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Back on my feet, back here at savings!

September 22nd, 2016 at 10:41 am

So, last year I had a third child and let me tell you, it's really hard to bounce back the third time as it changes the dynamic of everything with not only family, but emotionally and financially. However, we officially have no credit card debt and our $3,000 hospital bill is gone!
I still have my student loan hanging around and feel guilty that we are paying for a degree I never really used. So, now that things are a little easier a year later with the new baby, we are re-configuring our finances and are looking to buy a home in a different part of the state as it would significantly lower the living costs due to the mortgage being a lot lower than what we are paying for a rental right now. We have owned a home before and do not want to make the same mistakes of having a large overhead or dealing with fixer uppers. We see our friends barely scraping buy to have these nice homes and we don't want to be them! We also have highly educated family members with massive amounts of student debt that they could never afford a home and we don't want to be like them either.
So, I am back on my feet. Now we are waiting to get our tax refund from last year (it was put on extension as it was my fault putting it off with the new baby and adjusting etc). However, that's all settled and the refund should help us with the home deposit for the upcoming year (it's either going to be a super small home or a condo. We want to have a super conservative mortgage and have a few months worth of payments put away before we buy too as a back up). My husband is already looking for a new job, but we are hoping he can work some days at home with his company and only commute a few times too if the company will allow him.
It's been a while, but I'm back here in this wonderful blog world and ready to go!

Credit Card Debt Paid!

February 12th, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Today I paid off the full balance on the credit card! Woohoo! It's particularly important because we went from 0% interest to 23% starting this month. Nice try credit card, but try charging 23% on a 0 balance! The next couple of weeks will be a little tight, but we know we can make it through. So the next thing I'm wondering is if I should tackle the $3k hospital bill (at no interest/right now it's broken down at $150/monthly until paid off) or start hacking away at the 54K/plus student loan that has 4.5% interest? Ideas?
Anyway,I lost 5 pounds, which is nice, but some days it's so hard, particularly with the wine too. Also, as silly as it sounds, it's hard to make friends as an adult versus being a child. I'm also trying to join groups/hobbies that I like and hopefully it will get going from there. I'm being very aware of the types of people coming around since I seem to attract the needy ones.
Today is a good day though. It's sunny and knowing I don't have a huge credit card balance feels amazing!

Got a part time job!

February 5th, 2016 at 07:49 am

Despite car set backs and our bills, we are still in the green with our bank account, with $300 in the emergency account as a small back up as we build that back up. I also got a job to help alleviate some of the weekly bills. I'll bring in around $70 after taxes for a part time job, but hey, that's groceries or gas or emergency as we pay off the last chunk of credit! We've been watching the dollars every day! I also paid a huge chunk of the credit card bill and I think I can pay off the rest next week! I think I can do this because I got our monthly hospital payment lowered so I can throw as much in to the credit card. There is no interest on the hospital bill so that makes things a little easier. I've also been avoiding thrift shops and am slowly getting into the old clothes after the baby. All I can say is that it is all the little things that are adding up to make a difference, whether it's the food I eat to lose weight or where the money goes weekly. I've also been making a conscience effort to make new friends (higher quality people that don't complain or play victim and people I have more in common with).It's a slower process since I'm finding that many like to play the victim route or make excuses. However, I'm super grateful for platforms like this!

Updated an old resume!

January 29th, 2016 at 05:04 pm

It's been a few years since I updated my resume and I finally did it this week! I've been able to add the large amounts of volunteer work to it, which is nice and shows potential employers that I have been putting energy toward things, aside from parenting.It worked out because I had a phone interview and will be set up for a second one next week! It's nothing big, but a part time job, which can pay for groceries or gas or utilities. Regardless, everything counts and I'm willing to work for it to help financially. Plus, after we worked so hard to pay off the thousands of dollars of debt we had, I don't like having a credit card balance again or a hospital bill again. Our credit scores continue to go up though since we are paying bills on time. sighhhh. Anyway, I'll also apply to coffee shops etc because they have early morning hours and no one wants those on a Saturday, I'm hoping that at least. Anyway, regardless the resume is updated and getting out there! Fingers crossed for a part time job soon!

