Archive for October, 2013

Anyone who tells me I should be happy in life because I have X-Y-Z may be correct – I have a wonderful husband whom I adore and respect with everything in me – two wonderful children that are the very center of my universe, a home, food on my table, a job and a means to get back and forth to work each day – yet i feel there’s just some basic element lacking, and you know what that is? STABILITY! Especially financial stability – it sucks being broke – and anyone who thinks differently please check it later…I am seriously on edge here and very very tired of being in this boat.  Finding extra income is much easier said than done, the job market where I am basically sucks arse, and in order to get a good job somewhere you truly have to know someone, and well we don’t….so therefore we’re both screwed.  I really would love to find a means to bring in extra income – however putting myself out there scares the ever living you know what out of me, LOL!!! I can go looking for work, yet doing anything freelance scares me, why is that? I have zero clue – I have such anxieties I don’t know where to begin…

But we’re off topics here – the point of my rant above it to bring to light this fact – our washing machine is continuing to be STUPID! My Dad spent the better part of yesterday (Sunday) morning working on it, he pulled the back off, pulled the pump filter off of it, cleaned it out re-assembled everything and thought we had it working, so I go to run some laundry yesterday and BAM it’s not working properly…ugh ugh ugh…so we’re back off to the laundromat tomorrow night to finish our laundry again…this is SO NOT how I would want to spend my evening again…so I sent the hubby off to call an appliance repair shop to see if they have any input, so maybe just maybe I can not replace it, I really don’t want to, but it’s looking more and more like we might have to…SH*T I don’t have that kind of coin, even for a used one!

So where are we elsewhere?

– The mortgage is about two weeks behind, I just sent the balance due for October’s payment, maybe, I think there might be a little more due on that

– The car payment for October hasn’t been made yet – that’ll get paid in part next week and the balance two weeks from now – and by then November’s payment will be due

– We got the kiddos their State Health Insurance back, HOWEVER we have a $100 deductible for the year, not terrible, and I’ll take it, it’s better than the $172.10/each per month they’d initially quoted us, and we can continue to have it for them

– I just paid off the Water bill last week, leaving a $10 balance

–  We’re still behind on the Electric, I so want to bring that current, but see above, there’s always something interfering with my ability to pay that…

– I did the budget for Christmas and WOW! That’s all I can say for that!

So here’s last week’s budget – I didn’t post it last week so I am posting it now – once this Week’s (Week Ending 10.20.13) is finalized I’ll post that one:

 $20.69 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $517.08 Lara W/E 10/13/13 Salary, Pay Date 10/18
 $28.48 Amt. Spent  $254.19 Jimmy W/E 10/13/13 Salary
 $(7.79) Avail. Starting  $771.27
 $7.80 Harris Teeter  $(7.79) Avail. Starting
 $6.20 PetsMart  $771.27 Total Pay
 $1.01 KTC  $763.48 Avail. For Bills
 $2.40 PetsMart  $1.91 Adj.
 $11.07 Sweet Frog  $765.39
 $28.48

Boy did we over do it last week on the extra expenditures – HOWEVER, Sweet Frog & The $2.40 PetsMart with one component of the KTC was on the same night as our pay day, and because it took so long to get to the check book, I think it was Sunday night before I got to it, those items impacted my bills being paid out last week so I had to include there here vs. on this week.

 $765.39
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $695.39
 $ – OT Solutions
 $695.39
 $200.00 Groceries
 $495.39
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $470.39
 $25.00 Dinner, 9/13
 $445.39
 $40.00 Gas
 $405.39
 $22.72 Cat & Dog Food
 $382.67
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 10/21 Auto-Draft
 $374.68
 $205.00 CFPUA
 $169.68
 $32.00 Vehicle Inspection
 $137.68
 $28.00 Vehicle Registration
 $109.68  $109.68
7%  $7.68
 $7.68  $102.00

And with the Cash Withdrawal – the funny thing is that I am still carrying around the $60.00 for the Inspection/Registration – we tried twice last week to get it done and both times our inspection station was busy – yes I know we could have gone to any number of places in town to get it done, but we wanted to go to the people we trusted – so we try again tomorrow morning, Tues! Fun right?!?!? LOL!! Nope!  Well here’s with the cash withdrawal:

 $765.39
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $695.39
 $  – OT Solutions
 $695.39
 $360.00 Cash for Week
 $335.39
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 10/21 Auto-Draft
 $327.40
 $205.00 CFPUA
 $122.40
 $22.72  Cat & Dog Food
 $99.68
 $7.68 Merrill Transfer
 $92.00

That’s all she wrote folks! Let’s hope things pan out a lot better from here! TTFN All!

