Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Weekly Money Check-Up 8/30/11

Happy Tuesday! I'm a bit late with this post because yesterday was a crazy day. I'll update more on that tomorrow. Here's my Weekly Money Check-Up, courtesy of My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on some new work pants for the hubby. They were a little more expensive than we hoped for, but they are good quality and should last a while.

2. Today I am thankful for my job! I'll post more on why tomorrow :)

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was found out that my husband got the job he applied for! I was so thrilled for him. I believe the new job will be great for him.

4. I will consider this week a success if I fight off this migraine that keeps trying to surface. My world has been a bit nuts and the stress is showing itself in the form of big pimples and my face and a pounding headache. Aghhhh, calgone take me away!

5. The thing I will miss most when summer is over is the long, sunny days. I love the sunshine and enjoy that is lasts so long in the summer. I get a little sad as winter rolls in and the days get shorter.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Here's hoping I can make it through today without wanting to do this to anyone! It's been a long week on my end and next week is certainly going to be even longer. There's lots going on in my work world which is making things a little crazy but hopefully by this time next week, I'll be past most of it and able to relax a bit, thinking of the upcoming long weekend that will be ahead of me.

Hope you all have a nice weekend, stay on budget and safe from hurricane Irene!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good News!

My hubby got the job!

Yippeeee :) Sweet goodness! I am so happy for him. Since we've moved to California, he's had difficulty a) getting full time hours, b) getting a job with benefits and c) getting a fair wage. Finally, he's been offered a position at a company that offers all of these wonderful things!

He will have to start as a temp employee through an agency initially but then he can convert onto the company payroll and after an initial probationary period, he'll be able to enjoy the full benefits package. Including tuition reimbursement!

I'm a huge fan of tuition reimbursement. If a company is offering to send me to school, for free, then I'm in! I got my Master's degree this way and highly recommend that anyone take advantage of it when offered. My husband has his Associates degree and I'm hoping he'll use their tuition reimbursement to go back to school and finish off his Bachelor's. It'll only continue to help him in his career.

As I mentioned before, change is in the air for us. This is the first part and I should be able to update you more on the second sometime next week. Enjoy the rest of the week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is it just me... or do guys have it easy?

When it comes to dressing anyway!

The hubby and I are very hopeful that the new job is going to pan out (we should find out today!) so we thought we should check out some new clothes for him. At his current job, he gets away with wearing jeans or cargo shorts and a polo shirt. His new position will require him to dress up a bit more.

Macy's was having a "One Day" sale on Saturday, so we decided to check it out. We saw commercials for it, showing that dress shirts were going to be on sale for $9.99. Marked down from $50ish - that's a really good deal. We went and picked up 5 shirts. Not bad! (If he doesn't get the job, we can return the shirts.)

The more I thought about it, I realized how easy guys have it when it comes to buying clothes for work. Most guys I see in the workplace get away with rotating the same 5-7 button down shirts with a pair of khaki pants. For all I know, it's the same one pair of khaki pants. Lucky guys!

The women on the other hand, aren't so lucky. With pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, sweaters, etc. it's no wonder it adds up much faster for us!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Joy List!

Today I want to think happy thoughts and focus on being positive and appreciative. I've decided to make a "joy list". A list of 10 things that make me smile and feel alive :) Feel free to join in on the fun!

1) Flowers - I'm not picky about the kind either. I just love flowers! I'm blessed to live in a place where flowers bloom year round and I truly enjoy it and appreciate seeing them around. They just put a smile on my face.

2) Drive In Movies - First off, I love movies. But, I friggin LOVE going to the drive in! The idea of watching a movie... OUTSIDE, is just wonderful. I set up our car with blankets and pillows, like we are in the comfort of our own home, but we get to watch the movie on the big screen, enjoying the fresh air. It's great!

3) Sleeping Late - I'm so not a morning person. I try to put on a happy face and make the most of having to get up early but man on man, do I love sleeping in late. It makes me feel like I'm on vacation.

