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Archive for March, 2014

Paid Bills

March 31st, 2014 at 10:46 am

It's the end of the month, and my husband's paycheck is pending deposit. I went ahead and recorded all the bills that automatically draft this next pay period. First is the mortgage payment of $1,415 which included an extra $103+ as a principal payment. Smile

I also went online and made a large payment on our Southwest card. It was $961.70 to cover our recent Honda maintenance expense, our cell phone bill and other miscellaneous spending from last pay period. There is still a balance on the card. Much of that is some travel expenses by my husband. We should get most of the reimbursement very soon. I'm hoping tomorrow. Once we do I will send all that in and get the card down to zero again.

I set aside $50 for Christmas, $114 towards our auto registration and insurance, and the $57 for the 52 Weekly Savings Challenge. I wrote one check for a school field trip and another for a flute lesson later tonight. I will be getting cash out for allowances, and another future flute lesson. Oh yes, some of the cash I need to get is for my daughter's birthday. She received a check for her birthday and she wanted me to get cash for it.

At this point, I plan to send the check for our taxes late next week, around April 11. We have the $413 in our account now, so I can mail anytime. I'm just waiting as long as I can to pay! I will go ahead and right the check, and stamp and address the envelope. I sure don't want to forget to pay the government.

I'm waiting to hear about the $100 credit I have on my US Bank card. I want them to mail me a check, but I have not heard back yet. The credit is from those Ooma referrals I received. If they won't send a check, I will use the card to pay a utility bill and just take the difference to send to the mortgage.

Are you paid on the first of the month? Do you record all your bills for that pay period right away? Or only record when it actually happens?

Taxes Filed, But Not Paid

March 30th, 2014 at 06:44 pm

I finally filed our tax returns on FreeTaxUSA. I paid $9.72 to file both returns. I even went through Ebates to get another 25% back. Smile

As I have known for awhile, we owe $413 in Federal taxes. The first time we have owed in quite some time, but not a big deal. I will likely write a check, to avoid any additional fees from using a credit card. If I needed to pay right away or meet a credit card spending requirement then I would be willing to pay the fee.

I will send the payment in the next two weeks, of course, so that we aren't late. Have you filed your taxes? Are you waiting until the last minute because you owe money?

I Decided What to Do

March 30th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I guess my procrastination did not pay. The Discover reward gift cards I was looking at are no longer available! I really wanted to use $80 in rewards to get a Lowe's $100 gift card. It is no longer an option for me. That did help me to decide.

I'm taking the cash! It will be in our bank account in 72 hours. Of course, soon after we know that I will be sending it into the mortgage.

I made an Amazon purchase today for my husband's razor blades, which will likely last him over a year, maybe two! I used $10 in AGC that I received from Swagbucks earlier this month, AND $9.79 in Discover rewards on his account. I still had to pay over $9 out of pocket, but now I can see the matching rewards to mortgage. Smile

It all feels good. I like using rewards to pay for things, even the mortgage!

My Ooma Snowflake Arrived

March 28th, 2014 at 06:45 pm

I have received my referral rewards from Ooma! I had five worth $20 each, so $100 total. The money has been credited to my US Bank Visa. I had have a zero balance on the card and I have left it open because I knew these credits were coming soon. I'm also waiting for a $25 gift card reward from US Bank. I'm not closing the card until I receive ALL my rewards! Smile

I'm not sure how I will get that $100 credit. I could make a purchase and use it up, or request a check. I am undecided at the moment. So many rewards and decisions to make lately! All good, of course. Smile

I did notice there was a banner on the SA blog page for a Citi Thank You Preferred card. I clicked on it. The offer is $200 for spending $1500. Not the best reward ever, but not terrible either. I know DH has not had this card yet, so I'm thinking about it. However, he may need to wait a month or two to apply.

I Can't Decide!

March 28th, 2014 at 06:24 am

I can't decide how to redeem our first Discover reward of $150. Cash is what I was planning and expecting when I applied for the card. However, there are options to redeem for gift cards. One example of why this is a good deal: a $100 Lowe's gift card for $80 of our rewards.

The Lowe's card is one we would definitely use with summer coming. We plan to do some painting, fertilize the lawn, and plant a few bushes.

The other gift cards aren't overly appealing. Lots of restaurants and places we don't shop. Of course, I'm sure I could find something! I also know our only choice for redeeming our $500+ in rewards on the Southwest Visa, besides an airline ticket, is gift cards. That is a lot of gift cards!