Car got fixed, things are ok.

January 21st, 2016 at 09:55 am

So, the car got fixed. It cost more than double of what was expected, but here is the great news...the emergency fund was there and the the credit card was not used! It's no doubt scary that we mostly wiped out the emergency fund, but we will build it back up. Anyway, a major problem was fixed and hopefully it will last us until we can get a better car. I am grateful that we have plenty of food, all of our other bills are paid, and we will continue to move ahead, despite set backs. I have also been steadily losing weight, which has been taking a lot of self restraint (like our finances). I have also decided to really cut back on wine. Yup, we like having it with dinner, but if we only have it once a week, it will cost probably only $5 v.s $35! So, we continue ahead! My next goal is to find better friends or be around better people who want to improve on themselves or give back to life more...I seem to attract the ones that always need something/play victim/etc and I'm always there to help them or give things to them when they need it. It's draining. (I finally realized they are kind of like the members of family I had to really let go a couple of months ago and like my car...constant problems that I'm trying to rise above and move away from and get to get better and stronger as life gets better). Onward and upward at leastSmile

car and credit card.

January 19th, 2016 at 07:30 am

So, we have been paying off our only credit card and finally have it almost paid off, but now as we start making more improvements financially our car has decided to make a new noise...ka thunk a thunk... The reason why we ever used the card was because of the car! It will probably cost around $300. We have $550 in our emergency fund and all our bills have been paid this month. We also have at least $350 in our checking for misc. i already grocery shopped for this week and next so we are good there. This car is constant and never ending. if we sold it, it would have to be sold for parts or as is. As of now, we do not have enough to get a new car and still have a $3,500 hospital bill due. Our plan is to pay the last of the $1,700 credit card, then $3,500 hospital bill and then student loan of $54,000. It looks somewhat discouraging, but like the tortoise, we keep going. We will also find random things to sell etc, which we have done in the past too. The good news is that both of our credit scores went up again.

Finally letting go to grow

September 30th, 2015 at 03:55 pm

It's that moment something clicks...the realization that the sadness and stress caused by various family members in my life was the biggest trigger for unnecessary spending and debt. I buy things during extreme stress as a temporary way to fill the void. I go through cycles where things are great and then I deal with family and then the spending happens. What's interesting is the bad ones always seem to be showing up right as things get better or good in my life. It's a sad cycle that's been happening for years.
After giving birth to baby number 3, I started to become overwhelmed. I got rid of what I didn't need in order to make time and also resources for my family. It occurred to me that certain people have never respected boundaries and that they have always been that extra weight/demon constantly grabbing at me like dark claws.
When things are good, they are the first to be needy, want, manipulate, and fake happiness or pretend to give support because they know they'll get something out of it. When things are bad, they are the last to be there and are the types of people that get a joy watching others fail or feel good by causing pain.
I realized I would never allow a complete stranger to behave this way near me or especially my children and I'd have to let them go forever. It wasn't easy. It was like trying to swat at mosquitos that kept coming back, but after they finally got the point, I feel free. I felt sad at first, but then woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I feel liberated knowing that it's for the best.
I don't have that need to spend and fill a void in order to cover up feeling bad. When I start to feel sad, I remind myself that my children give me unconditional love and it continues to grow. I realize that not spending money is a way of respecting and protecting myself and my family. The more I protect and respect my money like my children, the better I feel and better off I'll be.

I lowered the interest rate!

