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The wallet is CLOSED for good

January 2nd, 2023 at 08:40 pm

Or Zelle transfers, cash handing out, debit card loaning... whatever you want to call it - it's done. I lent my son $2000 for rent on Dec. 31 - and I said, I'm done. No free money in 2023. I love my kiddos DEARLY. But why do I need to pick up the slack when they aren't giving 100% first? My DIL could be working more, taking on more clients... but she doesn't. It never really bothered me until today when I realized that I KEEP ENABLING THESE KIDDOS! I have to stop. 

We did some good things last year. Spent some good money. Took care of our family... but I have to get this money to start working for us! Lending it out helps no one. So, the answer is NO. Sorry, it's tied up. #sorrynotsorry

I have tax/IRS stuff to work on this month. I need to find a new accountant, and also maybe a financial planner. We did well saving money this year and we also paid down a FULL year off the end of my mortgage and saved 31K in interest already. I just updated my sidebar... Loan was 538K on July 1, and on Jan 1, we owe 527K. We are just going to keep at it. I don't want the payment anymore. 

I did my budget for first half of 2023, and we were able to cut in some areas... for example: We've been with Verizon for 20 years?! My husband had a chance to Beta with Boost Mobile through his work and is paying $15 a month for what he was paying $100 for before. He can't move the family lines over yet, but we will eventually. I need to get out of this brand loyality mindset. It screws me every time. 

I keep hearing about "when this is all over, when things go back to normal..." Why would they ever? If they have us paying $9 for a dozen eggs, why would they EVER lower it back down to $0.99? 

In other news, I have been with my new bank for almost a year... and was just offered the Chief of Staff position for the Mobile App organization. WHICH IS WAY COOL. Except, HR considered it a lateral move, so there was zero increase in pay. And that makes me mad. It will be soooo much more work. Especially my new boss... no kids, no family, works 24/7... He is super fair, and hated that he couldn't give me $$, so he let me know he would make up for it at bonus time NEXT Feb. (my bonus and merit for this Feb. is already figured out). I believe he will, but that's a long time. So, that motivated me to say no to the kids, and also cut down on spending where I can. A reverse pay increase?! Wink

Okay, that's it for now... I need to head to the grocery store. Using gift cards I got for Christmas. Smile

Love me a good payday

July 8th, 2022 at 03:37 pm

When I worked at my previous employer, I was paid on the 15th and last day of the month for 16 years. My new employer pays me every other Friday. Another reason why I really wanted to simplify our situation. I had to move due dates around to make our new structure work, originally. Now it's easy. My husband gets paid on Friday's, the opposite schedule though... so we get paid every Friday. I know you all understand - when you are in a pay down scenario - you can't wait for those paydays to hit! 

This was the paycheck that initially funded our new Roth IRAs - so I got to transfer the money this morning!

Also put $400 to our Escrow - Home account (property taxes and homeowners ins), and $600 to our Escrow - Other account (once a year bills, vacation, celebrations, medical). And then I had to pay off the Costco card we used this week (budgeted $400 a month for that, came up $21 over, but had a buffer in my checking I could use to pay in full).Utilities are in this paycheck, $485 went to them. And then some other bills got paid. 

I mentioned my daughter is getting married - by the way of the courthouse - today, and then we are taking his immediate family (and their kids/spouses) and ours out to dinner to celebrate. There are 23 of us?! I have $800 cash set aside for tonight's dinner - I think it could be a bit more than that, with the tip. I have extra cash earmarked in future paydays this month to help with any overages there. 

Gaah - I am excited for my daughter! Should be a great day, albeit a bit hot... I think we're supposed to hit 109*. 

Well, all the bills are now paid. I think I'll sit down in the morning to make our meal plan for next week. We did really good this week. Only spent that $59 at Aldi, and then we spent $35 yesterday for lunch out. Otherwise, good spending week!