What would you do? Is the cash better, or is getting the most value better?

A Shopping Date

March 27th, 2014 at 01:16 pm

I had another entry I had started to type, but my husband came home early from work! That rarely happens. Smile

He was motivated to get some new running shoes, which he was overdue for. So we went on a shopping date to get him a pair. I browsed the clearance racks while he found a pair he liked. I didn't buy anything since I know I will be a smaller size in no time, might as well wait a bit longer. He found a pair for $99. I have no clue if they were on sale or not. I did provide my store rewards card, and he used a rewards credit card for the purchase. He will get lots of use out them since he needs to stay in shape for the Army.

Now he has left again to get his workout in. The nice thing is he will be home earlier in the evening to have a little more time with his family! Yep. That makes me happy!

Do you ever get to leave work early? How often to do you leave early?

Discover Is Lying

March 26th, 2014 at 05:30 am

Good news. Bad news.

Good news, MY Discover statement closed yesterday. This is the first one since I met the spending requirement and my $150 bonus was awarded! Woo Hoo!! Now I get to decide if I take gift cards or cash. I REALLY want cash, but I know that I get more for my reward dollars if I take the gift cards. I'll be browsing those later.

So Discover seems to be lying! My husband met the spending requirement as of his last statement in early March. No bonus reward applied. I inquired. They stated it would take 8 plus weeks to be applied. I responded that I'm aware others have received it much sooner. The next response was similar but indicated it would be applied the next time the statement closes. This is now early April. The fifth of the month I think. So they are lying...or their customer service is incompetent. At this point, I'm just going to wait. It is not worth the stress and effort to get the reward 10 earlier than I'm currently expecting it. Now if it is NOT applied on the 5th...I will not be happy.

Okay...the good news is there is a reward!! I will focus on the good news. Smile

Little Snowflakes & More

March 25th, 2014 at 11:53 am

I received a $3 Pinecone survey payment last week. Just today I requested that money be moved from my Paypal account to our checking account.

I also ordered two $5 Amazon.com gift cards from Swagbucks last week. I got them the next day! I have never received any redemption from them so fast. For now, those are loaded on our Amazon account, until our next purchase. I will officially account for them as snowflakes when used. I also plan to use the $9+ in Discover rewards when I make that next Amazon.com purchase. It is the only way I can get those last rewards off that card! Smile

Not sure if I wrote about this yet. We HAVE met the $2000 spending requirement on DHs Southwest Visa and then some. I noticed my husband put some more work trip transactions on there today. I don't see another worthwhile Southwest offer for me to apply for. I think we are at a little standstill for now with credit card offers. There are not any compelling offers that we haven't already done in the last year. But the cash and gift cards have not yet arrived for the recent cards, so there will be some big snowflakes soon.

I still need to finish our taxes. I'm pretty sure I've entered everything in. We owe $413. I was going to put this on that Southwest card, but we spent up to the minimum before I could get the taxes filed. I expect I will just pay by check and avoid the fee. Is it right that I can file and wait to mail the check by April 15? I think it is and I'm sure I can look that up to be sure.

I did write a post on my other blog today about a discussion we had with our girls the other day. Oh, and in fitness news, I have done 30 minutes of cardio the last two mornings and lifted weights. I feel so much better! I'm on track to meet my fitness goals this month. Yippee!!

Birthday Spending

March 23rd, 2014 at 05:26 pm

My daughter turns 17 tomorrow. Amazing how fast the time goes! Adults would tell me this all the time. I just never believed them. I do now. Smile

We gave her $60 cash, a $15 iTunes gift card, a necklace from Etsy and a large candy bar that she likes. We also took her to lunch at Panera today, where we spent about $35. We also picked up ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery. Those cost $13, but it is a tradition she likes. In the end we spent about $150 on her. She was happy and we were glad to shower her with treats and gifts.

We will eat those cupcakes after we have homemade pizza for dinner tomorrow night. We have stretched out the celebrating since her birthday is on a weekday...and the first day back from Spring Break!

We are stocked up on groceries for what I hope is the rest of the month. There could be a couple of fresh veggies we will need next weekend. I have gas in my vehicle. I have cash for the flute lesson. I can think of a few other minor expenses, but it should be low key in spending for the week. I like that!!

