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Archive for June, 2016

Random Money Thoughts

June 28th, 2016 at 04:52 pm

It's been a bit since I've posted here, although I've been reading and commenting. I don't have any real exciting updates as of late. No new snowflake money to report. We haven't spent any major money. We are still saving what we don't invest or spend.

The market drop because of Brexit is a bit hard to take. I haven't actually looked at our balances because I know I won't like them! At least the market had an up day again today.

We have decided not to go to Washington DC this summer. Our youngest daughter is taking an online German class this summer. It started a week ago Monday. It goes through the first two weeks of August. We were hoping the course work would be light enough to work ahead. Unfortunately it doesn't seem that will be the case. We could shorten our trip to three days, but we feel that wouldn't be enough time to do what we were hoping to do. My husband is also in a class for work and has deadlines every week in July as well. He said he was relieved that we had changed our plans.

The vacation fund has $1100 in it. We were going to drive and use Marriott Rewards points for the hotel nights. This money would have been for transportation, food, souvenirs and any other admission fees. I think for now I will leave it there, as I know we will also have some plane tickets coming up in the next six months.

June has been unusually inexpensive. Not as cheap as our No Spend Month in February, but definitely closer. I like when we have less spendy months!!

Paid ALL Credit Card Balances & More

June 14th, 2016 at 07:20 am

We use our credit cards for all purchases that we can. Yes, at one time we stopped using credit cards (thus the name Creditcardfree). But we are super good about paying them off on time. In fact, I effectively make at least two payments a month when payday comes around.

Tomorrow is payday. All transactions since the last paycheck were posted on YNAB, thus the money is set aside to make the payments. Today, I logged on to each account we had a balance with and paid them in full. Easy!

I should mention that we don't really use YNAB the right way. We don't 'Live on Last Month's Income'. Part of the reason for this is we have more in our checking account than we spend each month. The other is we have an emergency fund in other places to count as a buffer. And finally, because we use credit cards and generally pay them off within two weeks of the transaction, we have a buffer with the due date of those transactions if needed.

What we do is count each paycheck as income for current month. In our case two paychecks each month. We then budget that money into categories to cover us until the next payday. We do fund variable accounts like car maintenance, vacation and other various savings at the same time. These accounts slow build up, and yes at times get depleted.

In YNAB we can still see how much we budgeted for monthly expenses and how much we have left. Usually we have plenty. I can also adjust the amount in each category if I didn't guess/estimate right at the beginning of the pay period. After several months, it gets easier to see how much you are spending in each area and the amount to budget.

$477 Left

June 10th, 2016 at 05:29 am

We have $477 left for spending this pay period. Payday is on Wednesday. We will buy groceries before then, but those have been trending around $150 a week. I seem to be buying more since our college age daughter is home. I'm also buying more organic foods, as I have read how much better they really are for you.

Our big plan this weekend is to get our home cleaned up really well. The couple we are renting from is stopping by Wednesday to see the house and yard, on the way to their new duty station. Feel bad they just moved last year and are already moving again! The yard has some major erosion happening, so it will be good for them to see it in person rather just from our pictures. We do have a light bulb that is out that we should replace, and I may need a new grout brush by the time I have scrubbed the tile shower. Overall the house is in great shape, possibly better than it was when we arrived. Smile

I'm hoping that we can avoid spending the full $477 before payday. I'd like to set some cash aside for other things!

More Checks In the Mail

June 9th, 2016 at 01:23 pm

My new (refurbished) FitBit replacement tracker and charger arrived in the mail today. I'm so excited to have it back!! I've been keeping up on walking without it, but I have missed it. It's charging now, so I should be back to using it shortly.

There were also two checks. More class action settlement checks. These were from TransUnion. My husband and I each got a check for $23.67. Not bad at all! I don't even remember what this one was about, but we did qualify!! The money will go straight to the savings account, just like the check from yesterday.

