Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm on to you Sallie Mae and does anyone know where Mysti from Digging out from our mess went?

First off- does anyone know what happened to Mysti? It looks like she has made her blog private and I loved reading her blog on a daily basis. :( I hope everything is ok with her  and her family and I hope she comes back soon! We miss you Mysti!

Anyway- I love when you log into your account and it shows that there is a $0 minimum payment owed on one of your loans that you pay monthly. Nice try but I'm not falling for that. I'll continue to make payments even when I'm "ahead" and get that loan down one month at a time. On a more positive note my original balance of $6500 on my smart option loan will finally be around $3930 after this payment of $110 which I have continued to pay monthly  even as my minimum balance has gone lower and lower. I'm going to continue my snowball method of lowest to highest debt payoff. It really keeps me on track and I can see the visible progress. I'm one of those instant gratification kind of girls. :) In other real plans for Halloween besides watching my DVRed episode of American Horror Story with the hubby and doing some laundry/straightening up the bedroom. Very exciting stuff! How about you? Any exciting plans for tonight?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Screw ups, Lessons learned, and Discover has decided to take their ball and go home….

Screw ups, Lessons learned, and Discover has decided to take their ball and go home….

I’ll break this down by topic 

STUDENT LOANS: This will be a pretty long post since I barely posted this month. I logged into my Sallie Mae account on Monday and absolutely panicked when I saw Account 1 day Overdue for 164.40. Umm what!? I ALWAYS pay my student loans on time. I look over to see if I have any pending payments still and it shows one for 82.20-definitely not 164. Did I miss a payment somehow? I must have with the new set up Sallie Mae has to pay loans. I quickly make the payment for 164 and some change. I don’t want any late charges on my account! I can’t believe I screwed up. That is when it hits me….82.20 + 82.20= 164.40. They must have added November’s bill to October’s bill which means…I just paid for 3 months of payments. Damn. And guess what…that 82.20 in pending…that’s why my account is showing overdue. I call Sallie Mae just to make sure and they do say that the original amount plus the 164 is pending. I’m ok with the overpayment even though I had made a large snowball to my Cornerstone loan that week. I also asked about late charges and reporting to credit bureaus. It turns out that there is a 15 day grace period with Sallie Mae. It isn’t until the 16th of the month that they would charge a late fee. Also, they don’t report to credit bureaus until after 31 days. Well I’m safe but my bank account is definitely lighter. I’m still going to make payments for November and December on that one loan because I don’t want to accumulate any interest. Like I said…lesson learned. Now that I have mentioned it, my corner stone loan is down to 906.00!!! I am so excited! I don’t think that I will be able to reach my goal of getting 3 student loans paid off in 2013 but hey… having two loans paid off is still a great feeling! I’ll just have to try harder in 2014 but hey the year isn’t over yet either! I might be able to pull it off still.

Once again I haven’t made that much progress when it comes to my goals. I might need to consider limiting my goals or stop making such large (to me) goals. Ok…let’s see.
1. Go to Oral Surgeon Appointment and schedule getting wisdom teeth pulled- I went to the oral surgeon on Monday and I have an appointment set for November 26th. This is going to cost my husband and I around $1500 not including prescriptions and after care (milkshakes and smoothies ;) ). It’s a necessary evil though and I scheduled it right around Thanksgiving to lessen the time I will have to take off of work. I could wait until January and have the full amount of dental benefits available again which is 1500 but I’m not going to be able to take off work right after the new year. 

2. Schedule appointment to go to Social Security Office----umm still a no on that one. It’s not like I am purposely putting it off- Fridays are the only day I get out early-and the office closes at 3pm. I feel like every Friday I have some appointment or event going on lately…sigh. So I will have to pick a day to leave work early. I need to get this one done-I DO want my name changed before I go home for Christmas.

3. Schedule appointment for optometrist.-again…nope. Right now I’m concentrated on my wisdom teeth- but I do know of a vision place so I just need to see if they accept Tricare.

4. Brainstorm Christmas gifts.- I actually came up with two ideas for my brother and dad…It is a start.

5. Get under 1,000 on my current student loan that I'm snowballing payments on by end of month-I did this! Finally a goal that I accomplished this month. I am currently at $906 on that loan.

6. Call Discover and negotiate APR or switch to local bank- more on that down below…

7. Bake something! That Kitchenaid stand mixer is begging to be used! Well I made brownies out of box-how sad is that? I didn’t use the stand mixer yet. The funny thing is that I packed some for my husband to take into the field (Basically they go out into the woods and do various army exercises and practice things) and he shared them with the guys in the office and they loved them and said “Tell your wife to bake more.” I was like…they are out of a box lol! I do love baking though so I think maybe I’ll finally start to do it some more. I love baking…I just don’t like desserts….good for me though I guess.

Most importantly....get my spending under control. Set a budget for misc. purchases. – I’m working on it. S and I have been talking about babies recently (well not for several more months) but we need to get into a budget especially if I am going to stop working once the baby is born.

Finally…Discover took their ball and went home.
I finally decided to try to lower my APR. My local bank is offering my 0% for 12  months and then 11.99% after that. Before I make that decision to get a card and do a balance transfer I wanted to see if Discover would play ball. They wouldn’t. I think I missed a call from my local bank to set up an appointment so I need to call them back. I’ve been playing phone tag for quite a while with them. I might be able to sit down with them this Friday.  Fingers crossed. I’d like to make some progress with 200 payments versus it being all eaten up in interested and being right back to where I started . Ok well that’s it for now…I’ve been working on this post little bits at a time during work for several days when I had a moment or two to write but I’ve kind of lost my original motivation to make a more detailed post..oh well. Maybe the next one.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I need to stop saying I'll update just jinxes myself.

Well...nine days later. Here are my October goals now that the month is almost a third of the way over.

