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December 13th, 2016 at 05:42 pm

Starting this post with really good news; my DS#2 has officially completed the course load and today is his last day of college. Graduation is in May; not so shabby for a kid that had no intentions of going to college after high school graduation. There are no student loans to pay as we have cash flowed our sons' college education. We have much to be grateful for.

Thursday is payday and I've already set up a Roth IRA contribution. This electronic contribution will officially bring me down to under $2K to fully fund it. If I am able to fully fund it, this will be the first time ever since I opened the Roth.

We also had to fill the heating oil tank a few days ago. That was a $360 fill but I'm not complaining since the last time we filled the tank was late March. Hoping and praying for a milder winter this year but predictions state otherwise. We will also have a little break from paying car insurance. I'm making the last policy payment December 21st. The policy renews again in March. Auto insurance is our highest bill at almost $800 a month for 8 months of the year. We still have a risky driver but he is now contributing the whole amount to ensure his car.

I have to buy a few things for Christmas as we are hosting my hubby's family on Christmas Day. Another 7 workdays and off until January 2nd! (much needed break)

Well, that's it, I hope you have a great work week.

End of November Challenge

November 30th, 2016 at 03:43 pm

I wrote a lengthy post and lost it all! I should've copy the content before I tried to post it. I can't stand when that happens.

Long story short, we had a $1,076 budget surplus which I swept to the savings account as well as a $350 still remaining in the checking account. I will not attempt to do another challenge in December but I will try again in January. Overall, a great month for savings. I had 7 no wants spending. I really wanted to have just 5 days but I guess that's not too shabby.

Help us make a decision

November 28th, 2016 at 05:21 pm

My husband's truck, a 2008 GMC Canyon, it's worth about $10K. It has very low mileage (about 35,000 miles). We are paying full coverage insurance for this vehicle. Do you think it's worth keeping full coverage on an almost 10 years old truck? When is it appropriate to just pay liability insurance? The truck has been paid off for quite some time and it's in excellent condition.

Any advice?

Update on November No Wants spending

November 21st, 2016 at 06:26 pm

No spending Sunday nor today. It looks like Tuesday will be another no spend day. Wednesday, however, I will be spending money on some "wants" about $35. I got off easy this year in terms of Thanksgiving. I'm in charge of bringing the sodas as well as cups and dessert. Everybody likes my cupcakes, not sure why, I make them from a box. I do use eggs at room temperature and I do not over bake (over brown them).

I already set up an electronic contribution to my Roth IRA to meet my monthly goal of $650. Feeling really excited about reaching the full contribution this year.

That's all for today. For those of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I'm definitely thankful for all of you!

Days #16,17 No Spend November

November 17th, 2016 at 05:15 pm

No spending whatsoever yesterday but today I bought breakfast. I was so lazy and tired! Frown I also bought a book of stamps but I consider this a need; bills need to get paid and Christmas cards need to sent. I still pay some bills with a check.

Total savings between Roth IRA and savings account: $850, I could've done a little better but we changed the back door and the screen door last month and yesterday my brother-in-law came to pick up the check for his labor, $575. He also did some plumbing repairs in the kitchen.

Looking forward to a 2 1/2 work week next week.

Day #13/14/15 November No Spend

November 15th, 2016 at 10:28 am

Days 13 and 14 were "needs" days (gas and groceries). Today, I'll have to go to Aldi but hubby and I also went out to eat breakfast together. I'm down two days of the five days allotted for "wants" spend days. Overall, I feel it has been a successful firs two weeks of this challenge.

It was also pay day for our family. I contributed $300 to my Roth IRA and allocated a nice amount to savings. I also paid a credit card in full.

How's your week going?

Day #11/12 November No Spend

November 12th, 2016 at 09:52 am

As mentioned before, I knew that day 11th of November No Spend Day was actually a spend day, but I'm happy to report that I only spent $16.45 after using the credit card credit.

Day 12th today will be a no spend day. So 10 No Spend days this month so far.


Day #10, No Spend November

November 10th, 2016 at 06:11 pm

No spend day at all.

I have a plan for tomorrow which will definitely will be a spend day. I have a $125 credit in my Chase Slate credit card and I will be using it to buy some groceries, beer and parking at the airport. I think the $125 should cover all of it.

I am recording the $125 as added income this month since the credit card was paid in full last month.

One last thing, I am worried that we've not heard from ImaSaver and Laura (Nebraska).