Do you expect a frugal week ahead? Is the end of the month tight on cash for you? Did we overspend on our daughter?

52 Week Savings Update

March 21st, 2014 at 06:29 am

My 52 Week Savings Challenge is on auto pilot. I really only think about the challenge when I need to record another deposit, which is twice per month. I deposit $57 each time. My current balance is now $409!

I still don't have any particular plans for this cash. It doesn't hurt to save more money, right?!

What is the balance of your 52 Week Savings?

Quick Fitness Note

March 20th, 2014 at 04:04 pm

I didn't get to the gym until late today because I didn't have a car! After we picked it up, I stopped by the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I burned 335 calories in 33 minutes. Now I can eat dinner! Smile

I checked my stats for the month. I have exercised 14 times this month...the goal is 20. I have also lifted weights 5 times, with a goal of 10. I really should have lifted weights today, but I can say that I did 20 squats and 20 push ups with my daughter earlier and that is definitely a little strength training!!

The maintenance on the truck for 60,000 miles came to $483+, which we did put on the Southwest card. We have now met that spending requirement. I think I will be applying for my own Southwest card next, if the 50,000 rewards points is still around. If not, I will be looking for something better.

How are you exercise goals coming along this month? It isn't too late to make a goal for the next 11 days. You can do something for your health right? Let's do it!!

Maintenance Spending & More

March 20th, 2014 at 07:30 am

We have the truck at the Honda Dealer today. It was due for an oil change, tire rotation and one of the fluids replaced. As it turns out the mileage is nearly 60,000 which means it is time for some other fluid maintenance as well. We do follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and have found that it really pays off. It's another reason Honda vehicles last so long. Of course it does cost some cash! The estimate is about $400 for all the things that we are having done today.

This wasn't planned exactly, but we set cash aside knowing these things come up, so no worries. We will put it on the Southwest card and likely meet the $2000 minimum spending after that charge. I actually still have items I planned to charge on the card to meet the minimum...so it seems it could be time for a new card already!

In other financial news, I was able to cash out Bing Rewards for a 500 Swagbucks code. I have not redeemed it yet. I should just do it whenever, as I'm not keeping up with Swagbucks this month. I needed a break. I also claimed a $15 Amazon gift card from Lean Cuisine Delicious Rewards. It already arrived by email and I applied it to our Amazon account. That's another snowflake!

I'm still on track with my workouts, although a little behind on my weight lifting goal. I think I may see a change on the scale this week! Smile

I think today will consist of some spring cleaning. We need to get that cat hair out from under the beds. And while we have the beds moved, we might as well strip off the quilts and wash those as well.

Happy Spring SA friends!

Snowflake In The Mail

March 19th, 2014 at 09:16 am

We were away for a few days visiting a college for my daughter, thus the lack of posts for the last few days. When we returned, there was a check in the mail. (Just imagined some angels singing for that one!) It was for a refund of some vitamins that were 'guaranteed to work or your money back'. They have worked a little, but thought we could still get some of the money back we have spent on them. The amount was $25. I think I actually spent less than that for one bottle. It must be the amount the give regardless of what you spent. I will get that check deposited and sent off to the mortgage.

My daughter wasn't feeling well yesterday when we returned so we skipped her flute lesson. Saved $20 for the time being. We hope to get with her accompanist soon to practice her flute solo. More money to shell out for that, so this savings can likely go to that cost.

My daughter got a free T-shirt on her college visit for filling out a survey. Of course, we did pay $10 each when we registered for the visit. Thus I'm sure those funds went towards our meals, parking and that T shirt! Smile

The trip also consisted of a few snacks along the way, fuel and one stop at Subway. It was fairly inexpensive, since my parents provided several meals and free lodging. Appreciate that!

That is the financial news of late. Have you received a free meal recently? Did you get any snowflakes in the mail?

Debt Paid:YTD

March 15th, 2014 at 09:12 am

It is a little odd that I don't think of our mortgage as debt in the same way I do our credit cards, or loans when we had those. I definitely don't like having a mortgage or paying interest on it, but I do just accept it as a fact of life in some regards.

