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March 2nd, 2012 at 04:19 am

So paychecks hit checking today and I was able to make my transfer to pay off the student loan!! All non mortgage debt is GONE! I am insanely excited; this moment has been almost 4 years in the making but we are finally here. SO worth it.

I will gush later on this milestone but right now I am really sick (ugh babies and their germs! :P) and need to get working for the big meeting later today.

SO close!

February 21st, 2012 at 11:26 am

Student loan paid off in one week and 3 days! ALL non-mortgage debt will be GONE! SO close I can TASTE it!!!!!!!

Day trip to wilmington, DE

January 31st, 2012 at 04:18 am

Figured we'd change it up this weekend and drive down to Wilmington, DE. We just want a change of pace is all. Reviews for the Childrens Museum looked pretty good for G(now to find a coupon to offset the $12/adult price tag!) and I'm going to search out a good road food stop. Anyone ever heard of the Charcoal Pit? I found that online but I'm still not sure if we'll go there. Anything else to do in the area?? I figure it'll be about an a hour and a half ride to get there which isn't bad. Seems like a good change of pace for Saturday!

Financial updates soon!

getting burnt out...

December 20th, 2011 at 09:42 am

I'm CONSTANTLY checking my spreadsheet of life (yes, that's what I call it :P) and lately it isn't moving fast enough. I owed 7,610 in July on my student loan. My mom paid it off for me so that I wouldn't have to bother with the interest and now I'm down to owing her 4,600. I have 2,500 in my bank account earmarked for her but I'm waiting til I have the total amount to pay her back in full. It feels like it's taking forever and I'm just getting burnt out with the whole thing. I know it'll be done in February but then it feels like there's always something else. I have so many goals to hit and I think I put way to much pressure on myself. Need to remind myself it's okay to slowww down on the financial goals every once in and while to keep my sanity!

looking for a strider prebike for G

December 6th, 2011 at 04:43 pm

I've been searching ebay, amazon, and craigslist looking for a used strider prebike for gianna. I read a lot of reviews and saw quite a few videos on youtube, and it looks awesome. I know she won't use it much until summer, but I was thinking I would get her this as her second (and last) xmas gift from us. Problem is it's $100 brand new and I refuse to spend that much on a silly little toddler bike. Anyone have any ideas?!

Anyone use shopkick??

December 6th, 2011 at 09:59 am

I was reading blogs the other day and I can't remember who mentioned using shopkick, but I immediately went to my phone to download the app. Turns out it's super fun! You get a certain number of "kicks" just by entering stores, scanning products, and oh yeah, spending money (if you choose to). After you accrue a certain number of points you can then turn then in for gift cards!! So far it's a really addicting silly little game, but I like it.

Does anyone else use shopkick on their droid or iphone? Just wondering if anyone has redeemed any gift cards yet. I'm closing in on $5 for target!

nika posted a picture so now i will too! :)

December 2nd, 2011 at 09:23 pm

Brooklyn Girl has a son close in age to my G. She posted ADORABLE pictures of her son and now I feel the need to post a photo of my little one! Smile

Here she is!!

T's Commission: Extra 100-400 per month?!

December 2nd, 2011 at 09:42 am

So his boss gave him some very basic numbers to mull over. Starting out he'll probably be pulling in 100-200 a month in commission with the idea that in a few months time he should be able to get up to 300-400!! I just need to confirm with him that they are not cutting his current salary at all and that this is in addition to the money he's getting now (he assured me this won't happen but I get a little worrisome with money!) We can put this all towards debt payoff which should be over by mid-february and then after that we'll start saving for the half bath/laundry room!! SO excited!!

T got a kinda sorta raise?!?!?

December 1st, 2011 at 09:03 am

So T comes home last night and tells me they're restructuring his department. He's currently Assistant Manager and he's going to keep that title, but he's also going to be manager of this small group within the department that will only have two other people. This group will earn a commission and based on what he's been told so far, he will keep his current pay and then they will pay him commission on top of that?! We need to find out more details but this sounds promising!!!