Day #8/#9 of No Spend November

November 9th, 2016 at 06:14 pm

No spending, no wants and no needs on Day 8 and 9 of No Spend November. I expect Day 10 to be the same but on Friday I will have to buy some food items, airport parking and beer for hubs. I decided that his beer will have to be purchased because this is the only money he ever spends. He is such a low maintenance guy and helps me out so much that he is deserving of at least have something he enjoys. As it is, he compromised on drinking some specialty beers he had on hand to help me gain momentum.

Is anyone having problem with TickerFactory.com? It's not updating my information for a while now.

Day #7 of No Spend November

November 7th, 2016 at 05:48 pm

As expected, I paid $20 to continue participating in the Lottery Club at work. My biggest fear is not participating and the club hitting the big one!

A victory, however, was the fact that I turned down a Krispy Kreme donut fundraiser at work. That would've been another $20 spent. I also check my expenditures for last month and by the first week of October, I had already spend $60 on "Wants". Oh well, I'll keep working on it until November 30th.

How was your day?

Day #6 of No Spend November

November 6th, 2016 at 03:27 pm

No spending today at all. Tomorrow I will not be home until late at night so I left dinner prepared in the fridge to avoid eating out. This week I know I will have at least one day of some spending ($20 for Lottery Club at work. The goal is 25 or more days of NO WANTS out of the 30 days in November. The less the better, of course.

Day #5 of No Spend November

November 5th, 2016 at 04:06 pm

No spending whatsoever today, Day #5 of No Spend November (only needs, no wants). I almost blew it but I decided against buying Chinese food for dinner. Tomorrow should be another no spend day.

I'm attending a rally tomorrow sponsored by two candidates running for our district's board of education. They'll be food and music; both my husband and I will be supporting them on November 8th.

How's your weekend going?

Day #4 of No Spend November

November 4th, 2016 at 07:31 pm

Another No Spend day today!

On another note, I'm excited to have a three day work week and a four day weekend next week. I'm also looking forward to daylight savings on Sunday and getting an extra hour. It's the time change in the Spring that I dread so much.

No one in my husband's family has mentioned anything about Thanksgiving so at this point, I'm planning on
making a dinner for my family at home.

Day #3 of No Spend November

November 3rd, 2016 at 03:02 pm

A successful third day of No Spend November. Just to clarify, my no spend November means avoiding wants at all cost and just needs. In my household budget a
"Wants" category has an allotted amount of $600, this includes gifts, liquor, eating out, clothing,etc. I hope to have at least $500 left on it. Remember, I'm aiming for 25 days of no spend days this month. I already know that I'll have to spend a little bit of money at least 3 days this month.

On another note, does anyone care about the net worth of any celebrity on this site? I just think there are more important things to talk about rather than net worth of a celebrity.

Day #2 November, No Spend Month

November 2nd, 2016 at 06:48 pm

No spending whatsoever! Shooting for 25 or more days of no spending in November.

November Day 1 No Spend day

November 1st, 2016 at 02:22 pm

I got home a little while back and I think it's safe to say that I made it through the first day of November with no spending outside of our normal household bills!

November

November 1st, 2016 at 08:43 am

November is my experiment month. I'm trying to save as much as I can for the next couple of years. I want to see if living on my husband's income may be an option for us until I figure out what I'm going to do when I decide to resign from my job. There will be little spending, eating from the pantry and freezer as much as possible and no eating out.

Today is the first day of the gas hike in New Jersey. It's increasing 23 cents per gallon. I read that voters can vote this down on election day by voting No to question #2 on the ballot. Morally, I feel terrible voting it down because I know there are people who will lose their jobs because of it but how much more can tax payers can shoulder the burden?

Let's see what happens!

Frugality

October 28th, 2016 at 06:42 pm

Frugality by choice has enable us to do many things we never thought possible, but for us it is a "choice". It is a practice run for the unknown; it is a practice run that will help us through in the years to come. I'm okay with that!

Some updates

October 27th, 2016 at 02:18 pm

Pay day is tomorrow. I plan to sweep $300 left in the checking account and added to the savings account along with the savings budgeted amount. We just had a storm door and a door replaced in the rear entrance of the house. We hope it'll eliminate a lot of the drafts coming inside the house in the winter time. The door were paid for so we will just have to pay for the labor ($250). My car will be stored in the garage for the winter and the insurance will go down significantly because we just find out that we can purchase storage insurance (covers damage due to fire,flood or storms). I am also adding $100 to my Roth IRA.

