Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year!

It's nice to have an "extra day" every once in a while. Too bad it's not on a weekend though :) I'm just working today, nothing special, but we are having a little get together at the end of the day for a Leap Year Celebration. Anyone doing anything fun?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

5 Months From Now...

Five months from now, we will be out of debt. Five months. Five. Months.

If all of my calculations are correct (including our new estimated $6K due for taxes) and my guesstimates on what we'll owe in interest, we should have everything (minus our car) paid off by the end of July.

This is just in time for our trip back East and for our celebratory vacation trip to Mexico. I can not wait. We've been a little less focused since the holidays, but it's time to pull it back in and get this thing done. That way we can come back from our trip refreshed and ready to start the next phase of our journey.

We're tired of living in an apartment and we want to own our own place. Paying these bills off are the key to saving enough for a down payment. It's essential we do this.

We've come A LONG WAY and are in the home stretch. 5 more flips of the calendar and it will be over. Ahhhhh, motivation, where are you? I need you back.

Questions : What do you do to help motivate you to stay on track?

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Weekly Money Check-Up 2/27/12

(Photo from My Pretty Pennies)

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

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on our taxes. Although I don't have the absolute final numbers yet (still holding out hope for that last missing W-2), it looks like we're going to owe about $6K. Yeah, I'm a little sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I know how we got here and it's from playing with our with-holdings last year to come up with the money we owed for taxes. I'm refusing to play with our with-holdings again, so instead I have to change the debt repayment schedule some. I don't love the idea. at. all. But, it's what has to happen. More on that later!

2. Today I am thankful for my good salary. Without it, our debt repayment would have been much slower. I'm thankful that I make a good salary and can throw a large amount of it towards our debt regularly. In the future, that money will be put right into savings!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was watched the Oscars. Since I'm a huge movie fan, watching the Oscars is something I really enjoy!

4. I will consider this week a success if I
finish our laundry! We tend to fall behind with our laundry and the piles just keep getting bigger. I'll be happy if we can finish
our laundry before the weekend, so we won't have to think about it.

5. The thing I am most excited about spring is daylight savings time. I agree with My Pretty Pennies on this one. I love when the sun stays out longer and you can do more outside at night.

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Missing a W-2

So, it's February 16 and my hubby still hasn't received a W-2 from one of his employers yet. He was kind of a jerk employer at a small company and didn't really treat his employees well. The fact that an employee would need his W-2 and that BY LAW, he should have sent them out by January 31st, wouldn't phase him.

We moved since he stopped working there, so we emailed him TWICE to give him our new address. No response, no W-2, nothing. I did some research online and according to the IRS website, here is the process:

If you haven’t received your W-2, follow these four steps:
  1. Contact your employer If you have not received your W-2, contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for them to resend or to issue the W-2.

  2. Contact the IRS If you do not receive your W-2 by February 14th, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you must provide your name, address, city and state, including zip code, Social Security number, phone number and have the following information:

    • Employer’s name, address, city and state, including zip code and phone number

    • Dates of employment

    • An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and when you worked for that employer during 2010. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

  3. File your return You still must file your tax return or request an extension to file April 18, 2011, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 by the due date, and have completed steps 1 and 2, you may use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.

  4. File a Form 1040X On occasion, you may receive your missing W-2 after you filed your return using Form 4852, and the information may be different from what you reported on your return. If this happens, you must amend your return by filing a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
Form 4852, Form 1040X, and instructions are available at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

I'm a bit frustrated that this falls on us and I hope that we do our calculations out correctly. I'm just dying to know what our total amount due is so that we can prepare. I'll keep you posted!

Lessons Learned : Be sure to hold onto your pay stubs until after you've received your W-2 each year!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pay Day & Weigh In!

So, I have to confess. I did great all day yesterday, until this sweet, older gentleman co-worker of mine brought me a small piece of chocolate as a Valentine's Day gift. He stood in my office waiting for me to taste it. I gave it and had a tiny bite. It was delicious!

