My Debt Free Date =)

My debt free date should be May 2014. I mentioned before that I found a fantastic snowball calculator online and am using it to keep myself accountable with my payoff. If you would like to download a copy yourself please go to this link.

Well, here it is. My debt free date. Lord, it is SO close!!

MY GET THE EFF OUT OF DEBT DATE!

I am so effing excited! Now, of course I realize that Murphy is bound to show up but it is so nice to see an actual light at the end of the tunnel. I am very, very determined to get out of debt. I don’t know what has happened to me in the last few months but I feel that I can get out of debt. I can live my life with a written budget (ahem…most of the time). I can deal with my problems without putting my head into the sand. I can save money if I set my mind to it! I feel such a sense of empowerment!

Automating my Snowball payments

Early in February I laid out my goals for snowballing payments to tackle my debt as quickly as possible.  Today, I am one step closer.  My exact balance for my Visa card is $5221.82.  I have set up an automatic payment for $650 every other Thursday (when I get paid).  I need to replenish our emergency fund due to Murphy hitting our household.  As soon as my savings is back to where it was, I will roll over the remaining $832.42 towards my debt snowball and automate payments of $2,132.42 towards my Visa card.

I usually have $650 direct deposited into my ING DIrect Savings account and I don’t notice the money in there because I have made it painfully difficult for me to access that account. Meaning – I don’t know the account number, and rarely access the account online.  I get paper statements but I’d really have to take the time to get to my account information.  I think that this will definitely help me get out of debt faster because it’s automatic.  I don’t physically have to transfer the money over to my credit card.  Let’s face it, I’m super busy and on top of that I’m pretty lazy!  DH is also very prone to spending money that’s sitting in an account so in this case, out of site out of mind.

I will definitely be utilizing this account to snowball all of my payments until my car, student loans are completely paid off.

 

Weekly Money Check Up 02-27-12

Weekly Money Check-Up is a weekly series on My Pretty Pennies.WMC 2.27

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was for DH’s emergency dental appoint where he cracked his crown.

2. Today I am thankful for for my husband and kids.  We’ve gone through so much the last few years and I am truly thankful we are still married and can raise our kids together in a loving environment.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was go on a walk with my puppy and daughter.  We talked about her life as a middle schooler.  Makes me proud to think that I raised such a good kid!

4. I will consider this week a success if I re read chapters 5&6 in accounting and finish all my homework by Friday night so I can relax this weekend!

5. The thing I am most excited about spring is sunlight!  Seriously, I live in the Pacific Northwest and we are lacking sunshine!  I love spring and can’t wait to start a veggie garden this spring/summer.  Super excited about spring cleaning as well.

Murphy, Murphy, Murphy!

I don’t know what it is about Murphy and his intuition.  It’s like he’s just waiting for me to have money in my pocket and then BAM! He does something to completely throw me off.  In the past 5 days we have had so many things go wrong and spend so much money to fix things, I could just scream!

  • On our older car the brake pads need to be replaced for both front and back – $409, gone.
  • Same car, tires are completely bald, I never drive this car so I had no clue.  4 tires to the tune of $450.
  • Hot water heater went out on Friday night and we had to buy another one and have it installed – another $550.
  • DH’s crown cracked and he had to have work done – $781!

It has been such an expensive few days and though I’m super frustrated with the outflow of cash, I am also super proud of DH & I.  In the past, I would have totally put my head in the sand and not deal with the impact of all this money going out.  We had money in our emergency fund to take care of this and did not once have to whip out the credit card to pay for any of the above.  We have decided to be a bit more stringent on the grocery budget for a bit until we get the emergency fund built back up a bit.

Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Grocery shopping…UGH!

Maybe it’s because I’m uber cranky and my schedule was insane today, but I am beat. Completely drained.  In fact, I’m writing this reclined in bed with my eyes only halfway opened.  I didn’t get to grocery shop this weekend so I had to do it today because we had only 1 avocado and 3 baby carrots in the fridge. Anyhow, I went to Costco & Whole Foods today.  I really hate that the groceries at Whole Foods is so expensive.  I only ventured in there because I went and saw my therapist today and her office is right next to Whole Foods. Below is what I bought:

Whole Foods (ahem Paychecks):

  • Salad mix with spinach
  • broccoli rabe that was on sale for .99lb.
  • organic collard greens at $1.29lb

Total:  $12.23

 

