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!
Viewing the 'Personal Finance' Category
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 least
It is amazing how so much can change in a year! In the past year we have moved, had a baby, decided to home school the older kids, let go of really crappy family members and decided to really work on our finances. I feel that the certain things we did to heal certain areas of our life really allowed better things to enter our life, whether it be helpful people or opportunities. Not to mention, our credit score went up! I always dread checking our scores because I have been used to it being on the lower end for the longest time/last few years, but this time we apparently upped the score enough to qualify for a mortgage! Not that we are in any position to buy a house right now, but seriously, it feels good and gives us hope that we won't be wasting money renting forever. However, this time will be different than the last time we owned a home. We won't rush in to buying a home and we are planning to find the "forever home" where we can try and pay it off and own it out right by the time we retire. My husband and I are trying to do things differently from most in our family (who will never be out of debt). As of now, once we pay off the only credit card we have, we will pay off the hospital bill and eventually the student loan. However, after the hospital bill, we may save to buy a house so at least we aren't wasting money on rent. Regardless, we are continuing to pay our bills on time. I also paid off 2 insurance premiums so we have 2 less bills to worry about every month for at least 6 months. Our cell phone bill continues to stay within the allotted usage too. So, aside from keeping on track for finances, it's my weight I'd also like to work on because being overweight and having to buy new clothes costs money! Anyway, hooray to an upcoming new year and Happy New Year to everyone!
So, my cat has pulled a Darth Vader and well, gone to the dark side. She is no longer the happy cat. She's let jealousy and spite get the best of her...the dark side. With this dark side, she has decided to pee in the corner of the room where we like to use the computer. We are now spending money on various carpet treatments (it's starting to add up). I am now contemplating getting the special pet vacuum, which was not in the budget, but we cannot keep going to the grocery store to get a rental one. Also, we will have to most likely get another car until we can afford it. ughhh. That means saving, searching, and also paying for the registration fee. Anyway, the plus side is that we got "get $300" in the mail this week, so that rocks if we open a checking account with a different bank. I think we will do that. I'm thinking the free $300 would at least pay for the special vacuum cleaner.
I know that most would not get excited about paying the bills on time and that many do, but it has really taken a while for us to get things together in terms of how much/when they come in-are due/and making sure we have enough money to pay them, especially with kids and "unexpected" situations like fixing the car. Not to mention, I used to have a fear/procrastination of paying them, but now it is the fear of fees/adding up/not getting out of the hamster wheel (it took a lot of pain and mistakes to get here) This month we have successfully paid on time and continued to have money in the emergency fund, despite taking out a huge chunk for car fixing. We still have to pay a hospital bill, one last credit card (which was opened in an emergency to fix car last year) We got paid this week so I replenished the emergency account, which feels good, but we will have to keep it super frugal for a very long time since we are fixing the car still(hopefully the last major visit). Although the car situation is not fun, I spoke with a friend who let me know that their new 3 year old car not only has monthly car payments, but they have to pay the things that are starting to go wrong on it now. they are paying $350 a month on their car payment! However,we are trying to figure out...do we continue to pay for fixing this car or buy another one?
So, the unwanted guest Murphy (of Murphy's Law) keeps trying to stick around or knock at our door...this following telling yucky family members to never call again. Yup,for the past 3 weeks, we have had to take the car to the mechanic, a good $300 plus per visit.This definitely hinders the getting another car for the husband to get to work now (which is needed). Then the cat decided to be spiteful (probably stressed with the new baby) and peed in the corner of our living room...on the carpet and we spent $47 to rent a carpet cleaner/formula to get it out. (we had to take a part our desk to get to it.
However, we are not backing down and continue to truck through! We are not in the red with our checking account, which happened for 1.5 months when we moved. We have paid the bills on time and I've been watching each dollar like a hawk for the automatic bill pay. Despite Murphy, we still have money in our emergency fund, which we took out some for the car. The plus is that we get paid this week! My husband has also been trying out the public transit system (bus/train/etc) to save on gas since we were dropping him off, which was tiresome for everyone and wasted more gas.
So, aside from being persistent to keep Murphy at bay, I found that another way to keep him out is being grateful for what is going well! I'm grateful that we are being persistent with our finances on one salary, homeschooling is going pretty well and glad I can spend time with my children, we carved pumpkins yesterday and I made pumpkin soup (which everyone liked) and today we will roast pumpkin seeds as a snack. I'm also looking up Cioppino soup recipes since the weather is cooling off(if anyone has any, send them my way since I've never tried) for the end of the week. Yummy! Plus, I have not spent money on anything we haven't needed. In fact, we have been donating and shedding things we don't need, which feels nice too.
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 those
Hi, I have just written 2 entries and well, both have failed to post (maybe this will?). Anything I am posting/doing wrong?
