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Money Flowing In

May 12th, 2019 at 08:05 am

There's money flowing out fast, but I'm going to focus on and share what is coming in.

$100 Anniversary gift
$25 Amazon gift card (earned from MyPoints)
$22.78 Olive oil class action
$336 Chase annual fee refund
$3 Pinecone survey
$14.04 Ebay Sales

$500.82 Total

The Amazon gift card went towards the purchase of an over the air antenna, since we are cancelling Hulu for the summer.

I am setting aside the $336 Chase refund towards our daughter's car registration. I have the tax amount set aside already, but I don't know the property tax/registration amount yet. If this is more than needed I may throw it back into the Big Savings Goal.

Everything else currently is going to go to the Big Savings Goal.

I did send off three textbooks for cash. I expect to receive $63 for those in the next week or so. I will probably put these funds into the College Expense category. I also put one book on eBay and I have other things I need to list soon, too.

Do you have non wage cash flowing in?

April Big Savings Goal Progress

May 12th, 2019 at 07:26 am

Here's last months contribution towards our Big Savings Goal. I think the next few months will be slower as we have other expenses we are managing that are taking away from the progress. If we can maintain this amount or similar I will be pleased.

We had a refund of Chase credit card annual fees ($349.15) due to SCRA being applied to some of our accounts. I would have liked to have saved this for our Big Savings Goal, but with upcoming summer college costs and assisting our daughter with a car we have backed off putting ALL the extras towards this goal. This is a big frustrating for me as I have really enjoyed the progress and focus, but I realize this is just temporary.

$350.00 ($175 from each paycheck, two per month)
___$7.64 Discover Cashback
_$10.00 NAPA rebate
___$9.41 US Bank Cashback
_$66.66 FNBO Interest Earned
$118.78 NFCU Interest Earned
___$5.46 USAA Interest and ATM rebates
___$3.00 Amazon Gift card (Swagbucks)
___$6.73 Ebay Sale

$577.68 April Big Goal Total
$4,768.90 2019 YTD

$67,369.40 Previous big goal Balance
$67,947.08 New big goal Balance

33.97% of $200,000 goal

April Interest

May 1st, 2019 at 01:45 pm

More interest earned in the month of April. This money is added to our Big Savings Goal which I hope to report on tomorrow.

FNBO $66.66
NFCU $118.78
Total $185.44

Thankful for compound interest!! If you don't know what that is, look it up, it's fascinating!

Surprise Scholarship!

April 26th, 2019 at 07:34 am

Well, my older daughter DID get a scholarship. She was even surprised by it. It's actually one that she received last year for marching band. They had a Honors and Awards event yesterday, but she didn't go because she didn't know she was getting an award. The year prior they emailed her ahead of time that she was getting an award, so she attended. Oh well, she still gets the money.

Last year it was $600 and ended up being applied to her summer tuition. We expect the same will happen again this year. We are so thankful for all the scholarships we have received for both girls.

I am happy and grateful for all money that flows into our lives!

Refund of Annual Fees

April 13th, 2019 at 02:22 pm

We notified Chase that my husband is active duty military upon learning that some credit card companies will waive annual fees under the Servicemember Civil Relief Act. My understanding, which I likely learned before my husband went full time, was the the SCRA would provide relief on loans when deployed (which would at the time have been the only time my husband was considered active duty). We learned from another coworker of my husband that they will waive annual fees on credit cards.

We have thee Chase credit cards, two are in my name as the primary card holder and one is in my husband's name. We are both authorized users on the other's account. One card in my name does not have an annual fee, the other two do.

Chase responded promptly to my husband's request on his Marriott card and has waived the annual fee retroactively back to account opening in 2015. They did need a copy of his orders. We received a refund, plus interest it appears, of $349.18. Annual fees will be waived going forward, but we were told that request for current orders may need to be provided again in the future. Oh, and the interest rate is now at 4% (although we do not expect to be holding a balance to incur any interest rate charges).

I think I waited to see what the response would be with my husband's card before I inquired on the other two, so it seems to be a bit delayed. They have asked for orders and we have supplied those. We have also supplied orders to American Express in order to at least have annual fees waived going forward as well. I'm not sure that American Express will retroactively waive the fees.

If Chase or American Express do not apply the SCRA benefits to the accounts where I am the primary account holder, we will close those accounts and open the appropriate ones in my husband's name.

I am always thankful to organizations that provide benefits to service members. It is not something they have to do in most cases (although maybe yes with this one based on the law). And like all of you, I want to benefit our bottom line in anyway that I can.

I'd like to say I will apply this to the Big Savings Goal, but there are upcoming expenses that will require these funds. More on that at another time!

Random Money Updates

March 27th, 2019 at 08:57 am

Spring break with the girls was wonderful! We had a good balance of relaxing, which they really needed and getting out to explore some things. We did several free things and had dinner out twice, so we easily spent under $150 for those kinds of things. Our grocery bill went up slightly, but that's to be expected.

I found a quarter out back in the alley when I was talking to a neighbor. I love finding cash on the ground!

I'm working on my next $25 Amazon or Paypal redemption with Swagbucks. I really just try to complete the To Do List on the left hand side of the home page. I try the surveys, but I'm not always successful, so as to not waste any more time, I do skip that one. I think Rose asked in another post about how to do it. I would suggest following Swagbucks Swaggernauts on FB for tips and pointers. There is definitely a learning curve. I have found a free malware extension on my computer helps with the junk that can come from using the site.

We received our $10 Visa rebate card in the mail from NAPA for the battery we purchased a couple months back. I plan to use it out shopping. I will then add $10 cash to the Big Goal.

