Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On November 29, 2012....

My beautiful mother lost her short-lived fight with brain cancer. She was laid to rest on December 4, 2012. I just wish that I had had more time with her. My advice-don't sweat the small stuff and live every day to its fullest. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

When you find out your mom has brain cancer-your world stops-or at least that is how it felt for me.

I'm sorry that I have been away for so long, but as you can see from my title for this post-you may understand why. On July 9th I found out that my mom had a tumor on her brain. I booked a flight to Chicago and on July 10th, the very next day, she had brain surgery. At 7pm on July 10th I learned that they were not able to get all of the tumor and that it was a Grade 3 tumor on a scale of 1-4 of how severe the tumor in the brain can be. Right now she is undergoing Chemo and Radiation and is doing a little better. The tumor is causing issues with motion for the right side of her body and it also is causing Aphasia which makes it difficult to understand at times what my mom is telling us. The doctor's outlook isn't very good and they had told me to move up my wedding date but I'm not going to. Sometimes we fight harder when we have something to look forward to or hold onto. I'm scared. Once my mom is done with radiation...I don't know what will happen. I pray daily that things will turn around and my beautiful, kind, caring mother will be ok. As for wedding planning-you can probably imagine that it has been the last thing on my mind.

In other news my husband is home and I am so happy and relieved that he is safe. I am sleeping a little better at night and I no longer have the feeling like my stomach is constantly in knots or that I am on edge all the time waiting for phone calls or updates. My duties as FRG Leader for his unit have also greatly diminished now that almost everyone is home-Thank God. I felt for the longest time like I had 2 jobs and not only did I not get paid for the other but I paid out about 500 of my own money. sigh.

I'm sure that you can imagine that money/debt has been the last thing on my mind. My credit credit debt has increased but now I'm more motivated than ever to get it paid down. I'm still sticking with my original plan of paying off my ECSI loan first-I'm using the lowest balance method to gain the instant gratification that I need to keep me inspired to pay down my debt. If I make 350 payments for 4 months I'll have it paid off by January-which is my goal. The original loan amount was for 1800 and I have been given 50 months to pay it off-umm...yeah...no thank you. Let's see if I can make my goal.

Hopefully you will start hearing more from me. I'm going home to Chicago for two weeks soon-I can't wait to see my mom. Hope all is well.


Monday, July 2, 2012

The Shopping Cart was full and I was ready to checkout

The shopping cart was full and I was ready to check out online. I had been hearing about E.L.F (Eyes Lips Face) makeup and about their inexpensive and versatile products. A full set of makeup brushes for $30.00? Eye primer and cream liners for $3.00 each! Wait you spend $30 and then you get 10 free mineral eyeshadows!?!?!  That's awesome because I already spent $60 so I can get my ten free mineral eyeshadows for absolutely nothing. This deal ends July 2!? 

I started justifying everything. All of those youtube videos that I have been watching really wants me to start learning more about makeup.  Afterall, I'm 24 and it is about time to realize that you are supposed to use more than one shade on your eyes when you do your makeup. And why the heck haven't I been blending and shading and contouring and God knows what else?? I created a login name and I was ready to keep going forward. Then...then I remembered. How am I going to pay for this? Well with my credit card, of course! I wouldn't be foolish enough to use a debit card online-you never know what can happen with that-identity theft and fraud and all that. Ok...well that problem is solved. Let me just go grab my credit card from my wallet and then....oh. That's right. I took it out of my wallet and put it away somewhere so that I wouldn't have access to it. Well it's ok-I can just take it out of its hiding spot and I'll use it and then I'll pay it off right away and...

In the end I clicked out of the website-proceeded to go back to it three times that day, and clicked out of it again. Is $65 that much to spend? I mean come on-it's something that I want. Do I need mineral eye shadow when I hate loose powdered eyeshadows and don't use the ones I have? No. Do I need a $30 brush set when I already own 3 of those brushes? No. Do I need lipglosses when I already have four or five that are practically brand new? No. In the end I said no. In the end I decided to take that $65 and put it towards my credit card as an extra payment. I was strong this time-hopefully I will be again when the next temptation comes around the corner. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The target is set on my ECSI Loan

