Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Payday Wednesday Update

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....the snow is falling and I could not be happier!

As it usually does, the money came in today, and went right back out again. I paid my credit card in full and that was pretty much it. But, HOORAY! Christmas is paid in full. Now I have to remember when I get home to take that credit card OUT of my wallet and put it back in the safe. :)

I'll update the sidebar to reflect our most recent payments and additions to savings. The E-fund is growing which I love. We added $56 to it. Other than that, our numbers are moving very slowly in the right direction. As I mentioned last month, our plan was to be cautious with our debt repayment through the holidays and then hit it hard in January.

We are pretty low on funds for 'extras' until next week's check arrives, but we will have enough to get through. The house is well stocked with food and all the gifts are purchased. We'll be OK.

On the non-personal finance side, our daughter has gone to Nana's for a couple days. We have a few friends coming over tonight to play cards and visit since we won't see them at Christmas.  Tomorrow we have work, and then tomorrow night we will wrap the kiddo's gifts.  Friday morning we'll do our housework and pick up the seafood for the Christmas Eve feast. The in-laws will arrive on Friday afternoon and we will begin our festivities!

I am  feeling very blessed and happy this holiday season. I hope all of you out there in blog world are enjoying yourselves, too.

Happy holidays,

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Tis the Season!

Hello blog world!  I can’t believe Christmas week is HERE! Unreal.
The week is shaping up to be a good one. The presents are all purchased and wrapped, besides the little one’s gifts.  She is going to Nana’s house Thursday and we will wrap them while she’s gone, then put them back in the basement until Santa brings them on Christmas Eve. I really love having a child this age at Christmas. It’s all about the magic and excitement!
I did one last stop today during my lunch break. My husband reminded me that we need almost all sizes of batteries, so I made a quick run to CVS to get a bunch of packages. There’s nothing worse than getting a gift on Christmas and realizing the batteries aren’t included and not having the right size on hand!
The only thing we will need to do prior to the in-laws arrival on Friday is stop at the grocery store for our seafood. We like to make bacon wrapped scallops for an appetizer and they need to be really fresh, so we’ll do that Friday afternoon. The rest of our Christmas Eve dinner will be ham, scalloped potatoes and salad, all of which we already purchased when we did the regular shopping. Oh, and we might need to pick up a little more wine and liquor, too, but that’s it!
I have to say, I am very proud of us for the way we approached the holidays this year. We have a whole new mind set on shopping, spending and budgeting and it shows. Just the fact that we planned ahead to save ourselves (okay, mostly me) the stress and aggravation is a big step. Mike and I have never really planned for large expenses (hence the lack of a steady E-fund.) It’s embarrassing, but true.  We always approached personal finance with the attitude that ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.’ Well, that hasn’t worked – see our sidebar!  This new strategy – planning and saving (gasp!) has taken a lot of weight off our shoulders and allowed us to enjoy the holiday season so much more.
On Wednesday, I will update once again since it’s payday, and I will change the sidebar to reflect the new numbers. Our progress has been slow but steady. I am looking forward to really getting the year off with a bang in January! Stay tuned!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I've been MIA!

Sorry I haven't been around much, but work is crazy busy. I am very happy it's Friday!

I did a quick update to the sidebar to update the E-fund which now stands at $394 - up from $320.

And most importantly I finished Christmas shopping last weekend and wrapped everything but the little one's gifts. We are standing at $10 under budget as I write this! We did it! I will pay my credit card next week on Wednesday.

The house is clean, the groceries bought, I have cash in my wallet, and life is good. I'm really enjoying the holiday season this year.

More to come...gotta run for now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Payday Wednesday Update

Once again it is payday and I am feeling pretty positive about this month. The numbers on the sidebar are updated as of today. We are making slow but steady progress.

After recalculating our December budget to add in some additional monies we will have coming in (and deduct some bills we don't have to pay this month) we are in good shape. I allotted extra dollars to medical, groceries and misc. categories to give myself a little wiggle room.

I did decide to shop early because the knot in my stomach was growing bigger and bigger when I thought about waiting. I am happy to report I am right on target with my holiday budget thus far. I have spent $130 on the credit card out of $700 I am expecting from the second pay period.  The rest of my Christmas spending has been in cash. We have $570 to spend this weekend when we embark upon the shopping marathon Sunday. I am tracking total spending in Excel so that we don't exceed the holiday budget, whether items are purchased in cash or not. We can do this!

I added $70 to the E-fund today also.  It's growing - hurray!

All in all, we're in a great place for December. The tree went up Monday and the holiday spirit has found its way to our house. It is shaping up to be an enjoyable holiday season and that makes me very happy.

Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I am sure I am going to get some strong opinions on this but I am seriously thinking about using my credit card. I have all ready figured out our Christmas budget and we are cash flowing our entire budget amount. It's coming out of our second December paychecks. The issue is that we get them on Dec 15th and Dec 22nd respectively and I am a little nervous about waiting to finish shopping that close to Christmas. In particular, there is one large and very hard to find Christmas gift for a certain little girl that I want to make sure we have under the tree, and right now the closest one I can find is in New Hampshire. I am afraid if I wait too much longer I won't be able to get it at all.

So, I am toying with the idea of using one of my cards to do all the shopping now and then paying it in full on the 15th and 22nd. Is this a bad idea, even if I stay within the amount I know I will have out of those two checks, total?

Part of me says don't do it...but another part says it make sense to save me time and my sanity, as long as I don't carry the balance into the next month.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another one bites the dust!

I passed in my grad class final Monday and grades came out today. Not only did I get an A in my class, but I crossed three more credits off my degree plan. Three classes to go and I will have my (free) Master's degree in June! Wooo hoooooo!