haves (goal 50% or $1007.13)
~ Actual: 46.2% or $929.87

Save (goal 30% or $604.28)
~ Actual: 41.6% or $838.36

Wants (goal 20% or $402.85)
~ Actual: 12.2% or $246.03

These numbers are great! Especially my "save" category. Almost $900 towards debt reduction and savings. Also, the "wants" category did very well this month. Not only was the percentage very low, but also the dollar value. In January I spent $434.10 on "wants," compared to just $246 in February. Yah!


Here's the break down of debt/savings in February, and the change since January:


~ $112.06 short-term savings
(up $112.00)
~ $1.00 long-term savings
(down $30.00 - account incentive used towards debt)
~ $1,021.24 IRA
(up $5.31)
~ $2,994.57 401K
(up $227.06)
~ $340.33 vested Pension
(up $35.82)

Total Savings: $4,470.20


~ $1,655.19 Private Student Loan 1
(down $758.26)
~ $3,260.45 Private Student Loan 2
(down $27.81)
~ $8,322.47 Government Student Loan
(down $36.07)

Total Debt: $13,238.11

Almost the end of the pay period

March 1st, 2006 at 06:45 pm

Things are going well here. I am down to zero in my budget, but am right on track for my friday payday. I received my end of the month bonus check yesterday, and used that as well as some of my normal spending budget to make another student loan payment. It's now under $1800 with one last payment to post Smile


$13.03 cigarettes
$3.99 coffee

+ $93.54 end of month bonus
$55.21 extra student loan #1 payment
$10.28 phone bill

zero left in budget til 3/3


$38.00 from end of month incentive to short-term savings

Tax return received

February 26th, 2006 at 02:00 pm

I received my tax return on friday. $234.17 total, $200 of which was due to the savers credit ($100 from my 401k contributions and $100 from deciding to open an IRA in order to get the full credit). I went ahead and scheduled an extra student loan payment and am waiting for it to post.

Spending is alright. The budget is getting kind of close, but I shouldn't have very many purchases next week. We're stocked up for groceries for a while.

I'm motivated to find a new job. On Friday I found out that my manager has accepted another position with the company, and will be leaving April 1st. I don't know if I can handle another change in management, and having to prove myself again. It always seems to set back my progression in my job when this happens. I've been with the company 2 years, and this is my third manager. Very frustrating.

In good news, I found out that I started working for my company at just the right time. When I started, they began matching 401k contributions 30 days after you started, and the pension is set up in such a way that you started vesting after 2 years and received full vesting at 5. Now, you have to work with the company for a year before you receive any 401k match, and you don't have any pension vesting until the 5 year mark.

Having a pension seems kind of weird to me, since it's not that common anymore. My pension is funded by a percentage of my income plus it earns interest. If I leave the company right now, I have a choice for how I want to receive the funds. You can take them in cash, or roll them into your 401k (the later being the option I would choose).


$4 coffee

$8 lunch at work
$8 dinner out
$6.46 cigarettes

$34.03 groceries
$5.96 cigarettes

$27.97 left in budget (til 3/3)


$0.55 savings on cigarettes
$0.06 interest earned on checking account
$234.17 tax return received (pending on loan)

$3.50 grocery card savings

$4.11 total extra for next loan payment

Crazy, crazy work

February 22nd, 2006 at 08:56 pm

My work is driving me insane this week . . . At least we have a new person hired, so once he's fully trained that will help.

A lot of what I do is back-up work for the two sides of the bank branch (teller and "new accounts" -- basically people at a desk). I'm so tired of being caught between the two sides. I have to cover both sides, but since both sides are crazy busy (and people are sick or on vacation) I end up being the person who is told "can you do this, I'm busy" or "I can't help, I'm busy." Yeah, we're all busy! I have work other than directly helping customers too! Sheesh.

