Half Yearly Check Up

 

June is fast approaching and I wanted to do a half yearly check up on my goals for the year. 

2012 Resolutions

 

Personal

  1. Focus on the positive in my life and walk away from the negative. This is a daily mantra for me and I think I’m doing pretty good.  Even though some things haven’t gone my way, I am looking at the positives of things instead of dwelling.  I also have let go of a lot of toxic people in my life and have absolutely no regrets. 
  2. Work on being a better wife and mommy. This is also ongoing.  My oldest is approaching the teenage years and I’m hoping that our relationship doesn’t change.
  3. Run 2 half marathons. I’ve signed up for 2 in October & November.
  4. Run 1 marathon. This one will probably not happen.  I have not been as committed to running as I should be with school/work.
  5. Hot Yoga at least 3 times a week. Fail.  No time right now.
  6. Lose 40 lbs by eating healthy and consistently working out. I’m down 14 lbs so far 🙂  Ongoing battle.
  7. Study hard! Pass.  My grades are still good despite my workload.
  8. Finish up my transfer degree and apply to the University! Still marching to this goal. 
  9. Get 8 hours of sleep every night. Fail.  I cannot get to bed before 11 every night and I wake up at 4:30 everyday. 

Career

  1. Continue working hard and closer to my next promotion! Fail (for now).  Promotion got turned down this past week.
  2. Apply for jobs in the department my old boss now heads up. Fail.  Trying to get promoted first.
  3. Try not to work more than 40 hours a week to maintain some sort of work/life balance. Fail.  My weeks have averaged about 60 hours per week. 
  4. Remember that work is just work at the end of the day. Fail.  This job is uber stressful at times and I can’t but take it home sometimes.

Financial

  1. Have a written budget every month and stick to it. I’m doing relatively okay with this.  There’s only been a couple of times where I have not stuck to my budget but I cut back on other costs so that we are not in the hole.
  2. STOP SHOPPING. Really, I don’t need any more stuff! Pass.  Have not bought clothes or random stuff to fill up our house.
  3. Start posting on Sundays about weekly spending to hold myself accountable.  Fail.  I was really good at this for a little bit but as my work load increased, I have had less and less time to be consistent with this.  Will re-focus.
  4. Communicate better with the Mr. about money.  This is so/so.  I try really hard but he doesn’t seem to want to know and or care about what happens with money so long as we can pay our bills and have money saved up.
  5. Save $5,000 in a baby emergency fund by putting away $650 every pay period into our ING account. We get paid bi-weekly so we can save this amount by the end of February, sooner if our bonuses are anything like last year! Achieved 2/15/2012
  6. Continue to contribute 8% of pay check to 401(k)
  7. Pay off our medical & dental bills – approximately $2,000 (1,000 for medical and the rest for DH’s crowns last year). Paid in full 2/28/12
  8. Pay off my credit card – $5,500.Paid in full 05/11/12
  9. Start aggressively paying down our car note, which today sits at $31,913.20. On hold until DH finds a job.  For now we are paying the minimum only.

I’m relatively happy with the progress that we’ve made so far this year.  There were some ups and downs but overall the progress has been great!  When I started blogging I was spending money recklessly, not paying attention to my bills and mail.  I didn’t track a penny that was being spent.  My bank account was horrendous – it would be full on pay day only to be dwindled down by $20 charges here & there.  DH and I would do what we wanted and then freak about the bills after we spent all the money.  We had no savings, we had money borrowed against our 401k.

Today mail is opened up right when it gets here.  I save approximately 22% of our income before a bill gets paid. I pay the bills right when we get paid. We still have some ways to go with the Line of Credit, Car Payment & my student loans but today I am optimistic that we can figure a way to keep plugging away at those bills despite DH not having a job after June 30th.

