Archive for September, 2013

Ok so here’s the deal – when Jimmy lost his job in 2008 we also lost 80% of our income and our health benefits as well – so immediately we applied for State Health Insurance and for a time all four (4) of us qualified – that is until I began working full-time again and Jimmy & I no longer qualified, but the kids were able to keep their benefits.  Then in 2011 Jimmy went into the hospital for a torn ligament in his thigh that was bleeding out – the hospital got the two of us back on Medicaid for a brief period to cover the costs of the hospital.   Once that (6) six months was up we no longer qualified and I was ok with that.  Then he got full-time at work and along with that came the full-time benefits – ok not a problem, it was an extra $76/week from his paycheck to cover our costs, which in reality was a loss of something like $30.00/week as it balanced out with taxes, etc…BUT the kids were still on NC Health Choice for the time being…

Now we go to re-apply for their benefits last week and BAM we’re told once again we make too much for the kids to remain on NC Health Choice unless we pay a monthly deductible – which the state files as “affordable” at $172.10 per child PER MONTH! That’s $344.20/Mos for health care for the kids – someone PLEASE tell me how that is affordable???? PLEASE!!!!  That’s more than my monthly car payment…um who in the WORLD thought that one up???  In the past we had an annual deductible of $100/yr…

So I am having Jimmy call DSS today to see if that was actually their final decision, or if they are still reviewing the case – this needs doing today because Ashley has an appointment with Dr. A this afternoon to go over her ADHD meds/weight check, etc.  Austin still has his weekly OT Appointments and his own appointments with Dr. Robby and Ms. Rivenbark (his therapist) at school to mitigate his own issues – we simply cannot stop going to these appointments…nor can we reasonably afford to add the kids to Jimmy’s already pricey health insurance…UGH UGH UGH….So you see our dilemma?

It’s a double-edged sword…seriously!

MISC. SPENDING HAS BEEN BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL!! We only hit the checking account twice last week for small drafts and didn’t spend hardly anything at all!  I am very proud of us!!!  I have literally been on pins and needles waiting to share this wonderful accomplishment with everyone!

The only reason we had (1) stop at PCJ (Port City Java, Wilmington’s answer to Starbucks, but WAY better!) was because Jimmy was running a headache (the extra shot of espresso is an easy fix for a headache) and I needed some coffee, so we stopped at the PCJ by the Wal-Mart we shop at and grabbed (2) small Latte’s and the kiddos some snacks.  On Thursday after Girl Scouts, I did run to Starbucks and picked up a new travel mug to replace the one I got for Christmas from my manager – it broke last Wednesday morning when I dropped it while washing it – I was able to use the rest of a Gift Card I got for my BDay from my In-Laws to pay for the bulk of it and the remaining balance was very small ($2.56) so I didn’t fuss!

But aren’t you guys proud of us! We’ve been trying to do this for EONS and somehow we managed it last week!

This is good because as I was reviewing our overall financial picture this morning did I realize that we are way over our heads financially and this cut-back will help us recuperate the overage elsewhere…

After putting into a small spreadsheet everything we have going out, this is what I came up with while sitting at OT Solutions waiting for Austin to get done with his therapy session:

The income numbers I used was what we were paid on Friday – you’ll see these replicated below – and these are our monthly numbers for everything using a 4.25 multiplier on the weekly expenses – used instead of 4 as there’s something like 4.25 – 4.5 weeks in any given month:

 $496.56  $2,110.38
 $258.92  $1,100.41
 $755.48  $3,210.79
 $830.00  Citi
 $297.50  Brigades
 $337.00  Credit Acceptance
 $850.00  Groceries
 $170.00  Gas
 $64.47  State Farm
 $89.00  APM Int’l
 $21.39  Blockbuster
 $111.00  Great Lakes
 $106.25  Pizza Dinners
 $106.25  Jimmy’s Money
 $106.25  Cat & Dog Food
 $125.00  Progress Energy
 $125.00  AT&T
 $105.00  CFPUA
 $21.25  OT Solutions, Inc.

Leaving a Difference of: ($262.56)

OUCH! No wonder we’re broke as sin!  Even if I cut back the weekly pizza expense and when APM Int’l is done in November with Blockbuster being cancelled (as will be done this week) – I will still have that $25.00 in my grocery budget to pay for food on those nights and with the possibility of cutting out OT  – Austin’s therapist is talking of possibly transitioning him out as she doesn’t feel it’s needed any longer – we’re still in the hole: ($130.92)!

Our biggest expense is the house – and with our payments being as inconsistent as they have been our Escrow account has been overdrawn so now we’re having to make-up that difference in our payments as we were also unable to make the extra payment for just the escrow account thus causing the monthly payment to jump up from $765.00/mos to $830.00 – OUCH!

