Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

I swear the universe doesn’t want us to be stable…why?

Well as you can probably figure out its the middle of the day and I am writing this post because I was let go on Friday from the State Temp Assignment…they couldn’t get me access to the necessary items because I was a Temp and as a result couldn’t keep me busy – yeah staffing agency called me at like 6:30 Friday evening…I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this – why oh why didn’t the client think of this BEFORE bringing me on board?!?! I did put my application in for the permanent spot, but at this junction I doubt highly it’ll happen – though I also don’t think I want it to, if that makes sense…I was feeling lethargic while there and really dreading being a desk-jockey again…

I’ve also decided I’m not going to the COPAT test on Thursday – the very idea of working in a prison scares the ever living you know what out of me, while I am sure I can do the job, I am not 100% sure I want to. If that makes sense?

So here I am once again unemployed – no real prospects – didn’t see one single position that looked appealing today…gonna be a very LONG holiday season for sure.  Thankfully I am capable of making Christmas gifts for the family, so I don’t have to worry about buying them gifts.

THEN I checked my hubby’s unemployment account and he’s said he’s been filing his weekly certs YET he hasn’t been paid…makes me wonder…WHY?!?!?  There should be several hundred bucks just sitting there, I haven’t touched his account since the beginning of October – 6 weeks ago – so there should be 6-weeks worth of monies there…I wonder if he’s actually filing….

Anyhew, that’s where we’re at – the mortgage thing is up in the air – I’ve asked him to look into the Unemployment Office’s assistance program and natch…we need to have a chat for sure.

Good Evening/Morning what have you readers!

I know things have been absolutely up and down lately but I have had a bit of luck, I applied for this position last week, got called by the staffing agency trying to fill it, and they brought me in, sent me to the customer and yeah well I managed to secure a temp spot!  It’s at least through the end of the year working for a State Government Agency literally 5 mins from my house! Oh yeah loving that part of it! It’s doing payroll work – timecard entry, tracking of deductions, etc.  It’s way more than I’ve done in the past, but I am confident I can handle it.  They are hiring for the position permanently – and they’d posted it last week – so I went ahead and applied Friday evening when I got home – will be shooting a message to the HR manager on Monday morning when I get into work.  I know I can handle the position, I know I can do it, there’s a LOT to learn but you know I already know how to do 1/2 of it…so we’ll see!

On the flip side though, last Wednesday morning before I started working we went to this Herbalife place we love and had some breakfast smoothies.  On the way out I grabbed a hat & scarf set I’d made to give to the owner, well not only did we get our smoothies for free she offered me a small spot in her store to sell some items! WHAT?!?! I am soo very excited! So I’ve spent the last three days crocheting up a STORM, I’ve made three more of the same sets, some rope scarves, one with a matching ear warmer, a Dobby the House Elf doll, a Christmas basket, and some cup cozy’s…I don’t have much in my thoughts, but I don’t want to make too much and have it not sell, so it’s a balancing act for sure.  So I am very hopeful that this will turn things around ever so slightly for us.

Still no decisions on how we’re going to proceed with the mortgage…but right now we’re in a holding pattern…

New Year 20143


I hope beyond all hope everyone had a Great Holiday Season! Santa was good to you and yours, and that your New Year Celebrations were everything you hoped they would be!  We spent ours as per usual at home watching Transformers 3 and playing Skip Bo after I did my at home Zumba Workout!

With the New Year comes many thoughts flooding into my head about what I want our finances to look like for 2014, and I can honestly say I have lofty goals and that probably only 10% of them will be met, so here goes, I am posting them here for accountability purposes:

1.  Get Caught up on the Mortgage, we are currently behind once again, owing somewhere around $2,400.00 with another month being due posting 01/15/14…so this is Goal #1.  I haven’t completely figured out yet how we are going to catch up on this – for now I have built into the budget a weekly payment of $225.26 to at least cover the current month.

2.  Get Caught up and PayOff the car loan, we are currently behind once again, owing somewhere around $504.00 with another month being due posting 01/06/14…so again Goal #2 here.  And again I haven’t figured out how to catch up on this until tax time when I plan on using the tax refund to pay the back due balance and then as much as we can towards paying off the loan.  According to my math we owe something like $2,600.00 so I feel this is completely doable! Once the car is paid off we’re going to hold onto it for another year until we receive our refund in 2015 in hopes that without the car payment we can be more consistent with making our mortgage/utility payments.

3.  Get Caught Up on All Utilities! – We are once again behind on both the water and electric bills to the tune of about $400.00, so my ultimate goal here is to pay them off – I have worked again into the budget a weekly allotment to pay once utility something every week until tax time when I can zero them out – on the other side of this however is finding ways to lower said utility bills which may be semi-difficult, we’ll see!

4.  Build an Emergency Fund – Be it the monies we have left over at the end of each week, or we find a way to build with separate savings, this is a Necessity to prevent car repairs coming from our general funds – even if I have to split up what’s left in our checking account two ways every week I will find a way to do this!

