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Paycheck - No Debt Pmt. :-(

June 14th, 2007 at 03:49 am

Too many other bills due to make a pmt toward our credit card. Did pay off a medical and made a pmt toward pre-baby bills. I'll view that as progress and not stress about the credit card . . . this time.

"Slow and steady" has truly become my motto for paying off the last of the debt. There's only so much that we can do and we'll be diligent, but I need to quit stressing out about it. Remind me of this next paycheck. Smile

Does our Grocery/Household Budgeted Amount Seem High?

June 10th, 2007 at 05:30 am

OK, I'm opening up a bit here, but I'm wondering if what we spend on groceries and household seems high or pretty good.

We allocate about $700 per month ($350 every two weeks) for all food, diapers, pet food, paper products, toiletries, etc. for a family of 10 (3 teens). Yes, we could eat more rice and beans, but haven't gone that far yet.

I guess I'm just wondering what you all think of the amount. If it seems like a lot, I may work harder at cutting back . . .

Thanks in advance!

DH got a raise - Then again, maybe not

June 8th, 2007 at 04:57 pm

It's that time of the year for dh's annual raise, which amounts to around $50/month. THEN he found out that our charges for health insurance will be going up by about the same amount.

So, essentially no raise. Inflation, gas prices going up, kids getting bigger and needing/eating more, . . . wages are the same.

Hmmm, time for me to get more creative OR get a job. Really - time for me to get on my knees and pray for wisdom. Thanks for letting me vent.

In a slump . . . .

June 7th, 2007 at 03:57 pm

I'm tired of watching/worrying about every bite I eat. I'm tired of watching/worrying about every dime I spend. Grrh! LOL I guess I'm in a mood today. Call it pregnancy hormones! My poor family. Smile

I want to eat what I want to eat and not worry so much about what the scale says. I have things I need to sell on eBay, yet am having the hardest time doing it.

How do you all get over times like this???

Unexpected Money in the Mail!

June 6th, 2007 at 09:14 pm

I love surprises - especially those that are monetary and in our favor. Today we received a health insurance rebate from dh's employer for the past year. We weren't sure when we'd be getting it, so it was a pleasant surprise to find nearly $500 in the mail today!

I'm anxious to get it in the bank so I can schedule another credit card pmt. This'll get our total debt under $5,000. Woo hoo!!

FREE Birthday Gifts

June 6th, 2007 at 12:36 am

Our youngest dd turns 1 yr old next week and I wasn't really planning on getting her much for her birthday. I'm sorry if that seems mean, but they just don't remember at that age!

Anyway, at the end of the Used Book Sale last Friday, there was a lady who was *giving away* her leftover items that didn't sell. Among these items was a table of toys. Among the toys was a Little Tykes xylophone that I'd debated buying earlier in the day and a brand new cow puffalump. This one was really cool because my dh works on a dairy farm.

So, baby girl gets two birthday gifts after all and mom and dad don't spend a penny. It's so fun when stuff like that happens!

Negative-Spend Day

June 5th, 2007 at 02:54 pm

I was thinking about counting my no-spend days for the month of June, but I find it too complicated for my little brain. Smile Do I count when dh puts gas in the truck? Or is a no-spend day just counting when I personally don't spend??

Anyway, yesterday ds and I stopped at WalMart (he wanted a sub from Subway) and I had a couple returns and nothing to buy. So, for the day I didn't spend, but received money back. Gotta love that!

Grocery Shopping - Almost 50% Saved!

June 4th, 2007 at 01:18 am

OK, so it was a small shopping trip to the grocery store. However, I'm at home entering the amount spent into my checkbook and notice that the amount spent was $20.29 (including tax) and the amount saved was $17.96.

It helped that the only items purchased were on sale. The toilet paper was on sale for a price cheaper than WalMart charges. Also the peaches were 1/3 of their normal list price.

Regardless of how big or small the purchase, it is still way cool to see a savings like this!!

Book Sale Update-Closing in on a Dream

June 2nd, 2007 at 06:51 pm

Well, the book sale was yesterday afternoon. I worked for the sale, so the evening was spent sorting the remaining books and cleaning up the room where the sale was held. We started the calculating at about 11 pm last night and finished at 5 am. Long night!

Now for the exciting part: My sales totaled $732.95!! More than my total goal for all book selling. This brings my grand total (so far) to $816.93. I'm so excited to send the payment to our last remaining credit card!

I do have some books left and will continue to sell them via eBay, perhaps half.com, and on an email list I'm on. Maybe I'll see my DREAM amount of $1,000 total yet!

Used Book Sale TODAY!

June 1st, 2007 at 11:52 am

Getting ready to bring about 40 boxes (WOW) to today's homeschool used book sale. Dh keeps asking where we got all these books. ~smile~ I'm so excited to make some more $$ to apply to debt!

My goal is $500, which I don't think I'll have any problem reaching. Especially since I'm nearly 1/5 of the way there! (See sidebar.) My DREAM is $1,000 - that may be a reach. However, there's always eBay for whatever doesn't sell at the book sale.

