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Putting the paychecks to work

September 3rd, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Well now that we're one day past payday and the budget has been implemented here's how it went down. Below is a copy of the budget I had created for the pay period from 9/2-9/15 with notes on how it was executed.

09/02 - 09/15
Income: $4741

Electric: $242 (PAID)
The Maids: $140 (9/8)
Netflix: $12 (9/8)
Equifax: $7 (9/13)

Cash: $500 (DONE ATM)
This covers food, clothing, entertainment, medical copays and any other discretionary expenses we have during the two weeks. We do this stuff in cash only because it works really well for us.

Son's birthday: $150 (DONE TXFR)
His 16th birthday was on August 25th and we need to deposit $100 to his checking account (was a gift from us.) We also are going to purchase him a dock for the car for his Ipod for $50.

Amazon: $10 (PAID)
This is for a replacement Tassimo filter.

HVAC Filters: $69 (PAID)
This buys us two replacement HVAC filters. I vac'd out the one we had in there but it is so bad I'm going to have to replace it. It's been in there for almost a year now so it's time.

Now for the other part. At this point we had $3611 left to spend and there were some important things to put the money towards.

Wedding Ring: $2911 (PAID)
I was able to get the ring back and it looks great. The wife was EXTREMELY HAPPY to get her ring back fully repaired (it had met an unhappy garbage disposal courtesy of our cat) and with a new diamond installed. Insurance did pay a portion of it but I still had to go out of pocket for nearly $3000. It was actually ready a couple of months back but we wanted to wait until the debt was gone before paying for it.

This left me with $700 to put to savings. We have a check coming next week for over $7000 which will be put to savings as well as we continue to bolster up the cash in the bank. I can safely say this was a fun budget to work through with no debt payments attached to it.

Oh and I almost forgot! I called our cable provider and was able to get a $16 discount on our monthly bill. All I had to do was ask! It's always a good idea to call up your utility providers like cable, phone and internet (even if you bundle) to see if they can do anything to help you save some money. Smile

September Budget Part I

August 31st, 2009 at 02:25 pm

September is shaping up to be a great month in our household income wise so we should be able to do a lot of good with our money. We get paid biweekly on Weds so we're looking at 3 paydays in September and a bonus in the middle of the month to boost our income even more. I usually do our budgets per pay period and any bills that are due within the pay period get paid. We have a few things we need to pickup online so those will be budgeted into this pay period's budget.

Here's how it looks right now:

09/02 - 09/15
Income: $4741

Electric: $242
The Maids: $140
Netflix: $12
Equifax: $7

Cash: $500
This covers food, clothing, entertainment, medical copays and any other discretionary expenses we have during the two weeks. We do this stuff in cash only because it works really well for us.

Son's birthday: $150
His 16th birthday was on August 25th and we need to deposit $100 to his checking account (was a gift from us.) We also are going to purchase him a dock for the car for his Ipod for $50.

Amazon: $10
This is for a replacement Tassimo filter.

HVAC Filters: $69
This buys us two replacement HVAC filters. I vac'd out the one we had in there but it is so bad I'm going to have to replace it. It's been in there for almost a year now so it's time.

So far we've spent a total of $1130 and that leaves us with $3611 to use as we see fit.

What's really crazy is the only thing we actually HAVE to pay on this list is the electric bill. The rest of the list (other than the cash...which we could cut down in half) is wants. Now that we're debt free we feel we can open up the discretionary spending a bit more but we're still retaining 75 percent of this biweekly income. That's not a bad thing.

We still have some long term goals to work on as well. My wife's wedding ring is still at the jewelers and I believe it'll take $2700 to pick it up now that it's been repaired. FYI to everyone make sure you have a proper rider for jewelry on your homeowner's insurance policy. We only had a small reimbursement and we now have the rider but you have to get it appraised and get it on your insurance properly. Check with your agent as to what you need to do to do it right.

We also need to pay off our son's Spain Trip which I mentioned in an earlier post. That'll be exciting to see that gone.

We're also going to be funding Roth 401k's (15-20 percent of net income with a 25 percent match to a traditional 401k by the company), saving for cash flowing college (we start paying the piper in Fall 2010) and accelerating our mortgage payoff (increasing the amount to principal) so it's not like that money doesn't have anywhere to go. We have a long haul ahead of us but we're excited at the prospects of being able to knock all of this stuff out.