Life never ceases to amaze me. This week I have really focused on educating myself and trying to include hubs about money, debt, retirement, cooking, saving, thinking ahead and financial education. It has really been at the forefront of my mind because I am really trying to face it rather than turn away and ignore it for the first time. I'll initially get that small ping of fear of feeling bad about thinking/having/wanting/appreciating money anytime thoughts surrounding it come up. It's horribly instinctive and natural. Then I have to stop and pause and realize this is how I was conditioned to feel about it as a child and that I continue to condition it as an adult. It's funny though because growing up I always found ways to earn money and always had it whether it be babysitting, working in restaurants, etc. This is the same for my husband, he always found ways to earn and have money. My family always made me feel guilty having it and then I'd always let my brother "borrow" it, of course never paying me back until he got married (only because of his wife). Interestingly enough, my husband did the same and always paid or let his sister "borrow" funds. We both have those same pings about having money. Then we seem to rather give it away/make it go away because of how we feel about it. However, opening my eyes has really been very cool and life never ceases to amaze me in that it continues to find people to support me and the information I'm seeking, here especially. After reading blogs last night, I turned the T.V on and Suze Orman was on literally discussing wills and revocable trusts, a topic that arose and one that has been on my mind! I was stunned since I have not seen her on T.V for a while. It was very neat. I turned it on at the point where she was saying that people should get a "living revocable trust" before the will (making an example about the probate costs it will incur on the family after we die if we don't have the living revocable trust.)So, with that said, I have MUCH to be appreciative for, much to realize, (Savings Advice especially) and well, feel excited for the first time in a while about where this particular journey and area of my life will lead!
I have some time to really think ahead and then put in to action plans before kiddo #3 is born. On the agenda:
1.) Hubs 401K matching kicks in soon...do we contribute to get the matched funds and utilize the concept of compounding interest and time or direct as much as possible toward student loan?
2.) It will cost at least $4K out of pocket after health insurance for hospital etc for baby...do we save the $4K plus now and pay it after birth or break payments down over the course of the year after kiddo arrives, while putting funds in other areas?
3.) Do we move out of the 2 bedroom where kids currently share a room or do we stay for one more year and figure out a living situation by rearranging apartment, sleeping on couch, having kid in our room or giving up our room to sleep on a pullout? Rent in CA is mucho $$$ and also hard to find a place allowing pets.
Luckily our car already has a 3rd row. It was an unknown extra when we bought the car so somehow I think the universe/G-d/etc. already had this part ready and figured out for us. Lol. As for kids schooling, it was a tentative plan to charter school/homeschool program with the charter school, but will this be unrealistic with #3 and will I need that time of having kids off at public school during the day? What else can I cut to continue to add to the kids college fund and our debt pay off and dream fund (so far not there now with expenses). At this point the hubs is working and doing as much side work as possible. No one will hire a prego woman so I'm wondering what else I can do at this point considering #3 was not on the original plan and I was going to find work next year...was.I can get the real estate license, but how realistic is it for me to utilize that with kids? I kind of feel like just as it was going to get easier #3 happens and new plans need to happen, but how is it possible to still maintain the current finaces while I know things are just going to be more expensive with all the gear, diapers, food, etc that will all cost more? what more can I do aside from save as much and not spend, but how do we continue to make more money next year when the baby is here in the summer?
It's still the first month of the year, the "New" year. The reality is that even though it's a new year, I still carry the same old habits and problems that I have allowed to trail me or fail me for years. Then a reality check...like 5 pregnancy tests reality check later!
During the December holidays I found that I would have baby #3 on the way! Unexpected news and well, sighhhhh... the first two were hard enough through the baby and toddler years emotionally and financially. Although my first two are now in the beginning phases of elementary school, both of whom I love, it's still difficult on many levels.
However, this time is different. We are making a lot more money, have lower overhead costs with living expenses, have no consumer/credit card debt, are one car less, and well, I'm slightly better at planning ahead only due to the fact that having children has literally forced me to think that way on so many levels.
It's different this time too because I REFUSE to be as miserable and to struggle as much as I did the first time around with my finances. I REFUSE to worry about what's in my account to pay for things. I'll never forget how scary it was to only have $20 in the bank and having to find a way to make sure food was on the table and the electricity was still on...for real, there was a time where it actually got shut off more than once...ya think this gal would learn...yeah, after the 3rd time!
So, cheers to resolving old problems and habits of ignorance and procrastination with my finances! Cheers to a new year of resolutions, putting peace to the demons. Cheers to finding a way to make my dreams come true (owning a small/homesteading farm/house and making sure that my children's G-d given talents are supported, grown, and nurtured...and cheers to you on whatever journey you are also on to better yourself and others here