Archive for November, 2013

Another post worthy of a load of F BOMBS!

Ok so last night turned on the AC (I know 1/2 the world is freezing right now, but it was warm in SE NC) and nada, nothing was working, the air coming out was somewhat cool, but not enough to make a huge difference…so I didn’t sleep well, finally I think exhaustion overtook me about 3:30 am – had to get up for work at 7:00 am…um yeah.  So then hubby posted this on his Facebook page this morning:

“so I think the capacitor went on the HVac. I have to wait until it stops raining to try and get a look at it…. anyone want to buy some china?LOL”

So NOT happy about this…it’s the Friggin day before Thanksgiving! WTF?!?!?! Why do these things not happen at times its somewhat convenient to the world?  Geesh! Nevermind that tomorrow we’re hosting two Marines for dinner, I just hope with the windows open or closed we can keep the house comfortable (it’s supposed to be sunny but cool tomorrow)…crossing my fingers on that one.

So THEN this morning I’m at work here and I overhear conversations with my co-workers that half of our field team + all of the home office types for $50.00 Gift Cards for Thanksgiving…um did me and one other woman in our office get one? NOPE! Supposedly they were in yesterday’s mail…and it MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT be in today’s mail…um seriously could have used that before the weekend…yet another way we’ve been shafted by our company…and they talk about integrity, yet they pull stunts like this.  One of the SM’s thinks that the GC’s might be tied to employees with benefits…well wonderfrickinful…not only did we lose out on the GC’s BUT BUT BUT we now also are taking a hit of 2-Days pay because we don’t get paid holidays!

F*BOMB

F*BOMB

F*BOMB

F*BOMB

F*BOMB

F*BOMB

F*BOMB

 F*BOMB

F*BOMB

F*BOMB

Can you tell I’m royally TICKED!?!?!?!

Lesson Learned:  Don’t hold your cards to one accountable, and having savings helps…yet another reason I wish we had an Emergency Fund!

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*whew* as I look over last week’s numbers I am very happy to know that the overdraft and subsequent fee didn’t impact us too terribly much, we stayed out of the checking account and thus were able to recover once we were paid on Friday the 22nd.  So yes I am very pleased about that…and now we’re looking toward fiscal planning for Christmas.  I booked our rental car on Friday afternoon, 12/22 – 12/28 for a Toyota Rav-4 or similar, that’ll cost us $328.68 – which in all honestly isn’t that terrible, and who knows maybe we’ll get a free upgrade 😉 Hey once can hope right?

XMAS Coin Jar

I did manage to forecast our budget out through our Christmas trip and I am somewhat ok with it – the kids sad to say have figured out that Santa doesn’t exist so they have scaled back their wish lists, also knowing that Grandma & Grandpa from my side have already purchased their gifts…they know that they’ll only be getting something from their Dad’s parents, my Uncle, their Aunt & Uncles and Mom and Dad.  So they’ve scaled them back which I am happy about…so now it’s a matter of budgeting/saving the funds to pay for those gifts/stocking stuffers – in the past we’ve forecasted how much every individuals’ gifts would cost and we budgeted a little each week to pay for them…as of right now I have just over $65.00 saved for Christmas gifts, so I am happy to say that’s 4 Gifts right there! Whoop Whoop!

Slumber Party

And somewhere in the mix we have a BDay Slumber Party for my daughter – we opted for this vs. a traditional party as it’ll be cheaper in the long run…I think we’re over doing it slightly…but it’s what happens when there’s a December birthday!

Alright, so this week I budgeted more for groceries because of Thanksgiving – we’re hosting (2) Baby Boots, aka Marines fresh out of Boot Camp who can’t go home for the holiday, so I purchased slightly more than usual to make sure we have enough to feed our special guests, so I tacked on an extra $50.00 to the grocery budget and surprisingly we were still under budget, I am VERY Happy about that

So here we go:

 $25.34 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $514.10 Lara W/E 11/17/13 Salary, Pay Date 11/22
 $30.76 Amt. Spent  $191.62 Jimmy W/E 11/17/13 Salary
 $(5.42) Avail. Starting  $705.72
 $16.86 Walgreen’s  $(5.42) Avail. Starting
 $1.77 PetsMart  $705.72 Total Pay
 $1.53 KTC  $700.30 Avail. For Bills
 $6.21 PCJ  $89.00 Void APM Int’l
 $4.39 Chick Fil-A  $789.30
 $30.76

You’ll notice APM Int’l coming back in from last week – we cancelled my son’s TKD Contract and November would have been the last draft, seems the Do Jang cancelled it early and it never drafted, so it went back into the budget – I sent them a request to stop the drafts and they did, so that got put back into the budget – also below you’ll see I purchased a pair of Athletic shoes – seems my at-home workouts were doing some damage to my ankles, so on Dr’s  orders I went out and bought a good pair of athletic shoes with ankle supports – after wearing them all day yesterday I can safely say I am very happy with them, money very well spent! Nothing like a $100 pair of shoes for $64.18!!

