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YNAB Update

September 19th, 2015 at 11:26 am

We are moving along with YNAB. My husband has now downloaded it to his phone, but still needs to sign in. I paid all the bills, but we have cash left to budget for the rest of the month. I actually cleared the budget for the first half of the month. It did help me in paying bills yesterday. I knew exactly what amount to pay on the credit cards we used. However, my budget amounts were completely arbitrary. I do understand how to adjust them though, so that will get better.

My big question, which probably sounds strange. Is YNAB your only way of tracking your money? Is it truly like your check register? I'm having a really hard time letting go of the check register and excel sheets I use, but yet I can see if I can move everything over I would probably like it really well.

We are still on the trial portion for the next 14 days. I'm pretty sure we are committed to pay for it when the trial ends. My husband definitely sees that using the mobile app to input transactions will be really easy and helpful.

I want to carve out some more time to take some more classes. It would be even better if we could take the classes together.

YNAB Update

September 8th, 2015 at 10:02 am

I told you in a previous post I have been procrastinating setting up YNAB. And yes that is still true. It is a bit overwhelming with various credit cards and checking accounts to keep track of. I expect this alone may help me get some more cards cancelled and consolidate a few accounts.

I'm determined to get something entered on YNAB this week. I have a 'real life' friend who uses it and was asking me how it was going. I know she will ask again about it later in the week, so that is going to be my motivation.

I'm going to start by entering our disposable income each paycheck. This is $X amount that I set aside each paycheck after all fixed expenses are accounted for, such as rent, allowances. So those fixed items are going to stay off the budget for now. What I really want to know and be aware of is where is the $X going. I know it goes to things like groceries, dry cleaning, gas, postage, haircuts, entertainment, eating out, coffee, alcohol, toiletries and cleaners, and school fees.

My plan is to get back to you by Friday with another YNAB progress update. Oh, and yes, I realize this isn't exactly how YNAB is intended to work, but I need to start slow and simple just to get myself started!! Otherwise, I'm going to procrastinate. And yes, I'm still on the free trial. No money spent yet. If I don't get fully on board with YNAB by the end of this month, I'm not buying the subscription. Smile

Kohl's Fraud

August 20th, 2015 at 06:59 am

In addition to dealing with getting my daughter ready for college this month and having visitors, I found out my Kohl's card had been used for a purchase.

I have no idea how that happened. First, I was notified of an email change, but was having issues getting it corrected. Initially it didn't look like anything had been charged so I ignored it since I was so busy! While I was away my husband asked me about a package. Jeans? That I didn't order. Until I was home did I realize they were boy's jeans!

I called Kohl's. They confirmed my account, apologized, credited the shipping charge and offered to pick up the jeans. I figured on my end it would actually be easier to return to the store, since I know I will be there this week. They also set up a password on my account that needs to be used in order to use the card in the store or online.

I need to look around on our credit report to check on other accounts and possibly set up a fraud alert to prevent other accounts from being opened in my name. I'm also overdue from changing passwords on some of accounts. I need to get to that too.

The charge was only around $30, but so odd. Kohl's? It's not like that card can be used any other place!

Weekend Before Moving In

July 10th, 2015 at 02:22 pm

It's our last weekend in our rental apartment. We received confirmation that our movers are expect to arrive and unload our items on Monday morning. The earlier the better...it is going to be hot!

I'm hoping we can try to relax a bit, but we do need to go shopping before move in day to get some things. Many of these are items we tossed before the move or left at our house for the buyers.

Here's my list so far:
toilet bowl brush
shower curtain rings(two sets)
paper towels
outdoor trash can
broom (maybe 2)
felt floor pads (for furniture)
scrub brush for kitchen
kitchen sponge
dish soap
outdoor rugs (could wait)
a weeks worth of groceries
internet modem

Our relaxing weekend includes visiting a museum here. I'd also love to swim in the pool one more time! And if the weather would cool off a little more I'd like to walk a trail that I found out about (not near our home unfortunately).

Lost $20

July 5th, 2015 at 07:41 am

We went to a celebration on post last night. My husband took out $80 in cash so we could buy food and drinks from the vendors. The event was free and we saw some well know entertainers, so paying high prices for the food didn't bother us too much this time.

