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Archive for September, 2009

We should make it with .79 in the bank!

September 29th, 2009 at 02:12 pm

I think that we will actually make it to pay day (midnight tonight) without overdrafting! This is HUGE. With all the craziness and unexpected expenses, we won't overdraft. This is the first time in what feels like forever, so I'm going to celebrate a little bit. We currently have $55.68 in the account. I know that I have a student loan payment pending (could come out today or tomorrow after we get paid) in the amount of $54.89. Even if it comes out today, we'll have .79 in the bank! Yeah!

Now, I guess I really shouldn't be too excited, because we did have unexpected money come our way and I still had to transfer $37 from our Freedom Account to cover things, so I guess, when I really think about it, we were over budget and would have overdrafted if we didn't have a little savings. Well, I'll still celebrate a little in that we got closer to achieving our goal of living our budget and at least we did have something in the Freedom Account to rely on. Next goal - truly getting through a payperiod on budget without pulling from anywhere else.

$19,430 Vent

September 26th, 2009 at 11:40 am

Yup, my husband is still paying back his debt. He's paid about $350 just this pay period. I just did a rough total and it's at about $19,430 that we have paid back since May 2008. I did not add up what we paid before May '08. This does not count the ATM fees that we acquired (which totaled about $200 in just two months last summer; he's since gotten better at that). This does not count overdraft fees that we have acquired due to him taking money out of the ATM that we did not have (also totaled about $200 during those same two months in the summer of '08). He is gradually getting better at this. This does not count all the "cash back" we have gotten while doing a transaction at a store in order to save a trip to the ATM so he could pay debt back. There was a period he did this instead of going to the ATM in order to save on fees. I'd rather him get a .50 pack of gum and get cash back than pay $3-4 in ATM fees. Yes, that's what was happening! The $19,430 total also does not include cash advances that he has taken to pay his debt, nor does it include the resulting fees and interest we are paying to pay those cash advances back. Again, he's getting better at this as well.

I am just to my limit. I am trying so hard to be understanding and kind. I don't want to make the panic attacks worse and I know he feels bad. However, I am getting really sick and tired of him not following how much money we have in the account, not talking to me about paying something before he pays it (admittedly, he's getting better, but he should talk to me EVERY time, as we have agreed in the past), try to put things off to the next pay period more often, etc.

My name is the only name on the account and I cannot seem to find the backbone to just put my foot down and say "no" if there is any way at all to pay it. I don't want to deal with the panic attacks and arguments that will result from not paying it. Of course, even when he does pay it, he feels so guilty that the rest of the night is usually riddled with panic attacks as well. There is no way to win.

If you couldn't tell, he's off paying a $20 debt now and I am venting. Thank you for letting me vent. I will be back to being optimistic about it all in a few hours. Smile

September 2009 Overview

September 15th, 2009 at 11:40 am

Here are the September 2009 totals.

September 2009

Student Loan 1: $1,658

Student Loan 2: $914

Bank of America 1: $7,862

Bank of America 2: $7,039

Bank of America 3: $4,985

Chase 1: $4,313

Chase 2: $2,695

Citi: $2,236

Target: $2,441

Overdraft: $2,999

401K Loan 1: $2,822.94 (Pay off 07/16/2011)

Car Loan: $12,747


Credit cards & Overdraft: $34,570
Student Loans: $2,572
401K Loans: $2,823
Car Loan: $12,747


Total Freedom Account: $74
Total Emergency Fund: $0
Total Retirement: $55,453

All in all, it's about $200 more debt than in April, but looking closely, our credit card/overdraft debt went up to the tune of about $2700! UGH! I hate thinking about that.

Our retirement has gone up about $5k since April. That's always nice to see.

Also, I blogged earlier about getting $150 for Amazon.com from our insurance and that I was going to use that for a food processor. That's not the case anymore. That's too much of a luxury right now. Instead, we'll use the money to get a new radio for our car as well as a few other things we need. I know I'll feel better in the end. Perhaps once we're out of debt, I can reward myself with the food processor. We'll see. Smile

So, the goals for the fourth quarter of 2009 as the same as all of 2009, but I have lowered my expectations as some of them would not be possible with all the things that have come up (debt, furlough, etc.).

2009 Quarter 4 Goals

1. Get our CC/overdraft debt to under $33K.
2. Start an emergency fund.
3. Be consistent in living our budget - no more overdraft!

Reducing More fo the Budget Part 3 - Gym and Car Insurance

September 15th, 2009 at 09:15 am

I have really enjoyed going to the gym, but since going down to one car and our finances being in the hole. I am quitting the gym. It's sad for me, but I know it's the best choice. It'll save us $32/month and I can figure out how to do things at home. At least I have gotten back to my pre-baby weight which I'm comfortable with. I was holding on to too many pounds after the baby, but the gym helped that. Smile

I have upped our car insurance deductible, which will save us about $17/month.

In total, I have shaved $113 off of our monthly budget. Yeah!

I am going to work on monthly totals and post them in the sidebar. It'll be rather grim, but I will be optimistic. As I said in my last post, some of the surprises are slowing down. Fingers crossed it'll keep going that way!

Furlough check more than expected

September 15th, 2009 at 09:09 am

Today was got our first reduced furlough check. All FT employees have to take five unpaid days off between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. Instead of having all of the money come out of one check, I decided to choose the option where equal amounts are taken out of each check. I had calculated what I expected to get and tried to lowball it so I wouldn't be surprised with less than expected. Happily, it was $57 more than I expected! Yeah! That, in addition to the cuts I have made to our budget recently, is a good thing.

My husband's personal debts seem to be slowing down a little, so I'm trying to be optimistic. His panic attacks (associated with the stress and guilt of those debts) are subsiding somewhat as well. I'll keep trying to look at the positive side. Go us! Smile

Our Health Insurance gave us $150 for Amazon.com

September 10th, 2009 at 09:27 am

My husband's coworker just told us the other day that if we logged in to our online health insurance account (which is how we manage our account anyway), there is a tab for "Health and Wellness". There are ways for us to earn "Health Dollars" by doing things like filling our a health assessment, online coaching and wellness coaching. We each did a health assessment that took about 10 minutes each and were awarded 75 health dollars each. We then exchanged that for two $75 gift cards to Amazon.com. We chose from a list of hundreds of merchants including Kohl's, Babies R Us, Target and others.

We had no idea that this incentive program was offered! It says we can do another health assessment in six months. I don't know if we'll earn more health dollars, but I think it'll be worth checking.

We are using our $150 towards a food processor I have been wanting for months. I am so excited because it will be FREE after I use this $150 and other Amazon gift cards I have earned through Swagbucks.

After I get my food processor, I will be selling my breadmaker and probably blender. This cash will be used to buy my son's booster seat. Yeah!

We have already started the online health coaching which is worth $25 each. I need to figure out how to start the online wellness coaching worth another $75 each. Anything else we "earn" will be used for Christmas for our kids and we'll probably get cards for Target which will help with household expenses.

I am so excited! Yeah!