Archive for June, 2013

Not feeling it this week…the budget is strained once again and I am in a place where I wonder what happened to that lovely map I set-up…seems to me that when I do develop stuff like that I am thrown for a loop and items unexpected come up – then again this time it was lack of income to expenses…sorely missing my overtime right now, we really need it as I try my damndest to keep up with the utilities and the mortgage and keeping food on the table…that’s been my biggest struggle…the mortgage is seriously more than we can swing right now and I am just trying to figure out how I can make it all work.  Seriously hoping the restructure comes through soon so we can get situated in a budget and keep it stable and balanced.  That is the hope at least!

The car situation is on hold for now until the mortgage comes through – as I said in my post mid-week last week they requested duplicates of paperwork previously submitted – turns out it was paperwork that was supposed to be sent to us, but our idiot ‘counselor’ never sent it and that was what was holding up the process…go figure…so now we’ve sent in that paperwork and I am waiting on a response from the underwriters, seriously hope we have one this week.  I am very anxious to get to a resolution very soon!

Alright here goes – the budget for the week – we’re actually going to be left with $28 cash from the cash withdrawal and surprisingly we got a check from our health insurance provider refunding the co-pay I paid for my check-in/new patient visit a couple of weeks ago, so that $20.00 was put back into the general funds account and will be used next week…that and another check for $5.00 from LCA (guess it was a payment that drafted before I stopped payments from our account) – so hey an extra $25.00! I’ll take that!

 $45.41 Remaining from W/E 06/16/13  $496.56 Lara W/E 06/23/13 Salary
 $50.32 Amt. Spent  $216.42 Jimmy W/E 06/23/13 Salary
 $(4.91) Avail. Starting  $712.98
 $10.37 Wal-Mart  $(4.91) Avail. Starting
 $9.60 Michaels  $712.98 Total Pay
 $6.13 PetsMart  $708.07 Avail. For Bills
 $2.54 KTC  $5.00  Addt’l Refund from LabCorp
 $6.00 Tommy’s  $713.07
 $15.68 Smithfields  $9.00 Transfer in from Savings
 $50.32  $722.07

While I have wanted in the past to have the ability to go out with my hubby alone more than we do – I will say this – we’ve had two lunch dates this week, which has made me very happy!  We hit Chipotle for lunch on Tuesday and used what leftover cash we had on hand to split a burrito bowl, chips and drinks and then on Friday we went to Smithfields for lunch! We managed to keep the costs under $20.00 both times and I got to have a long-needed date with my hubby! So it can be done, just have to get creative!

 $722.07
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $697.07
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $617.07
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $612.07
 $48.00 Great Lakes, Auto Draft 7/3
 $564.07
 $170.00 Groceries
 $394.07
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $369.07
 $25.00 Dinner, 6/28
 $344.07
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $319.07
 $40.00 Gas
 $279.07
 $225.00 Citi
 $54.07  $54.07
7%  $3.78
 $3.78  $50.29

We have actually managed to stay out of our checking account this weekend – with the exception of a movie rental yesterday we haven’t spent a dime, which is a good start for the week!  Here’s our budget now with the cash withdrawal – like I said we’re left with $28.00 which is going into the pot to purchase Ashley a new bike and then the next things we’ll  be saving for is some new clothes for my hubby and I then Austin would like a computer game…so we’re using the money to save and purchase needed/wanted items and what’s left will go into the emergency fund.

 $722.07
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $697.07
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $617.07
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $612.07
 $48.00 Great Lakes, Auto Draft 7/3
 $564.07
 $300.00 Cash for the Week
 $264.07
 $225.00 CitiMortgage
 $39.07
 $3.78 Merrill Transfer
 $35.29

So that’s all folks! Once we’ve made the purchases we need, we’ll work on re-building the emergency funds account…for now though we continue on the path we’re on!

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Seriously losing my patience with Citi right now – Jimmy FINALLY hooked up with our dipstick of a “counselor” who told him that underwriting was FINALLY ready for a decision BUT they needed some new, but not new, paperwork re-signed and sent in ASAP! Ok so he was semi-vague about what he needed – Jimmy wasn’t 100% sure what he needed so I printed out new copies of our workable solutions packet and we signed them – yes the same documents we both signed at the start of all of this at what was it the end of March/Late February? I sent them off to the moron this morning and asked him to let me know ASAP if those were incorrect so we could send in the correct ones tomorrow…

Why is it they needed separate documents with two separate signatures on them? We signed them together way back when and now we have to re-sign them only separately – makes ZERO sense seriously!

I am SO READY to have this be done!