4) Putting my feet in the sand - I love the feel of sand on my feet. Especially warm, soft, white beach sand. Ahhhhhhh.

5) Arcades - I love games. I guess I'm just a kid at heart but I love going to the arcade and playing games. It's a fun way to pass the time and I enjoy winning silly tickets that I later cash in for way overpriced trinkets. I love the lights, the sounds and the energy.

6) Goosebumps - I know it may sound strange but I like getting goosebumps. Not when I'm cold, that just plain sucks, but when I'm watching a movie and the scene is just so intense that my body reacts with goosebumps. That's pretty cool. It sometimes happens when I'm reading a good book too. It just makes me feel so alive that my body actually reacted like that to the emotion I was feeling in the moment.

7) Beach Fires - There's something I love about sitting next to a fire on the beach. Not sure if it's worlds colliding or something but ocean and fire together amaze me.

8) Fireworks - I take such pleasure in watching a firework display. I remember one time, a while back, I went to watch fireworks on the 4th of July and we were so close that ash actually blew on us. It was kind of scary but so intense to be that close to such an amazing display.

9) A New Box of Chocolates - How great does it feel to open a new box of chocolates? When they all look so fresh and delicious and they haven't been picked over yet. Yummmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

10) Jumping Waves
- This brings back great memories. Fun summers at the beach as a child, jumping waves with my family. It makes me feel like a kid again. It's exhilarating to watch as the wave approaches and then psych myself up for it to hit and jumping right at the exact moment so it doesn't take me down with it. Oh, such fun!

What brings you joy?

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Weekly Money Check-Up 8/22/11

Hi there! As I anticipated last week, it's been pretty busy in my world. Unfortunately the rest of this month is going to be like that too. I will update you all once things finalize themselves here over the next week or two. In the meantime, here's My Weekly Money Check-Up, courtesy of My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on our debt repayment. We sent a big payment into our credit card ($1829.65 - every penny counts).

2. Today I am thankful for new possibilities. A few have presented themselves in the past week or so and I'm excited to see where they take us.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was went for another moonlit walk with the hubby along the beach. Ahhh, this may be habit forming!

4. I will consider this week a success if I get the news that my hubby got the job he interviewed for! That would truly make this week a success for us.

5. The best prank ever pulled on me was when some co-workers decorated my cubicle with funny pictures. I didn't noticed at first because they actually took the time to cut out heads of celebrities to put on top of people I knew in my personal picture frames. It was intricate work that took a while for them to accomplish. I laughed so hard when I finally noticed. It was a good prank! I miss those old co-workers/friends, but I have some good memories from the times we shared together.

Enjoy the week everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Change is in the air!

I wrote previously about how my husband was interviewing for a new job. It seemed like it was a great fit for him. It was about 4 miles from our house, paid more, actually offered things like vacation, sick time and company benefits and he interviewed well.

Unfortunately he didn't get the job. We took the high road and wrote a nice letter to the person who interviewed him thanking her for the opportunity and asking her to keep him in mind in the event that something opened up down the road.

Well... just about two months to the day, he got a call from the staffing agency who coordinated the interview saying that the company called and mentioned they had another opening and asked specifically if he is available!

YES! He had a phone screen last night, which went well and he's going in today to meet with the team again. I can't imagine he won't get the job. He's actually over qualified, has a great personality, is hard working and would make an awesome addition to any team.

Here's hoping he gets it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Search & Win

I wrote previously about how I was loving Swagbucks, but I wanted to share with you again how great it is. It's so easy to use. You just search on Swagbucks, like you would Yahoo!, or Google and you get points randomly for your searches. You can also get points for polls, games and surveys. Once you've earned enough points, you cash them in for items you want or you can enter into sweepstakes. It's a pretty great idea!

I have been redeeming mine for Amazon gift cards. I just cashed some of those gift cards in this week for a few items I needed. In the past, I've used the gift cards towards gifts for family and friends. It's really a "no strings attached" way to get some free stuff.

