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Archive for April, 2014

Gratitude

April 28th, 2014 at 08:46 am

I've adopted a sense of gratitude and I must say that I feel much more at peace with life itself. Despite our situation, with hubby being out of work, we have managed to pay our bills, put food on the table, pay for college tuition, save money and enjoy a few "wants". I'm glad that we worked hard to pay off our home when we did because it has made our life much much easier.

Having said that, we want to start enjoying our lives a bit more. We have enough savings to cover any immediate emergencies and from this point forward we've decided that 10% of our income will go on special fund for a yearly vacation and a few special outings. On a personal level, I also want to lose some weight, give up the soda habit once and for all and embrace life with a more adventurous spirit. I'm willing to tighten our belts now to have some fun later.

We are also planning a trip to my hometown in the Caribbean, rent a beach house and go off the beaten path. I'll have three months to save for this vacation in late summer.

AMEX Offers

April 24th, 2014 at 08:43 am

American Express under "Your offers" a $5 statement credit when you spend $5 in iTunes by 4/30. Don't forget to press the "save" button if you are planning on taking advantage of this deal. Sweet!

Awful pizza and a little more

April 23rd, 2014 at 08:42 am

I think I'm a pretty good judge of good pizza and I gotta say that Papa John pizza is just so awful. I will never buy it again. Expensive and yucky.

I'm excited that we now have a little over $2K in our Anniversary Party Fund with a almost a whole year to save more. Our 25th Wedding Anniversary is on February, but I don't want to deal with bad wintery weather, so I decided to do it in the Spring.

I redeemed $530 in travel credit card rewards and used it towards the car rental on our recent vacation. After cc rewards, the total out-of-pocket expense was $174. Not too shabby! May is usually a tough month for us financially. We have the 4th quarter property taxes due ($2,200)and homeowner's insurance premium payment.

We are thinking Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for our next vacation in an all inclusive resort and free airfare (read about it in my previous post). Has any one ever visit Punta Cana?

Big Snowflake (more like an avalanche)

April 21st, 2014 at 10:01 am

I have to share with you how we were able to receive two $1K vouchers from United Airlines while waiting for our departure flight to Florida. We arrived at the airport with a couple of hours to spare. As we were waiting for our departure, we kept hearing the airline clerk announcing that they were giving a $500 voucher to anyone willing to give up their seat. My husband and I looked at each other, but I turned it down. Again, they announced that they increased the voucher to $800 for each person to give up their seat. I was tempted, but I declined. Fifteen minutes before departure, the clerk announced a $1,000.00 voucher for each person, a hotel stay, meal voucher and a spot on the next plane to Florida in the morning. Quite honestly, we were not in a hurry to get to Florida so I looked at my husband and I said, "Let's do it!" We had nothing to lose since we were traveling alone (no kids)and were planning to stay at a hotel room once we arrived in Florida and travel to my mom's house in the early afternoon. Our next airfare is covered! A little inconvenience paid off!!!

Also, this trip also helped us realized that we are not ready to move south anytime soon. My husband did not liked the area and we really need to think this through, especially now that the medication for my Seasonal Affective Disorder is really helping me.

P.S. We saw a family of five take the vouchers too!

Update

April 10th, 2014 at 08:05 am

I mailed our income tax returns on Tuesday. We owe the Feds $865 but we are getting $720 back from the state. I will transfer back the money I borrowed from savings to pay the federal government on Tuesday (pay day).

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As of tomorrow night we are officially on vacation. This trip has been planned since January and airfare has been paid in full. We are using the money we are getting back from the state to splurge a bit while on vacation. Most of the rental car will be paid in full by using credit card rewards. We are staying at a hotel a couple nights,thanks to a dear friend booking the reservations for us at 40% off. The remaining days will be spent with family members. We will also scout the area we are looking to move next year to see if this is the right move for us.

Well, I guess this it for today. I hope you have a great weekend.


$ update

April 4th, 2014 at 04:02 pm

I'm glad the workweek is over...three days of standardized testing was enough and has left me exhausted.

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Financially, I swept $200 from the checking account to savings. I funded my 52 Week Savings Challenge account last week when I received my paycheck. I will have to fund the next two weeks of the challenge when I come back from vacation. I spent $38 eating out (substantially less) this week but made $285 extra working an extra nine hours.. This money usually goes towards savings and eating out.

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It will be almost a year since my hubby lost his job. In September we had about $24K in savings, come April we are at a little over $64K. I feel extremely blessed that we paid off our house when we did. It enabled us to live on one income and save money. We saved most of my hubby's unemployment benefits and all of the income earned working extra hours as well as a percentage of my paychecks. I hope we can continue to do this and more if hubby finds a job soon. I think we can probably save an additional $5K by July 1st to cover our summer expenses when I am off from work.

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This is it for today. Enjoy your weekend!