2011 Goals

November 28th, 2011 at 11:32 am

Goal: [X] Get SL to 15k or less
Goal: [X] Open 529 for baby
Goal: [ ] 10% Retirement (boo - 9%)

So there it is! Instead of getting discouraged with myself I'm thinking I should be happy with how things turned out. Midway through the year my priorities slightly shifted. Once I realized that I could collect on my grandfather's savings bond, it turned from merely chipping away at my student loan to nearly eliminating it in 2011! So with the progress I was making there I didn't feel the urgency to up my retirement just yet. I'm currently at over 10.25%, but T is still at 8%. I'm hoping this next year he will get a small raise (it's been nearly two years with nothing :/) and we'll use that to up him to 9% at least.

All in all, a good year! Now onto my 2012 goals! Big Grin

New Budget

November 22nd, 2011 at 07:17 am

Awesome news: Mom loaned me the 4,600 to pay off the rest of the student loan so that I wouldn't have to continue paying interest. So now I owe her the 4,600 (which I plan to pay in full mid Feb.) So with my student loan payment GONE, the budget now looks like this:

I'm so excited to have one less bill!!! So that leaves us with approx 850 a month to put aside to pay back my mother with. And then after that we'll use the money to save for a half bath on our first floor, and after that we'll save a bigger EF, and THEN start making extra payments on our mortgage. WOOHOO!!

2,000 to student loan!

October 11th, 2011 at 07:18 am

I got tired of saving up to pay off the loan in full. Impatience got the best of me and I sent 2,000 to the student loan! I still have a 2k buffer in checking just in case any small emergencies come up (hopefully my car which is going in the shop tonight can be cash flowed, but we'll see :/).

50k in debt GONE!

September 16th, 2011 at 03:54 am

At our absolute worst (sometime in 2008), we had approximately 305,200 of debt. And then came the spreadsheet...the spreadsheet of life :P. I created a budget and we stuck to it. We got serious about our finances in June '08 and haven't looked back since. There's been a number of car mishaps and stupid mistakes along the way, but as of today we owe 254,555. That's over 50k in debt GONE!!!

** Just to clarify, I'm counting principal paid to mortgages as well. Mortgage refinance has caused our loan amount to actually increase since we started, but now we've got a MUCH better interest rate and a 15 year shorter term so we really started making progress in the last year.

Pay taxes on Series HH savings bond??

September 14th, 2011 at 07:35 am

I keep trying to figure out how much will I owe tax wise for redeeming a series hh bond that was openned by my grandfather years ago. Upon his death he had my name written in as owner. I redeemed the 3 bonds (5k each) and the deferred interest (about 2250), but I'm wondering how taxes work. Do I pay taxes on the full 17,250 or just on the deferred interest?? Just trying to prepare for 2011 tax time!! Any help is appreciated!

How do you pay down debt?

September 13th, 2011 at 09:25 am

So I'm taking to this new way of debt payoff. In the past I always left a very small cushion in my checking ($100-200) and then I would throw every last dime at my debt assuming that a large cashflow would absorb most of the damage if an emergency came up. That was stupid. It left me stressed all the time!

Now I save up all the money and then some in my account and throw it at the debt when I can pay in full. I do end up paying a bit more interest in the end, but peace of mind sure is worth something! I've currently got over 1k sitting earmarked for my student loan. Friday's paycheck will be very nice to us, and I'm currently estimating we can have the student loan paid off at the end of January. Woohoo!!

Chase Freedom

September 9th, 2011 at 09:39 am

I'm hoping to have my $210 check late next week! That money will be put to good use finishing up the giant hole in our master bedroom ceiling. I wanted access to our attic and I thought what better than to also get a cathedral ceiling in my bedroom at the same time! :P So yeah, that's one of T's gifts to me for my birthday. Yep, my birthday was 3 months ago but that's another story. I actually don't mind staying in the spare bedroom for now. It's almost like a vacation haha. I had originally put aside 500 for the job, but T's telling me he thinks it'll cost closer to 1k because insulation was higher than he expected. So with this 200 that'll put us up to 700, and I'm hoping I can find someplace in our budget to get the rest of the money. We'll see..

SOO close to 50k paid off!

September 7th, 2011 at 04:16 am

Once our mortgage is deducted next Thursday we will officially be over the 50k mark!! The breakdown is...

The above numbers might be a little confusing since there were two refinances thrown in there (which actually made our mortgage go up for a time) and multiple car mishaps.

My grandpa left me a bond which helped tremendously, but the other 38k was blood, sweat, and tears!! Now to hit that 50k milestone and keep plugging along until I pay off my student loan (I'm planning for less than 6 months?!)

