Posts Tagged ‘CitiMortgage’

So to Speak…

I have so much in my brain right now – I’ve discussed where we’re at with the Mortgage and the van – and we have that underway.

The mortgage is in a holding pattern until the funds from our 401K arrive via Fed-Ex after it’s sent – the NCHFA has told us that we’ll have the funds forgiven after 10 years in the home – I really hope that we’re successful in paying the mortgage ourselves after their support runs out after 18-Months.

However, today I received the paperwork FINALLY from Wells Fargo to close my account – I sent an email to the HR Team of my previous employer requesting they complete the paperwork and send it back to Wells Fargo as soon as they can so I can get this money quickly.  So now we wait…as per usual.

Bonus, though today we got a call from DSS telling us we qualify for Family/Adult Medicaid through the State so we can get medical insurance.  YAY! My husband has been experiencing random low grade to somewhat highish fevers and I am really worried about him – BUT we’ve been unable to get him to the Dr’s to get it looked at.  And, he’s been unwilling to go to the hospital to get it looked at, and I understand that, ER’s are not clinics and not the place to go for medical attention.  So tomorrow, off we go to DSS to get this application in.

I was told today that another manager in my store is looking for someone Full-Time in two of her departments – she’d already offered me extra shifts and I am going to take them – however, my counter manager told me to talk to this other manager about getting a full-time position with her.  I am considering it because we could definitely use the money, and its looking like my future is bound within the walls of the store…for now at least as I am having a very hard time finding work outside of the store. Been looking for a couple of months now with no luck…so yup.

I am also considering undertaking a change in our diet – recently one of my favorite author’s has started on her blog a series of posts about Depression Era Eating and cooking.  She’s listed those items to store in bulk and now I am thinking about how to outfit our kitchen to accommodate bulk dry goods in my kitchen. (her initial post is here, Food Frugality in the New Depression) – it’s a 12′ x 12′ square with one wall of cabinets interspersed with my stove, sink, and refrigerator

The other side of the cabinets is the same, and on the 3rd wall is a steel dog crate for Sadie.  So now I have to get creative, maybe using some shelves and the real estate on the floor by the other wall on the other side of the kitchen next to the living room…

I think doing this would allow us to save some money at the grocery store – just because we’re on Food Stamps doesn’t mean we have to eat like crud – we can use those funds to pay for bulk items at the store and eat well. At least that’s my thought…what do you all think? If nothing else the money saved will be helpful in paying for other items.

One is Silver – we’re considering selling her, as much as it breaks my heart – we cannot continue to pay her monthly payment, the insurance and gas – we’d need another vehicle so possibly going back to a buy here – pay here place OR buying something for cash.  We won’t get what we owe Regional for her – I am aware of that – BUT the bigger picture is that her monthly payment ($540.00) plus the insurance ($272.00/mos) plus gas ($140.00) is just too much for us right now on my $9.00/hr income…so we have to determine if that’s a viable option…

Ok I think I’ve offloaded enough…

Have any of you watched the ABC Show Extreme Weight Loss?  If not you really should check it out, here’s their Facebook Page

Extreme Weight Loss Cover

 

As someone who has been on a personal journey towards weight loss I can connect with the contestants and know what they are going through, I can sympathize with each of them, and can feel their pain – their motivation becomes my inspiration to continue despite being stuck in a Plateau at present!

Last night I caught the last and final episode that was loaded onto Hulu‘s website, this episode was ‘Bruce’ a 29-year old high school football coach who weight in at 382 lbs when he started his journey – despite being that immensely overweight he had such a positive attitude and a joy for life that it was hard not to grab onto that and just enjoy it with him!  It was contagious I have to say, I kept saying over and over to my husband last night while watching his episode that I loved this kid’s attitude and positivity!

So what does that have to do with my finances?  Well as all of you know I’ve been in a lurch lately about what to do, and how to move forward with our mortgage situation, we’ve decided on three steps to take:

  1. Do the mortgage restructure paperwork, turn it in and see what happens – this is all on my hubby’s shoulders, I am not going to deal with them again
  2. At the same time we’re going to continue to look for ways to bring in more income – I have registered, as previously stated, with two Freelance websites for some kind of Freelance work; I have also set-up a HubPages account to do freelance writing, however I am stumped for something to write about (go figure); and my hubby has talked more about getting a 2nd job
  3. If Step #1 fails, then we’re looking at probably filing with the courts for a 5-year leeway plan the State of NC has that will prevent Citi from filing foreclosure for 5-years while we work to get our finances in order

Just knowing these steps has helped some – having a plan of action has helped some – but I was still feeling less that motivated to move forward – NOT anymore!

Bruce has helped push me back on my path and now I can say that along with his inspiration to push through my plateau with my weight loss – I am also pushing through with getting my financial life back in order!  I have already begun that process by tracking our spending again to keep a closer eye on what we’re spending and where (yes even the cash expenditures) so I can make adjustments if need be.  I am also applying for more and more jobs on a daily basis – at LEASE one a day – here lately though ironically enough most of the jobs I’ve applied for have been with either the State of NC or New Hanover County Governments – which as we all know means State/County Benefits and some level of stability and maybe even some upward mobility!

Whoop Whoop! So keep us in mind and in your prayers/thoughts/spells what have you! We have a long road ahead and will most definitely have speed bumps along the way, but we overcome!