It’s another week where it seems like all the funds come in and immediately go back out again – we have a lot of auto-drafts this week which have eaten into all of our funds to carry over into next week…don’t like this one bit…but we have to adapt and move forward.  I’ve paid the 2nd part of the car payment and we’re two weeks ahead on that one, which makes me very happy, but at the same time we’re going to be behind again on the mortgage – sincerly hope Citi gets their sh*t together soon.  The last email I got from them on Wednesday said it would be six (6) days until a final decision, which puts us at about Tuesday next week.  Our counselor called us the next day and when Jimmy went to call him back “conveniently” he wasn’t available…so he asked for his manager and sat on hold for almost a half an hour until he had to leave for work, going to try calling again tomorrow…this is has been the most frustrating process.  UGH! Seriously hoping we can hold onto things this go round and keep our payments on time…once this is done I swear we’re going car shopping so I can get out from under the car.

Speaking of, it’s decided more repairs are needed – now my brakes are squealing sometimes (yup roters – $$$) and they grind like metal on metal sometimes when I apply the brakes (roters again = $$$)…I sincerly don’t want to put funds into the car for repairs, we have the money I just really would prefer to get something that is slightly newer and doesn’t need any repairs almost immediately.

Ok onto the budget for the week…like I said lots of auto-drafts this week:

 $87.24 Remaining from W/E 05/12/13  $ 501.19 Lara W/E 06/16/13 Salary
 $80.00 Amt. Spent  $180.83 Jimmy W/E 06/16/13 Salary
 $7.24 Avail. Starting  $682.02
 $11.48 Wal-Mart  $7.24 Avail. Starting
 $6.40 Hobby Lobby  $682.02 Total Pay
 $5.32 Atlanta Bread  $689.26 Avail. For Bills
 $10.19 Wal-Mart  $50.00 Deposit 6/16 for James’ Father’s Day
 $8.11 PCJ  $739.26
 $3.96 KTC  $20.00 Withdrawn for James
 $5.98 McDonald’s  $719.26
 $1.99 Amazon.com  $40.00 In From Merrill to Cover Short/Prevent OD
 $20.00 NH Medical Group  $759.26
 $6.57 Chick Fil-A
 $80.00

We over did it last week that’s for sure…Father’s day was last Sunday and while Jimmy kept it simple we still spent a small amount on drinks/snacks while cruising Mayfaire, but then another trip to the Dr’s cost me another $20.00 – we have a Medical Savings account we could use to pay these co-pays and for prescriptions – I believe it’s time to check on that account balance and see how much we have available – might help offset some of the expenses we have coming.  I have two appointments and a prescription to pick up – he has I am sure follow-up appointments to check his INR’s and more prescriptions, so yeah that’s on my ‘to do’ list.

Alright here we go:

 $759.26
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $734.26
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $654.26
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $649.26
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 6/21 Auto-Draft
 $641.27
 $21.39 Blockbuster.com, 6/23 Aut-Draft
 $619.88
 $5.00 CCA, 6/24 Auto-Draft
 $614.88
 $64.47 State Farm
 $550.41
 $185.00 Credit Accept
 $365.41
 $170.00 Groceries
 $195.41
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $170.41
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $145.41
 $25.00 Dinner, 6/21
 $120.41
 $40.00 Gas
 $80.41
 $30.00 Jimmy’s Rem. Father’s Day$
 $50.41

And with the lump sum cash withdrawal:

 $759.26
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $734.26
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $654.26
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $649.26
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 6/21 Auto-Draft
 $641.27
 $21.39 Blockbuster.com, 6/23 Aut-Draft
 $619.88
 $5.00 CCA, 6/24 Auto-Draft
 $614.88
 $64.47 State Farm
 $550.41
 $185.00 Credit Acceptance
 $365.41
 $320.00 Cash for the Week
 $45.41

I will say this we came in FAR under budget on both the groceries and gas, so those extra monies were used to purchase some misc. items we needed around the house and I took the kids to lunch at McDonald’s today (a rare treat let me tell you!)…

Well that’s all folks until next week!

Have a Good One and Try to Stay Dry! 😉

So I go through all of the trouble to create that new budgeting system and I mess up by not pulling the right model for last week – only to realize this yesterday! GAH! It balanced, but now I have to pay the Car payment two weeks in a row vs. the mortgage this Friday, Car Payment next Friday, 2nd Half of Mortgage the following Friday…GAH! This may work out for the best, but we shall see.

