Since my last entry, I have received:
1. SB rent ($200)
2. CC rewards ($73.22), and
3. payment from HauserNet ($31.25)
All of it has been sent off to GE Capital. The balance is up to $2,595.83.
Slow but steady progress.
Viewing the 'Savings' Category
Since my last entry, I have received:
Today my mother and I attended a baby shower for my grand niece. She and her husband are foster adopting through their county's social services system, and are expecting two newborn girls at the end of this month. One will be placed in their care immediately following birth, and one will be placed in their care in a few months. They are hoping to adopt both babies.
At the shower, I got to see another grand-niece whom I had not seen in about 5 years. She is turning 18 next month, and so very grown up now.
Also at the shower were my grand-niece's mother and a woman I have known for about 14 years through a former job, and for whom coincidentally my grand-niece has done babysitting. And that was it, I did not know anyone else!
It was a super fun afternoon. I am so happy for my grand-niece and her husband and I cannot wait to hold those little babies.
In savings news, I received a check from my part-time job for $180 and have sent it off to savings. I now have savings accounts at GE Capital Savings Bank, Wells Fargo, and my credit union. The credit union account pays 0.00% interest, and I have to make a transaction at least every 12 months or I am charged $5, but I can't close it and remain a member. So twice a year I make a small deposit to keep it fee free. The Wells Fargo account is just for convenience, since I have my checking account there. And the GE Capital account is what I am trying to grow.
I am trying to reach 15k in GE Capital by the end of this year. Not sure if I will be able to do it, but that is my goal.
My state income tax refund has shown up! The amount is $1,023.
Next month, $822 will be due on my auto insurance policy. I went ahead and paid it using a rewards card. I have already scheduled an electronic payment from checking to the rewards card.
That leaves $201 to squirrel away into savings.
Savings account balance is now $3,109.82. Still far too low, but making progress.
In riveting personal news, SB and I are going to finally see the new Star Wars movie tonight. Tonight is his treat; he already bought the tickets. It sure is nice for him to be able to take a turn. He says it is going to be his turn for a long time.
I just paid all of my bills for August, and had $91.76 "extra" in checking. Off to CurveBall it went. I just love it when I get to sweep "extra" money to savings or debt.
There are some changes brewing on my horizon, and as a result I am changing some of my short-term goals.
What are the changes? I want to move, and I will be giving my son my car as a graduation present. So, I'm going to need some cash.
I spent more on vacation than planned (of course!), including a very unplanned repair bill for a rented ATV. My son was not seriously injured, so that was good. I have drained my vacation fund and tapped my curveball fund, but I continue to have no credit card debt.
I have renamed "vacation fund", its new name is "car fund". This will be to purchase my next car. I will not be taking another vacation until after my next car is bought and paid for.
I will no longer be chipping at my mortgage, but instead will be piling up all of the cash that I can.
Yesterday I received a rebate check for $6.67, as well as a payment from HauserNet for $4.25. I have added both to car fund. Combined with the $1.97 which was already there, I am up to $12.89. Not much of a car there yet.
I will be changing up my budget a bit. I will post that when I know if I got a raise on 7/1 or not. I won't know until next payday (7/15).
My plan once I have moved and gotten settled is to purchase a condo. Not sure yet if I will go for a 1 or 2 bedroom. Either way, I expect my total housing cost to be much, much lower than it is now.
I received my check for $41.53 from Inbox Dollars, and it has been applied to my mortgage principal.
October bills are all paid, except for the bug man who has not shown up yet. I left $562 in checking, and swept the rest to CurveBall. The sweep amounted to $102.86, so that is helpful.
Today was payday, so it was time for a wallet sweep. I had $8 to apply to my mortgage, bringing the balance down to only $176,247.01. (Yup, that was tongue-in-cheek).
Automatic savings transfers happen tomorrow, so I just went ahead and updated my sidebar totals. It is nice to have a little something in CurveBall again. If I finish October bill paying with more than $500 in checking, I will sweep any excess into CurveBall too. It needs all the help it can get.
That is one $50 mortgage chip (credit card reward), and one $50 credit to my Ting cell phone bill (thanks to NetSkyBlue), which I will convert into a savings chip. Sweet! I love chips.
We had a lot of fun at the theme park. I am glad we went.