1. Go to Oral Surgeon Appointment and schedule getting wisdom teeth pulled
2. Schedule appointment to go to Social Security Office
3. Schedule appointment for optometrist.
4. Brainstorm Christmas gifts.
5. Get under 1,000 on my current student loan that I'm snowballing payments on by end of month
6. Call Discover and negotiate APR or switch to local bank
7. Bake something! That Kitchenaid stand mixer is begging to be used!

Most importantly....get my spending under control. Set a budget for misc. purchases. 

There hasn't really been that much exciting stuff going on lately. Work has been a little slow-normal during this time of year. My dad is coming down to visit my husband and I this week and he is bringing down my wedding dress that he got preserved and my  miscellaneous wedding presents I didn't have room to bring back with me. He's also bringing the crockpot I got which is super exciting. Can't wait to finally try out some recipes! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Revisting my September goals

September Goals or my list of things to do...

1.Get my wisdom teeth pulled [ No pain from them but they aren't looking so hot :( ]
A. speak with dentist at my appointment for crown on Wed.-done!
B. set up an appointment for the referral place-done!
C. Go to the appointment- Set for October 21st-earliest they had!
D. I'm sure I'll have to then schedule for the teeth to actually come out- not done
E. Go to that appointment- not done
F. Recover-not done

2. Get my hair cut- I feel like I haven't even realized how long it had gotten until someone commented on a picture on FB and pointed it out...and now I can't believe how long it is either.
A. Call and set up an appointment (for this week)- done!
B. Go to appointment and get hair cut. (Since I don't dye/highlight my hair that should be relatively easy and relatively cheap) done and scheduled next appointment already

3. Get my prescription refilled and possibly transferred to a new pharmacy
A. Call and see if the office is still closed on Fridays (yay sequestration..not) done
B. order the refill and see if I can get it transferred somewhere else so I don't keep running into the same problem every 3 months ;) half done/ decided not to transfer prescription

4. Go to social security office and get name changed/new social security card.I know that this one is especially important for my husband and I should stop procrastinating on it...oops.
1. Find out where office is. done
2. Call and see if I can set up an appointment not done
3. Go in on a Friday after work not done
4. Gather everything I need not done
5. Go to appointment. not done

5. After social security is done and I get my new card...
1. Study for NC driving test. nope
2. Go to DMV- take driving test (written) nope
3. Hopefully ;) get new NC driver's license. no way
4. Surrender Illinois license :( :( yeah no

6.Get Notary Public status (Depends on when class is available.
1. Call and sign up for a class at the community college nope not until i have a nc license....
2. Take Class
3. Take my oath at courthouse
4. Buy/Order the seal 
Alright well I got my hair cut, refilled my prescription, and scheduled a consultation for my wisdom teeth. However, I made no progress with getting my name changed or getting a NC drivers license or notary seal. Hopefully I can make a little more progress for October. But hey at least I stopped procrastinating a little. 
Tomorrow I will post my October goals for the month. Hopefully they will be a little more fun and actually contain some personal/mental goals :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Enjoying a glass of wine after that bad?

Now I am the farthest thing from a big drinker-for several reasons and here they are. 1) I'm pretty small weight wise and I don't have a big tolerance for alcohol call me a lightweight if you will. 2)I don't like getting dizzy or nauseous or having headaches. 3) I like to be in control of myself at all times and I feel like you lose that when you drink. 4) I've seen how alcohol tears apart families (not my own...thank God). There you have it. A big night for me is probably 3 beers and I'm done in. Now that I have established my propensity to prove to the blogging world that I don't drink much... I'll tell you that for the past 2-3 days I've been enjoying a glass of wine before dinner.

It's been a pretty stressful week at work so the desire to sit on the couch, throw on some reality tv while dinner is being made, and enjoy a nice red or white has been rather strong. It has been a chance to relax and unwind from my day. This week my husband has been working a little later than usual and has been coming home around 7:30ish or so. This might sound a little bad but instead of being upset or a little annoyed (no fault of his own) I have been been very relaxed and genuinely happy to see him. I haven't complained or been grumpy...and embarrassingly enough...I think it's that glass of wine. Usually I stress over having dinner ready on time or trying to figure out what time he is getting home. Instead he gave me a ballpark estimate I've had dinner ready those two nights right as he was coming in the door and it has been...nice. Does this mean that I need a glass of wine to relax me and curb my temper? I sure hope not because I don't want to become dependent on it but I am enjoying feeling less stressed and angry. It's like that episode of King of Queens where Doug is making Appletinis for his wife every night and she is in such a good mood. lol! Anyone ever see that episode, it's hilarious.

I don't feel like OH MY GOODNESS I NEED A GLASS OF WINE OR A DRINK or anything like just has helped put me in a better mood...and since its been that time of the month for certainly hasn't hurt. ;)

How about you? Do you have a glass of wine or maybe something a little stronger to help you unwind after a long day? Let me know so I don't feel like the only one with a budding drinking routine. :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why is it so easy to be a night owl?

...Yet so hard to be the early bird that catches the worm? I love staying awake at night I honestly do. I'm such a night person that I feel like my night is wasted if I go to bed before 12:30. I'm sure that it is such a wonder then that I normally have trouble waking up in the morning even with the assistance of several alarms on my phone. It is just so easy to hit that beautiful, beautiful snooze button....over...and over...and over again. I've even learned to sleep through some of the more annoying alarm ring tones. What an accomplishment, right? It's really bad and there are days that I seriously wait until the very very last minute to wake up and run around like a crazy person. I also have the very bad tendency of being 5-8 minutes late for work...almost everyday. Sure I can try blaming it on the 5 school zones that I drive through or traffic but really it is me. I leave my house way too late and even though it doesn't take me too long to get to work I'm still rushed and I'm still late.  I have a very relaxed boss but it really makes me feel like I'm being unprofessional and taking advantage of her. I both need and want to do better. I don't know if this happens for anyone else but I sometimes feel so overwhelmed when I am running late that I completely shut down mentally for a moment. I can't focus and I can't make any decisions. I literally just stand there for 30 seconds to a minute...frozen. This especially happens when I'm trying to pick out clothes or shoes to throw on. Or I'm about to leave the house and I remember something I need to grab...fantastic! It also doesn't help that I'm OCD and will get in the car and then have to check again to make sure my front door is locked or check my purse again before I leave the house to make sure I have my phone and sunglasses. Why do I do this to myself?

