Posts Tagged ‘Duke Energy’

Ugh

Ugh

Ugh

Why do I always find myself in this situation?  A place where we are struggling to find that balance with our financials + our life+ wanting to keep our kids from suffering financially in our lives (i.e. missing field trips we can’t pay for, getting them new clothes when needed, etc.) it’s a constant battle to try and figure it all out – we have way more going out than coming in and 2/3 of what’s going out is just the Mortgage, Car Payment, Car Insurance, and the Utilities…I can’t stay ahead of them no matter how hard I try.

So where are we:

 – Midland Mortgage – 6 Weeks Behind, 1.5 Payments = $1,281.00 due by 06.15.15

– Regional Acceptance – 6 Weeks Behind, 1.5 Payments = $808.50 due by 06.17.15

– Cape Fear Public Utility Authority – New Statement Shows $285.00 due by 07.05.15

– Progress Energy – New Statement Shows Another $289.21 due by 06.01.15

 – AT&T – No new Statement Rec’d yet, assuming it’s going to be another $130.00 due by 06.15.15

Then there’s the whole need you know, EAT, and our grocery bills run about $150 – $200/week depending on how much we need – and we eat fairly healthy so that means a lot of vegetables, fruit, nuts, cheeses, and the like and those are more expensive than the processed crap in the store (backwards I know) and then if there’s a week I’m in need of protein powder that’s another $40.00 for both of those (vanilla and chocolate – used for two separate things and bought maybe every other month, 2 x 2lb containers last a while)

We try to make use of my husband’s work coupon to save money on Dog food one week a month and we haven’t used it yet this month – so we’ll probably use it tonight to save some money there as we also need to get kitty food.

And Silver, our van, requires about $30 – $35/week in gas, which Thanks to our Costco membership I save a little money there each week! Whoop Whoop!

And my husband’s money changes week to week, but here lately he’s required all of his $25 + some…ugh…I so can’t wait until he’s back to grooming so he can get tips + his commissions – oh yeah I didn’t post about that – but about 6 weeks ago or so he was injured during his shift – a 60ish lb dog was flayling around and knocked into my husband’s rib cage – and ambulance was called because about 15 mins after that incident he started having chest pains that radiated up his arms, neck and into his back, so we thought it was a heart attack – after spending 6 hours in the ER it was determined that it was musculoskeletal and he was sent home to follow-up with his primary care Dr – the following Monday he went to see his Dr and it was determined he had broken some ribs and had some bruising to the muscle’s – back & forth with the employer for Worker’s Comp – put on leave and then light duty for 6+ weeks means he’s losing money – we’re back to just his paycheck which hasn’t been much especially when they take out his benefits…ugh…

I am grateful though that I have been able to work my full-time schedule and if I’ve had to be out of work I have leave to offset the hours – YAY!!!  That’s been very helpful for sure.

And while my work for my author-employer has been steady it’s not income I rely on to help cover finances because the hours are up and down depending on her schedule…I mainly use that money as a means to fill a gap when we’re requiring it – like now Silver is due for an oil change, and I intend to use my next paycheck to cover that expense which I am estimating to be about $65 – $70 with the oil change, tired rotation, filter replacement, etc.

Ok back on track – so with the above we still have our normal monthly drafts:

– My Gym Membership $19.99/mos on the 17th

– My Personal Trainer, $50.00 on the 1st

– Hulu.com Subscription, $7.99 on the 21st

– State Farm Insurance, $272.00/mos on the 28th

– Music & Arts Center, $33.41 on the 18th (son’s Trumpet Rental)

– Vet’s Wellness Plan for Sadie, $32.95 on the 5th (this is with my hubby’s discount)

It’s no wonder we’re broke…ugh…I seriously need to invest some time into getting OT hours – I keep forgetting I too have benefits that draft from my check and need to make sure I work enough to offset those costs.

So that’s where we are – I am also running burnout at work – trying to save my leave so I can take some time off this summer and have some remaining for Christmas break as well…wish me luck!

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Well its early 2015 and we’ve already filed our taxes – so thankful for my Dad and for Turbo Tax – he patiently accepts all of our tax paperwork, asks for missing information and files our taxes for us every year.  Without him I’m pretty sure we’d end up at either WalMart, Liberty Tax, etc. getting them done paying too much to file them, so Dad Thank-You so very much!