I am also working the book sale from 11am - 11pm. Yikes! Hoping that I'll make it without collapsing (since I'm 6.5 months pg). Smile

Also had another paycheck to apply a little more toward debt. I just keep saying to myself, "Slow and steady wins the race." Helps a little to keep me patient while the debt slowly goes down.

Blessings!

Losing weight/debt takes work

May 29th, 2007 at 02:22 pm

I know some of you are thinking, "Duh!" But as I was walking my 2 miles today, I was thinking about how much I don't like to work at exercising. I'd like to exercise, get fit and then never have to exercise again. Actually, I'd like to exercise for 1 week and have it work for me for the rest of my life. Smile

Financially speaking, I'd just like the debt to be gone *poof* (like I'd want the excess weight to be gone), but it doesn't work that way.

It takes WORK - daily - to chip away at the debt. It takes WORK - daily - to chip away at the extra pounds. The reward will all be worth it and will take a little work to maintain, but the REALLY HARD WORK is now.

Almost Lost $50!

May 28th, 2007 at 04:21 am

A year ago we purchased a cool gift certificate deal for a pizza place near here. "Buy a $25 gift certificate, get one free." We bought 2 and rec'd 2 more. We had only used 2 of them in the last year and had 2 left to use.

Just this morning dh thought maybe it would be good to use them today as a treat for us all. We found them and they expired YESTERDAY!!!

Just for kicks we called the restaurant and asked if they would honor it 1 day late. We were so thrilled when they said they would even give us to the end of the month!

Not sure if I could have lived with myself if we'd have "lost" $50 because of missing the deadline by 1 day.

Blessings to Fox's Pizza Den for their generosity! And you can believe that I'll be watching those expiration dates more closely . . . Smile

What is Your No-Spending Days Record?

May 26th, 2007 at 08:40 pm

I've never actually kept track of my "no-spend" days before, but am thinking about doing it in June.

I'm curious how many "no-spend" days other people end up with at the end of the month. This'll help me set some kind of a goal for the month.

Thanks for sharing! Smile

Weight Management Tips??

May 25th, 2007 at 06:15 pm

I know this topic isn't exactly "financial" in nature, but it could actually one's finances a great deal! A person of healthy weight can save on health care, chiropractic, etc. A person whose cravings aren't out of control doesn't buy junk food (at least not a lot of it). A person who is physically active uses less gasoline if he/she is able to bike or walk places instead of taking a vehicle.

So now that I've made a "financial" case for being at a healthy weight, how does one GET and STAY there?? I've struggled with weight my entire life, starting as a child all the way through until now. There were times that I was at a healthy weight, but that was usually after starving myself and exercising like crazy. Is that really what it takes? Or are there things that average-sized people do that I'm missing?

I am attempting to walk 2 miles FAST every day and have been staying away from grains and dairy (just to see if these things are affecting my body adversely). I feel pretty good when doing these things and maybe this is my answer.

I guess this is my question: Is there anyone who has struggled with weight and found a LIFESTYLE answer. Not a crash diet or a pharmacy pill that when you discontinue using them the weight piles on. I'm looking for tips that can be used for a LIFETIME and help attain and maintain a healthy weight.

Please share!

**Update to Entry**
Someone asked about why I'm limiting grains and dairy. The reason is because I don't feel good when I eat them. And this includes the good grains (home-ground, homemade wheat bread, etc). The dairy that I really do well with is the homemade kefir and yogurt. So I do have a smoothie sometimes in the morning. I am going to see how I do with the brown rice, as well.

Used Book Sale Coming Up - eBay selling, too

May 24th, 2007 at 04:02 pm

Our state homeschool association is having their annual homeschool convention next weekend. Each year they offer a used book sale and items generally sell very well there. I am SO hoping that I'll be able to sell enough to pay a nice chunk on our debt!

We've been ruthlessly going through our books (curriculum, reference and reading) to weed out what we wouldn't absolutely need if we end up in China next year. Yesterday we got 8 shelves weeded down to 3.

As we've been pricing items for the used book sale, I've been putting items on eBay that sell better there. It is so nice to have several items up for auction and more ready to go!

My GOAL from the sale of all of these books is $500. I'm actually hoping for more, but that's the least I hope to walk away with. I'll have to post totals as they come in . . .

Trip To Cousin's Wedding Was Fully Funded!

May 21st, 2007 at 02:48 pm

I went to my cousin's wedding at Mackinac Island on Mother's Day weekend (with 2 friends) and had all the $$ that I needed for the trip without having to dip into our regular budget. Cool!

I saved coins (and sometimes dollar bills) in an old food jar. I sold a few things on eBay. I redeemed a grocery rebate on my debit card. I took advantage of the PayPal bonus that was offered in April(?). And then to top it off, my sweet mother-in-law sent me a check toward the trip.

This money paid for 2 nights in the hotel (we didn't stay on the island), gas to get there and back and food (we also brought a lot of food and there was a breakfast at the hotel). The money that my mil sent allowed me to have enough to take a carriage tour of the island and to bring fudge home for the family.