On another note, I am really contemplating on resigning from my job in June if nothing changes. I'd been having these horrific headaches due to the stress and anxiety the job causes me. I'll try to save as much as I can to prepare for the loss of income. Fortunately, we are in a good place financially and DS#2, who still lives with us, will start helping us. I'm not saying I will not work but I need a little time to find what I want to do.

Weekly update

October 14th, 2016 at 05:48 pm

It was payday today. A ton of money went to pay credit card bills in full. $400 went to Investment Property Slush Fund, now at $6K of the $8K goal, and deposited $650 to savings. I'm a little anxious to get the savings to a comfortable level. I still have to pay the electric bill and cable bundle. I can't believe we are half way through October already. I have a love-hate relationship with November. In November, we have to pay for our quarterly property taxes which is a pretty hefty amount for New Jerseyans, but I love that I have quite a few days off from work and Thanksgiving is coming.

Well, this is it for today. May you have an awesome weekend.

Roth IRA

October 13th, 2016 at 10:55 am

I met my Roth IRA contibution goal for this month! $2800 more to go😜.

Lotsa mula spent

October 11th, 2016 at 04:07 pm

Ugh...what a spendy week we had! Between my eye doctor appointment, contact lenses, beer, gas and some food items we are well on the $300 mark. I am holding up on glasses for another month. It's the same prescription but the frame is a bit tattered from two years of use. I definitely want a new frame. I'm trying to make this week a no spend week.

Pay day is on Friday and we have credit cards (in full) to pay, $250 to move to the Roth IRA and put money in the savings account.

I scored a few things from my sister; it's mainly for my hubby who really enjoys his beer. The apples, I also got from her. Her grandchild went apple picking and brought more than she can eat. They are a bit on the sour end. Are sour apples good for pies?

Taxed to death state :(

October 7th, 2016 at 06:08 pm

Well, it's official New Jersey-ans will be hit with a .23 cent gas hike soon. It was approved by legislature today. New Jersey is the most highly taxed state in the country. I will have to plan my trips carefully since I want to keep the gas budget category at $150 per month.

I made another $200 contribution to my Roth IRA, $450 to go this month. I also contributed fully to the savings account this month and I only have $214 to go on the Investment Property Slush Fund. We have large credit card bills due for full payment on the 15th. I'm hoping to be able to sweep $200 from the checking account from the previous pay period. Not really sure if I'll make it.

It's a three day weekend for me and I'll try my hardest to rest. I hope you have a restful weekend too!

September Budget Recap

October 1st, 2016 at 05:09 pm

Overall, September was a good month. I went over budget on the Dog Care category but that was due to vet visit with my fur baby. On the miscellaneous category, I went over but no where near last month. I funded retirement funds, savings funds and Investment Property Slush Fund as planned so I'm pretty excited about that.

Snowflakes:

$285.00- Hubby's side hustle
$300.00-Extra daily hour at work for 10 days
$30.00- Chase credit card rewards gift cards
and lastly not in the form of money but I still consider it a snowflake. Here is the story: Hubby was cleaning an office at work and inside the garbage can was a brand new Black and Decker Blender and a 17 piece single serve blender still in the box. These two items are worth $66 combined at Amazon. People have no concept of money; I would've put a free sign. Here is a picture:



Today, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I made Italian sauce with sausage, vodka sauce, creamy potato soup and cookies and cream bark. I have enough sauce for four meals, vodka sauce for two meals and bark for a at least a week. We all have a sweet tooth here.

I hope to have a more restful Sunday and I hope you do too!

Pay Day

September 29th, 2016 at 06:46 pm

It's payday tomorrow. / I already set up a contribution to my Roth IRA for $450, this is money left over in the checking account from the previous pay check. I have $3,250 left to contribute until April. Total monthly contributions to Retirement funds this month is $1,350 (remember I am playing catch up with retirement). I'm also depositing some money to the savings account and allotting extra funds to go to the HELOC. I'm purchasing a couple of gift cards for Christmas, some food items and dog food.

I'll write about September's budget tomorrow when I record some purchases on the spreadsheet.