That being said, we’ve received our refund from the Federal Government, this year we received $4,344.00 and somehow we owe the State of NC $51, so that will be filed and paid within the week – Dad suggested we wait until the last possible minute, but I want to make sure its paid when I know I have the money for it.

So now we’ve sat down and discussed how we’re going to spend it and allocate the funds – priority #1 was the utilities – getting current with them and paying them off, so here’s the breakdown:

 Utilities Due
 $                    450.00 Progress Energy Due 01.02.15 Paid 01.05.15 via Phone Pay, Conf# 06223256020515
 $                    157.18 Addt’l Progress Energy
 $                    173.91 CFPUA
 $                    147.45 AT&T Due 01.05.15 Paid 01.04.15 Via AT&T Website, Conf# 4LH7MYW9B045RH1
 $                    928.54
 $                 3,364.46 Remaining After Paying Utilities

Tonight, Thursday Feb 5th, our Electricity was cut off because of such a large past due balance, so we had to pay that and then some to keep it on – that payment was made over the phone tonight – tomorrow I’ll be paying the Water bill and the remaining balance of the Electric bill.

I then added in our projected income for the month and mapped out when the bills are due:

 Income for February
2/6/2015 2/13/2015 2/20/2015 2/27/2015
 $                    471.34 471.34 471.34 471.34 Lara’s Income (40.0 Hrs/Week)
 $                    269.02 269.02 269.02 269.02 Jimm’s Income
 $                    740.36  $             740.36  $    740.36  $    740.36
 $                 4,104.82  $          4,104.82  $ 4,104.82  $ 4,104.82 Remaining After Utilities + Income
 Bill Due for February
 $                    269.24  $             269.24  $    269.24  $    269.24 Regional Acceptance
 $                    430.07  $             430.07  $    430.07  $    430.07 CitiMortgage
 $                        5.00  $                    –  $            –  $            – Tate & Kirlin
 $                           –  $               33.80  $            –  $            – Music & Arts
 $                           –  $               19.99  $            –  $            – Planet Fitness
 $                           –  $                    –  $      57.97  $            – Oster
 $                           –  $                    –  $        7.99  $            – Hulu.com
 $                           –  $                    –  $      91.80  $            – Medieval Times Money for GS
 $                           –  $                    –  $            –  $    121.41 State Farm
 $                    704.31  $             753.10  $    857.07  $    820.72 Total Due for Other Bills

What’s kind of funny with Regional Acceptance is many years ago they financed the Alero I mentioned in my previous post about cars, see that here, so to be back with them is something I was surprised about when we got the payment paperwork earlier this week, but alas I guess there’s only but so many places that’ll finance people with less than stellar credit.

So then after the above was done, we mapped out our “Wish List” for the money with projected costs:

 Wish List
 Item Budget
 New Computer  $             250.00 to  $    300.00
 Clothes for Lara  $             200.00
 Jimmy’s Fun Money  $             200.00
 Kids’ Fun Money  $             125.00 $75 for Ashley/$50 for Austin
 Dinner Date  $             100.00
 Family Dinner  $             100.00
 Doggy Meds/Nixon Vet  $             150.00
 $          1,125.00

These are things we know for sure we want to do with the money – we’re going to give ourselves some “fun” money to play with and she $200 for my hubby and I will be used to replenish our wardrobes and spend as we need – we’re planning a date for the two of us – and then a shopping/dinner excursion to possibly Myrtle Beach to hit the outlets!  Should be fun! With my weight loss I know I need new Summer clothes – mainly work pants – some new dress sandals – new yoga pants – socks-undergarments, etc.  So I am hopeful I can find some reasonably priced items!

So then lastly we made a list of larger items we know we need to take care of in the house, those include:

 New Flooring for Front Hallway
 Ashley Metal Bed Frame – New Linens
 Austin Metal Bed Frame – New Mattress – New Linens
 Poss. New Couch/Chair for Living Room
 Rake, Shovel, Garden Tools
 Bookshelves
 Ottoman w/Storage Inside
 Carpet Cleaner Rental
 Sadie Teeth Cleaning/Nails

Fairly simple things – and whatever’s left will go into Savings.  We’re going to do our very best to stretch this money as long as we can to have that padding…gotta be smarter with it, its a larger amount of money than we’re used to seeing.

So that’s where we’re at right now!

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

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!