Let’s see what happened last week – well for one we spent way more from the non-budgeted monies fund than I would have been comfortable with BUT there’s good reason for it, my hubby FINALLY was able to go to the Drs for a Well check-in/new patient intake appointment and was given some meds to help clear up a cold that might have turned into pneumonia or bronchitis as he has a tendency to get this time of year, so that was a $20.00 co-pay and then $20.22 at Wal-Mart for the meds and fixing for milkshakes (he was told to have 1 a day until he gains 20lbs) both unplanned expenses but nonetheless I was happy the money was in our account to pay those expenses.

The rest of it was general purchases, 1 – a trip to Once Upon a Child for new bathing suits for the kids, 2 – a trip to Books a Million for a summer math workbook for my son and 3 – a trip to AC Moore for yarn for my project blanket I am working on, everything else were our normal small mid-week purchases.

So enjoy, I am hopeful it’s not too painful to review…it wasn’t all that bad honestly for us:

 $196.24 Remaining from W/E 05/12/13  $496.56 Lara W/E 06/02/13 Salary
 $128.36 Amt. Spent  $219.38 Jimmy W/E 06/02/13 Salary
 $67.88 Avail. Starting  $715.94
 $15.18 AC Moore  $67.88 Avail. Starting
 $11.77 Once Upon a Child  $715.94 Total Pay
 $11.03 Office Max  $783.82 Avail. For Bills
 $10.65 Books a Million  $170.12 Depot ($155.12 from UDR Stock Sale/$15.00 Replacement for Office Max Purchase
 $4.74 Lowe’s Foods  $953.94
 $2.99 Amazon.com  $150.00 Transfer to Savings (UDR Stock Sale to Replace $$’s used for June Car Payment)
 $6.29 Target  $803.94
 $5.41 KTC
 $20.00 NH Med. Group
 $20.22 Wal-Mart
 $5.11 PetsMart
 $4.00 Target
 $10.97 McDonald’s
 $128.36

As you can see along with the monies from the sale of my UDR Stock we took $15.00 leftover from the budgeted cash monies of $30.00 for the Letters/Labels/Stamps and put that back into our account – the $11.03 to Office Max was my hubby using his debit card to pay for the letters/labels/stamps I asked him to print (see post from last week’s budget) instead of the cash I gave him – he felt guilty about that but we fixed it! And then I took $150.00 from the UDR stock sale and transferred it over to our savings account to replace part of what we withdrew two weeks ago to make June’s car payment.  That account is back at $735.00 – we still need to get it up to $750.00 before we can go shopping…that to come later.

Alright, the overall budget:

 $803.94
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $778.94
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $698.94
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $693.94
 $5.00 Coastal Behavioral, 6/19
 $688.94
 $89.00 AmeriNational, 6/15 Auto-Draft
 $599.94
 $170.00 Groceries
 $429.94 (Actual: $42.92 NF/$142.73 Food = $185.65)
 $ 40.00 Gas
 $389.94
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $364.94
 $25.00 Dinner, 6/14
 $339.94
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $314.94
 $185.00 Credit Acceptance
 $129.94
 $20.00  Lara ~ Dr. Co-Pay
 $109.94  $109.94
7%  $7.70
 $7.70  $102.24

As you can see we went $16 over budget on groceries – I attribute some of that to the kids requesting stromboli for lunch on Saturday, the cost for those fixings came somewhere around $13.00 with the addt’l $3 in an air freshener I purchased for our laundry room (stinky cat boxes, ewwww!)

Alright and now with the lump sum cash withdrawal:

 $803.94
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $778.94
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $698.94
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $693.94
 $5.00 Coastal Behavioral, 6/19
 $688.94
 $89.00 AmeriNational, 6/15 Auto-Draft
 $599.94
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $279.94
 $185.00 Credit Acceptance
 $94.94
 $7.70
 $87.24

So that’s that – Father’s Day was kept simple – my hubby opted to just cruise around Mayfaire (outdoor mall type area) and then have cold cut sandwiches for dinner! All in all I spent about $5.00 for drinks & Snacks at Atlanta Bread for Father’s Day – he’d have had my head if I purchased a gift for him.  He hates getting gifts as much as I hate Valentines Day!

Hope everyone celebrating Dad’s Day had a good one!  That’s all for now, see you again on Friday!

Say what??? I thought, and I was pretty sure we were ok, with our current budget process and bill pay model – however, that has not turned out to be the case.  I was finding, over the last 6-weeks or so, that our Mortgage and Car Payment were not getting the funds they required in order to a) be current and b) make a serious effort to pay off those items.  After reading several other blogs, namely this one inspired me to change our payment schedule.  So I did some heavy duty thinking and even more manipulation of the numbers and figured out how much needed to be added to my monthly car payment in order to pay it off sooner, as it appears Citi is going to continue to park themselves on our restructure with no real direction for the time being – more on this later, and so we can keep that $750 we had allocated for the down payment (and maybe even work to help that to grow some) or at least get the payoff lower before going shopping for a replacement.  