And with the kids being out of School on Wednesday and my hubby being off of work I opted not to have the kids go to the Brigades on Wednesday in an effort to save a little bit of money – and we saved $30.00 for the week on that one – so I put that money back into the Citi Payment!

 $789.30
 $40.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $749.30
 $250.00 Groceries
 $499.30
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $474.30
 $25.00 Dinner, 11/22
 $449.30
 $40.00 Gas
 $409.30
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $384.30
 $5.00 CCA, 11/25 Auto-Draft
 $379.30
 $200.00 Citi.
 $179.30
 $63.44 State Farm, 11/26 Auto-Draft
 $115.86
 $64.18  L-Athletic Shoes
 $51.68
 $16.00  AT&T Bal. Due
 $35.68  $35.68
7%  $2.50
 $2.50  $33.18

And with the lump sum cash withdrawal:

 $789.30
 $40.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $749.30
 $380.00 Cash for the Week
 $369.30
 $200.00 Citi
 $169.30
 $63.44 State Farm, 11/26 Auto-Draft
 $105.86
 $5.00 CCA, 11/25 Auto-Draft
 $100.86
 $64.18 L-Athletic Shoes
 $36.68
 $16.00 AT&T Bal. Due
 $20.68
 $2.50 Merrill Transfer
 $18.18

So there we are! I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll see you all around post-holiday!

Man in the past recovering from an overdraft took several weeks because we’d think we were ok and over-budget, pay too much to the bills and then get back in the hole – having this new budget system has helped us prevent such a situation, I have a better hold on the finances (so to speak) and can overcome such hardships with fewer problems.

BUT don’t let that hide anything – we still are looking for ways to make some extra money – specifically for Christmas – we’re saving for that but it’s been very slow, we’ve pretty much spent our cash withdrawal down the last penny.  Making extra money/income has proven difficult – WritersCash fell through simply because I didn’t feel comfortable doing the work – seemed to much like it was people buying research papers for college and that just wasn’t something I could get behind – that and it was entirely academic writing…so that’s scratched off and we’re back at square one.

This being said, we’re doing ok for now, I am tad stressed because I haven’t paid the mortgage in a couple weeks, we’re behind on the car payment, and we’re playing catch-up on the utilities, specifically the electric, UGH UGH UGH!  I think right now just about the only thing working in my favor is the fact that I am now down 7lbs on my journey to weight loss and better physical health…that’s saying something right there LOL!!

Anyhew, the reason we’re here, the budget – here goes – the transactions posted here immediately below are including what we spent over the weekend before I did the checkbook balancing over lunch today, so the negative shown is not completely accurate:

 $24.24 Remaining from W/E 11/03/13  $525.97 Lara W/E 11/10/13 Salary, Pay Date 11/15
 $42.27 Amt. Spent  $247.67 Jimmy W/E 11/10/13 Salary
 $(18.03) Avail. Starting  $773.64
 $2.09 KTC  $(18.03) Avail. Starting
 $16.22 Wal-Mart  $773.64 Total Pay
 $5.12 PetsMart  $755.61 Avail. For Bills
 $9.17 McDonald’s
 $4.18 Wal-Mart
 $5.49 Target
 $42.27

And with the line item breakdown:

 $755.61
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $685.61
 $200.00 Groceries
 $485.61
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $460.61
 $25.00 Dinner, 11/15
 $435.61
 $40.00 Gas
 $395.61
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $370.61
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 11/15 Auto-Draft
 $281.61
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 11/21 Auto-Draft
 $273.62
 $111.00 Great Lakes, 11/17 Auto-Draft
 $162.62
 $60.00 AT&T
 $102.62
 $70.00 Progress Energy
 $32.62  $32.62
7%  $2.28
 $2.28  $30.34

The beauty here is that the $89.00 APM Int’l will no longer be there after this month – we’ve cancelled my son’s contract and pulled him out, he was miserable going to TKD and wasn’t participating or learning anything new – which honestly is sad, because I sincerely feel that IF the instructors actually took time to teach him and engage him he might have been more interested and learned more and maybe just maybe he’d still be going – but the last few months over the summer I noticed that he was left on his own more and more and basically ignored unless he did something he shouldn’t have…sad but very true…

Anyhew, and now with the cash withdrawal – now I will say something else here, my husband is taking our daughter out on a Daddy-Daughter date later this week and I didn’t budget for that, but I did ensure that there was enough cash left in the account so he could take her out without much worry.