I know the answer. Lack of planning, lack of organizing, and most importantly lack of sleeping. Alright that was a lie, at least the most importantly lack of sleeping part. I'm just too much of a night owl. There are things though that I can and should be doing differently. I've been trying to follow (at times when it suits me or I get inspired) but I still struggle with the whole morning routine/before bed routine. Why is it so hard to make my lunch the night before or pick out an outfit for the next day? How about even just making sure I have water in my keurig or make my bed in the morning? Here's why-you can't really accomplish a whole heck of a lot when you only have 10 minutes to get ready and out the door! What am I thinking!? Again, why do I do this to myself?
You will be shocked after having read all of the text above to hear that I actually managed to wake up 40 minutes earlier than I usually do. Not only did I have time to put my outfit together and make my bed. I also grabbed everything I needed out of my bedroom without making countless trips back upstairs before I left. I made my lunch and grabbed grapes for breakfast. I  had my sunglasses and phone ready and didn't have to check anything to make sure it was there...well except for locking the door ;). I ALSO left for work early to work early! Amazing how that works. Tonight I'm going to make a simple bedtime/ morning routine for myself and see if I can start sticking to it. So far I feel great for managing to wake up early and hopefully it is a sign of good things to come!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A small color change, content changes, and a confession

For some reason I haven't really been inspired to write lately and I think I figured it out. The color on my page was so boring. Don't get me wrong I LOVE teal but it was time for a small change. The purple seems so much more vibrant. I've also decided to bring more of me into this blog. So far it has only been finances and I love to read about people's daily lives. People may not want to read about my daily life but hey they can always click out of the website if I'm that boring. :)

It's been kind of a weird week at home. I went to the grocery store once to pick up some things for dinner. Monday we had hotdogs and fries, Tuesday-breaded chicken sandwiches,Wednesday we had Chinese, and then had leftover Chinese Thursday night. I haven't really been in the cooking mood but also haven't been in the dining out/spending mood either. S and I really tried this month to watch our spending and I think we were pretty successful. S got Grand Theft Auto 5 so he and I have kind of been missing in action this week lol. He has been spending all of his time stealing cars and I have been upstairs in the bedroom mainly watching youtube videos and episodes of Game of Thrones. I'm kind of disappointed in my self because prior to this past weekend for the past 10 days I had been making sure to get off work, go home, make the bed, straighten up the bedroom (really only putting away 1 or two things since I had been keeping it pretty spotless, clean up the master bathroom, and stick a load of laundry (one a day) in the washing machine. I had been so good at it but got lazy this week. I just need to remember just because I took a break doesn't mean I have to give up. I was tired last night but didn't want my bedroom to look so messy. I set a timer for 5 minutes and I was actually very surprised and how much I was able to get done in just 5 minutes. I wasn't even running around like a crazy person-just straightening up like normal. It goes to show how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time provided that you actually just GET UP and DO IT! :)

It's Friday and I only have 3 hours left of work. This weekend we have a small get together at a friend's house to celebrate a birthday. The Renaissance Fair is tomorrow and I've never been so my husband and I might go just to try something different. Could be fun.

So here's my confession:

I've been making good progress on my loans but I also seem to be shopping a lot lately. I spent over $200 combined at Target and TJ Maxx this month. At least I haven't put it on the credit card (Discover)? If I really want my loans to go down I need to avoid shopping! That's it for now-back to work!

Monday, September 16, 2013

5 months until 0 and a small raise!

I'm back from our little weekend get-a-way to Myrtle Beach. I had a very nice time and was glad that we got to spend time with the in-laws. They are truly wonderful people. It is so easy to forget that Myrtle beach is only 2.5 hours away from us. It was nice to be able to leave around 2pm and be home by 4:30ish. The only weird thing is I got this rash on my stomach and I have no idea what it is from! I didn't discover it until last night. I'm going to the store after work and picking up some benadryl. Hopefully that will help! It isn't really itchy but its all across my stomach and nowhere else...what the heck!?

I'm very happy to announce that I got a small raise at work. I work 40 hours a week and get paid isn't really much but it is an extra 120 a month after taxes so I will take what I can get. The nice thing is that 120 a month means that my loans will get even more of a snowball on them. :) I paid my federal loans for the month and my $1,623.04 loan is now at $1,372.680 every little bit helps. If I make steady payments of $275 a month on that loan I can have it paid off in as little as 5 months. If I only paid the minimum on the loan it would take me 7 years to pay off and I would pay $278 in thank you! I already make very little as it is-I want my money to go as far as possible. :)

Prior to our wedding my husband and I had agreed to take a certain amount of money from what we received at the wedding and work on paying down our credit cards. So far I haven't touched the money yet but I think I'm going to start taking money out each month and begin to actually make some progress on the credit card front. Currently I only spend 17.99 a month on my card (birch box and credit score tracker). However with 18% interest and 5300 on the card and $200 a month payments I don't seem to be getting very far. It's time to make a large payment and get the ball rolling.

Well that's it for now...time to get back to work. Also, my heart goes out to everyone involved in the Washington Navy Yard Shooting. Praying for everyone involved.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Halfway to Myrtle Beach!