Because I fiddled, I am now having to park my Simple money in a target retirement fund while I wait two months to be allowed back into total stock market. In my traditional, I am selling blocks of S & P 500, waiting in cash for 3 days, then buying total stock market. Sometimes, I irritate myself.
Chase Freedom bonus rewards for the third quarter once again include gas. I really enjoy getting 5% back on my gas.
J and I returned from another mini vacation weekend. This time the vacation site was a beautiful vacation home at Donner Lake. We were invited by BF's boss; the home belongs to some associate of hers. All told, there were 14 of us and we were not crowded at all. Activities included fishing, kayaking, bike riding, etc. The home is currently listed for sale, and the asking price is a seven digit number, so that gives you some indication of the conditions we were forced to tolerate.
After work today, I put in 2 hours at my part-time job. I put in 2 hours last Friday afternoon as well, for a grand total of 4 so far in June. Since starting, I have been asked to take on one additional task. As a result, I expect to regularly work 6 - 8 hours per month rather than 4 -6. As it happens, this place is close to my regular work place. It seems it will work better for everyone if I put in several short "shifts" rather than one long one.
And hoorah, I have been paid for my May hours. The proceeds have already been sent off to E Fund.
It has been 8 days since my daughter and son-in-law moved in temporarily. Thus far, it has been nothing but a pleasure to have them here. I can really see that they are both quite a bit more considerate than the last time they were here.
I am planning to treat the four of us (daughter, son-in-law, son, and myself) to a fun outing in the next week or two. I suggested the water park, but said I would let the three of them decide. I will take a vacation day and we will go mid-week. When I return from the cruise I am taking with mom, J will already be off at summer camp; daughter (S) and son-in-law (A) will be heading back to Colorado Springs.
And that brings me to next summer's vacation plans. Mom, J and I have decided to do a road trip to Colorado Springs. Along the way, we will visit Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone. Mom has never been to either place! My cousin L is also interested in going. It has been about a decade since I was on a long road trip; it should be lots of fun.
My move to Barclays online savings bank from TIAA-Cref is now complete; the process was completed smoothly, no glitches at all. I expect the bulk of E Fund will be "available" tomorrow.
Tonight while reading on The Bogleheads Index Forum, I learned that Barclays is currently paying .90% on savings accounts. Also, several members report that Barclays is very easy to work with.
Being a girl who enjoys getting a better deal, I hurried to the site and opened a savings account with $1.00. I must wait for the two test deposits to verify my external account before I can open additional accounts or set up automatic transfers.
As we have all come to expect from our online savings accounts, accounts can be nicknamed easily enough, just click on the icon following the account name and name it whatever you like. Here you can see that I gave mine the original and clever name of "Emergency Fund".
Payday is not until tomorrow, but I had to do banking errands for a client today at my bank anyway, so I did a wallet sweep and deposited $12. This is another little savings chip for E Fund.
And when I was walking out to my car, I found a dime in the parking lot, right by my car door. It doesn't really add to my wealth though, as I suspect I am the person who dropped it in the first place.
The proceeds from my e-Bay sale (a cool $100) are now sitting in E Fund.
My decoy mail volume has been dropping off to barely anything. Today I received a Time magazine. That is great, because it is a new assignment. I hope I start getting a bunch of magazines, especially the weekly ones.
I received my money from Second Spin. After reimbursing WF Visa for my actual shipping costs, I had $38.85 to send off to E Fund.
The item I asked BF to list on eBay is up to $102.50. The auction closes Wednesday. The proceeds are earmarked for E Fund.
I received my state income tax refund of $1,039. I made a 1k 2012 traditional IRA contribution and sent $39 off to CurveBall.
On Feb 1st, I "paid" my car insurance premium (6 months) with WF Visa. The cost was $534.09. I will need to transfer that money from CurveBall, but will wait until later in the month.
In late March I am going to see a play in SF with a particular group of friends. We all worked together about a decade ago. We have seen about a half dozen really good plays together, and about the same number of really good concerts. When we are able to get together, it is always super fun. So my play ticket is $60, and then there will be bart, dinner, etc. I am watching my discretionary spending this month and next, in order to afford this hoorah.
I am happy to report thus far this month, all of my spending is within acceptable parameters.
Yesterday was payday, and I saw that my take home pay for an 88 hr pay period has gone from $1534 to $1499.
Now that I have so many things set up for automatic transfer, there wasn't much to do besides record the transactions which will happen shortly.