Things went downhill from there. Hubby wanted to go out for Mexican for Valentine's dinner. Needless to say, I had a few (read: a full basket!) of chips with salsa. Then I had a great big burrito. I was proud of myself for not having a margarita though! I surely would have in the past. We won't even talk about how many peanut butter cups I had while laying on the couch watching a movie...

Oh well, I thought for sure I would have gained weight when I checked in this morning. To my AMAZEMENT, I dropped another pound! Wooo-hooo! I'm back on the wagon. Hubby is too. He even had us pack up our walking gear so we could head out for a walk right after work. We will do this! We will.

On another positive note, I got paid today! I sent another $1,415.45 to our credit card. That makes a grand total of $4,641.60 this month. We've knocked down more than half of what the balance was last month. Freedom is so close!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day & Weight Loss Update

Here's hoping you all have a Happy Valentine's Day!

It's time that I do an update on the 10-Pound Challenge that I'm participating in with Erika over at Newlyweds on a Budget. To be honest, things haven't been going that well. I was kind of holding off until I got my new Atkins book before I started. Well, it arrived last week and I started following the program yesterday.

I was down 2 pounds when I woke up this morning. Not sure how or why, but I'll take it!

I'm also not sure how smart it was to start the DAY BEFORE VALENTINE'S DAY! Especially since chocolate is one of my favorite things to eat. Oh well. The day is half over and I've stayed strong. We'll see what tonight brings.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Variable Paychecks

My hubby now has the opportunity to earn overtime at his new job. This is a first for us. I'm a salaried employee, so I take home the same paycheck each week, with no variation. In my hubby's old jobs, he never had an opportunity to work 40 hours, forget about going over that!

Well, he got paid on Friday and I was happy to see that he put in 8 hours of overtime! This really adds up. We got some extra cash to put towards our debt, which was unexpected and happily accepted :)

I'm really liking the idea of variable paychecks.

If I keep budgeting on the low side and he keeps putting in a little OT here and there, we'll be able to throw even more at our debt than we planned! This monkey is getting off my back whether he likes it or not.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I love playing tag!

Louise over at My Journey to Eliminate Debt tagged me in her post today. It looks like a fun game is going around the blogging world where you have to answer questions if you're tagged and you get a chance to tag others and ask them questions. Here are the rules:

1) Post these rules.
2) Answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you.

3) Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.

4) Tag 11 people and link them to your post.

5) Let them know that you tagged them.

Louise's Questions:

1) Favourite Movie

St. Elmo's Fire. For some reason I've always loved that movie. It's not a classic or anything but it speaks to me for some reason.

2) What's your most frugal recipe?

I make grilled cheese sandwiches when times are tough.

3) Which superhero would you like to be?

Superwoman would be cool.

4) If you would only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

When I was younger, I really liked Serendipity. Great story that I think I wouldn't get tired of reading.

5) Who was your favourite teacher and why?

It would be a college professor I had. He pushed me to try hard and be the best I can be.

6) What brand name product do you refuse to give up to save money?

Good shampoo! I love my Pantene.

7) Most memorable sporting moment you've seen.

When the Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino and won their first World Series in 86 years!

8) The one makeup item you couldn't live without.

My lipgloss.

9) Do you have a nickname and how did you get it?

My hubby calls me "Blue" because it's my favorite color.

10) If you could choose one job, what would it be?

Film critic. I love watching movies so much, I think this would be my ideal job.

11) How did you meet your best friend?

We went to school together. I can't recall the exact details since it was so long ago.

That was fun :) Thanks for tagging me Louise!

Here are my questions -

1) What is your most comfortable outfit?
2) If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

3) If you won $500, what would you do with it?

4) What is your favorite late night snack?

5) Do you wear a watch?

6) Describe your favorite birthday memory.

7) What is your favorite season and why?