Alright here we go with this week’s numbers:

 $35.11 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $496.56 Lara W/E 09/15/13 Salary, Pay Date 9/20
 $15.95 Amt. Spent  $258.92 Jimmy W/E 09/15/13 Salary
 $19.16 Avail. Starting  $755.48
 $12.59 PCJ  $19.16 Avail. Starting
 $0.90 KTC  $755.48 Total Pay
 $2.46 Starbucks  $774.64 Avail. For Bills
 $   –  $5.00 Unpaid to OT Solutions
 $15.95  $779.64

And the overall breakdown:

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $10.00 OT Solutions
 $200.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $25.00 Dinner, 9/20
 $40.00 Gas
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $7.99, 9/21 Auto-Draft
 $21.39, 9/23 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 Coastal Beh. 9/25
 $64.47 State Farm, 9/24 Auto-Draft
 $200.00 Credit Accept
 $30.00 Boys’ Haircuts
 $55.79  $55.79
7%  $3.91
 $3.91  $51.88

And…with the lump sum cash withdrawal:

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $10.00 OT Solutions
 $360.00 Cash for Week
 $7.99, 9/21 Auto-Draft
 $21.39, 9/23 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 Coastal Beh. 9/25
 $64.47 State Farm, 9/24 Auto-Draft
 $200.00 Credit Accept.
 $3.91 Merrill Transfer

And that left me with just over $18.00 cash to put into the savings jar this morning! We’re well on our way to being able to fund Halloween! YEAH!

Well that is all from me for this Week! Until next week!

My Goodness did we WAY Over Do it last Week in Terms of Misc. Spending…literally taking a HUGE chunk out of our would be bill paying funds…ugh ugh ugh…thankfully this week we’ve managed to cut that off and not spend way too much like we did…It hurts it really hurts when I look at these numbers – it’s no wonder we can’t pay our bills, just look:

 $114.25 Remaining from W/E 09/01/13  $428.45 Lara W/E 09/08/13 Salary, Pay Date 9/13
 $74.95 Amt. Spent  $331.36 Jimmy W/E 09/08/13 Salary
 $39.30 Avail. Starting  $759.81
 $15.00 GS Troop #1327  $39.30 Avail. Starting
 $3.83 Target  $759.81 Total Pay
 $2.03 KTC  $799.11 Avail. For Bills
 $12.84 Clothes Mentor  $365.00 In From Savings for Citi
 $8.54 Hobby Lobby  $1,164.11
 $6.42 Starbucks
 $12.51 Brownie Stuff
 $4.38 Target
 $7.57 Best Western, Tax
 $1.83 Unaccounted For Spending

You see where we went overboard? It would seem a bunch of somewhat smaller transactions added up relatively quickly! The trip to Clothes Mentor for a top to wear to the concert, $12.84, a trip to Hobby Lobby, $8.54 and a treat of Starbucks, $6.42 along with getting Ashley’s Brownie tab, Flag Patch and GS Emblem for her Sash added up quickly – these are items I probably could have budgeted for elsewhere but failed to and now we’re dealing with the consequences…OUCH!

We just got our Water bill yesterday, $210.00 for TWO (2) Months USAGE!!! WTF?!?!?! It’s not like we use a ton of water…oh wait, yeah Ashley likes to take LONG Showers…well those are stopping effective immediately – we’ve curbed that.

Also our electric bill was $276.73, with a past due balance of $113.47 due by 09/30/13 – OUCH again! Thankfully it’s starting to cool off some…the temp might spike again…but for now it’s cooler and we’re not running our AC.  In fact last night we slept with the windows open because it was so cool (I prefer it cold when I sleep, if I am hot I can’t sleep)! So yeah for Fall Weather!

Alright so where are we now that we’re on the back end of our stupidity?? Well I’ve upped the grocery budget to $200.00/week, which left us with $49.00 after we were done shopping Saturday morning – so $22.00 of that went towards new sheets for Ashley (hers were infested with bed bug remnants and eggs – a battle we’ve been fighting for a looong time now) – we had to completely clean and treat her bed Friday night to rid it of all remaining bed bug adults, eggs and larvae – ICK!  And the remaining $27.00 went towards the kids’ rewards for being ready on time last week and the week before (2.00) and then I made a Harris Teeter run last night to the tune of $20.00 leaving me with $5.00 cash for the savings jar!  Not too bad…I was able to make an unexpected purchase and still have funds remaining! YEAH!  That made  me happy and it kept us out of the checking account!