If you haven't checked it out, I really would recommend it :)

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Weekly Money Check-Up 8/15/11

Happy Monday! Here's My Weekly Money Check-Up, courtesy of My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on our groceries. I stayed within budget and spent around $90 this week.

2. Today I am thankful for my life! Honestly, it's not spectacular or extravagant but it's mine and I love it. I have good health, a great partner, a job, a working car, a roof over my head, food in my fridge and overall, I'm thankful for all of it.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was went with the hubby to the beach for a late night stroll on Saturday. It was fun to walk the boardwalk and look into all the beautiful ocean front homes that were lit up and some were wide open. I live in a beautiful place and need to make sure we take the time to see it and appreciate it more often!

4. I will consider this week a success if I make it through to Friday in good spirits. This week is going to be brutal at work, saying there is "a lot" going on is an understatement. I need to stay positive and focused and hopefully Friday will be here before I know it. (Be forewarned, I may not post as often this week because of it.)

5. If I had today off I would have slept in a bit and then cleaned our house and finished laundry. Once that was done, I probably would lay out by the pool for a bit to enjoy some of this summer sunshine.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Love & Hate Relationship with Interest

Interest is constantly on my mind, like a lover I can't forget, or a drug I can't shake. Right now, I feel such passionate hate towards interest. I hate seeing it on my statement each month. I dread looking at the amount that's there. Each time I hope it's smaller and smaller, until finally one day I will be done with it. I detest knowing that each month I send HUNDREDS of extra dollars in to the creditors and for what? Stupid interest, that's what!

Right now, interest is the penalty I have to pay for the silly things I borrowed money for.

But I know down the road, once I've gotten the debt paid off, I'm going to feel such passionate love for interest. It's going to be the exact opposite of what it is right now. I'm going to welcome it and crave seeing it. I'm going to long for it and hope the amount is higher. It will become my lifeline, my addiction, my hope. One day interest may enable me to live the life I want to.

Interest will become the reward I'll receive for saving my money.

It's rare in life that we have such a love/hate relationship with anything and this is one that can help set us free or lock us under it's spell for life. Interest is powerful. I'm looking forward to the day when I recognize it's power as good instead of evil.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free Credit Report Time!

It's that time of year again! Time to get your free credit report online. If you recall, I started doing this back in April and I planned to check it every 4 months at the free website:


Last time I checked our reports with Experian and this time I plan to go with Equifax. You could also use TransUnion. Here's hoping all looks good! I'll keep you posted if I discover anything out of the ordinary.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taxes... AGAIN!

Something told me that I should do a check up as to where I am with my tax withholdings at this point. I decided to look at the total taxes withheld on my W-2 from 2010, compared to where I would be if I continued to withhold what I currently am, through the end of 2011. Oh oh, I smell trouble! From the looks of it, I would be very close to what I withheld last year. We all know where that got me (read here if you don't)... owing $7K+ in taxes.

I know how it happened. In an effort to get the taxes paid off quickly this year, I had basically nothing taken out for 5 paychecks. I thought claiming Married, Zero for the remainder of this year may balance things out but from the looks of it, it won't. Unfortunately we don't have much for deductions really since we don't own a house or have children we can claim.

I refuse to be stuck in the same situation I was last year, where I had to scramble to get the money to pay the tax man. I don't want to do that again. I won't do that again.

This leaves me with no choice but to adjust my withholdings now. I'm going to have an additional $360 withheld each pay period. There are 10 more paychecks left this year, so that will be an additional $3600 going towards taxes. I'm not even sure that this will be enough but it's all I'm willing to do right now. Anything more will impact our debt repayment schedule more than I'm willing to do.

Hopefully this will be a wash, but if not, at least I'll owe less. Just when you thought it was safe to let your guard down. Better I discover it now than when it's too late to remedy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Weekly Money Check-Up 8/8/11

Happy Monday! Here's my Weekly Money Check-Up, courtesy of My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was
on a payment to our credit card. I'm loving seeing the balance go down! I can't wait to get the official statement later this week.