Ok so not only is the drain for the washing machine screwed up now the tumbler isn’t working right so during the spin cycle you hear it running but ALAS the tumbler isn’t moving, so everything is coming out SOPPING Friggin wet! Wonderful, just Wonderful! So now I have two options:
1) Use a laundromat until we can afford to replace the damn thing, which maybe, just maybe if we play our cards right we can swing enough Home Depot GC’s for X-Mas to replace it
2) See if I can find a reasonably priced replacement via Craigslist (not likely) or at the Habitat Home Re-Store down the street from us – here’s hoping this one is more likely!

We have a Frigidaire front loader washing machine, it was a gift from my Grandparents when we bought our house, we chose this model because they use less water than a top loading machine and thus would save us $$ on our water bill (which it’s done)…so I would be looking for another model close to this one so I can keep the cost of the water bill down – this would be a good thing as it seems CFPUA wants to raise our rates once again…fun right??!?!?! I don’t bloody think so!
UGH UGH UGH UGH!

Ugh a head cold set in yesterday forcing me to take a side trip to the drug store to pick-up some meds, turns out we couldn’t use our medical spending account at the register, me being too foggy in the brain to think, used our debit card to pay for it – and yes all the while I had cash in my purse, causing us to overspend our account by $3.00, which means I’ll now need to deposit the cash in my wallet (less $15.00 for pumpkins) into our account to prevent overdraft…
Oh and yeah that same fogginess in the brain caused me to pick-up one wrong item so I am going to return it in hopes I can exchange it for the right one today if they have the correct one…
Man I hate being sick!

Oh yeah I am very excited with how our budget played out!  In the end we only spent $2.00 – oh YEAH $2.00 from our checking account from the time of last week’s budget until Pay Day on Friday the 11th! WHAT?!?!?! Sadly though hubby had to make some purchases Friday to get himself home/lunch, and those are going to show below, but we were able to stay out of the account! I am very excited about this!!

And, I finally took home to cash box to empty out and we had $52.64 in it! WHAT?!?! Yup! Roughly $15.00 of that was change, but hey I can’t reasonably fuss!  So when I added the change to what we already had at home; took that to a Coin Star machine and dumped it in we had $44.90 in change overall! HOLY FRIGGIN CROW! If ya’ll could have seen Austin’s face when he saw the number on the screen it was truly truly priceless LOL!!! Combine that with the cash we had I was looking at about $85.00! So off we went, picked my daughter up from a friends house and then over to Party City to get Costumes, and drumroll please…total cost for both $47.01 – next we hit my hubby’s work to visit with him and apparently the customer he was helping came in and paid him for the last two weeks’ work, adding $20.00 to my pocket cash on hand, made it about $65.00, roughly I didn’t count it right there in the store.  So off to Target we went to get some minor accessories for the kids’ costumes and a pumpkin carving kit, $21.02 there and BAM! Costumes are done for less than $60.00! BAM BAM BAM! I’ll take that! Pumpkins are next, coming this weekend! The kids are very excited to say the least!

All of the above happened after our trip to the salon (Ashley & I) and grocery shopping w/Gas we were well under budget on everything this weekend! So I am holding the cash until we purchase pumpkins and some socks for James and what’s left will go back into savings for Christmas!  That’s next on my ‘to do’ list, figuring out how much we’ll need for Christmas…fun right?!?! Jimmy & I need to sit down and figure that out.

Alright here we go, time is running low so I am going to put this out real quick before I have to head home for the day:

 $35.44 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $504.83 Lara W/E 10/06/13 Salary, Pay Date 10/11
 $18.20 Amt. Spent  $241.95 Jimmy W/E 10/06/13 Salary
 $17.24 Avail. Starting  $746.78
 $1.92 Office Max  $17.24 Avail. Starting
 $0.31 KTC  $746.78 Total Pay
 $6.00 PetsMart  $764.02 Avail. For Bills
 $5.77 Cigarette City  $2.73 Adj.
 $3.20 Dollar Tree  $761.29
 $1.00 PetsMart
 $18.20

i actually cancelled Austin’s appointment at OT on Monday as their insurance is still up in the air, Jimmy went back to DSS yesterday and submitted everything, our case worker told him she THINKS their insurance is still active through the end of Oct. but even still with the new pay stubs and our daycare costs being accounted for we re-qualify w/the annual deductible of $100.00, $50.00/child; So I am hopeful it goes through this time! Austin needs his Concerta filled ASAP! (no he’s not medicated, he’s been using some of Ashley’s old dosage in place of his own…I know we’re not supposed to do that, but I can’t send him to school un-medicated)

 $761.29
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $691.29
 $   – OT Solutions
 $691.29
 $200.00 Groceries
 $491.29
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $466.29
 $30.00 Dinner, 9/13
 $436.29
 $40.00 Gas
 $396.29
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $371.29
 $5.00 CCA, 10/14 Auto Draft
 $366.29
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 10/15 Auto-Draft
 $277.29
 $110.00 AT&T
 $167.29
 $111.00 Great Lakes
 $56.29
 $30.00 L&Ashley Haircuts
 $26.29  $26.29
7%  $1.84
 $1.84  $24.45

I budgeted just a tad, $5.00, more for dinner Friday night because we all were getting bored of Pizza so we opted to eat at the food court at the mall and it costs just a little more than the normal $25.00 we spend for Pizza, overall I believe it was something like $28-$29.  Ashley & I’s haircuts came in right at $30.00, so we’re all set for that for the next couple of months.

