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Archive for January, 2009

Ebay Challenge Update

January 31st, 2009 at 06:57 am

I did get a late start, but my January total stands at:

$4.95!

I have four items ending tomorrow. A bid on one and a few watchers on the other. The other two may not sell. Frown

It's a start. I'm sure I'll make up for it in later months! Keep up the good work everyone.

Fast Money!

January 30th, 2009 at 06:43 am

This past Monday night I e-filed our state and federal income tax returns.

Today, I see a pending deposit for our state refund. Wow! That is fast. So, by Monday it will be available in the account. That's technically less than 7 days from the time I hit the submit button. Amazing!

I wonder if it has to do with filing so early? If so, get those taxes done this weekend, if you have your forms. No reason not to wait...well, if you owe there is!!! LOL

Next week I will be sending in some big money to that home equity loan! I'm so excited.

Are You Snowballing?

January 29th, 2009 at 07:41 am

I noticed on campfrugals side bar a link to a site called whatsthecost.com. It has a place to calculate and save, if you so desire, a payoff for your debts. It's a snowball calculator.

I input some of my numbers for our home equity loan and our van loan. We owe over $24K on the van that we bought in May. But if we snowball our payments we could have both loans paid off by July 2010! Wow! That's about all I can say. Wow!

Check it out [url=http://www.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx]here.[/url]

We have snowballed in the past, and it does work. The calculator just makes it more fun! Fun, really fun!! I'm going to go play with it some more. Smile

Oops!

January 28th, 2009 at 10:03 am

I logged on to our bank accounts today to see that our account was negative! Yikes. Okay, it was only $2.50. After a little reseach, I realized that our automatic roth contributions were more than I had recorded in the checkbook. I apparently had not changed our automatic investment amount from last year...when I was playing catch up for part of the year.

So, easily fixed by moving some cushion money to our checking account. I also dropped our roth contributions for February to account for the larger amount this month. Starting in March, I will move our automatic investments to the correct amount.

Can you tell that I really push the amount in our checking account close to $0 each month? We save our cushion money in another checking account. It helps us not to overspend...but when we do a transfer is in order. It helps us keep on track. At least Friday is payday!!

Challenges? I'm In!

January 27th, 2009 at 05:21 pm

I sold my first item for 2009 on ebay today!! A pair of girls jeans for $4.95! This could be my total for January. I have one other item that could sell early. Out of the four items left, two are being watched.

The other challenge? Mooshocker has started at 2009 Mortgage Payment Challenge to see who can pay the most towards principal. I'm in. We are paying extra on our home equity loan already. The minimum we will pay off is $7,000. But we just might pay the whole thing off. Wouldn't that be cool!!

I will track the extra principal paid each month on the sidebar. Good luck everyone

Taxes Filed - Check

January 27th, 2009 at 06:41 am

Yes!!! I'm done...early again this year. It sure helped to enter all the information as I received it. Little pieces of information at a time, rather than one long day of it.

Last night, I double checked the return, electronically signed, printed copies, paid the small fee for state and hit the submit button. Quick!

Today, I checked my email and the federal return has already been accepted. The email states I should have the refund next Friday, February 6th.

The final refund results are
Federal: $610
State: $1350
Total:$1960

The plan is to use it towards home equity loan payoff. I will, of course, report that here when it happens.

Good luck filing your tax return!

It's Official....

January 26th, 2009 at 03:38 pm

I can file our taxes anytime! I have all the tax documents we need. I'm so excited!! I know, I know...I'm weird.

I was waiting for a 1099-INT from Revolution Money Exchange for the $25 bonus I received for opening an account. I emailed them a second time about the form and received a response right back. It was in my spam folder...so maybe they did email last time, too. This was their response:

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding the issuance of a 1099 for your MoneyExchange account.

If you received $600.00 or more in bonus funds from Revolution Money in 2008 and have not already received a 1099 for this period, please contact a customer service representative to obtain a 1099.

For further account information, you may also contact a Customer Service Representative between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week at 1-800-794-9071. Or you can write to Revolution MoneyExchange at P.O. Box 989, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

Thank you,
The Revolution MoneyExchange Team


So, this is one of those situations where they don't send out a 1099 unless the amount is over $600. Last time I checked, $25 was less than $600!! Time to get busy filing.

Finally Starting the Ebay Challenge

January 25th, 2009 at 06:02 pm

I listed 5 items for sale on ebay tonight. They won't end until February...but at least I did start in January!!

I hope that ending on Super Bowl Sunday will be a plus for me. Here's to a week of big sales!

We can't refinance

January 24th, 2009 at 08:51 am

It's true. We can't refinance. Would I like to? Yes. But we can't. We can't because we would lose money.