5.  Start a Christmas 2014 Savings Fund – This will be for our travel and purchase of gifts for next Christmas! I so did NOT like being home alone this year – while our Christmas was nice & quiet with just the four of us, I still prefer the chaos and family time in Maryland! Call me crazy but that’s the way of it…to do this I have built into the budget each week a small amount of money to deposit into our savings account to help fund this account!

So that is the main list of 2014 Financial Goals – while I’d also love to find a way to fund a small vacation for all four of us, I just don’t see that happening right now – it just isn’t in the books.  I said something a couple of weeks ago that if anyone wanted to nominate us for one the Ellen Show “Surprises” I wouldn’t be offended – ugh I would so love some sort of miracle to come into our lives to help us out here!

So what are your 2014 Financial Goals?

Roadsigns for Financial Goals

From the Family at NCREaderGirl, I hope each and every one of you had an AWESOME Christmas!

We sure did here, small celebration just the four of us, but that didn’t matter, we still enjoyed the day, and just relished each other’s company…we watched a movie, ate good food, and I took a much needed NAP LOL!!!

While not a Christmas movie, it’s what we chose to watch today!

Blessed_Yule_Contest_Entry_by_TinyAngel21 Merry Christmas


So Happy Holidays and a Very Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to us – yeah right – I am ticked, let down, saddened, etc. however you wish to put it – why? Well two reasons:

1.  Two of the girls who work with my hubby QUIT, yes you read that right, they QUIT – ADIOS, Good Bye, See Ya Later (can you imagine that in the Shrek Voice?) Anyway – this has caused his store to only be able to give him 3-days leave at Christmas…so that leads me into reason #2

2.  With the repairs to the fan on our HVAC system, costing me $289.00, the loss of work hours, and the cost of travel we’re now STUCK – yes friends I said STUCK at home in Wilmington for Christmas.  WE were scheduled to leave on Sun the 22nd and stay through until the 27th/28th and I had made plans to see numerous people while we were in Maryland for the holiday – including my Grandparents, whom I haven’t seen in 2+ years – and I am totally BUMMED about this.

To say my Christmas is already in the tank is an understatement – this time to go to Maryland and be with our families – extended family – is one of those things I look forward to most during the year and to be let down to this degree is just entirely too much for me right now…so needless to say we’ll be spending the day watching bad Christmas Movies including:

Home Alone 1 & 2

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Jingle All the Way

A Christmas Carol

Miracle on 34th Street

And many many others we own…we’re meal planning right now, but have gotten stumped with Ham & Mashed Potatoes w/Red Velvet Cake for dessert.

So to get us back on track here – last week we went a tad overboard in terms of spending – I did some shopping for Christmas gifts to send home with my Parents when they come down on the 26th (the silver lining here, they’ll be here until the 29th)…so I spent some of the cash reserves I had saved, roughly $85.00 + some from Checking $39.24.

9th Birthday Girl

This last weekend we also celebrated my daughter’s 9th Birthday – her actual birthday is Christmas Eve (another thing we’re missing is the big family party we always have for her) – by having her Girl Scout Troop over for a Slumber Party on the 14th! We had in total 8 girls plus Ashley and my son Austin, for 10 kids in total – it was total Chaos in the house!  We spent about $50.00 at the party store on balloons, goody bags, and other decor, then $32.00 at Little Ceasar’s for pizza and cheesy bread for the girls, and then another $15.00 or so at the Grocery store for brownies, sodas, and pancake mix for breakfast!  All in all I spent a grand total of $84.69 (I had budgeted $100.00, so I was under budget there!)

So here we are – the budget, enjoy:

 $25.08 Remaining from W/E 12/01/13  $525.99 Lara W/E 12/08/13 Salary, Pay Date 12/13
 $20.38 Amt. Spent  $272.38 Jimmy W/E 12/08/13 Salary
 $4.70 Avail. Starting  $798.37
 $3.66 KTC  $4.70 Avail. Starting
 $5.74 Sweet Frog  $798.37 Total Pay
 $4.05 Kindle Charges  $803.07 Avail. For Bills
 $6.93 Harris Teeter

I swear these student loans are going to be the death of me – notice we haven’t paid our mortgage/car payment in awhile?!?!?!? Well HELLO other bills – UGH!  I really hate this time of year in terms of finances – struggling to do Christmas shopping while balancing the bills – UGH – so I have a plan for 2014 which will be discussed with my next Budget post for the New Year!

 $70.00 Brigades B&G Club
 $111.00 Great Lakes, 12/17 Auto-Draft
 $150.00 Citi
 $200.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Dinner, 12/13
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $40.00 Gas
 $84.69  Ashley’s Party
 $39.24  Money Spent Before Bills Paid
 $33.14  $33.14
7%  $2.32
 $2.32  $30.82

And with the cash withdrawal – I put all of Ashley’s party stuff on my Debit card so that if there was anything left I could put it back into the general fund for the budget – and thus I was able to send $20 extra to Citi! So it worked out!