What I do wish was that my Great Lakes payment remained the $48.00 it was previously…guess the US Gov’t thinks I can afford more…UGH

 $761.29
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $691.29
 $  – OT Solutions
 $691.29
 $360.00 Cash for Week
 $331.29
 $5.00 CCA, 10/14 Auto Draft
 $326.29
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 10/15 Auto-Draft
 $237.29
 $110.00  AT&T
 $127.29
 $111.00 Great Lakes
 $16.29
 $1.84 Merrill Transfer
 $14.45

So that’s that! I am off, it’s quitting time! I will see ya’ll tomorrow!

I love Fall, I absolutely love this time of year, the crispness in the air, the beginnings of wearing sweaters, longer sleeves, jeans, boots, and the changing feel of the air.  Of course right along with that comes the busiest time of year for our finances, meaning we will be spending a little more than usual between now and New Year’s Eve, what with

– Halloween (Costumes x 2, Pumpkins x 2, and a Carving Kit x 1) – thankfully I have enough in my savings jar to cover the cost of these! So yeah!!

– Thanksgiving Dinner – we are playing host this year to two (2) Marines from one of the surrounding bases, so my cost for dinner will escalate slightly from previous years, though the last two years my company has provided us with a $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card to help Offset the cost of Thanksgiving Dinner – crossing my fingers they do this again!  We’ll need it!

– My Daughter’s B-Day – the poor child’s birthday is Christmas Eve – I am making her an afghan for her bed and I already have the pattern in my head for this one!

– Christmas (Stockings filled x 4, Presents for the kiddos, usually 1-2 gifts each, a gift for each parent x 4, GC’s or small gifts for my siblings x 2 +1 my brother in law, and one small something for my Uncle);  I am already more than 1/2 way completed in making my mother’s Christmas present, and will probably do something crocheted for someone else in the fam.

– And then Portrait prints of my kids for everyone – not to toot my own horn here, but I have some talent as a photographer and I am able to save $$ on the actual taking the pictures process by doing it myself, see:

Ashley 2013 Portrait Austin 2013 Portrait

 

So it’s just the prints and postage I have to pay for!

Alright with that said, our budget this week is pretty straight forward, our misc. spending was minimal at best and I have been consistently picking up some small amounts of overtime due to our Fall Outage Season, so yeah there! It’s not much, but hey it’s something!

So here we go:

 $24.71 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $514.09 Lara W/E 09/29/13 Salary, Pay Date 10/04
 $21.93 Amt. Spent  $251.99 Jimmy W/E 09/29/13 Salary
 $2.78 Avail. Starting  $766.08
 $7.27 PetsMart  $2.78 Avail. Starting
 $1.00 PetsMart  $766.08 Total Pay
 $6.80 PetsMart  $768.86 Avail. For Bills
 $2.21 KTC  $125.00 In From Savings for Mortgage
 $4.65 Amazon.com  $893.86
 $21.93

 

Yes $21.93 is a bit more than minimal as compared to previous weeks, but honestly not that terrible, we managed to stay right within our budget, while it would have been helpful to have that money roll into this week, we needed to feed Smaug, our Bearded Dragon, unfortunately buying Crickets in bulk just doesn’t work, they tend to die before one can feed them to him….he’s still a baby after all and doesn’t each much 😉  So that left very little in the account to start the week, but we were ok – I pulled the $125.00 back into checking from our savings account to pay the mortgage, and the below $400.00 I sent to them finished off our Sept. payment and paid part of October, so we’re right online with that….just still stressing about the car payment…UGH!

 $893.86
 $400.00 CitiMortgage
 $493.86
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $423.86
 $200.00 Groceries
 $223.86
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $198.86
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $173.86
 $25.00 Dinner, 10/4
 $148.86
 $40.00 Gas
 $108.86
 $60.00 Car Repairs
 $48.86  $48.86
7%  $3.42
 $3.42  $45.44

 

So see we’re still ok – I paid Scott via a check the other day for our car repairs and that brings us even with him, and now I need to budget the cost of the inspection, $32.00 and registration, $28.00 ($60.00) total so that my car will be legal for another year at least…still hoping I can replace it with something reliable and for less per month – this means allocating a larger portion of our tax return to a down payment…oh well, it’ll be worth it if I can bring my monthly car payment down some!

