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February 5th, 2015 at 03:30 pm

So we paid off tires: $622 and personal debt $500. And we put $3500 towards EF.

Which brings us to credit card debt to $5,030 and car $15666.
We still need $1500 for EF, before we will start working on credit card debt.

Unexpected

February 3rd, 2015 at 09:13 pm

I've been out of loop for last 3 weeks ,because of some news from my doctor. It is not bad news, just something we never thought about. Because of this I was I total denial and withdrawal and now I need to revisit our goals.

On good note, I received my tax refund today. I am planning to pay personal debt and pay off tires and rest put on EF. I know it is advices to pay cc debt as fast possible, but I feel like not fully funded EF and paid off cc not very good in emergency situation. So this time, I will fully fund EF, before making extra payments on cc.

Family time

January 19th, 2015 at 05:12 am

We craved in and went to movie theater to see Big hero 6 movie. It is was good, kids enjoyed, I think we enjoyed as much as them. Tickets was $12 for all 4 of us and popcorn and drinks with unlimited refills was $13. So $25. I guess whole next week we will be staying in and enjoying free activities as family.

I was amazed how my kids grew over last half year, we went to movie theater last time in summer and they was talking, moving a lot, especially little one. This time they was both quiet and watch and enjoyed movie.

Christmas/birthday/vacation fund

January 17th, 2015 at 02:07 am

Ok, the week is not done yet, but I was able to earn other $5.00 cash from gifthulk, which brings total to $45.50. But I do worry about my $5 target GC from swagbucks, which is under revision for some reason.

I have points on other sites, which I think I better redeem soon.

Mypoints have enough for $5.00 GC
Valued opinion for $20 GC or cash
My soapbox has $12.00 available to redeem for GC also
I have InboxDollars around $26.00, but won't able to redeem until I hit $30
So, around $63 in rewards.

All this online rewards are not main resources for this funds, just little additions, which will help little by little.

Here is plan:

Bing search rewards
26 points daily 317 days , about 18 $5 GC or $90
16 points daily 317 days, about 17 $3 GC or $51

Gifthulk
Really not sure, since I am new, but I already managed receive $15.00, so hopefully $5.00 a month , so $50 cash

Swagbucks
Lately it is not crediting good and takes too much time, I will be lucky if I get to $5.00 a month, so other $50

Other sites I don't consider, since it is too much time, well let say we get $20 in whole year from other sites.

Shopkicks app
Let's say $5.00 a month, so $50

So I hope from online activities: $310 plus whatever I already earn, let's say $450-$500.

I know it is not much, but it will cover half of birthday fund.

Need plans... Better plans

January 13th, 2015 at 11:08 pm

Ok, if I want to win this game, I better have plan. I had one for years, but I think it is too perfect and unrealistic for everyday life. Like for example not eating out, it is hard when something come up and it is no way to cook meal, but going out it is always around $25-$30 minimum for 4 of us. Of course, it is just one example, but almost every other week something comes up, which ruin grand plan

So I will start slow - with most unpleasant task for me cooking. Don't get me wrong, I love to bake and make new interesting dishes. But when it becomes daily task: morning, noon, evening - 365 days a year, it gets old fast.

I did research before and have whole pinterest wall, what to cook, how to cook ahead or cook once a month, it just never worked out right. My husband and my son loooove meat/chicken and need daily, especially my husband he works outside and has have physical job. My son always hungry, but he is 2 and he is growing, so that explains. My daughter and me on other hand not meat lovers, while I will eat time to time or have smaller portions, my daughter will have one bite if at all. Plus on top both kids are allergic. And of course, each of us have preferred dishes, which of course all different. So when I normally sit down, instead a plan I have a headache.

So for the rest of month(18 days, about 2.5 weeks) I have $192.12, which means we spend more than half of our grocery money. Now my plan to cook ahead at least 3 dinners and lunches. Plus I read online about stocking up on essential food items every week using only $5-$10, so in case of emergency(for us simply running out of money) you have everything you need for 2-3 month.

I planning to make separate post with all our meal plans and items for emergency(with updates), so it easy to track and I can see it all it one place.

Christmas/birthday/vacation fund

January 12th, 2015 at 06:20 am

I know we suppose to save for EF first, but this money I earn doing stuff online, which most of the time come as gift cards, so not much of use for emergency.

So as Jan, 11-2015 here my earnings:

GC for Target $5.00 from swagbucks
Cash $25.00 from swagbucks
Cash $5.00 from gifthulk
Cash $5.00 from gifthulk
Cash $0.50 from qmee

With total: $40.50

I am not sure yet in which exactly fund it will go Christmas, or birthday, or vacation, but total for all funds need to be $5000 before December, 1-2015. This equivalents to saving $15.40 daily, which is quiet impossible right now, but I hope it will turn around.

Long time needed update

January 12th, 2015 at 06:07 am

Wow, I didn't post almost for year. Reading back it seems we didn't do any progress, but instead slid even in more bigger debt. While debt on car went down (paid $3500 in principal), credit card/personal debt went up for $1200, emergency fund left with $140 only. This is disaster. While I know, where things went wrong, I really need my husband be on the same side every month, every week, every day, not just when money is tight. What should I do?

Our progress

February 18th, 2014 at 05:55 am

My husband and I signed up for Dave Ramsey financial peace university. I am grateful that church waived fee for us. Finally, I can say my husband is on the same page with me.