I finished the pay period with $4 left from my allowance. I had a few more splurges (lunch out with a friend, and Starbucks), but that is what my allowance is for. I only sent $2 off to EFund, and gave the other $2 to J for bus fare. I always fund that out of my allowance too, just because it is convenient.
Tomorrow J has his physical so that he can be on the swim team again this year. I will be using his Health Savings Account debit Visa for the first time. It is ex-h's HSA, so I don't use it for any of my medical expenses.
I am off to work, have a great day everyone.
Today is payday, so it is time for another wallet sweep. At lunch, I did my banking and deposited $27 from last payday's allowance, which I have already sent off to E Fund.
Little by little, my cash accounts are getting a bit fatter.
I think this is the 4th year in a row that a certain client has sent me a Xmas card with a nice hand-written note and a crisp $100 bill. It is so nice of him.
Off to E Fund with the $100. It is nice to see those numbers getting a little larger.
With my Roth contribution this month, it puts me at 3k contributed for the year. 3k per year is my goal. I wouldn't mind exceeding it, but I am glad to have hit it. I think between now and April 15th, I will contribute 1k to my traditional for 2012 and save a bit on my tax bill.
I received my 1600 thread count sheets from No More Rack too. They are soft but thin. I am not entirely certain they were worth $31. I haven't slept on them yet.
We had our company Christmas dinner last night. Along with a nice meal and a fun time, I received a check for 2k.
What will I do with these riches? The first 1.3k is going to Citi MC. Along with my budgeted $100 December payment, that is the end of my credit card debt! Yay!! I will give $150 to each of my kiddos, and the final $400 will go to savings.
Tomorrow is my mom's 80th birthday. One of my nieces came to visit for a few days, along with her husband and 2 small children. I went to my mom's Friday night to visit. My brother showed up yesterday morning, so back I went to mom's. We had a cake and sang happy bday. Tomorrow night on her actual birthday, I will pick mom up and take her to her favorite restaurant, The Elephant Bar.
My brother has a timeshare, and plans to go to Mexico next summer. My mother wants to go. This means she wants me to go. I don't know that I can swing it. But I want to go, I don't want to be her excuse for not going. My brother says we can rent a 2 bedroom condo for 2 weeks for $773. That is inexpensive, but of course there is still airfare, meals, and a rental car. I told mom I will see what I can do, but that I don't know. I have always wanted to see some Mayan or Aztec ruins in Mexico. I also have nothing against the beach.
BF has been working with a realtor towards getting his mom's house sold. They plan to list in the spring.
Thursday was payday. I had $28 in bills plus a full coin purse left from my allowance. I deposited $25 and sent it off to E Fund.
I paid all of the bills I have received, subtracted my automatic payments (life insurance and Roth IRA) and sent $420 to Curveball. As always, I am still waiting to receive my Citi MC statement. I had too much left in checking! I love it when I have that problem. To solve it, I sent an extra $216.17 off to CurveBall. I may send a bit extra to Citi MC too, but will have to buy groceries before I decide on that.
CurveBall's balance didn't advance too much as I pulled out money for my new fence. The new fence is in and looks great. My cost ended up being $400, not $350 as I posted earlier. I had forgotten that I have an extra section of fence which I do not share with the neighbor. The neighbor called and said he had not counted that part, but said they would go ahead and replace that too while they were at it for an extra $50. I agreed as I felt that was fair.
So far this month, I am doing fine on my budget.
I received a check in the mail yesterday for the Allstate Class Action lawsuit in the amount of $10.26. This amount is going straight to E Fund.
The house next door to me recently sold (unfortunately, not the dog poisoner) to an investor who intends to use the house as a rental. He has been doing work at the house, and yesterday came over and spoke to BF about replacing our shared fence. BF took his name and number and I called him back this morning. He wants to replace the fence while he has hired help on site. I said yes, I am all for it. He says he has most of the lumber we would need, can provide the labor, and has a concrete guy coming out today anyway who could also do the fence holes. He said he will call me back later today with an estimate, but he thinks we could do it for $400 - $500. So, I'm excited at the prospect of that. I share my back yard fence with 4 different neighbors, and this section is now the oldest.
My decoy mail volume is steadily increasing. I receive mail more days than not, usually 2 - 3 pieces at a time. Yesterday, I had 6 pieces.