 $70.00 Brigades B&G Club
 $320.00 Cash for the Week
 $84.69 Ashley’s Party
 $111.00 Great Lakes, 12/17 Auto-Draft
 $150.00 Citi
 $39.24  Money Spent Before Bills Paid
 $2.32 Merrill Transfer

Ok so that’s that – if anyone is curious my weight loss journey is going well – I am down 18lbs – still no Gym Membership YET – but Zumba 100% oh yeah! The only downside I am seeing here is that now I have to find $$$ to go clothes shopping LOL!! My hubby in his infinite wisdom when asked by his Mother what to get me for Christmas told her to get me a Gift Card to a clothing store so I can replenish my wardrobe (collective AWWWW please!)!  After the New Year I’ll be looking for a Gym Membership and I am leaning toward Planet Fitness as they seem to be the more flexible option for me…we’ll see though!

Well it’s getting on time for me to vamoose on home – so enjoy and I will talk with ya’ll next week!

Alright so I’ve been noticeably absent lately and that’s because last week we didn’t really have anything to report – I was holding our funds to pay for the HVAC repair at home, well on that we managed to get someone out to look at the system and as it turns out it’s the fan motor that’s bad so we’re replacing that.  They had to order the part and it’ll be in this week Mon/Tues so today or tomorrow – and the cost of the part + installation is $289.00, OUCH!  So for now we’re freezing our butts off and using the Emergency heat in the house until the fan part is installed tomorrow or Wednesday…lovely right? I’ll see that jump up on our electric bill – as if it’s not already high enough.

Add to this I needed to order Checks – which isn’t all that terrible, only $20.00 there, so not terrible! Then during a trip to Michael’s on Saturday in search of something for my daughter to wear (lights/bells, etc) in the Christmas Parade with her GS Troop I stumbled upon an idea for Presents for the family, so while I did not find what I was looking for in terms of stuff for the parade, we did manage to craft some stuff for the family for Christmas for $22.00! Very pleased about that!

Also, I finally have come to terms with the fact that we HAVE HAVE HAVE to hold off on buying a new car when tax time rolls around for one simple fact – WE NEED TO GET AND STAY CURRENT ON THE MORTGAGE – this is by far the most important thing right now.  So when the car is paid off next summer (or even with the tax money) we’ll hold on getting a new car until the following tax time so we can be without a car payment for awhile or until the damn thing dies, whichever comes first.  Hoping we make it until tax time 2015 vs. the car dying on us sometime next year…no I am NOT happy about this, but alas it’s for the best…

Alright, so here we go:

 $181.01 Remaining from W/E 11/24/13  $417.09 Lara W/E 12/01/13 Salary, Pay Date 12/06
 $86.62 Amt. Spent  $330.62 Jimmy W/E 12/01/13 Salary
 $94.39 Avail. Starting  $747.71
 $5.35 PetsMart  $94.39 Avail. Starting
 $0.65 KTC  $747.71 Total Pay
 $23.01 Once Upon a Child  $842.10 Avail. For Bills
 $21.54 Michael’s
 $4.67 McDonald’s
 $31.40 Wal-Mart

We did spend WAY too much – but we did get some items required – Once Upon a Child was a new dress for Ashley to wear on her Birthday/Christmas, a very pretty Red/Burgundy Velvet dress with a black/silver cowl sweater, it’s soo pretty! I still need to get her some shoes to wear with it; and then Wal-Mart was a new toaster (ours died) and my very first Iron (for GS Patches) and then the Michael’s purchase is listed above.

 $289.00 Comfort Pro
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $200.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Dinner, 12/06
 $40.00 Gas
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 12/10 Auto-Draft
 $100.00  CFPUA
 $20.00  Check Order
 $43.10  $43.10
7%  $3.02
 $3.02  $40.08

And with the lump sum cash withdrawal – I had to pay Brigades with cash as my checks haven’t arrived yet and I am OUT – so I just added that to the weekly cash withdrawal and used it…

 $289.00 Comfort Pro
 $400.00 Cash for the Week
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 12/10 Auto-Draft
 $100.00 CFPUA
 $20.00 Check Order
 $3.02 Merrill Transfer

So next Weekend things will be slightly different as we have Ashley’s birthday party on Saturday night – we’re doing a sleepover so it shouldn’t be more than about $75.00 for Pizza/Drinks/Plates/Napkins and we have movies and such.  She wants to have a Brownie vs. a Cake so making a brownie will be easier, and if we get some ice cream we can make brownie sundae’s with the girls.

Then the following weekend we are MD Bound (hopefully) for Christmas! I am soo thrilled about that, but I cannot believe beyond anything that Christmas is that close! Seriously NEED to get some shopping done for the kids LOL!!

Alright I’ll stop rambling!  TTFN All!

*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

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!

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

And with the lump sum cash withdrawal:

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

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