Life

Sorry I haven’t been around much! Life is busy. I leave at 7:30 every weekday morning, return home 7 pm or later Mondays-Thursdays and after 5 pm on Fridays, and I am so wiped by the weekend that I don’t feel like doing much beyond Krav Maga, watching TV and playing with the pets. That doesn’t mean I’m not taking care of my finances, I do still take care of them [mostly]. But, because I haven’t been writing on my blog much, I don’t have myself and you, my audience, keeping me accountable as much as I need. I let little purchases slip through the cracks more often than I did even a few weeks ago. I suspect it has a lot to do with my not getting much sleep this month, adds to my everyday apathy (of all the adjectives that were used to describe me growing up, my family used “apathetic” the most.).

I did take one major step for my financial freedom. I contacted my ace-in-the-hole and as of yesterday have sent them what they need to make some financial determinations. I suspect I will hear from them within a few days. My biggest fear is I won’t get as much money as I’m expecting/hoping, that they’ll find a reason to negate everything. So, please say a little prayer that your pal, me, gets what I am hoping to get. And, for those of you who are salivating to know what this ace-in-the-hole is, I have decided to remain silent as to the full crux of the situation even after it’s resolved. You can blame my job, it has me pretty jaded and not wanting to give anyone any ideas.

I also did my taxes earlier this month. Got my refund last week, and every single penny is going to the wedding. Sorry, thought I would put it toward the debt??? Can’t, I’m trying to prevent future debt and have to pay many of my vendors by check, so I have to make sure I have the money to pay them!

I do believe paying off the cosmetic loan WILL happen in March. I did my naughty spending the last few weekends (an impromptu date night with a girlfriend, a night out with some other friends, some new tops and a facial I got on special) and have resolved that that’s it, full speed ahead! CC2 may be another story because I have put some wedding purchases on it such as the invites and favors as well as some medical expenses. But, again, pray that the ace-in-the-hole comes through and that I can pay off CC2 sooner rather than later!

I hope you all are doing well dear readers! Don’t forget to do your taxes- the sooner you file, the sooner you get your refund (if you get one)!

Taxes, Habits and Savings

I wish I could say January was a great month. It was, in fact, a very strange and off month, and I know many of my friends had a very weird and off month as well. Maybe it’s this absolutely wacky weather we are having in our neck of the woods that is throwing everything off, but I really can’t wait for things to even out!!

Taxes

If you’ve been paying attention to politics lately, you should be aware that they let some of our tax breaks expire and hiked up the withholding on Social Security. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, hopefully you’ve at least been paying attention to your paycheck and have probably noticed more than just a couple of cents less per paycheck since this has happened. I really thought it wouldn’t be that bad, but for my part-time job where I earn around $180 a paycheck, I have noticed more than $20 less a paycheck! Un-flipping real! I can’t really say how significant the hit has been to my full-time job yet due to sick days and what not, but I’ll have a better idea tomorrow. Obviously, someone on Capital Hill didn’t get the memo about how the economy is doing lately and that taking such a big chunk of many of our paychecks won’t help matters any. I have a lot more feelings about this, but I’ll leave at WOW, HAVING LESS MONEY PER PAYCHECK HURTS (and makes it harder for me to reach my financial goals)!!!

Habits and Savings

I have, I believe, managed to change some of my spending habits. I have taken the primary spending categories- food, gas, cell phone and car insurance- and capped myself out at $500 a month and have managed to successfully do that in January without feeling deprived. I had started to move towards this in November and December, but this month was when I realized that I needed to make it work and make it work I have! Basically, I take the $500 and subtract my cell phone bill amount and my car insurance amount. Whatever is left over, that is my food and gas money and gets transferred from the bank I have my checks direct deposited to into my other bank (I have two banks, first I was just going to switch, then the whole financial melt down thing happened and I like having my eggs in a couple of baskets now). I now plan my food spending well so as to minimize wasting money and wasting food- when I go to the market, I think about what I can make for dinner and eat as left overs the next day for lunch, and that is what I buy for the week. I find this plan has served me well so far.

Also, to start building up my savings more, I have $25 from the food and gas allowance automatically transferred into savings at the beginning of the month so that I don’t even think about it. If I am good and careful, I hopefully have a few dollars left at the end of the month that can also be switched over to savings as well. Of course, today is the end of the month, and I do have some money left, just sigh of $20, but my February allowance doesn’t transfer over until Monday and I do need gas in my car. I will re-evaluate the bank account on Monday!

 

The main takeaway is this: sometimes, things happen that lower our income or change our circumstances. But with careful planning and a stick-to-it attitude, you can better your financial situation.