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Archive for March, 2011

The Switch to Cash

March 30th, 2011 at 02:55 pm

So, Hubby and I have finally decided to switch to spending using only cash, instead of our debit cards. We will start this when I get my first paycheck on April 9th. I'm very excited, mostly nervous though. I hope we can handle it.

I think, though, that it'll be better for budgeting purposes. I have lots of questions though. Do you keep replenishing the cash regardless of how much is left at the end of the week? Or do you only replenish it to the amount it was assigned every week?

Cash Spending

March 28th, 2011 at 05:17 pm

My tip jar didn't really survive this weekend. I started out with $60, bought a few necessary things using the cash (dry cleaning, a new toothbrush) and *poof* there went my hard-earned tip money.

There's still $11 left and I work again today in the club lounge, so hopefully I'll be bringing in some serious tip money this week.

Anyways, it was better that we had that cash because I'm a lot less nervous about not getting a paycheck next week.

Love love love

March 25th, 2011 at 05:22 am

I'm am loving my new job. Today was a great day. I'm exhausted though. So, today I made $29 in tips! I added it to my stash, so I'm up to an even $40. I also found $0.12 in total today, which is awesome since I've been hitting a dry spell in finding change lately. I found a dime and penny at the gas station and another penny in the back of the club lounge tonight. I'm still a little nervous about getting through these next couple of weeks without dipping into savings, but, with the way things are going, we should be okay.

I had to buy some work shirts today. I bought some before, but they turned out to be completely see-through. So I have to return them tomorrow before work or Hubby has offered to do it after school tomorrow. Either way for a refund. I also got gas and paid a bill.

We've paused on the snowballing until I get my first real paycheck so we don't get ourselves into too much trouble. I get the last paycheck from my old job tomorrow. We'll be okay this week, we just have to keep it cheap.

We'll see about next week. At least Hubby still gets paid.

Tips?

March 23rd, 2011 at 03:07 pm

I started my new job yesterday. I ended up busing tables at the lounge. It was fine, hard work and I'm tired. I'm doing it again today. Anyways, I'm getting paid $9 an hour, working full time, and now I'm getting tips for busing tables in the lounge. I made $5 in tips last night. Which sucks. I'll aim higher tonight. I'm not sure what to do with the tips. For right now, I'm keeping them in a jar in my room. Any suggestions?

It's being counted separately from the money I find on the street. I'll keep adding the tip money in that jar until I can think of something completely awesome to do with it.

Next Paycheck

March 22nd, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I officially wrapped up my last day at the job I've had for three years yesterday. It wasn't very difficult. The job I'm starting today is full-time (more money), full medical benefits (health, dental, vision), and retirement! I even get paid time off! Yay!!! Anyways, switching between jobs presents a temporary challenge. I am switching from being paid weekly to being paid bi-weekly. That being said, I don't know when my first paycheck will come in. Therefore, I'll be keeping any extra money (after gas and bills) in my checking account. Meaning, savings will stop until I get my first real paycheck from this new job.

I hope we can make it!

Halfway Through March

March 15th, 2011 at 01:33 pm

We are halfway through March, here's where we stand on overspending:

Overspent on restaurants by $31.73.
Overspent on miscellaneous by $218.96 (I owed my mom money).
Overspent on pets by $14.


That's it. Restaurants was definitely 100% my fault. I twisted some excuse and realized later. So I can improve on that. I owed my mom money, so that $218 couldn't be avoided, but it's in the budget because it's spent money. And the pets thing was also 100% my fault. I bought my bird a new toy and a water feeder since the vet told me way back when that he's dehydrated and probably just not drinking that much water since it's always available for him. So I bought that stuff, but ended up going over budget.

We've also managed to save $175 this month so far. Yay.

Payday #2

March 11th, 2011 at 06:38 pm

I'm on my second payday while on this website. Put $57.50 towards the emergency fund, which we had depleted last week. Also added $57.50 to the car fund. Paid some debt yesterday: $11.48 to the Chase card that we're currently snowballing into oblivion. So here are my totals for this week:

Car Fund:
2032.68
+ 57.50
--------
$2090.18

Emergency Fund:
0
+57.50
-------
$57.50

Chase card:
194.73
-11.48
----------
$183.25

No Spend Day

March 10th, 2011 at 05:00 pm

So today, Hubby got paid. Which means we paid some bills. Car insurance and more snowball to the Chase credit card. Today, I'm staying home though. It's a no-spend day! Smile

I have nothing to do, outside of taking a midterm online today. And hubby is at work, but he shouldn't have to spend any money today. So today is a no spend day.

We will be doing better this week than last (at least that's what I have planned). We've done it before and I know we can do it again. It's difficult, but no one said this was going to be easy.