Last night I bought J a video game he has been wanting. It is his birthday present, he turns 17 on Saturday. My baby. Where has the time gone? Hug your little ones while you can.
When I went to see the lung doctor, he did a throat swab and prescribed a cough suppressant (Benzonatate). He stated he suspects I have pertussis (whooping cough). Later I thought, but that is contagious. I have been coughing for months and I have not infected anyone. I go back in December for a breathing test, then a second time for the results. Meanwhile, the Rx is greatly reducing the coughing so that is great. The co-pay for a specialist is $40 per office visit.
I did some poking around on MID's website and I learned that Balanced Bill Pay amounts are adjusted every February. So, I will be paying $238 per month until then. I expect to have quite a large credit by then, so it should adjust down substantially at that time.
Well, that is one little goal accomplished.
Recent deposits have included $23.50 from HauserNet, $33.59 from InBox Dollars, and $22.12 from a wallet sweep.
I even overshot $500 by $10.61, so that got sent off to E Fund.
I received $44.91 today in my Paypal account, for secret shops I did 2 months ago. I have already transferred it to Mini E-Fund. I have not received any repayment from daughter this month, nor any reimbursement from ex-h for J's summer camp last July.
I decided not to completely drain CurveBall in order to pay Chase Freedom in full. Instead, I drew it down to 1k, then did a balance transfer from Citi MC for the rest. The terms of this most recent transfer are 0% with a 3% balance transfer fee. This will increase my Citi MC balance up to approximately 1.7k, 1.6k after I send them their $100 payment.
In each of the past 2 years, I have received a Christmas bonus of $1,750. If that happens again this year, I will pay Citi MC in full and end the year with my savings too low, but no credit card debt. I will have an additional $100 per month to use towards re-building my cash accounts. It also means I will not hit my 3k Roth goal for 2012. I will have contributed 2.1k to Roth and nothing to traditional. But, I am ready to be D-O-N-E with credit card debt.
Fastforwarding to next April 15th, between overtime and my tax season bonus, I should net 4k and change. I guesstimate my income tax returns to total a 1k refund. The first $3,200 will go to my traditional and Roth IRAs. Along with my $150 per month automatic transfer to Roth, that will max them for 2013. The rest of the tax season money will go to savings.
Right now, when I buy groceries, I swipe my debit card. I also have in my wallet a Wells Fargo credit card which earns a 1% rebate towards my mortgage. I think I am going to switch to swiping the credit card instead, then transfer funds when I get home. By adding the extra step of transferring funds, I can accumulate points towards a $25 mortgage chip. I should average two such chips a year. I am online checking my balance all the time anyway, so it is not much effort to transfer funds from checking to my linked credit card. And mortgage chips do not hurt my feelings.
It is just me again at work today. The senior partner does not work on Fridays. Our receptionist is still out, and the temporary one we had over the summer went back to school a month ago. The other staff accountant is part-time. She was been coming in every day to help (she and I have to absorb the receptionist's duties) but had no work at all today to do. Fridays are slow, so it seemed silly for her to come in just to answer a phone call every hour or two. Plus, while I do have work to do, I am pretty current on everything, so nothing is pressing. I told her I could manage fine, there was no need for her to come in too. Well, the junior partner cracked his tooth last night. He came in at 8, called his dentist, and the dentist said come on down. So, he left and doesn't think he will be back today. He told me to close at noon if I wanted. That sounds like a plan to me.
Firstly, Nala is doing very well. Here is a pic taken this morning:
And just for good measure, here is a pic of Bree, taken one day when BF had left his laptop on the couch. I guess she was checking her Facebook page.
I have decided to sue the mother (homeowner) for the fence and the son for the vet bill. I don't expect to win on the vet bill, but I am going to sue anyway. While the burden of proof in criminal court is "beyond a reasonable doubt", civil court is "preponderance of the evidence". Hopefully he will realize that if he is accused a second time, there is even more circumstantial evidence against him. I want this incident to be well documented, in the hopes there will be no further incidents.
Mini E-Fund is coming along. Recent additions include $14.25 from a wallet sweep, $11.20 from a secret shop, and $7 from Beezag.
I bought myself a new laptop last week. My old one was failing regularly, requiring trouble shooting and restarts. It was getting to be an every single time I turned it on thing. I bought a fairly nice Gateway laptop for $406 including tax.