Smile

Hooray for Payday

March 18th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Today is payday and we really didn't have a lot of bills to pay (yay!) Next month is really going to be fun with three checks on the 1st, 15th and 29th but for now I was able to take a big bite out of lonely Card 1. It's great that it is the ONLY card left to pay off because with the fewer number of bills coming in the easier it is to really track them (and once Card 1 is done then the only debt we will have to our names will be a mortgage. Yippie!)

I cash flowed my vehicle registration, took cash out for day-2-day expenses (we only use cash for food, entertainment, household stuff, etc.), put some money in the kids bank accounts (18 yo has checking and 15 yo has savings that will soon flip to checking) for work they did (they get $2 for every year of age per day), bought a programmable thermostat (checked consumer reports first to make sure it was a best buy and it was easy to program...looks like it) and some CFL bulbs from thebulb.com (they have pretty good prices and a portion of every bulb bought goes to help the environment...not to mention the bulbs themselves!)

Had $4600+ left over for Card 1. Yippie!

So since 4/30/08 we've paid off $76,271.80 in credit card debt and we have what's left below to go. It just feels like we're really starting to see the finish line.

Debt Tracker (03/18/09)
Card 1: $34090.02 (8.99)

OK some payments made

July 2nd, 2008 at 04:54 pm

Well I ended up paying on some bills that were due. When I get paid on the 9th I'll be able to pay on some debt in the debt tracker and push that $5000 out to a savings account before we go to Hawaii.

Here's what got paid:
Maids $140
CC X $39 (Another Annual Fee!)
CC Y $60 (Another Annual Fee!)
Landscaper $130 (weed and fertilizer treatment for the grass)
Grass Cutting $79
Trash $84

So $100 wasted on annual fees (both cards will be closed right after the payments post) and $210 spent on the grass (it's growing and it does look good..but a ways to go.)

It's amazing how much money you can waste on fees. I'm loathing credit card companies more and more with each passing day.

Scheduled some more bills

June 24th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

I figured I'd get a jump start on the income and allocate it before I waste it. Ha! Here are some more bills paid:

Life Insurance due 6/28 ($143)PAID 6/28
Maids due 7/1 and 7/15 ($140 ea)
Mortgage due 7/1 ($2908) PAID 6/25
Sewer due 7/6 ($120)
Card X due 7/8 ($45)PAID 6/25
Card 3 due 7/10 ($361)PAID $792.40 6/25
Electric due 7/13 ($204)PAID 6/25
Trash due 7/15 ($84)
Water due 7/20 ($92)
Card 1 due 7/22 ($700)
Cable due 7/29 ($161)
Daughter's contacts due ? ($150)PAID 6/25
Kid's paychecks due 6/25 & 7/9 ($100 ea)PAID 6/25

A few more off the list. I'll be giving my wife $350 for the next two weeks for food, clothing and entertainment (we should be fine with that) so she has cash to carry. I know Sewer says due 7/6 but that's not really accurate (it hasn't come in the mail yet and the due date will be more like 7/31.) I just budgeted for it on the next check so we will be fine. Sooner I can attack more debt the better! I updated the Card 3 payment since I had some carryover cash in the account to allocate to it. Yippie!

Income right on target...kind of

June 24th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I received my check for $490 today and deposited it into the checking account. I will get the paychecks direct deposited and available at midnight bringing my total to $4831.72 which based on the budget forecast is exactly where I expected to be! So now I can start attacking the list of expenses. Whoo hoo!

On another note...I tried calling and asking that they waive my credit card annual fee ($45 on a card I haven't used all year) and they told me they couldn't because of lack of activity on the card.

Yep...I am paying the stupid thing and closing it. So much for customer service!

As for the bonus I was expecting it will end up being less than expected (thought I was getting $6106) with a bonus for $5491. That's OK because I still plan on taking $5000 and putting it away for Hawaii and using the other $491 towards Card 3 in the debt reduction tracker. So we've got vacation covered and I still will have plenty of excess income over the next couple of months to do some damage to Card 3's balance. Yippie!