So here we go, this weeks budget – I only sent a portion of the Mortgage payment to Citi, we sent them $625.00 leaving a balance due of $499.00 to be paid at a later date to complete Septembers payment and the late fees, leaving us with Pennies for this week remaining, but I pulled in $15.00 from the Merrill Account just in case, if we don’t use it I’ll put it back…it’s Wednesday and we haven’t touched it, so I say we’re doing good:

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $200.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $25.00 Dinner, 9/13
 $40.00 Gas
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 9/15 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 CCA
 $625.00 Citi
 $15.00 Girl Scouts
 $5.00 Cape Fear Peds, 09/17

And with our Cash withdrawal:

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 9/15 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 CCA
 $625.00 Citi
 $15.00 Girl Scouts
 $5.00 CF Peds

So that’s that! I know I got long-winded and I apologize! TTFN until next Week!

WOW WOW WOW! Once Again I am at a loss for how to put into words how AMAZING the concert was! My girl and I spent the night dancing, singing, screaming and just all around having a GREAT Time!  We just sat back and just let the ambiance of the environment wash over us!

That being said I am very pleased to say we didn’t touch the $60 I had set aside for Misc. Spending – the $89 cash I had on me was more than enough to take care of all of our needs for the night and a few wants.  They gave us these amazing programs on a Lanyard when we walked in, so that took the place of the souvenir I’d planned on purchasing for Ashley

Tour Program

I spent the following:

$66.36 on the Hotel, over the expected by $6.97, but that was all in taxes

$30.00 on extra gas ($10.00 LESS than Budgeted)

$9.00 on two (2) Bottles of Water

$5.00 on a Snow Cone for Ashley (we shared though)

$5.15 on Dinner at McDonald’s

$5.00 on a Rubber Bracelet thing w/Maroon 5 Written on it for Ashley

$5.82 on Drinks/Snacks for the Ride Home Yesterday

For a Grand total of: $59.97, so we’ll call it at $60.00 even leaving me w/$29.00!

Jimmy had to use $20.00 to get to work this morning (his boss, as somewhat cool as she is, airheaded she can be at times) as he was scheduled to be there at 6am (he doesn’t drive nor does he own a car, remember we’re a 1 car household)

That leaves me with $9.00 + $60.00 to put back into the budget for next week! WOOP WOOP!!!

I am very happy about this turn of events!

And just because – Enjoy a Pic of Mr. Adam Levine doing his THANG!

Adam Levine 1



That’s all for now! TTFN Ya’ll!

I seriously must have been out of my mind, but we sat down the other night and did forecasted budgets through the end of November to try and make sure we’re capable of paying our mortgage each month – how is it that we’re struggling so much? Once upon a time we used to be able to afford rent/car payment, etc. with no problem – now it seems that we struggle at every single turn….I hate this, thus the reason for this blog, so I can see what we’ve done, where we might need improvement and how we can correct the problems we run into time and time again – I’ve noticed the main string through everything is our extra spending, in other words those debit card transactions done after the budget is done…those are what’s killing us week to week – I think after adding up the last (5) weeks we saw something like $415.00 in extra money spent with only $100 being put back from birthdays (his and mine)…that’s still $315.00.  We narrowed it down even further and found that $132.00 of it was excess groceries above and beyond our $170.00 budget – so we’ve upped the weekly budget for groceries to $200.00 (OUCH!) in hopes to eliminate some of that – if we come in under budget that week the monies will go into my savings box and put back into the checking account at the end of each month.

Alright, with that being said this weeks’ budget is slightly different as I have some extra expenditures that are on this week as back in June I won tickets to see Maroon 5 & Kelly Clarkson in concert in Raleigh.  I am taking my baby girl with me tonight and we’re going to enjoy the concert and then crash in Raleigh for the night vs. trying to drive the 2 hours back to Wilmington.  I am very excited about this! I know the $120.00 I have set aside for our hotel and misc. spending is putting an overall dent in our budget, but I figure anything I don’t spend out of our misc. spending monies I will put back.  I am also taking the extra $40.00 cash for gas and $47.00 cash from our savings box with me, so I may not even touch the $60.00 I have budgeted for Misc. Spending.

Honda Civic Tour Shout Out

So I am running low on time, I am leaving early today so we can make the 2 hour drive and get settled into our hotel before having to head to the Pavilion for tonight’s show, so here goes the budget for the week:

 $456.84 Remaining from W/E 09/01/13  $501.20 Lara W/E 09/01/13 Salary
 $116.50 Amt. Spent  $245.46 Jimmy W/E 09/01/13 Salary
 $340.34 Avail. Starting  $746.66
 $9.78 Sweet Frog  $340.34 Avail. Starting
 $10.56 PetsMart  $746.66 Total Pay
 $17.05 Home Depot  $1,087.00 Avail. For Bills
 $3.20 Party City  $40.00 In From Merrill for Lara’s B-Day
 $7.54 KTC  $1,127.00
 $3.52 Target  $5.17 Adj.
 $10.17 PetsMart  $1,121.83
 $26.56 Wal-Mart
 $5.89 PCJ
 $3.18 PetsMart
 $2.13 Food Lion
 $1.92 Office Max
 $15.00 GS Troop #1327 (Check)