Below is the payoff map that illustrates how much will be needed each bi-week to pay off the loan before next Summer:

 $7,751.00 Total Paid    
 $4,044.00 Bal. Due      
 $11,795.00        
         
 $367.64 Monthly Payment x 11 Mos  $183.82
 $404.40 Monthly Payment x 10 Mos  $202.20
 $449.33 Monthly Payment x 9 Mos  $224.67
 $505.50 Monthly Payment x 8 Mos  $252.75
 $577.71 Monthly Payment x 7 Mos  $288.86
 $674.00 Monthly Payment x 6 Mos  $337.00
 $808.80 Monthly Payment x 5 Mos  $404.40
 $1,011.00 Monthly Payment x 4 Mos  $505.50
 $1,348.00 Monthly Payment x 3 Mos  $674.00
 $2,022.00 Monthly Payment x 2 Mos  $1,011.00

The 1st Column of Numbers  is the Bal. Due divided by the #of possible payments (middle section) with the last column being the first divided by 2 for the number of monthly payments (does that make sense?)  I’ve opted, for now, for the 11 mos payment plan, and rounded that $183.82 up to $185.00, as I work in whole numbers, and incorporated that into the budget.

So then I figured out our bi-weekly payment on our mortgage, $824.00/mos divided by 2 payments/month = $412.00/bi-week

Secondly, I plugged in the numbers for our monthly expenses/auto-draft payments for other bills and developed the best working scenario I can come up with.

Lastly, I averaged over 6-Weeks the amounts of our Misc. Expenditures – or rather non-budget purchases and plugged that number into the equation to account for that spending every two weeks as well, the actual number was $62.55 and again I rounded up as I work with whole numbers to $65.00

These numbers are examples – not actuals:

Week 1 – Week Ending 06.09.13

 $766.24    
 $89.00 APM Int’l  
 $677.24    
 $185.00 Credit Acceptance
 $492.24    
 $80.00 Brigades  
 $412.24    
 $170.00 Groceries  
 $242.24    
 $40.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $202.24    
 $25.00 Dinner, 6/14
 $177.24    
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $152.24    
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $127.24    
 $65.00 Misc. Spending
 $62.24    
 $20.00  Lara’s Co-Pay 
 $42.24  $42.24  
7%  $2.96  
 $2.96  $39.28  

Next is Week Ending 06.16.13

 $805.52      
 $412.00 CitiMorgage  
 $393.52      
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $313.52      
 $5.00 OT Solutions  
 $308.52      
 $5.00 Coastal Behavioral  
 $303.52      
 $40.00 Gas    
 $263.52      
 $25.00 Dinner, 6/21  
 $238.52      
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money  
 $213.52      
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food  
 $188.52      
 $150.00 Utility    
 $38.52      
 $25.00  DB Plumbing   
 $13.52      

On the weeks the Mortgage is paid money will be very tight depending on how much we’re paid and how much rolls into this week from the previous week – as you can see there’s like ZERO wiggle room!

Week Ending 06.23.13

 $779.76    
 $185.00 Credit Acceptance
 $594.76    
 $80.00 Brigades  
 $514.76    
 $170.00 Groceries  
 $344.76    
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $304.76    
 $25.00 Dinner, 6/28
 $279.76    
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $254.76    
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $229.76    
 $5.00 WHA  
 $224.76    
 $21.39  Blockbuster 
 $203.37    
 $5.00 CCA  
 $198.37    
 $64.47 State Farm
 $133.90    
 $65.00  Mis. Spending 
 $83.90  $83.90  
7%  $5.87  
 $5.87  $78.03  

Week Ending 06.30.13

 $844.27    
 $412.00 CitiMorgage
 $432.27    
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $352.27    
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $347.27    
 $48.00 Great Lakes
 $299.27    
 $40.00 Gas  
 $259.27    
 $25.00 Dinner, 7/5
 $234.27    
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $209.27    
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $184.27    
 $150.00 Utility  
 $34.27    
 $25.00  DB Plumbing 
 $9.27    

I certainly hope that this scenario doesn’t play out and we’re left with more than $9.30 at the end of the week! We’ll see though…so we’re crossing our fingers this actually works out.

As for Citi – um yeah still ZERO movement there – late fees are piling up and our ‘counselor’ has been LESS than responsive – that idiot scheduled a call-back with Jimmy for Tuesday morning before he went to work and he didn’t call – all we’re getting are those canned form letter emails telling us the same thing – it’s with the final underwriters for review. I’ve responded asking for more than just the canned letter with no response – might be time to call this idiots manager…this is getting insane!