As you know, we are paying extra on our mortgage debt this year. It feels good, even though I know we will not pay it off before we move. I think of the principal payments as savings in a way. Theoretically, we will get that cash back when we move and sell the house. Of course, if use a realtor, they will get a cut. And if the house were to decline in value, that would cut into that profit as well. This time around the housing market seems to be going in our favor. We likely will make a little money when we sell. Smile

So we have made progress on the mortgage this year. We have $3,758.59 less mortgage debt than we did at the beginning of the year. We are ahead of our goal by over $260! We are definitely on track to pay off over $14K this year.

It is so fun to see the progress and actually see the steps I planned work to make the goal come to reality. It's not so hard when you have a plan!

Have you made any new goals for your money this year? How are the ones you made coming along? Are you behind, ahead or right on track?

I had to edit this post as I realized I missed our January regular principal payment of over $400 in my year to date total. Instead of being slightly behind we are ahead. Glad I caught the error. I feel even better about where we are!

Southwest Credit Card Update

March 14th, 2014 at 09:18 am

We activated our Southwest credit card just last week before my husband had a trip to Chicago. We need to spend $2000 to get our 50,000 Reward points that we can claim for $500 in gift cards. We already half way there!

_$361.87 Trip expenses
_$433.10 Auto insurance 6 month premium
_$172.23 Electric Bill (cold winter)
__$63.66 Truck Fuel
___$7.70 Subway (DH)
__$55.96 Van Fuel
__$15.91 Haircut (ME)
$1110.43 Total Spent on Card

I plan to put our tax payment of about $415, donations of $150, our wireless bill of about $150, a few birthday gifts. This puts us VERY close to meeting the minimum with our regular spending. I also know we have a mini trip that will have a few expenses and that with spring break next week for my girls we will start looking at clothes. My youngest is going to need a couple things for her DC trip early next month. In other words the spending on this card is really just about a done deal!

In health news, I skipped my workout this morning to get my haircut. I'm going to do a few more things at home this morning, but I still plan to get there around noon to get a treadmill walk in and lift some weights. Tomorrow and Monday will be days off.

Wishing you ALL the best for a super frugal weekend. And Banker Gurl, I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you peace.

Progress: Rewards & Fitness

March 13th, 2014 at 10:52 am

I can finally report another credit card bonus! I feel like these are taking forever to get my hands one, even though I know they are in the works. I had to wait for the statement to cycle closed again before the bonus was available. I could see it there since last month, but it wasn't available to redeem. I was able to redeem $115.76 from US Bank Cash+ Visa card. I had this one applied as a credit. I then owed $33+ which I have already paid. Smile This card offered a $25 bonus if you redeem more than $100. I do get the bonus, but it is a Visa Check card which has to be mailed and takes about 6 weeks to receive. Ugh! Really I am happy about the cash, just frustrated with the delays.

That reward is another snowflake, of course! I sent it in to the mortgage yesterday with $25 from Swagbucks, a Pinecone survey and ATM rebate money recently received. We have $147.27 less debt on our mortgage to pay. Yippee!!

Payday is officially tomorrow, but I have already started paying bills, including credit card balances. Yesterday, I made payments on the US Bank card, my husband's Discover, and our Target Red Card. The paycheck is pending, but will be a hard deposit tomorrow. I think I will spend a few minutes and make a payment on my Discover to get that nearly paid off. I have just another $5 to spend to meet the goal...which I think will happen when I get a car wash later today. I'm also waiting on a refund (I ended up sending that clothes washer part back, since the problem seemed to resolve itself. No more leaking. Anyway, I hoping the refund arrives before the statement closes in less than two weeks. At this rate with Discover we should both get our $150 bonuses in April. I guess I can wait until then. Smile

My snowflake accumulations for March just may not be as high as January and February. My best chance for another big influx for this month is to sell some old furniture (sofa, loveseat, kitchen table and chairs). I let you know when I get those listed and then sold.

The gym workouts continue! I am definitely committed now. I have 10 cardio workouts done and 4 weight lifting sessions complete. I'm already planning ahead to how to fit my workouts around a mini trip we are taking early next week. My husband is on board with the counting of calories, so that is a big help. He is pretty good getting his workouts in when he can as the Army does need fit soldiers. In fact, some of them are working out three days a week at their workplace gym. It just feels good to be making progress towards a fitter me!

Are you inpatient with getting your credit card rewards? Which card do you think rewards the fastest? If you are in on the March Fitness challenge, how are you coming along?

Six Years!!

