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Archive for February, 2014

Checking account sweep

February 27th, 2014 at 04:45 pm

It looks like I'll be able to sweep $644 out of the $800 I had leftover in the checking account from my last paycheck. Not bad; I was hoping to sweep a minimum of $500. Tomorrow is pay day for me and will be transferring $1300 to savings. I am on week 10 of the 52 Week Savings Challenge which $43 (backwards). Tomorrow I will make a deposit of $47, four dollars over the set amount.

It's been brutally cold here but I decided not to complain about things I cannot change. I've caught myself complaining an awful lot and it makes me look and feel like a miserable person.

What do you think?

February 26th, 2014 at 12:32 am

I hate debt and my car loan is weighing heavily on me. Background: car loan for six years at 2.99%. Do I regret taking a car loan for a fancy car but the least expensive series of this German-made car? Yes and no. I love driving the car and it is a want I waited to have for a very long time but on the flip side, I hate the car payment. I can pay off this car and still have between $13K-17K left over in savings. It feels weird to take out that big chunk of money out but I figured we can pretend to have the car payment and build up the saving again. What do you think, should I pay the car off? Just a few things to consider when you give me your opinion: we paid our house off last April, hubby is unemployed, I have a steady job (teacher) and I can pay our bills with just my income.

Weekly financial update

February 23rd, 2014 at 03:17 am

I finally received my AMEX rewards check, $152. I will cash it at Costco and put it towards savings. I also saved some money using coupons and received a checkout coupon for $3 to be used towards my next shopping trip. I have a total of $6 coupons and a free reusable shopping bag from Shoprite.

My 52 Week Savings Challenge sits at $589. I'm doing it backwards and I try to put as much as I can each week. I also started a week earlier, so I'm on week #9. I also met the $1K requirement from the Barclay's CC. I should be credited with 40,000 points I can now use to pay for travel expenses. /

Weekly financial goals

February 18th, 2014 at 04:16 pm

With a tight budget and a jobless hubby, I try to set weekly or biweekly financial goal. These financial goals will help us save more for our future move down South. For the last three weeks, my goals were to maximize the amount of money I put into my 52 Weeks Savings Challenge, reduce eating out substantially, make meals from things we have available at home and cook less to reduce the amount of leftover food. I've done very well in these areas; it helps that my husband is a very low maintenance guy. He is perfectly content to have a home-cooked meal and a few beers every now and then. For the next, 10 days, we have $879.00 sitting in our checking account leftover from my last paycheck. We still have a few checks that have not cleared but they are for very small amounts. My goal for the next 10 days is to be able to sweep at least $500 or more from the checking to the savings account. Next Friday 2/28, I will let you know how much money we were able to sweep.

P.S. We will be celebrating our 24th Wedding Anniversary next Monday, but we agreed that our Spring Break vacation is our gift to each other.

Do you set weekly financial goals?

Less eating out and a little more...

February 17th, 2014 at 11:01 pm

I've read quite a few posts from bloggers saving lots of money by preparing their meals at home. I'm doing the same and I have to tell you that our money has stretched big time. On Valentine's day, we agreed that we would go to our local pizzeria and eat a good meal. Portions are fantastic and extremely delicious. We chose to order spaghetti and calamari with marinara sauce. Both my hubby and I shared the meal along with a salad and Italian bread. The bill was $19 and included the beverages and two specialty slices of pizza for DS#2 who was at work. We were very pleased.

On another note, I'm hoping to sweep more than $500 from the checking to the savings account at the end of this month. Hubby did a side job this month and he earned a little more than $1300. This money will pay our airfare to warmer pastures for Spring break. It's our first trip with no kids in the almost 24 years we've been married. I have a Barclay's credit card now that will reward me with 40,000 points to be used on travel expenses after spending $1,000 within 90 days. We already charged $980. We will use the points to pay for the car rental and a day or two of hotel accommodations. We will be staying at my Mom's for the rest of our stay.

Income taxes are in the works already and hope that we do not have to pay the IRS any money. There are some special considerations this year since we sold the rental property and a gift of equity to our sons. Crossing my fingers!