Hi everyone! It's been a little while hasn't it? Here I was doing so well with remembering to blog too! Anyway, S and I have actually been very good about  watching our spending this month. For the first time in quite a long time we had actually spent more than we took in during the month of July -eek! However we had some planned/unplanned expenses come up and we didn't really budget for any of them. Although it was only $200 more than we (actually he) made (our finances are still semi separate) it was still scary for us. I will say that because of our recent wedding we do have a pretty nice cushion in our savings account but we are trying not to touch any of that money. Anyway, long story short we have been very careful for the past couple of weeks. We have definitely been using what we have instead of grocery shopping and we only ate out twice in two weekends -usually we eat out at least twice on the weekends. The reason why we are going to Myrtle Beach is that his parents are going on vacation there this weekend and so we are driving down (4 hours away) to see them and spend some time with them. We aren't going home for Thanksgiving so we wouldn't see them until Christmas otherwise. We already planned out the expense for the hotel and his parents are insisting on paying for our meals (although I don't like that and will try to argue-which will end up being pointless..anyways...) I'm excited to spend some time with the inlaws-so time to pack, get through two more days of work, and head down to SC!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bullet list posting because well I'm feeling a little lazy today

  • We did end up going home for dinner on Tuesday and made hotdogs and had chips as a side. We thought of making fries but I was way too hungry to wait. :p
  • Yesterday unfortunately was a pretty expensive day for me. I had to go to the dentist to get my permanent crown and of course something went wrong and they had to send it back to the lab to add more porcelain to it. Le Sigh. Any way, I wasn't able to bring my coffee from home to work because it would have been ice cold by the time I drank it (dentist appt. was at 8am). I love iced coffee but not just room temperature after it cools down coffee. Just doesn't seem right. I spent $2.65 at Dunkin Donuts for a large iced coffee.
  • I had a scheduled hair appointment after work. I spent a good amount of money on the haircut, style (sad that getting your hair blow dried is considered a style), tip, and I bought a styling cream that is supposed to help with my frizz and natural waves/curls. The total damage was $70.33 eek!!!
  • Here is the breakdown: cut and blow dry- $40 ( I need to go to a cheaper place) Redken styling cream- $19 (seriously? This is why I just always throw my hair in a messy bun) tip- $10 could have been lower but I tip well if I'm happy with the service..and the rest was tax. My only defense is that I had seriously been considering a perm/body wave but my stylist talked me out of it and told me to try the cream instead. I guess in the long run I'm going to be saving probably 100+ dollars not doing a body wave and I'm also keeping my hair healthy instead of damaging it with chemicals. Oh well. Guess I'm just simple when it comes to my hair. 
  • Waiting for the dentist office to call me so I can go back this afternoon. Total damage for that will probably be around $250-I already have paid half of the bill. We have insurance but I have maxed out my benefits for the year already. I had to have a LOT of dental work done in the past couple of months. :( I'll post the exact amount for today's appointment later. I better be going back today (they are calling me when the crown comes in and  since they are closed on Fridays and it is labor day weekend. If they don't call by lunch I will be calling them!
  • Updated my credit card/Sallie Mae loans on the side bar.
  • Hubby is jumping out of a plane in a couple of hours. He is in an airborne unit and this is his 15th jump-business as usual. :)
  • Made my lunch for work today :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saving Money by Eating More?

I know it sounds odd right? Perhaps I should rephrase my entry title to Saving Money by Wasting less because that is really what my goal is for this month. The very nice thing is that the hubby (S) is on board as well.It is so embarrassing because it feels like every time we get ready to go grocery shopping (we do a big trip usually once a month or so) we end up filling up almost a garbage bag of expired food from the fridge and this time after organizing our pantry...almost another garbage bag of expired products. I was even horrified to find some packaged things from 2012 unopened. Eek! Part of the problem I think is that our pantry/closet has 5 shelves but they are VERY deep and things just get pushed to the back and lost. I mean four 1/4 bags of taco chips-what the heck! Why wasn't one bag finished before opening/buying  a new one? I blame S for that one. However, I'm just as guilty as well.

Anyway, in order to combat this we bought some containers from Walmart and organized things into bins like (pasta-huge container for this one), side dishes, snacks, seasonings, baking supplies, etc. Hopefully this will help us to really start to eat what we have first. My goal is to take a weekly inventory and see what we have that can be used for meals and to really keep track of expiration dates. We bought a chest freezer from my coworker over the weekend for $60.00 so I think that will also help a lot for perishable foods.

Ok, that's great you are thinking but what does any of this have to do with your post title? Part of the reason that I think we waste so much food is that I pretty much only eat dinner during the week and meals/snacks on the weekend at home..that is when we don't eat out on the weekend. I'm very notorious for taking a cup of coffee to work and being able to have that sustain me until dinner. Horrible, I know. My body is kind of weird though unlike people who wake up in the morning and the first thing on their mind is food or eating, I honestly do not get hungry until I actually put something into my body to jumpstart my metabolism for the day. I can pretty much go all day without eating. HOWEVER, I DO know how bad that is for my body and also for my mind (brain functioning at its fullest) so I do make an effort to at least eat Lunch and Dinner every day unless I get bogged down at work and simply do not have time. On Sunday I told myself that if I don't eat breakfast then I at least need to start eating more balanced meals instead of just bringing a microwavable side of Stouffer's macaroni and cheese or lasagna, or just the main part of the meal from last night's dinner. For instance- yesterday for lunch I had a sandwich, a nectarine, and 1 part of a snack cake. I also brought yogurt but was way too full to eat it. Today I had a leftover stuffed pepper (I'll have to post the recipe-I use roast beef, provolone cheese, and mushrooms) and I brought a butterscotch pudding to eat but remembered I still had the yogurt from yesterday so I wanted to eat that first instead of it sitting in the fridge forever. I feel by making balanced lunches and taking them to work I'll be using more of our food and wasting less. I am so determined to do this. I don't want to waste a single thing that we bought from Sunday's shopping trip. Tonight my husband's unit has a meeting at 6pm and I have to be at it. Usually we would probably just go out and grab something after since it will be late by then. However, we already planned on hotdogs for tonight (something quick) and I'm determined to actually stick to that and not spend money doing dinner out. Hopefully we don't cave! :)
As for spending- yesterday was a no spend day and if I have my way- today will be one as well. :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

September Goals or my list of things to do...

