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!