January 22nd, 2015 at 06:12 pm

Today is a bit better than yesterday. The kids are feeling better and I got a bunch of stuff done today. I was feeling overwhelmed yesterday and wanted to make sure today was at least better. I was looking over my bills, bank accounts, and student loan. I decided to call about the student loan and told them that I'd be more motivated to pay on time and not miss payments if they could help me out a little. They put me on an automatic pay plan where they withdraw the monthly payment every month and lowered my interest rate by .25%. It is now 4.5% rather than 4.75%. It might not seem like a lot, but it is because my student loan is now over $55K, unlike what I previously thought. As for the weird bill that went to collections and bounced back and forth to different agencies from 2011 up until now (I must have missed it when I paid off all of the consumer debt accounts...we seriously had that many credit cards at one point in the past), the account is now closed for good apparently and they are no longer collecting on it, both the credit company and the collections agency. Unfortunately it is just on my credit report, which is shot anyway, but at least I know what was going on. I also received the statement for my kids college Next Gen accounts...it was a letter stating what the fees would be...get this, it's going to be 1%, 4%, and 5% on the mutual funds we are investing in! I read about being warned on this by the Tony Robins investment book, which lets readers know that mutual funds have the highest (hidden) fee costs than most investments and to switch to low cost index funds from the 500's list...Which I will now do! After understanding the interest rate on my student loan and how much just .25% can change it good/or bad for the life of the account, I can not sit and be charged 5% on investments for the mutual fund account manager who makes money regardless of whether or not my mutual funds go up or down. (I also found it fascinating that I happen to deal with both today and finally understood the impact of every little percent counting. life is interesting). Anyway, for dinner I made chicken salad (using the shredded chicken for the chicken soup I made over the weekend) with shredded carrots and olives, with a baked potato with cheddar cheese and a sliced hard boiled egg on the side and sliced oranges for dessert. The kids loved it, which was great. I have been running out of produce a lot faster than I had anticipated and think that I will need to set aside a small weekly amount for fresh produce (maybe $10 or less). I have been recording the meals that the family eats so I remember and also be able to tell friends/perhaps family that don't believe that I'm actually home cooking all the meals and at a super low price. Tonight's meal had to cost below $.75, which made everyone happy. So, now back to re-budgeting. Now that I know that my student loan interest rate is pretty low, I will add more to the 401K side since they not only match the funds, but the interest rate is higher in terms of compounding interest.

The "Up" of the down

January 20th, 2015 at 09:28 am

So, just as I decided to finally get my money straight, along with a few other life changing items, I noticed certain things...like getting a letter for a bill from waaaaaaaay past that happened to go to a collection agency for over $700. One kid gets sick and I have to spend $40 on the insurance co-pay and another $30 on a prescription, while the other kid starts with the high temperature. Then hubs wakes up with a sore throat this morning. The timing belt started to make that squeaky noise, so it probably needs replacing. This morning, a large handful of eggs froze and cracked due to the bowl of them being shoved in the back of the fridge. Little things like this started to happen so I'm taking from the viewpoint that I must be doing things right!LOL. I have found in my life that just when I want to solve large problems or go for a really large goal that I've wanted...that's when little things all collectively start to get in the way whether it be being splashed by a rain puddle from a car to negative-mean people. Perhaps it's those yucky forces in life that try and keep people down or a system of testing/lessons. Regardless, I have learned that I must be on the right track if it's not going to be easy. As weird as it sounds, I also think its a frequency thing that life just seems to tune into were Murphy's law gets triggered. I feel as though that this topic of money is so large and something I've wanted to grasp for so many many years and have now been willing to make a huge effort, it's now that time those niggle of negative vibes get pushed to block me. I feel that I have been kept down by fear, disappointment, regret, often times people/others, and ignorance and now that I am taking the forward steps to improve things at a faster and greater force, there's more push back to keep me at the same level. Perhaps it's throwing off the universe a little with this new shift in thinking and actions. lol. Anyway, I'm gonna negotiate the $700 bill and continue forward with focus and resolution. I've been here before where Murphy tries to creep in, but I see it. At least I have money in the emergency fund and can replace the eggs of I need to, at least I still have some left over...and to think all the yummy things I can create with thoseSmile