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It's a Spendy Season

September 3rd, 2019 at 02:16 pm

Well those last weeks of August were spendy with getting our girls back to school and getting some new things. Our youngest is rooming in a single room, so things her roommate brought last year, we needed to buy this year. The wardrobe in her current dorm has no doors on it, but we found a curtain panel for just $5.99 and a inexpensive tension rod to hang it and it looks much better. Compared to some people we are pretty slim in what she has going on in her dorm room. I can't believe how many people thing you need to have room all bling'd out!

We are now planning our trip to visit the girls over Thanksgiving. I really wish we didn't have to fly during the holiday but it's when they are available and we will get to see our daughter march in her last college halftime show for senior day.

I hope to get some more items listed and relisted on eBay this week or next. Budget Girl on YouTube has a recent video about Sell Stuff September. Not a bad idea to get the clutter out and make some money before the holidays, right?

I paid off my cell phone two months early the other day. It had been $14 per month, so I made a $28 payment. Obviously, our total cell phone bill will go down by that amount next month. This means by cell phone is almost two years old. It's working okay, although I do seem to lose the ability to hear the person I'm talking to on the phone sometimes. I haven't figured out if that is our WiFi or the phone itself. Why can't these last just a little longer?!

Verizon says we have been with them for ten years! They gift us a $20 Amazon gift card. Not a big reward for ten years as a customer, but I guess it's better than nothing. I'm sure I can find something on Amazon to buy!

Are you in a spendy season or a saving season?

Paying Ourselves Back: August

September 1st, 2019 at 01:34 pm

We are paying ourselves back for the $3,000 down payment we made on our daughter's car in May. Here's the money we applied this month:

Chase Freedom Rewards $3.37
US Bank Rewards $13.08
American Express Rewards $63.32
Pinecone Survey $3.00
eBay Sales $8.53
FB Sales $20
Fetch Reward $10
Rum Rebate $3
USAA ATM Rebate $6
Amazon Visa Promo $70
Excess Travel Payment $103.47
Storage Deposit Refund $55

$358.77 Total

$2,239.32 Previous Balance Owed
$1,880.55 New Balance Owed

All the little amounts add up, we are making progress! Goal is to pay back by the end of the year.

Paying Ourselves Back: July

August 1st, 2019 at 01:26 pm

We are paying ourselves back for the $3,000 down payment we made on our daughter's car in May. Here's the money we applied this month:

$53.18 Utility Rebate
$3.09 USAA ATM rebate/interest
$20.95 US Bank Rewards
$210.25 Military per diem excess
$25 Amazon gc (Swagbucks)
$27.61 Paypal (ebay, pinecone)
$48.49 Amex Rewards
$75.00 Extra from paycheck

$463.57 Total

$2,702.89 Previous Balance Owed
$2,239.32 Current Balance Owed

We made great progress this month! If we can keep up this rate of payback we will be finished in December!! Worth striving for.

Travel Reimbursement In Our Favor

July 14th, 2019 at 07:14 am

My husband had what was supposed to be a one night trip for work last week, unfortunately due to flight cancellations it turned into two nights and he flew into a different airport, specifically on July 4. It was not the holiday we had planned.

I had to drive our vehicle to pick him up about 90 miles away. As a result he received additional per diem and mileage for the use of our personal vehicle. He also did a really good job of keeping his dining expenses low, taking advantage of the USO in the airport primarily and having one dinner with friends who ended up paying, while he was in town.

We made $292.05 on the trip. That will be used to repay ourselves for the car down payment. At the rate we are finding money it seem this payback is going to happen much faster than I expected!

I recently redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card. I stocked up on Vitamin D with the gift card and set aside the $25 I would have spent out of pocket towards our current goal.

And finally, I redeemed $20.95 in rewards from US Bank and expect that we will have American Express Rewards to redeem in the next week as well.