Fifty-two Week Savings Challenge update

February 14th, 2014 at 01:25 am

Every week I try to add as much as I can to the challenge. I had $41 put away to put towards this week's amount and today the mega snow storm helped hubby make an additional $120. I took half of it and along with the other money, I will make a deposit of $101 tomorrow. I'm on week eight of this challenge (backwards). I like that the challenge is helping avoid spending money on eating out. This week, we've done well with eating out and have cooked most of our meals at home.

No Heating Oil Miracle

February 12th, 2014 at 11:43 pm

We were hoping to have enough heating oil until March 1st, but hubby checked the oil tank to see how many more inches of oil we have left and there is 5 inches. This means that we only have 30 gallons left and it was time to order some. The damage $672 for 175 gallons (3.84 a gallon). Ouch! We usually fill it completely but we are planning on unearth it this Spring and replace it with an above ground tank. We will not be able to sell the house if we don't do this. We were denied a equity line of credit because of the inground oil tank a little while back.

A decision has been made

February 11th, 2014 at 12:02 am

Hubby and I have decided that it is time to get out of the cold and move to warmer pastures. The move will take place in the next two years or earlier, if everything goes according to plan. We've been talking about this for over a decade but never acted on it because it never seem to be the right time. For me, the move is a necessity. During the past five years SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) has really taking a toll on my health.
We are planning on buying a small and modest home cash and start our new life with no debt. I am sure our first year will be the most trying but we plan on saving enough money to have one or two years worth of living expenses while we search for work. I can probably find a teaching job or something related to the field of education. Hubby will work any job he can find and will be able to collect a small pension within two years after our move. I also plan to stock pile a lot of non-perishable food items to minimized grocery expenses after our move. Our sons have no interest in going with us and I don't blame them. Have you ever moved to another state? Do you have any suggestions for us?

A little update

February 8th, 2014 at 01:40 pm

Hoping and praying for no more snow for a while! Everything is frozen and we really have no more room to pile the snow. Hopefully, mother nature will cooperate and give us a few days above 32 degrees. Pay day is this coming Friday and I have to put a big chunk of that into our summer fund. I'm a 10 month employee and for the time being my hubby is unemployed. I cannot take any chances on not being prepared for the money drought. I don't want to work in the summer and I would really like to spend a few weeks with my madre during the summer. I also want to put as much as I can towards the 52 Week Savings Challenge this pay period. This money will be used for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

DS#2 is now responsible for purchasing his college textbooks and he did not protest. I have to say that my boys, I mean young men, are very responsible (don't mean to brag). They pamper me from time to time and I'm really proud of them. DS#1 has been on his own for almost a year and doing well.

Well, this is it for today. I hope you all have a great weekend and a frugal work week.

P.S. MIL is coming home on Tuesday!

The snow helped us again!

February 5th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Have I told you how much I dislike the snow? Absolutely hate it, but lately we've been making money with the snow. Hubby made $210 today shoveling snow, enough to cover this week's $46 (backwards) for the 52 Week Savings Challenge and put the rest towards savings. Snow days also mean "no spend" days. We are expecting another snow storm on Sunday. I am hoping and praying that the heating oil left in the tank lasts us until March 1st; I'm praying for a miracle. On another note, MIL should be home from the hospital by Sunday.

Frugal Saturday and Savings Update

February 1st, 2014 at 06:15 pm

We are having a movie/dinner night at my DS#1's apartment. We are inviting my BIL who is visiting his mom, who by the way is getting stronger and better each day. My son is going to do the Netflix seven day trial and cancel and we are hoping to be able to watch Bridesmaid with Melissa McCarthy. It's an older movie but I have not seen yet. Here are a few frugal things I've done/will do today:

Free rabies shot through our town clinic for my fur baby.
Cooking dinner myself instead ordering Chinese.
Used clothes rack to dry the laundry.

The balance of my 52 Week Savings Challenge is $359. Next week I have to come up with $46 for the challenge. It will be difficult because almost my whole entire paycheck went to pay property taxes and sewer bill. Maybe, I'll cash in my coin jar. I also, applied $25 worth of $5 Amazon cards using Swagbucks. My Amazon balance is $175!!! Not bad!

For all the Football fans here, Happy Superbowl Day tomorrow and a frugal and happy weekend for all of you.