You know, it seems like every month I see a lot of bloggers post their goals for the month. I always think to myself that I don't have any goals that I'm really trying to accomplish professionally so I usually avoid the popular monthly goals post. However, I realized just because they may not seem like goals-I do have a list of things that I need to get done and why can't those be my goals for the month? So here they are and I'm breaking them down into easy steps for myself. These are all personal goals not really financial yet but having them online will remind me to get them done!

1.Get my wisdom teeth pulled [ No pain from them but they aren't looking so hot :( ]
A. speak with dentist at my appointment for crown on Wed.
B. set up an appointment for the referral place
C. Go to the appointment
D. I'm sure I'll have to then schedule for the teeth to actually come out
E. Go to that appointment
F. Recover

2. Get my hair cut- I feel like I haven't even realized how long it had gotten until someone commented on a picture on FB and pointed it out...and now I can't believe how long it is either.
A. Call and set up an appointment (for this week)
B. Go to appointment and get hair cut. (Since I don't dye/highlight my hair that should be relatively easy and relatively cheap)

3. Get my prescription refilled and possibly transferred to a new pharmacy
A. Call and see if the office is still closed on Fridays (yay sequestration..not)
B. order the refill and see if I can get it transferred somewhere else so I don't keep running into the same problem every 3 months ;)

4. Go to social security office and get name changed/new social security card.I know that this one is especially important for my husband and I should stop procrastinating on it...oops.
1. Find out where office is.
2. Call and see if I can set up an appointment
3. Go in on a Friday after work
4. Gather everything I need
5. Go to appointment.

5. After social security is done and I get my new card...
1. Study for NC driving test.
2. Go to DMV- take driving test (written)
3. Hopefully ;) get new NC driver's license.
4. Surrender Illinois license :( :(

6.Get Notary Public status (Depends on when class is available.
1. Call and sign up for a class at the community college
2. Take Class
3. Take my oath at courthouse
4. Buy/Order the seal

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Second Student Loan Paid Off!!

At work so very quick post. I just paid off my second student loan this year! It had a starting balance of $1000 and is now at 0!! To date I have paid off two loans whose original amount equals to $2,800-that was the original amount of the loan which does not include any interest that I also paid on it. Next to go will be the loan with $1,623.04 on it. The starting balance on it was $1877 so I've only paid off about $253 on it so far since I started my loan payments. It is GOING DOWN!!! :) Wish me luck!

Friday, August 16, 2013

It's payday and a little bit of planned shopping/purchases for the weekend.

It's Friday? Wow. Time must have been flying this week because I couldn't believe it when I woke up this morning. Well since I was AWOBL (Away Without Blogging Leave)...(yeah I just made that up), I figured I'd do a quick recap of the week. Now I could lie and say that we ate at home all week but then I would just be dishonest. We ate out twice this week which I'm pretty disappointed with-we usually only eat out once or twice on the weekends. I think the problem was that since my husband had to pick me up from work every day this week he wasn't able to start cooking dinner before I got home. Now granted, I usually get home at the same time and cook dinner for him....but he usually doesn't get home until 6:30-7 when he usually works. So...yeah. Le Sigh.

Tuesday- Normal day at work. I think I worked on some accounting issues for one of the Veterans that my office is a fiduciary for. They were recently rated as Competent so I will no longer be in charge of their financial affairs. For dinner we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings. I did, however, think about money and just ordered water instead of a usual beer or coke. After dinner, we went grocery shopping for some things. Again, I focused on savings and 1. Didn't buy more than I knew I would use. 2. Was better on impulse buys. 3. It must have showed because we spent $83.67 opposed to the normal $130+. Baby steps.

Wednesday- Let's see. My boss took the day off but my coworker and I ( I work in a 3 person office) were still very busy and productive. Definitely not the whole when the cat is away the mice will play scenario for us. My husband and I made steak and pepper sandwiches for dinner. They were really good. Alright, so I have a really bad habitat of procrastinating and I have been trying to work on that. A couple of months I was introduced to Fly Lady which is a website that helps people with cleaning/ getting organized. She has a couple of points that I really like- 1. You can do anything in 15 minutes. 2. Cleaning blesses you and your home even if it is not done perfectly..3. You can't organize clutter.  4. Stop being a perfectionist. It's usually our thinking when cleaning that we need to make something look perfect or get it all done at once that causes us to give up or put it off before we even begin.  Now granted, I'm not that messy and we don't really have a lot of clutter in our house. However, I procrastinate a lot which quickly causes the house to fall into chaos. In order to combat this I asked my husband to start making a list of 2-3 things a day that he wants me to get done around the house. My husband rarely, if ever, tells me to do something or asks me to get something done. I feel like this way not only will I stop procrastinating but I am more likely to get things done if I actually have a list or tasks set by another person so that I don't feel like I'm letting someone down. He is actually on board with this and in just two days I've already started noticing a difference. :) For Wednesday, he asked me to clean our master bathroom which only took 10 minutes (almost everything on the counter was mine anyway), vacuum downstairs (I got a new dyson so this is actually fun for me), and clean up my clothes in the bedroom/straighten up my closet). I really actually enjoyed doing this tasks because not only is it making my home look better but I'm getting things done that might have been annoying my husband and I just never knew it.

 (Ok well time to get back to work so I will continue this when I get home) **Continued on Monday***

Thursday- Again, this was another eat out dinner day. We got Chipotle and I had a steak burrito and he had a steak burrito bowl. I thought about it and we ended up sharing a large drink instead of just getting two drinks like usual. That was at least a two dollar saving right there. It is so easy to forget how quickly items add up on a bill. Totally spent: 18. and some change.  He asked if I wanted to stop by 2nd & Charles ( secondhand book store). It was tempting but since I have books at home from our last trip to read still I told him no. That was probably at least $30 in savings. I was proud of ourselves. :) When we got home I asked him if he had made me another list and he had. The first item was to do two loads of laundry. At first I was like two? How about one? However, I threw in a load of towels for one load and then did another load of dresses/gentle items for another load. Hey...towels count as a load of laundry right? The second and final thing on the list was to organize (read: be able to close) my closet in our second bedroom/office.  I use that closet mainly to store all of my dresses and then there are some misc. boxes with my husband's paperwork/army records/etc. It honestly only took about 5-10 minutes to rehang some dresses that had fallen down and organize some other things. Easy peasy. Wow-I have never said that before. haha.

