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Archive for June, 2014

First UPromise payment to studen loans!

June 19th, 2014 at 07:53 am

it's was only $23, and it's taken me like 7 years to get that much, but hey, it's something!!

Any advice on how to maximize the UPromise program? I had looked at their credit card but it didn't seem like the rewards were worth opening another line of credit when I'm trying to hard to get my credit cards paid off. Thanks!

Had a backslide this month :(

June 18th, 2014 at 09:55 am

I knew I wouldn't make any progress, since I had that $1100 personal property tax bill to pay, but I didn't think I'd go backwards! I owe $1700 more in my credit cards than I did last month, so I charged $600 in random other "stuff" in the last month. I know $200 of it was Fitbits for my husband and I for our birthdays, the rest was gas and groceries that were more than what I had on the debit card I've been using for it.

After my minimum payments, I have $412 a month left for gas and groceries, which is impossible to do for a family of 4. I can barely keep us under $400 for food alone, and my gas is typically just over $200 a month.

The good news is that before having my 2nd job, I was in the same boat, and I was building more and more credit card debt. At least now I am making progress (most months). All in all, I have still paid off $4300 of credit card debt since January. I just need to get back on top of it and make some more progress! I have some BIG paychecks coming up from my 2nd job, I'm working 3 out of the next 4 weekends, 4th of July for holiday pay, and a few evenings. That should really help make a dent in it.

Kids birthday party pressure

June 16th, 2014 at 07:23 am

So it is the "norm" around here, at least in my son's circle of friends, to have your birthday party out at one of the many bowling alleys, mini-golf places, inflatable bouncy places, etc., that are in town. All to the tune of $200-$350. And yes, we have been happily paying this much for his birthday parties since he was 2 years old. But now we have come to our senses and realized that 7 year old boys can have just as much fun doing something a lot cheaper!

I am trying to convince my husband to have his party at home. One concern is that it is at the end of July and it is often 100 degrees in Virginia at that time of year. Also, parents typically stay with their kids for the party, which doubles the number of people in our house. Our house is substantially smaller than most of his classmates (at 2200 sq ft, so that just goes to show the size of his friends' houses!), so he would be limited in the number of friends he can invite.

Then there is the hassle of cleaning up before and after. That alone almost makes it worth paying $300 to have it somewhere else! Smile

As of now, if hubby will agree, I'm thinking make your own personal sized pizzas, maybe decorate your own cupcakes as well, and any games I can come up with (both indoors and outdoors, but indoor games are a little touger to come up with.

We do also have a sprinkler and water hopscotch, but then I have to deal with wet little boys coming back in my house Smile

Any suggestions for how to make this affordable and still make it fun for kids (and their parents) who are accustomed to fancier parties?

Oh so THAT'S what an emergency fund is for!

June 12th, 2014 at 05:42 pm

Big storms last night sent a tree branch through the roof of our pop-up camper. I saw that the branch was down, but DH was out of town and it was still storming, so I stayed inside with the kids. Turned out there was a 4x4" hole in the roof that the rain continued to pour into all night and into this morning Frown DH is home now and covered the camper with a tarp, and checked our insurance policy, and at least we only have a $188 deductible. I can think of better things to do with that money, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

I'm NOT a patient person...

June 6th, 2014 at 06:43 am

So every month I look up all of the balances on my credit cards and enter them in my spreadsheet and calculate how much I have paid off since January. It's a huge motivator for me. My issue is fighting the desire to check them every 3 days, even when I know the balances haven't changed Smile

My 2nd job pays opposite weeks as my full time job, so I have a paycheck every week, and I spend the 6 days in between paydays pretty much obsessing over how much debt I will pay down with the next check. While some may say it is good that I am so motivated, it gets a little overwhelming.

Plus this month I had to pay $1100 in personal property tax that I had not budgeted for, so that money went there instead of too my credit card. I know June won't show much improvement, yet I still can't wait to add up my balances!

Anyone else like this and how do you cope?