A Few Things

June 8th, 2016 at 06:36 pm

I'm loving watermelon right now!! So good for you and tasty. Smile

My youngest daughter is out of school for the summer, but starts band camp next week, and then her online German class! She is going to be busy...hopefully not too busy, so we can still get to Washington DC in July.

I got a class action claim check in the mail from Tom's of Maine for $30.59! Wow, I sure wasn't expecting that! But I did know just what to do with it. I deposited into our savings account right away!

My husband's tablet (Samsung Galaxy)stopped responding to touch commands a few weeks ago. We decided to research if it was a part we could buy and replace ourselves. The answer is yes! We actually bought two screen digitizers at $21.99 each. The second one works!! The first screen digitizer was just a bit hard to reattach and after we did it didn't work quite right. And then to top it off we cracked the screen. But those errors did help us get it just perfect the second time. So for less than $44 we were able to fix something that would have cost us around $400 to replace new. My husband is super happy to have it back!!

It seems that class action claim check helped cover some of our costs! I like that. Smile

Retirement Milestone

June 6th, 2016 at 07:59 am

I recorded the balances in our retirement accounts as this past Friday, June 3. We have surpassed the $350K mark for the first time! It's taken us 21 long months to increase our accounts from the last milestone of $300K. I was sure that we would hit $350K in 2015, but that just never happened. We made it to $330K at the end of 2015.

We have contributed 8K this year, so even though the market is somewhat flat, we have had market gains. I haven't thought about where I would like us to be by year end. The only part I can control without leaving the market entirely is what we contribute, so we'll keep doing that.

How are you doing with your retirement plans and goals?

Diet Bet Winnings

June 5th, 2016 at 04:22 pm

The first round of my Transformer Diet Bet is complete. And I won! I received notification that my winnings were $16.09. The bet for this month was $25, but half is saved for the final round (six months). So my portion of the pot was $12.50. I made $3.59 on my bet for an ROI of 28.7%. Not shabby at all!

I'm most pleased with the weight loss, but I'm finding that the idea of losing my bet is VERY motivational. I was very close to not making it this month.

The other thing about Diet Bet that I like is that there is a defined date and amount of weight one should be striving for. It can be so easy to say I want to lose ten pounds this month. Is 10 pounds reasonable? What date exactly do you want to lose those pounds? Diet Bets usually encourage 3-4% of weight loss in order to stay in the healthy range. These specific numbers are really helpful to a numbers person like me!

Success

June 4th, 2016 at 11:26 am

After a month with two sets of visitors, we are now free to reign in the spending! It actually wasn't bad at all. We did a lot of free things. And I made lots of meals rather than going out to eat. We did spend quite a bit on fuel as we did a lot of driving around, including two trips to the beach!

I was a little worried about meeting my Diet Bet goal because of family in town. Weigh in day was yesterday, and I made it! Scale wasn't cooperating first thing in the morning, but after my 45 minute walk it was under goal by about half a pound. So I officially win Round 1 of my Diet Bet goal! I don't know what the first month payout is yet. The bet was $25.

Our daughter is still doing really well with recovering from wisdom tooth removal. Seems the pain is not as comfortable as it was the first two days, but she is still on enough meds, so not much more we can do about that.

$493

June 2nd, 2016 at 09:41 am

Today was the wisdom teeth removal surgery for my oldest daughter. Despite being very nervous, she did great...although I nearly fainted as I was leaving the exam room. I'm fine though too. I probably didn't eat enough before going with her. Smile

Cost was $493. I set that money aside yesterday when I was paying bills. So I can pay that off the credit card as soon as it posts.

I also picked up three prescriptions for her at CVS. With our insurance, they came to just over $10. I doubt she will take all of them, so it is good they didn't cost much. While I was there, an elderly woman was picking up an inhaler. It didn't seem to be covered under her insurance. She paid $72 out of pocket. She was originally waiting to pay with a $20 bill, but then had to write a check. I just wonder if there was some confusion on her insurance. Hard to know for sure.