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Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category

January 2014 Budget Report

February 7th, 2014 at 09:54 am



Everything Else for January includes $266.05 in medical expenses and $35 for my driver's license renewal.

Money In, Money Out

November 22nd, 2013 at 09:19 am

Yesterday I received $160 from my part-time job, which has gone off to E Fund. Inching ever closer to 2 months of take home pay. Smile

My NFL rewards Visa statement closed yesterday. I had 10,550 rewards points available which I redeemed for a statement credit.

So, I had $1,408.15 sitting in checking with nothing due for the rest of the month. But, I have things going on. Namely, my new 6 month auto insurance premium (will be cancelling the old one with 3 months left, but still, that is 3 months out of pocket now), my new homeowner's insurance premium (will have to wait for refund from current company), the new vacuum cleaner I charged, the $75 gas cards charged at Staples (it will take up to 8 weeks to receive my $25 credit), and I am getting a 100k tune-up on the car today, which will be about $500. I don't have to cough up any of this money now, but it is only a matter of time.

Here is what I did:

$445.54 to NFL rewards Visa (balance less $105.50)
_280.44 to WF rewards Visa
__75.00 to American Express
___7.17 to CurveBall Fund

This left $600.00 in checking, so I am done.

Neither the WF nor AmEx statements have even closed yet, so the payments were VERY early.

Notice, I have ended up using my NFL rewards Visa sign-up bonus towards expenses instead of as a mortgage chip. I'm not thrilled about this, but keeping credit card debt out of my life is a higher priority.

Also, I have not sent much extra to CurveBall. But hopefully, I am making it possible to avoid dipping in next month.

I felt a bit of panic when CurveBall dipped down to $54 two months ago; it's offering more cushion now.

Homeowner's Insurance

November 13th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Well, I am still waiting for a State Farm agent to contact me "shortly". So this morning, I called my current homeowner's insurance agent. She is an Allstate agent, but my policy is with another company which they also write. I told the office I had a better quote but wanted to give them a chance to keep me. They quoted me $575 for the same coverage I have now ($912), just with yet another company. This is $120 lower than the State Farm quote! I said yes, the price works for me.

Meanwhile, my mortgage servicer disbursed $912 on 11/6 to pay the premium on my current policy. I am proceeding anyway. It just means more hoops. I will have to pay the new policy, then wait for my current policy to refund $912 to my impound account, then ask to be personally refunded the $575 . For $337, I feel it is worth the hassle.

I will instruct them to keep the $337 in my impound account as I know my property taxes are about to take a big jump. In addition to the infamous Prop 13 here in California, we also have Prop 8. Prop 8 says when property values fall, property tax assessments must fall too. But when values rise, they can jump up fast to where they would have been had values not fallen.

In the last few days, I have seen some listings and sales in my subdivision which make me feel very confident my property value has risen sharply in the last 6 months. While this is good news, it means my property tax bill is also going up.

October 2013 Budget Report

November 10th, 2013 at 10:13 am

I am home from my week long trek. We had a very nice time, seeing the sights and visiting family. I think my favorite part was the elephant seals lying on the beach near San Simeon. I have wanted to see them for a very long time, and finally had the chance. Smile

I managed to scrape together an additional $81.23 for mortgage principal last month. Not bad.

September 2013 Budget Report

October 5th, 2013 at 09:58 am



I overspent $1617 for the month. My security cameras were $1590, so I am not displeased with my spending for the month. I also paid $330 to have all of the embroidering done on J's letterman jacket. If not for that, I would have come in under budget. But, it is always something, right?

Just after the 1st, my daughter paid $300 towards household expenses, which is what we have agreed. Yesterday, I received a check in the mail for $200 from my part-time job. With this recent infusion of $500, I was able to pay Visa for my security cameras without dipping into Vacation Fund. CurveBall is impoverished once again. But, everything is paid in full.

Oh, and utilities are so low because last month I ended up paying my water, sewer, garbage bill twice. So this month, I only owed $3.89.

Mortgage Chip

September 19th, 2013 at 03:11 pm

I received $6 from PineCone and have already applied it to my mortgage. I find it so handy to have my mortgage and checking account at the same bank. Smile

Also, I have decided to bump my mortgage payment up by $10 each month. I have already changed my automatic transfer.

Not as exciting as the snowflakes some of you have been accumulating lately, but I am happy to collect whatever flakes the wind blows my way.

I decided not to file the restraining order. This decision upset my mother, and I think she may rescind her offer to pay for the security cameras. If so, that is how it goes. I love her just the same.



August 2013 Budget Report

September 5th, 2013 at 08:40 pm


July 2013 Budget Report

August 4th, 2013 at 09:48 am

"Everything Else" in July included 6 mo car insurance premium ($532), annual car registration ($130), smog certificate and oil change ($91) and J's letterman jacket ($182).



From the "Ad Choices" links along the top of the screen here on Saving Advice, I stumbled upon a free software download for "MoneyLine". I am going to give it a try for August and see how it goes.