My husband thinks he lost $20 or maybe just a $10 bill. He came home with $8 in his wallet. However we can only remember and account for about $50 in food. It's possible we aren't remembering what we purchased correctly and actually spent $70+ on food!

If we did drop some cash, I sure hope someone who needed it came across it and it made their night. We can afford to lose $20 luckily. Not trilled about it, but it isn't' the end of the world.

We Did Eat At Home Today

June 7th, 2015 at 08:14 pm

We did eat for all meals today at home. I'm not exactly sure what everyone had for breakfast and lunch, anything we could find really. Smile

I sent my husband to the store to pick up pasta, a loaf of bread, and salad fixings. I knew we had pasta sauce to use up as well as dressing. Now we have more salad than we have dressing for!! My husband will likely finish it up since he is okay eating salad without dressing.

We do actually expect that tomorrow night will be our last night to make dinner here at home. Our kitchen dishes will be packed up by Tuesday night. And we should probably turn off our refrigerator at that point as well. By then we'll just be eating peanut butter as that is all we will have left!

I did toss about 1/2 cup of lentils and a cup of brown rice. I've had them both in my cupboard for awhile. I'd rather just replace them when needed to avoid having them stored in a box for nearly a month.

We also went to a local museum in our town. It's a national museum and was updated after this city had a flood several years ago. We always meant to check it out. The move finally motivated me to get it done. I think the free admission for military families was help too! It was enjoyable and had a great exhibit about what it means to live in a democratic country and be free. It was a beautiful building too.

Tomorrow we are dropping off a bag and a box to Goodwill. We also have an appointment to get our oil changed on our van. Perfect timing since we have a big road trip ahead, but it needs to be done anyway.

And tomorrow is the day the appraisal should be done. This time we won't be around to know whether it is done or not as we have other plans when it is planned. I will check with my agent though to make sure it is! I do find it crazy that we are just days from the original closing and the appraisal still isn't complete. It is interesting now that the sale is delayed I actually don't care to much about it. I think because I know it will close at some point. I also know I have to leave regardless of the change. I also feel pretty confident it will close before the end of the month.

Did you eat at home today? Have you done any decluttering that you can donate?

Eating is Getting Expensive

June 6th, 2015 at 07:11 pm

We are less than a week from moving. We are trying to eat everything up and at this point that pretty much is done with a few exceptions. So now we are buying food a day at a time...and eating the leftovers as we go. I don't have exact numbers (no time for that) but it feels pricey.

I tossed out some expired spices and some condiments that I know we won't use. If I had close friends and family I might try to give it to them, but that just isn't the case here. So down the sink it all goes. I'm recycling the containers. I am keeping quite a bit that I really hope the movers will pack. If I remember from previous moves I think they will. Smile

Personally, I want to try to eat as much vegetables and fruit as I can in the coming days. I'll just be buying it a day or two at a time.

Snowflakes for May

May 29th, 2015 at 06:33 pm

For the month of May I accumulated $139.28 in found money/snowflakes. This money helped pay off the final balance on the Citi Card from January, the remaining cost of my daughter's glasses plus a little bit more.

If I wasn't working on selling a home and all that goes with that I expect I may have found more earnings, especially with things I could sell.

Did you find snowflakes this month?

Relax A Cat

May 26th, 2015 at 07:03 am

To keep things on a light note after the holiday, I'm posting the picture I took of one of my cats last night. She's hanging out in her travel kennel. I put carpet remnant in there, took the door off, and added some cat nip. I've seen both cats using them, so hopefully it is a good start to our trip!

Released and More Offers

April 29th, 2015 at 04:34 am

Sooo...even though the buyers walked away things are moving along quite nice. The original buyers did provide us with the radon report and their home inspection report. We all released each other from contract and they get their earnest money back.

In the meantime, my realtor worked her contacts and since I last wrote we have received two offers, had one showing last night and two showings scheduled for today.