 

Trying to live off of one income

I’ve been thinking a lot about DH’s impending job loss.  I really wanted him to start looking for a job right away but he has not be able to make time to look.  His commute is at least an hour and a half each way.  That means he leaves the house around 6:30AM for a 8:00AM shift.  He gets off at 5:00PM but doesn’t get home until at least 6:30 each day.  He is also afraid that if he takes time off of work, his work may find a reason to terminate him thus making him ineligible for the severance pay.  With that said, we are going to need to figure out how to live off of one income until he finds something.

His severance package will be approximately $17K after taxes.  We are planning on putting all of that into our ING account.  It will not be touched unless a huge catastrophe happens.  We are in WA state and I think based on some very rough calculations he will be receiving approximately $400 per week after tax.  My hope is to also hoard this and put it into savings. To do that, we need to come up with a game plan to live off of my income. I think we can do it.  I haven’t had time to sit down and calculate the actual numbers yet but I think we can provided we can keep our fuel costs low and cut our grocery bill.  We’ve done an okay job of not going out to eat unless it is planned around special occasions and for the most part have been packing breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinners to work.

My plan is to go through the numbers tonight and put together a budget for the next few weeks with only my salary and saving hubby’s salary.  I’m also going to be scouring the internet to look for articles, tips and tricks on how people have managed to live on one income.  Of course, if any of you have lived on one income, please share your stories and offer me any advise you have!

Weekly Money Check-In 05/21/12

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on paying off my Visa bill ($729)!
2. Today I am thankful for great friendships. This Saturday, 2 of my oldest friends came over for dinner. We ate, drank and played Dance Central with our kids.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy hang up 80% of my picture frames with hubby. Our house looks much cozier and warm.
4. I will consider this week a success if I can balance my checkbook by Friday as well as do all my homework before Sunday.
5. I am really trying to get over my fear of swimming. I signed up for adult swim lessons at the local pool. I want to be able to tread water, swim amd most importantly not drown!!!

Weekly Money Check-Up is a weekly series on My Pretty Pennies. If you do post it on your blog, please credit MPP (www.myprettypennies.com) and link it back to her.

Back to saving

DH’s last day at work is fast approaching with June right around the corner. Now that my Visa is completely paid off, I will be back to saving $650+ per pay period. I was really counting on my promotion to go through but it got voted down by the Human Resources department. I was really bummed out last week when I was told. I have been working my butt off and to be told that I can’t get my promotion because of judgment passed on my profile (people who don’t know me at all) is very disappointing to say the least. I was told that I will still be put through the promotion round in September. In my mind, that’s too long, but there is nothing that I can do about it so after this post I’m letting the bad juju go.

With that said, I do want to pare down on our costs as much as possible. A few things I’m looking to cut out until DH finds another job:

  1. Eating out. This is a given but with all the kids’ sporting activities, me working/schooling all the time, it’s hard to not get food. However, it’s not nearly as bad as it use to be, which is great.
  2. Gym membership. I’m so torn on this because I’m someone who absolutely uses and loves going to the gym. However, I discovered my love for the “insanity” work out program that I can do at home. It hasn’t completely replaced my love for being at the gym but I love that I can do it early in the morning and get it out of the way.
  3. Weight Watchers. I am starting to use the myfitnesspal app more and more, completely ignoring my WW’s app.

I’m sure there is more I can cut but for now that’s all my feeble little brain can think of. I am hoping to be able to pay all of our bills (mortgage, utilities, insurance, groceries, gas) based on my salary. Now that the Visa is paid off, I feel less stressed about money and want to focus on saving & living on my salary. We are going to start saving DH’s last few paychecks.

Anyhow that’s all I have for right now. Have a great night 🙂

 

I’m free, free, FREE!