So here our insight on our financials:

We paid off 2 credit cards and personal debt, so we have 2 cards to go and car loan. We was able to save $1500 for emergency fund, still need $1000 so, until we pay off rest of debt. My online survey taking, swagbucks and etc, brought us $100 in cash for Christmas plus $25 gift card for kids clothes and $20 gift card for my husband for Christmas or birthday. Also we still participating in 365 days for each kid and 52 weeks challenge, so we have around $38.00 and $36.00.

Of course all of this saving didn't come easy, my husband had to do multiple gigs and tax refund helped. Not to mention we live in very tight budget, where is no room for entertainment or eating out or any extra purchases except basic necessities, like diapers, soap and etc.

Update and week #2

January 15th, 2014 at 05:41 am

So my husband pulled it off, he had extra job and we was able to pay rent, insurance, tuition for school and cell phone bill. I am just hoping the days will be good and he will have a lot job and tips. Unfortunately, we do have food benefits., and it feels horrible. Insurance is full coverage, but not from bank. We transferred from our old car. We did try to follow Dave Ramsey method with car, but it back fired. So we took loan on practically new SUV with high percent( almost 8%). My husband just building credit, he never had credit cards, so credit not as good as I wish. But I guess we have to suck it up and deal with it for awhile.
So for this month we still have to pay credit cards, internet, and car. I wish I can use GC from Christmas fund, but they are from stores and I don't shop at the stores until I seriously needed. We have huge stockpile, well it is getting smaller, but probably will last maybe 2-4 month(household items).
So our primary money suckers a bills. And food taken care with food stamps for now.

Unfortunately I did take $77 out of house fund and $1 from emergency fund, but hopefully I will outed back next week, otherwise I keep putting coins in kids jar and I put $2.00 for week #2.

Also while going thru last year finance we realize where we did mistake. We read financial peace book and 1st step was to save $1000 and 2nd step was pay off credit cards. We did that 2 steps and for a moment we fill great, but then things went out control, my husband didn't had enough hours, weather was bad, car breakdown. So emergency fund get drained, and when job didn't picked it up credit cards went in use. I did had to put some of the bills, badly most of them on credit card. So from now on we want save at least $2500 for emergency and only then start paying down cards and the same time adding at least $100 a month to emergency fund until we reach $5000, and only then pay all extra money to credit cards. I am just hoping this plan won't backfire this time.

First week of 2014

January 7th, 2014 at 05:37 am

I finally made budget, and it consists only bills and no room to wiggle. While I realize long time ago, that our finances start going down the hill, I didn't realize how long it will take us to claim back.

I am thankful for the snow and to be honest we need more 3-4 inches snowfalls around here. I know everybody hate it, but it is money for our family (my husband cleans snow as side job). So for us it is practically money falling from the sky.

Now back to reality, I received letter saying if I won't pay car insurance by 16, it will be cancelled. It is $320.00. Also landlord send message today, saying that he didn't receive rent yet. My husband's main job was closed today, so no check today. But even with check I won't be able to pay whole amount($840). And next check only next Monday. But as next Monday will roll in we will have other bills to pay. It is like never ending cycle. I am so afraid that we will be kicked out of apartment with 2 little ones in this cold.

On positive note, I rediscovered swagbucks site. With outstanding points and some surveys I can get couple gift cards. Also I was able to redeem some gift cards from shopkick add. I found that one of survey site I used couple years ago still have my rewards and I can redeem for gift cards also. And my husband get $10.00 gift card for target as tip. So all of the gift cards or actual money equivalent from them(if I use them), will go towards Christmas budget for kids and family. I still need set up how much do we need, because we have extended family, who shows up around holidays (grrr), but nowhere to found when you need them.

And I sold one item on Facebook, after all expenses $3.30 profit, well better than nothing, anyways I planned to return it, so this goes toward down payment for house also.

6 days of non spending/ 25 to go, or as my husband said 359 to go.

What is you New Year resolutions?

January 2nd, 2014 at 05:06 pm

Well, my first resolution obviously get finance under control. While we have budget every single month and all, but we in financial hole.

Second, get home organized, not just clean and everything in place. I want it be free of clutter, I want to change the way we look at the life. I want my kids and husband realize that things don't make people happy, family is what important. I feel like everything is money related, even holidays all about money, not joy.

Also I decide to use mypoints.com site to get some gift cards for next after holiday shopping. They have $50.00 gift card for children's place for around 7,000 points. Which means I have to get about 20 points every day for whole year. Counting that children's place after holiday have $1.99 and $3.99 sale plus you can use coupon, we talking about half of winter wardrobe for my son here.

So my goals are saving and decluttering and everything in between.

DAILY STATS for January,2

365 day challenge- 1 jar for each kid - $0.03 each
Returned items in target and get back $102.57 wow what did we bought.
Paid credit card $100.00
Put gas $30.01
Cat food $7.34
Gymboree $13.90 (need return wrong size, so it is offset this amount)
Grocery $3.04+$20.11-$3.18=$19.97

Well, no budget for January yet. I need kids in the bed and some quiet time.

Let's the year begin.

January 2nd, 2014 at 06:57 am

So today we sat down with my husband and decide to discuss our financial situation. It is in horrible state right now. He had bad month and was not bringing much needed money, unfortunately because of that we have outstanding bills, which need to be addressed.
But we decide that for month of January we are in non spending band. Only the items can be bought is food, gas for car, food for cat(we out, otherwise I would not even buy that) and bills. Also we decide to participate in 52 weeks challenge and 365 day challenge multiple twice. 52 weeks challenge would be great for emergency fund and 365 day for kids birthdays and Christmas presents.

So here:
January, 1st $0.01 for E, $0.01 for D.
Food budget is $350.00

Tomorrow I will sit down and will do budget for January. Yikes. I don't want to even know how much we own.