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POP Contributions June 2020

July 1st, 2020 at 04:01 pm

Contributions to our Pot of Possibilities (POP) for June!

Paycheck 6/1 $260
Paycheck 6/15 $260
Oldest Allowance $100
Total Interest $92.85
US Bank $12.32
Chase Rewards $17.87
Amex Rewards $51.39
Discover Rewards $0.37
USAA ATM refund 3.50

June Total $798.30

YTD Total $4,593.16
New Big Goal Total $76,677.09

Potentially could have included an Army Travel payment made to us this month which was over $1000, but for now we are holding it seperate for some potential expenses. I may reconsider however!

June 2020 Interest Income

July 1st, 2020 at 01:35 pm

It's time to report interest income. Interest rates are far lower, and we lost a great rate when a recent CD matured.

FNBO $27.20
NFCU $65.43
USAA $0.22
Total $92.85

That's about $70 less than last month. Interesting times. The good times don't always last do they? However, we are very grateful for what we do have.

These funds have been added to our Pot of Possibilities!

Mileage Per Diem

May 27th, 2020 at 04:55 pm

My husband is out of town for work. He finally had two days off in a row on Saturday and Sunday, but worked Monday (Memorial Day) Strange times we are in, where the time off happens away from the family. But this is really like a deployment for many, so I have to look at it through that lens and be thankful that most days I have been able to see him.

They gave him the option of flying or driving to the destination. He could also have rented a car. He decided to drive his truck, which then prompted us to get some maintenance done that we knew was going to be needed soon. He got four new tires, rear brakes, brake fluid flushed and an alignment for about $1300.

The destination is about 900 miles each way. Mileage is paid at 57.5 cents per mile. This will give us a payment for about $1,035. I think we will bank this money in our Pot of Possibilities once it arrives. We had already been saving for the maintenance and that account is still flush with funds.

Don't worry planning for the second wave is happening, as is planning for hurricane relief in the age of CV. My husband, along with his team, have submitted these plans to higher ups multiple times. There are so many inefficiencies in government, so frustrating to observe. The Army Reserves is rarely deployed on the homeland, so a whole new era of responsibility.

My husband IS on the promotion list for Lieutenant Colonel. Now we wait for orders to make it official. It may take 6 months to get those, as only so many are processed and approved each month. We are grateful for increasing income and feel very blessed to have employment in a time when many others do not.

And on a completely different note, I'm buying a slightly used Crockpot today for $20. The one I had from our wedding (24 years) ago went out around Christmas. I have been pondering an Instant Pot, but haven't found the right price. So a crockpot it is for now. I have a lot of dried beans I have been putting off making because of it. Yes, I know I can use the stove and a pot, but I'm so used to the CrockPot! I am excited. Smile

Auto Insurance - Another Refund Payment

May 23rd, 2020 at 01:59 pm

We have our auto insurance through USAA. We have three cars on our policy. Just like many of you we received a credit recently because fewer people are on the road, less risk, ect. That first credit was $97.45.

We were notified this week we are receiving another one month credit, specifically 20% of what is equal to one month premium. For us that is $46.39.

Our six month premium was due May 4, so the first credit did reduce our payment owed. Now we have this credit, so I assume it will get refunded to our checking account. Or maybe it will just sit there until our next insurance payment is due. I should look into the specifics.

I am going to put these credits into our Pot of Possibilities, so they can do their magic. 😀

Are you getting another return of your auto insurance premium?

Additions to the Pot of Possibilities

May 19th, 2020 at 03:49 pm

A few credit card rewards have been tossed into the Pot of Possibilities this month. I usually report these at the end of the month and I will again at the end of May. But it's kind of fun to write about tossing them into our new pot!

Chase Freedom $49.38
US Bank $12.32
American Express $52.86

That is $114.56 into the pot in addition to our two monthly contributions of $260 each. These happen on payday.

Next month I'm increasing the two monthly contribution to $310 each because we are discontinuing giving our oldest daughter her monthly allowance, which was $100 per month.

Looks like my husband is traveling for work and will be gone about two weeks. I expect there will be some per diem money that we can save in June after his expenses are submitted.

The Pot is growing!

April 2020 Interest Income

May 1st, 2020 at 03:38 pm

I'm a little frustrated as I thought I could open a new NFCU CD and add to it. I did apply to start it off with a $1000 that we have there, but now I find out that I was wrong. We cannot add to this particular CD. I'm going to try to cancel it as it is still in the application process. Worse case we have a small CD! I just like all things neat and tidy, but at least it would be earning more than it had been.

Here's the interest we earned on our cash savings last month:

FNBO $33.83
NFCU $122.32
USAA $0.16
Total $156.31

All interest is saved towards our Big Goal.