One bill down

June 24th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Yesterday I had listed a budget forecast so I figured I'd update as I knock them out. I paid AT&T Long Distance since they just annoy me. Smile

So here's the expenses:
Life Insurance due 6/28 ($143)
Maids due 7/1 and 7/15 ($140 ea)
Mortgage due 7/1 ($2908)
Sewer due 7/6 ($120)
Long Distance due 7/8 ($44)PAID 6/24
Card X due 7/8 ($45)
Card 3 due 7/10 ($361)
Electric due 7/13 ($204)
Trash due 7/15 ($84)
Water due 7/20 ($92)
Card 1 due 7/22 ($700)
Cable due 7/29 ($161)
Daughter's contacts due ? ($150)
Kid's paychecks due 6/25 & 7/9 ($100 ea)

1 down...13 to go!

Budget Forecasting

June 23rd, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Well I figured I'd sit down and actually figure out what I know is coming in and going out over the next few weeks so I can have some accountability for my money. Here's what I know:

INCOME
I started today with a balance of about $380.

I deposited a check for $304 so that puts me at $684.

I have a check coming in the next day or two for $490 so that'll put me at $1174.

Wednesday is payday so I will get a direct deposit of $3658. That'll put me at $4832.

July 1st I should be getting a bonus check for $1506. That'll add up to $6338.

July 9th is the next payday so I will get another direct deposit of $3658. That'll add up to $9996.

Sometime in July (hopefully EARLY but it could be anytime) I will be getting a retained earnings check for around $4600. That should add to $14596.

I'm not going to include July 23rd's paycheck since that will apply to August expenses. This $14596 (give or take a few bucks) will hopefully go a long way to paying bills and having a fully funded Hawaii va-CASH-ion. Of course there are plenty of expenses before then...so here goes:

Life Insurance due 6/28 ($143): This will be directly debited out. We both have plenty of term life because the thought process is get out of debt and put a ton of money away where the life insurance will not be needed. A long way to go on that though!

Maids due 7/1 and 7/15 ($140 ea): This is a big one for the wife so I don't argue it. They do an excellent job.

Mortgage due 7/1 ($2908): Yeah I think I need to pay this one darn it. Smile

Sewer due 7/6 ($120): An estimate and this is a quarterly bill but it's up.

Long Distance due 7/8 ($44): This one I want to pay sooner rather than later. This is usually $15 but we spent a lot more than we thought this last month.

Card X due 7/8 ($45): This is that annual fee on that card I had paid off years ago. I'm waiting to hear back on whether they are going to waive this or not. They better but just in case I'll budget out.

Card 3 due 7/10 ($361): That's the minimum and I'm going to do what I can to pay more than that (figuring out how much I'll have helps!)

Electric due 7/13 ($204): It went up as we're playing A/C games but only until the programmable thermostat I ordered shows up! We also put in CFL's all over the house so hopefully we see a return.

Trash due 7/15 ($84): Another quarterly bill with a July due date.

Water due 7/20 ($92): Ditto from the trash comment. This is an estimate and I hope it's on target (Trash is fixed.)

Card 1 due 7/22 ($700): Another min payment for Card 1 until we get Cards 2 and 3 gone!

Cable due 7/29 ($161): I always pay this way early.

Daughter's contacts due ? ($150): She's going to need them at some point in the next week or two. She has an eye infection which is calming down but it has to be gone before she can get them.

Kid's paychecks due 6/25 & 7/9 ($100 ea): They each get paid $50/paycheck as long as they don't get docked for not keeping their rooms and the common areas clean or not doing chores.

ETA: The company I work for pays all auto expenses including gas, insurance and maintenace (all scheduled routine maintenance) for me, my wife and daughter so we have no auto expenses to budget for. They also pay all internet and local/regional phone bills. I pay the long distance out of pocket. They also pay all cell phone bills for me, my wife and the kids.

So I figure about $5342 (I apologize if the math is off. My flight got in around 1:30 AM EST this morning and I was up at 5:30 AM EST to go to work) for mostly fixed expenses. We try to run with a budget of $600/mo for food, clothes and entertainment (clothes and entertainment are just for us out of that...kid's paychecks pay for their stuff) so by adding that in you get a total of $5942.

So if you take the $14596 and subtract out the $5942 you're left with $8654. Now I hope to take $5000 of that to put towards Hawaii and leave me with $3654 to pay as an additional "hammer" on Card 3. It's just a question of when certain parts of that income stream show up in July but otherwise I think I have a pretty good plan of action!

I'll also continue to try to keep some kind of an ebay income coming in (I currently have about $120 in the Paypal account) to help with the cause. Hopefully that will all be gravy money to throw at Card 3 but we'll see.