So yup – this is where we’re at right now!

Until tomorrow kids!

 

Seriously not digging this week’s finances, sure we had a nice surprise of a $6 refund come back from LCA (LabCorp) due to over payment of account, think I would have preferred to have a statement coming my way to prevent said over payment.  At the beginning of the week last week when I did the checkbook we were left with the whole of $18 in the account (this was after paying the bills and deducting the debit transactions we’d made) leaving me less than comfortable, so I pulled back into our checking account some of the transfers from the Keep the Change (KTC) program, these are auto deducted and transferred to our savings account, in the sum of $10.00 – bringing our remaining up to $28 for the week.  I am stickler for wanting to keep as much as I can, all the while paying bills, in our checking account for those unaccounted/unbudgeted items we may need throughout the week – in this case it was some pre-cooked ribs/corn on the cob from Harris Teeter for dinner on Sat night (my hubby reminded me I had mentioned wanting to have ribs for dinner this past weekend), and then a run to Target mid-week for more grocery items we were running low on – the movie rental for hubs and I on Sunday night and a snack at Dunkin Donuts last night before Lego Club, so to say we went over budget is an understatement.  See here:

 $34.73 Remaining from W/E 05/12/13  $465.60 Lara W/E 06/02/13 Salary
 $37.55 Amt. Spent  $287.26 Jimmy W/E 06/02/13 Salary
 $(2.82) Avail. Starting  $752.86
 $9.75 Harris Teeter  $(2.82) Avail. Starting
 $6.19 McDonald’s  $752.86 Total Pay
 $4.99 Amazon.com  $750.04 Avail. For Bills
 $2.55 KTC  $16.00 Overpayment Credit from LCA ($6.00)/TXFR From KTC Acct ($10)
 $7.43 Target  $766.04
 $6.64 Dunkin Donuts  $0.20 Bank Adj.
 $37.55  $766.24

So then to add insult to injury my paycheck today was less than even a normal 40.0 hr work-week due to last Monday the 27th being Memorial Day – I did not work a full day – I put in a whole two hours when a migraine set-in and I had to walk away from my computer…so my full week’s hours totaled 37.25.  Normally I would have been able to make them all up and get my 40.0 hrs.  However, the workload has lightened considerably and I no longer have need for Overtime/Working at night – this cut into my ability to make-up my hours to get a full week…UGH!

Then here we are, it’s Friday again and while things are looking slightly better I am pleased to say that because of the deposits I put down for the kids’ summer camp at Brigades, $40/ea, next weeks tuition is covered! So WooHoo! I am able to re-route those funds to our utilities and make payments to them! And, it’s a light week on the auto-draft bills so we’re left with almost $200 to roll-over into next week for paying bills – Oh Yeah!

So without further adieu, here you go:

 $766.24
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $741.24
 $   – Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $741.24
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $736.24
 $5.00 CCA, 6/10 Auto-Draft
 $731.24
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 6/10 Auto-Draft
 $726.24
 $170.00 Groceries
 $556.24
 $40.00 Gas
 $516.24
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $491.24
 $25.00 Dinner, 6/7
 $466.24
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $441.24
 $120.00 CFPUA
 $321.24
 $90.00 Progress Energy
 $231.24
 $30.00 Letters to Publishers Printing/Postage
 $201.24

The Letters I am referring to harken over to my other blog, My Journey to My New Life, I am trying to ball up the courage enough to actually send some letters I’ve written to introduce myself to a handful of Publishing Scouts/Agents/Publishing Houses to get a feel for the industry and what I’ll need to do in order to make the transition over to publishing – figured if I budgeted for the Printing/Postage of said letters I might actually follow through.  See this post about the same thing – I am such a Spaz about this sort of thing.

Ok so now with the cash withdrawal:

 $766.24
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $741.24
 $    – Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $741.24
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $736.24
 $5.00 CCA, 6/10 Auto-Draft
 $731.24
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 6/10 Auto-Draft
 $726.24
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $406.24
 $120.00 CFPUA
 $286.24
 $90.00 Progress Energy
 $196.24 Rem. For Bills W/E 06/09/13

We are also in the process of re-examining our weekly grocery budget to see if we need to make adjustments to how much we’re withdrawing each week for groceries – this will include at minimum 6-Weeks’ worth of grocery expenditures in order to get a full picture of how much we’ve spent over that time period, once we do that the $170/week I withdraw might be altered…hopefully not too much, YIKES!

Well that is all – this weekend is looking to be a rainy one, so more time indoors will be spent…anyone with any fun weekend plans?