Electricity Refund

July 11th, 2019 at 04:53 am

Our housing payment on this military installation covers utilities, unless we go above the normal range compared to other units our size by 10%, then we would pay the difference. The opposite is true, if we go below the normal range we get a refund.

We received our refund for service from mid April to mid May this week. It was the highest we have had yet at $53.18. This is going towards paying ourselves back for the car down payment. I have seen our fellow neighbors posting how low they keep their air conditioning and while we drop it at night for sleeping, we do adjust up during the day because otherwise I would need to wear a sweater to keep warm!

Just this morning I received notification of the mid May to mid June period. Our credit will only be $11.85. That is not enough to receive a payout next month, but it will be added to any future credits, or money owed.

I'm thankful for all money, snowflakes, that fall in our favor!

Paying Ourselves Back: June

July 2nd, 2019 at 05:12 am

I'm going to start posting our progress in paying ourselves back for the $3,000 we took form our savings towards our daughter's car. I sold a speaker set for $100 in May, the same month that we bought the car, so when I moved the money, I actually only took out $2,900. That is our starting point for reporting purposes here.

$12.84 US Bank Rewards
$57.76 Amex Rewards
$38.51 Utility Rebate
$26.43 Ibotta Rebate
$3.00 Pinecone Survey
$58.57 Ebay Sales
$197.11 June Total

$2,900.00 Beginning (Debt) Balance
$2,702.89 Current Balance Owed

eBay Sales

June 14th, 2019 at 09:39 am

Some of you may have seen my other eBay post. I'm think I may have accidentally deleted while trying to clean up my blog from the site issues.

Basically, the report is that I transferred $100 from my PayPal account from the recent eBay sales I had. I applied the money to our cell phone category in YNAB. We will have a large bill at the end of June due to two new cell phones. My goal was to cover the sales tax and activation fees, which came to $129.50. I have successfully covered this with eBay sales.

All future sales and credit card rewards are going to be applied to paying ourselves back for the downpayment we made on our daughter's car. Already applied $100, so $2,900 to go!

I do have about seven items up for sale and a couple more items I could list. Just need to make the time and effort to do it.

Another Couple Sales

June 4th, 2019 at 05:11 am

I sold one of the old cell phones and a pair of shorts on eBay yesterday. Netting a little over $40 I think.

Although I said ALL sale money would go to pay ourselves back for the car down payment, the money from the phones is going towards paying the sales tax and activation fees on the two new phones which is going to be on our bill at the end of the month. That charge is $120 or so. I have one more phone to sell, but it will go for less as it's more beat up and we aren't selling it with the charger.

I have already applied some funds from other prior sales to the phone charge as well in the amount of $27.50. We are also expecting a rebate check from our utility service in the amount of $33, which I also plan to apply to the charge. It seems late, but I think it will be here before that bill is due. We do have the money to cover the charge, this is just the way my brain works when I have extra expenses. So I'm close to have the full $120 for the phones!!

I have other items listed on eBay and I have other potential items to sell as well. Summer feels like a slow time of year to make sales, but it's worth the try. If our housing has another garage sale, I might see if I have enough to put some things out.

Paying Ourselves Back

June 3rd, 2019 at 05:31 am

I mentioned in a previous post that we paid $3,000 towards a downpayment on our daughter's new to her car. I initially put this on a credit card, which has 4% interest rate. This was my way of avoiding taking on a lot of debt at nearly 9% interest rate they were offering us on the loan initially. In the end the loan is at 5.74% and is likely a little high because my daughter did not have credit. My husband is the cosigner. We will make the payment on the loan while she is in school, the rest will be up to her.

Back to the $3,000 on the credit card. It is due June 15, where no interest will have been accrued. I plan to take money from what is probably considered our emergency fund money to pay it in full on that date. My next concern is making a plan to pay that money back in the midst of new expenses (a car payment of $133.50 and increased insurance of $75 a month).