And the overall budget with the breakdown – we’re not sending the money to Citi right away instead I am holding off on sending that until next week when I have a bulk payment to send to them:

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 9/10 Auto-Draft
 $170.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $25.00 Dinner, 9/6
 $80.00 Gas
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $59.39 Hotel in Raleigh
 $60.00 Misc. Spending For Lara & Ashley
 $113.19 AT&T
 $350.00 Citi
 $61.14 Amt Spent 9/6-9/8
 $5.00 Cape Fear Peds, 9/17

And with the cash withdrawal:

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 9/10 Auto-Draft
 $340.00 Cash for Week
 $59.39 Hotel in Raleigh
 $60.00 Misc. Spending for Lara & Ashley
 $113.19 AT&T
 $350.00 Citi
 $61.14 Amt Spent 9/6 – 9/8
 $5.00 Cape Fear Peds, 9/17

So there’s that and I am off! I’ll be offline until tomorrow, Wed at around noonish when I get home from Raleigh!


I am not usually one to point things out – but my 35th Birthday was last Friday the 30th and I have to say it came and went with very little fanfare! I loved coming into work and finding all of the Birthday Greetings on my Facebook Timeline, that always makes me feel so very loved! Texts and Emails from family just added to it…plus my hubby waking me up minutes after Midnight on the 30th to wish me Happy Birthday! So yes to feel loved is total awesomeness!  Add to it the necklace and movie (The Host) my hubby got me I am that much more loved….**ok collective awwwww!!**  We didn’t do much of anything, our usual Friday night dinner, run to Target for misc. Groceries to get us through Sat morning, go home get the kiddos ready for bed and crash ourselves – but I guess this birthday girl had too much celebrating as she feel asleep at 8:45! WHAT?!?! LOL!!!  It gets better ya’ll, I slept until 10:30 Sat Morning!

Guess all of that came on because I worked 1/2 a day that day (due to the Holiday weekend my office closed at 2 – but the best part was I got to key a full 8hr. work day!! Oh YEAH! The only time boss lady lets us do that!) and then went home and picked up Nixon to take him to the Vet for his Rabies shot…poor thing did NOT like that AT ALL! He’s very people shy to begin with and then add to it someone who wants to check him over and then stick him with a needle, um yeah he wasn’t having any of that – BUT he did behave so I can’t rightfully complain! All in all with the visit, rabies shot and 3yr license he came out for less than $54! So Woop Woop!


This my baby! Nixon – he’s 9 yrs old, a Rottie – Shepard Mix and a Big Ole Teddy Bear!

Ok so with that come and gone we then began getting ready for my hubby’s parents’ visit on Sunday, that meant more grocery shopping, cleaning, scrubbing and organizing around the house – in a nut shell running around like veritable mad men! But it all got done and the house was immaculate prior to their arrival in time for dinner Sunday night!

Alright so with that, and the funds from my hubby’s employer we decided to go back to our original bi-weekly bill pay schedule as it was getting too tedious to pay out the bills and balance the check book each week, so here’s the 1st Week on where I just hold onto funds until this coming Friday to pay bills with.

 $156.49 Remaining from W/E 08/18/13  $517.71 Lara W/E 08/25/13 Salary
 $67.35 Amt. Spent  $198.98 Jimmy W/E 08/25/13 Salary
 $89.14 Avail. Starting  $716.69
 $15.68 Wal-Mart  $89.14 Avail. Starting
 $5.77 Cigarette City  $716.69 Total Pay
 $9.25 McDonald’s  $805.83 Avail. For Bills
 $8.96 Wal-Mart  $74.13 Adjustment
 $8.54 Hobby Lobby  $879.96
 $1.20 PetsMart
 $3.64 KTC
 $3.53 Chick-Fil A
 $1.40 PetsMart
 $9.38 Tommy’s

And with the breakdown in general – I budgeted for Nixon’s visit to the Vet so it wasn’t a “Surprise” expense (as the county sends out a notice stating the Rabies is due and a fine will be levied if you don’t get the animal vaccinated), and because we’re back in school Brigades has gone down by $10/week! Yeah! $40/mos back into my pocket!  And due to Labor Day OT was closed so we skipped this week’s appointment and will just go next Monday the 9th.

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $   – OT Solutions
 $170.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $25.00 Dinner, 8/30
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $40.00 Gas
 $53.12 Nixon Vet Visit – Rabies
 $471.84 Remaining for Bills

And with the cash withdrawal – very brief:

 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $   – OT Solutions
 $300.00 Cash
 $53.12 Nixon Vet Visit
 $456.84 Remaining for Bills

So that’s where we are for now – we didn’t do anything over the top for Labor Day – just walked around downtown and then cruised the mall for a bit, all in all we spent $6 for drinks, that was it!

Anybody else do anything fun and/or exciting for Labor Day?