2. Today I am thankful for distance. There's been a lot of stuff going on back home with my family and right now I'm glad to live so far away. Distance is helping me cope right now.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was finished reading another book from the library. Yayyyy for free library books :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I don't need to put gas in the car. If we don't travel much, we can get by with only one tank of gas for the work week. We started with a full tank this morning, so I'm hoping it will last until payday on Friday. Fingers crossed!

5. This time last year was right before I got engaged, got a new car, got serious about my finances and started this blog. A lot has changed in the last year!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Balance Transfer

I'm happy to share that our new credit card arrived last night and I called right away to activate it and initiate a balance transfer. The credit limit is $3K and the transaction fee is 3% so I was able to transfer $2,910 to the new card. I'm so excited! They said it will take a few days to go through. As long as the transfer hits CC #2 before the due date on the 24th, I'll be one happy lady!

Hope you all have a good weekend :) Take a moment to stop and smell the roses.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another offer from Discover!

So, last week I received the offer from Discover to take out a personal loan. After applying and getting approved, I decided the high interest rate wasn't worth it. Well, now they've followed up with a new offer...

If I charge only $3K per month for August through December, they'll give me a $500 cash back bonus!

Oh boy. NO THANKS! Seriously? Put $15K on my card so I can get $500? That's almost equal to 2 months of what you've been charging me in interest. How about you look back over my statements and see that I've already put $15K on your damn card and give me the "bonus" anyway?

I'm taking a little bit of pride in thinking they are starting to see me paying down my balance so they're trying to do anything they can to get me to charge stuff so they can earn more interest. Well, it ain't gonna happen. So take that Discover!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Our Vacation Decision!

October will mark our one year wedding anniversary for the hubby and I. We have been on the fence for several months as to whether or not we should take a vacation when we are in debt. We posed the question to the readers previously and got mixed reviews. After a long walk on the beach on Sunday, we made our decision.

We will not be going on vacation this year.

We jointly agreed that being out of debt as fast as we can is more important to us, than taking an anniversary trip this year. So, the $2K we planned on putting towards our vacation will now be going right towards our debt! This should allow us to have our CC#1 paid off at the beginning of December, instead of the end. Then we can start throwing every last penny at CC#2.

As much as I'd absolutely love a week away at an all-inclusive resort on the beach, it's just not the right time for it. We'll be able to celebrate our anniversary and being out of debt, next year!

There's a saying when you are trying to lose weight...

"Thin feels better than that tastes"

Well, I think we should have one for people trying to get out of debt...

"Debt free feels better than having or doing that feels"

I'm brainstorming here, I'm open to suggestions :)

So, instead, we'll plan a special day close to home for the two of us and look at some of our honeymoon photos (that's one above), recalling how much fun we had and daydream some more until we can actually plan another trip in the future. It won't be that long!

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Weekly Money Check-Up 8/1/11

Here's My Weekly Money Check-Up, courtesy of My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on groceries (and that wasn't even too bad! We came in $20 under budget so we used it on an oil change.)

2. Today I am thankful for a new month beginning (just means we're that much closer to being debt-free!) and not having to contribute to my niece's college tuition - this is helping us throw a bunch more at our debt.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was cut my nails! I know it sounds weird, but spending a few moments on grooming myself makes me happy. Many times I put it off but when I finally get to do it, it makes me happy.

4. I will consider this week a success if I do as well at sticking to the budget during the week as we did this weekend. We stayed on target and did great. I'm hoping we can have a bunch of "no-spend" days this week to keep the success going!

5. I dream about... Since this could be taken two different ways, I decided to answer both ways: At night, strange, wild adventures that rarely reflect common everyday events in my life. During the day I dream about being debt free and living a more carefree life and somehow figuring out how to spend more lazy days on the beach with my hubby! Ahhhh, that's the real dream for me.

Have a good week everyone :)