Spending for the day
Rite Aid-Energy Drinks (4) -$8.95

Before you say anything I know that energy drinks are bad for me and I should have planned it better to have bought them at the Commissary at a lower rate...but I was desperate this morning. Anyway I really am trying to do better when it comes to this whole frugal/save money thing. For dinner today I made some turkey and cheese sandwiches. I have the bad habit of not using all of my lunch meat or bread before it goes bad or I just toss it. See everyone, I really am trying. :) I also decided that I am the type of person that needs to see results. As much as I know that it is smarter to pay off debts with the highest interest first I need the mental satisfaction of seeing a loan wiped out completely to motivate me. My plan is to go after my Perkins ECSI loan. The original loan amount was $1,800.00 with a 5% interest rate. It went into repayment only a couple months ago. The current balance of the loan is $1468.63. If I can snowball payments towards this loan I can get it paid off in 3-4 months. That would free up the money to focus more on my credit card. Yes, my credit card has the highest interest but I think that I need something to jump start me and push me in the right direction. I'll let you all know how it goes. I just need to focus and do this for me. I know that the debt didn't get here over night- thank you 4 years of college lol- but I can get it to go away faster than the "suggested amount of time" The nice thing about loans though-is that besides the couple extra dollars in interest you can't charge anything to them and so the balance will only continue to go down. I have money in my account to make a payment right now towards this loan but I am going to be smart and wait until pay day. I still like having the financial security in my checking/savings account.

Current Account Balance
    Debt   Principal Payoff Fixed Current Interest Months Last Payment Last Check Defer/ Post
Campus Fund Amount Balance Paid Amount Payment Due Rate Delinquent Date Amount Number Date Type
40 PER24A $1,800.00 $1,468.43 $331.57 $1,468.43 $40.00 $0.00 5.000 % 0 6/18/2012 $100.00 Echeck

$1,800.00 $1,468.43 $331.57 $1,468.43 $40.00 $0.00

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's a start...

I went grocery shopping on Sunday but I didn't go overboard. Nine times out of ten I don't go shopping for a long time, out of pure laziness, and then I overfill my cart with food. I'm the only one eating the food obviously so I don't eat everything before it goes bad. I'm making it my goal to eat what I have before buying more food. Well...obviously within reason. I'm not going to wait to go to the store until I have absolutely nothing in the fridge or cabinets. lol.
Taking my credit card out of my wallet has been the best move that I have made to date. I really have to think about the things I buy and if I really need it. I made a $438.75 payment to my Discover Card today.  This will bring the card down to 3,500. In the past I would make large payments to my card and by the end of the next month I would be right back where I started. If I can't use my card I can't add any additional charges to it. You would think that I would have figured that out sooner. I graduated college with honors and I have an Honors Paralegal Certificate...you would think that I'd realize that you can't use something if you don't have it with you. I guess it was a mental barrier or something. Anyways, I am excited that I made a big payment-I just need to keep getting it lower and lower.

My husband only has 538 left on his card. I am really tempted to pay the rest of it off this month in order to have one less bill to pay. We could definitely do it. I'll have to ask him and see what he thinks. I got a comment saying that I should tell my husband about how high my credit card debt is and I agree with her. Thanks for the comment by the way! :) However, I won't say anything until he gets back. The thing about deployments is-when something bad happens-you don't tell the person. When you are worried about something-you don't tell the person. Soldiers need to focus solely on their mission and keep their head in the game during deployment. You don't want to say anything that will distract them and put them in danger. It's just how it is. Ask any military spouse and they will tell you the same thing. Hopefully by the time he gets home in a couple more months from now I will have made some extra progress on my card. Ok well I need to get the laundry into the dryer and get ready to work out tonight. Hope everyone else is having a good Tuesday. How are you doing with your goals and getting your debt paid off?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I feel like I'm living a lie.

Well it has been almost 5 months since my husband has been gone. Time flies I suppose. Jointly our financial situation is fantastic. We have saved a TON of money for the wedding that we are having when he returns from deployment. On an individual level-it's another story. Some background-we have a joint account and all of the money that he makes goes into it. I basically have just been using it to pay all of the bills we get monthly and usually groceries as well, although I am horrible with actually going to the store-so I usually only go once a month or so and do a big stock up on groceries. I have a bank account with a different bank and right now I'm the only authorized user on it, although I would have no qualms with adding him onto it. My paychecks from work go in there. I use that money to pay my student loans, credit card bill, and any needs/ wants/ and going out with friends during the month. I have a hard time with spending my husband's money because 1) it is only benefiting me and 2) we are saving up for the wedding. Also, I have been footing the bill on a lot of expenses like care packages and items that my husband needs/wants over there. I also got put in charge of his FRG and we don't have a treasurer so guess who has been footing the bill on everything for the organization. I have probably already spent over 300-400 dollars on the group. Don't worry I'm keeping the receipts to hopefully get reimbursed. Anyway, long story short-I have racked up my credit card debt to a lot higher than what it was when my husband left. As our finances are still kind of separate he has never asked to see my credit card bill as I am the one that pays it. At one point last year I had it down to 700 dollars and then Christmas came, and then the care packages started, etc. etc. etc. But I'm not here to make excuses. I have almost 4,000.00 on my card but yet I was having trouble with stopping the spending. I do know that I have been shopping more (consignment or not) it is still shopping and it is still spending money that I could be putting towards paying off my credit card. So I decided to take the first step by taking my credit card out of my wallet. I am banning myself from using my card. Hopefully I will have the self control that it takes.