All in all we had such a fun time! We relaxed, looked at shops and we were able to sleep so well without little ones. Smile However, I was very ready to get home.

Now to start saving for next year's homeschooling purchases . . .

Another Little Pmt Toward Debt

May 20th, 2007 at 04:53 am

Once again I was only able to apply $100 to our debt this last paycheck. I get frustrated with this, because I'd like to get it paid of so much quicker.

I did pay $50 toward medical bills (pre-baby deductibles). It's nice to start paying toward that already, but it takes away from paying off that last credit card.

If we're going to pay it off before the end of the year, that would mean selling $200+ on eBay each week! I don't think that's going to happen.

So, I guess we just keep chipping away at it and trust that it will be gone eventually. Smile

Should I Feel Guilty About a $14 Haircut?

May 7th, 2007 at 12:55 am

This might seem like a silly question to some, but I really do fight feelings of guilt when spending money on what I would consider non-necessities.

Pause for definition of Necessity: Something necessary to sustain life. This would include food, shelter, transportation for dh to get to work. All other items (in my book) are luxuries, to varying degrees.

A little history - I was raised in a home where my mom gave me perms and haircuts until I left home. I cut my dh's and the boys' hair. For all other haircuts, we go to the local SuperCuts training center when they are offering FREE haircuts.

Back to this haircut - It had been about 3 months or more since I'd had a cut. I trim my bangs to lengthen the time before I need another cut. However, last week I realized that it was definitely time, especially before the wedding. The free cuts were not being offered and I had a coupon for a $12 cut. With the tip it was $14. I've felt somewhat guilty ever since.

Tell me, am I crazy? Should I feel guilty and should I have waited until the free cuts were being offered?? Or should I just take it in stride and realize that it's one of those "non-necessary" expenses that will crop up from time to time???

Ups and Downs

May 7th, 2007 at 12:35 am

Some of us traveled 5 hours to my cousin's wedding this past weekend. My uncle rode with us and filled our gas tank on the way. This may not seem significant to some, but the gas tank is large in our 15-passenger van. The total cost for the fill-up was over $88.

This was a huge blessing and I thought that we'd be able to apply more $$ to debt. However, there were car issues with the ones that didn't go to the wedding and we ended up needing a new car battery for $70.

Gain a little, lose a little. Do the best you can and hope and pray that you don't go backwards!

That's how we're viewing our current finances: Be responsible with spending, budgeting, paying debt and saving, but recognize that there is only so much that we can control.

It's a Boy!!

May 3rd, 2007 at 03:04 pm

Just had to share:

We found out yesterday that our little one due in August is going to be a boy! What makes this so surprising is that our last 5 babies have all been girls. We didn't think that we could do boys anymore! LOL

Now for a boy's name . . . .

Feel free to share!

A Little Payment Toward Debt

May 3rd, 2007 at 02:57 pm

Yesterday I was able to pay only $100 toward our last big debt. There were a couple of other credit cards that had small amounts on them that took away from the amount that we can normally pay each paycheck toward the big debt.

Plus, we're going to a wedding this weekend and need a little extra gas $$ for our big 15-passenger van for the trip.

I'm hoping that once these two weddings are over we'll be able to apply more to the big debt.

Another thing to consider: If we move to China, I'll be needing to invest in the next 3 years of homeschooling supplies. Our state's annual convention is the beginning of June, just 15 minutes from our home. It's a great time to purchase books and save on shipping costs.

So it looks like it may be June before we can REALLY start paying down that debt! :-)

Listed a few eBay items today . . .

May 2nd, 2007 at 02:40 am

Because I'm able to stay at home with my children, people think I have "all the time in the world" to accomplish all that they would like to do if they could just stay home, too.

However, there are meals to prepare, laundry to do, 5 children to homeschool, diapers to change, a 2 yr old to potty train, and the list goes on. Believe me, I'm not complaining! It's just very hard sometimes to find the time to do all that I'd like to do. This includes listing items on eBay. We rely on this extra money to help pay on our debt or fund trips to weddings, etc.

Today dh took the little ones outside and I was able to list 3 items on eBay. Woohoo! LOL Sometimes I get pretty excited about the little things.

I'm hoping that the items that I've listed today will help to finish funding a trip I'm taking to my cousin's wedding on Mackinac Island, Michigan. I won't be staying on the island, but the wedding will take place there. This is so fun for me, because I grew up in the UP of Michigan but have NEVER been to Mackinac Island before. Two friends are coming with me, so it should be a very fun girls weekend!

First Post - Glad to be here!

May 2nd, 2007 at 02:32 am

I just love these money-saving blogs! Glad to join this community.

We're working at getting our last credit card paid off. I was just able to transfer two cards to one 0% card until mid-2008. However, the debt needs to be gone by December, as we're possibly moving to China in early 2008.

Plus, we are due to have a baby in August and need to pay the insurance co-pays for him/her.

I'm looking for this to be a place to 1) share how we're doing, 2) keep accountable for our spending, and 3) get feedback and ideas to do better from other thrifty friends!

Thanks!


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