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A little good news

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I feel like lately I’m all “fight, grind, repeat.” (quote credit: Bobby Bones).

Sure I’ve had some times out last month, but to be 100% honest and open, they aren’t events I would have chosen to group together into a single month for spending purposes. In choosing how to spend that money I would have preferred, for instance, a date night out with the hubs.

And in spite of these times out, I have maintained a pretty steadfast focus on chipping away at my debt. Slow and steady, slow and steady, slow and steady. It’s like a mantra that keeps playing in my head.

It was so much easier last year when our income started to sky rocket during the summer. We had two months where we actually made over $10,000 in a single month! That’s more money than we’ve ever made in our lives and it felt so great to be able to throw it at debt and completely eradicate our $10,000 worth of credit card debt in just a few short months! Living the dream, friends! (side note: I just re-read the post where I wrote about making that final credit card payment. Put a smile on my face just re-living my little dorky celebration dance! 😉)

So this year’s tax bill has certainly made me feel a little “blah” about the summer. That, coupled with the fact that our income has most certainly not gone up so far this summer…at least not to the extent that it had last year at this time.

But then today I got a piece of good news that puts me in a more positive head-space.

I got an email from my boss at the teaching university. The department has decided to do something a little unusual. One of my classes is completely full and they’ve received a lot of requests from students wanting to add it. There’s not enough interest for a full second class (classes are capped at 30 students), but they’ve decided to do a half-section (capped at 15). My boss asked if I’d like to take it on. Since it’s half the students (and, therefore, half the grading), it will be half the pay of the 30-person class. But, again, it’s a class I’m already teaching (just a second mini-section of it), so it’s incredibly easy for me, as it’s already completely prepped and ready to go. OF COURSE I jumped at the chance for some extra cash this summer! I feel so grateful that this extra money is coming at a time that we need it more than ever (with the IRS breathing down our necks). So, I’m not sure this will really translate into a big boost in income with the figures I report on the blog (since I’m taking out tax debt off the top instead of including the debt in my monthly debt update), but it will certainly provide a nice buffer to pay off that debt and still be left with a nice, solid income over the summer months. Thank goodness!

Nothing like a little good news on a Monday! ; )

Have you had any good news today (or lately)? Share!

Ashley’s April 2015 Budget Update

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Happy Monday! Hope you had a good weekend, wherever you are! We spent our Saturday morning at the splash pad and Sunday morning at church. A fun and relaxing little weekend (wishing it weren’t already nearly 100* in Tucson)!

Now that we’re officially in May, here’s an update on how we did with our budget in April.

Place Amount Spent
Rent 1055
Electricity 101
Water 53
Natural gas 22
Sprint (2 lines) 115
Cable/Internet 99
Car Insurance 58
Health Insurance 394
Trash 35
Preschool 1035
Gift-Giving 37
Restaurants 125
Entertainment 16
Groceries 416
Gasoline 75
Household Goods 93
Clothing 20
Parking 8
Toddler purchases 40
Rainy Day Savings 100
Savings Goals 500
Debt Payments 1796
Total  $6193

 

Some notes:

  • Gift-Giving included a going away gift basket (post coming soon), the purchase of some mother’s day cards, and another baby present (I’ll be sending a baby present this month too…I think this makes 3 months in a row. I’m definitely at “that” stage in life, lol).
  • Restaurants was a little over my typical $100 budget due to all the get-togethers this month (one for a dissertation defense and two for going-away celebrations).
  • Entertainment included a couple songs on itunes and some supplies we bought for when we went camping (I consider camping to be entertainment, and therefore, it was included in this category).
  • Household goods was a little high this month. I finally got some gardening supplies (soil, a new pot, some herbs), and I got Costco-sized packages of toilet paper and laundry soap.
  • Clothing included purchase of two $10 pair of water shoes for the girls. Their preschool class goes to the splash park twice a week and water shoes are required. I got the shoes (which were some of the cheapest I found, but still of good quality) online from Target. I use a Target card because I get 5% off and free shipping to my house! (I pay the card in full whenever used)
  • Toddler Purchase is a C0stco sized box of diapers.
  • Rainy Day Savings represents $50 each, toward my health fund (including dental/vision/health) and my annual fees fund. I use Capital One 360 to easily separate my money for these different savings goals (<<refer a friend link).
  • Savings Goals represents $400 toward Cruise 2016 and $100 toward a Roth IRA.
  • Debts. This figure is broken down here (and in my most recent debt update post):
    • $100 PenFed car payment
    • $453 student loan payments (that’s ACS and Navient payments)
    • $1119 for our very last license fee(!!!)
    • $124 toward medical debt

So there you have it. I’ve got to run. Hope your week is off to a great start!