I played around with Future Advisor some more, then decided to ignore their advice. I still like the tool, I just prefer the excellent investment advice available on The Bogleheads Index Forum! I did alter my target allocation slightly. Here it is:
25% Total Stock Market Index
10% Small Value Index
10% REIT Index
20% Total International Index
5% Small International Index
15% Total Bond Market Index
And lastly, Bobbie Bushman is no longer blogging! She wrote a final entry, basically stating she no longer had the time to keep up her blog. I will miss Bobbie's entries. For now at least, the blog can still be read.
Well, I was able to purchase a flip phone for my mom used, from another Ting customer. He made a small profit at my expense, but I am still ahead, so I am OK with that. The phone shipped today and should be in my hot little hands in the next day or two.
I was a bit nervous about the transaction, because what if the other party stiffed me? But he forwarded his confirmation email from Ting from when he purchased the phone, so I knew that he had one a few weeks ago. That made me feel better. He emailed me Saturday that he had received the cashier's check I mailed him, and that he would ship the phone today. I checked with UPS and he did ship me a package this afternoon. So I guess my gamble has paid off.
Tonight I need to charge the phones I bought for J and myself, then make sure I have a good list of all my contact phone numbers. I don't know if I can simply transfer the data or not. But I don't have a whole lot of numbers in my phone, so if I have to key them in again, its no big deal.
I am anxious now to get my service switched over and start enjoying my new much lower cell bill.
Yesterday I bought myself a big floppy hat and some water shoes, as well as a couple of brightly colored shirts. I picked up a few things for J as well. I paid for them with gift cards I got for free as a credit card sign up bonus. I just love credit card rewards!
Tonight I plan to swing by Target and pick up some snorkeling gear. It will be cheaper to buy our own than to rent by the hour. Maybe I will try to sell it as we are leaving. I surely don't have much use for it at home.
I transferred $800 from vacation fund to checking, which I will withdraw over the next few days. I will try to spend no more than that, so that the rest of the money in Vacation Fund will be the start of our next vacation. But if I go over, then I do. Some of the activities are expensive. I try to choose wisely, but can't say no to everything. If I did that, we might as well just stay home.
I pulled $485 from CurveBall for J's camp. I had put it on my Visa and it was time to pay up. Ex-h says he will pay half but it will be over the next few months. Whatever.
My brother had 2 new grandbabies on the same day last week. The babies are cousins. One of my nieces had a c-section scheduled, her sister went into early labor the same day. The babies were born in the same hospital, too. We have some sweet pictures of them all swaddled and lying next to each other. Both babies are perfectly healthy. That makes an even dozen grandbabies for my brother! And 15 great nieces and nephews for me. If I never have a grandchild of my own to spoil, I will spoil the greats instead.
I was just looking over my bill book and I see that I have paid everything this month except for Citi MC. (That bill barely makes it before the 30th!) I looked in my checking account and saw that I had $783.76. A balance like that makes me feel rich. Feeling rich leads to spending splurges.
I don't like my balance to get too low, but I don't need that much sitting there. So I transferred $50.00 to the old E fund, and $83.76 to CurveBall. That leaves me $650 and 1 bill to pay with 8 days of May to go.
(I like some "slush" in checking because the first of the month is much tighter than the middle of the month for me. If I actually spent that entire $650 during May, I'd be in trouble.)
What a relief that another tax season has ended. This year was especially exhausting. Our receptionist/secretary needed time off which meant the other staff accountant and I had to take on her duties as well. We hired a temp, she was trained for 5 days, then worked solo for 7 days. She was doing a great job, but stopped showing up. She didn't resign, just stopped showing up. Her agency e-mailed us to say she had a family emergency and had to go out of town. However, we discovered that she left her key in her desk at the end of her last day, even though it would be hours before she would even learn of her family emergency. Hmmmm.
I racked up less overtime this year than last, due to my Bodega Bay overnight trip fiasco, and being sick for 3 weeks. My bonus was $100 larger than last year. Together, I cleared just a few dollars under 4k. I deposited them, then transferred $1400 to vacation fund, $1000 to CurveBall, and $600 to my Roth. I plan to send $400 extra to Citi MC and $170 to my son's mutual fund. (I promised him $300, but he asked for 2 video games. I told him they would come out of his $300.) That's $3570, the rest is sitting in checking.