I've redeemed some credit card cash back rewards and will update with a total for March when I report how much progress we made on our Big Goal this month.

We need to already be thinking about airline tickets for May! We will likely go back to the Midwest to help move our daughter's out and help our oldest daughter buy her first car. She is likely going to be staying back there this summer to take a class and get a job or internship. Lots of activity around here and spending.

I have three items I need to sell. Two should be able to go on eBay and the other should go up on a local sales page. I rarely do eBay any more since my main motivation was usually to sell outgrown clothes and toys. I saw a YouTube video the other day though that reminded me of how it is possible to buy items at garage sales and resell them for more. Something I might try and see if it keeps me interested. Clearly more work than finding items in my house!

Please excuse my random thoughts!

February Big Goal Progress

March 2nd, 2019 at 06:23 am

In January, I wrote that I would try to update our Big Goal progress each month. I nearly forgot until I went looking for our interest earned in January because I needed it for my previous post. We'll see if I can remember all year long!

$350.00 ($175 from each paycheck, two per month)
_$66.71 American Express CC Rewards
_$48.94 Discover Cash Back
_$51.06 FNBO Interest Earned
$113.87 NFCU Interest Earned
__$0.01 USAA Interest
__$5.00 Class Action Rebate
_$25.00 Swagbucks
__$6.00 Pinecone Surveys
$200.00 Fuel Savings*

_$866.59 February Big Goal Total
$1,576.04 2019 YTD

$62,311.59 Previous Big Goal Balance
$63,178.18 New Big Goal Balance

31.59% of $200,000 Goal

*I'm calling this fuel savings as we are not using nearly as much fuel in our vehicles while living on base. In our last place we could easily have spent $200 more per month.

February Interest Earned

March 2nd, 2019 at 05:56 am

February was the first full month that our 3.25% CD was in effect. The interest earned is reflected in the total.

FNBO $51.06
NFCU $113.87
Total $164.93

To compare, in January we earned $147.20. Higher interest rates do make a difference!

All interest earned is added to our Big Goal.

January Interest Earned and Savings

February 1st, 2019 at 07:33 am

In January we earned a nice amount of interest on our savings. We always save all interest, even when we were paying on debt. Although back then our interest earned was piddly!

$66.07 FNBO Direct
$81.13 Navy Federal CU
$147.20 Total interest earned

In December our total was $118.73. We have increased our monthly interest by $28.47 because we moved a large amount of cash from one bank earning 2.15% to a CD at the other bank earning 3.2%. At about $150/month, we are on schedule to save $1,800 in interest this year.

We did a great job with extra savings this month. We only spent $31 on fuel for our vehicles. I think we both need to fill up soon! We saved toward the Big Goal as planned, but also since we were under budget we have added $545.05 to our emergency fund.

I've decided for 2019, continue the Big Goal saving with $350 a month ($175 each paycheck), add in credit card rewards and other snowflake money and interest earned. Any extra we save is going to our emergency fund. I think there are some expense we will incur in 2019 that are hard to anticipate the amount, so any extra cash saved will be helpful. I'd rather money from those come from what we have stashed and marked as EF money, than from our BIg Goal money.

Here's to a great year of saving!

Figured Out 2019 Net Paycheck

January 4th, 2019 at 07:28 am

I used the Paycheck City website yesterday to determine my husband's net paycheck. His base pay has increased by $204.43 per month. The housing allowance (BAH) has also increased by $117 per month. I would be really thrilled about this, but because we live on a military installation, the property management company gets the full increase for housing. This isn't a surprise, but a bit of an annoyance. We are committed here for 12 months, and we are open to looking into other options after that.

All the taxes went up accordingly ($29.90/mo), we added a family vision plan ($36.55/mo), and my husband's retirement plan contribution increased ($22.49/mo). This means of the $204.43 increase the remaining $115.49 is ours to keep when the paycheck is deposited. This will end up being split evenly each pay period, about $57.75 twice per month.

For the last two years I have literally saved my husband's pay increases for the Big Goal. In 2017, the amount was $131. I had that money sent directly from his paycheck to our Navy Federal CU account. In 2018, the amount was $216, which I manually set aside in our checking account toward the goal. Amazingly I remembered each pay period. I can't say I really liked how tedious that was.

So I see it as we have two choices. We can have the full amount transferred from his paycheck automatically OR have the full amount (divided by 2) transferred to one of our savings accounts twice per month. I may go with the latter because that would get the money into our account faster earning interest. I really failed to have any of last years raise earning interest, so that alone will be an approvement.

Next steps...I need to stop the current transfer from my husband's paycheck. As of January 15, I need to set up a transfer of half the amount ($231.50) to one of our savings accounts twice per month. This alone will guarantee $5,556 will be saved towards the Big Goal for 2019.

If you received a raise or had other changes to your paycheck for 2019, have you calculated what you expect your net amount to be? Do you use Paycheckcity or some other calculator? Share in the comments!

Big Goal Savings: April

May 1st, 2018 at 05:26 pm

After writing my two previous posts about interest earned and snowflakes saved in April, I wondered to myself how much we had saved in total to our Big Goal this month.

Interest $101.24
Snowflakes $209.20
2017 Raise $131.00
2018 Raise $216.00
April Big Goal Savings $657.44

Not every month is as fruitful for snowflakes, but if we could save this every month, we would save nearly $7,900 per year. That's not chump change!

If we didn't have college expenses, we could definitely save even more, but we are committed to the least amount of student loans as possible. So far we are on track with zero! Smile