Hopefully this is a step in the right direction. I have to realize that as a military wife we can be told that our husband has to pick up and move at any moment. That means losing my job and having to look for another. Meanwhile the student loans would still need to be paid as well as my credit card. I don't know how I would be able to allow my husband to pay those bills for me. If anything I want to have more money in savings to be safe. My husband has 500 of debt to his name. I have over 50,000 with my student loans and my 4,000 in credit card debt. I need my ass kicked into getting into financial shape.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday night and watching The Patriot

Sorry I've been away but my husband has been gone for a while now and I've been busy with work and some other things. I'm also maintaining a second blog which ideally is only meant for me and my husband. It's just me giving him daily updates of what I've been up to. I'm sure that random people would find it fascinating...not. I've been trying to make larger than minimum payments on my student loans, all while paying down my credit card, and trying to save for the wedding. However, almost all of the money that we are saving will be coming from my husband's pay. My pay mainly goes to student loans and my credit card. How thrilling!

Well  that's it for now. I won't promise to update tomorrow but I'll try.

Friday, January 20, 2012

And some days you forget to put cream in your coffee...

Literally. This week has been stressful and emotionally exhausting. I think in the past five days my husband and I have spent one hour a day together while we were awake. There have been some issues with my husband's unit and it's been causing him to come home as late as 11 o'clock at night. And added to the fact that he is leaving in the next week from now (more or less) it hasn't been good. My husband is leaving before everyone else in his unit so the other people have more time. On Thursday the commander sent out an email saying that they were going to require everyone in the unit to come in on Saturday morning. I was of course sad to read that but that was barely any reaction compared to what others had. Yes, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but hell definitely hath no fury like an army wife. Apparently right after that message was sent half of the wives called/emailed the place where you make complaints. (I'm still new to the ins and outs of the army). It looks like Saturday morning training will be cancelled. :p I guess that I am just glad that this week is almost over. I'm well aware of army life, but the thing is-most units aren't run like my husband's. My friend's husband is home everyday before 5 o'clock. Granted, he isn't second in command like my husband, but there should be no reason to be pulling 17 hour days...it's a little extreme if you ask me.

Anyway, this is our last weekend together so I hope that we are able to relax and enjoy some MUCH needed quality time together. I get paid today but I didn't work two full 40 hour weeks so it will be a little less. However, when I get out of work at 2 (Fridays we leave early) I will go to the bank that is conveniently down the road, and deposit it. I'm planning on getting a much needed haircut today (haven't had one since...June? I think..oops! I also need to pick up stamps and figure out dinner for tonight. Any ideas? Keep in mind hubby won't be home until probably nine at the earliest.

What's everyone else's weekend plans? Anything fun? Exciting? Or just cleaning/laundry/organizing? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finishing One Chapter and Beginning the next and tying up some loose ends in the process...

I don't know if any of you have heard of Northern Illinois University. It is my Alma mater. On February 14, 2008 we went through a tragedy that shook me to my core. I was on the campus when it happened. The building where the tragedy took place was renovated and opened today for the first time in four years. I feel strangely at peace and I feel like I can finally close up that awful chapter in my life.

My husband deploys very very soon. I can't say when for two reasons 1: He or I aren't even sure about the definite day yet 2. OPSEC- Operational Security-If you can see what I am writing so can anyone else on the internet. It's really important to not jeopardize or put troops in any kind of danger. Anyway, I feel like all of our loose ends have been tied and now we are just watching the clock tick by faster and faster. The will is done. The power of attorney is done. Enrolling into DEERS and TRICARE is done. I've been added to my husband's bank account. There is nothing left to do.

I just need my husband to come home from work already so that we can spend the little time that we have left together...but that's the army for you. :O)

In terms of finances I spent 31.66 dollars at the grocery store today and 300 for a student loan payment.

So spending for this week:

Sunday: 3 dollars for entrance to comedy club- 7 dollar coupon!
Monday: No Spend!
Tuesday: 300 direct loans
                31.66 Food lion

Hurry up hubby-there is a frozen buffalo chicken pizza and a caesar salad with fresh parmesan with your name on it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Where I currently Stand...last time the numbers looked so much better.

The Numbers below are my own personal finances and not those of my husband. We haven't combined finances yet.