March 12th, 2014 at 10:58 am

It's my blogoversary! I started blogging six years ago today. Now it is nearly a daily habit to chime in about my(our) financial goals. I can't say I really remember where we were financially six years ago (I'm sure I could go read my old posts), but I know we are better off now then we were then. Blogging really helps make you accountable, when you have realistic attainable goals and great people to cheer you on!

Thanks for reading my nitty gritty financial details and thank you even more for all the positive words and insights. It is most appreciated!

Found Two Pennies

March 11th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I found two pennies in the parking lot in front of the post office today. It made me wonder how much money has been sitting on the ground this winter, or even pushed into snowbanks along the road. I bet there is some money to be found looking in those melting snow piles. Of course, I only found my two cents out in the open. I wasn't digging through dirty snow!

I made it to the gym today! I did my thirty minutes of cardio and got out of there, so I could accomplish more at home. I have now had 8 workouts this month, so getting closer to the goal of 20. I have completed 3 of 10 weight lifting workouts so far, too!

Part of my day did include running a few errands. I need contact solution, bar soap, and a 40 watt light bulb. I also bought a mesh strainer for about $4 on clearance. That was a last minute purchase, but I think I jumped on it because I never see one that low in price. It was the amount I was willing to spend and I know I will use it when rinsing lentils and quinoa.

I went to another grocery store to get my daughter the yogurt she likes. None of the big containers on the shelf. I bought three little ones and will have to go back next week to see if they have the larger containers in stock. I also bought butter, quart of milk, and a strip steak for fajitas later this week.

I didn't pay close attention but I think all of those items I purchased today were close to $50! It might have been a little less, but I sure didn't get much for that money it seemed. I guess some of those things were just pricey though, too.

I claimed the money from another Pinecone survey. I expect that money to be in my Paypal account tomorrow. Another little snowflake on the horizon.

Have you found any money on the ground recently? Do you think yours had been covered by snow for some time?

Exercise & Snowflake Update

March 10th, 2014 at 05:44 am

I did get six workouts in last week. I skipped Saturday and Sunday because of guests. Although my sister kept trying to get me to do some exercise cards...my back just can't do some of those moves! I did lift weights two days last week, so only 8 more of those days to go this month. And I still need 14 cardio workouts. I'm about to leave for the gym to get both cardio and weight lifting in.

The really good news is that by watching calories and exercising more I have lost 7.2 pounds in 21 days. I have much more to lose, but it nice to see the scale change! One day at a time, one meal at a time, it all comes together in meeting a goal. This is similar to saving money, too. Although for me, it takes a little more willpower to watch my food intake. I use myfitnesspal.com to track my calories and exercise. I have logged in for 21 days straight. That part gets a little addictive. I've also been reading blogs on the site to get inspiration. As we here at SA know, reading others successes and struggles is helpful in reaching our goals.

My snowflakes are coming in slow this month. I did use the $25 Target gift card yesterday when I bought groceries. I will send that and the savings from a lower water bill in to the mortgage today. That makes $29.33 for the month of March. There are snowflakes making there way here, but the arrival is unknown for now. Smile

Are you working on a health goal? Did you make a payment towards debt this week? Are you expecting some snowflakes soon?

Lost Sleep

March 9th, 2014 at 01:50 pm

I stayed up way to late the last two nights with company in from out of town. I enjoyed the time, but I am wiped out today. It sure doesn't help that the time changed!

I managed to get to the grocery store (Super Target) and used the $25 gift card in the mail, plus some coupons, my cartwheel coupons and my Red Card to save some cash. The gift card will be included in the snowflakes. I also received another $5 gift card for Target for buying two vitamins. Now I'm stocked up!

Good news on the Southwest card, is that my husband has already spent nearly $350 on his work trip on the card. That will be so helpful. I think there is another trip this month that might help with the spending requirement, too!

The bad news on Discover is that I inquired again on the $150 promotional bonus. This time they stated the time frame to meet the bonus must pass before they apply the bonus, regardless of meeting the spending requirement. Did they tell me what date that is? No. I have now inquired about this specific. I like the Discover website interface and how easy it and helpful it is to use, but the online customer service is vague at best. Not willing to offer up information, unless specifically asked. I have had much better assistance with Chase and Capital One. The bonus is earned. It will arrive. I just need to be patient!

We had limited spending this weekend. About $16 at Subway for dinner last night. And I think $3 at McDonald's as my daughter wanted a snack after she went on an outing with me. A rare occurrence, so I didn't mind that expense. Otherwise, fuel on Friday and groceries today. I like those kind of weekends. I will take them when they occur.