 $755.61
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $685.61
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $365.61
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 11/15 Auto-Draft
 $276.61
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 11/21 Auto-Draft
 $268.62
 $111.00 Great Lakes, 11/17 Auto-Draft
 $157.62
 $60.00 AT&T
 $97.62
 $70.00 Progress Energy
 $27.62
 $2.28 Merrill Transfer
 $25.34

So that’s where we’re at right now – recovering from the Overdraft, getting ready for Thanksgiving- which OMG is NEXT week, when did that happen?!?! LOL!!! And then subsequently getting ready for Christmas.  We’re, I’d say this week, Ok

Lesson Learned: Track Bills Better and Think Positively because You Too Can Recover!

Ugh where to begin with this one, just about the only good things to come from last week are these

1. The $79.00 Amazon drafted for our Prime Membership was Refunded

2. I have been working hard and when I weighed in last week I’d lost 4.6 lbs!!! So stoked about that!

3.  Had an awesome date with my Son to Sweet Frog after dinner one night!

4.  The car passed inspection and is finally now legal w/tags that are current

Other than that it was a horrible horrible week financially for us – our Electric bill was due and we were due to be shut-off, this I knew, but little did I know that when Duke Energy took over Progress Energy the process for requesting an extension changed from being able to do it same day to needing to do it a few days ahead of time…UGH UGH UGH and lots of F*BOMBS! So we had to find a way to pay them immediately or our power would have been shut off, un HELLO no way we would have been able to go three full days without power, so what did I do? Drained our Merrill Account and our KTC account to pay the past due amount of $109.40 + $5.40 ePay fee…UGH UGH!!

Lesson Learned Here: Watch finances better so we can request an extension going forward as needed

So because of the above, and our check to Brigades hitting late on Thursday I woke up Friday morning to an overdraft fee, $35.00.  Thankfully the bank paid the check to Brigades and I didn’t also incur the $25.00 returned check fee that I am certain Brigades would have charged us…it’s going to take us quite sometime to recover from this – and now with the holidays bearing down on us, we’re screwed and I mean that royally. How? Well let’s begin with Thanksgiving:

In the past  my company has given us each a $25 GC to Wal-Mart for Thanksgiving, I am SOO hoping they do this again this year as I really need it – a local coffee house company (similar to Starbucks) sponsors a program where area families can volunteer to host 2 Marines in Training from a surrounding base who cannot go home for the holiday; we volunteered last year, but they “ran out” of Marines so this year we were part of the group given first dibs and now I am going to host two young men for Thanksgiving – so to say I need that money this year is a vast understatement! The downside to this holiday is two (2) days without pay…I can log in on Black Friday, but I doubt there’ll be much work to do…

Then with Christmas approaching and the travel costs involved there we’re going to be struggling to maintain the bills, Christmas shop, and pay for our travel – oh and yeah more loss of pay for me…a full week this time, that’s $600 GONE! Thus the reason I am looking for alternative income sources and possibly a new job…

Ok so here we go – it isn’t pretty, but it’s this weeks’ budget:

 $91.03 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $496.56 Lara W/E 11/03/13 Salary, Pay Date 11/08
 $244.88 Amt. Spent  $258.10 Jimmy W/E 11/03/13 Salary
 $(153.85) Avail. Starting  $754.66
 $5.76 Wal-Mart  $(153.85) Avail. Starting
 $4.86 KTC  $754.66 Total Pay
 $6.25 Hughes Bros  $600.81 Avail. For Bills
 $6.09 Hardee’s  $79.00 Refund from Amazon.com
 $109.40 Duke Energy  $679.81
 $5.40 Duke Energy  $32.00 From Merrill/KTC Acct
 $35.00 Overdraft Fee  $711.81
 $0.35 PayPal Verifier  $0.35 PayPal Verifier
 $70.00 Brigades B & G Club  $712.16
 $1.77 PetsMart  $4.20 Adj
 $244.88  $716.36

SO Missing the normal OT I get this time of year – sadly we didn’t do two outages we normally do and just found out this morning that we lost another one, the company we contract for did, not my company per se, but the work is lost:

 $716.36
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $646.36
 $200.00 Groceries
 $446.36
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $421.36
 $25.00 Dinner, 11/8
 $396.36
 $40.00 Gas
 $356.36
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $331.36
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 11/10 Auto-Draft
 $326.36
 $250.00 Credit Accept
 $76.36
 $5.00 CCA, 11/11 Auto-Draft
 $71.36
 $40.00 AT&T
 $31.36  $31.36
7%  $2.20
 $2.20  $29.16

I chose to short-pay AT&T so I could send a 90% payment to the car company and get them off my arse for awhile, albeit it’ll be a short while, it’s a brief persion to say the least.

 $716.36
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $646.36
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $326.36
 $250.00 Credit Accept.
 $76.36
 $5.00 CCA, 11/11 Auto-Draft
 $71.36
 $40.00  AT&T
 $31.36
 $2.20 Merril Transfer
 $29.16

So now it’s just a matter of being extra careful and watching every single penny that goes out of our account!

