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Archive for May, 2008

Extra Cash Plan

May 31st, 2008 at 09:20 am

DH and I made a decision to use my $300 cash award in the following matter:

$100.00 House Emergency Fund
$30.00 Charity Fund
$35.00 Clothes Fund
$25.00 Pedicure
$55.00 Credit Card
$50.00 Personal Emergency Fund (I am trying to keep one pay period of my salary in savings)

It feels nice to have a plan for this extra cash. We use to splurge any extras and have no idea where the money was spent. At first we decided to set the money aside for the gas budget. We have budgeted our gas expenses very well due to us committing to alternate transportation methods, driving at 55 or 60 mph, reducing driving and planning ahead for the higher gas prices. This caused us to fill up once every 1 1/2 weeks and instead of once a week at the pump.

My DH said to use $25 to treat myself to a pedicure after my long run today. I decided to get my pedicure after the 5k run on June 21. It will be a welcome indulgence!

Work Award Recognition

May 29th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Just returned from an award recognition ceremony at my organization. I was presented a certificate of appreciation and a cash award of $300!! YEAH!!! Totally out of the blue and I didn't see this coming. My boss gave out awards to several employees due to their sustained performance and work diligence. I need to think about what to do with this extra cash. No, I don't plan to spend it on clothes! (I am a reformed clothes addict.) I will dwell on this for awhile and make the best choice for the family. YEAH me again!!!!!!

Free Lunch

May 27th, 2008 at 10:59 am

My bosses splurged for pizza, salad and dessert today for the entire company. The simple pleasure of working for a small business. This meant that I didn't use cash money for a meal! Using my $5 savings for my charity fund (Manna Food Bank). Life is good and very tasty!!

Memorial Day Blessings

May 26th, 2008 at 11:20 am

I wish many blessings to the active duty military, my fellow retired and separated veterans, and their love ones on Memorial Day. I know that this war is not a popular cause for many but our troops need to know that they are appreciated. Take time to remember those who made the most ultimate sacrifice. Honor, courage and commitment!!

Making a Contingency Plan

May 25th, 2008 at 02:05 pm

We have been going over our budget to anticipate increased expenses in our food and gasoline categories. We have kept the food budget under $350 to $400 a month utilizing coupons and store circulars. A phenomenal feat with DH, 20 yr old and a 16 yr old sons! To put it bluntly we gave up the processed junk food. This at first was not a popular action but after two months the young men stopped complaining about it. I guess they use their own money for the junk food addiction or they prefer the home made cakes,cookies and fruit.

The gas budget increase resulted with DH using the metro for his daily commute to work. Unfortunately, the metro is not an option for me. I will start to telecommute from work once a week starting in July. My DS#1 work and school is only 15 - 20 minutes away from the house. DS#1 normally fills up his gas tank at least once every 2 1/2 weeks. DS#2 commutes to his part time job by bike.

Our game plan is to cancel our premium channels on our satellite subscription in the event of gas prices are $5 or more. This expense was a luxury that can be better utilized for a necessity. The young men are hardly home anyway due to their activities during the summer. I am pretty sure they will notice it by the time football season starts.

A Parenting Miracle!

May 19th, 2008 at 02:30 pm

I was just informed by DS#1 that he paid in full (cash money!!) for his college tution($516.80) and books($50). He is taking Accounting 202 during the summer to attain his degree at a faster rate. I told him that I will pay 75% of the tution. He insisted that he wanted to be responsible for paying the full amount. He had saved the money after our last budget lesson in March. I don't know if I should laugh or cry with joy. I plan to put the $387.60 into his surprise moving out the house fund. My DS#1 is a young man of few words (really he communicates with us in monosyllabic sentences) but his expression was priceless. This is better than winning the lottery!

Found $

May 18th, 2008 at 07:36 am

Went on my morning run and found $1.45 in change. Placed the change in my coin jar for our family treat fund. Great run and a little bit richer. Life is good!

Blah!!! Wow!!

May 16th, 2008 at 10:56 am

Due to my extreme boredom at work caused me to ponder my personal budget. Watching my pennies and despite the rise of gas prices resulted in a $169 windfall in my personal checking account. My natural inclination is to rush to Ann Taylor and go shopping crazy. Love the blouses, pants, skirts, dresses and don't let me go on about the shoes (my weakness). I decided to wait until Monday. If I really can't fight the urge to spend then I will spend $75 for clothes. The rest will be divided between the household checking and household emergency accounts. If the urge passes then I will put the entire amount in the household accounts. I think that sounds like a wonderful compromise. But, I still want to spend. Help me get control!!

Graduate Degree

May 10th, 2008 at 09:03 am

I have been going back and forward with this decision. I have decided to pursue my graduate degree in health care management/education to increase my salary potential. I would use my military educational benefits to pay for the degree. My DH and sons are 100% behind me with this goal. This would aid me to finding a better employment position.

I am a little apprehensive about the immense amount of time this would involve especially with a full time job. I feel good about this decision but a little guilty about the time it would take from my family. The 2 year program starts in January 2009 which involves one weekend a month with a part time internship at a hospital. I can accomplish this goal with a lot of family support, running and coffee! Yeah me!!

Cash Cushion and Online Banking Works

May 9th, 2008 at 06:05 am

I get paid by direct deposit bimonthly on the 7th and 22nd into my checking account. Unfortunately, my pay check didn't get deposited until today. This was caused by our company's financial institution error. This would have caused me major cash flow anxiety. I have learned from this finance blog about padding your checking account to avoid potential bank overdrafts and utilizing online banking. It works! I was able to immediately changed payment dates for my bank online payments (still ahead of their payment schedules). We had enough money just in case this lasted longer. I wasn't forced to use credit cards to pay for basic living expenses. Our CEO made emergency contingencies for those employees who had financial difficulties from this accounting error. One young lady had an bank overdraft fee of $250!

Thank you to all for the great advice about being financially prepared for Murphy's Law!

A Little Something to Save

May 3rd, 2008 at 09:15 am

I received my first Pinecone check! It was $3.00 that I didn't have and will put to good use. I decided to donate my survey checks to a local food bank. I came to this decision due to so many folks on a fixed income having a hard time making ends meet. Especially our retired seniors who are forced to make a choice between paying their expenses or eating. I know this doesn't seem like a lot of money but every little bit helps.

I also had to readjust my $100 bi-weekly gas budget to $120. This will get me prepared for the higher summer gas prices. I will also car pool with DH at least two days a week to reduce costs. I was able to negotiate with my supervisor to work one day a week at home. This will be on a month trial period with an option to do this at least two days a week!

I do have good news about our $158 gararge door repair bill. DH complained to the owner who promptly re-billed us for $54. It seems that the repair person (repair bandit) overcharged us and thought we would pay the $158 bill. The owner apologized profusely about the repair bandit. Apology accepted but no love for the repair bandit!