Week of Failure

March 10th, 2011 at 04:00 am

So this week, we failed. We overspent. And I feel so guilty! We spent through our emergency fund. I told Hubby that we need to have more self-control. I don't want to have the emergency fund in a separate bank because if we need it, it needs to be available ASAP, but we can't continue to spend it. He agrees. We are still not good at this. We have been getting progressively better, but it's a work in progress and this week, we failed.

As far as paying off the credit cards goes, we're doing well. As for the rest of the month, we'll just go on like usual. One date a week. And be much stricter on emergency fund disposal.

We failed. But, I've forgiven myself just enough to sleep at night, but we absolutely cannot let this happen again. It was so irresponsible. This journey is not easy.

One way we're trying to overcome our failure in coming weeks is to have our date nights in the middle of the week instead of directly after payday. We get so excited about payday that we always do dinner the same day or the next day. We will wait until Monday night this week. Hopefully it's in between enough for us to hold off. I guess we'll see.

Under $200

March 7th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I made some extra money by selling a textbook on Amazon. $29.70, which I rounded to $30 and then used to pay some of my debt down. I'm using the snowball method. For this first card, it's going to take around two months to pay off. But, the good news is, we are now under $200. This is the first credit card we've gotten so close to paying off! It's at $194.73. I can't pay it off at once, but I'm going to stick as much money as I can towards it.

I was originally thinking of putting that $30 towards savings, but I didn't know which account to put it towards, so I decided, spur of the moment, to put it towards paying off my debt. I'm one step closer!

Payday

March 5th, 2011 at 02:07 am

Every payday, I assess what I need to buy and put the rest into savings, leaving myself with the bear minimum. This week I was able to put away $60. I'm currently doing halfsies. I need to build up my emergency fund, but also need to build up the car fund because hubby's car is crap. So, $30 went to each of those goals.

I love payday and I hate it too. Just as quickly as my money arrives, it disappears. *sigh* Hopefully I'll be debt free soon!

Snowballing it

March 3rd, 2011 at 01:06 pm

We've decided a number of things. First, we are going to do the snowball method for paying off credit cards. The first card has a very small amount on it. $237.23. It's not going to be easy. I don't really like defaulting to minimums on the other cards, but it'll definitely be faster than what I was going to do. And it makes sense. My husband isn't happy with the idea that we have to pay minimums on a credit card with nearly $3000 on it. That's the last one we'll pay. For the record, I'm a student, which is the only reason I haven't paid off this credit card yet. I bring in, currently, about $600 a month.

The great news is that I just landed a full-time job doing exactly what I want to do! My income will nearly double. My husband brings in the same amount. So, once I start working at this new company in two weeks, I'll start looking at raising the amount we can spend in bills every week.

The other thing is that I want to go on vacation. Since I just started this job, it looks like I'll have to go on vacation next year. Sucks! But I don't want to mess this opportunity up by leaving town for a week. So we will be starting a vacation fund after we get the emergency fund where it's supposed to be this month ($342).

Lastly, we will be starting a retirement fund. I'm going halfsies on all these savings goals. Everything is divided in half with the car fund, which we need to build up as quickly as possible. Hubby's car is pretty awful. My car is fine. After we build up the car fund and buy a car, then I'm at a loss of what to do.

Do I create another car fund? Do I save for a house? Lots of potential in that money, you know? Anyways, those are the strides we've made in the past couple of days.

March 1

March 1st, 2011 at 03:22 pm

February was a difficult month, financially. It was tough because we spent so much money. Izzy's car is falling apart, so it's been expensive on that front. We also switched phone carriers, and that was expensive too. At least we can put February behind us and get back on track in March.

March, I'm sticking to the basics. Once a week, we're going on our date, but not eating out other than that. Gas prices are on the rise, so we'll see what happens there. Hopefully, it won't affect how much I have to put aside for gas every week. But let's be realistic. If it keeps going up, I'm going to have to. Sunpass stays the same. Groceries stay the same. The rest of our income is pure savings. Which will be great since we have to buy Izzy a new car soon. That scares the crap out of me.

We have $2k saved so far. Hopefully, we'll be able to get at least another grand before his car dies. We'll see. Right now, he needs a new alternator. And we need to keep an eye on his oil level. There is supposedly a leak. I just don't know how accurate that is.

I'll be looking into saving for retirement too. Izzy has a retirement fund through his job. I don't though. We'll see. We are also down to $4900 (more or less) in credit card debt. I feel pretty low that I can't afford to go out and do the things I see my friends doing.

But I know that at the end of life, I'll have a nice savings, and they won't. So...it is what it is.