Costco

  • rotesserie chicken (way too tired to cook a damn thing today since I’ve been working since 5:30AM & didn’t get home until 8:45PM)
  • ground turkey
  • tilapia
  • red bell peppers
  • persian cucumbers
  • baby spinach
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • pineapples
  • red delicious apples
  • baby carrots
  • grapes
  • kiwi
  • bananas
  • roma tomatoes
  • zuccini
  • PAM cooking spray
  • soy milk
  • greek yogurt
  • Sweet potato fries
  • turkey ham for sandwiches
  • sandwich thins bread
  • raw almonds
  • gluten free chicken sausages for the baby
  • brown rice medley mix
  • toilet paper

Total: $190.89
Menu for the next 2 weeks;

Breakfast:

  • egg white omelet with red bell peppers, broccoli rabe, spinach & ham
  • yogurt with oatmeal and berries on top
  • breakfast sandwich w/whole wheat english muffin, ham & red bell peppers, spinach
  • protein shake w/banana & handful of almonds

Lunch & Dinner

  • grilled chicken salad w/red bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, olives, apples, almonds & my homemade vinegarette.
  • grilled tilapia w/mango salso, brown rice
  • grilled tilapia w/brown rice, broccoli rabe, asparagus
  • homemade turkey meatballs with collard greens
  • homemade turkey sandwich w/carrots, spinach, onions, red bell peppers blended in w/whole wheat sandwich thins
  • grilled chicken w/vinegar & olive oil over grilled asparagus and grilled zuccini

Snacks

  • raw almonds
  • yogurt
  • fruit
  • protein shake
  • whole wheat crackers
  • homemade hummus
  • popcorn

I need all this food to last me until roughly around March 1st. UGH, I hate how much it costs me to eat healthy.  On the plus side, I’ve lost 2.2 lbs this week 🙂

Q&A

I was tagged by upendilife with the following questions and I’m taking a break from studying so I’ll play along.

1. What is one thing that brings you joy that requires money?

The internet.  I use it daily and gladly pay the premium.  I don’t know what I did without it!

2. What would your ideal retirement be like?

I’d like to live in Vancouver, BC or somewhere fun like Sweden or London.  I imagine I’d also travel a lot with hubby.  Maybe garden and take care of our grandkids.

3. Do you use a mac, windows or a linux based computer?

Windows for work and mac at home.  Although, I may gave in and just get a cheap windows laptop because I can’t run quicken very well on my imac.  I still struggle trying to use it. 

4. What got you into blogging?

An opportunity to talk about money without revealing my identity.  I have lots of friends but most are very bad with money, some have husbands that make lots of money and they don’t have a care in the world and spend, spend, spend.  Others struggle but don’t do anything to change their situation.  I never felt comfortable talking with my friends about money.  Other than this blog, the only person I talk to about money is my husband.  With this blog I can get excited about saving money, I can share my failures & also can ask for advice.

5. Do you love your current job?

I have a love/hate relationship with my job. Love it because it is so challenging and fast paced.  I get to meet great people from other companies who are directors, vice presidents and presidents.  I have great co workers who I adore.  For the most part, I love my job and I’m very thankful for it.  However, I don’t work for someone I respect or like very much.  She makes my job very difficult and as much as I try to be positive, she makes it extremely hard.  

6. Do you have any pets?

Yes, a shi tzu. 

7. What is the most important thing to you on earth?

My entire family. We are close knit and I talk to my parents & sisters daily.  
8. What is one thing that you miss that has either entirely disappeared or is slowly disappearing because of technology?

People’s ability to remember phone numbers.  I swear no one remembers anyone’s phone numbers now.  It’s all programmed into our smart phone or computer.  I still remember people’s phone number and refuse to use speed dial. 

 

9. Do you think the recession is still a valid argument for people not doing something about their financial situation?

No, I think there’s always room for change.  I know I have faced job losses and it’s no fun but if you don’t pay attention things get worse.  Not paying attention and not making tough decisions is what hurts me the most.  
10. How do you start your day?

I shower, brush my teeth, slap on sunscreen and chapstick, tie my hair into a bun.  Get dressed.  Then I go to the kitchen and make 2 lattes for hubby and I to take to work.  When I get to work, I write down everything I need to do in my filofax and then read the news before I start my work day.  

11. What is one skill you dream of learning?

Carpentry.  I would love to know how to use a saw and make furniture.  Especially tables and custom shelves.