Paying Ourselves Back: March 2020

April 1st, 2020 at 04:30 pm

We are paying ourselves back for money we put down on our daughter's car in May 2019. I am putting all sources of extra funds towards that goal. Here's what I found in March:

US Bank $12.33
Chase Rewards $9.92
Amex Rewards $45.03
Swagbucks (Paypal) $25
Ebay Sales $22.28
Pinecone $3.00
USAA Rebate $3.00
Army Travel Excess $119.42

Total $239.98

Prior Payback Balance: $254.69
New Payback Balance: $14.71

Well isn't that interesting! So close to payoff. I think it is time to call it paid back though. I'm pretty sure I sold at least two items locally for $5 each this past month...a bit of a blur, but I know I didn't allocate those funds to any pot of money. And I know we added money to our emergency fund far in excess of $4.71, so....

it's paid off!! Happy, happy dancing'!!

New Payback Balance: $0.00

All of these types of funds will go towards the BIg Goal starting this month.

Paying Ourselves Back: February 2020

March 2nd, 2020 at 03:33 pm

We are paying ourselves back for money we put down on our daughter's car in May 2019. I am putting all sources of extra funds towards that goal. Here's what I found in February:

US Bank $12.33
Chase Rewards $7.10
Amex Rewards $46.06
Swagbucks (Paypal) $25
Ebay Sales $30.81
Army Travel Excess $122.15

Total $243.45

Prior Payback Balance: $498.14
New Payback Balance: $254.69

So tempting to just throw some extra funds we had at the end of the month on it, but I also know that we have another round of airline tickets needing to be purchased, possibly this week, so I'm just going to do the same as February and know that our rewards, sales and military travel payments will likely have this paid back this month!!

Looking forward to the debt payoff happy dance! Yes, I considered this a debt, even if it was to ourselves. 😀

Tax Return Filed

February 18th, 2020 at 02:38 pm

I filed our tax return for 2019 on Sunday. The IRS and our home state where we file have both accepted the returns. My husband's income is exempt in our home state, so we owe nothing and since we didn't have any state withholding taken, there is also no refund.

We are getting a $1,308 refund from Federal. I had several years in the past where we tried to get closer to zero refund or owed, but I have skipped that the last two years because of tax changes and different credits applying for college expenses.

We have decided this refund will be set aside to assist with our youngest daughter's tuition bill. Her junior and senior years are higher tuition because she is an engineering major, so starting in the fall we will have an additional $1000 per semester on top of what we already pay. It is possible that she will get a scholarship that will reduce the costs.

I did run my oldest daughter's taxes through a program and she is getting a $94 refund from Federal and $34 from the state. We have not filed it yet, as I do want to run through it with her so she understands it.

In other money news, we had to buy a Blu Ray player. It sort of sounds archaic to buy one, because we do stream a lot of content, but we do also own DVDs and Blu Ray discs. We have also started renting newer releases for $0.60 from Redbox (after coupon code), which is less expensive than rentals through Amazon, ect. Our old player was cutting off the sound intermittently during playback. We paid $62.99 after a coupon and it's more than I really wanted to pay but we did shop around a bit and this was the one for the right price with the features we wanted.

I redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card, and American Express rewards for $36.06. I also sold another item on eBay last night that needs to be mailed out.

What will you do with any tax refund you get this year? Save? Pay off debt? Or make an purchase?

Listings on Ebay and More Snowflakes

February 5th, 2020 at 09:49 pm

I've listed quite a few things on eBay. I've already sold a pair of brand new jeans I never wore when I was that size! The other items may or may not be in demand. I have noticed that it is easy to keep listings up long term, through the Buy It Now option. Eventually someone seems buy many of them. I just have to manage how long I want the items that I no longer want sitting in my closet!

My husband traveled for work in January. His travel payment came through this week. He kept his expenses under the allowed per diem, which made us $122.15. That money will be allocated towards the Big Goal.

By the way our Big Goal is to save $200K towards our next home, possibly four years from now. It's BIG. It may not be realistic, or attainable, but we are moving in that direction. It may be some of the funds will get used for something other than a house. But I didn't want to spend years renting and not making some headway towards a home if that make sense. The effort and the progress is where I am currently focused. It's not necessarily what we do with the money when the time comes. As a saver it may be really hard to part with a large pile of cash, but I also want to keep debt, if any, realistic, too!

Are you decluttering? Are you selling anything to bring in extra funds?

Paying Ourselves Back: January 2020

February 2nd, 2020 at 10:28 pm

We are paying ourselves back for money we put down on our daughter's car in May 2019. I am putting all sources of extra funds towards that goal. Here's what I found in January:

US Bank $13.00
Chase Rewards $3.82
Amex Rewards $67.30
Utility Rebates (2) $59.91
USAA Rewards $3.12
Pinecone Surveys $3
Ibotta Rewards $22.09
Swagbucks (Paypal) $25
Ebay Sale $5.37
Extra Funds $175

Total $377.61

Prior Payback Balance: $875.75
New Payback Balance: $498.14

I have extra funds that I could just call this done, so it's likely I will just call it done pretty soon. The extra funds listed seem to be an extra payment I added in YNAB to no detriment to the budget...so I'm leaving it. We did a very good job of keeping to a pretty frugal budget this month!