Thoughts?!?!

Well after the chaos and drama that was last week’s post – which can be found here – I am happy to say that the weekend passed fairly uneventfully and we actually finished the weekend with $53.00 cash on hand – I gave $13.00 to Jimmy for his date with Ashley this week and have the remaining $40.00 in my wallet to be put into the cash box on Friday morning should it not get spent – which at this point I don’t foresee happening – so that’ll put the total in there to roughly $76.00, YEAH! That’s money to be spent for my son’s 11th Birthday celebration which is on the 3rd of February – unlike my daughter he’s opted not to have a party and is still hemming and hawing over what to do for his birthday – so yeah that’ll make for an interesting day.  May just get him some more books for his Kindle…we’ll see!

So on that note – I have restructured things slightly to allow for money to go to our three biggest payoffs each week:

1. Daycare – $70.00/week until the 1st week of February when it jumps to $100.00/week

2. CitiMortgage – $225.26/week unless we have a utility due than it’s whatever I can swing from the balance

3.  Credit Acceptance – $84.50/week until we can pay it off with our refund.

I seriously cannot WAIT until we get our tax documents coming in so I can get them off to Dad and get the taxes done…anxious much? LOL!!

So here we are – here’s this week’s budget:

 $40.20 Remaining from W/E 12/29/13  $486.52 Lara W/E 01/05/14 Salary, Pay Date 01/10
 $35.22 Amt. Spent  $255.77 Jimmy W/E 01/04/13 Salary
 $4.98 Avail. Starting  $742.29
 $5.00 Savings for Xmas ’14  $4.98 Avail. Starting
 $2.79 KTC  $742.29 Total Pay
 $9.91 McDonald’s  $747.27 Avail. For Bills
 $3.85 RedBox  $3.05 Food Lion
 $2.40 PetsMart  $744.22
 $11.27 Harris Teeter  $22.00 J-Cash
 $35.22  $722.22

 

Now I’ve decided for 2014 not to post the two separate items with the cash withdrawal and not – seemed too much to do both – so I’ll just post the breakdown and leave it at that:

 $722.22
 $116.00 AT&T
 $606.22
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 01/10 Auto-Draft
 $601.22
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $531.22
 $200.00 Groceries
 $331.22
 $25.00 Dinner, 01/10
 $306.22
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $281.22
 $40.00 Gas
 $241.22
 $84.50 Credit Acceptance
 $156.72
 $125.00 Citi
 $31.72  $31.72
8%  $2.54
 $2.54  $29.18

 

You will notice (2) changes to the budget

1. I have allotted at the top as money spent what I am transferring over to savings for Christmas 2014 – no I have not calculated out exactly how much we need to put aside each week to make a certain amount of money – for now I am just doing what I can afford to spare

2. I have upped my contribution to the Merrill Account from 7% of what’s remaining to 8% – hoping to eventually get us to 10% or more! Crossing my fingers!

Well all that’s all she wrote – keeping it brief – any suggestions from my readers on how I can improve things to accommodate the additional $30.00/week coming out?

Enjoy!

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

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!

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!

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!

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
 $7.99  Hulu.com
 $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.
 $3,473.35

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:

 $779.64
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $709.64
 $10.00 OT Solutions
 $699.64
 $200.00 Groceries
 $499.64
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $474.64
 $25.00 Dinner, 9/20
 $449.64
 $40.00 Gas
 $409.64
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $384.64
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 9/21 Auto-Draft
 $376.65
 $21.39 Blockbuster.com, 9/23 Auto-Draft
 $355.26
 $5.00 Coastal Beh. 9/25
 $350.26
 $64.47 State Farm, 9/24 Auto-Draft
 $285.79
 $200.00 Credit Accept
 $85.79
 $30.00 Boys’ Haircuts
 $55.79  $55.79
7%  $3.91
 $3.91  $51.88

And…with the lump sum cash withdrawal:

 $779.64
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $709.64
 $10.00 OT Solutions
 $699.64
 $360.00 Cash for Week
 $339.64
 $7.99 Hulu.com, 9/21 Auto-Draft
 $331.65
 $21.39 Blockbuster.com, 9/23 Auto-Draft
 $310.26
 $5.00 Coastal Beh. 9/25
 $305.26
 $64.47 State Farm, 9/24 Auto-Draft
 $240.79
 $200.00 Credit Accept.
 $40.79
 $3.91 Merrill Transfer
 $36.88

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
 $74.95

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:

 $1,164.11
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $1,094.11
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $1,089.11
 $200.00 Groceries
 $889.11
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $864.11
 $25.00 Dinner, 9/13
 $839.11
 $40.00 Gas
 $799.11
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $774.11
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 9/15 Auto-Draft
 $685.11
 $5.00 CCA
 $680.11
 $625.00 Citi
 $55.11
 $15.00 Girl Scouts
 $40.11
 $5.00 Cape Fear Peds, 09/17
 $35.11

And with our Cash withdrawal:

 $1,164.11
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $1,094.11
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $1,089.11
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $769.11
 $89.00 APM Int’l, 9/15 Auto-Draft
 $680.11
 $5.00 CCA
 $675.11
 $625.00 Citi
 $50.11
 $15.00 Girl Scouts
 $35.11
 $5.00 CF Peds
 $30.11

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