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Posts tagged with: savings

First Communion Blessings

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SUPER busy weekend and then the week hasn’t let up–so pardon my brief absence!  I was so excited and proud about the planning I did for our daughter’s First Communion and things only got better!  As I shared, we had made the reservation and had the budget under control.  On Saturday when all 14 of us arrived at the restaurant, there was a mishap of some sort.  They were aware of our reservation but did not have a table ready.  It seems that someone broke up the large table arranged for us into 4 smaller tables and those 4 small groups of people were still dining when we arrived.  This is a family owned local restaurant that we really like so even as we had to wait I couldn’t really be angry at them.  As hunger REALLY set in and I was dealing with a tired 7-year-old and my poor diabetic 82-year-old Dad…I started to move toward anger.  It was over an hour before the large table could be reassembled and as soon as we all sat down and a waitress was passing out water glasses…she spilled one down the back of our poor First Communion Kid!  🙁  The back of her pretty dress was all wet and the pretty curls we did went flat.  She had an ice cube in her dress and made me so proud by holding it together when I knew an all out fit was just milliseconds away!  The waitress was also near tears and my sister made a well timed joke saying that now this was a First Communion celebration…AND a baptism of sorts.  We moved along and enjoyed the rest of our meal.  As two bottles of wine arrived at the table and then a spread of delicious desserts I kept eyeing my ex-husband to see if he was adding things to the bill!  I was getting nervous thinking the budget was being blown just about the time I got my half of the bill.  Dinner for 14 with wine AND dessert?  WITH the tip came to $196.00!!  OR $98.00 each!  I still can’t believe it!  The restaurant didn’t charge us for the wine or the desserts!

Our daughter received several gifts and a total of $40 cash.  I haven’t yet but will work with her on splitting that up b/w giving, spending and saving.  I sometimes forget to do that with her b/c she is young and that is dumb—she’s at a great age to learn skills about money.

We are trucking along on the savings and paying debt.  I’m excited to share new numbers on May 1.

 


Investment Information

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In the coming days I plan on sharing the details of what we have in savings via investments/401K/529 plan/etc. in an attempt to continuing expanding your view of my world.  I know there will be much for me to learn about this part of things and I don’t see the investments as directly relating to the debt reduction–but a complete picture is helpful for all of us I think.

It was a good weekend for spending.  I cut the grocery budget yet again and spent $80 on what should cover us for TWO weeks!  I really worked the ads and coupons today and it took entirely too long (that has to improve with time I am guessing…) but I saved so much money the time is worth it!  Actually, I took a little quiet time in the process too by sitting at a local coffeeshop with my cup of coffee and clipping coupons.  And I’m a cheap coffee date—Americano please…nothing fancy.  It was nice me time actually.  Thankfully the little one is happy to help with cutting coupons still—a HUGE help.

I have also made a dent in the gas budget–even with the climbing prices.  This is just taking a little extra time to think things out but so far I’ve shaved off about $20 a week.

I caught myself at the store tonight having a moment like I’m sure many of you had when you first read my blog.  A man in front of me at Walgreens was using a small handheld basket and only had one…although it was full.  As I watched the cashier ring up his purchases there were several items that I KNEW there were easily accessible, good coupons for and had to bite my tongue when the cashier gave him his total….and no mention of coupons was made!  His total was $41.73!  For a handheld basket full of just grocery itmes!  My how times have changed!  I used to be that person–using Walgreens as a regular grocery store thinking nothing of the extra I was paying for the convenience!  I am pretty outspoken but I did not feel comfortable gently telling this older fellow how much he could have saved—just didn’t feel right at the time–but all the way home I was laughing at the irony!  Maybe I am optimistic but I already cannot imagine going back to such reckless spending.

 

 


Produce Co-op Fail

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But not for any reason at all for what produce I eventually did get! Instead for the comedy of errors that the adventure became! The instructions said that pick up began at 7:15 and lasted only 20 minutes. My 12-year-old son had a UIL competition at 8 am only about 15 minutes from the produce pick up spot. Sounded like the timing was going to be perfect! So we left at 645 am just to be safe–it was very foggy and misty here this morning–and then the adventure began. We got about a mile from the house and realized that someone took the reusable grocery bags I had put in the van for the produce pick up OUT of the van. Why is it that someone decides to be helpful the one time it is not helpful? 😉  So we turned around and got the bags from the house and hit the road again.  I was going to an area that I am not very familiar with and my sense of direction is a hazard to myself, loved ones and those around me on the roads.  I had my son in charge of GPS on my phone and as he was reading streets to me none of them sounded familiar.   We drove about a mile trying to figure out why it was giving us road numbers that were not in our city…that’s when we realized the “public transit” button was activated so we were getting bus numbers…not road numbers.  Problem corrected and we continue on…now side note…my girlfriend was going to pick up the produce to begin with but since I had to be up so early to get my son to the UIL meet, I figured it would be easy for me to handle.  I should remember that rarely are the easy things easy.

After a couple of u-turns and a total of more miles than necessary, we found the location.  We knew it was the location b/c there were cars parked everywhere and then…a line that was definitely at least 30 minutes and I only had about 20 to give!  It was not nearly as organized as I expected it to be and I can see that there is a shortage of volunteers.  If we contiue with this we will definitely have to sign up to help.  So as I am watching the clock and my already nervous son becomes more nervous, I had to bail.  While the priority was certainly getting him to the school…I will share that once again all of you popped into my head!  I did NOT want to have to report that I just threw $20 in the trash AND the $20 of my girlfriend in the trash!  I could hear your collective groan!