Did you lose sleep this weekend? Did you have any fast food, or company visiting you? Anyone waiting patiently or impatiently on money to arrive?

The Countdown to $500

March 7th, 2014 at 02:44 pm

My husband's Chase Southwest Rapids Rewards Plus Visa arrived today in the mail. I have already activated the cards. The countdown to spend $2000 in the first billing cycle begins! We will receive $500 worth of gift cards once we meet the requirement.

The online account shows the first payment due as March 26, so based on other Chase credit card accounts, I think the statement date will be March 29. So I really only have three weeks to make purchases to likely avoid paying the $69 annual fee. Well, I will have to pay it, but I can request a refund. Does that seem right to those of you who have done other Southwest Visa offers?

Our first purchase will be to pay our high electric bill from February. A whopping $172! Crazy cold winter leads to high heating costs. I have quite a few things to charge to this card, including our tax payments, an auto insurance payment, two donations, an upcoming cell phone bill. I might be able to get my husband to pay for his weekend travel on the card...but maybe not since they do like him to use that government card. That would sure help though! Worse case scenario is to buy gift cards for upcoming purchases. I think we can do it!!

In other good news, we received a $25 Target gift card for some spending we did on our USAA card back in November. It finally arrived. Another snowflake for March!

How quickly could you rack up $2000 in spending? And what would this spending be on? Would it include a splurge or would you be able to spend that on regular expenses?

Discover Rewards & Workout Update

March 7th, 2014 at 09:03 am

My husband's Discover card statement closed yesterday. We have already spent the $750 to meet the $150 bonus, but it was not applied to our rewards account. I inquired my email. The response was the $150 bonus will be applied within 8 weeks. Ugh. They sure like you to hang around waiting for your cash don't they? I was really hoping we could both redeem those rewards this month. Now it doesn't look like it.

I'm still waiting on our US Bank Reward to be applied as well,probably worth at least $140. I also have $100 in referral money coming from Ooma sometime. There are snowflakes out there, they just seem to be stuck in the sky!! Smile

I purchased a DVD for my daughter's birthday from Amazon. I used the Discover card to make the purchase and used $3.26 of my available rewards towards the purchase. So I have that little snowflake, as well as a Pinecone survey payment from earlier in the week.

I have worked out six days this week! I also did two of my weight lifting workouts as well. The eating and watching calories is going pretty well, too. The less I eat the less we spend on groceries which is a bonus.

Anyone know how long it took you to get your Discover bonus? This is DH second billing cycle that just ended. Did you get any snowflake money this week? How is your exercise goal coming along?

The Daughter Wants

March 6th, 2014 at 11:58 am

My daughter sent be an info graphic chart of all the things she wants and why this morning while she was in her free period. Her wants include a violin, violin lessons, a wood piccolo, Adobe Creative Suite 6 software and a Digital Drawing Tablet. Yikes!

She knows these are all expensive things. I did see a professional wood piccolo on craigslist for $1,100. The software is about $800 new, might be able to buy for $6-700 used. Not sure on the violin likely used as well, lessons could run another $800+ per year...and I have no idea on the tablet. She hasn't even used one before. She is trying it today though. She does play flute, owns two, plus a hybrid piccolo we bought used. The violin is something both she and her sister seem to be interested in. And the drawing stuff is definitely stuff she can use to make more art and likely more money.

She asked for help from us to pay for these things in her email to me with the chart. She emails me from school pretty often, so this is just her communicating as she normally would. The graphic chart was a new thing she has recently learned. Anyway, my response was, it sounds like you need a job!

She did agree. I just don't know how quickly she will be wanting to take that path. Right now we are hoping she gets accepted again to participate in local art fair this year where she can sell some more art. I actually hope the wants spur her desire to find ways to sell more of her things. All these expensive wants might motivate her, so I'm not going to be too quick to solve her problems or jump into help.

I'm sure we will help in some way, but that it far from determined at this point. There will need to be some discussion between my husband and I. And then between all three of us.

Do you have kids with expensive wants? Is it wrong to want to help your kids gain good experience before they are out in the world. Is it wrong to give a hand up so to speak? Is there a limit to how much we should help? I'm just thinking outloud...not really sure how I feel either way.

What Would You Say?