...and that brings us to Friday.
Friday- I worked until 2:30 and then met a friend and her friend at the mall. My intent was to buy some Fall pieces for work but I guess I'll have to wait until September because there is not a lot of stuff out there yet. My second mission was actually a little out of the box for me. I have been reading some fashion blogs and one of the blogs that I fell in love with is a lady that wear professional outfits to work and she would pair nice designer/upscale items with shirts or pieces from Forever 21. Now don't get me wrong, Forever 21 is great I'm sure if you are a young teenager and into the current and latest trend. However, as as 25 year old and working in a business casual law office I tend to stay away from the store. Not only because I need more professional attire but also I find the clothes/material to be cheaply made for the majority of their things. I will say though I will sometimes find one or two quality pieces. I feel though that it has definitely gone slightly downhill because when the stores first opened the quality was so much better. ANYWAY, I decided to give it a try. After a long and exhausting search I did manage to find 3 shirts (one green/one blue peplum type tops/one plain white button down), one  blue dress, two belts (obsessed with a black belt with gold metal bow) , and two necklaces there. The total came out to $93 and some change. At first I considered returning some items but when paired with a belt it gave the outfit a whole new look so I think I'll keep them. Jeesh when did clothes get so expensive? I've been spoiled by shopping at TJ Maxx for most of my things. I also went to NY& Company and found a nice teal short sleeve button down and a skirt. The items were both on sale and they also asked me if I had a military id, I did, so I received an additional 15%. Now because my husband is military and I am also issued an I.D. card there are many stores in town that will give out discounts. However, since I never feel comfortable asking about discounts I only will use it if they specifically ask for the i.d. I do know there is a lot of people out there who will ask stores if they do military discounts and I almost feel like they are trying to take advantage of the store or they feel entitled to a discount. Now if YOU are the one in the military I certainly understand but if its your husband that serves...I don't agree with that. Maybe that's just me. For dinner we had my favorite frozen pizza- Home Run Inn! Makes me think of Chicago every time. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

autobody repair and meatball sandwiches

We took my car into the shop this morning for autobody work. I got into a minor accident last month which really was just getting someone's paint on my car and vice versa. Not even a dent. However, my husband wanted to get it repaired and since it is his car I don't blame him. The vinyl on the car doors was also peeling and it turns out it is only 100 to repair so we are going to get that done as well. (We have a five hundred dollar deduct able with our insurance for the actual accident repair).On that front I have to say "Thank God." The car is a 2007 jetta and actually in really good shape still physically but the peeling vinyl looked pretty awful. At least it was mainly only on the driver side of the door. We are pretty sure it was caused by the sun since the car hasn't ever really been stored in the garage and has dealt with some harsh summers and winters.

What is the point of this you may ask? Well since my car is in the shop and my husband is off of work this week he has the fun job of being my chauffeur to and from work. Mainly because I don't think he wants to be stuck in a house all week long without a car. Can you blame the guy? Any way, we were driving home and were planning on having meatball sandwiches for dinner which we still had to make. I was so hungry and he asked if we should just pick something up instead...I battled with myself and said no. Then he mentioned the burger place by our house and again...I managed to say no. But it certainly was tempting. :) I'm proud that we went home and made the planned meal. Not only would we have wasted money we would have been eating really unhealthy and since my husband is training for something at would just hurt him in the end. Today was easy to say no even though I was so hungry-let's just hope that next time I will be able to be strong and say no again.
We really want to start saving a set amount of money monthly and I feel skipping one or two meals out would really help to jump start that goal.

As for my debt-I'm pretty much already done with paying my loans for the month...and I'm already itching to make another payment. Slow and steady wins the race though. I have my husband's birthday coming up in October and Christmas will be just around the corner. Time to save a little bit.

I know that I am just coming back now to blogging and I know I'm really bad about telling personal stuff about me but I'm pretty much an open book and would be happy to answer any questions about myself, my debt, or my life if you have any questions. So go ahead...ask away and I will be happy to answer!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up and Budget Findings

Is it already Sunday night? Where did the weekend go? On Fridays I usually only work until 2:30 which means I usually end up going shopping or running errands. Before you get too jealous of me I work 8:30-5 Monday through Thursday and Friday 8:30-2:30 without an actual lunch break so I DO work 40 hours a week. This Friday I was planning on grabbing lunch with a friend that I haven't seen in a while but given how busy/crazy this past week was at work I had a feeling that I would not be getting out of work early and I was right. On the downside I didn't get out of work until 4:30 and didn't get to see a friend. On the plus side I probably saved 25 dollars on dinner and didn't spend any money on shopping. I guess I'll take that as a plus in my book. On Wednesday it was my co-workers birthday so I went on Monday to get a gift for her. While I was shopping I found a really comfortable pair of black/nude bandolino slingback pumps and was so tempted to get them for work. The price was pretty good as well- I think 30 or 40 but I told myself I didn't NEED them. My black heels for work are still in great condition and I've had them for almost a  year now. I think my husband and I are both really trying to be more frugal.
Today I was working on a budget and as I was going through what we had already spent this month on bills/rent/misc., he noticed a mistake. On our direct t.v. bill we got charged almost double what we usually pay. I'm glad that we have been paying more attention because since almost all of our bills/purchases go onto a charge card and get paid off in its entirety at the end of the month we probably wouldn't have noticed. Steps in the right direction right?
Hopefully the rest of this month will be pretty frugal but we have a planned 700 expense for car repair. We'll see. 
Alright well that's about it for the night. I might have a cup of coffee and start getting ready for work tomorrow. Meanwhile, my husband's unit is on block leave so he doesn't have work all week long. Lucky guy. ;)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A promotion and almost a payoff!