 $893.86
 $400.00 Citi
 $493.86
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $488.86
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $168.86
 $60.00 Car Repairs
 $108.86
 $70.00  Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $38.86
 $3.42  Merrill Transfer
 $35.44

 

I am not 110% comfortable quite yet with the budget, but I can breathe a sigh of relief that the mortgage is somewhat current!

Alrighty ya’ll, that is all for this week! Enjoy your Week – and until Next Time!

Financial Roller Coaster

Up and Down

Around and Around

Up and Down

Back and Forth

I swear to Goddess my life, especially our financial life, never stays consistent – not sure if it’s us, the economy, our jobs, or what, but I can’t make hide nor hair of any of it…one week it seems we’re ok, then the next I review the overall numbers and we’re down – we try to find ways to cut back on spending, but I hate to say it we’re at bare bones as it is – with the ever increasing cost of living our meager income isn’t keeping up – some would say it’s not meager but alas it is compared to the increasing cost of living – I am not one to try and decide between eating and our Mortgage – I’d like to find a way to handle both, that’s not too much to ask is it?

I think I mentioned this last week – we got our equity statement and with the shortage on the equity our payment has gone up by $80.00/mos, this too is causing a strain on our finances, and the overall financial picture.

So now it’s come down to the: How do we bring in more income? We’re looking at several options, nothing concrete quite yet, but we’re tossing around some ideas:

1. Hubby can do more of what he’s doing for his customer @ Work – maintaining fish tanks while people are out of town for extended periods – sort of like the guys with my company or those who work w/Screen Gems and end-up going out of state for Movie productions

2.  I can try again to do something with my photography – hubby tells me all the time that he hears customers at work lamenting that they want professional style pics of their pets, but no one affordable to do it – I’ll do it!

3.  I can also try to get my book reviews into a publication of some kind and get paid for it…then again I don’t know how that works exactly as I am sure I need the publishers permission first…research to be done there.

4.  Possibly doing some PetSitting, we love animals and all four of our furbabies are amicable to other animals, so it would be somewhat easy to do.

Those are just some vague ideas we’ve thrown around…now onto why the budget is not making me happy AGAIN, see below – we managed to keep our extraneous spending down to a minimum but two runs to Harris Teeter for missing grocery items caused a bit of a jump from last week – then I over budgeted our finances for the week and ended up pulling funds in from our Merrill Account to cover that overage…UGH UGH UGH:

 $36.88 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $518.08 Lara W/E 09/22/13 Salary, Pay Date 9/27
 $17.23 Amt. Spent  $215.13 Jimmy W/E 09/22/13 Salary
 $19.65 Avail. Starting  $733.21
 $1.65 KTC  $19.65 Avail. Starting
 $1.74 Harris Teeter  $733.21 Total Pay
 $12.77 Harris Teeter  $752.86 Avail. For Bills
 $1.07 McDonalds  $6.27 Adjustment
 $17.23  $746.59
 $15.00 In From Merrill
 $761.59

Alright here goes with the breakdown – the money for Citi was transferred to our savings account to be paid out to them with this Friday’s paycheck so I am sending them more than $125.00, the $100 for the car payment satisfied September’s payment and now we’ll be scrounging for October’s payment as it’s due on the 6th…we don’t have it budgeted for a couple more weeks yet, STRESS STRESS STRESS!

 $761.59
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $691.59
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $686.59
 $200.00 Groceries
 $486.59
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $461.59
 $25.00 Dinner, 9/13
 $436.59
 $40.00 Gas
 $396.59
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $371.59
 $100.00 Credit Accept.
 $271.59
 $115.00 Progress Energy, Bal. Due: $162.00
 $156.59
 $125.00 Citi
 $31.59  $31.59
7%  $2.21
 $2.21  $29.38

 

In actuality the lump sum cash withdrawal we take every week has had one benefit I’ve seen as of late and that is we’re actually coming in under budget on just about everything – so the cash jar at work is pretty full – rounding in at about $75.00, which is the budget I set for Halloween (costumes & pumpkins for carving), so we’re set for that! Whoop Whoop! One Small Victory There!

 $761.59
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $691.59
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $686.59
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $366.59
 $100.00 Credit Accept.
 $266.59
 $115.00 Progress Energy
 $151.59
 $125.00 Citi
 $26.59
 $2.21 Merrill Transfer
 $24.38

 

So there’s that…am I happy with it? No I wish there was some way we could pay the Mortgage Payment on time every month – I am taking suggestions from those who read my blog – seems I am either mis-allocating my funds or we’re doing something terribly incorrect here!