We have lived here for a little over two years. The Army could move us anytime between now and 2 1/2 years from now. DH thinks the latter.

Our primary mortgage is at 6%. That is still a pretty good rate. In order to get the lowest rates possible, we would need to pay points. But paying points or any closing costs is a couple thousand dollars. We would only save about $100 a month. It would take awhile to recover the costs associated with refinancing.

We just can't refinance. So, we will continue our home equity payoff. That loan is at a crazy 7.25% rate! Ugh. Once that is paid off we will have increased the equity we have to put towards the next house.

What do some of you other military families do? Rent, or buy? Fixed rate or adjustable?

A little more left until payday

January 23rd, 2009 at 02:34 pm

just a little sharing...about finances in our house!!

All the bills are paid and next Friday is payday for us. Our checking account has $222 left in it.

I will have to get groceries for the week, which will cut out $100. DH will need fuel, approx $25. Another $15 towards a birthday gift.

So, $82 left for miscellaneous needs/wants. It would nice to have some of that left...but I don't hold my breath. Last paycheck, it came down to $4.

In our budget, this is actually good. It means I'm keeping our spending to about $1400 per month for food, fuel, toiletry items, pet food, bedding and litter. Often it includes fundraisers or donations to school, too.

If we can't keep the spending within the $1400, then the money gets pulled from our 2nd checking account where we have a few hundred dollar cushion. We haven't touched that account since gas prices began falling!!

Cheap entertainment!

January 22nd, 2009 at 06:00 pm

Last weekend, as I folded clothes I came upon a few socks with holes on the bottoms. I jokingly said to my girls...want to make sock puppets? They said, "Yes!"

My oldest pulled out the sewing items to create these:


Besides two new sock puppets, they created names, personalities, accessories and video taped puppet shows. All four of us had quite a few laughs from these new characters. They are now folded up somewhere for another day of play.

Out of pocket cost: $0

The memories and fun: priceless

A New Stimulus - Refunds?

January 22nd, 2009 at 09:29 am

I had a comment, from D, on my last entry about filing taxes now and whether a tax refund of $1K that has yet to be passed by congress would effect our refunds.

I found an answer. The tax cuts would come in the form of reductions in the amount of social security tax that is withheld from paychecks. For those of us who might be able to file our taxes any day, this will not impact our refunds. No reason to delay.

Here's a link to the [url=http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/united_states_economy/economic_stimulus/]article[/url]. It is in today's New York Times.

Only 2 More to Go

January 22nd, 2009 at 07:20 am

My DH's W2 is finally available online! So, I plugged the numbers into the tax software and my previous calculations seem to be right on target.

However, I'm still waiting on two 1099-INT statements. One is from our money market account with FNBOdirect. Online it states the statement will be mailed.

I think we may also get a 1099-INT from Revolution Money Exchange. I opened an account to obtain the $25 they were offering last spring. I never did anything else with the account. I assume this payout is considered interest. So, I wait on that as well. I will be calling if it gets to be the last thing I'm waiting for!!

I will be filing ASAP...I want our money back! Of course, it will only be in my hands for a day or so. Because, hey, we have a home equity loan to payoff.

Here's the plan....

January 21st, 2009 at 02:34 pm

By the end of February, or before, I hope to pay the home equity loan down to under $10K. I should be able to do this easily. I needed to put it here, so that I avoid spending the money on a new couch. The wants are getting in my brain...help!!

I have estimated our tax refund to be about $2K. I also have over $1500 from February paychecks that could be allocated to the loan as well. I just need to stay away from the furniture store!

We Don't Qualify

January 19th, 2009 at 07:39 am

Well, with increased income in this last year it turns out we no longer qualify to free file with any of the IRS authorized providers. You can see if you qualify [url=http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html] here.[/url] I would suggest checking a couple of companies, too. The charges to file a state return can vary.

I did find an oline provider that is still free regardless of income. I have even used them before, so I know they are legit. I've even seen TV commercials for them this year. The federal return will be free and state will only be $13.95. Compare this to other providers who charge you up to $60 to file both federal and state returns.

Oh, the name of the provider we are using is TaxACT. I don't get any kickbacks for this, but you can find them [url=http://www.taxact.com/] here.[/url]

Happy 2009 tax filing season!!

Payoff Update!

January 16th, 2009 at 07:44 am

Another milestone met! Our new home equity loan balance is under $13,000. Yippee!!

Yesterday, I made our regular payment. Only $37.66 went to principal. Today, I made a principal payment of $410.34 to bring our balance to an even balance of $12,852.

In January, a total of $1047 has been applied to principal. I feel a deep sense of gratitude that we have been able to hit the loan hard this month.
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