Hoorah For Raises

July 15th, 2013 at 06:18 pm

Well, I am the happy recipient of a raise. Smile Starting today, I am bringing home an additional $119 per month. What to do with it?

Well, my life insurance policy is increasing from $14 to $28 per month this month. I guess the insurance company knew about this raise before I did.

Last week, post-cruise, I stood on the scale. This made me very sad. So, I joined a gym. This particular gym is new to me. The monthly fee is $20. In addition, they have an annual fee each June which is $29. For this price, I can bring a guest with me each time I go at no additional charge. It can be the same guest each time or a wide array of different guests.

I bumped up my monthly Emergency Fund contribution from $60 to $118. I bumped up my monthly Vacation Fund contribution from $60 to $75. And finally, I bumped up "Everything Else" from $363 to $375. And just like that, my raise is spent.

I considered then rejected the idea of increasing my retirement account contributions. Between my regular monthly contributions, the additional contributions I make at bonus time, and my employer contributions, I am saving 15% of my gross. I feel that is adequate, so I should focus instead on my cash savings, which I feel are inadequate.

I also considered bumping up my mortgage payment, but rejected that idea also in favor of more cash.

As today was payday, I did a wallet sweep and sent $10 off to E fund.

Hausernet sent me a $.50 payment for February, so I sent that off to E fund as well.

J went to camp last week, I picked him up this past Saturday. The director made a point of telling me what a great kid he is, and that if cares to apply, he can have a spot as a counselor next year. That would mean he would go to camp for free. So, I am all done shelling out for summer camp. Yay!

I worked last Thursday and Friday at my part-time job, and collected my $200 check for June. That has already gone off to E fund. I am done with them for July and will bill another 7 hours. So far, this is working out just fine.

June 2013 Budget Report

July 9th, 2013 at 07:38 pm



As you can see, it was not a good month, budget-wise.

May 2013 Budget Report

June 4th, 2013 at 07:55 pm

So, this is how I did in May:



The overage in Everything Else is from my pergola cover, the second installment of J's camp, and a donation to the American Red Cross.

Groceries continue to be a challenge. My daughter and son-in-law arrived yesterday, and will be here until mid July. I expect groceries to continue to be a challenge. I know I can do better. And I'm just going to have to start.



April 2013 Budget Report

May 5th, 2013 at 03:34 pm

So I got my April numbers together, and here is my April budget report.

Everything Else included $300 for J's allowance and $370 to the IRS. If I exclude those, I did OK. Smile


My New Part-Time Job?

April 10th, 2013 at 08:21 pm

Apparently, I now have a part-time job. However, I am still not entirely certain. On Monday, the woman who called to ask me if I was interested called again to ask when I am meeting with "M" (person who has been issuing their financial statements) to discuss where he is leaving off. Mind you, I have never heard from M. I told her I have no meeting arranged with M. She replied in a confused tone "But, he hired you." I laughed and said "Oh, I did not know that." She laughed too. This sort of thing is very typical for this particular unorganized organization.

I am expecting to clear 4k on Monday from my bonus and over-time. I have it earmarked like this:

$1200 Roth
1700 CurveBall
400 E Fund
400 Vacation Fund
300 J's Annual Allowance

Now, if you take a peek to the left at my sidebar, you will notice CurveBall is sitting at just over $1200. However, I still need to pull out $600 for the vet bill charged to Visa, and $370 for the IRS. So while CurveBall is not anemic, it is also not so very flush. When the dust settles, it won't be a great deal larger than it is right now.

J's summer camp is coming up. The cost is $500. Last year, ex-h agreed to split it with me. However, I have not seen one red cent of his half. So, there is no point in pretending he will split it with me this year. He won't. If J goes, I will have to pay.

I think going away to summer camp is an important developmental experience for a teen or tween. But J has already been 3 times. So, he has had that experience.

He loves the camp. At his age, he is in a junior leadership role.

I have told J frankly that while I do have the money, I feel I may need the money for other things. I do discuss money and budgeting with J, and we talk about how you must cover your needs first, then you can think about things you just want with what is left over. We also talk about how some needs aren't a regular bill like the electric bill, but are things which come up from time to time, and so you need to plan ahead to cover them.

J was disappointed, but said "I understand, Mom". Then he mentioned his money (he has about $1400 in a mutual fund, about $300 in his savings account, plus his allowance is coming up). I said no, I didn't want him using his money for camp. Then he asked if he got a part-time job when school is over, did I think he would be able to earn enough in time to go to camp. I said maybe you could, see if you can find a job. So he plans to try.

Now, I think it would be great for him to have a part-time job. And I really am proud of his attitude. He is disappointed, but not sulky. He rarely asks for anything and he rarely complains. He really is a great kid.

I want to send him, but I am not sure I should part with the money. I could skip the Vacation Fund infusion. It takes me so long to save for a vacation that I am loathe to pass up this annual opportunity to give it a nice little boost.

He doesn't know I am still considering, as far as he knows, the matter is closed.

In other news, my trad IRA broke 130k today for the very first time.