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Archive for June, 2011

Applied for Chase Sapphire

June 22nd, 2011 at 12:35 pm

This morning over breakfast, I was telling my boyfriend about the Chase Sapphire deal, about the possible DOUBLE deal, and lamenting that I didn't know about the offer before I paid for my review class. BF says, well, I am buying that utility trailer soon. Eureka, I thought, I have known BF has been shopping for a utility trailer to use in his small business. He went to the website of the place he was planning on buying from and they take Visa! So I applied for Chase Sapphire this morning. If I am approved, I will split the points with BF as I couldn't have spent 3k in 3 months without his help.

So now I just have to wait and see if I am approved or not.

Thanks to Monkey Mama for alerting us to this deal!

Bill Paying Day, Summer Camp Rant

June 17th, 2011 at 10:45 am

I paid all the rest of my bills for June. I will need some more grocery money, but that is it. I had $2,244.36 left in my checking account. I like to keep $1,500 sitting there, and I still have $400 earmarked for my planter, but that still leaves me with some extra. So, I transferred $100 off to my CurveBall savings account. This was over and above what I had budgeted! Smile

I had budgeted $373 for credit card debt. I paid $65 to Discover (my new debt for my CPA review class) which left $308 for B of A Visa. I added the $20 rewards check I received last week and paid them $328. My balance is down to $897.11. Yay!

The cost of my class was $3,065. I paid $65 last week. Since then, I have received $1,532.50 from work to pay for half the class. I transferred $32.50 to CurveBall and sent Discover $1,500. This leaves a balance of $1,500 on Discover.

Right now, the rate on Discover is 0.0% but that will not last forever. I think I may focus on Discover to get it paid down as much as possible before the rate goes up. I'm really not sure what the regular rate is, but I am reasonably certain I don't want to pay it. Smile

My ex-husband says he will have to pay his share of summer camp over the next few months. I said OK, but in truth I find this very annoying. Our son went to this camp last year and it was a great experience for him. We agreed last July we would send him again this July. Last November we talked about it again, still both agreeing that we would send son to camp this July. Then when May rolls around and it is time to register and pay, he has no money set aside for camp and I get to pay the whole thing and wait to be reimbursed. Mind you, my ex-husband makes significantly more money than I do. The entire cost is $465, making his half $232.50. He had 10 months from July to May to set it aside, that is only $23.25 per month. If I can plan ahead and have the money ready to go on my salary, I don't see why he can't do it on his. How I look forward to the day I no longer have to deal with ex-husband at all.

Recent Happenings at Chez Petunia

June 7th, 2011 at 08:33 pm

I have racked up another $20 in rewards from Chase, so I ordered a check today. Another nice little chip out of my debt.

My son-in-law is finishing up his service in the US Army. He and my daughter plan to move right back here. My daughter asked today if I would cosign for them to rent an apartment. Don't worry, I said no. They will be staying here for a short time while they look for an apartment. I will be glad to have them nearby, but don't want them living with me. They are married adults and need to make their own way, for their own good.

I have been doing a lot of window shopping in garden centers and taking long walks around the neighborhood, scrutinizing my neighbors' yards. I have decided I am going to buy 3 simple trellises and stake star jasmine to them. This will be done along the side of my house. I am going to purchase some agapanthus, some ornamental grasses, and some osteospermum.

While digging around in my rocks, I have discovered that I have a lot of sprinkler pipe buried shallowly under my front window. For this reason, I am not going to remove rocks and plant things in the ground right under the window. Instead, I am going to put some sort of rectangular wooden planter on top of the rocks and plant geraniums inside.

It is going to be several hundred dollars, but I will stick to my new lower budget of $400. I have to, I already sent the other $300 off towards credit card debt.

Speaking of, the interest posted yesterday. It was $1.50, the minimum finance charge. I thought that my rate was going up, but it must have gone down instead. I am not going to argue. Smile

Opened a Betterment Account

June 5th, 2011 at 10:34 am

Have you heard about Betterment? It is a newish company, they offer taxable investment accounts with very low minimums. They have two investment funds, both made of ETFs, one is treasury bonds and the other is stocks. You choose your allocation between the funds in increments of 10%, anywhere from 100% stocks / 0% bonds to 0% stocks / 100% bonds. The minimum to open an account is $10. There are no fees other than the underlying fund expense ratio of .9%.