Alright, that was my rant Smile

Thankfully my manager is cool. She knows how hard I work and went to the table to get me a large raise last June. She bought me a donut today as a thank you for all the craziness the last couple weeks Smile Very sweet.

Spending was okay, but I really need to stop buying coffee. I think it's just a stress reflex. I get this glazed over eye feeling and head to the coffee shop Wink

Saving and Spending:

3.99 coffee

3.99 coffee
15.87 cigarettes

98.46 left in budget (til 3/3)

Working computer!

February 21st, 2006 at 11:56 pm

Just a quick post since I'm so happy that our computer is back up and running. Yeah! It took my boyfriend all of five minutes to fix it Smile

Anyway, things are going well here. Some spending today . . . I'll post totals tomorrow.

I realized one of the reasons my last paycheck was larger than expected (besides the overtime). Once a month my bus pass comes out of my paycheck. My employer pays half, and the rest comes out pre-tax. This last paycheck it wasn't deducted, so I got a bit worried that something happened.

Turns out for some reason they'll be taking my February bus pass payment (for a March bus pass) out in the first check for March. April gets taken out of the second check in March. I'm guessing this has something to do with receiving 3 checks in March, but I'm not sure why they changed it.

February being a short month shouldn't affect it since we are paid every two weeks rather than twice a month. Maybe something to do when when the company actually buys the passes? Oh well, at least I know my pass is paid for Smile

MIA blogger . . .

February 20th, 2006 at 04:27 pm

Yeah, I know I've been really bad about posting. My computer at home is still not connecting to the internet, and I can't fix it. My boyfriend said he'd work on it this weekend, but didn't get around to it.

Last friday I got a larger than normal paycheck because of some overtime. I used all the extra towards my student loan, so my normal planned payment went from $160 to $248.12. That brings total extra payments for the month to $426! Smile Some of the extra is also from savings: coupons/grocery card savings and a HSBC account opening bonus.

I've been tracking all of my grocery store savings, whether it's through store cards or coupons, and using those for debt payment. It's really easy since they're listed right on the receipt. I just subtract whatever savings I had from my checkbook, and then add the total to my next planned debt payment. At first I was worried that I would end up running out of money, but so far I've still stayed in budget. I just divert more towards debt payment and make those grocery card "savings" actual savings Smile

It feels good to see the balance of my student loans going down. I'm on track to pay off my first private loan in May.

Spending for the month is also good. Here's a breakdown:

Must Haves: 53% (goal 50%)
Save: 30% (goal 30%)
Wants: 10% (goal 20%)

I know those percentages don't add up to 100, but that's just because the month isn't over yet. I have $122.31 left over 'til my next paycheck, plus an end of the month bonus check.

January Recap (a bit late)

February 13th, 2006 at 10:32 am

I finally have a computer that works at home, but it's still having problems. Oh well, I figured I should start by posting my January recap. Overall spending was good . . .

Must Haves (goal 50% or $854.22)
~ Actual: 42.3% or $721.75

Save (goal 30% or $512.53)
~ Actual: 32.3% or $552.35

Wants (goal 20% or $341.69)
~ Actual: 25.4% or $434.10

I was overbudget for the "wants" category, but I also did well in "save."

Here's the break down of debt/savings in January:


~ $0.06 short-term savings
(down $363.53)
~ $31.00 long-term savings
(down $869.00)
~ $1,015.93 IRA
(new this month, used short-term
and long-term savings to fund)
~ $2,767.51 401K
(up $276.72)
~ $304.51 vested Pension
(up $21.64)

Total Savings: $4,176.64


~ $2,413.45 Private Student Loan 1
(down $476.55)
~ $3,288.26 Private Student Loan 2
(down $31.81)
~ $8,333.54 Government Student Loan
(down $58.74)

Total Debt: $14,035.25

Overall it was a good month. I met my goals for paying off debt and opened a Roth IRA. The use of savings is a bit deceptive, since most was in order to open the IRA. The rest was planned expenses for a trip to my parents and for my boyfriend's birthday.