ASSETS (Money)
Bank 1: Checking-728.42
Bank 1: Savings:-415.01
Total: 1143.41
Bank 2: Checking 1: 92.99
Bank 2: Checking 2: 151.86
Bank 2: Savings:$70
Total: 314.85
Paypal (Hey everything counts right?): 50
Total: 50
Check not cashed yet: 329.86
Total: 359.86
Total Assets: 1868.12


Credit Card 1: $2,113.22

Sallie Mae:  $27,799.98

Direct Loans: $23,133.20   

Total:  53,046.40


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I almost started crying at the local Food Lion

I seem to always struggle with making this blog more personal and to include more about my day to day life. So I thought that I'd tell you a little about my day yesterday. Work went well and I got some things accomplished. It has been a slow start to the month though since a lot of people aren't looking to buy houses right after Christmas. However, we have been starting to see some more business coming in today..which is great.

Anyway, after work I stopped at the grocery store to basically pick up some snacks. I felt like we didn't really have much to snack on at the apartment. Basically I just bought a ton of junk food, with the exception of a cucumber-I know...really healthy right? At one point I was kind of tossing food into the cart because let's face I was hungry and we all know that it is a bad idea to shop on an empy stomach-case in point. Well the main thing when I go shopping is always will S like this or should I get something that he would prefer more. I guess you could say that I am a selfless grocery shopper. :p S LOVES peanut butter...it's probably not a healthy addiction but it makes him happy. I am usually very happy to buy anything peanut butter related that I can find, cookies, candy, icecream, etc. I was putting chocolate chip peanut butter cookies in the cart...and it hit me. For the next nine months I won't be putting anything peanut butter related into my cart. I also won't be buying food for two people. I'm going to be all by myself. I seriously had to tell myself to pull it together before I became a sobbing mess at the Food Lion. Sigh. I got through the check out without letting any tears slip by though.

Anyway...the rest of the night went well. S came home around 7:15 practically early for him. We stayed in and ordered some pizza...can you tell that we are all about the healthy eating in our household? We went to bed at 11 and I woke up at 4 in the morning to unload and load the dishwasher...but that's another story for another day. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Notice anything different?

Let's organize this blog post by categories of my choosing...shall we?
I decided to hop on the personal finance bandwagon and change my blog around. I'm talking big changes folks ya'll should be impressed. Sorry, my short stay in Chicago couldn't erase the Southernisms that I have been acquiring since moving to North Carolina. Anyway, the big changes are the color- from red to teal and something else...did you notice? I changed the type of font for the title of my blog....big changes. 

Ok...more like baby steps...but hey...it's a start. Right? Well, I'm just going to pretend that you agree with me. I changed the color from red to teal for two reasons. 1. It is much easier on the eyes. I'm serious I feel so much more relaxed when I look at the blog. 2. This blog will no longer make you hungry. You are welcome. Research shows (unproven and probably not legitimate research) that the color red stimulates hunger and the color blue makes you not hungry. I blame my mom for painting her kitchen red...although it also could have been that I'd watch tv in the kitchen and just make snacks since they were at hand's reach...but that's beside the fact. Anyway, what I mean to say is...you are welcome. Ok...next category let's press on. (I feel like a British tour guide)
My contract with the employment agency ended January 31, 2011. I have now been officially hired with the law firm that I have been at since September of this year! I got an increase in pay as well-2 dollars more an hour! I'm pretty happy. I know that I probably could have negotiated for more but that is the amount my boss threw out so I accepted it. Also, with the new loan processor working at the firm I'm doing a lot less work...which I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. It's nice to have some stress taken off of me, but in the same way I feel like I'm losing my skills as a paralegal. Maybe I can take some CLE classes? We'll see. 
Social Life
Pretty much nonexistent except for when I go out with the LT (hubby) and the other LT's and their wives. I've only made a couple of friends since moving down here but hopefully I'll still make some more. There is one girl that I really like so maybe I can start to hang out with her a little more?
Personal Life
S deploys in 17 days for at least nine months...umm..yeah not looking forward to that too much but it is what it is. I've just been trying to spend time with him and keep things as normal as possible.
Christmas was brutal in terms of spending. I am going to try the Eboo's method of saving a dollar a week and then subsequently that amount to the previous weeks. Maybe I wouldn't have been charging everything onto a credit card if I had planned better. I also need to save money to send care packages when S is gone. Ok...I might update this post later with more information but I'm going to take a break from typing for now.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I am writing this on my new iPhone from Verizon. First of all I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this phone compared to my Blackberry from sprint. There is absolutely no comparison. Christmas went well and it is so nice to be home just wish they hadnt lost Our luggage.