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Archive for January, 2016

January 2016 Budget Report

January 31st, 2016 at 07:48 pm

I'm very glad to be back to tracking my spending closely. Getting away from it makes overspending even easier. Here is my budget report:

Wages: A bit short because I budget based on 11 day pay periods. However, the occasional 10 day and 12 day pay periods do happen.

Rent: I agreed with SB that he would not pay rent on 1/5 as he had one last set of utility bills at his house to pay.

Other: Includes my state income tax refund, part-time job income, credit card rewards, and interest income.

Mortgage: January's mortgage payment was made in December.

Groceries: We supplemented meals heavily with what was already in the pantry. Sweet!

Utilities: I paid my gas bill twice. It used to be due around the 15th, but now is due on the 7th. In January, the first business day was the 4th. That did not leave much time for the electronic payment to arrive on time. I decided to pay a second time in January, so I don't have to worry about that happening again.

Savings: Happy to be over budget on savings. Smile

Car payment: Happy to be over budget on car payment. Smile

Cash Allowance: Trimmed it because I knew I was over elsewhere.

Gasoline: Has gone up now that J has a part-time job in a nearby town. However, J is now saving for his own car insurance. Recently, he got a friend to teach him how to change his brake pads as they needed changing. He paid for the parts himself. What a good kid. Smile

Everything Else: $822 is for car insurance. $596.08 is for medical co-pays. If not for those, I would have come in at budget.

All in all, I am pleased with my spending for January. Since my car is now paid in full, I will re-direct that $350 into savings. Extra bits of income will also be re-directed into savings.

Net Worth 1-31-16

January 31st, 2016 at 07:45 pm

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

State Income Tax Refund Received

January 28th, 2016 at 07:26 pm

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.

Trouble With Incision

January 22nd, 2016 at 07:07 pm

I got my stitches out yesterday morning. A couple of times yesterday evening, I felt a slight pull in the incision area. Last night I went to get a good look in the mirror, and what do you know? My entire incision (about 3.5 inches) was gaping open.

So a trip to the ER, and I learned that it cannot be stitched back together. The risk of infection is higher if they stitch it again than if they leave it alone and let it heal on its own. They dressed and packed the wound.

I went to my surgeon's office this morning. He was in surgery, but his nurse looked at the wound and redressed it. The ER had given me an Rx for an antibiotic. The surgeon's nurse confirmed that is what the surgeon typically prescribes. She gave me some supplies and sent me on my way, promising to call after she speaks with the surgeon.

It isn't too painful, but frankly is very gross. The scar will no longer be the tiny barely-visible line the surgeon promised, but I don't even care. It's just below my left armpit, which is hardly an area receiving a great deal of exposure.

SB drove me last night and again this morning, and the nurse showed him how to press the wound together with steri-strips.

I am at work now and being very conservative with my movements.

My medical expenses this month are high. Two $250 co-pays, $93.08 to the allergy doctor, and two extra prescriptions (the other was for pain pills following surgery). I am definitely over budget on "everything else", but it cannot be helped.

I have $200 in cash in my wallet from SB for rent which I will deposit into savings later today. We have agreed that he will pay me $200 twice per month (he gets paid on the 5th and the 20th) starting with his 1/20 paycheck. So, that is my first bit of progress towards rebuilding savings.

All Is Well :)

January 21st, 2016 at 06:05 pm

I saw the surgeon this morning to get my stitches out. The pathology of the removed mass was complete. It was not cancer.

What a great day.

Car Payment #14

January 21st, 2016 at 02:19 pm

My fourteenth scheduled car payment has posted.

This month extra principal payments included $180 from my part-time job, $206.16 in credit card rewards, $101.35 budgeted extra principal, $8,800.00 from savings, and $38.32 from checking.

Fifty-eight payments have now been eliminated from the end, leaving 0 payments to go. Smile

I will update my spreadsheet later today, in case anyone cares to take a peak.

Hmm, Part 2

January 20th, 2016 at 03:22 am

When I wrote Hmm Part 1, I really wasn't planning on pulling the trigger yet.

But, I thought about it all day, and I couldn't think of a good reason not to pay it off. It would make me happy, and life is about the pursuit of happiness, right?

So tonight I transferred $8,800 from savings to my car loan, bringing the loan balance down to $260.13. Wells Fargo's website is kind enough to show the loan payoff balance every day. Using their info, I transferred an additional $38.32 from checking, bringing the balance down to $221.81. My regular payment of $248.65 will happen automatically tomorrow. After it posts, my balance should be $0.00.