Broken computer . . .

February 7th, 2006 at 01:40 pm

It seems like it's so long since I have posted. My computer at home has had internet connection problems. We think it's the router, but right now it's not really working very well. And work is just too busy.

January wrapped up pretty well. I'll post the numbers when I'm back up and running at home. I came in underbudget, and made some extra student loan payments. Overall a good month.

Weekend wrap up

January 30th, 2006 at 09:37 am

Sold another set of books on ebookdrop. Total $9.47.

My total "extra income" that I'll put towards my next student loan payment is $18.66 (10.56 ebookdrop/8.03 grocery coupon and card savings/0.07 interest).

I have a few more ebookdrop payments that are pending, but I'll just use what I've already received when I make a payment tomorrow. Also, my sad little interest amount is just for my normal checking account. I get a free interest bearing checking account as a bank employee, but it earns a very small amount of interest (0.10% I believe).

I went online to see what my end of the month bonus check will come in at. I'll actually receive the deposit tomorrow, but with today off I wanted to do some financial upkeep. I normally receive around $130, but it was much lower this month. Actually pre-tax it was right on target, but they took out $35 in federal taxes! My normal checks only have about $75 in federal taxes taken out, and they're ten times the size of my little bonus check. Not sure what's going on with that . . .

I'll have to take a look and see whether I want to put the money towards my final planned student loan payment or my short-term savings (I should have been able to put it towards both). Hmmm....

Spending and Savings:

$28.21 internet bill

$5.07 drug store
$9.16 groceries

$0.69 savings at drug store (to debt)
$2.76 savings at grocery store (to debt)

$15.00 cigarettes
$1.00 coffee

$0.07 interest (to debt)

$22.68 dinner (pizza)

$38.81 left in budget (til 2/3)

ebookdrop and work incentives

January 25th, 2006 at 10:38 pm

I sold another book on ebookdrop for $1.92. I have a few more books I can sell, but I'm waiting to decide whether I really want to get rid of these. I don't really have any plans on reading them again in the near future, but they're part of a series, so I'm not certain.

Also, my work is running an extra incentive program. So far, I've earned $15 (pre tax, will be on February's check I think) and I won the drawing for a $15 Starbucks card (used $3.99 today). I will probably win the drawing this week as well, since I'm the only two entries Smile We'll have drawings once a week for the next 3 weeks. Very exciting.

I've thought about opening an ING account in order the get the $25 bonus. I think I'm going to go ahead and do it, but I'll have to wait a couple weeks. Currently, I don't have the $250 required, but I always set aside $260 for rent from each paycheck. I think I'll use my next paycheck and open an account, and then just transfer the funds back out.

Savings and Spending:

$15 earned in incentive (pre-tax)
$15 Starbucks card won in incentive

Successful grocery shopping

January 25th, 2006 at 07:54 pm

Normally I don't use coupons. We get the paper at my work, so monday morning I'll check for coupons. However, there never seem to be coupons for what I buy. I don't know, maybe since I don't really buy processed foods that makes couponing difficult. This week was different. From now on I'm going to remember to plan some type of Mexican food before the Super Bowl. There were tons of coupons on things I'm planning on using (hot sauce, sour cream, chips, tortillas!).

I bought a huge bag of groceries and only spent $14.68. I've decided that as much as possible, I'm going to use any grocery coupon or store card savings towards my debt reduction. So, when I make my next payment (the 31st) I'll add $4.58. Yeah!

I'm still waiting for my check to make it to T Rowe Price for my IRA, and for my latest ebookdrop check. I signed up to get payment thru paypal with my other ebookdrop sales, but selected the wrong drop down this time.

Savings and Spending:

10.28 phone bill

13.03 cigarettes
4.00 coffee
14.68 groceries

4.58 savings from groceries, towards student loan debt Smile

123.31 left in budget, til 2/3

<< Newer EntriesOlder Entries >>