My Simple IRA transfer is still in transit. I am expecting my matching plus my contributions from Jan - March to be deposited. The transfer is holding up my deposits. Together, that amounts to $1920 which needs to be added to my account. It will be so nice to not lose 5.75% right off the top anymore!
Yesterday in the mail I received a refund from my impound account in the amount of $119.05. I have already turned it into a mortgage chip. Beginning in June, my PITI payment will drop a few dollars. I do not plan to change my budgeted PITI.
Still waiting for my Card Pool check. The website says it takes 3 - 7 business days, and today was only the 3rd business day.
BF brought me a nice big garbage can to keep in the garage for my recyclables. I think that will be nicer than storing them in used grocery store plastic bags. I don't buy a lot of canned sodas, or bottled water, but I do buy some. (I don't like my son to drink a lot of soda, and I rarely drink soda. We have a Brita pitcher for home drinking water.) When my nephew lived here, he would always throw the empty containers away. I got tired of asking him not to, so I started taking them to work with me. I work downtown and park in an alley behind our office. We have a large homeless population downtown. I would simply set my empty containers next to a dumpster, and they wouldn't last 30 minutes. So it worked out both for me and for the person who found them first. However, I think now that I have a nice big plastic can to store them in, I will sell them every so often and use the money for....you guessed it, mortgage chips.
My federal income tax refund of $763 posted today. I sent $700 to vacation fund (to repay what I previously "borrowed") and $63 to CurveBall. I'm feeling much better about the balance in CurveBall!
Yesterday I charged a deposit for our Hawaii trip to my Visa. That charge won't show up until next month's bill. Until then, the money will sit in Vacation Fund accruing interest (teensy as it may be).
Mortgage rates for 30 year fixed continue to be 3.875%. (I check twice a day.) They haven't even fluctuated in more than a week. I can't lock yet, still waiting.
I was looking at my checking account balance, and looking forward to my first paycheck of the new year, when I realized it will be a 10 day paycheck. Bleah! January will be a little tighter than I had thought. Thankfully, the second paycheck of the new year will be a 12 day paycheck.
I received an email from Geico that my next car insurance policy is available for my viewing pleasure. I logged on and was very pleased to note that the price has dropped approximately $100! Yay. I can't complain much about that.
I am getting ready to get J off to his dad's, his first day back to school tomorrow, and myself off to work. Last year, I racked up 78.25 hours of OT. This year, I expect to rack up more as my responsibilities keep snowballing. (At times, I find this frustrating.) Last year, between OT pay and my bonus, I cleared 4k (just barely). I have my income tax refund on the horizon too. It is time to begin considering how best to use this extra 6k - 7k. I will give $300 to J (his annual "allowance"). But other than that, every cent of it will go to some savings account, retirement account, or debt. My task is to slice it up wisely. I must send a minimum of $1800 off to my Roth, as that is the shortfall between my budgeted monthly contribution and my planned minimum annual contribution.
So I suppose I am thinking:
I "borrowed" $700 from Vacation a few months back, and would like to repay it.
BTW, J tucks his allowance into his mutual fund account and his savings account. What a good kid.
My new fence was installed today. Yay! I wrote a check for $1410. Hopefully, at some point, I will be reimbursed $630 from the neighbor. Last week, I learned that my neighbor's "main objection" to paying her share is her dislike of my nephew. I am not certain what one thing has to do with the other. At any rate, her son stated he will try to talk her into it, and if possible (he is unemployed) he will pay it himself. I am not going to do anything for now, but when tax season is over, I will contact her again and state that if it is not paid, I will proceed with the legal remedies available to me.
What else? I received a crisp $100 bill in the mail inside a Christmas card from a client. This is the same client who sent me $100 last year. What a nice man! I would love to tuck it into my Roth. However, since CurveBall is poor and since January's Visa bill will include a $479 charge for my new brakes, I am going to tuck it into CurveBall.
I decided to close my Betterment account and will tuck that money into CurveBall as well.
We had a lovely, low-key Christmas. I never did get around to putting up the tree or opening my Christmas decoration storage tubs. On Friday as I was leaving the office, I realized that we would be throwing away the poinsettias on Tuesday. Therefore, I took 5 of them home with me. I put 4 of them on the "shelf" (a wall which does not quite reach the ceiling) between my living room and kitchen, and the 5th one on the kitchen table as a centerpiece. That was it for decorations.