The first offer that came in was from our second offer people the first time around. A pretty good offer however, their home is going on the market this weekend in another town so they don't have a buyer lined up for their home, and they didn't want to close until August 28...120 days out! So unfortunately, they were rejected again.

A late showing last night (which irritated my kids) resulted in an offer. These buyers live like two blocks away and have their zero lot line home/condo pending sale to close on May 15. Their offer is just as good as the last offer we took and they are willing to close on June 12 (the day after our items are moved out). Because of my husband's work schedule we were given until 6pm this evening to respond.

We also have two showings scheduled today! One around lunch and the other just before we need to respond to the current offer.

How is that for a crazy day? Bad news that turns into good news. We just might be under contract again tonight!

Bad Service By USAA

April 27th, 2015 at 11:58 am

Wow. USAA has not done a good job this time. I've never once had an issue with their service, until now.

We inquired by email how to get our daughter set up with her own checking account since she is now 18 and will need one for college. The instruction was to send a money order for at least $25, along with a letter instructing to open a checking account and reference her USAA number (which is already established). They provided the address.

We mailed this in early April. While I was on my trip east she received a couple phone calls regarding the money. She didn't return the calls, but upon my return, we figured out they were trying to open a mutual fund, which she doesn't even have, nor do the instructions indicate this. An inquiry again, indicated they made an error and they would get the account established in 7 days. Turns out within 7 days they will mail everything back!

So frustrating! It's like they can't even read the letter. We will be inquiring why the original letter wasn't clear and trying one more time. Otherwise we'll just get a local account for her when she gets to college.

Have you had bad service such as this at any bank?

Waiting for the Radon Professional

April 21st, 2015 at 07:25 am

Our buyers are paying to have the house professional tested for radon. The entire state is considered high for it. I'm waiting for that professional to drop off the necessary equipment.

We did our own quick test with a kit we purchased from Amazon for $10 back in February. It came back at 3.1 pCi/L. The level for corrective measures is another 4.0 pCi/L or above. Our test was below that but could be considered a health risk.

Our agreement with the buyers is if the test comes back at 4.0 pCi/L or higher we will pay to have the house mitigated. We already have a the basic passive plumbing in place that the builder added at the time the house was built. That alone keeps the levels down. A fan will simply be added if needed for $500, plus another $100 to have the radon levels tested again after installation.

Part of me is planning to have to pay the cost to mitigate since it is in our agreement, but I will be very happy if levels are low enough to avoid that cost. The test ends in 48 hours, I'm not sure when we will have the results.

Fingers crossed for low levels! Do you have high radon levels in your state? Does anyone have a mitigation system in their home?

Already Time To Counter

April 13th, 2015 at 08:42 pm

Our home went live on the MLS today. We had one showing Sunday after the sign was seen in our yard on Saturday. Today we had two showings, with one resulting in an offer!

We are in the middle of a counter offer primarily to move the closing date, since most of the financials are really good. I will share those later when it is all hashed out.

I have lucked out not to have to deal with the showings while I'm out of town. I will owe my mother a big hug for all her help while I was away!!

We think we have found a rental home being offered by a coworker of my husband who is moving out of town later this summer. Right now they think they can be out by July 1.

I will let you know more later! Thanks for all the good vibes and prayers...must have helped.Smile

Snowflakes in March

April 1st, 2015 at 07:00 am

I guess March was a good month for snowflakes! My big fat total is $422.32. The eBay sales made a big impact as did the Ooma referral money. I make more money with Ooma than I spend. Smile

The point of all this snowflake tracking is to show that all money small and large do add up. I also make a point to use the money to pay down debt currently. This month the money helped pay off our Wells Fargo Amex and pay down a balance on our Citi card (both which have 0% interest).

The beginning balance on Citi at the beginning of the year was $686.27. Along with a couple of minimum payments and a snowflake payment today of $145.23 the balance is now $491.04. The entire balance of the card is much larger because of airline tickets, glasses and regular spending. I did make another payment of $860 towards all of those expenses today too. And I'm considering paying another $1000 from savings to get it in a more manageable place. Eventually (after our move) I can pay that money back.

Did you get debt paid off this month? Did you use snowflake/extra money aquired to help? What was your snowflake total?