Obsessed with Tiny Homes! What's your perfect size house?

September 5th, 2011 at 09:31 am

So ever since I started getting serious about paying off debt I've become more and more focused on what *really* matters in my life. When my daughter was born it was the final tipping point for me to realize that stuff is just stuff and I honestly don't care about any of it anymore.

My current home is small. 1250 square feet with a 300ish sq foot mostly finished basement. We have 3 bedrooms and 1 full bath (no half baths). I always thought I needed a bigger home. I was a little ashamed of our house and what people might think. But over the years I've come to appreciate it's size. It's still not our perfect home; I really need a half bath on the main floor and the layout is less than ideal. Our master bedroom is Way too big. Our main living space is not open enough between the kitchen/dining room/living room. There's a lot of awkward, not very usable space.

I love the idea of the tiny home. You come to realize it's all about the layout and design of the home and not the square footage. I'm always reading about the tumbleweed tiny houses and other people who build their homes from scratch on trailers. It's so refreshing to see people not consumed with money, status, and showing off. While I can appreciate the tiny home my ideal home is probably more like 1500 square feet and a ranch. A large open kitchen/dining room/living room, 1 full bath, a laundry room, and 3 small bedrooms. Maybe my opinion will change when my daughter gets a bit older?? Or if we decide to have one more?? I don't know; I think I've finally reached a good point in my life where I know what truly matters to me. Now if only I had known this back before we bought our first house we would've made sure to go to a good school district and get a house with a nice sized yard and room for a useable garage for T. Ohhh well, hindsight is 20/20!! Luckily we've got a little while before G starts school..I'll keep daydreaming in the meantime..

Hopefully a THIRD cheapy weekend

August 26th, 2011 at 07:03 am

So the family rented a lakehouse for the weekend. With Hurricane Ivan upon us it seems most of the time will be spent indoors watching movies and playing games, but still, it'll be a fun time. I bought my share of the food out of our weekend spend money (T also bought food for home AND necessary baby items, so unfortunately the bill was 75. Blech.) But it's looking like that'll be most of our spending right there until we get back Sunday early afternoon. So here's to hoping for the THIRD cheapy weekend! Woohoo!

Chase Slate cc...200 back after first purchase?

August 24th, 2011 at 03:29 am

Has anyone tried this card? Just received info about it in the mail yesterday. My one concern with these credit card offers...has anyone found out there's a minimum amount of time you need to keep the cards open before cancelling them after you get the rewards? I keep reading the paperwork but seeing nothing...

Chase Freedom...length of wait for bonus?

August 23rd, 2011 at 04:24 am

So if anyone has/had the Chase Freedom card...once you charge the $500, how long did you have to wait for the bonus points to be credited to your account?


August 22nd, 2011 at 11:36 am

Another cheapy weekend - Hooray! This makes two in a row, so I hope we're developing a habit of it. With the lefotver moneys I was able to give my mom $25 towards some rental fees that came up, $20 for T's cash for the week, extra money to savings, and the rest into house/cash savings. More to come later!

Fat or Broke?!

August 18th, 2011 at 07:26 am

So my weight is directly correlated to my finances. When we were doing atrocious with money (the last few months of part-time maternity leave) I was doing GREAT with my weight loss goals. Since I've gotten back on track with our budget and started saving, weight has climbed 10 (yep,T-E-N) lbs in the last two months. UGH!

is it payday yet??

August 16th, 2011 at 09:03 am

Can't wait for Friday..it'll be nice to have a little padding in savings.

I really need to bring in a voided check so I can set up the 529 for baby girl. It'll be awesome to get her education funding started at an early age.

We are SOO close to hitting 50k in debt payoff..it'll be super exciting to hit that mark in the next month. It's way too fun getting things paid off!

My friends all think I'm a dork. Maye I am. :P

Cheapy Weekend!

August 14th, 2011 at 05:52 pm

SO happy with our weekend spending. Weekends are normally atrocious for us. When all is said and done we normally blow about 300 dollars (gas, household items, restaurants, etc.). This weekend I told T I wanted to try and experiment and keep it under 200. We took 180 out of the bank Friday night, then stayed in that night for dinner. Saturday I cooked breakfast, then we had lunch at the music festival and spent the afternoon there, and dinner at CiCi's (9.99 coupon for two adults including fountain drinks!). Tonight we splurged on chinese food take out but we're still left with 100! Well, actually 150! I sold a baby swing we had never used for 50 bucks on craigslist today. So yeah, a super awesome money weekend for us! I figure I'll give T 15 for week spending and keep 5 for myself. Then the rest we'll put in our cash savings in the house. yaya!!