Yay, it feels good. Smile

Now to rebuild savings.

Hmm, Part 1

January 19th, 2016 at 12:34 am

The balance on my car loan (without accrued interest since 12/20/15) is 9,060.13.

The balance in my savings account is 11,508.82.

A difference of 2,448.69.


Updated Zero Based Budget

January 15th, 2016 at 08:59 pm

So here is my updated zero based budget.

I am very excited to have a budgeted amount for extra principal to my car loan. And of course, I will continue to throw income from my second job, credit card rewards, and anything else I can scare up towards it.

I am contributing $400 per month to my Simple IRA. My zbb is based on my net pay, so there is no line item for Simple IRA contributions.

Repaid In Full

January 15th, 2016 at 06:17 pm

So the last of my money transferred in and I have now been repaid in full. Oh, that feels good. Smile

I have been working on my written budget, as I am getting back to tracking my spending each and every month. I really fell off the wagon with that. The budget is mostly done, but I will wait to see my paycheck before I finalize. This will be my first paycheck since changing my withholding and Simple IRA contribution amounts.

Home From Surgery

January 14th, 2016 at 05:07 am

I had my surgery today. It went well. I am home and resting. I am taking tomorrow off but plan to work Friday.

I am looking forward to sleeping the day away tomorrow.

Check Out My New Credit Card Balance

January 7th, 2016 at 07:30 pm

Don't see it listed in my sidebar? I don't either! What a great way to begin the new year. Smile

I am waiting for the last of the money I am owed to transfer in. When it does, it will go into savings.

I redeemed my first bit of credit card rewards in 2016, a whole $169.51. I have already applied it to my car loan. I ended up redeeming $611.84 in 2015, and I didn't even try very hard. I am sure I can beat that this year.

Today I filled out a new W-4 and increased my Simple IRA per paycheck contribution. I cancelled my monthly automatic Roth contribution. Everything on track with those plans.

I will be having my surgical procedure next Wednesday the 13th, saying good-bye to the lump under my arm at last.

Finally Funded

January 1st, 2016 at 06:25 pm

Proceeds from the house sale hit the estate's account yesterday. Smile I will have my funds in hand very soon.

I had the most wonderful Christmas this year. The resort in Napa was beautiful. We had a lovely 4 days relaxing and enjoying the resort.

For Christmas dinner, my Italian sister-in-law wanted to have stuffed shells with sausages, a tradition in her family. Part of the tradition is that once the shells are cooked and the cheese stuffing is prepared, everyone gathers together and stuffs them. What a fun tradition! And the meal was delicious.

We are leaving the house shortly to deliver a cashier's check to SB's brother in Elk Grove. We will spend the rest of the day at my mom's house, and might take in the new Star Wars movie today.

Have a Happy New Year, Savings Advice peeps. Smile

Finally Funded

January 1st, 2016 at 06:22 pm

So yesterday, a mere 7 days after the buyers signed, money was wired into the estate's account. SB says it feels so good to have that behind him.

So now money can be distributed out. I will have my funds in hand soon. Yay! I will be so pleased to set up those bill pays and have that credit card debt gone.

I had the most wonderful Christmas. The resort in Napa was beautiful, and we were able to relax and just enjoy our time together.

For Christmas dinner, my Italian sister-in-law wanted to make her family's traditional stuffed shells and cheese with sausages for dinner. Part of the tradition is that once the shells are cooked and the cheese stuffing is ready, everyone gathers round to stuff them. It was fun, what a great tradition. And the meal was delicious.

The holiday fun was tempered with my coughing fits. I started coughing about 3 weeks ago, and no doubt have many more weeks to go. It is exhausting. I can't hardly wait to give high elevation and dry air a try.

SB and I are leaving shortly to deliver a cashier's check to his brother in Elk Grove. I think we might try to see Star Wars today too.

Happy New Year. Smile

Mortgage Chips To Date

January 1st, 2016 at 05:59 pm

This month is a bit different, since I paid January's mortgage payment early in December. This morning I went ahead and paid an additional $25.71 to principal. I received another $25 credit from WF Home Rewards Visa which they applied on 12/30. My new balance is $166,950.00.

Chips to date: $1,867.88

Interest savings this month: $6.68

Interest savings to date: $132.78

Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,031.22, provided I own this house until the mortgage is paid in full. Which I won't. Stick Out Tongue

Net Worth 12-31-15

January 1st, 2016 at 05:55 pm

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