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Question for my Friends

July 7th, 2017 at 11:57 pm

So...I just posted a blog and of course, thought of another question for my friends to give some thought to.

As you know, I have opened a "Loose Change Account". My sidebar reflects my progress. I still don't know what I am saving for but it's fun to do nonetheless. Anyway, I had an idea after loading next week income/expense transactions:

What if I maintained an even balance in all of my bank accounts (operating account, emergency fund, rental account, etc), taking the minor overages and putting them in "Loose Change Account".

Just a thought...what say you?

NSD #4 In a Row!

July 7th, 2017 at 11:37 pm

So...fourth consecutive NSD. I had some strawberries, blueberries and two bananas for lunch/dinner along with a ham sandwich. The fruit is gonzo...time to reload.

Next Friday is payday. As I am now using two credit cards (one for month over month auto bill/donation payments) and the other for any household expenses and/or entertainment. I usually schedule my deposit and bill pays the Friday before (tonight). After getting my mortgage and electric bill plugged in, I front loaded the entire remaining months auto bill payments for CC #1 with a $10.00 cushion. This came to $80.00. I then front loaded a $25.00 gift card for a birthday present, $25.00 for gas and $50.00 for groceries for CC #2.

When all was said and done, I was able to toss ~$800.00 into my emergency fund and keep about $100.00 in my operating account for any "pop up" expenses.

I am still looking for a simple website to download and print Aldis coupons.

Everyone have a great evening.

Third NSD in a row!

July 7th, 2017 at 12:39 am

So...I must admit, although I am celebrating my third NSD in July, I need gas and some groceries as packing lunch and eating breakfast and dinner at home has depleted my fridge. But I have also been studying ways to reduce my grocery bill. Something new to me is going to Aldi's and a greater focus to the Dollar General. I am going to split my grocery list into two parts: Part 1 will be Aldi's. Here is where my meat, fish, poultry, fruits, breads and veggies will come from and tonight I'll be researching coupons. Part 2 will be Dollar General. Here is where my milk, eggs and other household staples will come from, assuming the price is better than Aldi's. I am going to try to find where to print Aldi coupons and stay faithful to the grocery list each week.

If anyone knows of a fast, efficient site to download and print Aldi and/or Dollar General coupons, I'd be most grateful.

Oddly enough....loose change has been hard to come by on the streets. Maybe others are catching on...hahahahah

Another NSD and another deposit into the Loose Change Account

July 5th, 2017 at 10:10 pm

So, after checking, re-checking, trying to remember, searching through my suit pockets for any receipts, slips of paper, loose change, etc., I am proud to report my second (and consecutive) NSD! Nothing spent. Not a plugged nickel! Seems like I should reward myself?!?!?!?! Does anyone self-reward for NSD's? If so, how?!

Also, I checked my Capital One CC rewards and found $3.06 just sitting there. I "cashed out" and made a deposit into my Loose Change Account. Check out my side bar for the current transaction information.

Also, might I add....I LOVE THIS BLOG SITE!

NSD and Punishment Delivered

July 5th, 2017 at 01:05 am

So, for the first time in July (and the first time ever for that matter), I opened my daily spend log and entered NSD!!!!!! For some, this may not sound like a big deal but for me, it's a very special occasion. I am very pleased with the fact that I didn't spend a plugged nickel today!

Also, for those who read my blog yesterday, you'll see my "foolish move of the week" being the purchase of two greeting cards at a major grocery store for $10.78. This evening, I calculated the cost of two greeting cards at my local Dollar General (DG) being $1.00 each with $.08 tax for a total of $2.16, subtracted it from my actual spend of $10.78 and transferred said $8.62 to my Loose Change Account.

Still not sure what I am going to do with the Loose Change Account but it sure is fun having a place to watch the little things add up to bigger ones!

I am both angry and disappointed

July 3rd, 2017 at 02:29 pm

So, this morning I and a co-worker decided to work "out of the office". Our location, believe it or not, is a mega-grocery store with a very nice mobile office facility upstairs whereby you can access Wi-Fi, etc.