No, the promotion is not for me but for my husband. He found out today that he has passed the Captain's board which means he will make Captain in May of next year. I am so proud of him! The payoff refers to the bold black number on the right side of the screen. Not only am I now under 20,000 on my federal loans (private loans not included in that number) I am also 200 some dollars away from paying off my second student loan this year! I'm super excited and know that my payments will be able to get larger and larger as I pay off my smaller loans. Finally feel like I'm making progress!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My husband and I (ok more like I) finally sat down and made a very PG rated budget. (Confession...I have never made one before in my life.) We haven't really gotten down to the nitty gritty R rated version but I put in our fixed expenses and made an estimate of what we would ideally like to spend for groceries/restaurants/entertainment and books. We read a lot. But we buy our books from a second hand bookstore. I know a lot of people would argue that the library is free but we keep our books and reread them over and over again. We also have kindles :) and we only get books MAYBE once a month and for about $30.00 for four or five books. We honestly do not buy a lot of "things" the most we spend on is food/entertainment. Alright, so the thing is if you look at our joint bank account right now we would have enough in there to cover 4 months of paychecks (not expenses-the actual paycheck he would make.) We certainly on paper look like we are doing well and for the most part we are. A couple months ago we applied and got approved for American Express cards. We use our cards like debit cards and at the end of the month the entire balance is autodebited from our account. The reason being is that you are not able to hold a balance on American Express past the closing date or the day by day charges are horrible! This has been working out for us very well because 1) we receive points for each purchase that we make which can go towards a myriad of things. We can even link it to our account and get free purchases. 2) We cannot treat the card like a credit card and overspend because we know come hell or high water that money is coming out of our account at the end of the month. 3) My husband enjoys the security of using credit versus debit in case our cards got stolen, we would a) not lose all of our money and b) would not be held liable for any charges that took place when our card got stolen.

Our" debts:

  •  We have a Helzberg card from our wedding bands that are currently 0% APR for 12 months and we have a balance of around $1,500 right now. We currently pay $200 a month on it and it will be paid off WELL before the promotional rate dissappears. We had the money to buy them in cash at the time but since we wouldn't have to pay any interest it wasn't really any type of loss.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Original balance 1,000 down to $648.93

My new lowest student loan is down to $648.93. I am still plugging along trying to pay off my loans. If I pay $300 a month I'll be able to pay off my second loan this year in a little over 2 months. I am so determined to pay down my loans as fast as possible. I should probably work on paying down my credit card as well but I feel like actual progress is getting made with my loans versus the large credit card that won't go down until I make my large $500 payments. By continuing to pay minimum on the rest of my loans and paying down the smallest loans first I am building momentum each and every single day. Let's hope we can continue this way.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Quick Update

On June 5th I paid off my first student loan ever! I also had my wedding ceremony with my husband and feel like my life can finally start. Next on my target list is my smallest $895 loan from Cornerstone Loan. That bad boy is going down and quickly!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Serenity Prayer and my relationship with debt..what does it mean for you?

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;


To me, this means that I need to find peace in knowing that my debt did not accumulate in one month and it will not disappear in one month either.  Honestly, I have no hard feelings or ill will towards ANY of my student loan debt. My parents sacrificed and put me and my siblings through 13 years each of private school on their very small salaries. I am completely fine with the fact that I had to take out loans to pay for college. Each time I make a loan payment I think about the classes I took, the friends I made, and the experiences college allowed me to enjoy. I think that I am lucky to have a job (even if I don't make a lot) and lucky to have met my husband in college as well. The ill-will that I have towards my debt is my credit card. Let me rephrase that, I hold no ill will towards the debt or the numbers themselves. I blame myself. It's kind of like the argument of the gun debate over "evil" guns. Honestly, my husband is a gun owner and in the military and my father is a recently new gun owner and retired military. I've shot guns and I feel comfortable around them. A gun is an inanimate object that cannot do anything on its own-it takes a human factor to cause them to go off. We can at least agree on that, right? What's the point of this? Well I relate guns to credit cards. Haha. Hear me out. Credit cards don't magically get swiped-a human-(me) is the one that has to swipe the card or input the numbers on the computer to purchase an online item. The card itself is not bad or guilty of the actions that take place. I am. However, I need to find peace in knowing that I can't change how the numbers accumulated but I CAN change how they will go down. 

courage to change the things I can;
I know that getting out of debt will not be easy and it will take time. I need to be able to believe in myself and know that eventually if I keep working hard on paying down my debt and making snowball payments that it will go down. 

and wisdom to know the difference.
Wisdom to know the difference. I may want to change things as quickly as possible and this means putting all of my available money towards debt. However, I don't do this for two reasons. One-this is no way to live. If you deny yourself little treats like McDonald's coffee every once in a while or grabbing lunch out even if it just once or twice a month-you will begin to resent the debt and in turn resent yourself for the decisions that you are not happy that you made. The wisdom comes in knowing that you shouldn't allow yourself to burn out or become depressed. Would I feel better knowing that I could have put ten-fifteen extra dollars towards my debt that month? Maybe. But when you are already putting pretty much every paycheck towards your debt-it's ok to give yourself some leeway-once in a while. 
.....To be continued.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bridal Party Presents and money flying in and out....

