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New York.....Here we Come

March 29th, 2013 at 02:01 am

I haven't said much about this but my DH and I won WWE Wrestle Mania tickets which is in New York this year. We go next week. We leave on Thursday and come back on Monday.

The trip included 2 tickets to the Wrestle Mania event, 2 nights hotel, and flights to New York. We also have been given tickets to go to the Late Show with David Letterman. We are going to hit up a comedy club on our own dime.

Just wanted to see if there are any of you that have suggestions of must-sees in New York. We plan to try and visit the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the 9/11 memorial. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

Is there anyone that can advise on transportation from Laguartia Airport to Times Square Area?

Thinking of my Blessings

March 12th, 2013 at 05:05 pm

I may be the only one that sometimes does this but Sometimes I get down and out saying "oh woa as me I have this mortgage that is going to take forever to pay or there is always something that comes along that makes me spend more money than I budgeted" Ugh. Then I read about the tons of people that can't find jobs, are struggling to pay bills and even struggling to eat. I just want to kick myself sometimes for getting on my pity party mentality. I think I am an upbeat person for the most part but just can't seem to not feel sorry for myself sometimes. I want to change that and start asking myself "what can I do for my community or that individual that is really struggling" instead of thinking about me all the time. I give to my church and also to our mission programs both locally and worldwide but sometimes I just want to do more. There are so many struggling.

Today at work we hear about all of our budget cuts that are about to take place because the sequester and it just is so disheartening. I work for our Area Agency on Aging and Disability so we do meals and home chores for people. This time besides cutting funding we are going to have to actually take some services from people. It is very sad to get this news. I wish I could do more and I definitely need to quit saying "woa as me" when so many out there are so much worse off than me.

Met First Goal and Blizzard of Snowflakes

February 23rd, 2013 at 06:13 pm

Alot has gone on since my last post. First thanks to everyone for wishing my DH well. He is doing much better! He is back to work and his back is feeling fine for now.

I have met my first real goal of the year and that was to fully fund my Roth. Yay! First time I have fully funded so I was extremely proud that I followed through with it.

My DH has a Traditional IRA and it hasn't been doing near as well as my Roth. I have been contemplating converting it for a while to a Roth instead. We did finally do this the other day. Also I had an old work 401K that needed to be moved into my Roth. So just some things that needed to be done and I kept putting off....Feels good to have them done. Also my son has a mutual fund for college that I added $600 to so I am glad that is done as well.

We have had what seems a blizzard of snowflakes. We have an aflac accident policy so my DH received $330 for hurting his back. It doesn't cover him being off work for a week but it sure does help. I have a birthday Monday and have received $200 in b-day money. One completlely surprising was Farm Bureau called DH and told him we had been paying a little too much for his truck insurance. So they are cutting us a check for $100. We haven't received that yet so not quiet sure on total just a guestimate on our agent's part. I think it has been a pretty good month for snowflakes.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

So thankful for SA

January 30th, 2013 at 03:25 pm

Last week my husband come home early from work on Tuesday. He had hurt his back and it was getting worse throughout his work day (he does a lot of bending and lifting) So he went to a chiropractor and he first thought it might be a separated disk. The next day on Xrays it showed that he had a tear on his vertebrae. So needless to say he was going to be off of work for atleast a week. He isn't as lucky as me in that I have Sick leave for things like this. He has vacation time but who wants to use vacation time for something like that. I knew from watching Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman to have an emergency fund for things like this but in keeping up with Saving Advice these last few years I have learned about so many other things people do like slush funds and short term savings vs long term savings. We have been saving in our slush fund and we are going to be able to make it through this time without having to get into our emergency fund. I wouldn't have a problem getting into our emergency fund if we needed it, but it is very nice to still have it in tact after a little setback and be able to use the emergency fund for more serious situations.

Thanks to Jeffrey and Nate for maintaining this wonderul site that we have. Thanks to all the bloggers who share their successes and misfortunes because we truly learn valuable life lessons from everyone that shares their daily lives and struggles. Lastly thanks to those that are so willing and helpful to answer people in the forums who may have no clues on budgeting and investing and yet so many of you do your best to lead them in the right way. I am so glad to be a part of this wonderful community.