Planning our meals

July 3rd, 2022 at 10:32 pm

I will admit it here, and maybe only here... I am a brand SNOB. I VERY rarely purchase store brand, off brand or regional branded items. So dumb, and such a waste. Part of this finance overhaul for us is to get our grocery budget under control. 

Right now, it's me, my husband and our 15 year old son living at home that we feed. My 23 year old daughter lives in our attached casita - that has a small, functional kitchen (thank gosh for the invention of air fryers and rice cookers!). After this Friday, her new husband will move in with us. While I want them to live as independently as possible, we do love a good family meal. The issue is, we shop as if we are still doing so for 5 people plus kids' friends/girlfriends/boyfriends. So, I need to learn how to scale back for most of the week, and then make a nice family meal on Saturdays to feed up to 7.5 people (counting my 1 year old grand daughter there). The kids don't always take us up on it, but I think once a month is doable.

We just got an Aldi in our community, and our Costco is so close to being finished (right now, we have to drive 15 miles to the closest one - what a chore). We also have Walmart, a Safeway and a Fry's (Kroger). We spend a LOT of money at Costco. We buy all of our meat there. I've been in Aldi's a few times, but I need to see if I can start to really leverage it to lower our food budget. I've also thought about using Walmart pick up for some of the items that are cheaper there. My cinnamon applesauce - MUCH cheaper at Walmart than Fry's or Safeway, for the same exact product and sizing. I love a good challenge, and love coming up with a plan, so I am determined to come up with meal plans, shopping lists and trying out a few new places (all close enough to make sense). Safeway is the closest, but ABSOLUTELY the most expensive.

I've been watching YouTube videos and checking out Pinterest for ideas. Here's one other thing... I've changed up my lifestyle 2 years ago after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I've lost 60 lbs so far, workout every single day (walks, weights, dancing!) and I try to eat as whole as possible. I can't settle for pasta every night just cuz it's cheap. I can't compromise that... I JUST CAN'T. This means my challenge is even MORE of a challenge! 

Here's my meal plan for the week. I will likely go out early tomorrow to grab anything I don't have to make it work.

Week of July 3 - Dinner Plan

Sunday - leftover Green Chili Tacos and (fresh) Spanish rice

Monday - BBQ Drumsticks, Mashed Potatoes Corn on the Cob and Corn Bread 

Tuesday - Ground Beef Taco Salad Bowls

Wednesday - Ramen, chicken and veggies

Thursday - Green Chili Chicken Chili

Friday - Dinner out for daughter's wedding (more on that later)

Saturday - Carne Asada and grilled veggies


Well, that was scary!

February 23rd, 2022 at 05:02 pm

In my first post, I shared that I just started with a new company, making 35K more (base salary only) a year. With my sign-on bonus, I am paying off our 2017 Toyota Tundra, which only has 45,000 miles on it, and we owe $10,541. Waiting for that money to be desposited any day now. That monthly payment will free up some cash, to the tune of $625. Just in time for student loan payments to start back up - interest only right now is $620 a month (that's for another post, on another day).

When I took this job, I swore I would use the extra money to pay down debt and to save. Being my usual self, I got scared and only selected 5% contribution to my 401K. Even though the company matches up to 6%. Dumb. I don't know what it is - I just like more cash in my checking account, I guess?

So, yesterday, I got real brave and changed my contribution to 10%. Mind you, I've received two paychecks so far, and neither of them had benefits or pretax items deducted yet. I won't know what my real paycheck is until March 4. I think (don't quote me) that means I'll have $654 a paycheck now going into my retirement account. After taxes, my husband and I both put $200 a paycheck into our credit union savings. I'll have to delve into savings more another time.

Since I did such a good thing, I called my husband up and told him he needs to change his contriibution to 10% asap. He told me it is already at 10%. LOL. 

Finally, when I logged into my accounts this morning, I saw that my old bank (job), made a deposit into my 401K. So, I am up about another 6K. Now... I need to make some decisions about what to do with it -- do I roll it into my new 401k? Can you have two 401Ks? Or do I leave it as is? Or do I put it into an IRA. So many questions!