I ordered my presents for my bridal party from Etsy this morning. I hope they will like them. It got my sister's approval and she is my maid of honor so it should work out well. I placed this purchase, my necklace to go with my dress, and flip flops for the dance floor at the reception on my credit card. Eek! The total for this was $399.86. I made a $200 payment towards the card so the remaining balance of my new purchases is: $199.86. I'm transferring $400 from our wedding fund to pay for everything. So I will reimburse myself the $200 to my personal account and then pay the remaining $200 of new purchases on the credit card. Very happy that I got the presents ordered though-it is a huge weight off of my mind. :) That's the only spending that I have done since my last post.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quick Update on the Numbers

Last night around midnight I saw an email from CornerStone. All of my account information has been transferred. The CornerStone numbers that I added to the side bar do not reflect the $256.52 payment that I made this morning. I will update my totals at the end of the month and see where I stand. I'm at work right now and I don't really have much that needs to get done so I thought I'd take a quick stop here and give you all the debt numbers. I'm going grocery shopping with S tonight. Wish us luck that we don't spend too much!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ECSI is still going down...

Several months ago I decided that I would use the snowball method and pay down my lowest debt first. This is a small $1,800 Perkins loan. I started making payments in March of last year. I now owe only $612 on it. That is so incredibly exciting for me that I cannot even begin to tell you. I am hoping to have it paid off by June or July. In the meantime I'm only going to pay minimums on my other loans and gulp perhaps even my credit card for a couple of months. Once this wedding is over I'll be able to focus entirely on debt repayment. Thank God! Eh...who am I kidding? I'm not going to just pay the minimum on my credit card...that would be a little foolish on my part. Ok-I will pay a little more than the minimum. The hardest part with this ECSI loan is to resist the urge to pay it all off at once. I know better than that. I know that if I do that I'll drain all of my savings and then I'll be right back where I started. Slow and steady always wins the race at the end of the day. It's hard to believe that Easter is right around the corner. When did this happen!? I'm flying home next weekend for Easter/Final Wedding Planning Details (Meet with Priest, Do my Tasting, Hair Trial, Second Dress fitting). I feel like if I don't write all of these things down on a list I'll go crazy! Argh! There seems like there is still sooo much left to do!

***Check out my sidebar for the down and dirty of what I owe on debt. I've recently taken on the mindset of the blogger $12 a day that any money that I make is already owed to debt. I will never be free to use my money the way I want to until my debt is entirely paid off. Hopefully now that I have this mindset it will help me to save money in any way that I can and to really look at what I am buying. ***

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waste Not Want Not-ok maybe not so much the want part...

Many people that know me do not know that I have a weird attention span. I do not think my husband even really knows, although he does frequently see my eyes begin to glaze over when he talks about the military. :p I tend to have some ADD and OCD tendencies-throw in some (ok-A LOT) of anxiety issues, and you have a fun party mix of issues. When I am at work and receive a new assignment, I usually want to start working on the new one right away instead of finishing my current one. Fortunately, I always make lists (OCD) and go off my lists to get things completed. A friend that has adult ADD told me that during a conversation the person with ADD will often want to cut people off inadvertently to tell them what is immediately on their mind. I do that and I have the horrible habit of not paying full attention because I am thinking up a response or certain words or phrases trigger my mind and I go off into complete tangents in my head. Bad-I know. Long story short, I have a tendency to get obsessed with a subject and then once I have had my fill of it-I go onto the next thing. However, I will eventually return to a subject once I have a renewed interest in it. For instance-reading debt blogs. I may lose interest in reading them once in a while (Sorry everyone!) but that doesn't mean that I am not still obsessed with debt reduction. Believe me...90% of my monthly pay goes to debt repayment. I am lucky to be in the position where my husband can pay for our monthly bills and daily needs. This allows me to focus solely on paying down my credit card and personal loans.  If I wasn't serious about getting out of debt I would just pay the minimums on all of my loans and my credit card. Eek! I shudder at the thought.  

Anyway, I have a tendency to stick to things for a while and then give up. However, recently my husband has started to get a little more involved in wanting to save money so I have been more determined. If someone were to look at our bank account right now, they would scoff a little since we do have a LOT in savings. However, 95% of that has already been earmarked for our wedding that is on June 1. For anyone new here-my husband and I did a courthouse wedding before he deployed. We are doing our church wedding and reception now that he is home. We have been very lucky and due to careful saving during his deployment, we will be able to fund our entire wedding on cash-which I am very grateful for. I am lucky in that my husband has always been frugal. God can I get back onto topic here? What was my title again? Waste Not Want Not? Oh yeah. Ok-back on track. Anyway, we noticed that we have been wasting a lot of food the past 5-6 months. A LOT. Some of it was out of our control-my mom passed away in November and we were out of town for over 3 weeks and we had just gone grocery shopping. The rest is just our failure to finish what we have before we buy more. Well no more. I have made it my goal (starting last week) to eat what we have and not waste any more food. A couple weeks ago, we threw out a garbage bag worth of food and we had not done a major grocery shopping trip in over 2 months. How awful is that?
 We have really been making the effort to finish off leftovers-anything we have before buying more food. I have also started taking my lunch to work every day (No-I wasn’t eating out every day-I just wasn’t eating lunch.) For the past week, I have been taking bagels and cream cheese for lunch or I bring dinner leftovers with me. I would really like to not only see our food budget go down but to also finish this week up and not have anything to throw away because we didn’t eat it in time. One of our plans after the wedding is to buy a stand up freezer and put it in our garage. This will allow us to 1. Buy more in bulk and get some more use out of our free Sam’s Club Membership (hubby’s father has a small business and we use a business membership or something like that) 2. Save money. I literally imagine $$$$ being thrown into the trash when we get rid of expired food. I think we buy too much food at once thinking that it will last us a month and then we don’t get around to eating it. When my husband was deployed, I actually did a kind of fun thing for myself. I kept the receipt from the grocery store in my kitchen. Every time I finished off a food product I highlighted it. It allowed me to see exactly what I used and I could see that the money had not been wasted. Maybe I should try that again? In any case-I’m going to start checking the fridge on a weekly basis and see what needs to be used up and sadly what hasn’t been used up before it went bad.  I will also make a list of the food we had to throw out and my goal will be to get that down to almost nothing! Here’s hoping this will work!