August 10th, 2011 at 09:40 am

So Lancaster is out for this weekend. Mini Efund isn't where it needs to be and we have plenty to do around the house. I'm hoping we'll at least get to the music festival in the next town over. We're hoping to keep plans on the cheap side too. Things are going to be lean until next Friday!

weekend spending

August 8th, 2011 at 07:24 am

took out 280 for the weekend and here's the breakdown...

30 PJ's - wings (yum)
15 Home Depot - new sink part
45 Baby gate, baby safety items
80 car maint - oil, spark plugs, etc
20 dinner - pizza
40 allergy medicine, bc pill refill, household items
15 T kept cash for week

~32 left to SAVE! Smile We're thinking of putting extra weekend money towards the addition to give us a heads start. Won't need the money for another year, but it can't hurt. Counting extra money we found laying around the house we're up to $40.

Last week: 0
This week: $40


car insp...weekend...misc

August 4th, 2011 at 09:51 am

So I brought in the pontiac to get inspected and there were no scary problems! My mom had owed me a hundred (something to do with the rental) so I was able to pay for it with that money.

So our new weekend plan goes into effect tomorrow. We normally spend 300 a wkend on household/eating out/gas/etc. My plan is to take 280 out in CASH this weekend. The extra 20 we woudlve spent will go towards debt repayment. Then we can spend the 280 cash on the above things, but whatever we have leftover we're setting aside towards a separate goal. I think it'll be fun to see how much we can put towards this goal each weekend. I think it'll come easier too when we figure out exactly what it is. T says it should be for enclosing the patio but I'm still not sure.

I'm really trying to focus on using coupons for restaurants. I've got $10 off for a local chain restaurant, so maybe we'll use that. Lately it seems like Restaurant.com hasn't been so great. A lot of restaurants insisting that you spend at least 45 or 50 on meals to get the 25 off. I miss the old days when you could spend 35 to use the coupon! :/

No real plans this weekend which is exciting. Might go to a car show on Sunday and see my parents and that's about it. I swear, ever since we had our daughter, our social calendar has been way fuller than ever. Lots more time spent with family and friends than this hermit couple could've ever imagined :P. Ok, back to work..

Oops, forgot....Raise in January!

August 2nd, 2011 at 09:19 am

Ok, so we're STILL trying to muddle through all the unforseen bills and get back on track with finances. Obviously it's been a major adjustment now with a baby, but I'm starting to get it under control. As of right now we've got an extra 520 a month. We really have 770 coming in but 250 a month just hangs out in our savings waiting for the oil/school/xmas bills to come knocking. It's a decent amount but I'm used to the 1200-250=950 that we had before...

So I've been racking my brain with how to come up with the difference...A ha! Working for the state, I have an incremental raise coming up in January that I had forgotten about. So there's $50 a month more right there. Then my escrow payment SHOULD go back down 100 dollars a month (barring any major changes in taxes). Then once that student loan is gone (anywhere April - June I'm guessing) that's an additional $165. Plus another incremental raise in July which should be smaller, maybe $40 a month?? So if all this comes to pass (a very big IF, but we can be hopeful!) that's an extra 345 a month by next July!! WOOHOO!! Not quite where we were at before, but CLOSE!

Plus there's that whole issue of my husbands salary...he is horribly underpaid for being an Asst Manager but he still doesn't have his college degree and the industry is doing poorly and he can't jump ship and go to another company. So he's brought up a raise multiple times to his boss who agrees with him but says the "higher ups" won't allow a raise in this economy. So blahh, who the heck knows if he's ever going to get a raise, but there's always a slim chance that they'll come through and that'll help us out as well. I guess we'll see. For now I need to beef up the savings because it's been decimated and get on that student loan payoff. It's down to 7k!!

Best Credit Card Rewards/Bonus??

July 21st, 2011 at 05:59 pm

So I've heard about the Chase Sapphire but I'm just not sure I can make the 3,000 needed in 3 months to get the bonus. I just signed up for the Chase Freedom card..charge 500 over 3 months and you get 200 cash back. This should be super easy, so now I'm wondering if there are any others out there???

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