OMFG. I am so stinky excited. Like, over the moon, freaking jumping up and down excited. Why, you ask?? Well, it’s because I’m credit card debt free!!!!!! I made up my mind a few months ago that things were going to change around here. We would live a cash only life and would put the credit card away and pay it off. I didn’t have much credit card debt to begin with, $5,228.81 was my balance. I was saving $650 every other week and when I reached our emergency fund of $10,000, I was ready to get rid of that debt. I know most people wanted me to use the savings to pay off that debt but I needed that savings like baby needed their security blanket. DH and I made a commitment together that we would pay off this pesky credit card debt and just be done with it. We were able to do a balance transfer for 12 months at 0% interest rate from our credit union. Then, I started attacking with payments every single pay period, without fail starting on March 1, 2012. This is what our payments looked like:

I went into the branch today and paid an extra $729 and the lady behind the counter said, “Wow, you have a zero balance with this payment. Congrats!” I am not even going to lie, I high fived her, LOL. That’s how happy I was!

Now that the debt is paid off, I’m celebrating by not studying and actually treating myself to a mojito. Also, since hubby won’t have a job after next month, I’m back to hoarding the $650 every paycheck into savings.

Have a great day everyone!

 

Weekly Money Check-Up 05-07-2012

photo

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was biweekly mortgage payment. Totally bleh.

2. Today I am thankful for my family.  Always and always thankful for them.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was spend the day in the sunshine with my mother, sisters and daughter in Pike Place Market.

4. I will consider this week a success if can finish my homework on time and get in at least 3 runs this week.

5. The most delicious things I ate all week was homemade turkey burgers.  Healthy and tasty.


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

Sunday Night Ramblings

My life has been so hectic and crazy lately and I literally have been catching sleep when I can.  I slept the moment I got home on Friday (6PM all the way until 6AM Saturday).  Fortunately, I was able to spend the day with my sister and mom today at Pike Place Market. The weather was so beautiful in Seattle today. When it’s nice up here you have to take advantage of it because it could start raining within the hour or the next day and keep raining for weeks on end.   I bought my mom a bouquet of flowers as an early Mother’s Day gift.  My babygirl in turn bought me a bouquet.  It was nice to be outside and not in the library studying or at work working.

Speaking of which, the past 2 weeks have been hell.  I worked so much that I couldn’t study for my test and I did horrible.  On top of all that, my husband is not driving me crazy.  He is not helping out as much as I want around the house, which coupled with all my stress is making me very irate.  I want him to start looking for a job right away and what is he doing? Nothing. Nothing at all.  He says he can’t interview because he’s working.  In order to get an interview, you need to apply.  Which he has not done. At all.  The job market is still very tough out there and the fact that he’s not actively looking really makes me worried.  To make matters even more irritating, he just now asked me if we can use his severance and take the kids to Disneyland, which would cost us about $7,000.  Is he freaking crazy?!  He told me that we will have his unemployment and the severance. UM.  That unemployment, dear husband, is going to help us pay the bills.  He’s killing me right now. Before you all ask, we are NOT going to Disneyland. Ridiculous to even say out loud.

I found out last week from my boss that my promotion was signed off by big boss lady.  It is going to HR for review & finalization of salary on the 16th.  I should know for sure on or about May 18.  Fingers crossed for me.  I’m told that the raise is going to be fantastic.  I think my hubby knowing that my raise is right around the corner has him feeling slightly laid back about our financial situation.  A huge part of me wants to tell him that I didn’t get the promotion/raise and that I won’t get it until the next promotion round, which is in September.  Another part of me feels like we are adults and we shouldn’t keep anything from each other.  I’m really conscious of our money situation and I don’t want things to get bad again.  Like I said, he is driving me crazy at the moment.

There is a bit more good news on the horizon. Our Visa is almost paid off.  Current balance is $1,428.81.  Another $650 will be thrown at it this Thursday, a balance of $778.81 which I am hoping I will also be able to send this week.  I worked 25 hours of overtime in the last 2 weeks and that should net me an extra $1,000 on my paycheck.  After this is paid off, we will start saving all of DH’s remaining paychecks so we have even more in savings just in case.  We’ll be paying the minimum on everything (student loans/line of credit) until we find DH another job.

I’m off to bed because I know this week is going to be super busy again.