Posts Tagged ‘Budgets’

So I know everyone is just itching to know how things are going – nothing has changed work-wise for me – still working the retail job and its going well, we’re getting into our busy time of year – albeit slowly – so things are cranking along well there.

Still do not have a car – ugh – and the public transportation system in our area is just forming a more and more sour taste in my mouth – they seriously need to work on getting their ish together, it is near impossible to hold onto steady riders, who also need to hold onto steady jobs, with the crud schedule they are running.

1507010_future_socialsecurity-jpg-crop-promo-xlarge2

Lastly, some good news 0 my husband was APPROVED for his disability, to the tune of $1,107.00/month, WooHoo!!! So stoked about that!  Our plan for now is to pay down the utilities and then use what we can afterwards to put toward the purchase of a vehicle. I am adamant that I DO NOT want another car payment, just gas and insurance every month.  So once tax season rolls around we’re going to put together what we’ve saved with some of our refund to pay cash for a vehicle.  We’ll also need to set aside some money for the taxes & registration.  I am hopeful we can also find someone reliable to give whatever vehicle we have considered a once over to ensure mechanical stability.

So that’s where we’re at right now!

So once again we’re in the position of being near broke, unstable, and trying to figure out ways to stay entertained all the while getting out of the house!

I am first going to share this link, from the blog, A Sip of the Good Life, she discusses ways to get out and about all the while spending less than $20!  Personally, I prefer to keep things cheaper and if at all possible FREE!

So what do we do?

Well in the lovely city of Wilmington, NC we have several parks right on bus lines and one right within walking distance of our front door – going to these parks is Free so when it’s nice and we don’t have other errands to run we can always go the park!

playground-greenfield-lake-in-wilmington-nc

Closest to us is the historic Greenfield Park – with a playground, an ampitheatre and walking trail that is 5-Miles long Greenfield is a great way to spend an afternoon! Of course they also offer paddle boat and canoe rentals, but you can walk around the entire lake for FREE!

Next if we choose to hop on a bus we can visit either Hugh McCrae Park with several playgrounds and its own walking trail or we can go to Halyburton – which also offers a stunning nature walk!

riverwalk-at-dusk

Image Borrowed from Wilmington, NC Government Page

Then again sometimes we don’t want to venture too too far from home, so we opt to head downtown and cruise the Riverwalk – usually wrapping up our visit with some ice cream from Kilwin’s usually this will cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 for all four of us, but it’s worth every penny!

kilwins

We will also go over to the shopping center where I work, an outdoor mall called Mayfaire Town Center – with a Michael’s, Barnes & Nobles and two dozen other shops and restaurants there’s never a chance to be bored for sure!

Now sometimes the weather doesn’t permit us to venture outside – so we then go inside and wander the mall, grabbing a coffee or a drink from the food court and doing some window shopping.

So then what if we want to remain home?  Simple – we’ll make some pizza and chill at home watching one of our 400+ movies! Its just simply too expensive to go out to the movies these days, thus putting this bit of entertainment out of our fiscal reach!

************

For other financial planning advice, visit Personal Capital to enjoy some amazing tools!

I am exhausted!

I have found that riding the bus everyday to and from work makes my days three hours longer than the work-day itself.

Example:

I have to be at work by 9:45 am – I have to leave the house by 7am to catch my 1st bus at 7:20 am, then a connector at 8:00 am arriving at the shopping center where I work around 8:45 am – if i leave at 8:00 to catch the 8:20 am bus I risk the connector being late and thus in turn being late for work (the buses here are NOTORIOUS for being unreliable and consistently OFF schedule)…so instead I get there early – sometimes I go to the break room of my store and hang-out other times I’ll head to Starbucks and borrow their internet while having another cup of coffee.

Then when I get off work at 6:15 like I did today, I caught my 1st bus at 6:45 and the connector at 7:15 getting dropped off around 7:35 and home around 7:45 – talk about a SUPER long day.

I am both mentally and physically exhausted.

Last paycheck I wasn’t able to put aside any money, I actually had to pull funds from a savings account to cover our financials for the two week period – still getting used to this bi-weekly pay schedule.  I did send $200 to Progress Energy for our electric bill and had some other items auto-draft.  I also cancelled my Personal Training contract and put a timeline stay on my gym membership (which will continue to draft) in an effort to save some money.

Anyhew – we’ll get there, hopefully sooner rather than later.

I am rambling – can you tell I have a LOT Of mental downtime on the bus?