8) Did you tell anyone you love them today?

9) What do you like most and least about your job?

10) What is your favorite flower?

11) If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Here are the blogs that I'm tagging :)

Cents to Save
If I Were a Wealthy Girl
Musings of a Midlife Mom
Give Me Back My Five Bucks
My Pretty Pennies
It's Me, Sam
Serendipity's Guide to Saving
The Misery of Money

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Time to Get Started!

The book came!
I've been waiting for the Atkins book to arrive and it's finally here. Thanks to Amazon and my Swagbucks, I was able to get it for free. I've done Aktins before, right before our wedding, and it went well. I found that I wasn't that hungry, felt better and didn't crave sugar. Unfortunately, I didn't keep it up long term. I'm trying again!

This time I want to read the book cover to cover to get a complete understanding of the health benefits and how the program should work in conjunction with an exercise routine. (Previously I had just read bits and pieces on their website.)

As you may have read, I'm participating in a 10-pound weight loss challenge, hosted by Newlyweds on a Budget. Plus, I'm working on booking that summer vacation I mentioned yesterday, so it's officially time to get started.

Guess that means I should probably finish eating the 4 mini candy bars I have sitting on my desk. Damn you, free candy drawer at work, damn you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Not sure what's going on because I'm usually pretty happy, but man oh man, I've been a big grump for the last 24 hours or so. Kind of odd since I posted yesterday about how I'm thankful for my "positive attitude" and out the window it went!

Maybe it's because my favorite fish died last night. Maybe it's because I interviewed for a job last week and found out yesterday that I didn't get it and that they found me "too junior" for the position. Ha! This, when I was thinking the position may be "too junior" for me! Geez.

Oh well. I was just thinking that maybe if I wrote about my feelings, they may improve a bit. I've been trying to get out of my slump today by planning our summer vacation. Unfortunately as I start to get more serious about planning our trip, I'm starting to realize that the Southwest credit card I got (hoping to use the miles for our journey) doesn't really work out so great. There are no direct flights to our destination, which is most preferred, having a hubby who suffers from panic attacks. So, it's either pay cash for direct flights or deal with the multiple layovers. I'm leaning towards paying cash and using the miles at a later time for trips that we can get direct flights for. We'll see what the hubby thinks.

Well, thanks for listening. I'll try to be more upbeat next time :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Weekly Money Check-Up 2/6/12

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

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on another credit card payment : $1,863.94.

2. Today I am thankful for my positive attitude. Sometimes shitty things happen and I could get really down, but I'm lucky that I have a positive attitude overall and it helps me take things in stride.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was explored a neighboring town. It was fun to take in the sights of a new place.

4. I will consider this week a success if I get my Atkins book in the mail. I'm participating in a weight loss challenge and I think that reading the Atkins book may give me the jump start I'm looking for to really get going!

5. I can’t start my day without water! I feel sluggish until I get some H2O in my body.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Happy Friday Everyone!

There's not a lot going on in my financial world today but I wanted to check in anyway. I'm wearing my favorite team's jersey today at work. Getting ready for the big game this weekend. I hope that you all have a fun, safe and cheap weekend whatever you do. Go Pats!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Big Birthday Payment!

Yesterday was the hubby's birthday and also my payday. I'm usually the one who initiates payments to the credit card but I thought that maybe he would like to do it this time. He jumped at the chance! He explained that since he doesn't really see the money, sometimes it feels like he's just getting paid but it goes nowhere. This way, he got to see (and feel) first hand where the money goes.

We made a payment of $1863.94! I try to send as much as I can when I get paid. I've been doing "1 penny balancing", rather than zero based for some reason. I guess I'm kind of paranoid that the account will suddenly close or something if there is no balance at all. (Silly thought, since I worked at a bank and I know it won't....)

This payment is in addition to the $700 we sent last week. We are on a roll! 3 more pay periods and card #2 will be a distant memory.

I can't wait!