Lesson Learned: Not watching is the same as ignoring and that is the same as being irresponsible! Checking the bank account daily is the smartest way to roll!

Good News: Car Passed Inspection and my hubby got the Tags renewed this morning. I also got Accepted to WritersCash as a Freelancer, Woop Woop! Gotta now get my PayPal account Activated so I can get paid!

Bad News: I had to drain our Merrill Account to cover the electric bill – they were en route to shut us off if we didn’t pay them $107.00 to keep it from being shut-off…we wouldn’t have had the funds until Friday to pay them and yeah we can’t go that long without power…too cold outside for that and our Beardie would die from the cold…UGH UGH UGH!

This woman is Dropping MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY F BOMBS RIGHT NOW!

Seriously a break would be helpful? Why is it this time of year everything goes to sh*t and our finances takes a large plunge down the drain, UGH! This go around it was new tires for the car, a trial Amazon.com Prime Membership I forgot to cancel in time re-routed just about everything I had allocated elsewhere to spend on bills.  The $200 I was going to send to Credit Acceptance and the $115.00 for the Electric bill (which I am hoping beyond hope is still on when I get home tonight)…so we’re pretty much screwed this week…if i could I would just fill this post with the “F” bomb until I  exploded!

I explained what happened with the tires in a previous post, if you missed it, it’s here

Otherwise, here’s the budget – I seriously am going to figure out a way to fix this and get us back on track, I submitted my essay the other day to WritersCash, you can read it here in hopes its accepted and I can begin making money freelance writing, we could really use it!

With that rant over, here’s this weeks’ budget, the money paid to Amazon will be refunded after the pending transaction clears, Thankfully! Then maybe, just maybe I can pay part of the electric bill; I tried to request an extension on their website, but that was a no-go, my hubby tried to call them this morning and all he got was a message saying “all circuits are busy at this time” oh gee I wonder what happened there!

 $126.31 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $491.39 Lara W/E 10/27/13 Salary, Pay Date 11/01
 $126.00 Amt. Spent  $223.77 Jimmy W/E 10/27/13 Salary
 $0.31 Avail. Starting  $715.16
 $100.00 DSS  $0.31 Avail. Starting
 $9.44 Harris Teeter  $715.16 Total Pay
 $0.79 KTC  $715.47 Avail. For Bills
 $15.02 Adj.  $50.00 TXFR From Merrill on 10/30, Voided 10/11 Transaction
 $0.75 Kindle Charges  $765.47
 $126.00  $25.00 Re-Deposit of Cash Withdrawn
 $790.47

Ok so let me explain a few things here – the $100 to DSS aka New Hanover County Dept of Soc. Services is the Kids’ NC Health Choice insurance deductible for the year – Thankfully one thing went right and we were re-approved for another year, yes thank-you Brigades you brought our income down enough to qualify us!

The $25.00 put back into our account was that I accounted for dinner @ Incredible’s Friday night and by the time we got there to meet my hubs he’d purchased the pizza with our debit card, so I put those funds back into our account…

So here’s the breakdown:

 $790.47
 $223.07 New Tires
 $567.40
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $497.40
 $200.00 Groceries
 $297.40
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $272.40
 $23.17 Dinner, 9/13
 $249.23
 $40.00 Gas
 $209.23
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $184.23
 $79.00 Amazon.com Prime Membership
 $105.23  $105.23
0.07  $7.37
 $7.37  $ 97.86

And with the lump sum cash withdrawal:

 $790.47
 $223.07 New Tires
 $567.40
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $497.40
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $177.40
 $79.00 Amazon.com Prime Membership
 $98.40
 $7.37 Merrill Transfer
 $91.03

So here we are, Halloween went well, the kids had a BLAST trick or Treating! We walked around downtown for about two (2) hours before heading to Harris Teeter to get Ashley some cold meds – she felt a little warm to us and was coughing some during trick or treating, though she didn’t let that bring her down, she took off as per usual and had  so much fun!

Here are the kids in their costumes:

Lil Devil

 

Our Little Devil!

Shadow Ninja

 

And our Shadow Ninja!

So we took the car in for it’s inspection on Thursday last week and the car failed, why? Well the treads on the tires was too low and three of the tires needed replacing.  So because two of the three were under warranty with Sear’s we took it back to Sear’s this morning to get the tires looked at, spent $224.00 for four new tires (2 reduced under the warranty + 2 brand news ones) left there to head to Wal-Mart for grocery shopping as we were leaving we began hearing this horrible grinding noise from the right rear tires…are you Friggin’ kidding me?!?! Taking it back to Sear’s tomorrow and no I am NOT paying a damn dime to get it fixed, it wasn’t making that noise when we dropped it off!

Yeah so not looking forward to that! Spent 2.5 hours waiting at the mall only to have to go back tomorrow…UGH!