March 5th, 2014 at 08:55 am

What would you say to the following question? Should I rollover my old 401K, worth about $15,000, or should I pay off a current 401K loan with it? The interest rate is 2.25%.

Let's assume there are no other details provided, or feel free to make your own assumptions when you answer.
I will chime in later today with my answer. Oh, and this isn't about me or my family.

I wrote a post about our dental insurance on Our Money Blog yesterday. I have completed 4/20 workouts as of today!

Less Mortgage Debt

March 4th, 2014 at 10:16 am

Our mortgage payment for March posted on Sunday. Seems odd, as I expected Monday. Our regular payment includes an extra $103.72 towards principal. The principal portion of our regular payment was $455.18. Yes! I like less debt.

Our goal this year is to pay off $13,992.99 in principal on this loan. I picked this amount since it stretches us a bit and makes the ending balance even at $X15,000. So far our total principal paid of $3,303.99 is 23.6% of that goal. We only need to pay off $195.25 to get to 25% by the end of the month. I already know we can make that as we have another principal payment set to hit March 15 for $275.

In other news, I made it to the gym today. 3 of 20 March workouts complete. I also lifted weights, which means I have completed one of my 10 for the month.

Did you pay down any debt in the last seven days? Do you have a specific goal for your debt pay down? Do you also have a plan to get there? Do you have a fitness goal for March?

Sidebar tickers are current as of February 28.

52 Week Savings Goal at 25%

March 3rd, 2014 at 11:17 am

Capital One notified me today that I'm at 25% of my savings goal that I set. Turns out they are correct! I am saving $57 twice per month as my participation in the 52 Week Savings Challenge. If I follow it to the end I will have $1378 plus interest. This means I must have more than $344.50. Turns out I do have that and a little more. My new balance for the challenge is $352. I have saved Weeks 1-10 and Weeks 47-52.

I love that I set this automatically. All I have to do is record the transfer of $57 from our checking account to the Capital One 360 Savings account. Easy!

How are you doing on the 52 Week Savings Challenge? Are you right on track, ahead or behind in your savings? Did you modify yours, as I did?

I did some uphill walking on the treadmill at the gym today, so now I have 2 out of 20 workouts complete for the month. Still no weight lifting though, so I'm 0/10 on that one. Maybe tomorrow?!

Phishing, More Credit & Working Out

March 2nd, 2014 at 06:34 pm

My husband got a text message indicating our Wells Fargo debit card has been blocked. Well this is clearly phishing as we don’t even have a Wells Fargo debit card! We do have a mortgage with them, but that is it. Luckily we know not to fall for those type of panic messages. If you ever get ANY sort of alert about an account you have it is best to contact the servicer at their published phone number, email or in person rather than any number or email provided in the message.

My husband applied for the Southwest Rapids Rewards Plus card and was approved. We need to spend $2000 in 3 months to get $500 worth of gift cards. My goal is to complete that spending within ONE credit card cycle so I can request the annual fee of $69 to be refunded. My husband applied for one of the other Southwest cards last fall. We were able to get the $99 fee refunded with a simple email request.

Now spending $2000 that fast seems a little daunting, but I know we have a $400+ auto insurance payment due, $400+ owed to the IRS (plus a fee for paying with a credit card), we have two donations we want to make for about $150+, we should have the card in time to charge our $150 Verizon wireless bill, as well as a $150+ electric bill. I’m open to charging our groceries that we usually put on our Target Red Card for the 5% discount. I know there will be gas for our vehicles and since spring is coming VERY soon some clothing purchases or at least gift cards for those. We also have that mini trip to visit a college.

I have not quite met the spending for my Discover card, but I will get that done in the next few weeks, too. It looks like I have $200 left to charge to meet the $750 spending requirement to get my $150. Right now, I'm waiting on billing cycles to close for my US Bank card and my husband's Discover. The spending requirement has been met on those and will bring us about $275 in rewards.

I did not work out yesterday, but I did today! 1/20 workouts for the month of March have been completed. I really NEED to workout everyday, to make my weight loss plan work. I also need to get in some weight lifting as well. I think I will make a goal of 12 days where I do weightlifting. And increase in activity is a good thing and I got to start somewhere.

It feels like this week is shaping up to be busy, maybe it is because I have to work out. Smile Do you know about phishing? Are you embarking on a new exercise routine? Is your week going to be extra busy or more relaxing?