I'm going to continue adding to our Big Savings Goal, but not as aggressively, basically, we will throw the interest earned on our savings and the $175 twice per month towards that goal moving forward as our bare minimum. This puts us near $550 per month.

To pay ourselves back for the $3,000 down payment, I'm going to put all eBay sale money and credit card rewards towards this. I'm also going to be actively looking for other additional funds that can make this payback go as fast as possible. I'd like to say this is my primary goal. And it basically is, but I also know we are managing travel expense again coming in the fall. (Sometimes it's not fun having your kids attend schools so far away!) If we didn't have these expenses, it would be no issue to pay ourselves back this $3K in a very short period of time.

I can already report that the $100 we received for the speakers I sold last week have already been applied towards this goal.

$3,000.00 Beginning Balance
__$100.00 Speaker Sale
$2,900.00 New Balance

I am curious how quickly I can make this happen!

The Government Billed Us

February 22nd, 2019 at 12:21 pm

We finally received a bill from the government. Not many people say that! We were aware of and notified of VA overpayment of tuition benefits in early December because our daughter added then dropped a one hour class last semester. The school was overpaid, and they refunded us some money in October or November. So now the government is asking us for the cash to the tune of $487.

We are going to pay it at the beginning of March. I do have a little problem with the amount. My guess is it is right, but I am just not clear on how they figured the amount of the overpayment. It is not equal to what the school refunded us, which was around $400. I'll probably send an email to the school to see if they can explain. I think getting an answer from them would be faster!

I earned $3 for doing a Pinecone Survey. I found a penny on the ground when I went to the store. I've actually found quite a few coins on my walks here!

I've arranged for our cat to be boarded while we are on a three night trip in March. She will spend five nights at the kennel for a total of $75. They provide food and litter. I wish I didn't have to do board here, but our housing won't let us leave a pet overnight even if someone is watching her. She sleeps a lot anyway, so she will be fine!

It's about time to make flight reservations for our daughter's to come here for their spring breaks. More money out, but we will look forward to seeing them and doing some more exploring of our new town.

I've been watching Living on A Dime on YouTube. I've watched some of their videos before, but it had been awhile. Jill, the mother, has a series on the channel called Penny Pinching Mama, that explains her life when she was first diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and how she lived on $500 a month with two kids in late 1980s. She still only lives on $750 for social security. They are fantastic example of how people really can make it on low income. They don't deny that it's hard, but that it can be done! The are very conservative with what they use. Anyone else seen these ladies on YouTube?

Undebt It

December 10th, 2018 at 03:03 pm

As you all know we do not have any debt. No mortgage debt either as we move frequently with the military and have found it make sense to rent for the time being.

I came across a site that is free and allows you to track your way out of debt. I'd try it myself and review it for you, but again zero debt to track. I do see it links to YNAB! And it has a 52 Week Savings Option.

If you have goals to pay off debt in 2019, you might want to check out this free tracking option. I'm sure many of us here would love to watch your journey and hear how you like Undebt It.

You can find the online tracking tool

Text is here. and Link is https://undebt.it/how-undebt.it-works.php

Life with zero debt is worth the effort!

$3,500 In Debt

October 30th, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Moving is expensive!

We didn't have to put a deposit down on this townhome on base and rent is paid in arrears, but despite those positives, we have $3,498.26 in expenses charged on our credit cards! Hotels, fuel, restaurants, and extra needs to purchase after move (such as toilet brushes, cleaners, ect) add up fast!

Some of those charges are for our regular bills, such as Verizon, Hulu, Netflix and things we just needed because you know life has expenses, too.

I'm looking forward to payday on Thursday and eventually receiving our deposit from the rental home, and all of our moving entitlements. I'm not sure exactly when we will receive the latter payments, but likely in the next three weeks.

Technically, I do have the funds in our accounts that I could pay those credit cards in full and likely will pay many of them on pay day. I will float some of the money until we receive our reimbursements.