Big Budget Bust

September 23rd, 2016 at 07:35 pm

My dog Leo has been scratching his ears a lot lately and last week when I took him to the groomer she called me to tell me he was ready to be picked up and that she thought he might have two ear infections. I waited out and after he continue scratching so much, I made an appointment to take him to the vet. The groomer happened to be right. Lots of gunk in both ears and allergies. The damage for visit, ear washing and medicine $247 and to top it all off, I just gave him the last of the tick and flea prevention and heart worm chewable so another $140 went for the next six months of both of these prevention treatment. I also put him on a gluten free diet $21 for a 5 pound bag and $40 for grooming. The vet said I was basically wasting my time on the gluten free dog food. So I will stop that as soon as the remaining portion is gone. He is also on a daily pill of Benadryl to control the itching. Needless to say, canine care has been pretty hefty this month. I am happy that I can afford to take her of his needs; I would not commit to having a dog if I could not care for it the right way. Besides he is the cutest thing ever and I so love him.

On another note, I just canned three jars of homegrown tomatoes and two pints of applesauce. I'm waiting for the rest of the tomatoes to ripen to do more canning. My tomatoes produced over 50 tomatoes. The pepper plants not so much! Frown

I will be baking this weekend. Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and banana nut muffins. Welcome Autumn!!!!

September, Week #3

September 21st, 2016 at 08:13 am

September Week #3 September 14-21

Expenditures (under miscellaneous category in our budget)

$293.00, a good portion ($143) of it was for a one way airfare for my Mom to visit. She always offers to give me the money back but I never take her money.

$90.00 for an extra 3 hours of extracurricular work .

I'm doing much better on the eating out category. Last Friday, it was my turn to pay for our "eating out" day and Saturday DS#1 treated us because we helped him move.

ABOUT THE HELOC: (money borrowed for down payment on an investment property which will be used in our retirement)

We paid $300 towards the principal of this loan this week.

ABOUT THE INVESTMENT PROPERTY SLUSH FUND: Goal is to have $8K in that fund for repairs or any unexpected events.

We contributed $750 to this fund and it sits at $4,017.00

In my next post I will reveal our plans for retirement for husband and semi-retirement for me.

Just thought of #20 on My List

September 17th, 2016 at 07:48 pm

#20 I love to watch the Alaska shows on the Discovery Channel (Alaska the Last Frontier, Alaska Bush People, The Last Alaskans, etc.

My list

September 16th, 2016 at 06:52 pm

19 things about me! I tried hard to get to 20 but I could not come up with #20. Smile

1. I've been blogging here since 2008
2. I am the fourth child of seven children
3. I am the youngest of the girls in my family
4. I grew up in a Caribbean island
5. English is not my first language
6. My grandfather was an American soldier stationed in an Air Force base in the Caribbean.
7. I've never met anyone in my American grandfather's family.
8. I married at 20 years old and I've been married for 26 years.
9. I'm a teacher by profession.
10. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder during the winter.
11. I don't like to cook but I've been told that I'm a good cook.
12. I've struggled with weigh issues all of my life.
13. I love dogs.
14. I have two sons.
15. I can't function in unorganized spaces and my home is clean and organized most of the time.
16. I am Catholic even though my parents were not.
17. I am a loyal to my family and friends.
18. Growing up we were very poor and there were times when we went without gifts for Christmas, which in my opinion is a very painful experience for a child that can't see passed the true meaning of Christmas.
19. I can't stand olives, I tried them and I gagged so badly (you know what happened after that).


End of the week update

September 15th, 2016 at 05:57 pm

Third week of September started with a no spend day.Today is also pay day for both of us. I contributed $350 to my 403B at work, $650 to the Investment Property Slush Fund and $200 in the HELOC. We had $430 leftover in the checking account so I swept half of that to the slush fund and the other half to the Roth IRA. I need to go grocery shopping this weekend for sure. Car insurance policy payment will begin again after a few months of no payments and that will take a big chunk of money for now on until January. Then we get a couple of months of no payment to resume again in March.

I have a $25 gift card from B&N that I received from my BFF for my birthday and I think I'll use this weekend. Going apple picking in two weeks. My garden has blessed me with many tomatoes and I just harvested what I think will be the last big pick. I found a humongous caterpillar looking bug (tobacco something). It feasted on two of my tomatoes so I decided to pick the big ones although many of them were green. I'll just let them ripen inside. Those will be canned for future meals.



On another note, I am making $50.00 less per pay period. We are now paying 25% of our health benefits and next year will be 33%. I'm not complaining; I have excellent benefits.

Well this is it; have a great and frugal weekend.





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