Christmas Eve night is when my ex-husband's family does their gift exchange. After ex-husband picked up J to take him to his grandparents' house, I wrapped his iPad2 (only present) and put it under the poinsettia on the table! I had a card with a Microsoft points card for my nephew and put that under it too.
Christmas morning my mom and ex-husband came over. J opened his present and BF and I made breakfast. After breakfast ex-husband left. We played cards, watched Phantom of the Opera, and put our dinner in the oven around 4. My mom had made a pork roast, sweet potatoes, and a peach pie the day before and brought them with her. I made a salad. When everything was warm, dinner was served.
We had our company Christmas party this past Saturday night. It was fun and my dinner was delicious. I received a Christmas bonus of $1750, same as last year. For now, I used it to pay bills. On payday, I will send $1450 to CurveBall. I do have a fence to replace and my car insurance is due in February. BF borrowed $300 last week which he will repay soon and that will go to CurveBall as well. More on that below.
I bought J's iPad2 on Sunday. With a cover, 2 year warranty, and tax it came to $825. I used $500 of Best Buy giftcards bought with credit card reward points. Ex-h is contributing $150 so my out of pocket is $175. Also, for purchasing the cover I received a $50 Best Buy gift card which I used to buy Microsoft points for nephew for Christmas. (That's what he said he wanted). I will send my daughter a check for $150. And that is it, I am done Christmas shopping.
BF was here over the weekend but left this morning to go back to his house. He has a meeting tomorrow with a real estate agent at the house. He had his mother's jewelry appraised and is in the process of selling it. She had some collectible guns which he has taken to a gun store to sell on consignment. He has been gathering up items of value to sell on e-bay, some are already listed and receiving bids. He has been working on getting the corporation documents in order (family business, now defunct but still owns real estate). So he has been getting the ball rolling. He says it feels really good to finally be making some progress. He will be receiving a check next week which represents the last of his IRA money. I lent him $300 to hold him over until he receives it. His checking account was overdrawn. He has also decided to sell his car. He has a car and a truck. He loves the car but needs the truck, so the car has to go for now. He has lost a great deal of money by procastinating dealing with all of this and living off of his savings. His reasoning was that he didn't have time for a job until he settled the estate, but he wasn't doing a thing about settling it. And so here we are. Fortunately for him, he should still come out of this with a significant chunk of cash and his share of the corporation. I told him when the house sells, he needs to take his share and set it aside, investing it sensibly. Then get a job rather than live on his little nest egg. He says he will. I hope that he does, but that is entirely up to him.
Well here we are with one more day of August to go. I intend to have a no-spend day tomorrow.
So where are we? Well, my electric bill this month was enough to make me cry. $374. Really looking forward to fewer people in the house. I'm also really, really tired of walking into an empty room or empty garage and all of the lights are on. Groceries aren't too bad this month because everyone pitched in. They certainly weren't cheap, but I think I am on budget there.
When my car insurance was due, I put it on my Visa in order to hang on to the cash a little longer. (I never get any rewards points for my insurance. Humph.) Chase will cut off my billing cycle in a week or so and send me a big fat bill, so I will be parting with the cash soon enough.
Everything is paid for August and I have $1,201.51 in checking. That is less than I would like to have, especially considering my Visa bill will be bigger than usual. Tomorrow is payday, and it is a 12 day pay instead of 11. So that will help some.
I have finally received the rest of summer camp money from my ex-h, so my checking account has recovered from that particular shortage.
I have not one red cent in my wallet. I cleared it out at the bank today. Tomorrow I will withdraw another $60 cash. My Piddly Fund broke $400, and I "swept" the excess to my mortgage. I think $400 is enough in Piddly. I intend to sweep all of my change into the mortgage from now on, the interest from Piddly too. Will that be an incentive for me to spend as little of my allowance as possible? I believe it will.
My EF is not budging as I am sweeping EF interest into CurveBall. I have been thinking about how much I want to keep in CurveBall. I am thinking once I have 2k in there, I will redirect that money towards IRAs if I have not hit 5k for the year. That happy dilemma is still in the future. At the moment, I am just hoping CurveBall doesn't go down in September. I hope I can swing everything in September without dipping into it. I may end up making my budgeted deposit only to pull some money right back out. We will see, though.
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