Monthly spending so far

January 22nd, 2013 at 03:11 pm

This weekend I looked back at our numbers in Oct through December. On average in those months we were spending $1400 on Food and Gas (this includes Groceries and Eating Out) Sheeeesh! That is pitiful!

I have always known the numbers were horrible and figured we could do much better. I do have a commute but most of that number is Food. This month we decided that we would not eat out near as much and try to get our grocery budget under control. Total so far this month has been $445 (this includes everything except fixed bills.....Food, Gas, Meds, Allowance for DS, etc...) BIG DIFFERENCE. Just with us being somewhat conscious I think we are going to save around $600 - $700 this month.

Another thing we are doing this month is NO CREDIT CARDS. I am not against credit card use in any way. As a matter of fact I have always used them and paid them off each month. But sometimes we still just seem to spend easier with a credit card and sometimes it is tough to make that high payment. I have only put one thing on the credit card this month and that was lawn care service we receive and we pay for it annually. (It is a fertilizing service to help with weeds) We are debating getting rid of it to save money as well.

I am proud of us so far this month. We have always typically been good about not having too much debt and trying to save as much money as possible but this month has shown me that we can do even better when we put our minds to it.

Snowflakes so far:

$52.92 (was sent to hubby's bike payment)

This includes:

1.53 reconciling our checking account
2.54 interest on checking
5.58 interest on savings
3.62 extra budgeted for electricty/h20
4.00 extra budgeted for phone
13.65 reimbursement from work on some doughnuts
6.00 52 week challenge
16.00 8 No spend days

Funny story and Snowflake

January 14th, 2013 at 03:01 pm

So we were having dinner last night and talking about how we have only eaten out one time this month (which normally would be atleast 4 - 6 times by now) and we were telling my son (age 6) that we were watching our money closer. I didn't want him to be scared in any way that we didn't have money...just that we weren't spending unnecessarily...and told him that. He looks at me and says "Mom, I know you are daddy are like Mr Krabs" LOL (I'm sure most of you know that Mr. Krabs is the money hoarding business man on Spongebob Squarepants) I thought wow kids realize more than we think they do.

On to money we had 2 NSDs over the weekend which is rare for us. So I was very proud of that. One of our downfalls has always been our grocery bill so we are really trying to work on that and have been doing pretty good so far this month. I hope we can keep it up.

Also we received our electric and water bill and it came in about $3.50 less than expected so I will be adding that little snowflake to hubby's bike payment.

So.....My 2013 Goals and Snowflakes

January 11th, 2013 at 09:42 pm

2013 Goals

1) Fully Fund Roth for both 2012 and 2013

2) Trip to Disney World $3000

3) Add $2000 to emergency fund

4) Pay off my hubby's bike that he had to have last year Smile

5) Pay extra $6000 to mortgage

This will be the most goals that I have ever attempted at one time and also the first time to really write down specific goals. I remember reading a blog post from monkeymama I believe and she said it is probably best atleast for her to focus on one goal at a time. I have been debating over that for a while. I have decided I agree with that statement. You get to see your debt or goals accomplished quicker which is so important. It sometimes seems like a slow go if you are working on all goals at once.

I picked up the snowflake ideas from creditcardfree and a couple others and decided that this year I want to do that to pay toward my hubby's bike. So far snowflakes include:

5.58 interest from savings
13.65 reimbursement from work
8.00 4 NSD
3.00 52 weekly challenge
1.53 just a little exta money in checkng
2.54 interest from checking

Total snowflakes for 2013: 34.30

So now I have to decide how this will be added...bi-weekly, monthly, or other time frame. Since it is such a smll amount just not sure how I will do this yet. Suggestions welcome. What would you do?

New to Blogging

January 11th, 2013 at 07:02 pm

I am new to blogging but not new to SA! I do believe I am addicted to SA. Have been a lurker and poster for a while. I have however never had a blog. I have loved reading everyone's blogs thus far and figured a blog of my own may help me to be more accountable in meeting our goals.

In my next post I plan to list my goals for 2013! I will also try to share things my husband and I have done to pay off debts in the past so maybe I can help others.