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Archive for July, 2016

July 2016 Budget Report; J Has a Second Job

July 31st, 2016 at 09:29 pm

I have to say, I think it is going very well using cash for groceries, gas, and my personal allowance. Categorizing my credit card transactions is a snap, even if I am using more than one rewards card. Smile



I had a 10 work-day paycheck, so that left my income a little light. I also enjoyed a raise in July, so that helped.

I expect to go a little over on the mortgage, because I round up to enjoy having an even balance.

As I noted earlier, savings was anemic in July. Frown

Did great on utilities. I am expecting my natural gas bill to drop soon, maybe one more month of paying $68. I currently have a credit balance. I am on balanced bill pay, so I have to keep paying $68 until they recalculate.

Have been doing great on groceries, which is all thanks to SB. He takes the time to visit different stores on his way home from work. He will stop at a grocery outlet and see what they have for cheap, then cook meals around that. He does an awesome job. He does most of the cooking, too. I really can't complain. Smile

Everything else this month included my new phone (184.43), a trip to the dentist for J (85.00) as well as miscellaneous household. The phone was just a want, but everything else was necessary.

And now for the exciting news...J has started another part-time job! He is keeping his first one. This one will give him about 25 hours per week. He is very happy about the job. He will earn enough money to start saving for some things he wants as well as take over more of his own expenses. I'm so glad for him. MrsM180 helped him get his foot in the door. I always enjoy catching one of my kids being nice to the other. Smile

And I won't lie, I'm excited about the positive impact to my own budget. I want to reach my goals.

Bill Fixer Results; Cash Flow Bottleneck

July 19th, 2016 at 03:29 am

Bill Fixers was able to reduce my internet bill by $13.96 per month. Not much, but something. I have to pay them half of it, so I am ahead $6.98 per month.

In other budget news, I cancelled my gym membership. A payment was due in July, and that is that. So, there is another $19.99 per month ahead.

I have added dvd service to my Netflix, and will probably keep that for a few months. Our list of movies we wanted to see which are disc only grew to the point it made sense to restart that service. I got the first month free, but afterwards will pay $12 per month.

So as you know, I recently switched to cash only for groceries, gas, and personal spending. Since I had previously used rewards cards for those things, in July I had to pay some of June's charges, plus pay as I go for July. (For budgeting purposes, I count spending when I make a charge, not when I pay it.) As it turns out, I am also parting with the cash for two electric bill payments in July*, which is further impeding my cash flow. It is a temporary bottleneck and will ease next month. However, July's savings account deposits are very anemic.

* My electric company bills me around the 5th or so, and I need to pay by the 20th or so. Usually, I use my Citi DoubleCash MasterCard to pay the electric company. The Citi billing cycle cuts off around the 6th of the month, so I typically charge the electric bill on the 10th. When I get paid on the 15th, I pay the charges which appear on Citi's statement from the 6th. In practice, I don't part with the cash for June's electric bill until July 15th. Which I have just done.

In the pursuit of credit card rewards, I have recently applied for and received the new Ally Visa. The sign-up offer is to spend $500 in the first 3 months and receive a $100 bonus. Since my electric bill is $252 per month, I decided to use it twice to pay my electric bill, thus I don't need to bother with it further. So, I used it this past July 10 to pay July's electric bill. And then the statement cycle closed, and I need to pay by August 12th. A bit inconvenient as that's 3 days before payday. So, I just paid it tonight. That $252 is coming out of my planned savings account transfer.

I will use the Ally card for August's electric bill and pay that in August too.

In September, I will go back to using Citi DoubleCash and won't need to pay that statement charge until October, thus picking up a bit of extra cash flow to throw into savings.

So there you have it. Other than that, just plugging along as usual here at Chez Petunia.

Pokemon Go

July 14th, 2016 at 05:45 am

OK, I want Pokemon Go. There, I said it. I think it sounds super fun. Sort of like the game Zoo on Facebook, only you get a little exercise.

The app is free, but, it won't run on 4.3 or older. My Samsung Galaxy S3 is completely updated and 4.3. Some websites say you CAN get it to 4.4, but it requires rooting. SB says I should get someone I really trust to do that because if I do it wrong, it is buh-bye phone. I am not all that tech savvy.

So, do I really want to spend money on a new phone? No, not especially.

Tonight as I was leaving my part-time job, I walked out onto the sidewalk. A group of 4 young men, early 20s, wearing basketball shorts, t-shirts, and athletic shoes were just walking past. They all 4 had their phones out. I said "Are you playing Pokemon Go?" They reacted. Some smiled, some laughed, and one said "We are supposed to be playing basketball right now. But, this is more fun!" and we all shared a laugh.

MrsM180 is playing it. She showed me her Pokemon. She has given them all clever names and some of them are very cute. She was just the right age to be enthralled with all things Pokemon back in the 90s, so Go is highly nostalgic for her.

What to do, what to do.

Mortgage Chips To Date

July 6th, 2016 at 04:15 pm

My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $18.84. My new balance is $164,975.00.

Chips to date: $2,022.84

Interest savings this month: $7.47

Interest savings to date: $175.95

Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,322.91, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't. Stick Out Tongue

June 2016 Budget Report

July 1st, 2016 at 01:19 pm



This month is a bit different in that I have credit card charges for gasoline and groceries, plus I withdrew cash at the end of the month for 2 weeks of gasoline and groceries.

Withdrawing cash for my personal allowance is not new, but I did decide to increase it beyond what I had originally budgeted.

Net Worth 6-30-16

July 1st, 2016 at 01:16 pm

Cash is down. Frown
Debt is down. Smile
Investments are up. Smile
Home value estimate is up. Smile