Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

It’s time for an update.

And, man we have been busy!  Both personally and financially!

When I last posted things were on the upswing – we’d just received our taxes and were planning on what to do with them.

Well, the long and the short of it is this – we used the bulk of it to pay bills, pay off my truck and get our daughter’s room re-done! She’s thrilled with the final product as are we!



She chose the colors and we ran with it!

Then once that was done, my hubby and I were chatting about the trip we were contemplating taking and ultimately decided we had the funds, so why not do a BIG vacation – so after weighing the costs with the pros & cons we booked a 5-Day 4-Night Trip to Universal Studios Orlando Florida!

We took this trip in October 2017 and had a BLAST!

But first we took two shorter trips – 1st the MD to visit the family and then my daughter and I went to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA with our Girl Scout Troop.  This trip was mostly funded by two years worth of GS Cookie Sales, so I was responsible for food, transportation, and souvenirs!

We had fun on both of these short trips!

BUT the big one was obviously much anticipated!


Just a few of the 100+ shots I took!

BUT I have to say the biggest news is that I was finally able to leave my retail job behind and took a FT Office Job in June at an International Pharmaceuticals Development Company – now it’s not all sunshine & rainbows – I am a contractor through the same company that placed me at the paper plant in 2015, meaning no paid time off, and minimal benefits.  Though they are working on getting this company to hire me on FT permanent which will give me those precious PTO hours I so long for.  The pay is $15.50/hr which is an uptick obviously from my $9.34/hr at the retail establishment.  Hours are M-F 8:30 – 5:30.  I did overlap sometime working both jobs to help pay for food/gas for our FL trip, but on 10/30 I said Good-Bye to my friends at the store and resigned.

While it was best for my mental health – the money coming in would still be helpful – BUT I didn’t want to do another Holiday Season.

So that’s the biggest news of all!

I know I have been scattered here, but life has thrown me major curveballs and I have been busy!

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!