Today it finally happened – Silver was repo’d – we’re back to square one – no vehicle – no transportation, no nothing.

We’ve been down this road before – once many years ago our Pontiac Vibe was Repo’d and we went five months without a vehicle – it was difficult and we had a very hard time finding work due to the lack of reliable transportation.  So now we’re trying to figure things out, slowly.  We’ve outlined a plan using my last two checks as a basis for the budget so we can ensure we have funds every month with some leftover for saving for a new vehicle.  We’re looking for something decent – and something we can pay cash for – last time we had a group helping us – this time we’re on our own.

I have also dictated to my husband that now we’re out of a vehicle we need to talk about replacing our washer/dryer so we can run laundry.  Ugh.

It’s become so overwhelming in the last couple of weeks – and its finally come to a head….

Wish us luck!

So ya’ll all remember Silver…how could you not, she’s gorgeous!

Silver

And I am STRESSED! We’re once again behind on our payments and it’s just a matter of time before Regional Acceptance comes to snatch her again…this time though we’re just gonna have to let her go…this seriously breaks my heart.  I adore this van, she’s reliable, runs well and has no mechanical issues…

I am trying to figure out what we’re going to do from here on in – I am SO not looking forward to another beater – but alas it seems to be my lot in life…a beater. I’ve been digging on Craigslist and all I am finding under $1,000 are vehicles in need of repair – missing this or that – well over 100,000 miles on them – ugh.  We can’t swing a car payment right now, so it’s what I’ll need to do.  How does one justify this?  We bought Silver when we had more steady income – now we’re down to a $9.00/hr job and no income from my hubs.  We’re hoping and praying for a miracle in terms of his disability, but even then it won’t be enough…geez.

So to say I am stressed about the whole situation is a VAST understatement.  Getting to and from work will be busing it until I figure out a more permanent solution.

And, to top it all off I dropped my hubby off at the hospital yesterday afternoon to get his legs looked at and get him back on his meds…we’re waiting for answers there, nothing has been figured out other than a series of tests.

Anyhew, that’s where we’re at right now…went and had dinner with my parents tonight for my Mom’s birthday and had me a HUGE alcoholic drink and I am feeling miserable, lesson learned.  I could rant and rave for hours, and it wouldn’t solve anything.

OTB Drink

Taking Suggestions!

So I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything about my journey!

I have been busy getting comfortable with the routine and have allocated two days a week to just baking, and generally those days are my days off, hee hee!

Anyhew, this week I opted to make my favorite Three Bean Turkey Chili for dinner!

I posted an ingredient list on my MyTrendingStories blog here

All in all the total cost: $14.31

Doesn’t this look Yummy!

All of the ingredients purchased with our Food Stamps! Part of our weekly shopping!

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce, Large Can, $0.98

Tomato Paste, 1 Small Can, $0.36

Diced Tomatoes, 1 Can, $0.98

Pinto Beans, Reduced Sodium, 1 Can, $0.58

Kidney Beans, Reduced Sodium, 1 Can, $0.87

Black Beans, Reduced Sodium 1 Can, $0.58

Chili Seasoning, 1 Packet, $0.98

White Ground Turkey, 1/2 lb $5.00 for 1 lb, freeze half for use in Spaghetti Sauce!

Shredded Cheddar Cheese, $2.50

Sour Cream, 1 Small Container, $1.48

Total Cost of Making this Meal: $14.31, less than $15.00 and makes enough for two nights of meals!

Steps are simple, in a sauce pan cook the ground turkey until white, while cooking add 1/2 of the chili seasoning packet – once all of the meat is cooked through add 1 can of tomatoes and 1/2 of the can of tomato sauce, stir, cover and simmer for 10-mins.

In your crock-pot add the other 1/2 of the tomatoes and tomato sauce, the tomato paste and beans (drain the beans), stir together – add the cooked sauce mixture, cover and cook on low for 6-hours.

Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Please Enjoy! I look Forward to hearing all about it!

So in the last month I’ve been asked by My Trending Stories to blog for them about my Food Stamp cooking, shopping and frugal eating journey!

I am very excited about this and have written four posts thus far, I hope my followers here will check them out!

FOOD STAMPS? YOU ARE ON FOOD STAMPS? YES I AM AND PROUD OF IT!
SO YOU ARE ON FOOD STAMPS – CAN I SHOP FREELY?
SO YOU THINK YOU NO LONGER HAVE THE TIME
SOME OF MY FAVORITE, AND AFFORDABLE MEALS!

Please check them out and share – share – share alike!