InBox Dollars has an offer for Betterment. InBox Dollars will pay you $1 to open an account, Betterment will pay you a bonus of $20 to open an account. Yesterday, I opened an account with $10.

I don't have any specific plans for the account at this moment, I just wanted my free $21. I think I will just keep the account open awhile and think about it.

My Cash Accounts

June 5th, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yesterday I decided to cap my EF at exactly 3 months take home pay (for now) and start building up a CurveBall fund, for items such as vehicle repairs, home repairs, etc. I want to keep the EF for dire emergencies ONLY.

Several months ago, I opened a savings account and called it "Personal Expenses" and had started depositing any leftover money from my Cash Allowance, to be dipped into for those sort of expenses as needed. Great in theory, except, I didn't use it when I did need more cash. So I renamed the account "CurveBall" and will add to it instead of to EF (Main savings).

So here are my various savings accounts:

1. EF - kept at Ally Bank, balance $9,075.00

2. Vacation Fund - kept at Ally Bank, balance $3,174.55.

3. CurveBall Fund - kept at Ally Bank, balance $102.21

4. Piddly Fund - kept at Wells Fargo, balance $377.96. This is the account into which I deposit the change in my wallet about every 2 weeks. I have been doing this for years. Usually, I use the money for something fun for my family. However, right now I am thinking I need to just hang onto it.

5. Membership Account - my credit union, balance $5.06. This account is required to be open in order to be a member at my credit union.

6. Checking Account - kept at Wells Fargo, balance currently $2,266.41. Yesterday I paid every bill I have on hand, so there are only a few left to be paid for June. So far in June, I have not received any paychecks. I like to live on last month's salary and have a cushion. My planter money is also here ($400, I sent $300 off to B of A Visa yesterday). In August, my car insurance policy will run out and I will pay another 6 month premium out of the extra in my checking account. Another reason why I like to let it build up.

7. Betterment Account - $10.00

More Debt :(

June 3rd, 2011 at 06:31 pm

I signed up for my review course not knowing if I would be reimbursed or not. I was sort of hoping I would be, but I need the course either way, so I signed up. I used my Discover card (just a few days before Monkey Mama posted about that GREAT Chase Sapphire card deal, bummer!) for the purchase and have just been waiting to hear. The course is a bit over 3k. Today I learned that my employer will reimburse me for half now, and then if/when I pass they will reimburse me the other half. If I choose to leave them within 3 years after passing, I will have to repay the second half.

It is very generous, they don't have to pay a single cent, I know I am very lucky. They have really treated me very well since day one. (I've been there close to 6 years now.)

So in the meantime, I have more credit card debt to try to pay off.

I made my mortgage payment yesterday, the minimum amount due only. I'm not going to prepay my mortgage at all at this time. I enjoy whittling it down, but the credit card debt is more pressing. I want it GONE.

June 2011 Budget

June 2nd, 2011 at 06:14 pm



So with a little nip here and a little tuck there, I plan to send $373 towards my credit card debt this month. Also, since my planter plans have changed, I am going to send $300 of the $700 I have set aside. The remaining $400 is probably still more than I really need, but I don't want to cut it too close. Hopefully by next month the planter will be DONE and I can send off the rest of the planter money.


May 2011 Budget Report

June 1st, 2011 at 06:47 pm



This is how May went. In general, I am pleased with my spending.

"Everything Else" this month was son's graduation outfit, field trip, and summer camp. Ex-husband is supposed to reimburse me for half of summer camp. To date, I have not had any trouble collecting from him. However, I haven't seen the camp money yet.

May 2011 Net Worth

June 1st, 2011 at 06:13 pm



Here is my monthly update. My car value has gone up again! I suppose it must be supply and demand at work. Gas prices have gone up, so fuel efficient cars are in demand. Not that it matters much as I intend to keep my car for many years to come.

Also, my home value inched up! What a good little house. Smile I sure would like to see some more of that.

My credit card debt is lower, as previously reported.

I make my monthly retirement contributions but they have little impact. Its good old market gyrations that impact my current value, for better or worse.
Overall, not whole lot different than last month.

All in all, I have no complaints.