I was in need of two greeting cards. Usually I visit my local Dollar General and purchase them at a cost between $.50 and $1.00 (less 8% tax of course). Today, for the sake of convenience and "so I don't forget", I found two that I needed and proceeded to checkout. The total...$10.78!

I am left feeling angry and disappointed in myself over my rush to check it off my list knowing full well the financial penalty I would pay (and did). Assuming I paid $1.08 for each card (including tax)at the DG, totaling $2.16 and taking that amount from my actual spend of $10.78, I need to find just "punishment" for the $8.62.

Thoughts?

Loose Change Account

July 1st, 2017 at 04:22 pm

Ok. I have been thinking about this for a long time. On my dresser is a canister about the size of a can of coffee (not the big fatty, rather, the normal refill size). Whenever I have any spare change, which is rare as I usually do not carry/use cash, I toss it in. I am always scouring the ground for "droppings" and sometimes, hit on a few pennies. This morning, while reviewing my cash rewards via my new Capital One Quicksilver account which pays 1.5% on all charges, I noticed that after only two weeks of usage with a total balance paid of $205.00, I have earned $3.06. Theoretically, this could net me about ~$6.00/month. Not a lot, however, $72.00/year supports some nice stocking stuffers!!!!! I'll take it.

At any rate, I was thinking, do any of you have tips or tricks to capturing small earnings? Little things that require little to no commitment and/or efforts other than bending, stooping or surfing?

I look forward to your brilliance.

Start Base as of June 30, 2017

June 30th, 2017 at 08:52 pm

Debt:

Credit Card 1 - Balance $0 - Netflix, Cell, Internet, SJCH Donation, Auto Insurance are auto charged each month for a total of $230.00

Credit Card 2 - Balance $0 - Misc charges include but are not limited to food/groceries, entertainment, household needs, kids needs, etc. Monthly charges ~$770.00 (Wow, when I put it on paper, it really is way too high). Eating out is the big killer....so easy and less stressful...this has got to change)

Mortgage - Original Loan Amount - $108K. Balance - ~$96K. $952.00/mo includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI)

Car - $240.00/mo

Electric - ~$90.00/mo

Refuse - $17.00/mo

Support - $725.00/mo

Total Monthly Debt: ~$3,024.00

Income:

Rental Income - $95.00/mo

Military Benefit - $130.00/mo

Salary (including auto stipend) - $4,100.00/mo

Total Monthly Income: ~$4,325.00

Debt to Income: ~$1,293.00

Non Winter Savings Commitment: ~$1,000.00/mo
Winter Savings Commitment (differentiator is propane for heat at ~$500.00/mo): ~$500.00/mo

Miscellaneous Funds (cash, unplanned expense(s), etc.): ~$293.00

Savings/Investments:

Roth IRA - $5,412.06 - Balance as of 7/1/17 (for Tax Year 2017 fully funded)

Emergency Fund - $2,143.02 - Balance as of 7/1/17 (Every $10K saved in E.F. supports a $5K transfer to the Capital One 360 MMA)

Capital One 360 MMA - Balance as of 7/1/17 - $50,226.58

It's been a "long and winding road", but I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel, coming out of the darkness and satisfied my family is not only financially stable but protected for years to come.

Life is Full of Goals

June 30th, 2017 at 02:43 am

So, I work to save 20% of my net income (after ensuring a full tax year contribution to my Roth IRA and Emergency Fund Deposit). One of my goals toward financial freedom (errrrr, ummmmmm, early retirement via debt elimination versus retirement income only) is to eliminate my mortgage. Now, I know I can do this by simply selling my home, investing the proceeds and renting a small, one bedroom apartment allowing the property manager to shovel the snow, mow the lawn and take out the garbage. Rather, I'd like to leave my children a bit of a nest egg partially in the form of home equity by pounding away at the principal. I am a very visual man. Watching the balance drop each month is extremely motivating to me. I am going to try to share my success (or failure) with you all and hopefully gain some insight along the way.


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