But I knew I had to get my son where he needed to be.  As it turned out I was just completely wrong about where I was taking him to begin with and as I made my way to the school I thought was the correct location he corrected me…this added about 10 minutes to the drive but thankfully…I got him there with 15 to spare.  Now it was decision time…do I go back to see if they are still at the produce distribution site?!  I DID think about the gas I was using (progress) and DID hesitate to now drive 10 or 15 miles back…but I also hated the thought of just giving up.

So away I went!  That’s when I heard from my co-conspirator on this grand produce idea by telephone.  The produce police HAD BEEN looking for me and I better just turn right around b/c they were leaving and that was that.  Oh!  I was SO disappointed!  While we chatted she had a call interrupt ours and sure enough…it was last chance Produce Paula grumbling to my friend that she would wait for me if I was nearby!  I was nearby having JUST entered the turnaround to head back to my house.  So I quickly ducked into a parking lot in an attempt to get back to the main street that goes toward the produce place instead of making a complete, near 1.5 mile turnaround by having to go up to the next exit!  Easy enough, right?  Wrong.  I chose a parking lot to a NEW GIGANTIC HEB PLUS and then got trapped in a maze of detours!  Finally finding my way to an exit back on the access road I am slowing down to yield and someone turns in, stops and proceeds to roll down their window asking me for directions!!!   Uh…really? Because I look like I know what I am doing?  “Don’t go that way!” I said pointing to the store parking lot!  What a fiasco.  So I am forced to turn right….make my way ALL the way down the access road, hit the turnaround, change my direction back toward the produce place and what is my thought?

“The readers are going to say I am using too much gas on this adventure for $20 worth of produce!!!”

I knew I was at that point but was SO close to success I couldn’t stop now!  I round the corner coming up on the 5 volunteers all waiting for me and all not looking very pleased to be doing so!  I exited my vehicle profusely apologizing trying to outline my insane morning and no one was amused.  I proceeded to receive a lecture of sorts from Produce Polly and yes, it was well deserved.  Those ladies DO work hard and get up very early and should not have to wait for a maniac like me to get my act together and pick up produce.

I am happy to report that I LOVE what my produce collection came with though!  We got lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, aspargus, green beans, yellow onions, garlic, cilantro, poblano and anaheim peppers, a spaghetti squash, the pineapples, green onions, key limes, apples and other things I can’t remember right now.  AND hubby made migas (okay y’all are going to think all we eat is some version of a taco every day and…you  might be right) and I made a yummy salsa with the peppers, onion and tomatillos.  🙂  Not bad after that exhausting journey to get produce!  I’ll give it another try now that I understand what I am doing and most importantly I won’t have somewhere else to be after pick up!!!

 


Debt Update…

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Drum roll please…

We paid off… $3,500 this month!!!!!!!!

We paid the money remaining in savings and had some extra from December being a 3 paycheck month and knocked out a nice sized chunk!

Here are the new numbers:

My Debt
Original Debt: $38,495.86
Added Debt: $1,781.50
Total Debt: $40,277.36
Paid: $36,084.36
Remaining: $4,193.00

Broken Down
Auto Loan 1: $0.00
Credit Card: $0.00
Student Loan: $4,193.00
Auto Loan 2: $0.00
Vet Loan: $0.00

Tick tick tick. Counting down!


Late Debt Update…

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Sorry for the tardy update. We’re still shuffling cash around and it’s hard to pinpoint the status. Here is the latest (I think!):

My Debt
Original Debt: $38,495.86
Added Debt: $1,781.50
Total Debt: $40,277.36
Paid: $32,415.36
Remaining: $7,862.00
Cash Savings: $4,500.00

Broken Down
Auto Loan 1: $0.00
Credit Card: $0.00
Student Loan: $7,862.00
Auto Loan 2: $0.00
Vet Loan: $0.00

Hubby has been working a lot of odd jobs lately and we haven’t had to use as much out of savings as we thought. Yay!


Yet another dental emergency…

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My dentist made a joke that my teeth are possessed… and I’m beginning to believe her. I popped out a crown while beach camping. It’s the same crown I paid a couple hundred dollars to have re-done in March.

Before you blame my dentist for shoddy work, I should mention I was eating a frozen Rollo. I had found my brother’s stash of Rollos in his Smores supply and ate a few. When I told my brother that I lost yet another crown, he asked how, and I had to fess up.

He said I deserved it for stealing.

Meanie.

My dentist was able to squeeze me in yesterday and my mom was kind enough to watch baby boy. Total damage to savings?

$0

The dentist told me this one was free but she better not see me again anytime soon. She told me to stay away from frozen Rollos and, while I’m at it, steer clear of frozen Snickers too. I guess she’s seen it all before.

And, in case you are interested, next time you are camping, make Carmel Apple Smores. Use graham crackers, thinly sliced granny smith apples, roasted marshmallows, and Rollos. Delicious!

Just make sure the Rollos aren’t frozen.


Debt Update

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We had our first hit to cash savings this month. We actually would have skipped by but the $690.00 healthcare payment had to come from somewhere.

So far, we haven’t received any bills from the hospital so I’m crossing my fingers on that one. We should be fully covered… but you never know.

My Debt
Original Debt: $38,495.86
Added Debt: $1,781.50
Total Debt: $40,277.36
Paid: $32,329.36
Remaining: $7,948.00
Cash Savings: $5,890.00

Broken Down
Auto Loan 1: $0.00
Credit Card: $0.00
Student Loan: $7,948.00
Auto Loan 2: $0.00
Vet Loan: $0.00

*As a reminder, cash savings is in preparation for costs of time missed from work and from any hospital fees. All remaining funds will be applied to debt.
**Cash savings is in addition to our emergency fund.


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